I absolutely LOVE the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter and after first visiting them back in 2012 after they opened, it’s been wonderful to see it continue to expand and receive so much praise from Harry Potter fans new and old.
This week, Warwick Davis plus James and Oliver Phelps – who played Griphook/Filius Flitwick and Fred and George Weasley respectively in the films – were joined by a group of Gringotts goblins to host a sneak peek of the authentic Gringotts Wizarding Bank set at the site! From the brass leaf details on the columns to polishing the Sword of Gryffindor, finishing touches are currently taking place to ensure that the wizard’s bank is ready for the official opening on 6th April. This is pretty special stuff indeed.
Entering this impressive set, visitors are invited to step into the grand banking hall, underneath the magnificent ‘crystal’ chandeliers to discover the secrets behind goblin prosthetics, costumes and so much more. From concept art and prop making to set design and prosthetics, visitors will unlock the filmmaking magic behind the famous wizard’s bank. Lined by towering marble pillars, the grand banking hall will be decorated with three magnificent crystal chandeliers and finished with real brass leaf. Inkwells, quills, ledgers and piles of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts will complete the goblin tellers’ desks as seen on screen. The Prop-making Department, led by Pierre Bohanna, created over 210,000 coins for the final two films alone. Woah!
Warwick Davis had this to say:
“It’s so exciting to be back inside Gringotts Wizarding Bank after so many years. I spent a lot of time here as Griphook and it’s great to see the Studio Tour bring the original set back to life. I know visitors will love discovering the details of the goblin prosthetics and the Lestrange vault for themselves and there are more exciting additions to be revealed.”
Once through the banking hall of Gringotts, visitors will enter the depths of the Lestrange Vault used to store the treasures of Bellatrix Lestrange including the Sword of Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup, one of Voldemort’s many Horcruxes. During filming 38,000 pieces of rubberised treasure were created for the Lestrange vault including 7,014 Hufflepuff Cups. Here, visitors can try out a unique photo opportunity allowing them to step inside the Lestrange vault and surround themselves with treasure.
Officially opening on Saturday 6th April, the 16,500 sqft Gringotts Wizarding Bank expansion will be the Studio Tour’s biggest addition to date and has been designed and built by many of the original crew members who worked on the hugely successful magical film series including Oscar and BAFTA winning Production Designer Stuart Craig, Construction Manager Paul Hayes and the aforementioned Head Propmaker Bohanna.