Since it opened in 2012, the Warner Bros Studio Tour has become a must-visit for Harry Potter fans. Offering the chance to get behind the scenes and learn more about how all eight films were made – in the studios where the magic happened! Make the most of your visit with these hints and advice for visiting the studios.
Plan your journey – as it’s not in London
Although it’s billed as the ‘Warner Bros Studio Tour London’, it’s actually a bit of a way out of the capital – but is very easy to get to from Central London. Catch a train to Watford Junction from Euston (about a 15-30min journey, depending on the service) and when you leave the station you’ll find a bus outside going direct to the studios. It’s £2.50 return per person for the bus and it takes about 20 minutes, depending on traffic. Buses run very frequently and you’re advised to get to Watford Junction about 45 minutes before your entry time. There’s also plenty of parking if you choose to drive.
You might have to wait for a few minutes to get in
If you’ve chosen to collect tickets when you arrive, you have queue to pick them up outside – although there are self-service collection machines which speed up the process. There’s also a queue to get into the building as security guards search bags, and then there’s a third queue to actually begin the tour – although there’s plenty to look at at this point including Harry’s cupboard under the stairs. It’s also worth noting that if you do arrive a bit early, they do let you in ahead of your scheduled time. I arrived 30 minutes early on my last visit (on a busy Saturday) and there were no issues.
You can leave bags and luggage before you go in
Got luggage with you? You don’t have to drag it round with you all day as there is a cloakroom at the entrance. It’s also free! But, take anything you want for the day with you as you can’t return to it until you’ve finished the tour – so don’t forget your camera!
The first section features a guide…
The beginning of the experience features a talk from a guide and a short video before you’re led through to the first portion of the tour. The guide will discuss this initial section and tell you a bit about some of the props on view.
..but you can explore the rest of the tour in your own time
After the first section, you’re left to your own devices so you can take your time viewing props and learning about how the films were made. There’s plenty to see from costumes to sets and a section revealing how all the magical creatures were brought to life.
There are plenty of photo ops
If you want to truly immerse yourself in the magical world of Harry Potter, the studio tour offers a couple of green screen photo opportunities – you can fly a broomstick or Ron’s car, or take a journey on the Hogwarts Express. Buying the photos isn’t cheap, but they’re still a nice memento of the day. You can also take part in the experiences without buying the images afterwards.
Food and drinks – including Butterbeer – are on sale
The Backlot Café is in the middle of the tour and sells a range of food and drink. As well as the main queue for meals, there’s a separate place to queue if you just want Butterbeer or Butterbeer ice cream.
But you can also bring you own snacks
Although some attractions don’t allow you to bring in outside food, that’s not the case at the Warner Bros Studio Tour. You can bring your own food or drink to eat in the café or picnic areas.
Part of the tour is outside
A section of the visit involves going into the great outdoors, so make sure to carry an umbrella or jacket with you just in case. On our visit, we were struck by a sudden downpour while waiting to explore 4 Privet Drive thanks to the unpredictable British summer time weather!
It’ll probably take longer than you expect
As there is so much to see and do, you’ll find yourself spending more time at the Warner Bros Studio Tour than you originally envisaged. Enjoy it and get your money’s worth!
Warner Bros Studio Tour, Leavesden, WD25 7LR