Wizards, witches and muggles alike. If you’re a Harry Potter fanatic, like myself, a visit to the incredible Warner Bros Studio Tour in London which is where all of the Harry Potter movies were made is a MUST! I’m just back from my first trip to London (which you can read about here) and the sole purpose of this trip was to do the Studio Tour. Keep on reading to see what I thought…
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Located in Watford, just outside of London, the Warner Bros Studios were the home of the Harry Potter movies for 10 years and even as books were still being written, the crew, cast and everyone involved were making movies at the same time! When you visit now, what you find is a treasure trove of the movies most iconic sets, props, stories, drawings and all the inbetween.
Harry Potter Studio Tour – Highlights
We were given a designated time of tour and we arrived approximately 45 minutes early and we got in ok and proceed to do to the tour straight away! It was magical. It starts with a quick movie that runs through the history of the sets and once that ends, you’re greeted with the incredible doors into the Great Hall! Aaaah!
Because it was my birthday, myself and many other (ahem kids!) got to open the doors of the great hall so that we could all start our self guided tour! What a magical moment to be able to push through those iconic doors that mean so much to every Harry Potter fan around the world. It was seriously incredible.
The tour from here is pretty much self guided and along the way you will pass through many amazing displays where you will learn of the costume design, the characters, you’ll see how they made the Great Hall’s sky light up differently depending on the occasion and you’ll also see many more amazing sets such as the common rooms, Hagrid’s hut and Dumbledore’s office! Check out my photo’s below for a little glimpse!
Just casually hanging out in the Gryffindor Common Room – where I surely would have spent many a day had I have gotten my Hogwarts letter! 🙁 / 😀
Throughout this part of the tour I took a couple of hundred photo’s so its hard to narrow them down for this post! I don’t want to give too much away! 😀
What I also loved about this part of the tour, in fact the whole tour was that my (muggle) other half who knew nothing of the world of Harry Potter, really enjoyed the experience. So if you are going with someone who isn’t the biggest fan, they will sure find interest in the many displays. Its hard not to get wrapped up in the whole experience!
Another great thing about the tour is that its very interactive. There is loads of staff on hand should you have any questions to ask them and their knowledge and passion for the story and world of Harry Potter is just amazing. Two of my favourite experiences included dressing up in house robes (Gryffindor of course for me!), mounting a broom in front of a green screen and flying over the city of London and around the Hogwarts Castle! What a brilliant experience! Can you spot me below!?
Another thing I loved was that some of the sets are interactive! I don’t want to give away all of the magical elements but one of the things I loved was that, at the Weasley’s house, you could turn the pots and clean the kitchen via iPad! This small interactive feature was brilliant and everyone was enjoying it!
Along the way you will also learn about the characters from the movie and many tid bits about them. Its just so fascinating! Here I am hanging with Hagrid – well kind of! Tall isn’t he!? :O 😀
Hogwarts Express and King’s Cross Station
Walking into King’s Cross Station was kind of overwhelming. And to see the actual Hogwarts Express in front of you is an even more overwhelming feeling! The buzz throughout King’s Cross Station was fantastic as many die hard fans like myself, posed at every possible photo op! What I wasn’t expecting to be able to do was go into the actual train and when I saw that we could, I ran!! I have loads of photo’s from inside but I don’t want to spoil every surprise so you’ll have to see those for yourself!
My one disappointing aspect though was the thing I was most excited for on the day 🙁 I really wanted to get my photo going through Platform 9 3/4’s with my Gryffindor scarf blowing in the wind and they didn’t have a Gryffindor scarf – they just had one for the three other houses. 🙁 I was devastated!
None the less though, I got my photo! 🙂
After our time in King’s Cross Station, we reached the food court and my word were we hungry at this point! We decided we’d have a nice burger and chips and we were surprised by the quality of the food, it was brilliant! You can also enjoy a Butterbeer at this half way point. 🙂
Harry Potter Tour – The Backlot
The next part of the tour took us outside to the backlot where we were greeted with many iconic sets including the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and the Weasley’s infamous flying car! We had a lot of fun in the backlot taking silly photos and just enjoying the experience.
We’re only delighted with life in our flying car haha! I look so happy! 😀
Harry Potter Tour – Special Effects and Artwork
The final stage of the Harry Potter Studio Tour focussed on the fantastic special effects that made the movies what they were and this was really fascinating. The amount of detail that goes into every aspect of each of the movies is insane.
Diagon Alley is also in this part of the tour and to walk down this bustling street and point out all of the well known stores was so much fun!
And finally, as the tour comes to an end, you’re greeted with a huge model of the Hogwarts Castle that was used throughout all of the movies as school shots and seeing this in the flesh was really emotional! It was spectacular to witness and walk around and it was the perfect ending to an amazing experience.
The Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour exceeded all of my expectations and I can’t wait to go back again for a visit! If you’re planning a trip to London that is focussed on the tour, I really recommend you stay in the Clayton Crown Hotel in Cricklewood as its easy to access both the Studios and London city from this location. I also recommend you pre-book your passes online before you travel. The official website can be visited here.
I hope you enjoyed my post on the tour and that you found it helpful. I wanted to share some of my amazing photos with you all without giving away too much as it truly is a magical place. I can’t wait to go back.
(Yes I bought those glasses! 😀 )
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ― Albus Dumbledore