If you're a fan of J.K. Rowling's beloved book series, a visit to the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour is an absolute must. Visiting the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a dream come true for fans of the Harry Potter series. It was one of my favorite things that I did in 2022. In fact, I loved it so much that I came back again in 2023!
The immersive experience takes you behind the scenes of the iconic films, allowing you to explore the sets, costumes, and props that brought the magical world to life. This is where all the movies were actually filmed! From the moment you step inside, you'll be transported into the enchanting world of wizards and witches. It is just pure joy.
Given the high cost for the Harry Potter Studio Tour, it is good to be fully prepared of what to expect and what to do. In this comprehensive guide, I will provide you with all the information you need to plan your visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. From transportation options to ticket prices, I will walk through all the steps and questions. Get ready for a truly magical experience that will leave you spellbound.
Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Harry Potter Warner Brother Studio
What is the Harry Potter Studio Tour?
All eight Harry Potter movies were filmed at the Warner Brothers studio in Leavesden, just outside of London. For 10 years, this was the home for all the actors, crew and cast that brought the magical world to life. Once filming wrapped in 2010, there was a treasure trove of thousands of intricate and beautifully-made artifacts with no further purpose.
That is where the idea of the studio tour came in! What if they could turn it into a Harry Potter museum type thing? Many of the original cast and crew returned to reassemble the sets and record their memories from filming. This was an opportunity to preserve and showcase the iconic props, costumes and sets for Harry Potter fans to enjoy.
Located in Leavesden, just outside of London, the studio tour offers visitors the opportunity to explore the actual sets, costumes, and props used in the movies. To be clear, this isn’t an amusement park. There aren’t rides or carnival games. This is a studio tour. It is a unique and interactive experience that allows fans to go behind the scenes of the Harry Potter film series. The tour provides an immersive experience that allows fans to delve deeper into the making of the films and gain a newfound appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship involved.
How to Get to Harry Potter Studio Tour
From London, the easiest way to reach the Warner Brothers Studio is by public transit. You need to get to Watford Junction station. From there, you’ll find a shuttle bus which picks up every 15 minutes and drives you to the studio. It is well-marked, so you'll know exactly where to go. Plus, the bus is wrapped in Harry Potter imagery!
There are regular train services running from London Euston to Watford Junction. From London Euston, the total journey takes approximately 40 minutes and it is honestly pretty simple if you’re familiar with trains and train tickets. I did this on my first visit to the Harry Potter Studios, and it was straightforward and timely. Public transit is the most convenient and cost-effective option.
If you don’t want to worry about changing stations or timing connections, another convenient option is to book through an organized tour. Many tour operators (such as this one or this one) offer packages that include the studio ticket and a round trip coach transfer from central London, making it a hassle-free and efficient way to reach the studio. This option usually takes longer, because you need to arrive at the coach stop early for check-in and buses can’t get there as quickly as the train. I went with an organized tour on my second visit, because there weren’t any direct tickets available. It was very simple!
If you prefer to drive, the studio tour is easily accessible by car. From central London, it will take around an hour. The address is Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR. On-site parking is available, but it's recommended to pre-book your parking space to guarantee availability. Driving to the studio gives you the flexibility to travel at your own pace.
Tickets & Costs for Harry Potter Studio
There is no hiding from it – visiting the Harry Potter Studio tour is an expensive endeavor. You should expect to spend over one hundred pounds on the full experience, including tickets, transportation, food and souvenirs. Prices vary depending on the time of year and day of the week, with peak times being more expensive. There are also different ticket options available, such as standard entry, enhanced experiences, and special events.
Harry Potter studio tour tickets sell out really quickly, so avoid disappointment and ensure to book them early. I can’t emphasize this enough: tickets are not available at the door. You must book in advance. You can buy them through the official site. And I mean like months in advance. I bought my tickets for an October 2022 visit in July 2022, and I still didn’t get my top choice day.
What You’ll See Inside the Studio
I don’t want to spoil all the surprises from the Studio Tour, but you can expect to see PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING from the Harry Potter movies. From the awe-inspiring Great Hall to the intricate set of Gringotts Bank, the studio tour gets you an up-close look at the intricate details that went into creating the magical world of Harry Potter. I’m not going to lie, there were a few moments that brought me to tears! I know it is cheesy, but I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and wonder.
Explore Diagon Alley, visit the Forbidden Forest, and marvel at the breathtaking Hogwarts Castle model. Delve into the Potion's Classroom, step aboard the Hogwarts Express, and even sip on the iconic Butterbeer. The studio tour provides an extensive range of exhibits, showcasing the incredible attention to detail and the creative process that went into bringing the Harry Potter universe to life. Don't forget to explore the Back Lot, where you can see iconic vehicles like the Hogwarts Express and the flying Ford Anglia.
One of my favorite parts of the studio is just how interactive the experience can be. You can really take part and feel like your part of the Harry Potter World! From summoning your own broomstick to trying out Quidditch, you can really immerse yourself. Some of these experiences will have a short queue, but due to the timed system for entry, these will never be more than a few minutes.
What to Expect at Harry Potter Studios
You should absolutely pay the extra 6 pounds to get the audio guide that accompanies the studio tour. It is absolutely full of extra information, including clips from the actors, special stories about filming, and lots of additional content. I think it is super well done, and it really enhances the overall experience!
Scavenger Hunt & Potter Passport
At the entrance of the Harry Potter Studio Tour, you’ll be given a Potter Passport. This is a fun scavenger hunt type activity suitable for all ages. You can look for hidden golden snitches throughout the studio and stamp your passport at different spots throughout the tour. It’s a cool souvenir to bring home with you from your experience.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of opportunities to buy unique Harry Potter merchandise. There are two exclusive gift shops inside the studio. One is after the Forbidden Forest and the other is at platform 9 ¾. The massive main gift shop at the end of the tour is full of incredibly exciting official merchandise. From chocolate frogs to replica wands, you can buy it all! Each house has its own section, so you can pick up Gryffindor scarves or Ravenclaw t-shirts.
Dining & Culinary
There are a number of restaurants inside the studio tour. The food hall and chocolate frog cafe are both located in the main lobby. Interested in enjoying a round of Butterbeers anyone? Stop at the backlot cafe! This is the only place in Europe (and the studio tour) where you can enjoy a frothy Butterbeer. Because this is inside the exhibition, don’t miss your chance. You can’t go back!
How Long Do You Need to Visit?
It might surprise you, but the average visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour lasts 4 hours. I totally didn’t think we’d spend that long, but in the end, we spent longer! There is a lot to see. The time really flies by too, because you are totally over-stimulated with all the props, costumes and sets. Of course, you aren’t required to spend 4 hours but I would recommend at least budgeting your schedule with that. Treat it like a half day trip!
Before You Go to the Studio
Watch all the movies! No, but seriously. Even if you’ve seen them all 10 times, it can’t hurt to watch them again. It will make the experience more special and recent, as you wander through the different exhibitions. You’ll immediately recognize many of the props and sets.
Many visitors come to the studio dressed in full Harry Potter outfits. You’ll see plenty of capes and wands in hand. Don’t be afraid to dress up and get into the swing of things – this is the perfect place to be a nerdy Potter Head! You won’t be alone, and it adds to the experience for many people.
Before heading to the studio, it's important to check the official website (or your tour provider) for any updates or changes in opening hours. Remember to dress comfortably as there's a fair amount of walking involved, and don't forget your camera to capture the magical moments throughout the tour.
Did you enjoy this post? Still have questions about visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour? Tell me in the comments.
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