Visiting Warner Bros. Studio London – The Making of Harry Potter was by far the highlight of my trip to London in March! For Harry Potter fans, this place is a MUST to visit. The place is more or less a museum of props, costumes, and behind-the-scene looks at how the movies were made. Since I have a lot to share, this post (Part 1) will only cover Buying Tickets, Getting There, The Great Hall, and Exhibit Hall. Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll share the rest of the studio tour!
Do you want to visit here? Read on to learn what to expect in your Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London experience, Potterheads!
You must buy tickets online. We bought tickets for the very first tour of the day – 9 am – and it was WORTH IT. We stayed until about 2 pm, and by that time there were lines for virtually everything when earlier we were able to just waltz right in. It’s true that the early bird gets the worm!
The website has some great information about how to get there. Elise and I took a train to Watford Junction. A great app that helped us figure out the London Underground is Tube Map. We took the metro to a train station with overground rail service and got on a train to Watford Junction. I learned that there are many trains that either pass through or end at that stop. This was a great revelation as it provided us with more trains to get there than I initially thought.
Once you get to Watford Junction, wait for the shuttle bus that takes you to the studio grounds. Make sure you have cash to pay the bus driver – this fare is not included in your studio tour ticket (why the hell not, I don’t know).
AND THEN YOU’RE THERE!!!
The Tour Begins
Actually, you first get corralled and told to wait until they let you in. But look at these 2 BAMFs who were the first ones in line for the day…
At last, ready to find out what lies behind these guards?
The Great Hall
YOU GUYS I was so excited to step in here!
I had the privilege of visiting Oxford in 2015 where I saw the college that inspired Hogwart’s Great Hall. Now that I’ve stepped foot in the Hall, I can confirm that they were pretty spot on. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself!
So this portion of the “tour” will be the only time when you have a “guide” telling you things unless you bought the deluxe tour (which we didn’t). Unfortunately, I was so excited about being in the Great Hall that I didn’t hear anything that our guide said. The only thing I caught was “the actor who played Hagrid wasn’t as tall as described in the books, so to make him taller we blahblahblah…” WHOOPS. I suggest you listen first then go back and take pictures. You’re allowed to go back to any of the exhibits at any time.
After leaving the Great Hall, you’ll find a gigantic exhibit hall with all the costumes and props that were used in the making of Harry Potter.
Gryffindor Common Room & Dorms
Shall we enter?
The same dorm beds were used throughout all 7 HP movies. They were a great fit for 11 year old boys at the beginning, but as you can imagine, they didn’t grow in length with the boys as they got older. So in the later movies, you’ll only see bed scenes of them from the waist up!
This was definitely my favorite prop room of all. The colors and scientific-looking knick-knacks made it all look absolutely magical.
That orb-looking device in the back is a telescope – and the most expensive prop on set.
Watch until the end and you’ll see that I, too, got to fly on a broom!
The Potions Dungeon use to be Fluffy’s cellar from the first movie! But everyone liked the set so much that they reused it as the Potions classroom in later movies.
Some of these portraits are real people from the set and crew. The director of the first movie got a custom portrait as a gift when he left, lol. The perfect painting to hang up in your dining room, no?
They had a variety of different trained animals used on set! There were several Fangs, Crookshanks, and Hedwigs used throughout the years.
Ministry of Magic
I needed to document EVERYTHING and had a lot of fun doing so!
My favorite props are the ones below:
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Man, that was a looot of stuff. So coming up is Part 2 where I’ll finish up by sharing more about the creature creations exhibit, Privet Drive, King’s Cross Station…and more!
(UPDATE: Part 2 – Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Experience (Pt. 2))
I visited WB Studios right before the newest Forbidden Forest exhibit opened (crying…guess I’ll have to come back). But if you go visit now, it’ll be open!
Have you been to Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour London? Share your experiences in the comments below!
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Studio Tour Drive
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
- Cost: £39.00/ticket
- Time spent: 1.25 hours to get there from Central London, 5 hours once there
- Tips: Get there early! Book the first tour if you can to avoid long lines.
Want more Harry Potter? Read these: Step into Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Feel the Magic of Hogsmeade at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Nerd Out With Me at Dallas Fan Expo 2016