Ready to step into the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter? When visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London you’ll discover the incredible hidden world behind the infamous movie series… here’s the ultimate muggle’s handbook on experiencing the Warner Bros studio tour in London!
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Last year, when my cousin came to visit me in the UK, I had the ultimate opportunity to nerd out to the max — visiting the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio in London! No doubt, it was a dream come true.
Man, oh man… did I nearly lose my shit? Heck yes.
Did I step into a world where I was a wacky wizard? You bet.
And did I totally miss out on buying a magical skull wand? Of course.
Because why wouldn’t I look at the price tag with bulging eyes, only to leave and immediately regret my decision (and then scour eBay for similar fake wands shortly afterwards)?
Other than regretting my decision to miss out on buying a sweet ass wand, the magical world of Harry Potter and going on a day trip to do the Warner Bros Studio Tour was everything I hoped it would be.
✓ And did I say magical?
If you’re debating on whether or not you want to chuck over about $50 (£41) to the already booming Warner Bros franchise, DO IT.
Wanderful friends… give them your money! And go on the incredible Harry Potter tour! Seriously, you will not regret it.
But first things first, let’s go over the basics.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Muggle’s Handbook to Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
- 1.1 How much does it cost to visit the Harry Potter Studios in London?
- 1.2 How to get to the Harry Potter Studios?
- 1.3 Book your awesome Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour from London with Viator!
- 1.4 What to do when you arrive at the Harry Potter Studios?
- 1.5 How long does the Warner Bros Harry Potter Tour last?
- 2 What’s the experience like when visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London?
- 3 Pro Tips for Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
- 3.0.1 Tip #1: Check out the “What’s On” Section
- 3.0.2 Tip #2: Schedule Your Ticket Time Early in the Day
- 3.0.3 Tip #3: Bookmark Your Ticket Confirmation Email
- 3.0.4 Tip #4: Keep Cash on Hand
- 3.0.5 Tip #5: Pack Snacks to Ward of Hunger
- 3.0.6 Tip #6: Get a Front Row Seat
- 3.0.7 Tip #7: Save Some Moolah for the End
- 3.0.8 Tip #8: Charge Everything the Day Before
- 3.0.9 Tip #9: Dress the Part
- 3.0.10 Tip #10: Have fun!
- 3.0.11 Pin The Muggle’s Handbook on Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London ↓
The Muggle’s Handbook to Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
Throughout this handbook, ultimate guide, manual, instructions, or whatever you want to call it, we’ll go over how to get to the studios, what it’s going to be like, ticket prices, tips, the Harry Potter Studios shop, and more.
Without further rambling… let’s talk prices.
Pssst, check this out next: Must-See Harry Potter Sites in Edinburgh, Scotland!
How much does it cost to visit the Harry Potter Studios in London?
When planning your day trip to the Harry Potter Studios, there’s more to think about than just the ticket prices. You need to add in transportation costs, food costs (because it is a day trip), how much you’re going to spend in the gift shop, and other miscellaneous costs.
Harry Potter Studio ticket price:
- Adult (16+): £41
- Child (5-15): £33
- Family (2 adults & 2 children OR 1 adult & 3 children): £132
P.S. You need to buy your Harry Potter experience ticket before arriving at the studios. You can get your tickets here. Because no one wants to arrive there and not be able to step into the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, right?
- BY BUS — If you want hassle-free transportation when visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour, hop on the direct bus at the London Victoria Coach Station that costs £31.
- BY TRAIN & BUS — It costs £6.00 for a single journey ticket, which is needed to get from the center of London Euston to Watford Junction. In total, a roundtrip ticket costs £12. Additionally, you’ll hop on a bus when you get to Watford Junction, which costs £2.50 for a roundtrip ticket.
- P.S. Make sure to get an Oyster card for the journey! It’s valid between London Euston and Watford Junction.
How to get to the Harry Potter Studios?
As mentioned earlier, you can take a direct hassle-free bus from the London Victoria Coach Station to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios for £31.
You can find the Golden Tours prices here, which includes return transportation to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London on a double decker branded bus and your entrance ticket. Honestly, there’s no easier way than this when visiting the Harry Potter Studios Tour!
By Train + Bus
To get from central London to the Harry Potter studio you’ll first need to head to London Euston. You can easily get to this station by hopping on the tube/London Underground from another station and then getting on the direct train that goes to Watford Junction.
- The nearest train station to the Warner Brothers Studio is Watford Junction which has a direct train from London Euston station taking 20 minutes. There are several trains per hour.
