EXCLUSIVE Look at Reopening of Warner Bros.’ Studio Tour Hollywood with Bonnie Wright
Calling all Warner Bros. fans–grab your wand, pick up your Central Perk coffee, and beeline straight for the Bat-Signal in the sky! After more than a 15-month hiatus, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood (Burbank, California) has announced their grand reopening for June 26th, and they have more than a few enchantments up their robes.
From the nearly 100-year-old studio that has produced some of the most iconic film and TV franchises–including Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, and the entirety of the DC Universe–fans will once again be able to explore their favorite sets and backlots while immersing themselves in two brand new experiences, “Storytelling Showcase” and “Action and Magic Made Here.”
Guests will be greeted upon arrival at the new Welcome Center, the hub of the movie-making adventure that awaits. Here, the galleons and sickles will be tantalized right out of your pocket at the expansive and exclusive new Warner Bros. Studio Store. (Beware any pickpocketing nifflers that may roam!) And for the first time ever, the Studio Store’s doors will be open to the general public without purchase of a Studio Tour ticket.
After your shopping spree, the real experience begins. Guests will enter the “Storytelling Showcase,” an intimate look at Warner Bros.’ journey since 1923 to become one of the biggest and most technologically innovative entertainment companies in the world. (Pro tip: take a selfie with the new replica of the Warner Bros. water tower!)
An expert tour guide will then lead guests to Stage 48: Script to Screen, the Studio Tour’s interactive sound stage home to many memorable sets, including the Central Perk set from Friends. And if that’s not enough to wet your appetite, guests will then be able to dine at a fully-functional Central Perk Café. But we hear you… What about the Potter of it all?
Cue the grande finale of Studio Tour Hollywood, “Action and Magic Made Here,” where guests will experience the Wizarding World like never before (after venturing through DC Universe’s iconic Batcave). Potterheads will relive the magic of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beast movies as they journey through recreated and interactive sets, including Harry’s cupboard under the stairs, Newt Scamander’s Shed of Magical Creatures, and even the Dursley’s living room amidst a flurry of Hogwarts letters erupting from the fireplace.
But the magic didn’t stop there when the Leaky Cauldron paid a visit to Snape’s recreated potions classroom where a familiar face was waiting to greet us. Bonnie Wright, known for playing Ginny Weasley in all of the Harry Potter films, took a moment from brewing Felix Felicis to give us her exclusive thoughts on the Studio Tour.
THE LEAKY CAULDRON: What’s the best thing about visiting the Studio Tour after so long?
BONNIE WRIGHT: Oh, brings me back so many good memories, I think, when we’re so far away from the place in which I made the films. It kinda can just transport you back, so I love that. I love seeing the Ford Anglia car, cause that just really reminds me of the Chamber of Secrets, which was really important for Ginny. So it just takes me back to those beginnings. And even the Privet Drive, you know, it’s those moments when we first discovered there was a Wizarding World. Harry was a wizard. And so it just reminds you of the beginning. I think you often have–I definitely have obviously the most prominent memories of the last movies, but this is just reminding me about the beginning of the story.
THE LEAKY CAULDRON: What do you think will surprise Harry Potter and Wizarding World fans the most about the new Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood?
BONNIE WRIGHT: Oh, I feel like all these great little pockets of these recreated sets will really be super immersive for people. I think, often, you go to a studio tour, and they quite just feel like they’re just an exhibition that doesn’t have that three-dimensional experience. So I think, I really hope, that they’ll experience that. And, also, just the special things like the Sorting Hat–you actually sit down, you experience that feeling. So I think it’s just so much more interactive than the studio tours have been.
The Sorting Hat Ceremony, which Bonnie speaks of, will welcome Potterheads into a recreated Great Hall where they will be bewitched with a first of its kind sorting ceremony. Placed above the guest’s head, the Sorting Hat will magically animate to life and announce the witch or wizard’s Hogwarts house. (Pro tip: make sure to download the Harry Potter Fan Club mobile app for even more ways to enhance the Studio Tour visit.)
You can purchase tickets and learn more information about the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood here. The Studio Tour now welcomes families with children five years and older.
Editor’s Note: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is not to be confused with Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, a standalone Harry Potter experience separate from the rest of Warner Bros.’ film and TV franchises.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols: The Studio Tour follows all City, State, and Federal health guidelines in addition to internal mandates to ensure the health and safety of guests, employees, and production partners.