If you are a fan of Harry Potter (aka Potterheads), London is your playground. Click here for a list of Harry Potter things to do in London. If you are lucky (and I do mean LUCKY) enough to get a pair of tickets, you can see the play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I also said pairs because you’ll need parts 1 and 2 if you want to see the entire play. Not able to get theater tickets? You can go on a Harry Potter London walking tour, go to Kings Cross underground to find Platform 9-3/4, or you can go outside London to the Warner Bros studio and see where they actually filmed all of the Harry Potter movies, and the props they used in the 10 years of making the movie. I chose to visit the Warner Bros Studio.
This is not to be confused with the World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios in Hollywood or Orlando. This is the actual studio where they filmed the movies, and actual props. I have been to Universal Studios, Hollywood , and the Orlando theme park, so I wanted to compare the difference.
Tickets and a reservation time must be purchased in advance and cost £37.00 for adults, or, you can get the complete Studio Tour package for £46.95, which includes Studio Tour Ticket, Digital Guide & Paperback Souvenir Guidebook, saving £4.95. I splurged and got the complete tour package for 10:00 am.
How to get there
To get to Warner Bros you can drive or take the train. From my hotel, I took a bus 30 to the Euston station, and then make my way to Watford Junction. I had an (Traveler) Oyster Card, so I just had to make sure I had £11.00 for my train from Euston to Watford Junction. The train ride took about 20 minutes, and I used Google Maps to head me in the right direction. The web site also has links to help you get to the Warner Bros studio.
Once at Warford Junction, follow the signs to the Warner Bros shuttle bus. Just show them your tickets or confirmation to board. Once on board, you have the option to purchase the return bus ticket (to Watford Junction) for £2.50 a person.
After the security screening (which they are immensely SLOW!!) you can get your audio headset before starting your tour. Our audio was included as part of my package, but I chose to skip it as I didn’t want it to slow me down, and there are plenty of Warner Bros staff to ask questions. The headset does give you hidden tips and information not on the tour but quite frankly it wasn’t for me. I did, however, give my vouchers to some strangers after my tour.
The first part of the tour was a quick movie about the popularity of Harry Potter, how the cast literally grew up in the studio, etc. After the introductory movie we were led by a staff member though the doors into the Grand Hall.
The guide’s job was to get the crowd excited and encourage us to take photos using #WBTourLondon on social media. They also had free WiFi for the visitors to use. Then, after the Grand Hall, the guilde moved us into the next room, closed the door and let us do our own leisurely tour. The self tour leads you from one room to the next, starting with the costume, make up, set design and props.
Mid way though the tour, visitors could ride a broomstick using the magic of the movie green screen. You can buy the video and photo for £40 or just a photo for £7.00. A digital photo is provided with any purchase. We chose to keep just a photo.
Leading to the middle of the tour was the 9-3/4 Platform for the Hogwart’s Express, where you can push your trolley though the famous platform.
There was a cafeteria that sold lunch, snacks and of course Butterbeer. I already had the famously sweet drink when I was in Universal Studios Hollywood, so instead I had an orange drink with my macaroni and cheese, while Stephen had a hotdog, chips and beer.
Right outside the commissary are more props from the movie, such as the bus to all destinations, Harry’s Aunt and Uncle’s house, and the Hogwart’s bridge.
After lunch, the tour continues including the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, more props, set designs, and of course, the gift shop. We left around 3:00, and made our way back to London, with the rest of the muggles.