- From here, there is a shuttle bus run by Mullany’s Coaches which goes from Watford Junction Station to the studios. The journey costs £2.50 for a return ticket and takes about 15 minutes.
- And according to the WB Studio Tour website, it’s recommended to arrive at Watford Junction Station 45 minutes before your tour begins.
And do keep in mind, you need to purchase the Harry Potter tour tickets in advance, which you can get here.
What to do when you arrive at the Harry Potter Studios?
It’s recommended you arrive at the Warner Bros studios 20 minutes before your ticketed time. Your entry time will be on your ticket, somewhere on the right side. Before your tour begins you will have access to the Lobby Café, Studio Shop, coat room, and toilet facilities.
Make sure you leave your ginormous bags at home because you’ll probably not be able to bring them into the studio tour. And certain items are totally not allowed anyhow. To check out the list of these prohibited items, click here.
How long does the Warner Bros Harry Potter Tour last?
When visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, plan for a good long day of awesomeness! In addition to preparing to have your mind blown, also prepare to spend about 3.5 hours at the Warner Brothers studio.
Although part of the tour is guided and somewhat directed, there’s no limit on how much time you can spend exploring the making of Harry Potter. Which is awesome, because who else wants to spend all day living the dream as a wizard?
When you’re done with the guided part of the tour, you can spend all day (until the place closes of course) drinking butterbeer and oogling everything in the Harry Potter shop!
Loving this muggle’s handbook? Then you’ll also love this post on the 20 best atttractions and sites to see in London!
What’s the experience like when visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London?
Incredible, that’s what.
But seriously, if you’re any sort of Harry Potter fan, you’re going to love it! The experience is all about showing you behind the scenes of how the movie series was made, what the sets were like, how the costumes were created, how the directors shot each movie, and secrets behind the making of the Harry Potter movies.
Explore the Harry Potter sets
When visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour, you’ll get to go behind the scenes and step into sets like the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest, Platform 9 3/4, and Diagon Alley.
Ready to come face to face with Aragog? Or dying to walk through the cooky and crazy street of Diagon Alley? It’s all waiting for you at the Harry Potter studios in London!
You even get to board the famous Hogwarts train and chill out with Harry and Ron while they snack on treats from the snack trolley!
Spot Your Favorite Props
Step into Portions class and learn about over 950 different potions like dried herbs, shrunken heads, and baked animal bones! Even better? You’ll find Snape hanging out in the portions room, ready to torment and tease Harry and Ron!
And remember the scenes from Dumbledore’s office with his pensieve, also known as his memory dish? You can get a peek inside and take a look at the nearly 900 viles and tubes that were made for the cabinet, all labeled with names, including some you’ll recognize!
My personal favorite of the props is getting a little look inside Professor Umbridge’s pink office! You’ll find her cute moving kittens and disgusting collection of pink plates. To this day the thought of her instills a deep hatred and loathing inside of me.
Special Effects and Visual Masterpieces
Interested in learning how the Harry Potter team managed to make Harry fly? Step in front of a green screen and fly around the grounds of Hogwarts for yourself!
After you’re done flying on your magical broomstick, watching the Whomping Willow smash and bash Mr. Weasley’s flying car! A full-sized tree trunk was built on set for the tree’s appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with branches added digitally in post-production. Pretty cool, eh?
And did you know the Chamber of Secret’s door was actually built to physically move? Heck ya! It’s no post-production that gives the slithering snakes the ability to move.
They slide along slotted tracks and are powered by an electric motor hidden behind the door! Each snake was individually cast in resin and painted before being attached to the door with careful thought so that each snake would retract at the precise time avoiding a collision. Mind-blowing? You bet.
Admire the Carefully Crafted Costumes
While walking through the behind the scenes, you’ll have the magical opportunity to check out the costumes featured in the Warner Bros Harry Potter series!
You can view costumes like the quidditch uniforms, the outfits worn in the 19 years later scene, the Yule Ball gowns, and the gorgeous uniforms of the Beauxbatons during the Triwizard Tournament.
Cool Creature Effects
Ready to come face to face with the 30ft long, terrifying Basilisk?! The Creature Shop put together the slithering snake with 3ft deep jaws and the model was created with movement in mind to get close to Harry in the fighting scenes!
Did you fall in love with the adorable Buckbeak like I did? You can find the lifesize Hippogriff on your Harry Potter Studio Tour hanging out in the Forbidden Forest.
Even cooler? The Creature Effects team consulted vets and physiologists to accurately create lifelike proportions for Buckbeak’s legs and wings!
