Thinkwell led design, production and installation for the authentic recreation of the original Forbidden Forest set, in close collaboration with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig, and the original design teams from the Harry Potter film series.
Thinkwell Group, a global experience design and production agency, congratulates Warner Bros. on the grand opening of the new Forbidden Forest expansion at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Thinkwell worked in close collaboration with Warner Bros. and many of the original production team members from the films to recreate this magical set. Thinkwell developed the concept and provided attraction and technical design, production, and installation oversight of the expansion, working in close collaboration with Harry Potter production designer Stuart Craig and his team.
Upon entry into the new Forbidden Forest, guests are greeted by an original Hagrid costume as they pass through the authentic Hogwarts Gates and into the Forest, straight out of the Harry Potter films. The detailed recreation of the original set immediately immerses guests into the wooded environment, with trees as big as 14-feet in diameter surrounding the path.
As guests continue into the forest, the tree roots begin to overtake the trail and visitors are met with more immersive details, like handmade spider webs and massive mushrooms, crafted by prop maker Pierre Bohanna‘s team. Visitors come face to face with some of the forest-dwelling creatures, including Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Aragog the Acumantula, and other surprises.
The journey into the Forbidden Forest
After immersing guests into the details of the Forbidden Forest set, the expansion takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes journey exploring what it takes to create the forest. Interactive elements give visitors the opportunity to control special effects like lightning and wind, or to see how the glow of a Patronus was created for the films. Other additions added to the Tour include a special effects photo opportunity in Hagrid’s Hut and a display showing how the Whomping Willow animates.
“The addition of the Forbidden Forest to The Making of Harry Potter Tour is a testament to Warner Bros. dedication to their guest’s experience,” says Chris Durmick, Principal, Attractions & Museums at Thinkwell.
The scale and attention to detail is a critical part of the experience
“The Forest is one of the largest most impressive sets ever built, both for the films and for the Studio Tour in London, and the scale and attention to detail is a critical part of the experience. The collaboration and support from the studio and the Harry Potter production team was extraordinary throughout the entire process.”
The Thinkwell team once again had the honor to collaborate with Harry Potter production designer Stuart Craig and the original film teams to recreate this one-of-a-kind environment at Leavesden.
About Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. is a fully integrated broad -based entertainment company and a global leader in the creation, production, distribution, licensing, and marketing of all forms of entertainment and their related businesses, across all current and emerging media and platforms. A Time Warner Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature films to television, home entertainment/DVD, animation, product and brand licensing, and interactive entertainment.
About Thinkwell Group
Founded in 2001, Thinkwell is a global experience design and production agency specializing in the creation and master planning of theme parks, destination resorts, major branded and intellectual property attractions, events & spectaculars, museums & exhibits, expos and live shows around the world. The award-winning company has become a leader in experiential design by bringing a unique holistic approach to every creative engagement, delivering extraordinary results to notable clients over the years, including Fortune 500 companies, movie studios, museums, theme parks and destination resorts.