Visiting the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio in London
Watching Harry Potter movies since 2001.
I first watched a Harry Potter movie when it came out in 2001. The scenes were magical and felt so real. My favorite was when he ran through the wall at Platform 9 3/4 and joined the others on the train to Hogwarts. We even bought a computer game which was a replication of the movie, and spent most nights playing it together at home. I was so hooked on Harry Potter! Until today, I can’t believe I saw all of them grow up on screen and in real life through this movie.
How to buy tickets & get there.
The most important agenda when we were in London was to visit the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio. We even bought the tickets 2 months ahead for the whole family, just in case it gets all booked up by the time we were there. It’s also cheaper this way.
Here’s how we did it.
- Go to the official Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour website and click on Buy Tickets.
- Choose either individual/family tickets, and type in how many people will be going for the tour.
- Choose a date and look out for the remarks at the bottom of the calendar (red means available).
- Choose the time. The studio runs on schedule so that they can monitor the crowd movement inside the halls. We chose the evening time (4pm) so that we don’t have to rush with the office crowd.
- Once you’ve confirmed the details, you’ll need to make the payment and voila, the tickets will be emailed to you. Print them out and bring it along to the Studio Tour on the visiting day.
Timing is important.
The Harry Potter Studio is located outside of London city, in Leavesden. This meant we had to manage our time visiting London in the morning and then leaving for Harry Potter after lunch. Since we were at the London Bridge area, we had to switch 2 trains before getting on one that headed to London Euston. Then we hopped on the train headed towards Watford Junction and took the Harry Potter bus from here. We arrived in front of the studio 15 minutes later.
Here’s the easier route to remember.
- By train, take the one from London Euston to Watford Junction (2o mins journey). Check here for the map.
- Once you’re out from the station, you’ll see a few Harry Potter bus waiting. The return ticket costs £2.50 and you can pay before you get on the bus.
- Just make sure you arrive at Watford Junction at least 45 minutes before your tour time.
Here’s all the fun part of the Tour.
We were given complimentary passport at the entrance which has clues to the location of the Golden Snitch. I love passport activities (I’m such a nerd I know), especially when I get to compete with my siblings. We get to keep this at the end of the tour too as souvenirs.
After that we entered the Great Hall of Hogwarts where Harry, Ron and Hermione joined the Houses in the school. It was grand indeed and we felt as though we were part of Hogwarts.
The rest of the tour took us through a display area where we saw Professor Snapes’ chamber, Dumbledores’ office, Hagrid’s hut, the potion class, the Weasley’s living room and other scenes from the movie. Each had an interactive element to it. We also found 3 Golden Snitches while we were walking about.
Once we left the hall, we walked into the train station and yes there it was, the red train that took Harry and his friends to Hogwarts. Platform 9 3/4 was there too, along with trolleys stuck to the wall. We got on the train and saw each booths which had props from the movie.
From the train station, we walked to a dim lighted area, which felt like night time. This was Diagon Alley where Hagrid bought all the school supplies for Harry Potter before school began. We could only see the shops from outside and it looked so real.
We took a break at the Back Lot where Butter Beer drinks and ice cream were served. It’s not actual beer, don’t worry. This cafe area led us to the outdoor, to Harry’s house on Privet Drive, the Night Bus and the Hogwarts Bridge.
The end of the tour featured the sets, costume and a large model of Hogwarts. We saw the making of the characters and how they moved during the movie. It was technical but educational. Don’t forget to also visit the souvenir shop where you can find all sorts of Harry Potter items to bring home. I went overboard with the notebooks while my sister bought herself a wand. Some things are too good to resist!
Tips on visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
It was such a good visit and worth every cent. I would highly recommend visiting this one in London since it’s more organized and less crowded during non-peak season. If you plan on going here some day, just remember these tips:
- Book your ticket in advance, online.
- Plan your time (at least 2 hours ahead) before you visit the Studio.
- You can bring some snacks or eat at the cafe.
- Enjoy the whole tour and take lots of photos!
- Don’t forget to visit the souvenir shop and bring home goodies from the movie.
*Year of visit: April 2015
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.