It’s no secret that I’m one of the biggest Potterheads to ever live. I’ve read all of the books at least twice and watched each movie more times than I can possibly count. And I have my own wand.
So during my last trip to London, visiting the Harry Potter Studios in London* was a must. Obviously.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, visiting the studio will instantly become your favorite London memory. I am 100% sure of this.
Why? Well, because your favorite books and movies will come to life before your eyes. You’ll see, and learn about, exactly what went into making those eight magical movies, over ten beautiful years. And it’ll be so mind-blowing that you just might break down into tears.
It’s just that brilliant.
*Oh, and just to be proper, this excursion is formally referred to as the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London; but we’ll be calling it the Harry Potter Studios from here on out. Also, this post contains affiliate links.
Visiting the Harry Potter Studios in London:
For Potterheads, this is the ultimate London experience. Hands down.
Sure, seeing Big Ben and riding the London Eye is nice and all, but for me, the real London highlights were walking down Diagon Alley, seeing the Fat Lady and the set of the Weasley Burrow, and drinking Butterbeer. Nothing compares to all of that, guys.
And as you can imagine, when we arrived in Leavesden and climbed aboard the shuttle bus, the excitement was real. (To avoid navigating trains and shuttle buses, you can book this tour, which includes roundtrip transportation! I highly recommend this option.)
People donning capes and their house colors recited spells and their favorite lines, while also giddily discussing what they couldn’t wait to see. Because, hello, we were about to step foot inside the place where our favorite magical world came to life!
What to expect at Harry Potter Studios in London:
When we entered the studio, we picked up our audio guides (definitely purchase the audio guides, guys!), and queued to begin our self-guided studio tour. First, we watched a short film, which hyped up the Wizarding World, all that J.K. Rowling created, and what we were about to see.
And chills came over my whole body.
This was actually happening.
Next, it was time to enter the Great Hall, which is so much smaller than it looks in the movies! And also, don’t expect to look up and see floating candles and stormy clouds overhead. Remember, the ceiling is “just bewitched to look like the night sky!”
Nevertheless — bewitched ceiling or not — seeing the real thing in real life took my breath away.
In the Great Hall, you’ll find the costumes of everyone’s favorite characters, such as Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid, Snape, and many more. And the Sorting Hat is there, too!
Next, you’ll enter the main room and become overwhelmed by the movie magic you’ll see and learn all about for the next few hours.
First, you’ll lay eyes on Harry’s, Hermione’s, and Ron’s costumes from the Yule Ball, props from the Great Chocolate Feast, areas dedicated to Costume Design, Hair and Makeup, and the gates to Hogwarts.
All of the little details amazed me; and surely they’ll have the same impact on you.
Over the next couple of hours, in this same giant room, you’ll see the sets for the Gryffindor Common Room, the Boys’ Dormitory, Dumbledore’s Office, the Potions Classroom, The Leaky Cauldron, the Ministry of Magic, Umbridge’s Office, the Malfoy Manor, and more.
There are also areas dedicated to special effects, a room that holds thousands of props manufactured for the movies, and a giant wall of Hogwarts’s famous moving pictures.
But that list is only scratching the surface…
Really, the amount of magic you’ll experience never ends, and I don’t want to spoil it all by telling you everything that you’ll see.
It will take you about two hours (or maybe even more!) to get through the first part of the studio tour.
Then, you’ll have a break to fill up on Butterbeer and food.
The Harry Potter Studios in London is one of only four places in the world that you can drink authentic Butterbeer. So please don’t miss your chance!
(Though honestly, the Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Los Angeles is much, much better.)
Once you’ve had your fill, you’ll head to the backlot to check out the Dursley’s house, the Knight Bus, the Potters’ Cottage, and more! And as long as it’s not freezing or raining outside, it’ll be nice to get some fresh air.
And guys, just when you think your day couldn’t get any better, it does. That’s when the last leg of the studio tour begins. And this just might be the best part!
I don’t want to ruin it, but let’s just say that Kings Cross, the Hogwarts Express, Hogwarts Castle, and Diagon Alley are involved. And your jaw will drop over and over again when you spot each one.
The Harry Potter Studios in London
As if it weren’t obvious enough already, I am a huge advocate for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. After going there and experiencing such an enchanting place, how couldn’t I be?
If you take nothing else from this blog, hear me on this: you must visit the Harry Potter Studios in London.
Got that? Good.
How to get to the Harry Potter Studios in London:
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London lies just an hour outside of London, in Leavesden, and it’s easy enough to reach, via public transit.
All you have to do is make your way to Watford Junction by overground train, and from there, a shuttle bus from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London will pick you up and drive you right to the studio! It’s as simple as that.
You can also take a cab (but this will be very expensive – not recommended) or drive yourself if you’ve rented/hired a car.
