Potterheads in Japan have a lot to look forward to at the Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter, opening in summer 2023.
Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter
Potterheads get ready, there are some new Harry Potter developments happening in Japan! Ever since the rumors of a new Harry Potter theme park in Tokyo began circulating back in 2020, fans of this magical book and movie series have been keeping a close eye on the plot of land that had previously been home to the retro amusement park Toshimaen for over a century. In place of the old-fashioned carousels and rollercoasters, Harry Potter attractions were in the works, but for a long three years, all news from the Harry Potter facility has been kept very hush-hush. But finally, with Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter ready to open in the summer of 2023, there are some exciting new updates for fans to fawn over.
Sets: From Diagon Alley to Hogwarts
Officially, this new attraction in western Tokyo is the second location of the original London Harry Potter studio tour facility, which has been letting fans behind the scenes and onto the real sets of the Harry Potter movies since 2012. The Tokyo version is planning a similar behind-the-scenes experience, showing how the magic was made, and letting visitors onto some of the real sets from the first three movies: Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban.
New reports have revealed that guests will be able to enter four main movie sets. First is Diagon Alley, where visitors can play the part of young wizards as they prepare for the school year at Hogwarts. The shops found along Diagon Alley change throughout the series (like Harry’s go-to ice cream parlor, which closes down after poor Florean Fortescue is murdered by Death Eaters), and different directorial choices had an undeniable effect on the set throughout the movies as well, but this version features the distinct shopfronts of Ollivander’s Wand Shop and Weasley Wizard Wheezes among the crowd of colorful window displays. Just like Harry Potter beginning his first year at wizarding school, visitors can head next to Platform 9 ¾, taking pictures as they “board” the Hogwarts Express and look forward to the feast waiting for students in Great Hall. The Great Hall is the next set at the Studio Tour – where Harry Potter was famously sorted into “not Slytherin” by the Sorting Hat, and where the young adolescents of Hogwarts experienced the pangs of romance during the Yule Ball. The set was originally modeled after the dining hall at Christ Church College, but signs of the four Hogwarts houses set the scenery apart from the real Oxford dining hall.
Took a wrong turn in the flying Ford Anglia and found yourself crashing into the Forbidden Forest? This gloomy forest set at The Making of Harry Potter features cameos from Aragog the spider, depressing Dementors, and even the beloved Buckbeak.
Props & Costumes: Goblets, Gowns, and Goblins
Within the sets and displayed in separate exhibitions, the Studio Tour has a whole selection of real movie props ready for visitors to see up close, showing off the detail of each item in a way that’s simply impossible in the movies. Some highlights of the Tokyo facility include the Goblet of Fire, made of rough-hewn wood, Dumbledore’s fabulously embroidered seafoam robes, and Hermione’s famous pink Yule Ball dress.
To this day, cosplayers go back to Hermione’s “dress robes” for the Yule Ball again and again, striving to recreate the structured bodice and the delicate flounces that Emma Watson wore so well. If you need to see the original dress from every angle for costuming purposes, this is your chance!
Eats & Experiences: Butterbeer & Broomsticks
The broomstick flights and Quidditch games that appeared in the Harry Potter movies were the product of green screens and CG special effects, but visitors can feel the magic of a broom flying into their hand thanks to the more mundane power of practical effects. Updates from the new Making of Harry Potter include a variety of more hands-on attractions, so that visiting wizards and witches can really dive into the world of Harry Potter (and of course test their magic powers).
Before heading home, the temptations of the Studio Tour’s “Food Hall” and the two cafes might not quite stand up to the rich detail that so deliciously described the feasts and treats in the Harry Potter series, but there’s plenty to please diners in search of a little magic. Dining options will be available from breakfast to dinner, and both butterbeer and a Harry Potter afternoon tea are already on the menu.
The original Making of Harry Potter studio tour in London has been selling out on the daily for more than ten years now, and with plenty of Harry Potter passion to be found in Japan, there’s no doubt that fans will be lining up to see the Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter from the moment it opens its doors. As a unique chance to peek behind the scenes of a major motion picture, even those without much interest in Harry and his magical pals are likely to be charmed by the meticulously crafted props and the large-scale sets. With the facility’s Tokyo opening date still set as an undetermined day midway through 2023, this summer is going to be a battle for the butterbeer.
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