31 Unbelievable Facts That Make The “Harry Potter” Movies Even More Magical

The Harry Potter Studio Tour shows that the real magic is what happened behind the scenes.

1. The scenes for 4 Privet Drive were originally shot on an actual street. They only ended up making houses because they didn’t have access to the house for reshoots.

2. The graphics team hand-wrote thousand of letters but then found out that they were too heavy for the owls, so they had to make them again.

Warner Brothers / Via harrypotter.wikia.com

3. Even then it took the owls six months to learn how to carry them.

Warner Brothers / Via here-be-gifs.tumblr.com

4. The doors at Gringotts actually work, it took three months to make the door they used for Bellatrix’s vault.

Warner Brothers / Via danipanteez.tumblr.com

5. There were over 20,000 packages and goods in the windows of Diagon Alley.

Each was handmade.

6. Crew members used ropes and wrenches to bend and twist the set once it was fully assembled to give it that whimsical look.

7. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson didn’t see the Great Hall until they filmed the Sorting Hat scene.

Warner Brothers / Via mugglenet.com

That shock and aw was real.

8. There were actually two murals on each end of the Great Hall.

They were painted to look faded so they were hard to see on camera.

9. There was only one staircase built for the movies.

Warner Brothers / Via fanpop.com

The rest were multiplied digitally.

10. Many of the portraits in Hogwarts were based on cast and crew. For example, this is production designer Stuart Craig.

Director Chris Columbus didn’t want a portrait in the film. So, the art department made him one off-screen as a surprise.

11. Hagrid’s beard was made of six different hair pieces.

Warner Brothers / Via tumblr.com

12. And things got stuck in it all the time, including live bats.

Warner Brothers / Via wifflegif.com

13. There are two Hagrid’s hut sets.

Warner Brothers / Via holdmetotheground.tumblr.com

One is oversize with oversize props so that the actors would look small and the other is normal size so that the actor that played Hagrid would look like a half giant.

14. The crew hired baby ostriches to sit in the baskets at Hagrid’s but by the time they came they were too big to fit.

15. There were over 588 sets built for the eight movies.

Some are still standing and some were only built to be used for a few minutes at a time.

16. There are over 1,000 bottles in the Potions classroom.

Warner Brothers / Via chanelweasleyhead.tumblr.com

Each was labeled and filled with something different even if they were so small you couldn’t see them.

17. And all the potions they drank were actually soup.

Warner Brothers / Via weheartit.com

Cast favorites: carrot and coriander.

18. Most books in Dumbledore’s office are phone books that have been rebound and covered in dust.

Warner Brothers / Via harrypotter.wikia.com

19. The Gryffindor sword was a real sword that was purchased at an auction.

Warner Brothers / Via ohwrackspurts.tumblr.com

The designers then spent weeks looking through research on medieval swords to create the perfect look.

20. The Horcruxes were designed by props concept artist Miraphora Mina, whose experience was rooted in her mother’s work as a jeweler.

Warner Brothers / Via multitudeofgifs.tumblr.com

21. The hands on the Weasley’s clock are actually scissors with photos of the actors pasted into their handles.

Warner Brothers / Via fanpop.com

The prop masters purchased a vintage grandfather clock before taking it apart.

22. All the furniture placed in the front towers in the Ministry of Magic was made out of cardboard.

Warner Brothers / Via cgexplorer.com

Real furniture would have been too heavy and broken through the floor.

23. Over 40 kittens were brought in for a “kitten photo shoot” to be featured in the dishes in Umbridge’s office.

Warner Brothers / Via nevillesremembrall.wordpress.com

After the filming they were all adopted.

24. The Knight Bus was so top heavy that 4 tons of weight had to be added to the bottom so it didn’t fall over.

Warner Brothers / Via fanpop.com

A whole neighborhood of London was then shut down so that they could film the Knight Bus scenes for a little over a week. The bus was so tall that it couldn’t pass on any bridges.

25. Each wizard chess piece weighed almost 500 pounds.

Warner Brothers / Via whattalking.com

26. There were 60 types of goblins made.

27. Dobby’s ears were based on an art department dog named Max that used to sit under the designers’ desks.

Warner Brothers / Via sarahsaysread.com

28. Every exterior shot of Hogwarts was made using this model. It took seven months and 40 people to make it.

29. It took three months alone to create the bridge.

This is a “first draft” model for the above model.

30. They used salt for snow.

Warner Brothers / Via secondgeneration-rp.tumblr.com

It just had to be taken off right away, because if it was left on for too long it would disintegrate.

31. And every single shingle was laid by hand.

Warner Brothers / Via hurricanetrinda.tumblr.com

Now that’s magic.

Warner Brothers / Via teen.com

All facts from the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio Tour audio guide.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

  Your Reaction?

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.


    Hot Buzz

    We Need To Talk About How Fucking Gross Seafood Is


    A Grandma Actually Prayed For Nicki Minaj At Church After Misunderstanding A Remy Ma Joke

    Now Buzzing