I’ve been to The Warner Bros Studio Tour – Making of Harry Potter a fair few times now but had never been for the special Halloween event – The Dark Arts Exhibit until November 2018. Now I know that was almost a whole year ago (wowza time flies) so I didn’t get to experience the new Gringott’s exhibit but I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from our trip to help you plan your next trip to the Studio Tour.
If you’d rather hear all about the Christmas Hogwarts in the Snow exhibit, check out my post about that here which includes all sorts of tips and tricks. Plus I’m headed there again this November so keep an eye on Instagram – @emsypickle – for some magically festive photos!
The Dark Arts exhibition at The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour celebrates the darkest, spookiest parts of the Harry Potter universe. Trooooolllllll in the dungeon!
Think the Halloween Feast, magical creatures like giant spider Aragog, fiendish foes such as trolls, and of course Voldemort and his dastardly Death Eaters. AVADA KEDAVRA!
I was really excited to see what the set up would be for The Dark Arts, and the Great Hall was particularly spooktacular. Huge floating pumpkins hung from the ceiling and the tables on the right hand side of the Hall were laid out with the Halloween feast and spooky Honeydukes sweets. Jelly Slugs anyone?
There was also an interactive station where you could touch and see how they made Fluffy’s drool and troll bogeys. Yum!
I was slightly disappointed that more of the sets weren’t decked out for Halloween – I envisaged pumpkins and autumnal decorations EVERYWHERE but most sets were the same as normal or just with some added jelly snake and spider sweets (eg on the Hogwarts Express). At Hogwarts in the Snow, all the sets are given a festive makeover, with fake snow dusted over the giant model of Hogwarts, the Gryffindor Common Room and other sets decorated for Christmas, and the Great Hall fully set up for Christmas dinner, so I was hoping for a similar all-in vibe for Dark Arts.
However this was offset by the presence of Death Eaters in Diagon Alley – which were actually pretty sinister – and it was really cool to see their beautifully intricate masks up close.
Most spectacular of all however was taking part in a full on Death Eater duel on the Hogwarts Bridge in the Backlot. This was absolutely wicked, as the crowd were given wands and taught three duelling moves before an army of Voldy’s mate’s came out and attacked us! I absolutely loved it, nearly had Andy’s eye out in all my excitement, and felt like the bad ass witch I’ve always known I am!
We had another great evening at the Warner Bros Studio Tour checking out The Dark Arts. The fight with the Death Eaters was so well done, and such a fun interactive experience that you don’t get at other times of the year or to such a level of interaction at the other exhibitions. It’s literally something I will always remember doing.
Overall, however I preferred Hogwarts in the Snow (and this is the exhibition I’ve chosen to go to for 2019). It’s just so magical, really gets me in the festive mood, and I think more sets are changed up from their normal set up. If you are a big Halloween fan however, you’ll definitely have a great time at Dark Arts.
As always, we had a great time at the Warner Bros Studio Tour and I’m so excited to visit again in November and check out the new Gringott’s section.
I also hit the gift shop harder than I have before after my Dark Arts trip – all those brushes with Death Eaters made me say LIFE’S TOO SHORT, BUY ALL THE THINGS!
Have you been to the Dark Arts exhibit before? Will you be visiting the Studio Tour this year?
I live in Brixton in London. I eat out far too much, am always planning my next trip and have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter.