Harry Potter Studio Tour review
It’s 15 years since the film Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone came out and having watched the film recently with the twins, it is still as gripping and fascinating as it was the first time I watched it with Tommy and Megan.
J.K Rowling really did have an excellent idea the day she wrote her notes down on a scrap of paper whilst sitting on a delayed train. She has captivated the world with her stories ever since and I love watching the twins work their way through her books. Alice is currently on the 4th book, The Order of the Phoenix and Bessie is polishing off the 3rd, The Goblet of Fire. We keep on at her to finish so we can sit down and watch the third film together.
As a special treat for the girls I arranged with Warner Bros to take the girls to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford. They are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film and as you can imagine there are a lot of extras to be had on the tour.
The twins were wowed from the car park onwards and didn’t tire of touring all day long. In fact they are still talking about it now and took their Harry Potter passports into school to show their friends.
What is the Harry Potter Studio Tour?
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is a trip behind the scenes to see the sets, make up, costumes, props and the area of creativity where the filming took place. It was an amazing day out and one I am sure we shall repeat at some point as the girls work their way through the other books.
From the moment you start your tour you are guided through the history of the film making by tour guides who are incredibly knowledgeable and can answer all of your questions as you follow the tour.
It all starts with a film and explanation, the history is just as fascinating as the sets themselves, there is so much to take in you certainly won’t be bored.
The tour leads you through the sets and in celebration of the 15th Anniversary there are special extras on the way through. The girls were intrigued to see how the letters flying through the letterbox of Privet Drive was created and they got to take a letter home each with special Hogwarts seal on it too.
Harry Potter Passports
The girls were handed a passport each at the front desk and told to look out for hidden snitches as we followed the tour around. This made the tour even more interactive for them. They also really enjoyed finding the machines to get their passports stamped although dad and I had to step in to make sure they embossed the pages properly.
What does Butterbeer taste like?
I was determined to try it and we decided on one glass of butterbeer and two butterbeer ice creams for the girls.
I really enjoyed it although the girls and dad didn’t. The way I’d describe it is a sweet fizzy drink that’s not over fizzy with a similar taste to cola and on top a thick creamy head that lasts right to the bottom of the glass. Think of a coke float but the cream doesn’t melt. If I return I shall definitely order another and maybe even get a souvenir glass next time.
The Broomstick video
This was another must on our first visit and both twins thoroughly enjoyed it. First we had a photo taken with our cloaks on and wands and then we followed the queue around and the girls got to sit on a broomstick and make their own video. Be warned this is not cheap though. We payed £60 for the two USB sticks and one photo.
The Harry Potter shop
It is a huge shop and if you don’t stay together you will likely lose each other. You can find all sorts of memorabilia from wands (£26.95), to clothes to notebooks, to fridge magnets. There is something for everyone including a lot of sweets from Honeydukes. This then brings you out to the entrance hall where it all started.
Our verdict of the Harry Potter Studio Tour
EXCELLENT. Top marks from all of us, dad grumbled about the prices in the shop. He also grumbled at the queues for the various photo stops and broomstick flying but he always does that.
In his defence, if you can go on a school day I imagine it would be much quieter, I’d also advise being on the first tour or one towards the later part of the day. Our tour started at 10am and we didn’t exit the tour until gone 2pm. We stopped for lunch in Backlot Cafe and ordered mac n cheese for the girls and hot dogs for us (go easy on the mustard as it is hot!)
One tour guide told us the longest amount of time some guests stayed on the tour was 13 hours and you will see some hardcore Harry Potter fans whilst you are there.
Disclosure: We were given a family entrance ticket to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own.