Everyone in our family is a HUGE Harry Potter fan. We’ve all read the books (Oscar our youngest is reading them now) we’ve all listened to Stephen Fry read the audio books, and we’ve all seen the movies many times. A visit to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour in London has been top of our bucket list for a long time, so recently we made the kid’s dreams come true, and it was AMAZING!
The Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour is based in Leavesden, 20 miles north-west of London, at the studios (in old aircraft hangers) where all of the films were shot. It’s called a studio tour because you will need to pre-book tickets online in advance for a particular time slot. The ‘tour’ starts with a short video about how the films were made, before the small group makes its way into the great hall. After that though, visitors are free to wander throughout the studio at their own pace without a tour leader.
We booked for the first (9am) session of the day. We figured that this would be the least crowded time to visit since we’d be the first group making our way through, and we wanted to be able to spend the day leisurely going through the exhibits without worrying about a looming closing time. We stayed at the studios for about 5 hours, but I certainly wouldn’t try to do it in less than 3.
There really is lots to take in, and the attention to detail that made the films so good is really obvious. Snape’s potion room is particularly well done, with hundreds of tiny bottles with hand written labels. And the Weasley’s kitchen at the Burrow is just how you would imagine it to be. But honestly though we couldn’t pick just one or two sections to be our favourite, it was all just perfect.
The kids loved the opportunity to have a Butterbeer in the cafeteria, and they were absolutely in awe of the giant Hogwarts model and the Hogwarts Express. We had the opportunity to ride on Broomsticks in front of a green screen for a video souvenir. And to have a photo in Mr. Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia. We paid for 4 separate videos on broomsticks, but Simon has done some tricky editing to make them into just one.
Entry to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour was £107 for a family of 4. The souvenir videos and Butterbeer is extra but optional. Of course there is also a fabulous Harry Potter shop at the end of the tour where the kids will want to spend all their birthday and Christmas money.
If your family loves Harry Potter as much as we do, the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour is an absolute must see when visiting London. We thought the entry cost was excellent value for money, and if you’re on a budget you could visit without paying for any of the extras and still have an absolutely fantastic day. Visitors are even allowed to bring their own packed lunch, or there is a cafeteria selling the usual kid friendly junk food options.
PS If you are visiting for one of your children’s birthdays, they’re in for a special treat!