Whether your family likes the books or the films, all Harry Potter fans can experience the magical world in real life at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Located in Leavesden, England, about 20 minutes from London, the attraction is wildly popular and offers visitors an in-depth look behind the scenes of all eight Harry Potter films.
The Studio Tour takes families through intricately designed sets that were used in the filming of the Harry Potter movies. Families can see Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s office, the Great Hall, the dorms, Diagon Alley, Privet Drive and more, plus costumes, props, animatronic creatures and special effects. Paper and digital tour guides are offered, as is a special Activity Passport for children. The Activity Passport is complimentary and guides kids through the tour on a fun Golden Snitch hunt that leads them to six stations where they can get the passport stamped by a staff member. And teenagers who want more of an interactive experience will love riding a broomstick in front of a green screen, just like the cast did!
In March 2015, the Studio Tour expanded, adding the original Hogwarts Express steam engine and a recreation of Platform 9 and 3/4. The permanent exhibit allows families to climb aboard the train’s cars and pose for photos with the disappearing luggage on the platform.
The attraction also offers dining options and a gift shop to make the experience even more memorable. Families can stop at the Studio Cafe for breakfast, lunch and dinner options. At The Backlot, authentic Butterbeer is served (non-alcoholic, of course), as well as snacks and lighter fare. The Studio Shop is the place where families can pick up souvenirs to commemorate their trip. Don’t forget to purchase your wand and a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans!
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is open daily, year-round. Opening and closing times vary, but tours are often offered between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are 33 pounds, or about $49, for adults ages 16 and older. Kids between ages 5 and 15 are 25.50 pounds, or about $38, each and children ages 4 & under are free. A Family Price is offered for either two adults and two children or one adult and three children, and costs 101 pounds, or about $150.50.
Public transportation from London Eustace station is offered. Families visiting the attraction should set aside three to five hours to make the most of their experience.