This past Saturday I finally went to Harry Potter Studio Tours at Warner Brother Studios in Leavesden. It was well worth the wait and I highly recommend going if you are a Harry Potter fan! While I would not say I am obsessed with the movies, I LOVE film production so getting to see the behind the scenes on it at a working studio was super neat.
Tickets to the studio tour are currently £35, and must be pre booked in advance. We were able to book a 5pm time slot which gave us just under five hours at the studio. The studio is quite easy to get too, a quick 20 minute train from central London to Watford and then there is a cheap shuttle bus that takes you right to the studio and back to the train station when you are done. Five hours was a good amount of time, the average time spent is usually three. I think I could have done with an extra hour or two though.
The majority of the tour is self guided, with lots of informative things to read about, props to see and sets to discover. A portion of the tour is interactive as well, a green room where you can ride a broomstick , a chance to act out a scene on the Hogwarts Express, a place to learn proper wand choreography and ability to try Butterbeer! Also many, many photo opportunities! And ofcourse, a very large giftshop.
Most of all though the tour is really about getting to see how the films were created. Expect to see so so many props, concept art and gadgets and gizmos, including the animontrics department which features the likes of Buckbeak and Fawkes! Then there are all the reconstructed sets such as the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, Dumbledore’s Office, Gryffindor Tower, Hogwarts Express and a few outdoor sets such as the Hogwarts Bridge, and Privet Drive. Finally, the best part is at the end, with the “minature” of Hogwarts Castle and grounds, used to film some of the scenes where the full structure was not needed. Walking into the audiotrium, turning the corner and seeing the castle with the beautiful score in the background was simply breathtaking!
Having been to Universal Studios Harry Potter World and now the Studio Tour, I think they complement eachother very well. Universal really did an amazing job at re creating the actual sets, as I noticed so many similarities and details shared between the two. As someone who values continuity, I thought this was great and made me want to re visit Universal 😉 However, this was very much an exhibit and not an amusement park.
If you enjoy Harry Potter, and especially enjoy behind the scenes on films then Harry Potter Studio Tour will be a day well spent!
– xoxo Veronica