Back in September my husband and I went on a trip to London and it was one of our favorite vacations ever. Despite the unfortunate timing of our vacation, which fell the week of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, we still got to experience a lot of great things that London has to offer. One of our favorite experiences was going to Warner Bros. The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour. Below is a rundown of everything you need to know before planning your trip.
Is it worth going?
Everyone is different and you should plan your vacations to cater to your interests. For my husband and I, we had been to London before and already experienced a lot of the big ticket things to do in London, like seeing major landmarks. This trip left us with some room to experience things that were not at the top of our bucket list our first time there. I believe if you have interest in film making or like Harry Potter this is something worth experiencing if you have time. You don’t have to be a huge Harry Potter fan to enjoy it. My husband and I both like Harry Potter but I wouldn’t categorize us as huge fans. I would say though if you haven’t read any of the books or watched any of the movies then this is something you can definitely skip.
This is a very popular thing to do in the greater London area, and from my experience it does sell out in advance. Tickets start at just under $64. There are a few packages to choose from. You have to get tickets in advance which you can do so here. We were in London towards the end of September and planned the trip in mid July. At the time of planning our trip, tickets were sold out for the time period we were going to be there. Luckily for us, a few weeks before we left I checked the website again and they had a few time slots we could book. I think we may have gotten lucky because some tourists canceled their trips because a lot of major landmarks were shut down due to the mourning period (like Buckingham palace). If you see that tickets are sold out just keep checking the website every few days and you might get lucky.
Getting there from London is very easy. We took the underground to London Euston station then got on a train to Waterford Junction which is in Leavesden. The train from Waterford Junction to Leavesden takes about 20 minutes. Once you exit the train station you’ll see buses outside labeled with The Marking of Harry Potter branding on them. Transportation to and from the studio on these buses is included with standard tickets. They will need to view your tickets before you get on the bus. The buses run every 15 minutes so it’s never a long wait but you will be waiting outside.
How Long To Spend There
While you do have to book a time slot for your ticket, you can spend as long as you want once your tour starts. The tour starts out semi-guided. You spend the first part of the tour walking through the great hall set and watching a short film about the studio. From that point on, you are free to walk through the studio at your own pace. It’s a very extensive studio so I suggest planning on spending most of your day there. My husband and I got ready the morning of our tour, got to the studio, checked in, we ate lunch at the cafeteria before our tour started and then spent most of the afternoon exploring the studio. I definitely don’t recommend trying to plan anything else major on the day of your tour. If you are really trying to optimize your time in London, I would suggest maybe planning your tour first thing in the morning and just planning on sightseeing in London that evening. I don’t recommend booking any other tours or experiences the same day as you might feel rushed.
My Favorite Things to See There
My favorite parts of the tour included walking through the Great Hall, Gringotts’s Bank, the Hogwarts Express, and the Forbidden Forest. Parts of the tour felt truly immersive and magical. My husband’s favorite part of the tour was seeing some of the props and scale models.