[Hollywood, CA] Calling all Potterheads! Summer is coming and do I have a great “must see” for your LA Superfan “to do” list! Did you know there is a Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts exhibit located right in our very own backyard? It’s true and I had the opportunity to visit it up close and personal!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood has created a magical tribute to everything Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts that would make J.K. Rowling proud! The exhibit features original costumes and props from the whole Harry Potter film franchise as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For SoCal fans and visitors, this tour is the next best thing to visiting The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London.
Like receiving that much sought-after letter from Hogwarts, I was so excited to get my invitation to check out the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts exhibit and learn all the behind the scenes stories of this cool collection. I had the pleasure of being led around this exhibit by my uber-knowledgeable studio tour guide, John Kourounis.
We started where it all began at 4 Privet Drive and the Dursley’s fireplace from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone’s. The very fireplace where the storm of Hogwarts acceptance letters came hurling out, informing Harry that he had just been accepted to his new home for the next seven years, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It took everything in me NOT to grab one of those letters for my very own private collection.
As you get deeper into the exhibit, you get to explore the impressive concept art that eventually became the final designs used on the set – iconic sets that are now recognized by fans around the world. Noted British production designer on all eight films was Norman Stuart Craig OBE and set designer, Stephenie McMillan. Together they went on to receive four Academy Award and BAFTA nominations. They took home the BAFTA for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Even more exciting was the original props (like Harry’s wand and glasses!) and costumes actually worn in the Harry Potter films. From Molly Weasley to Cedric Diggory to Voldemort – this exhibit has them all, including the original Hogwarts uniforms worn by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger). I wanted to touch them so badly…or at least try them on! John told me that, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) visited the exhibit and got to see everything that I was seeing! Tom Felton stood under the same roof as me! Wicked!
At the end of the Harry Potter section of this exhibit is a “Great Hall” display. All of our favorite Hogwarts professors stand in one line over-looking a small stool holding the legendary Sorting Hat. Visitors have the opportunity to get sorted into a house! So, naturally I wanted to take my turn. John placed the hat on my head, and I immediately felt as if I were being transported into the magical world of J.K. Rowling. The familiar Harry Potter theme music by John Williams, that is piped throughout the exhibit, helps put you in the mood! The hat announced that I was in Gryffindor! Whoohoo! You can see which house you’re in too, when you visit this amazing exhibit.
Once you get sorted into a house you bid farewell to the Harry Potter section and journey back in time to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them exhibit.
John guided me through some of the costumes and props that were used in the film, and let me tell you, they are worth seeing. The beautiful beaded dresses and period costumes designed by Academy award winning Colleen Atwood and worn by Alison Sudol (Queenie) and Katherine Waterston (Tina) in the film, were even more impressive in person.
Hot Topic recreated a Fantastic Beasts line including a version of the pink dress for Fangirls like me! And yes, I bought the whole collection! (The dress I’m wearing on this tour is from the Fantastic Beasts collection!)
You can also stop by and gawk at the delicious danishes from Kowalski’s Quality Baked Goods – warning, however, they’re NOT edible!
You can even take a selfie in front of Jacob Kowalski’s bedroom! What can be better than that?
Well, maybe Newt Scamander’s famous blue coat can top it all! That’s right, you heard correctly. This exhibit holds Newt Scamander’s coat! The ACTUAL coat worn by Eddie Redmayne in the film! His costume has its own separate display, and when you walk up to it, it gives you chills! It’s almost like you’re meeting Newt Scamander in person! I half expected him to break out into Fantastic Beasts mating dance! Simply magical!
There are a lot of fantastic photo ops at this exhibit and you even have an opportunity to ride a broomstick through London!
If you’re a Potterhead, Muggle, No-Maj, Witch, or Wizard, you are invited to journey through an unforgettable experience at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. There are many other attractions as well, sure to please any Superfan, like visiting the actual set of the NBC hit series, Friends, and tour the backlot where Gilmore Girls was filmed! Since there’s not a lot of Harry Potter collectibles I don’t own – I grabbed a Luke’s Diner mug from the supercool gift shop on my way out…
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is the perfect place to geek out and reminisce about your favorite fandom moments! I had the most amazing time. I already want to go back! Thank you to my awesome tour guide, John Kourounis and to Carly Yates, Warner Bros. PR and Social Media Administrator, for organizing this memorable day.
WATCH my WHOLE visit to the WB Studio Tour Hollywood here and find out how you can WIN TWO TICKETS to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood! ENJOY!
Did you watch the video? Don’t forget to ENTER to WIN! The winner will receive TWO tickets to this magical exhibit!
I’ll be posting MORE in my “Timey Wimey Fandom Summer ‘MUST SEE’ List”, so check back often! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to me on YouTube and Follow me on Twitter @JulietteBoland
For more information on the Warner Bros Studio Tour Hollywood visit: Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Thanks for watching and reading!
Juliette Boland is a two-time Los Angeles Press Club, National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award-winning Jr. Journalist and hosts the Timey Wimey Fandom Show. Check out her other videos on her webpage here: Juliette’s Timey Wimey Fandom Show