I’ve been on the Harry Potter Studio Tour before and I loved it. However now the kids are into Harry Potter, I really wanted to go again! Since we really had nothing specific planned for my birthday, I’d decided I’d like to take the family there during May Half Term. As my mum wanted to go, we also bought her a ticket for her birthday in April. Amy has also wanted to go for some time now so I invited her and L.M. along for the day!
Though I tour wasn’t booked till 3pm, we set off at just gone 10am. Its about a 3 hour journey down to Watford from here and we wanted to leave plenty of time. However we arrived about an hour early, which gave us plenty of time to have a look around, even check out the gift shop too.
Instead of bore you with loads of words, I’ll just give you the basics and some photos. I also don’t want to spoil the tour for anyone who might go themselves!
As you queue up to go on the tour, you are able to see the cupboard under the stairs, where Harry Potter first started off. After waiting for a while you are led into a room with TV screens and treated to a short of sorts, all about the movies. The real tour begins after that, with a cinematic experience and then a great “wow” factor. Finally you’re onto the sets and props and you can wander at your own pace. The Great Hall comes first, followed by a large lot containing loads of sets and props including the Ministry of Magic, Dumbledore’s Office, Hagrid’s Hut and Gryffindor Common Room. Included in this section is also a “green screen” section where you can fly in the Ford Anglia or on a Broomstick. The experience itself is free but the photographs and film costs extra.
After that you head outside to the next lot, where you will find things like the Knight Bus, 4 Privet Drive and Hogwarts Bridge. You can also try actual Butterbeer here, one of only two places in the whole world (the other being Orlando).
Finally you head back inside to the last lot. Here you have a tour of all the prosthetics and models used in the movies. After that you move on to Diagon Alley. Next comes an area filled with scale models and drawings, before finally being taken into the last room and a large scale model of Hogwarts.
We were lucky that during half term it was also a special event called “Wand Week”. We each got badges for Wand Week on arrival, plus the Duelling Platform was an addition to The Great Hall, there were Deatheaters walking around the tour, plus there was actually a small area where you could learn how to use a wand properly. It was great to see something a little different, especially having been before.
As expected, you come out of the tour and into the Gift Shop. I had already told the girls I would buy them a wand each (£25 each) but anything else they wanted needed to be paid out of their money. Megan chose a chocolate frog and Lily chose a t-shirt. We also bought a copy of their photos flying a broomstick. Though I didn’t buy myself anything, I was treated to a new Gryffindor mug from Chris and a Deathly Hallows keyring from Amy.
Would you like to?