When I was 12, I did a dazzling Hermione impression. I loved Harry Potter so much, and knew the books so well, that I once asked to stop answering trivia questions at a bookstore launch party for Harry Potter and the half-blood prince.
The truth is I still love Harry Potter that much. Visiting Warner Brothers Studio to see the Making of Harry Potter was at the top of my list on my visit to London. I landed at 8PM the night before, and was on a bus to the studio at 8AM the next day.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is the place for you. These tips will help you plan your visit and have a… magical visit (I couldn’t resist).
Visiting the Harry Potter Warner Brother’s Studio Tour
Everyone ready? *Tosses floo powder* “Diagon Alley!” I can’t begin to explain how excited I was for the studio tour. I landed in London at 8PM, and was on a tour bus at 8AM the next morning. One Harry Potter fan to another, bring tissue. Harry Potter was a big part of my childhood, and I teared up more than once!
The Making of Harry Potter
There are many different Harry Potter themed attractions around the world today. I loved visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal in Orlando, Florida, which was a completely different experience. The Warner Brothers Studio Tour takes you behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies, sets, and stories. There are a few fun activities, like getting your photo taken on a broomstick or stepping in to a life-sized game of wizards chess (I didn’t realize the pieces moved when I stepped on to the board, so I got the fright of my life). Most of all, the studios are for exploring and discovering.
You’ll have the opportunity to see costumes from scenes like the Yuletide Ball, and classic sets like Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s Hut, and the Gryffindor Common Rooms. Walk through number 4 Privet Drive, board the Hogwarts Express, and make your way in to the Forbidden Forest. Learn everything from the mechanics of the Gringots vault doors, to recipes for troll snot and unicorn blood.
The tour lets you explore fine details of Harry Potter’s world too, that you may even have missed on screen. Get an up close look at specially crafted artifacts like the gold snitch.
Make sure that you read every sign you see as you go along. The level of attention to detail involved in bringing a place like Hogwarts to life is exceptional.
There are surprises and new discoveries at every corner through out the tour. I was so awe-struck and amazed by things like the Hogwarts Express that I even forgot to take photos a few times!
Planning Your Visiting
This visit does require a bit of pre-planning. The Making of Harry Potter is exceptionally popular (for good reason!) so it’s important to plan ahead if you want to go yourself.
How to Get to Warner Brother’s Studio from London
There are a few ways to get from London to Warner Brother’s studios. Plan your visit on your own, using the Warner Brothers Journey Tool to travel by rail or train. If you’ve rented a car, you can drive yourself. Warner Brothers Studio is located in a town called Watford, about a 1.5 hour drive from London. You can also book a day tour, like this one.
There’s more to see than the studio, too. If you’re a hard core Harry Potter fan like myself, book this day tour and carry on to Oxford. There you will explore the town and see memorable Harry Potter filming locations, and see the inspiration for Harry’s scar.
Book Your Tickets in Advance
The studio tour sells out! Book your tickets online in advance. There are only a certain number of people per day allowed inside the studio, so book a tour or purchase tickets as soon as you know your travel dates. Tickets are included in day tour costs.
Food & Drinks
There is no outside food or drink permitted in the studio. There are places to eat and drink, in the backlot of the studios halfway through the tour, and at the end of the tour. Bring your own lunch, or purchase lunch at one of the counters. While you’re out on the backlot, try a butterbeer!
Budget for Souvenirs
It’s rare for me to include buying souvenirs as a travel tip, but this gift shop is worth mentioning. The studio tour ends with the most incredible Harry Potter themed gift shop. We came home with Deathly Hallow earrings, and a mug shaped like a cauldron.
32 Replies to “The Making of Harry Potter: Tips for Visiting the Warner Brother Studio Tour in London”
oh my gosh I think the picture of the potions room is my favorite!! So cool you got to see that! 🙂
It’s super cool- and I have a video of the potion stirring itself, it was so neat!
We loved it here! We went on my birthday so I was lucky and got to open the doors to the Great Hall! My inner child literally died with excitement!
!!! Opening the doors must have been amazing ?
Omg, I have to do this! I love Harry Potter. Definitely adding this to my bucket list.
You’ll have so much fun!!
This looks like so much fun. I missed seeing Harry Potter world thanks to a Norwegian airline delay. At least I can live through your amazing experience
Oh no! Guess you’ll have to go back ✨✨
I never got into Harry Potter, but as someone who has not read the books this still looks like an amazing tour to take. I could really enjoy it, but I would imagine for a fan it must be a “magical” experience.
It’s very interesting to learn about how the special effects and things like that too, even if you’re not an HP fan.
How cool! I never knew you could visit that in London!! I just came back from LA where they had some of the props at Warner Brothers, but this looks so much better! Yay!
Yes! You’ve gotta there, it’s fantastic!
Okay, so I had no idea that this even existed in England and England has officially jumped to the top of my list solely for this tour LOL. I love how authentic your photos are!! It makes me feel like I’m watching scenes from the movies (which I’m now about to start binge watching again thanks to you!)
Do it! I definitely rewatched all of the movies before my trip haha… England is fantastic and there are tons of Harry Potter secrets around!
Oh my goodness – I will definitely have to visit the next time I’m in London! I love Harry Potter Land in California’s Universal Studios but this looks 10x better even!
It’s fantastic! I really want to go to Harry Potter land one day too 🙂 do aaaaall the Potter things haha!
So excited! I’m going next week!
You’re going to love it! I hope you have better luck than I did at chess 😉
Very cool! My daughters and I visited WB in Los Angeles months after they started the Harry Potter exhibit. That was about 12 years ago or so…a long time. Anyway, the first floor was a museum, with the sorting hat experience and many of their clothes, but upstairs was movie sets and everything was so amazing. The catch, you couldn’t take any pictures inside the building at all. They actually locked up our purses/bags before we went in. I only have the memories but they were great. Your place looks much more sophisticated but then again, they now know they are sitting on a gold mine. Thanks for the sneak peek.
That’s sad that you couldn’t take pictures! I guess you’ll just have to go to this studio, ah well 😉 I wonder if the regulations on photos have changed now that the movies are all released.
I grew up alongside with Harry Potter books too and I know totally what you mean when you say it´s like walking into your childhood! My husband would never do such a tour with me, haha, but I´d like to have a look. Especially to know how the hell are those Gringots doors functioning! 😉
The Gringotts doors were amazing! I think a lot of people (myself included) thought they were animated, but they are really, working doors. Lots of mechanical work to get those going!
I can see that you had a spellbinding experience. Harry Potter does weave a web of magic and has you enthralled. Must have been a magical experience. Loved the tip about switching off the flash, helps if one can take pictures in natural light.
It was really nice having the perfect lighting for photos, every time!
I have been to the HP studios in Watford and loved all the behind-the-scenes info, all the exhibits, all the fun! I took so many photos of props…so weird.
It’s true, some of the props are bizarre haha!
Oh My gosh I so love this and need to take my kids who are HP SUPER FANS! Love it we took them to Universal this summer and it was amazeballs – but we will need to visit this place when we head back to Europe. Love the potion room and the chess game to cool!
Definitely! Your kids will totally love it. They even teach you recipes to make unicorn blood and troll snot ?
I’ve never been here but my daughter would love to go. She’s a huge Potter fan. She can quote the books!
That’s awesome! She would have so much fun there! Did I mention you take flying lessons here too ? 😉
This makes me want to re-read all the books. Haha I’m pretty sure I kept hoping for a Hogwarts letter till I was about 12.
… still sort of hoping, let’s be honest ✨✨
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