For Harry Potter followers, the Warner Bros Studio tour in Leavesden all the time tops the checklist of issues to do in London – however because it’s not an affordable expertise, it’s properly value researching ideas for the Harry Potter studio tour beforehand to get probably the most out of your go to.
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Whether or not you’re questioning about the best way to get tickets or the best way to get there, how lengthy to spend, what to do about meals, the best way to keep away from large spiders and whether or not you really want that digital information in spite of everything, I’ve packed all of the solutions into my checklist of high ideas for visiting the Harry Potter Studios, London.
Having visited a number of instances with my daughter (and extra instances with out her), there’s additionally recommendation in the event you’re visiting Harry Potter world with children. Seize your cloak, pack your wand and skim on.
Which attraction is the principle one? Should you’re questioning simply what number of Harry Potter points of interest there are in London, the official identify is the Warner Bros studio tour, but it surely’s additionally generally generally known as the Harry Potter tour, Harry Potter Studio tour London and Harry Potter World
E book early
Tickets for the Warner Bros studio tour get snapped up very early – plan to ebook in August in the event you fancy Hogwarts within the Snow at Christmas, and normally months prematurely to go to throughout peak season as properly.
Should you’re visiting on a moist Wednesday in January, you’re more likely to have extra selection, however this actually isn’t one thing to go away to the final second.
An earlier time slot can be a good suggestion if you will get one, to provide loads of time to discover and to keep away from a late evening with youthful followers.
The place to search out tickets if the Warner Bros website is offered out
The most cost effective technique to go to is all the time reserving direct with Warner Bros Studios but when your dates are exhibiting as booked, there are some various choices to attempt.
Tour operators will usually have availability in the event you’re completely happy to purchase tickets with a coach switch – it’s also possible to ebook direct through Golden Excursions which is the principle supplier. These additionally present one of many movies on the journey to Watford which is enjoyable.
Whilst you can select to take the bus from Victoria Station or close to Baker Road Station, in addition to from Kings Cross, there’s additionally an choice to make your individual manner and to satisfy on the ticket assortment desk in the event you’re staying at a resort close to the Harry Potter Studios.
Should you’re selecting the choice with out transportation, do think about the way you’ll get to the positioning although as each the shuttle bus and parking require you to point out a ticket.
You can even be a part of small group excursions to the Harry Potter Studios whereas some resorts supply packages together with tickets. Once more, this can be a costlier choice however in the event you’re planning to ebook a resort anyway, it’s value exploring.
For resorts close to Harry Potter World with children, take a look at my high picks for locations to remain
Methods to get to from central London
The Warner Bros Studio tour is round 20 miles from central London because the crow flies, in Leavesden, Hertfordshire – simply exterior Watford, but it surely’s straightforward to entry utilizing public transport.
By far probably the most simple manner is to take the prepare direct from Euston station to Watford Junction – the direct quick trains take solely 20 minutes and you may pay utilizing contactless or Oyster card, similar to the tube and different Tfl providers.
In contrast to different nationwide rail providers, kids underneath 11 journey free on this route too – usually ages 5-15 pay a 50% fare on prepare tickets. Should you do catch one of many different prepare routes between Euston and Watford Junction, it would take longer and also you’ll have to have the right youngster tickets.
When you arrive at Watford Junction, there’s a free shuttle bus which is included as a part of your entry ticket. The journey takes round Quarter-hour, and buses run no less than each half-hour through the day: the final bus heads again when the Studio Tour closes within the night.
You’ll want to point out your ticket or reserving affirmation to the driving force to have the ability to use the shuttle bus, so be sure you have it handy. Sadly the Knight Bus isn’t an choice.
There’s no direct tube path to the Harry Potter Studios or to Watford Junction itself. Nevertheless, you possibly can take the Metropolitan Line to Watford Underground station, simply over a mile from Watford Junction station.
You’d then both have to get a taxi to the Warner Bros Studios – round 10-Quarter-hour by automobile – or make your technique to Watford Junction station to catch the shuttle bus.
There are bus routes which run between the 2 stations, though it would additionally contain no less than a brief stroll and a few solely run each half-hour. Alternatively, it’s 5-10 minutes by taxi, which prices round £7-£10.
Permit loads of time
Whilst you can go at your individual tempo, it pays to go away loads of time to discover right here. Harry Potter World in London is big – and new areas are continually being added and unveiled.
There’s additionally an unimaginable quantity of data to find, with behind-the-scenes movies to look at, an opportunity to learn extra of the small print of the creation and inspiration of the varied props, plus interactive actions together with casting spells and driving broomsticks.
