"Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter", at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, opened to the public on 31 March after much hype and high expectations.
The famous Great Hall where students of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry feasted and enjoyed the Yule Ball, the Gryffindor Common Room, Professor Dumbledore's office, the potions classroom, Hagrid's hut, the Weasleys' kitchen and a section of the Ministry of Magic and the giant spider Aragog have all been preserved and re-made exactly like in the movie. According to Reuters, the animatronic Aragog, for example, needed 100 technicians to operate... real goat hair was inserted strand by strand to create Greyback's werewolf face and Ollivanders' shop in Diagon Alley contained 17,000 individually labeled wand boxes.
The Independent reports that the level of detail is staggering throughout. In Dumbledore's office, for example, every image of previous Hogwarts' headmasters was painted twice, once with eyes open and once closed to represent the illusion of sleeping at night.The sheer amount of craft on display that you never see or notice in the films is mind-boggling.
Furthermore, according to Reuters, the tour, which lasts for around three hours, finishes with a walk along Diagon Alley which leads eventually to a large room filled with a huge scale model of Hogwarts castle. Its courtyards, towers and turrets were filmed and enhanced with digital effects and more than 2,500 lights were installed to simulate lanterns and torches inside.
However, there have been mixed reviews about the studio, with Philip Womack of the Telegraph claiming the studio did not come up to his expectations.
"Hagrid's hut is entirely folksy; the Gryffindor common room is the quintessence of manor house comfort. The wizards' world is ours: distorted, yes; but ours all the same. The wizards are meant to have little knowledge of our Muggle world - and yet they use some everyday objects and don't understand others. This, however, is not a different world. Harry Potter's universe, magical and non-magical, is a cartoon place that draws its strengths from the way it apes us. The sets on this tour are all real places taken to a logical conclusion," the Telegraph pointed out.
Neverthless, despite the criticism, which was also aimed at ticket prices, authorities expect more than 5,000 visitors a day.
The tickets are priced at £28 for adults and £21 for children.
See first pictures of the Harry Potter studio below: