“Yer a wizard, Harry!”

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

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:

hp1_bus

The bus provided by the studio. Don’t forget to keep your return ticket!

hp2_tour

Trio handprints. A girl walked up to (either Dan or Rupert, I forgot which) and put her hand into the molding, and gushed to her friend: "It fits! We are so meant to be." Harry Potter Studio Tour: Where Nobody Judges You For Being a Crazy Fan

Trio handprints. A girl walked up to (either Dan or Rupert’s, I forgot which), put her hand into the molding, and gushed to her friend: “It fits! We are so meant to be.” Harry Potter Studio Tour: Where Nobody Judges You For Being a Crazy Fan

Souvenir shop

Souvenir shop

Love Jo Rowling

Love Jo Rowling

International poster

International poster

The Great Hall. There is no ceiling so that special effects could be added.

The Great Hall. There is no ceiling so that special effects could be added.

hp8_props

Gryffindor Common Room and costumes

Gryffindor Common Room and costumes

BUTTERBEER!

BUTTERBEER!

hp12_hogwarts

Knight Bus

Knight Bus

Animatronic creation of baby Voldy... perhaps the creepiest thing in the studio.

Animatronic creation of Voldy… perhaps the creepiest thing in the studio.

Me in Diagon Alley, thanks kind stranger for taking my photo!

Me outside Ollivander’s, thanks kind stranger for taking my photo!

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

Hogwarts model

HUGE Hogwarts model used for shooting exterior scenes

Cast and crew wand boxes

Cast and crew wand boxes

hp16_jkr quote

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” Insert heartbreak here :'(

Harry Potter crest

I forced myself to walk away with only two souvenirs — this magnet that is the crest of Hogwarts, and a Time Turner keychain (which I don’t have a photo of, sorry!).

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.

Jennifer

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4 responses to ““Yer a wizard, Harry!”

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