Harry Potter studio to open for public tour

WATFORD, England

Stonemasons are hard at work at a former aerodrome near London laying the real flagstone floor of the Great Hall at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Advance tickets went on sale Thursday, but many fans couldn't purchase them through the official website due to heavy traffic.

The creators of the tour are focusing on authenticity. The 150,000-square-foot site will include only authentic sets, props and costumes, on the original studio site 20 miles northwest of London.

The Great Hall, where the Hogwarts pupils dined, celebrated, and were divided into houses by the mysterious Sorting Hat, will be the centerpiece of the tour.

Re-erected sets will include the cupboard under the stairs where Harry was forced to sleep by his miserly relatives, the Dursleys; the imposing Ministry of Magic; headmaster Albus Dumbledore's book-lined office; and Hogwarts' classrooms, common room and a dormitory,

In addition to the sets, Potter fans will learn how the series' magical creatures were created in the studios' workshops. They will also see some of the 200 shipping containers full of props that producers have kept from the films.

The tour will open March 31.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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