Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Harry Potter Studio Tour

If you are a Harry Potter fan, then you will LOVE this post. If not, you will be BORED with this blog post... just giving you the heads up...

Actual date of this event: 23 May

A few months ago, my friends Liz and Greg from Aberdeen had planned a trip to come to London for a concert. Liz mentioned that she wanted to do the Harry Potter tour, and I freaked with excitement. I was like, "I don't have a job! I have nothing going on! I love Harry Potter! I wanna go!" So the plans were made that we would hop on the train to Cool Town to go see all things Harry Potter. You be jelly. You be jelly.

Seriously, if you're not a Harry Potter fan... you will be sorry if you continue reading...

We left Euston train station around 9:30am heading toward Watford Junction (make note of that in case you plan to go to the studio). The train we took was the long one, meaning it makes a bunch of stops, but the quicker train wasn't leaving for a while. In the end, we would have gotten there about the same time, so no biggie. While pulling up to Watford Junction, we saw the big Harry Potter bus that we needed to take to get to the studio. It was 2GBP for a round trip ticket on the bus. After riding through some neighborhoods, we arrived at the big warehouse that is Warner Bros Studios Leavesden. Cant.Contain.TheExcitement!

While Greg printed our pre-purchased tickets from a machine, Liz and I began the obsessive picture snapping. (Note: I assume that you are a Harry Potter fan [because you are still reading], so you should know what all of the pictures are of which is why I didn't put many captions.) (Note: To view pictures larger, click on them.)

A friendly greeter inside told us that it wasn't a very busy day, so our tour time did not matter, so we got in line to enter. Before entering the actual studio, we listened to two tour guides and watched two videos in two different rooms. These videos/guides explained some of what went into making the Harry Potter films to give you an idea of what you were about to view. After the second video, the doors to the Great Hall opened (literally), and we entered!

The costume on the left was worn by Daniel Radcliffe in the first film. It was so tiny!

I was shocked at the size of the Great Hall. It is much smaller and more narrow than I imagined it would be.

While in the Great Hall, we had another tour guide explaining how some of the filming was done in the Great Hall. Then she let us move into the next room, and we were on our own for the rest of the tour.

Dumbledore's Office - the Pensieve is one of my favorite items from the series.

The Potions classroom was one of my favorite things from the tour. 

The Burrow (the Weasley's home) was interactive. You could make dishes clean themselves, knives chop, and needles sew.

About halfway through, we came upon the area where you could fly a broom and fly in Arthur Weasley's vehicle. Unfortunately, we were unable to take pictures in the area. I was the driver of the vehicle for the three of us. We thought it took a video, but it only took a picture during our ride. We got to fly a broom stick which took a video and also a few pictures. It was tons of fun! When you left the area, it of course had you walk by where you can purchase your pictures and/or videos. Me and my frugal self did not purchase any as the minimum was 12GBP for one picture. And to get the video, it was a minimum of 25GBP. I've got a good memory, which is enough for me! As we left the shop, there was an area where you could do wand practice :)

Next we went outside to see very iconic items... much larger items. There was a concession stand selling Butterbeer... this is one of two places in the world where you can buy Butterbeer. We opted for just beer though :)

The current number 4 on the home is a replica as Rupert Grint (Ron) took it as his own personal memorabilia. Only houses 3 & 4 were still standing.

Next we entered the Creatures Section of the tour...

We entered another one of my favorite areas of the tour...

Production room with scale drawings and models...

And as we turned the corner, we saw a life size (not actually, but it was taller than me) of the castle. This was really cool!

The last stop of the tour was Ollivander's Wand Shop. so.many.boxes.

You know, I really really can't understand how someone can not like Harry Potter. It brings the child out in me, as I am sure it does you, and what is there to not like about that? So much has gone into the production of these films, and the books and films have made history. I am so glad that I got the chance to do this tour because I don't think I would have ever been able to do it again. London has so many terrific places to see, and although I loved this tour, I don't think I would suggest it as a sight for my visitors. Overall, it took us 6 hours to do this tour and that is quite a bit of time. I would suggest it as the FIRST thing on a visitors list after getting all of the main attractions out of the way though :) I hope one day you can hop on the train to Cool Town to tour the Harry Potter Studio, as well! You will no doubt enjoy it!

It's difficult to choose but...
What is your favorite book? Mine is probably the Half-Blooded Prince
What is your favorite movie? Mine is probably the Order of the Phoenix
Or maybe they are switched - not sure. Too hard to choose!!!!! I feel like Joey when he has to choose between food and sex.
If for some reason you are not a Harry Potter but continued to read this post, what is it that you don't like about Harry Potter?

You can still see the 10 houses that were built to create Privet Drive at the studio on Google Maps. Go to Google Maps, and search for "Warner Bros Studios Leavesden". To the left of the location pin when zoomed in, you can see 5 houses on each side of a small lane. To the southwest of that, you can also see Hagrid's hut and the Hogwarts' Bridge. (this fact is correct as of May 28, 2013)


  1. You have no idea how jealous I am! Thank you for sharing pics! I can't believe how much smaller everything is than it looks in the movies!

    1. You're welcome, Amy! It was really neat to see all of the stuff in person :)

  2. Awesome! I'm soooooooo jealous! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I've got to say... that looks SUPER cool.

    Favorite book: The Goblet of Fire
    Favorite movie: The Order of the Phoenix


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