|outside the studio|
Firstly the studio itself is just outside London in Watford. At first we got a little bit lost as there are no signs for the tour until you’re literally only a few minutes away. However we called the tours customer service for help and they were brilliant in giving us directions from where we were (turns out ten minutes away, typical huh? Fun Fact: Whilst waiting they spew you with random Harry Potter trivia, nice one!) Anyway we soon found the place and in the end it wasn’t hard what with the HUGE Harry Potter posters on the outside and all. Then we did all the boring stuff like collecting our tickets and that really impressed me there wasn’t a long queue at all and they seemed to move everything along really quickly which was a bonus. A word of warning you have to have booked your tickets in advance they don’t sell tickets at the studio and you actually won’t be allowed into the car park unless you have your booking confirmation. A standard adult ticket is £28 or for diehard fans like myself you can pay an extra £10 more for a souvenir guidebook and a digital guide which is basically a mini tablet and headphone set that you can listen to as you go around the tour that gives you extra info, this isn’t something you get to keep though so bare that in mind. I went for the Guidebook/Digital Guide ticket and to be honest if I was to go again I probably wouldn’t bother. As a total fan girl I was running around like a loon and couldn’t really be bothered with listening to the extra’s so that was a bit of a waste of money and you can always buy the Guidebook there which again is alright but basically shows you everything you see on the tour with nothing new to offer and is a keep sake more than anything.
When you go into the building you have an allotted time as to when your tour will begin. What I really loved though was instead of waiting in one long queue for ages you could stop in the café to get a bite to eat or visit the gift shop until it’s your turn. And then when you do queue up for your slot it doesn’t take long at all I think we were waiting for around 15 minutes if that and there are plenty of props and pictures around to get the tour going already.
|waiting to go in!|
|door to the Great Hall|
|inside the Great Hall|
Anyway I’m not going to tell you about every single part of the tour because we’d be here forever. The tour takes around 3 hours to look around in general and heck I’m 900 and something words in and I’ve only reached the beginning! I will however tell you about the parts that stood out to me.
|The Great Hall|
|where it all began...|
The outdoor section was AMAZING! Privet Drive, Godric's Hollow, The Hogwarts Bridge, The Knight Bus, Hagrid’s Motorbike, The Weasley’s car, The Riddle Grave, the huge Chess pieces and Butterbeer all at the same time?! Yes please! My other favourite part was walking down Diagon Alley which is an actual street! The Great Hall, Diagon Alley and the outdoor area are defiantly the parts that make you feel most like your actually in the Harry Potter Universe and I loved that feeling more than anything else.
Props and set wise my favourite pieces were the Yule Ball ice sculpture which was just absolutely stunning in real life.
|so pretty! Yule Ball ice sculpture|
Neville’s cardigan, that his gran knit him, that he challenged Lord Voldemort in, do I need to say anything else about THAT Cardigan!?
The Invisibility Cloak actually has a lot of detail to it and is designed beautifully which you don’t get to see in the films, what with it, you know, being invisible most of the time.
|Cloak of invisibility|
|so awesome! Tom Riddle's Diary|
the smaller props like the Horcruxes, The Philosophers Stone, Neville’s remembrall, the golden snitch etc. And I found a nice touch was that some of the sets had things that were moving on their own just like magic! The Burrow had to be my favourite for that with Mrs Weasley’s washing up and knitting going by themselves! There were so many impressive props but the thing that actually made me gasp out loud was the Hogwarts Castle model something you don’t get to see until right at the very end of the tour. It’s huge and beautiful, and you can just see how much work and love and care went into it. It absolutely just took my breath away; in a word it was magnificent. And I loved how the lighting changed from night, to dawn, to day, to dusk so you could see Hogwarts in all its glory. It was just so impressive and definitely one of the biggest highlights of the trip.
|just a small part of Hogwarts model|
After finishing the tour the last section ideally leads out straight into the gift shop where you can buy SO MANY THINGS!!! And if you’re a crazed fan girl like me can actually end up spending a fortune! You can buy anything from the Harry Potter sweets, to Wands – literally any character you can think of they have their wands available to buy, to the books and DVD’s, to cuddly toy Headwigs and Buckbeaks and Unicorns, to outfits and costumes, to mugs and keyrings and stationary there is everything you could think of. I spent just over £70 on The Marauder's Map, a The Marauder's Map mug which says “I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good” on it which I love, a Time Turner Keyring, A Chocolate Frog, and a Pink Pygmy Puff cuddly toy. But I could of easily spent so much more if I didn’t stop myself I really wanted the Elder Wand but alas I already have Hermione’s wand which Rachel brought me back from The Harry Potter resort in Florida so I called it a day right there. I’d say the things are fairly priced considering, I mean of course they’re overpriced, but at places like this what isn’t? Basically I think they could have charged a lot more if they wanted and Rachel and Beth told me that some things were actually cheaper over here than the resort in Orlando so considering I didn’t think it was too bad personally, as an ultimate fan girl, but parents of children wanting a chocolate frog for £7 each might disagree! What I like about the tour though is that you can pay a standard ticket price which for an adult at £28 I think is really good and you can build on your experience from there, parking is free, you can bring your own food and drink, so if I wanted I could have spent £28 on a ticket and came away happy after a wonderful day, how much you spend on top of that is entirely up to you.
|stuff of dreams!|
|never realised Helena is so tiny!|
So that was pretty much my experience visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter and already I want to go again! If you’ve made it to the end of this mammoth review I salute you! I wanted to try and edit it down but there was just so much that I wanted to talk about and I hope you found it helpful. For more information about the tour you can visit their website here. Please note that I am not in any way affiliated with the tour and this review is simply an honest opinion from a huge fan of everything Harry Potter.If you’ve been to visit the tour let me know what you thought and if you’re planning on going I hope you have as much fun as I did!
|me (left) and Rachel (right)|
I SAT WHERE RON WEASLEY SAT A MERE FEW DAYS BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!!!! *cough* that is all.