It’s beneficial to permit round no less than three and a half hours. Whilst you might rush spherical in much less time in the event you’re visiting with youthful children (or much less dedicated followers), it’s not an affordable time out so it’s value benefiting from it.
You’ll be able to very simply spend longer too. On one go to with my then seven-year-old daughter, we spent round 6 1/2 hours exploring, and even on my earliest visits earlier than a number of new areas have been added, I’ve by no means spent lower than about three hours there.
The morning slots are all the time the most suitable choice if you could find them, as you possibly can then spend so long as you need inside. Keep in mind there’s just one (busy) place for lunch when you’re inside, in addition to a restaurant firstly, though you possibly can carry your individual meals to eat within the Backlot cafe.
There are restricted numbers for the very begin of the expertise, so count on to have to stay to the time in your ticket, however after that time, you possibly can discover at your individual tempo.
Whilst you can return to some areas, particularly within the first part of the expertise earlier than you attain the Forbidden Forest, it’s not all the time straightforward (or doable) to return, so it’s all the time higher to take your time then transfer on.
After you go the Hogwarts Specific at Platform 9 3/4 and the final a part of Studio J, there’s no turning again. From right here, you head previous the Backlot Cafe to the out of doors areas together with the brand new Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse and Privet Drive, earlier than attending to Studio Ok, with Creature Results, Gringotts and Diagon Alley – take a look at the downloadable map right here.
What age ought to children go to?
There’s no minimal age for admission, so if you wish to flip up with a child or toddler, you’ll nonetheless be welcome as the entire attraction is household pleasant.
Nevertheless, until you suppose your child goes to nap the entire manner spherical, I wouldn’t suggest it with youthful children. Followers will wish to have the possibility to take in each final element, whereas toddlers merely don’t have that focus span – they’ll get bored, you’ll get grumpy and it’s an costly choice to hurry stroll by.
There’s additionally numerous strolling for little legs – it’s not a small website – and infrequently a lot of queueing, particularly firstly. In case your youngest has older siblings who’re determined to go, it’s properly value taking a buggy or provider and discovering one thing which can maintain the littler ones entertained.
I’d suggest it for teenagers aged round 6+ although, so long as they’ve already been launched to the early tales – as soon as they’re a number of years older and so they’ve learn extra of the books or watched extra of the films, they’ll get much more out of it.
Watch no less than one movie beforehand
Should you’re planning to go to the Warner Bros Studio tour, the probabilities are you’re already a fan, have learn all of the books, watched the films and possibly even have your individual wand.
However if you’re planning to go to with children and introduce them to the wizarding world, it’s properly value watching no less than one movie earlier than you go.
Visiting with my daughter for the primary time simply earlier than her sixth birthday, she had solely watched the primary film and we have been starting to learn the books, but it surely actually helped her to really feel acquainted with Hogwarts (and sparked a love of the tales which has seen us return right here and revel in a string of different Harry Potter days out across the UK).
Keep in mind that you simply may spot some issues which can act as gentle spoilers for later motion pictures alongside the best way.
Think about bringing your individual meals
Aside from a restaurant earlier than you go into the Harry Potter Studio tour, there’s one primary restaurant (the Backlot Cafe) round half-way by the attraction and it’s – unsurprisingly – very busy.
It’s additionally not the most cost effective place to eat, so it’s properly value bringing your individual meals to avoid wasting time within the queues and cash. You should use the cafe tables, or the picnic tables exterior if the climate is nice.
There’s additionally a separate part to purchase butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream in the event you simply need a candy deal with reasonably than ordering meals. Should you haven’t had butterbeer earlier than, I’d suggest ordering one to share – it’s positively an acquired style, so that you may discover you don’t need a complete one every!
You’ll be able to maintain the plastic mugs as a memento although (and there’s an space to clean them up so that you don’t have a sticky mug in your bag for the remainder of the day).
Or in the event you’re planning to make a particular occasion of it, you possibly can ebook a Harry Potter afternoon tea, with timed slots and a separate space to eat, at present £70 for 2.
Set a finances for the present store
For Harry Potter followers, the present store on the finish is sort of as magical because the studio tour itself, and you can very straightforward spend some huge cash in a short time – particularly in the event you’re contemplating clothes, wands and different greater gadgets.
Fortunately it’s also possible to get some souvenirs with out breaking the financial institution, together with chocolate frogs and different sweets, stationery and loads of themed ins and outs, together with choices for every of the 4 homes.
