January 22, 2018

The Harry Potter Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter

I have to admit that I didn't really know anything about the Harry Potter Studio Tour before we went to London. It was on my list of things to do but only if we got around to it. I didn't really know what to expect at the tour...props, costumes, what else could there be?

I couldn't have been more wrong.

The Harry Potter Studio Tour is one of my favorite things I've ever done. It might be better than the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

The Studio is in Watford (Radio Watford! 10 points if you know that reference!) which is a short train ride from central London if you take the right train! From Euston Station, the train only takes 20 minutes but if you do what we did and accidentally get on the overground instead of the train, it takes an hour.

When you arrive, it's a relatively inconspicuous building. A few of the chess pieces from The Sorcerer's Stone are outside but aside from that, it doesn't look like much.

Once you go inside, it looks like a movie theater. There's the gift shop and a cafe. The tickets are for timed entry and we got there around 4pm. When it was our turn, we headed into a standing room only theater to watch a short film about the Harry Potter phenomenon before heading into another, larger studio to watch another film about the Studio. 

I hadn't realized before that point that almost all eight films were filmed in the very studio that we were standing in! I thought most of it was filmed on location with a few exceptions, and I certainly never knew that they preserved the set well past the filming of the eighth movie! 

When the second film ends, the screen rises and suddenly, the entrance to the Great Hall appears before your eyes.

And when the doors open, you're at Hogwarts.

It was magic.

You can visit all of the House Tables and even see the professors' costumes at the head of the Great Hall!

Once you leave the Great Hall, you walk into the studio where entire scenes from the films unfold! There are costumes and props everywhere and it's impossible to focus because you just want to see all of it immediately! The Pilot and I were in opposite directions, constantly shouting, "Look at this!" to each other.

You can visit your favorite classrooms and offices...

Sherbet Lemon!

There's the Forbidden Forest (follow the spiders!)...

And so many props and accessories from the films!

Once you leave Kings Cross, you get to a cafe area where you can fill your heart's desire with butterbeer! I had a regular butterbeer and The Pilot had the butterbeer ice cream (highly recommend!). Then, you go outside into the studio backlot.

Once you get back into the studio, there are even more props and costumes but more importantly, there is the full-size Hogwarts where all of the exterior shots were filmed!

I think I've shared more than enough pictures...and I haven't even posted half of the ones I took! You get the idea - this place is magic. You literally dive right into the set of the Harry Potter films and it is perfection! They did such a nice job with the studio and I'm so happy that they've made this available! I would absolutely go back, after all, they redecorate the Great Hall to reflect the seasons!

One tip before you go, tickets sell out months in advance. I waited until we got to London and found out almost all of the tickets for the rest of 2017 had sold out. I refreshed the page several times before finally snagging tickets just a few days away but I wouldn't rely on that option! To play it safe: Buy your tickets when you book your flights!

Is the Harry Potter Studio Tour on your London list?

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