Saturday, 11 May 2019

Gringotts Wizarding Bank at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets by Warner Bros. to attend the launch but I have not been paid for any of the following content.

A few weeks ago Warner Bros. kindly invited me to the launch of their new addition to the Harry Potter studio tour: Gringotts Wizarding Bank! I first visited the studios a few months after they opened in 2012, and back then it was fairly small. My next visit in 2015 was a little bigger... and my visit after that in 2017 was bigger still...

But this time, they've really outdone themselves. Driving into the car park, I barely recognised the place, and if you haven't been in the last couple of years, you won't either. Not only have they added more parts to the tour, like the Hogwarts Express and Gringotts, but they've completely re-done the outside, and the foyer is all new, too.

After a drink in their beautiful new entrance hall, we began the tour! I've blogged about it in detail many times, so I won't go into too much detail here, but I will of course focus on Gringotts... which we got to see two days before anyone else!

The above photos are what you see when you turn the corner and enter Gringotts. It is AMAZING. Everyone gasped. I'm not quite sure my photos do it justice, but it feels like such a large, towering space, and the marble pillars and chandeliers are highly realistic. The windows appear to look into other rooms of the bank, making it seem even larger, but they're actually mirrored.

Of course, it wouldn't be Gringotts without the goblins who work there.

After that is possibly my favourite part: a smaller scale version of the Gringotts lobby you've just been in, but destroyed. I don't want to spoil it but they use brilliant effects to make it look like it's being destroyed right in front of your very eyes, and it's very realistic... but that's all I'll say about that.

Exiting the lobby doesn't mean Gringotts is over, oh no. Because the next room is the vault! I was so happy to see this, as I thought the new set would just be one room, like the Hogwarts Express and the Forbidden Forest. The new Gringotts expansion is actually three rooms, which is awesome.

Finally, the third room, which hosts prototypes, sketches, and card models of Gringotts, as well as videos and other information about how such a large and luxurious set was built. Amazingly, the polished floors of Gringotts are not made of marble, but are actually made of paper dipped in oil paint. Who'd have thought it?!

Even if you've been before (this was my fourth visit!) another trip is much needed to see the new expansion. It is so impressive. And of course, if you haven't seen the Hogwarts Express or the Forbidden Forest, you must go and see those too.

Have you seen Gringotts yet?

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