Dark Arts at Harry Potter Studio Tour London is an annual Halloween feature at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. This year, the Dark Arts at WB Studio Tour London is running from 15 September to 5 November 2023.
Located in Leavesden, the WB Studio Bros Harry Potter studio tour offers a unique behind-the-scenes look into the incredible work that went into making the Harry Potter films.
During the special Dark Arts feature, visitors have the opportunity to step into the iconic Harry Potter film sets in a spookier setting celebrating Halloween at Hogwarts. In this post, I’ll share the highlights and what to expect when visiting Dark Arts at Harry Potter Studio Tour London.
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Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
The Harry Potter studio tour is one of the top family attractions in London. Visiting the Making of Harry Potter tour is a fascinating experience for the whole family, from seeing the authentic film sets to exploring behind-the-scenes secrets to discovering the magic behind the props and special effects.
We have visited the Harry Potter tour several times since the WB Studio Tour opened in 2012, usually during the Hogwarts in the Snow London Christmas feature. On our last visit, we booked to see the Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour which was a great experience to step into the scenes of Hogwarts at Halloween!
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is located in Leavesden, 20 miles north-west of London, where the Harry Potter film series made its home for more than ten years. The idea behind the Harry Potter studio tour was to preserve and showcase the iconic props, costumes and sets and celebrate the incredible craftsmanship behind the films.
The Studio Tour is set adjacent to the working film studios where all eight Harry Potter films were made and visitors can explore two soundstages and a backlot filled with original sets, animatronic creatures and special effects.
Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour
During the Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour London, the magnificent Great Hall is decorated in celebration of Halloween. When you step into the Hogwarts Great Hall, you will see 100 hand-carved pumpkins floating above a spooky feast, as first seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Each of the 100 pumpkins have a unique design, hand-carved by the Propmaking Team for the films.
When we visited for the Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour, one of the Great Hall tables was laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops.
Related: Halloween in London for Families
You will have a short amount of time to take in all the Halloween details in the Great Hall before the hall is cleared out for the next timed-entry group.
This is the only part of the studio tour when time is limited, but you are welcome to come back in again once the next group has entered.
When you step out of the Hogwarts Great Hall, the rest of the Harry Potter Studio Tour is self-guided and visitors can take their time to explore the sets and departments until closing time.
As you make your way around the WB Studio Tour London Interior Sets, highlights include seeing the Gryffindor and Slytherin Common Rooms, the Potions classroom, Dumbledore’s office and the Burrow (Weasley’s house).
Follow the Dark Mark Trail
Make sure to pick up a Studio Tour passport when you arrive for the Dark Arts Warner Bros Studio Tour and join the hunt for the Dark Mark starting in the Interior Sets section. The symbol of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters is projected throughout the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Look out for the Dark Mark projected in the Potions room, hidden within the turrets of the Hogwarts Castle model and between the trees of the Forbidden Forest, among several other places.
Hand-painted backdrops were used throughout the production of the Harry Potter films to represent environments, such as the seemingly endless Forbidden Forest.
Learn Death Eaters Wand Combat
Another unique highlight of visiting the Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour London is the opportunity to learn the moves behind a wand combat scene, just like the Battle of Hogwarts.
Several times during the day, there is an interactive display with Paul Harris followed by a live duel demonstration against Death Eaters. Paul was the Wand Choreographer from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows – Part 2 and perfected the combat scenes during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Also regularly throughout the day, a procession of Death Eaters moves through the WB Studio Tour, showcasing the authentic costumes of traditional dark robes and masks seen on-screen.
Slime Making Demonstrations
One of the interactive workshops on during the Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour are the hands-on demonstrations in the Creature Effects section.
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In these demonstrations, Studio Tour interactors share the secrets behind the making of unicorn blood, troll snot and dribbling dog drool.
Dark Arts Menu Items
Also unique to the Dark Arts Harry Potter Studio Tour London are limited edition menu items at the Chocolate Frog Café and restaurants.
The Chocolate Frog Café and main restaurant are located at the entrance of the WB Studio Tour London. There is also another café and restaurant in the Backlot area, serving up sandwiches, hot food and Butterbeer.
Dark Arts limited edition menu items at the Harry Potter Studio Tour London have previously included toffee milkshake with caramel popcorn and breaded chicken burger on a charcoal bun.
What’s On at WB Studio Tour London
In addition to the Dark Arts Halloween feature, WB Studio Tour London runs special workshops and themed events at other times of the year, such as “Behind the Seams” sessions on costume design and a popular Hogwarts in the Snow Christmas feature.
Related: Christmas Events for Kids London
Check the WB Studio Tour London What’s On page for the most up-to-date details on what is coming up. For 2023, the next events coming up are;
Hogwarts After Dark: 5 – 6 October 2023
Hogwarts in the Snow: 11 November 2023 – 14 January 2024
Family Dinner in the Great Hall: 8 December 2023
Warner Bros Studio Tour Address
Address: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR | The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is located 20 miles north-west of London and less than three miles from the M1 and M25 motorways.
Opening Times: The Studio Tour building opens at 0830 and the Harry Potter Studio Tours run from 0900 – 2200.
Tickets: WB Studio Tour tickets must be booked in advance. 2023 tickets cost from £51.50. Under 4s go free.
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