Whether or not you’re making an attempt to stop your self spending your total journey finances or wish to scale back pestering out of your children, it’s properly value setting a finances earlier than you go in, to keep away from each temptation and tears.
Be careful for the added prices
Whereas entry to the Warner Bros studio tour covers the price of most issues inside (barring meals, drink and the present store), there are some further costs if you need a photograph posed on a broomstick, for instance.
These are elective in the event you fancy making an attempt the inexperienced display screen expertise with out an official photograph, and there’s extra free interactive enjoyable and particular results, together with making a broomstick leap up into your hand or having a go together with a wand.
Preserve your telephone charged
It goes with out saying that you simply’ll wish to take pictures as you discover, of the whole lot from an opportunity to turn into a large or wave a wand, to the superb props and units alongside the best way.
So discovering your telephone battery is sort of flat as you arrive is one thing of a catastrophe.
You should purchase branded moveable telephone chargers from the data desk for £15, but it surely’s higher to maintain your telephone charged or to carry your individual energy financial institution – I’m a fan of this Anker moveable charger which is compact however highly effective sufficient to cost two units directly.
There’s additionally WiFi inside in case you possibly can’t wait to begin sharing.
Don’t carry your baggage all day
There’s a free cloakroom the place you possibly can go away coats, baggage and suitcases when you go to, so that you needn’t drag the whole lot round with you all day.
You can even go away buggies and pushchairs there in the event you want to not take them in, though a restricted quantity are allowed inside for every timeslot.
Skip the scary bits
Should you’re visiting with youthful children, or arachnaphobes, it’s doable to skip the scary bits – though there aren’t too many of those anyway.
Strolling by the Forbidden Forest, there are two paths to decide on between, so if you wish to keep away from Aragog completely, you possibly can. Ensure to ask employees as properly in the event you additionally wish to keep away from him within the Creature Results part in the direction of the top.
The world on the Darkish Arts can be off to 1 facet, so you possibly can skip previous in the event you’re visiting with youthful children.
And employees are nice too in the event you’ve received nervous youthful followers with you – on our first go to, my then 5-year-old daughter was unexpectedly afraid of Buckbeak. Workers supplied to take us round to keep away from strolling previous, then performed a recreation to assist her construct up her braveness to scurry previous so we wouldn’t miss anything.
Decide up an exercise passport
There’s a free Exercise Passport which incorporates puzzles, extra trivia, a Golden Snitch hunt and house for memento stamps to gather alongside the best way.
There’s a lot data to soak up, and a lot to see and do this having this isn’t important, but it surely does make a enjoyable mini memento in the event you don’t wish to purchase the official information, and is one other enjoyable choice with children if they’re feeling overwhelmed or beginning to lose curiosity on the sheer quantity of element.
And obtain the app
Obtain the Harry Potter Fan Membership app earlier than you go to, and you should utilize your Enchanted Keys to unlock extra enjoyable as you discover.
The app is free to obtain (from the appstore or Google Play), and all you want to do is log in, faucet the important thing image within the Uncover tab and scan the Enchanted Keys everytime you spot them on the Studio Tour. That features further quizzes, extra movies and different secrets and techniques of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World.
However you don’t want a digital information
Digital Guides are additionally obtainable with added behind-the-scenes footage, extra information, interviews and so forth.
Realistically, there’s such an enormous quantity of data obtainable as a part of the principle shows, that you simply actually don’t want these to get probably the most out of your go to.
They’re obtainable in a string of languages in addition to English, together with French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese language (Mandarin), Brazilian and Portuguese, so it’s one to contemplate if somebody in your group has restricted English although.
Allow them to know if it’s your birthday
If anybody in your group is celebrating their birthday, allow them to know on the entrance – not solely will the birthday boy/lady get a badge, they will additionally play a particular position firstly of the tour.
That’s all I’ll say in order to not spoil the shock, but it surely’s one thing even the youngest Harry Potter followers can do and can love (so long as they’re not too shy).
Is it value visiting?
Should you’ve visited every other Harry Potter expertise around the globe, you may surprise is a go to to Harry Potter World value it?
Personally, I don’t suppose there’s anything fairly prefer it. Whilst you’ll get a style of the wizarding world at Common Studios in Orlando or recreated within the Forbidden Forest in Cheshire, for instance, that is the one place the place you possibly can see the unique props, go to the unique units and stand the place the movies themselves have been made.
Don’t arrive anticipating a theme park with rides however for followers, this actually is unmissable.
Disclosure: This publish accommodates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee. All ideas for the Harry Potter studio tour in London are my very own suggestions
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