After admiring Buckbeak, take a look at the rows and rows of Goblin heads! To create the scene inside Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, 140 make-up artists from all over Europe were needed to turn 60 actors into goblins in just four hours.
And the Goblin prosthetics could also not be reused after they were removed at the end of the day’s filming, so multiples of every goblin head were created for each day of the shooting schedule! That’s a lot of Goblin heads!
Although, the Creature Effects team really outdone itself with the infamous spider: Aragog.
Aragog had a leg span of over 18 feet and was even able to crawl out of a hole and deliver dialogue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets! And even cooler? Each of Aragog’s hairs were individually attached by hand using a super special needle!
Mind = blown. Amirite?
(p.s. I totally suck and forgot to charge my camera before visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour… and just my luck, it died right before entering the Forbidden Forest. Hence the missing photos of Aragog and Buckbeak.)
Wondering what to read next? Open a new tab by clicking on this link of the 3 best free tours in Edinburgh, Scotland!
Pro Tips for Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
Tip #1: Check out the “What’s On” Section
Take a look at the special events section on the WB Studio Tour website to see if anything is happening while your visiting! Or check it out to plan your trip around one of the awesome events. For example, how cool does the Hogwarts After Dark event sound?!
You can find the special events on this page — just scroll down a little bit and you’ll find a section titled “What’s On”
Tip #2: Schedule Your Ticket Time Early in the Day
Considering there’s no limit on how much time you can spend in the unguided part of the Harry Potter Studio Tour, schedule your time earlier in the day to get the most of out the HP experience!
Heck, you can easily spend all day there exploring and admiring the making of Harry Potter… but only if you schedule your ticket time early in the day, like the morning!
Tip #3: Bookmark Your Ticket Confirmation Email
You will absolutely 100% need this to print out your tickets when you arrive at the Harry Potter Studio Tour. That confirmation number is essential — so don’t lose it! In fact, make your life easier by just writing down the number in your notes app or on a small piece of paper (which you also shouldn’t lose!).
Tip #4: Keep Cash on Hand
If you decide to take the train + bus transportation option, make sure to keep some cash on hand. You have to pay the lovely attendants in cash when boarding the bus from the Watford Junction station to the Harry Potter Studio. And, just a reminder, the return bus ticket cost £2.50.
Tip #5: Pack Snacks to Ward of Hunger
You’ll find that since this is such a touristy experience, the snacks and food at the HP Cafe are extremely overpriced. So, to ward off the inevitable hunger, pack along some tasty snacks. You won’t be able to eat or drink anything while on the tour but save ’em for later! My favorite are Kind Bars, Lara Bars, some nuts and seeds, or a trail mix.
Tip #6: Get a Front Row Seat
When you get into the second room, after standing in the room with all the screens, try to get a seat in the front row. This way, you’ll be the FIRST to enter the Great Hall and get some awesome pics without anybody in them!
Although, if you don’t get in there first, don’t worry about it. If you’re patient, the Great Hall will eventually clear out and you’ll have an opportunity for some fantastic shots.
Tip #7: Save Some Moolah for the End
Make sure to save some money until after the tour to take home a souvenir from the Harry Potter Studio Tour shop! And if you have very little willpower, have someone hold your credit card hostage because hot damn! The Harry Potter Studio shop is bursting with anything and everything a Harry Potter fan could every want.
Tip #8: Charge Everything the Day Before
If you’re like me, you continually forget to charge your phone, camera, and battery packs before traveling somewhere cool. In fact, my camera died RIGHT before entering the room with the mind-blowing Hogwarts Castle. Cool, right? Absolutely not.
So, with that in mind, make sure to charge everything up before visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London! Don’t be like me — get that beautiful shot of the incredible and magical Hogwarts display!
Tip #9: Dress the Part
If you’re really into Harry Potter, dress the part! Load up on some Gryffindor attire or some Slytherin colors and own your Hogwarts house! There’s nothing better than truly getting into the magical world and stepping into the extraordinary Harry Potter experience.
Tip #10: Have fun!
The ultimate tip? Have a good freakin’ time! Don’t hold back when visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Even if you’re a real adult who goes to work Monday thru Friday, dresses up in a very professional outfit most days, or is embarrassed to love a nerdy series like HP, let go of yourself and become a wizard!
If anywhere, the Harry Potter Studios are the place to embrace that nerdy addiction and completely love the experience. So, once again, don’t forget to have fun!
No doubt, visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London is something you’ll never — every — forget. It’s one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had, even if it took a rather large chunk of my budget. But hey, in my mind, it’s completely worth it!
Have you visited the Harry Potter Studios in London? What was your experience like?! Let me know in the comments!
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