Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to have a sneak peek of the new Forbidden Forest expansion at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter!
There is no way I could describe the squeeze I was getting when my nearly 10-year-old found out about this! She is a huge fan and could not wait to see the new exhibition, which will be open for public this Friday 31 march 2017!
Entering this impressive set through the Hogwarts Gates, we ventured deep into the forest, filled with 19 enormous trees, each with a diameter of over 12 feet and walk beneath the giant entwined roots.
On our journey we passed a bowing Buckbeak and came face-to-face with Aragog, the huge spider, along with his family of spiderlings.
Home to an abundance of creatures, the Forbidden Forest offers shelter and protection to Hippogriffs and Acromantula among many others. It is also well known to beloved half-giant Hagrid in his role as Care of Magical Creatures professor.
One of Rubeus Hagrid’s original costumes was on display, lantern in hand, to welcome us through the Hogwarts Gates deep into the forest. We were even able to control the weather using the same techniques created by filmmakers.
Amongst the imposing trees, we encountered a full size model of Buckbeak, which is new to the tour, and had the opportunity to bow to the majestic creature. We saw up close the incredible detail and craftsmanship that went into creating the magnificent Hippogriff.
Each feather had to be individually inserted and glued by the Creature Effects team who were busy adding feathers right up until the final moment Buckbeak was needed on set for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
As we ventured deeper into the depths of the forest, we came face-to-face with Aragog, the Acromantula. Emerging from his dark lair, the enormous spider appeared before us along with spiderlings from his family.
Created by Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, with help from Production Designer Stuart Craig, Aragog had a leg span of over 18 feet and was even able to crawl out of a hole and deliver dialogue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Officially opening on Friday 31st March, the new expansion has been designed and built by many of the crew members who worked on the hugely successful magical film series including Oscar® and BAFTA winning Production Designer Stuart Craig, Construction Manager Paul Hayes, BAFTA winning Creature and Makeup Effects Designer Nick Dudman and BAFTA winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson.
The Forbidden Forest will open on Friday 31st March and entrance will be included in the ticket price.
We had a great time, and loved stepping into the Forbidden Forest. This could be a great activity to do with your kids over the coming Easter holiday! Go and book your visit soon!
Must-see for any Harry Potter fans!