Harry Potter is a worldwide phenomenon that I'm sure you've heard of. If you're a fan, the studio would already be on your bucket list for your next holiday to London. Located in Watford, England, an hour and a bit outside of central London, is the Warner Brothers Studio where the books came to life✨
You can buy tickets online HERE. We bought ours in November and we went on the 20th of February 2019. We chose to print our tickets at home as there was a lot of negative reviews about the shipping option. A day before your chosen date, they email you instructions on how to get there. You need cash to pay for your return ticket for the bus (a specific Harry Potter dedicated bus from the station to the tour).
Funny story: I actually purchased tickets for 20th March but for some miraculous reason, on Wednesday 20th February, the ticket lady scanned ours and let us through...? We didn't even realise the error until we received our instructions email in March, a month after our visit 🤣. That's why we got lost navigating to the studio HAHAHA trust me to fuck up like that.
I call this hallway the great walk of anticipation. There was flutters of butterflies in our stomach as each step turned to a skip and eventually a dance towards the Great Hall. Along the way, we collected our headphone sets to listen to the behind-the-scenes magic of the craftsmanship of the movie. This was a self-guided tour where we could explore on our own.
The Great Hall
After we left the Great Hall, we entered this huge warehouse with different scenes from the movie, each one approx. a metre or two from the next. Each scene was beautiful and we really appreciated the colours, design, fabric, woodwork choices in creating the magic.
Behind the Scenes
All these scenes were from inside the Hogwarts castle
To be able to see each scene, listen and read the behind-the-scene and wait for our turn to take pictures, we would have easily spent 2+ hours in this area alone. We were skimming through and only spent an hour here due to our packed schedule.
Welcome to the dark arts 😈
The Dark Forest
After the giant warehouse, we entered the Dark Forest, filled with creatures from the second and fourth movie. It was actually chilly and dark walking through here so I was holding Mick's hand so tight, afraid we might see a dementor, ahhhh!
Platform 9 and 3/4
This area was a huge warehouse where we got to take the signature shots of boarding the Hogwarts Express, entering platform 9 3/4 and leaving the real world for the magical one.
P.s. All of these shots were in portrait mode so I lazily edited this wall 😂
We finally reached the cafeteria where we ordered butterbeer and butterbeer-flavoured icecream. To be honest, the food was mediocre and expensive. Everything in this photo costed about £26 ($40AUD). This was the only food joint on the tour so you bet there was a huge queue for the food. If you've ever visited a Universal Studio with Hogsmeade then I can reassure you the butterbeer in the London Studio tour tasted exactly the same. It was a sweet fizzy drink, with hints of caramel, for those who have yet to try it.
Once we finished lunch, we were in the outside part of the tour, which consisted of the Knight Bus, the large chess pieces, Dudley's house and the outside corridor (where Neville faced the Death Eaters).
In this warehouse, we saw the electronics and robotics of the unique creatures of the Hogwarts world. A lot of these were moving or were masks worn by actors. We spent 45 minutes starring in awe at the details.
Welcome to Diagon Alley where we purchased our wands, ate candy and withdrew gold coins from Gringotts. Jokesssss. Unfortunately, the stores were only props but that didn't stop me from pretending, right?
At the end of the tour, we walked around a large scale of Hogwarts Castle. It was not big enough for us to physically enter (if only!) but they showed us how they used green screens and special effects to place the actors on the grounds of the castle. It was all a lie!!!!!
At the end, there was a gift store to purchase a trinket as a souvenir. In total, it took us 3 hours to complete this tour. A lot of people spend 4+ hours here. If you plan to go, make sure you dedicate a whole day as it does take an hour train ride and a 15 minute bus ride to travel to the Studio Tour from Central London (plus think of the journey home).
We had a great time and we're glad we got to tick it off our bucket list.
Thank you for reading. Mischief managed.