Planning a trip to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter? Well, then this is the post for you!
Obviously, if you’ve found your way to my post, you want to make the most of every minute of your trip and this guide will help you do just that.
Grab a butterbeer, and note down these top tips for an epic Harry Potter Studio visit. I’ve got suggestions whether it’s your first or your fifth trip…
*FYI – this post has no spoilers about the experience. You are safe to read on!*
Harry Potter Studio Tour Top Tips
In this ‘know before you go’ guide there is a lot of practical advice. But, there’s also some fun suggestions to help you get excited for your visit to The Making of Harry Potter.
It’s worth while knowing these top tips as they will help you make the most of your time there. My advice comes from my trips, and the research I did for my visits.
There are three short lists – booking your ticket, the week before your visit and on the day of your visit.
It’s time to wave your wand, cast an ‘Alohomora’ spell and unlock my top tips…
Booking your tickets
Are you considering going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour for the first time? Here’s a few nuggets to consider before booking…
- Book in advance
- Well, you can only book in advance but, what I mean is really think about when you want to go. The tour books up extremely fast and many months in advance (usually about 3-4). I’ve always booked about 4-6 months in advance.
- If you can, save up
- No one likes talking money. But, let’s face it, it’s not the cheapest day out, which I’m ok with. But, I like to save up ahead of my visit. That way, if there’s something that I really want to do, like get some fun green screen photos, I can . And, even if I don’t want some of the extra services, I like to treat myself to a new Harry Potter mug from the shop. It’s more about the experiences for me but, I do like a mug! We’re all working to different budgets so just do what’s best for you.
- Keep in mind that there are many strategic photo experiences around the tour at an additional cost. Each section of the tour has a photo stop – in a Ford Anglia, on the Hogwarts Express or on a broom are just a few of the options.
- What ticket?
- There are standard tickets and bundle packages with all kinds of add ons. Look at the current packages on offer, they do change, especially in light of the COVID19 global pandemic.
- I’ve not really found any deals or savings for the tour and in a way it helps as I know where I stand. The cheapest tickets are on the website. Personally, I hate going somewhere and hearing from my friends or in the queue that someone else found a cheaper ticket. A standardised ticket price stops this, and it stops my resentment! The other tours you see online offer a different product i.e. it might include travel to and from the tour from central London and might suit you more if you’re coming from abroad.
- Audio guide and souvenir ticket add on
- Think seriously about getting the audio guide and the souvenir book add ons with your ticket. If you know you’ll cave when you get there, you may as well save the pennies by buying a ticket that includes this ahead of time.
- If it’s your first visit, I’d definitely recommend it because it really enhances what you’re looking at with talks from the actors and designers involved with the films. It’s fascinating to find out how things were made, the insane level of detail and special effects achieved.
- If you’ve been once before and are wondering whether to get the audio guide, I’d actually still advise to get it. So much had changed between my first and second visit because there were a couple of years between them. There was so much to listen to, and extra images and videos to watch especially for the new elements that had been added. It also helps pace me around the tour, and focus, because yes in my thirties I still get ridiculously over-excited. No, I’m not embarrassed, I grew up with the books and films – I love them and this tour!
- My advice would change though if you visit regularly. If this is you, I’d say the time to get the audio guide is a visit after a new feature has launched.
Booked your tickets? Ooh yeah, oooh yeah, you’re going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour!
Before your visit to The Making of Harry Potter
Ok, you’ve got your tickets, what next? Here’s some top tips for the week before your trip…
- Know your route
- Make sure you’ve planned the route you’re taking or have the post code ready for the sat nav.
- Drinks and snacks for the car, coach or train? Yep, make sure you’re packed and ready if you’re travelling far. Equally, look into local hotels if you’re coming from much further afield.
- Watch the films
- I like to watch all the films or read the books prior to going in the build up to the visit. When you know the date of your visit, this is easy to plan in advance. Usually, we do one film a night before we go. It just means all the scenes and story is fresh in your mind, I find it really adds to the tour.
- Download the The Wizarding World App
- Not many people know that there’s ‘Enchanted Keys’ hidden all around the studio tour.
- If you find one, scan it to unlock secrets, quizzes, videos and other added extras that will add to the magic of your experience.
- It’s a FREE extra and it’s awesome. Search for ‘Wizarding World app – the official Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts companion’ on the App Store or Google Play.
- The app is currently only available in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand, at the moment.
- Charge up those devices
- This is not the visit you want to realise you forgot to charge your phone or camera.
- Make sure your phone and/or camera is on charge the night before. If you have a mobile charger, take it with you so you don’t run out of power half way through. Personally, I would have been disappointed if my phone or camera had died as I have some lovely pictures of me and my friends and boyfriend from the experience. They are some of my most treasured pictures and memories.
On the day
The alarm’s gone off, you’ve shot out of bed, today’s the day! Here’s what you need to know to make your visit on the day that little bit better…
- Comfy shoes
- You’re going to be on your feet for most of the day. Wear your comfiest shoes. Warner Bros. say the average visit lasts three and a half hours but my visits have been much longer. If you’re a big fan, I personally don’t think that’s enough time, especially if it’s your first ever visit.
- Embrace your Hogwarts House
- If there’s ever the time to wear all your fabulous Harry Potter outfits or costumes, this is most definitely it. You won’t be alone when you get one the tour, trust me!
- Take a bag
- You’re going to want your hands free to look at your audio guide, interact with the exhibition or to take photos.
- Pack it the night before, keys, phone, tissues, lip balm – check!
- Food and drink
- Compared to when it first opened there’s now lots more options for food and drink when you are there.
- The Chocolate Frog Cafe, The Hub (serving Starbucks) and The Great Hall at the start and end of the tour serving a range of food and drinks.
- The Backlot Cafe is about half way through the tour. It serves food, drink, the infamous Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream, which is utterly delicious by the way!
- BUT, there’s not many places on the rest of the tour to get a drink. I advise taking water, in a reusable bottle, with you.
- AND, something the tour doesn’t advertise is that you are welcome to bring your own food. You can eat it in the Backlot area or outside picnic area. On my first visit we took lunch with us, on the second trip we bought lunch. This is really down to you and your budget. It’s worth noting it’s at a slightly higher price point, as you’d probably expect for a captive market. If you have allergies, dietary requirements, or are vegan, you’ll probably want to take your own food.
- PLUS, if it’s a busy day, you might want to take in to account how long you’re queuing for food, especially at peak lunch time. There’s nowhere else to go and it gets very busy. It’s definitely something to take into consideration if you need to watch your sugar levels, have kids or have any time restrictions on your day.
The Making of Harry Potter
I hope these tips help you get ready for the most wonderfully magical day out at Warner Bros. Studios London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Let me know what you think. If you’ve got any suggestions from your visits please let me know in the comments section below.
If you liked this, you might like these things in London to do too…
- SEE AN EXHIBITION OR INSTALLATION AT KEW ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS
- THE NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM IN CHELSEA, LONDON
If you want to remember this for later, save it on Pinterest using the images below or share by using one of the buttons.