Tips & Tricks We Picked Up On Our Visit To The Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making Of Harry Potter
We recently returned from our first trip to The Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making Of Harry Potter. We LOVED it! The tour exceeded our expectations, we were not expecting to enjoy it as much as we did.
Photographs and videos don't capture how magical (pun intended!) this tour is - you really need to see it for yourself. We had originally planned on doing the tour just once, but we enjoyed it so much that we are already planning another visit.
We picked up some great tips and tricks on our visit and wanted to share them with you. These are the things we wish we knew before planning a trip to The Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making Of Harry Potter.
01. Book Your Tickets Weeks (Even Months) In Advance
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making Of Harry Potter is one of the UK's most visited attractions, with 1,000s of visitors walking through it's (Great Hall) doors each day.
Tickets are limited and can sell out quickly. You may even find there is a queue just to access the booking page on the website. For example, at the time of writing (April 2022) the next available dates for 2 adults is in July! And if you want a morning slot, you'll have to visit in September! Crazy! So don't miss out, book your tickets as soon as you know the day you'll be visiting.
02. Book An Early Time Slot
Book your tickets as early in the day as possible. The first time slot of the day (typically 9am) is near impossible to book, so if you see it's available book it!
We booked our tickets for 9am and the place was nearly deserted. There was no queue to enter the main building, no queue for the bag check and scanners and no queue to start the tour.
This wont be the case later on in the day. By the time we had finished our tour, the queues were very long for everything and the place was much busier and noisier.
The other option for a quieter visit is to book a ticket for late afternoon. You'll need about 3-4 hours to complete the tour (without rushing) so don't book a time slot too late in the day.
03. You Don't Need To Buy The Digital Guide
When buying your tickets, you'll have a few ticket options. We would recommend purchasing a standard entry ticket.
We opted for The Complete Studio Tour Package, which included entry to the tour, a digital guide and a paperback souvenir guide, but found we didn't really use the digital guide.
We felt it would have been better suited for before or after your visit as it was more about behind the scene stories than extra details about the props, sets and effects.
There is more than enough information to read, see and do as you make your way through the tour.
We would, however, recommend picking up the paperback souvenir guide from the giftshop before you leave.
What To Wear & Bring With You
04. Wear Comfortable Shoes
The tour typically takes between 3 and 4 hours to complete, which means you'll be on your feet for a long time. Look after your feet and wear some comfortable shoes for your visit.
05. Don't Wear Too Many Layers
Most of the self guided tour is indoors, in heated rooms and amongst crowds of people, so you'll be warm enough without lots of layers. If visiting in the colder months, we would recommend just wearing a jumper and leaving coats and scarves in the car.
06. A Small, Rechargeable Fan
We were warm on the tour on a cold. frosty morning. We can only imagine how warm it must be during a summer heatwave. If you're visiting in the warmer months, pack a small rechargeable fan in case you need to cool down.
07. A Bottle Of Water
As we've already mentioned, the tour takes a few hours to complete. We forgot our water bottles and regretted it. Make sure to bring yours and stay hydrated.
08. A Small Umbrella
A small part of the tour is outdoors. As you may already be aware, England is well known for it's rain. If it's forecast rain during your visit, make sure to bring a small umbrella with you so you can get up close to number 4 Privet Drive and the Knight Bus without getting wet.
09. Phone & Backup Charger
If you're like us and are planning on taking lots of pictures on your phone, remember to bring a portable backup charger and cable with you. We didn't realise how many pictures we would want to take and it drained our phone batteries. So be sure to bring a portable power bank with you.
10. Wand and Wizarding Outfit
Don't be too embarrassed to bring your wand along or to put on your finest wizarding robes. Plenty of adults were dressed up and lots of adults and children got stuck in with the interactive elements to the tour and made use of the photo opportunities.
Tips For The Tour
11. Tips For The Preshows
Before your self-guided tour begins, you'll watch 2 preshows.
When you enter the room for the 1st preshow, stand on the left-hand side of the room. By standing on the left, you'll get a front row seat to the 2nd show.
Why is this important? A front row seat in the 2nd show mean's you'll be the first to enter the tour's first room - The Great Hall!
We had no idea what to expect and by chance, happened to stand on the left-hand side of the first room and then a seat on the front row of the second show. But being the first to enter The Great Hall was a pinch me moment. Seeing The Great Hall with no other people inside was a great way to start the tour.
So remember, stand on the left-hand side of the first room and get a front row seat in the second room. And have your camera ready!
12. You Can Re-Enter The Great Hall
As mentioned above, the tour begins in The Great Hall.
You'll notice when you enter The Great Hall that there are no other visitors in this room. That's because the room guides have (gently) ushered the previous group out of the room for grand reveal for the next group.
You'll have a few minutes in this impressive room before being ushered out the next part of the tour.
But if you would like some more time in The Great Hall (like we did) be sure to walk back in once the next group is fully in the room. This is something you may not realise, but the room guides are happy to let you back in.
13. Take Your Time
You've likely spent a lot of money to be here and spent weeks, or even months, looking forward to your visit, so take your time and soak it all in. Take plenty of pictures, read all the information boards and watch the screens for information on the sets, props and effects.
Try not to miss anything. We almost walked right passed a small glass cabinet with some brilliant small props such as the time turner, a golden snitch and the philosopher's stone along with the deluminator and Rita Skeeter's pad and quill.
It's so easy to miss things, so make sure to take your time and look out for small little details.
14. Don't Let Other People Ruin Your Visit
The tour attracts thousands of visitors each day, so it's going to get crowded in places.
Other visitors will block your shots, walk in your way and bump into you. And you'll likely walk in the way of other people. Nobody likes crowds but knowing it will be crowded in advance can help ease any frustration you'll feel when you're there.
15. Take Plenty Of Breaks
As amazing as the tour is, it's also tiring. There are plenty of benches to sit on throughout the tour, so if you feel like having a break, take it.
Half way through the tour is the backlot café, where you can grab food, a drink and even some butterbeer (more on that next).
Don't do too much and get worn out. Some of our favourite sets were near the end of the tour and it would have been a shame if we were too tired to appreciate and enjoy them.
The benches are there for a reason, so if you feel like taking the weight off your feet for a few minutes, then have a rest and take a break.
16. Try The Butterbeer Ice-cream
Half way through the tour is The Backlot Café. If you have ever wanted to try butterbeer, now is your chance.
This is the only place on the tour where you can enjoy this frothy beverage, so don't forget to pick one up before you carry on the tour
(you can purchase bottles of butterbeer from the shop at the end of the tour, but if you're looking for the frothy, cold drink, it's exclusive to The Backlot Café)
And for £3 more, you can have your butterbeer served in a souvenir cup.
We really enjoyed our butterbeer, but definitely preferred the butterbeer ice-cream. You can have your ice-cream in a cone (which was delicious) or you can enjoy it from a plastic souvenir cup.
We hope this post has helped you plan for your visit to The Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making Of Harry Potter.
Do you have any other tips for the tour? Let us know!
If you have any questions about our visit, please ask them in the comment section below.