There’s a high chance that all Harry Potter’s fans wish to take a Harry Potter Studio Tour near London. For those living in the British Capital, it’s very easy to organise (even though it’s not the cheapest outing). For the ones planning a visit to London, here is all you need to know about this fascinating experience. And for all others, who are not particularly fans of Harry Potter, I can tell it’s a well worth doing experience…!
The Harry Potter Making Of
When we arrived in London 5 years ago, our kids were too young to appreciate their luck living near the Harry Potter Studios. Now Harry Potter is a character they are very familiar with, as they have read some of the books and watched some of the films from the series. They were ready and eager to know all about the making of, so we ended up booking our tickets to explore the magic of the Harry Potter films!
The Warner Bros Studio Tour is a permanent exhibit, which gives the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter and to be exposed to his wizarding world.
It opened to the public in 2012 in Leavesden, 20 miles north-west of London. The site was previously an aerodrome, which had been converted in the Warner Bros Studios (a succession of major feature films made use of the site, including the first of the Star Wars prequels, The Phantom Menace, and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, and of course the majority of the Harry Potter films) and finally became a major attraction dedicated to the Harry Potter series.
We booked our tickets online from the official website and went to the Harry Potter Studio between Christmas and New Year (you will need to book months in advance though if you want to make sure you get availabilities on your wished dates). We were extremely lucky to avoid the rush hours: it seems that arriving at 12am is a good timing … ?!
We went to the Warner Bros Studio by car, but it is very easy to get there from central London by taking the train (from Euston direct to Watford Junction: 20mn) and the shuttle bus from there to the venue (15mn). Details here.
It usually takes 3 hours to make the whole visit. This is a self-guided tour, which allows you to enjoy every part of the tour at your convenient pace (especially appreciated by families!).
The aim of this post is not to reveal all the sets nor to explain what we’ve learnt from the making of (otherwise you’ll lose all interest in going there, right?), but to give you some ideas about what you’ll find there (and some practical information too).
It is true that everything is made to propel the visitors into the magic world of Harry Potter, from walking through the doors of the Great Hall into the dining room to discovering each iconic place of the films (Harry Potter’s dormitory, Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s Hut, the Forbidden Forest…just to select a few).
This tour takes you behind-the-scenes and showcases a huge array of famous sets, costumes and props.
It also reveals some special effects and animatronics that made these films so hugely popular all over the world.
And you also have the opportunity to participate in several interactive workshops, either to practice your wand waving or summoning your broomstick (this interactive part is the funniest of the tour!).
If you fell under the spell of Harry Potter and its magical world, then the Warner Bros Studio is a not-to-be-missed destination! We came out of the Studio without noticing the time passing.
We enjoyed every part of this experience and wanted to go back home to watch the Harry Potter movies with a different eye (the well-informed eye, that knows the special effects)!
The Harry Potter Tour will bring the films to life and fans of all ages will definitely love it.
I hope this post will help you decide if you want to go further in your knowledge about the Harry Potter’s magical world!
If you need a last argument to convince you… A permanent addition to the Studio will be unveiled on 6th April 2019: the set of Gringotts Wizarding Bank! And it will be your turn to tell me about it… 🙂
To go further:
Address: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR