If you’re looking for a magical spooktacular to enjoy with your little ones, I can’t recommend the Dark Arts special feature at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour enough. I’m about to tell you exactly why!
Walking into the world of Harry Potter is exciting and a little overwhelming at the best of times. But come the end of the year, things get even more incredible, thanks to a Halloween-inspired special feature. Bringing recognizable imagery from the films to life, there won’t be a Hogwarts wannabe anywhere that doesn’t want to test their courage and see if they have what it takes to defeat the dark arts.
Taking place from 28th September to 10th November 2018, there is only a small window of opportunity to get your spook on. But if you still need a little convincing, here are my top must-see exhibit features:
1. Floating pumpkins in the Great Hall.
Who can forget the stunning visual effects of the first Harry Potter film? As Halloween descended onto Hogwarts, the first year students were delighted by over 100 floating pumpkins lingering above their heads as they tucked into a seasonal feast. Well, thanks to the genius of the film’s Head Propmaker, everyone can indulge in the same show!
Unbelievably, each pumpkin had to be hand-carved. Making every single one a little different. But all have that signature ‘Hagrid’s pumpkin patch’ look about them. How about having everyone choose their favourite, before snapping a picture of it. Then using it as inspiration for a carved pumpkin at home? Double the fun!
2. A feast for the eyes.
Ask any little ones what their favourite parts of the Harry Potter films are and you’ll definitely hear them talking about the amazingly long tables full of food! The Halloween feast in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was stacked high with sweet treats and this will be painstakingly recreated! Even down to the cauldrons that are overflowing with lollipops. It will definitely be hard to resist just leaning in and taking a bite out of the toffee apples too. But try to remember that everything is a beautifully carved prop!
3. Take on the Death Eaters.
Yes, you read that right! Some of the most fearsome characters, Death Eaters can be destroyed during a choreographed wand battle that will have even the most shy little ones stepping forward to fight for Hogwarts! Even if they aren’t a typically courageous Gryffindor!
Wand combat lessons are put into practice when the Death Eaters storm the Hogwarts Bridge and once the goodies have won the day, there’s a chance to admire the beautiful costumes of Voldemort’s followers. Handcrafted robes and intricate masks are all on display. So why not see if you can all guess which mask belongs to which Death Eater?
4. Hands-on grossness!
Everything from shimmering unicorn blood through to sticky Troll bogies and foul Fluffy (Hagrid’s beloved three-headed dog) slobber, can be squished and played with during the Dark Arts feature. Tour staff will be able to explain how all of the gross slimy goo were created and where they were seen in the films too. Just watch out, because you might end up taking some home with you, on the little one’s clothes!
5. Diagon Alley as you’ve never seen it before.
We’re all so used to seeing the famous shopping district of the wizarding world looking bright and bustling, not to mention full of happy witches and wizards. But during the Dark Arts feature, you’ll be convinced that Voldemort has risen again! Foreboding music, creepy undertones and eerie lighting all combine to make Diagon Alley seem very different. Also a whole lot less friendly too. You might want to huddle together as you walk along the cobbles.
The perfect day trip during the Autumn half term. The Warner Brothers Studio Tour will be every bit as magical as your little ones expect it to be. Just with an extra sprinkle of spookiness on top. If this sounds ideal for you and your brood of potential Hogwarts students, you can buy tickets here.