Thursday 20 February 2020

5 Things To Know About The Harry Potter Studios Tour

I've spoken before on my blog about I kind of dread my birthday so it's safe to say when my 25th was looming, I was not best pleased. I knew I wanted to do something special because 1. I wanted to actually be able to look forward to it as it got closer and 2. It's a big birthday! I wanted to be able to look back one day and feel like I really celebrated it. For my 25th we booked a trip to London and aswell as seeing Les Miserables, we also did the Harry Potter Tour and I can honestly say it was worth every penny. I am so happy with what we decided on and as George's birthday was also in January, it felt like we both got to really celebrate together and there was something for both of us during our little break. 
Harry Potter studio tour entrance
I've been meaning to write up a review of the studio tour since we got back but as we're now almost two months on, clearly I haven't but recently an idea came to me that instead of doing a detailed review and essentially giving away everything that's included in the tour, why not do something a little different. Before we went I didn't really know what to expect, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan so I'd have been pleased regardless I'm sure but I did have a few questions so if you're hoping to visit one day, hopefully this will give you a little insight and answer any questions you may have about it without spoiling the experience.
The great hall at the Harry Potter studio tour

What Is There To See?

Well, pretty much EVERYTHING you see in the films. It's unreal how realistic the sets are and it's crazy to see just how much detail was put into every single costume, set and more throughout the years. To start you see Harry's room under the stairs and you're then taken into a cinema like room to watch a short video from the cast on how the tour works, what sorts of things you'll see, when you can stop for breaks etc. It's all really clear from the beginning which is useful. You then properly start at the Great Hall and if you're lucky you might get a chance to open the doors yourself. Walking into the hall after watching the films repeatedly was just so special. It was actually Hogwarts In The Snow when we went so there were still Christmas trees up and it was set out like it would be for Christmas in the films so that only added an extra magical element to it for me as I've spoken many, many, MANY times before about how much Christmas is my favourite time of year. You then follow the tour round to see the common room, Dumbledore's office, the potion room, Diagon Alley, Platform 9 3/4, Privet Drive, Gringotts Bank and more. Everything you could possible remember from the books and films is there. 
Hogwarts in the snow at Harry Potter studio tour

How Long Is The Tour?

As stated on the official Warner Brother Studio Tour website, it's expected to last around 3 and a half hours though there's no time limit. Our tour was booked for 2pm and we finished around 5pm and that was with a stop halfway round for food and drink so I'd say 3 and a half hours is accurate. There is obviously a lot of walking involved which is something to be prepared for but there are benches everywhere so plenty of opportunity to stop if you need to and as I'm about to get onto, there are several opportunities to sit for food and drink.
Dumbledores Office at the Harry Potter studio tour

What are the food & drink options?

As soon as you arrive and have had your tickets checked, you are greeted by The Chocolate Frog Cafe. This is right by the entrance and exit so it means you can go either before or after the tour. As we had time spare before our 2pm tour, we stopped here and had some of the most delicious baked goods I've ever had in my life. And trust me, I've tried a lot of baked goods. At the Chocolate Frog Cafe you'll find ice cream, milkshakes, hot drinks, cupcakes, brownies, cookies and more. We tried one of their brownie bars which I can still taste if I think about it and also a marshmallow cookie pie which was uber sweet. We may have also stopped off at the end of the tour for ice cream and god that was good. Next to the Chocolate Frog Cafe aswell is the Hub Cafe which is essentially a Starbucks so another useful option if you want to grab a drink before or after the tour. Also in this area is The Food Hall which serves breakfast, hot food, sandwiches and more. Finally, let's talk about the Backlot Cafe which is located halfway round the tour. This is the ideal time to stop for a break and here you'll find an array of hot and cold food aswell as a stand for the famous Butterbeer. Even better, it can all be enjoyed with a view of the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and the Hogwarts Bridge. There are so many options for food and drink at the Studio Tour and I'd definitely recommend treating yourself to something at some point during the day.
The Chocolate Frog Cafe at the Harry Potter studio tour
Butterbeer at the Harry Potter studio tour

Can it be done on a budget?

If you're willing to skip the food hall and gift shops, it can definitely be done on a budget. Bear in mind, the ticket prices aren't cheap at around £45 each but once you're there, you're under no obligation to buy anything. The prices for food and drink aren't extortionate but you could definitely save money by taking your own to enjoy halfway round the tour where there's the opportunity to relax for as long as you want. I also wouldn't say there's anything in the gift shops that you couldn't find elsewhere but obviously because it's the official tour, the prices are more than you'd pay anywhere else.
Inside of privet drive at the Harry Potter studio tour
Ministry of magic at the Harry Potter studio tour

Is it worth it?

YES. 100%. If you're a Harry Potter fan, you will absolutely love it. Even if you're not the biggest fan ever, you learn so much and it's just utterly magical to see all of the sets there right in front of you. From the moment you enter, you feel like you're part of the Harry Potter world and as you go from room to room, it just gets better and better. Aswell as seeing the sets and costumes, there's also opportunities to see how the special effects work, there are videos all the way round from an array of people who worked on the films explaining how they brought the magic to life and there's several photo opportunities throughout. I honestly couldn't recommend the tour enough. My personal highlight was probably Gringotts Bank, it genuinely took my breath away when I walked around the corner and saw it, it's just unreal the detail that has gone into it! It's all mindblowing though and just such a special experience.
Hogwarts Express at the Harry Potter studio tour
Gringotts Bank at the Harry potter studio tour
Hogwarts in the snow at Harry Potter studio tour
I hope if you're planning a visit to the Harry Potter Studios Tour or if you're just a fan of the books and films, that this has been useful! If you've been before, let me know what you thought of it. I'm already hoping to get another visit in one day.

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Alice In Sheffield said...

I loved the Harry Potter tour! I want to go back and see Gringotts as it's been a while since my last visit

jennyinneverland said...

I STILL haven't been here but really want to! Do you have a guide on your tour or do you just make your way around on your own at your own pace? x

maries_connections said...

I visited the Harry Potter Studio few years ago ( see my blog post about it) but I will go back again to see all the new stuff. Great post.

Heather Nixon said...

I went almost three years ago and loved it x

Sophie said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm not the biggest Harry Potter fan but I always think it looks incredible when I see photos, it looks so realistic x


Nic said...

I went for my 30th Birthday and got to open the doors to the great hall, I do hope to return to visit Gringotts Bank :)

Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

ALLIE NYC said...

Oh this sounds so fun. I have never been. But when I went to Paris for the first time and my step brother picked me up from the airport and took me to the middle of Paris by the Opera House all I could think to myself, wow this is like being in a Harry Potter movie lol.

Allie of

Daisy said...

I adore this place so much!! It's been a couple of years since I was there last and there is a bunch of things that have popped up since then! I really want to try the Chocolate Frog place and see Gringotts! Amazing post, lovely!!

Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

Tiffany Timms said...

Gringotts was absolutely incredible xx

Tiffany Timms said...

You can just make your own way around! You start off with a guide who shows you a few videos from the cast and then once you're past the great hall you're free to go at your own speed. I was worried we'd all sort of have to stick together but it's not like that all. Couldn't recommend it enough! xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Thank you! x

Tiffany Timms said...

It's so good isn't it x

Tiffany Timms said...

I can't believe how realistic all of the sets were, it was like we were really in the films xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Ahh no way! I was a little tempted to volunteer as it was my birthday the day before but decided against it haha xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Aww I love Paris too. Hope you get to visit the tour one day xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Thank you! I can't wait to go back again one day xx

Aisha said...

This is a lovely post 💜 I went for the first time last year and wow.. My dream!!

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