With the original sets, costumes and props from all eight movies, and just yards from where the Harry Potter franchise was filmed at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, a new three-hour Harry Potter Tour promises to be the ultimate experience for any discerning fan.
All the original production heads from the franchise have returned to the studios to prepare the props, sets and mechanics - some of which are more than 10 years old - to make sure they are as true as possible to the films based on the books by J K Rowling.
Tickets are due to go on sale for the Hollywood-style experience tour on October 13, even though it is not scheduled to open until the spring.
They will cost £21 for a child, £28 for an adult and £83 for a family of four, and up to 5,000 visitors are expected to be welcomed each day. Tickets are not sold on site and must be bought in advance.
Visitors will enter the site via a small cinema where they will see a short film about the facility before moving on to the main attractions.
Sets featured will include but are not limited to; the Great Hall, the Ministry of Magic (fireplaces, offices and the Magic is Might statue), the Black Family Tapestry, the Gryffindor Common Room and boys' dormitory (separate sets beside each other; it would be impractical to have visitors climbing stairs from one to the other), Dumbledore’s Office (complete with green screen pensieve and portraits on the walls) and griffin doorway, Hagrid’s Hut, part of the Hogwarts Library, the Potions Classroom, the Hogwarts gates, the Weasley kitchen and living room, and Umbridge’s Office (complete with creepy cat plates).
There will also be prop cages, filled with thousands of items behind glass and costumes in free-standing display cases. A total of 180 shipping containers were required to move all the props from storage to the studio, to prepare for use once again, containing 11 years worth of history.
The hall will be decked out like the beginning of a school year, with all the tables set out (with hand-dipped gold goblets and cutlery) and the flamboes and fireplace alight. Up close you will be able to see the attention to detail with the house tables, from the way they were distressed prior to filming, to age them, to the way in which extras on set were encouraged to graffiti (to add to the authenticity of it being a school) and have consequently left their unique marks now for all the world to see. The teachers table will sit at the top, featuring the costumes of Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape and more.
Those tempted to walk off with the cutlery or crockery from the dining tables in the Great Hall beware. As if by magic, weight sensors will trigger an alarm.
There will also be an outside element to the studio tour, incorporating sets and props, including but not limited to; part of the Hogwarts Bridge, 4 Privet Drive, the Riddle tomb from Goblet of Fire and giant chess pieces from Philosopher’s Stone.
Fans will be pleased to know that there will be NO restrictions on photography; in fact there will be several photo opportunities which fans of all ages will relish with excitement. These include but are not limited to; the Chamber of Secrets door (which might open on special occasions – utilising the snake head mechanism), the Flying Ford Anglia (which you can sit inside and will have disabled access), the cupboard under the stairs (yes, you can get inside!), the majestic doors to the Great Hall and the house tables within (which you are allowed to sit on).