Newest Review: ... building you enter the lobby where you queue up to go through to the tour, here you can also purchase digital guides to take around with ... more
warning - spoilers included!
Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour (London)
Member Name: stacey10304
Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour (London)
Advantages: great insight into how the films were made, lasts longer than expected
Disadvantages: none at all!
Ok so this review will be slightly biased as I am a massive Harry Potter fan so I was always going to love this place no matter what, but I will try and give as much information as possible rather than just waffling on about how much I love Harry Potter.
So the tour itself is located in Watford, and is really easy to find. It does get a bit confusing as my directions from google told me to go one way and the brown attraction signs were telling me to go another - I decided it best to follow the signs and that took me right to it. As the place is so huge you can see it as soon as you turn onto the road aswell so you wont miss it! The building itself is also covered in huge Harry Potter posters so you will know what it is as soon as you spot it. As you enter the car park there are men at the gates who request to see your tickets, and then direct you to a parking space. The car park is enormous so you dont have to worry about not getting a spot.
You enter the building through some huge glass doors, with the Harry Potter logo above them, which leads you straight into a foyer, with a fancy canteen style cafe on your left and the Harry Potter shop on your right (I got there a little early and couldnt resist going for a bit of a pre-tour shop, but I will talk about the gift shop later). The excitement literally starts as soon as you enter the building, as you join the queue in the foyer you are surrounded by huge photo's of the cast along the walls, a blue ford anglia suspended from the ceiling and as you get closer to the front of the queue, you can have a look in Harrys cupboard under the stairs.
As the tour begins you are lead into a room with several small screens lining the walls where you watch a short video about the success of Harry Potter, after this you are taken into a small cinema style room and another short film presented by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Ruport Grint. After this film is finished the doors to the great hall are revealed (I almost cried with excitement at this point), and you are guided through these doors into the Great Hall. This is the only part of the tour which is guided, you are given a short talk in the great hall, then you are left to wander at ease through the rest of the studios.
After the great hall you exit into what is probably one of my favourite parts of the tour, which is a huge room filled with props and locations from the film - such as Dumbledores office, the Weasleys kitchen, parts of the Ministry for Magic among many other things (i dont want to give too much away for anyone who hasnt been yet). There is also the opportunity within this section to have your photo taken in Hogwarts Robes riding a broom!!
The next part leads you outside, where you can see privet drive, the knight bus, Harrys parents house etc etc. Here you can also purchse refreshments - including BUTTER BEER!! and have your photo taken on Hagrids/sirius' motorbike.
The next part is more about how props, characters and creatures in the films were created (including Aragog - which slightly freaked me out). Here you can see how all the goblin masks were make, how the mandrakes were made and the mechanics that went into making some of the creatures move. After this you are lead to a simply breathtaking part of the tour - Diagon Alley. You literally get to walk down Diagon Alley, look in the shop windows and be simply amazed at the detail that went into this place - including a fully functional and moving Weasley joke shop.
The last part of the tour is incredible, and houses the artwork and models and concept art created for the films. The little paper models of hogwarts and hogsmeade are incomprehensable and I've never seen anything like it. The concept art is also incredible and I wish I would own it all....the corridors showing all this off lead you however to the most breathtaking and best art of the entire tour (something which I was completely unaware of so this did literally make me cry and I saw it) - the 1.24 model of Hogwarts Castle and its grounds. This is simply spectacular - the sheer size and amount of detail on this model is rediculous and unbelievable. I took around 30 photos of just this model alone it is simply that impressive. After leaving this room your enter a small room which is filled with wand boxes engraved with the names of everyone that worked on the Harry Potter films, which finally leads you into the gift shop.
The shop itself is amazing and has such a wide range of products on offer from cuddly toys to jewellery to dvds and books to clothing to postcards and posters to magnets and keysrings to glasses and mugs to sweets and chocolate to wizarding coins and wands - I spent an abscene amount of money in this place and if I could I would go there again next payday - but unfortunatly you cannot gain entry to the store unless you have tickets for the tour.
Overall this is a truly breathtaking experience - not just for harry potter fans, but anyone who is interested in films and how they are made. It is not just a Harry Potter fans dream, but also a beautiful insight into how the props, costumes and creatures and everything else are made for these sorts of films. At aroun £28 for a ticket I would say it was well worth the price as the tour lasts for around 3 1/2 hours atleast and is a great day out for anyoneand everyone!
Summary: the best day ever - a must for anyone who is a harry potter fan
More reviews in the field of Museum National
- Back in time at Beamish
- Welcome to the wonderful wacky world of Harry Potter!
- BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!
- An Amusing Take On Edinburghs History!
- Dynamic Earth - About our planet! It's a fun family attraction.
- Lions, bears and Highland cows
- Edwards Heath's last gift to the public
- A fabulous Freebie Day Out for the family
- Behind the scenes of Harry Potter - Phenomenal
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
- The Royal West of England Academy (Bristol)
- RAF Museum Hendon (Hendon, London)
- Kilmartin House Museum (Kilmartin, Argyll & Bute)
- Aeroventure Museum (Doncaster)
- The Herschel Museum of Astronomy
- Horniman Museum and Gardens
- Gallery of Modern Art (Glasgow)
- Cambridge & County Folk Museum
- Scottish National Portrait Gallery (Edinburgh)
- Winchester Discovery Centre (Winchester, Hampshire)