I confess. I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd. Or Potterhead. Whichever you prefer. I’ve been obsessed with Harry Potter since I was 12 years old and someone gave me the first book as a gift. I fell in love with the magical universe JK Rowling created, the relatable characters, and intricate storyline. Since then I’ve read all of the books (multiple times), waited in line for Book 7 at midnight in New York City, have seen all of the movies (countless times), have traveled to and visited the theme parks in both Orlando and Hollywood and now I’ve finally crossed the Harry Potter Studio tour in London off my bucket list. And let me tell you, this did not disappoint. It was like I was actually living in the very universe that I had been reading about for almost 20 years. I was so excited I nearly cried (disclaimer: could also be related to pregnancy hormones but honestly probably not). On this tour you can enter the Great Hall, stroll through the Forbidden Forest and Diagon Alley, ride a broomstick, board the Knight Bus, attempt to pass through Platform 9 3/4 and so much more. I never wanted to leave. Keep scrolling for your look inside the studios and my top 5 tips for visiting.
Tips for Visiting:
- Purchase your tickets in advance – this is so important and I cannot stress this enough. You DO NOT want to get all the way to London and not have tickets. If you visit the online website, you can purchase tickets well in advance and select the date and time slot you wish to visit. They only allow a certain number of visitors during each time slot, so not all dates and times are available. Do this as soon as you figure which day you want to go.Adult (Ages 16 years and above) £41 Child (Ages 5 to 15 years) £33There are also group tickets available for families.
- Arrange for transportation – the studio tour is about a 45 min journey from central London so plan accordingly. You can use the Warner Bros Journey Tool to plan your trip or do what I did which is book an excursion through your hotel that will arrange transportation for you. We stayed at the Marriott and if you book through them they included transportation.
- Plan to eat between the inside lot and outside lot – There’s no food allowed throughout the tour as they want to preserve the integrity of the props and sets but there is a small cafe and a Starbucks before starting the tour and there is a food court and Butterbeer stand after the inside lot is complete and before you enter the outside lot. The inside lot takes up the majority of time but I highly recommend resting in between the inside and outside lots, having lunch, and maybe a ButterBeer ice cream before finishing up the tour.
- Souvenirs are pricey – if you plan on dropping a lot of money on souvenirs at the expansive gift shop at the end of the tour then by all means go nuts! Or, my advice would be to have an idea already in mind of an item you want and stick to that. For example, a scarf or wand or clothing. Otherwise you may end up dropping a small fortune.
- Take your time – There’s seriously so much to look at from the tiniest props, to costumes, to huge sets and once you leave a room they don’t let you backtrack. Enjoy everything there is to see and when you’re done feel free to enter post-Potter depression like I did. At least you can always look back on pictures.
Are you a Harry Potter fan too? Which book is your favorite?