More than 10 years ago, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (the first film in the Harry Potter film series) was released in theaters. Movie-goers both young and old were enchanted by the film’s magical story, incredible special effects, detailed sets, and stunning animatronics. For anybody who remembers the thrill of seeing the Harry Potter films for the first (or the fifteenth!) time, a trip to the Harry Potter Studios Tour in London is a trip of lifetime.
About the Tour
The Making of Harry Potter is part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. It provides guests with the opportunity to step onto the sets from the movies and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets. Visitors will have the opportunity to get a close look (and pose for pictures) with many of the film’s iconic props, and will learn how many of the “magical” Harry Potter scenes were brought to life. Popular stops on the tour include the Green Screen, where visitors can get photographs of themselves flying a broom, and the Backlot, where mugs of the delicious, frothy Butterbeer are served.
Throughout the year, the studios also host a variety of special events. Around Halloween, visitors can experience the spookier side of the Harry Potter films, while the Christmas season is when the studios undergo a festive makeover, using authentic props from the movies. If you’re looking for a more personal Harry Potter experience, certain studio locations are available rent for private events.
What You’ll See
One of the first rooms visited by guest is the Model Room. Here, you can examine a hand-sculpted 1:24 scale construction of the Hogwarts castle. Considered to be the crown jewel of the films’ Art Department, the castle’s courtyards, turrets, and towers were all filmed and digitally enhanced to create the magical school. You can see more of the incredible work done by the film’s artists in the Art Department Room, while is filled with intricate sketches from the movies. A favorite among visitors is Diagon Alley, the fictional street and shopping area where wizards and witches can buy wands, ingredients for their potions, brooms, and other magical necessities.
Next to Diagon Alley, visitors will find the Creature Effects room, where you can take a look at some of the hundreds of creatures that were needed for the Harry Potter films, and this room leads into the Backlot, which was home to the exterior sets during production. You can see famous Harry Potter pieces such as the Knight Bus and Hagrid’s motorbike.
Following the Backlot, visitors will have a chance to visit the Great Hall, which houses the long tables seen in the movies, as well as many of the costumes. Other fascinating stops on the tour include Dumbledore’s office, the Potions classroom, and the home of the Weasley family, more commonly known as the Burrow.
Plan your Visit
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is located at the Studios where all eight Harry Potter movies were filmed. It is about 20 miles from London, and can easily be reached by regular public transportation. Tour times vary depending on the time of year, but the first tour starts between 9am and 10am, and the last tour usually heads out between 4pm and 6:30pm. The studio closes 3 hours after the last tour. It is open seven days a week, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Photography and videography is allowed on the studio tour, though tripods and special film equipment are not. Admission prices are £29 for adults and £21.50 for children. Tickets must be purchased in advance, as they are not sold at the Studio Tour. Kids under 4 are admitted for free, and there are also family passes available. There is an on-site café that serves drinks and meals, and there is also an outdoor picnic area near the car park.