Harry Potter World – A Warner Bros. Studio Tour
On a hot early June night, the boys and I were invited to a special Goblet of Fire Blogger night at the Harry Potter studio tour in Leavesden, near Watford, Hertfordshire. I jumped at the chance, as did Jack and Josh, youngest and middle son. Dylan took a bit of persuading, being 10, he’s a bit too cool for Harry Potter, until his Cambridge very cool physio told him he was the biggest Harry Potter fan and was very jealous. Suddenly he was keen!
We went on a Friday night, with our arrival time being 6:30. They told us our tour would take around three hours. We were given our tickets along with vouchers for exciting things and a tour guide. We were given 4 of these, not necessary, but we were given 4 (at £9.95 each). I was sort of expecting food before we went in, so the boys hadn’t been fed. I quickly got some crisps and caramel biscuits to keep them going until the café.
Our tickets consisted of entry to the Harry Potter tour, plus food and a drink, plus a butter beer, plus a photo each in the green screen room and a gift in the wand shop at the end. This was incredibly generous and really is not something I would have done for the boys, this was about £100 each of goodies.
Our first stop was the huge cinema whose screens move up to display the entrance to the great hall. This is such an impressive entrance, really does knock you for six and looks exactly like the film. Ha-ha it is the film as it was filmed here! There are sections for each of the school houses, Slyverin, Hufflepuff, Griffindor and Ravenclaw. The scenery looks so real, even the food and fire look real, although Josh wasn’t convinced.
We gathered around the goblet of fire to see the name being ejected of the contestant of the Tri-Wizard cup. It was Harry Potter of course. The blogger and their children were generally all a bit excitable, so we sped off to get ahead of the crowd. I was keen to spend three hours of quality time with my boys not talking to other bloggers, sorry if you are reading this😉
We wandered the main part of the tour where we saw the outfits for the Tri-wizards ball, the ice banquet. There were many of the wardrobe costumes for the film on show. We also went into the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore office and the Weasleys home with magic everywhere.
Jack had a go at calling a magic broomstick, this obviously stuck in his mind and that was the only thing he wanted from the shop at the very end. We then had a bit of a queue to get out photos. We had a couple of wanted shots as a family and jack did lots of pictures flying on a broom through Hogwarts! Great pictures.
Forbidden Forest fail!
We then approached the Forbidden Forest. Jack was all bravado about walking though. Until he saw the MANY huge spiders that moved. He freaked out and we had to leave (VERY) quickly. We breezed through the Hogwarts train room quickly as the boys could smell food, and it was time for the dinner pitstop.
We could choose whatever we wanted, Jack and Dylan went for hotdogs and Josh had a chicken burger. I had chicken curry with wine. Nice touch. The food was wolfed down very quickly, and it was lovely I have to say, high-quality food. And the boys got their butterbeer ice cream for dessert. I tried the butter beer, it was very sickly sweet shall we say. I preferred the ice-cream.
There was an outdoor bit with privet drive, the knight bus and the bridge leading to Hogwarts. The boys had a great time bolting up and down the bridge. They were expecting a ride so this was the best they could get!
We then went through the special effect area, Dylan made Dobby do the floss. Next was time for the super impression Diagon Alley, probably my favourite bit of the tour. It just looks so real; the detail is incredible. That was what struck me throughout the tour, the detail of everything and the time it must have taken to make, paint, sew everything.
The final section is the huge model of Hogwarts which took all of 2 mins to walk around as the boys had enough. I did get lots of pictures though.
We grabbed our wand shop goodies, a chocolate frog each (£9 each!!) and had a little look around the shop. Josh wanted a quaffle and jack wanted a broomstick. Dylan decided to save his money for football boots.
All in all, a lovely evening, it took us maybe 2 ½ hours to do the tour including food. We could have spent longer if the boys had wanted to. The big question is would I recommend it? I think if you are a huge Harry Potter fan you will love it and will return time and time again as they change the theme to the different films. But if not, its quite a lot of money for the ticket and the bits that the kids will beg you to buy.
I really enjoyed it, as did Jack. But Josh and Dylan did grow bored, even though we all sat and watched all 8 films at Christmas together, thank you for that ITV!
Our tickets and gifts from the Harry Potter tour were gifted, but no further payment was received.