You can visit the WB studio, right outside London, to see The Making of Harry Potter. Similar to the Game of Thrones studio tour we did in Northern Ireland, this tour takes you through sets and costumes used for the ten years they filmed the actual Harry Potter movies at the studio.
The studio was pretty easy to get to. You can take a train out of London to Watford Junction, then a shuttle bus picks you up there. The tickets are timed, but there is a lot to do while you’re waiting for your entry time. There’s a giant dragon, which made for a great photo op. There’s also a cafe, an area you can book for tea, and a dessert stand. I had the Hogwarts letter milkshake while we waited, because it was the beginning of my birthday celebration.
Once it’s your time to enter, you head into a small theater where you watch a short video featuring the Weasley twins, then you are released into the first of the two studios used. Immediately, you are inside Hogwart’s Great Hall. It was decorated with the usual candles hanging from the ceiling, but they change it for the holidays. It’s currently decorated for Halloween, and will change to Christmas after Halloween is over.
When you leave the great hall, you start the 2+ hour self-guided walk through the two studios (fittingly named J and K). Unlike the GoT tour, this one wasn’t well directed and was full of kids going every which way. Despite timed entry to presumably decrease congestion, it was PACKED. We booked a later time (6:15 pm) in the hopes that there wouldn’t be as many little kids but that definitely wasn’t the case. Between the kids running around all over and the people doing Instagram photo shoots, it was a bit overwhelming.
Pro tip: Go with plenty of patience, and maybe a drink before
Although some things were hard to see because there were so many people, it was still super cool to see the actual sets and costumes from the movies. Unlike when you see filming sites, everything looked just as it did in the movies.
I’m glad they kept the studios and opened them for tours. It was awesome to see and you could almost imagine you were in Hogwarts.
(If you’re a Harry Potter head, check out my walking tour of Edinburgh!)
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