Get your wands ready because we’re about to talk Harry Potter. I’ve been waiting for my fellow Harry Potter enthusiast to visit me before checking out the Warner Bros. Studio Experience outside London. That day finally came a few weeks back while Laura was in town. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical of this experience being a tourist trap but by the end of the day I was raving about it and ready to read the entire series again. They’re doing something right if they can put people under the Harry Potter spell 17 years after the first book was published.
We caught the Hogwarts Express from platform 9 and 3/4….I mean the overground train from West Brompton, and headed towards Watford Junction. From there you catch a Harry Potter themed bus (you can’t miss it) which is just a few pounds return per person and delivers you to the front door. It had been several years since I’d read the books or watched the movies so Laura and I refreshed our memories with the first movie the night prior. Side note: It’s crazy to see how much the main actors have changed since then. Ron, Hermione and Harry truly did grow up in front of the camera.
Costumes used in filming:
Boarding the Knight Bus:
Diagon Alley (complete with live owls at the Owl Emporium):
Overall, the day exceeded my expectations. It was so well presented and laid out, staff were amazing, and the tour offered as much entertainment for adults as kids. It’s the location where all the movies were filmed and is full of detail about what went on behind the scenes to make JK Rowling’s magical world a reality.
Sampling butter beer and taking the Weasley’s flying car for a spin:
I gained so much respect for the artisans, designers, set builders, and special effects team after seeing the detail in the props and sets they created. I assumed a lot more of the scenes involved computer graphic imagery but that technology was still evolving to the level it’s at today over the lifetime of the movies.
Laura’s favorite part of the day was seeing the model of Hogwarts used in filming and tasting the butter beer. Mine was the live owls at Privet Drive (see Hedwig below) and Diagon Alley which I assumed were fake until I took a closer look. It was a magical day.
Know Before You Go
- Cost = £30 per adult (check here for current prices)
- Definitely book online before trekking out to the studios. They spread out entry times to help control crowds.
- Transit time is approximately 30 minutes from London’s Euston station by train plus 10 minutes on the WB shuttle. Directions here.
- We set aside a half day for it which was the perfect amount of time. If you’re taking young kids you might spend more time there with the interactive exhibits.