If you’re a Harry Potter fanatic and are visiting London, this studio tour is a MUST! Even if you aren’t a huge fan (in that case I ask, what’s wrong with you?!) but enjoy movie magic and behind-the-scenes goodies like costumes, sets, and props, GO GO GO!
I thought it was a little pricey with the currency conversion (it cost something like $45 or $50), but it was well worth it. I bought a gift ticket since I didn’t know exactly when I would be going to London, and about a month beforehand I called to reserve my time slot. It’s important to do it early once you know your date; I fortunately went on a Thursday so it wasn’t “sold out” so to speak, like the upcoming weekend was, but it was still packed.
The site gives clear instructions on how to arrive at the studio. I took a train from Euston to Watford Junction, and from there took a bus that goes directly to the studio (as per the site instructions). Unfortunately you also have to pay for the bus fare.
For you phone addicts – the studio has wi-fi to use while you wait, yay! I was able to check in to my flight home and pick my window seat. There’s also a Starbucks if you need some caffeine, as well as a cafe in front if I remember correctly.
It is recommended that you arrive 20 minutes before your ticket time. I would also suggest going in line immediately once you’ve looked around the “lobby”; I was able to line up 15 minutes before my time, which was good because the line was really long.
With the exception of the beginning movie (a sort of brief retrospective about the series) and Great Hall, the rest of the tour is self-guided. The studio is split into three sections: interior sets, costumes, green screens, and props (this is the largest area); exterior sets or props, plus food and where you can buy butterbeer (the smallest area); and lastly make-up, creatures, sketches, and animatronics.
Don’t forget to make time for: trying butterbeer, wandering the souvenir shop, and finding the wand boxes for your favorite cast and crew members.
I don’t want to spoil all the fun by posting everything, and the photos can’t do justice to the amazing details that go into the props, sets, and costumes. But here are some photos of what you can expect:
Overall I spent maybe ~5 hours in the studio (crazy, I know, but I didn’t have other plans). This was the time it took to examine literally every object and take plenty of photos. If you’re the type who likes to casually wander and doesn’t care about the little details, it probably will take only 2-3 hours to walk through.