And on this day… we became wizards. I’ll get the formalities out of the way. My friends and I are Harry Potter fans and we decided one day that visiting the HP studios was the only way to die happy.
Firstly, you should log on to Pottermore to be sorted into your house. You may be among the great of Gryffindor (ie. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Brother and I) or you may be left to dwell among the slimey Slytherins (in other words, your only saviour is Snape, or Mike. Mostly Snape, though.).
We booked ourselves some eye wateringly cheap tickets from Peterborough to London Kings Cross (just £18.35 each return) and bought all day travel cards with the extension to Watford Junction for £11.15 each return from Euston. We then paid £2 return for the Harry Potter transfer bus from Watford Junction to the studios. These run every 20 minutes. The tour tickets themselves were £30 each and must be booked in advance.
We left at 10AM from home for a 1.30PM tour and still managed to be late. No worries though, we had plenty of time after dinner to get pictures at Platform 9 3/4 before our 10PM train back to Peterborough.
The tour was more than I hoped it would be. Frankly, I was worried it might be expensive and overrated but I was pleasantly surprised. I love love LOVED the concept art and original scene/prop sketches. I suppose most people go just to stand where Emma Watson once did… ahem… cough.
I’m not going to spoil you with lots of photos.You pay a lot of money to see this place and if you’ve seen it all in pictures you will not feel the complete awesomeness of it.
Here is our first Defence Against the Dark Arts class, though.
About half way through the tour I noticed places to “stamp your passport” (mostly for kids’ use). We were so excited about the Dark Mark stamp that the lady gave us each a Warner Bros. Studio passport as a souvenir. Spotting the golden snitch in various rooms, stamping the pages and answering the questions became another great way to make the most of our money at the studios.
On our break we ordered Butterbeers which were… nice… sort of. The froth was… frothy… and sweet but the beer itself was this strange combination of fizzy and Werther’s Originals. Mike finished Charlotte’s, I drank half of mine and Guy threw his away. We probably should have just bought one for us all to try at £2.95 a go but they made for some great photos.
We then went about knocking on Harry’s door, heckling the tourists that became confused and started knocking on not-Harry’s door, had some pictures on the Night Bus, played about on the bike and battled over the front seat of the Weasley’s flying veee-hickle.
We visited the studios at the end of February. We specifically chose not to go when there were school holidays and it worked out well for us. We know of other who literally had to battle for photographs, where we were lucky enough to be the only people present. I do advise however, that you check out any special events. Though it would have been busier I would have liked to visit the day before, as they had a selection of the REAL LIFE animals used in the production of the films at the studios.
That more or less sums up our day at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter. Of course, there are a lot more aspects to the studios that are a reason to go but these were my favourite, and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprises. Guy cried when we left, we spent an hour in the gift shop hearing about the specific designs of the characters wands and we were subsequently an hour late for dinner. When we left we were each at least £30 lighter and some of us were one wand heavier.