The last, and possibly best option, is to book a tour that includes transportation. This tour coordinates your rides to and from the studio, and includes your ticket.
CLICK HERE to book your ticket to the Harry Potter Studios with Roundtrip Transportation from/to London!
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Have you visited the Harry Potter Studios in London? What did you think? If not, do you plan to visit someday? Hopefully soon?!
*This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through the links on our website, we will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. We never recommend any products/services that we don’t absolutely love. These commissions help keep Maddy’s Avenue up and running, and we thank you for your support!
Sunny London says
Having been here several times, I agree it’s a MUST DO in London. As a Florida Expat in London, I’ve also been to Orlando’s attraction and wrote a comparison on my blog. (They all have the same Butterbeer recipe). If you’re back from mid-November to January, they London studio is decorated for Christmas as ”Hogwarts in the Snow.’ I have a post and YouTube video on it and would recommend any Potter fan make the trip to Warner Bros during that time of year!
Maddy & Mauricio says
They may have the same recipe, but the Butterbeer in LA still tastes waaaaay better than the Butterbeer in London in my opinion. I have also compared it with lot of other friends and they also agree. Thanks for your comment!
How much time do we need to do the tour?
Btw, tour post are awesome and very helpfull:)
Maddy & Mauricio says
Good question! It really depends on how much time you want to spend. But we would say you need 3 hours minimum to get through everything, plus the time it’ll take you to get to the studio and back.
Megan Gardner says
Hi there! I apologize if I completely missed this in your post; however, I am curious — did you do the Deluxe Tour option ($199/person), or did you do the $44 “Complete Tour” option. Obviously, I would love to do the Deluxe option and am sure that I would get my money’s worth but that is still so much money for my husband and me! Interested to hear your thoughts!
Maddy & Mauricio says
Thanks for your comment.
We did the “Complete Tour” option, and then during online checkout, we added in the audio guides — which I highly recommend getting. I believe they tacked on only a few dollars extra per person. It seems that the Deluxe Package is quite expensive for what it is. The only reason I could see for doing it is if you really prefer having a personal guide, rather than the audio guide. Do you plan to take public transport, like we described? If so, you won’t need the parking that’s included. I also don’t think the studio’s food looked all that appetizing, and a meal is another thing that’s included in that package. I would say to get up early, have breakfast, head to the studio, go back to London and then eat lunch. Or bring some snacks in your purse.
Overall, you will have an AMAZING time either way! But I think the cheaper option is just fine. Trust me, the whole experience is so overwhelming, emotional, mind-blowing, etc. just with the Complete Tour. Enjoy!
Nikola Mills says
Do you think it’s a good idea to go there even though I’m going to be travelling alone? I mean.. I’m travelling always alone but since this place is something I want to remember (take photos of me on certain spots)… I hope this makes sense. Was there anyone by themselves when you were there?
Maddy & Mauricio says
Don’t let being alone stop you! If you don’t plan on going back to London soon, this is an experience you won’t want to miss. We didn’t notice whether there were people there by themselves, but we’re sure people do that all the time. You can just ask other guests or employees to take pictures of you! Enjoy yourself — it’s an awesome experience for all Potterheads!
Stephanie Benson says
If I have already been to Harry Potter in Orlando, is it too much of the same?
Maddy & Mauricio says
Well, it depends on how much of a fan you are, doesn’t it? ;) The park is completely different than the studio experience. This is not a park, it’s where the films were actually made. If you’re a fan, you won’t want to miss it.
Casey Wood says
Coming from someone that has not been to the studio tour in London, but worked at the Wizarding World in Orlando for a summer, after reading this post it seems like there is still definitely a LOT of new things to do and see at the tour in London. Sure, the Butterbeer, food, and items at the gift shops may be the same, but there are sooo many more locations that you get to visit in London (about 90% of the pictures on this blog are unique items on the Tour; they’re not in the theme parks), plus the fact that the London tour is the ACTUAL set from the movies – the theme parks are just recreations (albeit, reeeally spectacular recreations).
In short: If it gives you any indication, I am VERY familiar with the Wizarding world in Orlando, having worked (and played) there for a long time, and after reading this blog post I can tell that most of the London Tour experience will be very unique and different than the parks! I’m very excited to go this summer!
Maddy & Mauricio says
Totally agree. Well said. Enjoy your trip this summer :)
I went to the Studio Tour in London some months ago. The experience is increíble! It is very different to Orlando’s attraction. You can walk through the actual movie sets. You could see the original customes, take all the pictures you want, you could shop in the biggest Harry Potter’ s store, etc. It is a MUST DO experience for a Harry Potter fan. It will take you about 3-6 hours to enjoy the place. And worths every pound you pay! I took the classic experience that costs about £40.