Discovering Hogwarts, a brand-new feature for 2023, has officially opened at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Celebrating the attraction’s 11th anniversary, the new experience explores Harry’s early years at the magical Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including the Great Hall and Professor Flitwick’s charms class.
For the first time since filming the Harry Potter movies, more than 400 floating candles adorn the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall, adapted by the Special Effects Department to use lighting effects instead of live flames.
Fans can also see one of Harry’s first experiences in Professor Flitwick’s Charms class, as they learn the filmmaking secrets behind the famous “Wingardium Leviosa” floating feather.
Onscreen, the magical effect was achieved by stringing a feather onto a fishing line, which Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson described as “going back to the silent movie era.” Visitors can also practice their wand skills by learning to “swish and flick” as they cast the famous spell.
A live demonstration will also reveal how the beloved half-giant Hagrid was brought to life onscreen. Although Robbie Coltrane was 6 feet tall, he still wasn’t tall enough to portray a half-giant, so six-foot-ten-inch English rugby player Martin Bayfield – fitted with stilts and a prosthetic head – stepped in as Coltrane’s body doubled.
Additional interactive experiences add to the story of Harry’s first experiences in the wizarding world, including the opportunity to create an origami “Sorting Ceremony” craft to take away to remember their visit.
Discovering Hogwarts will run from May 2 through Sept. 4, 2023, and is included in the ticket price. Tickets must be pre-booked at www.wbstudiotour.co.uk and cannot be bought at the attraction.