With the Harry Potter series of movie gaining world-wide phenomenal popularity and this idolism of the magical world not only entices children but adults of all ages as well. There is no lack of Harry Potter dress up parties during Halloween or dinner and dance parties so if you are one of the fans and you are in London, you should definitely join the Warner Brother Studio Tour : The Making of Harry Potter. You can choose to visit the Studio in a couple of ways
1. Purchase the tickets directly from Warner Studio online. You can buy them here . Tickets typically get sold out pretty fast so purchase your tickets at least 1-2 months in advance. Tickets costs £43 for adults and £35 for children. Tickets have a timed entry so you have to arrive according to the ticket time slot. If you choose to purchase tickets directly, you can get there by travelling from London Euston Station to Watford Junction Station ( 20mins). From Watford Junction, you can take the shuttle bus at £2.50 for return and £2.00 for single journey. Buses run every 20 mins from 9.20 am.
2. Join a tour package which includes the return transport to the studio as well as the studio entry tickets. This post will be about the tour I took with Golden Tours. The tour is priced at £77 per person and has 2 pick up points. One at Victoria Coach Station and one in the city centre Baker Street. After comparison between the 2 options including train fares, this option is about £10-15 more expensive but more convenient.
The bus stop is located opposite Costa coffee and in front of Allsop Arms pub. The exact google map point is here. Look out for this sign at the bus stop where it states clearly the pick up from Golden Tours. The ride takes close to 2 hours so the pick up was at 8.10 am for our 10 am entry ticket.
The bus is easily recognisable as it is wrapped up in Harry Potter images and it is usually on time so do not be late. The disadvantage of boarding from the 2nd point is that there are limited seats left. You can just show your printed tour confirmation to the driver when you board and he will pass you an envelope containing your actual tickets.
The bus is a modern double-decked bus fully air-conditioned and with a TV playing Harry Potter movies. The bus is also accessible to strollers and wheel chairs. The ride is comfortable and smooth so you can either catch a wink or indulge in the movies and get into the Harry Potter mood before arriving at the studio. The bus will drop you right at the entrance of the studio and with the actual tickets you can go straight to the entrance. For those who purchase online, you might have to queue up for an exchange of your online confirmation to the actual tickets.
Once past the ticket checks, there will be a security check where your bags are checked and you will be scanned for any weapons.
Once past the checks, you will see the café where you can either have your breakfast before the tour or lunch after the tour.
After the café, you will see the main hallway where there are pictures of all the cast as well as a souvenir store. From here you can queue up for entry into the main tour.
You will be ushered into this dark room where you will be given some instructions and explanation about the tour. No photos are allowed so I sneaked one before they started the actual instructions. From here, you will be further ushered into a theatre showing a behind the scenes short film for another 10-15mins before you start the tour proper.
I will keep the mystery on how you reach this door from the theatre. It is definitely a highlight and I will keep it a secret. These are the exact doors you see from the movie where you can reach the grand hall. From here, I will keep my explanation brief and not provide any spoilers to the tour itself. Instead I will only showcase some key sights.
The grand hall is extremely breath-taking just like the movies and there is so much to take note and pictures of within the hall.
You can also see all of the costumes from the movie on display throughout the tour.
There is a whole new area where visitors can take pictures of themselves on a flying broomstick. Do note there is a long queue for this. Besides this, there are many other interactive stations for photo opportunities.
A re-built forest which looks just like the forbidden forest.
Some of my favourites picture stops like this Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 platform
The Hogwarts Express
One of the key highlight of the tour is to try the Butter Beer.
The flying vehicle driven by Ron Weasley when he and Harry missed the train.
The very beautiful Diagon Alley where Harry bought his wand.
The last part of the tour ends with a huge model of the actual Hogwarts castle.
The entire tour took close to 2 hours for us who kind of speed through some of the stops which did not interest us ( as it was my 2nd visit ) but for first timers and serious fans, I would think the tour would take close to 3 hours. For families, probably longer.
For those on the Golden tour package, the return journey is exactly 3 hours from the entry timing and they do not allow any delays. So if you intend to spend more time at the studio, I would recommend you to take your own transport because once you miss the bus pick up timing indicated for your tour, you cannot take another bus from Golden tour and they do not do any refunds as well. Upon return to centre London, they will drop you off at Baker Street Metro Station or Victoria Coach Station.
I definitely recommend doing this tour at least once if you are in London as there are many magical things you can discover about the movie that everyone loved.
Address: Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden WD25 7LR, UK
Operating hours: 8.30 am to 10 pm