Trips // Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour

Leavesden
Areodrome Way
Watford
Hertfordshire
WD25 7LS

(Ticket Prices; Child: £23.50 / Adult: £31. You can also buy optional extras for a raised fee.)

Dum dum dum, dum dum dum, dum dum dum dum dum duuuum

My name is Louise, I'm 20 and I'm a bit of a Harry Potter geek. 
I own all of the books. The DVD's. The Gameboy games. The Nintendo DS games. The board games.. I think at one point I even owned my own Harry Potter wand and magic set but I'm not entirely sure where they went to. I've even reached Level 30 of Harry Potter on Quizup. Big. Fan.

I was four when Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published. Eight when the film came out. Whilst I can't remember reading the book at four years old (I imagine I would be a member of MENSA if I did) but I do remember going to the cinema to see the first film. I remember my Aunt falling asleep at the beginning and declaring it "a load of nonsense" when she woke up, despite only watching about ten minutes of it. I remember hopping out of my cinema booster seat utterly enthralled and then rushing home with my sister to play it. If I remember correctly, she was a chess piece and I was the Philosopher's Stone! I then have fond memories of going on holiday to Portugal and reading the first book within a couple of days as the weather outside continued to deteriorate. Memories hey?

Since then, nearly thirteen years ago, I have loved everything Potter related. Ask someone what their favourite film is - they might say The Notebook or PS. I Love You, mine is 100% HP. So, where better to go than to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford!

We booked our tickets a few weeks in advance which is essential, especially with the summer holidays coming up. You can't buy tickets when you get there so bear that in mind - I have seen many an angry family on Trip Advisor who made that error! Our tickets were slightly cheaper as we went in June (which is now fully booked) but the Studio's have raised their ticket prices for July.

You have to get there 20 minutes beforehand to make sure you have enough time to collect your tickets from the kiosk and to queue up ready for the tour to start so again, bear that in mind. When you reach the (free) car park you are greeted by a lovely and friendly member of staff who allocates parking for you. Alternatively, if you get the train to Watford Junction Train Station, you can hop on a shuttle bus for £2 return to be driven in style to the studios in a rather fetching Harry Potter bus. Personally I think they're missing a trick by not having purple buses but hey, they didn't ask me to help them plan it.

When you reach the studios not only can you hear the theme tune to Harry Potter blaring out of the Entrance but you also get the chance to see 3 chess pieces from the first HP film. It's all very exciting and makes you squeal a bit on the inside. The Entrance helps to build up the excitement with photos of the cast dotted around and even a model of the car used in The Chamber of Secrets. Whilst the restaurant doesn't serve Harry Potter themed food, the Gift Shop definitely makes up for it. The Gift Shop is a whirlwind of Harry Potter memorabilia. Everything you could want is in the shop and if your dream is to try on a Griffindor Robe then your dreams will definitely come true.

The tours themselves are staggered with half an hour in between each one with a designated number of people allowed on each tour. Unfortunately for us we were on the same tour with about 50 school children which, whilst I understand they were excited, so was I and although they didn't ruin the tour for us, they did let it down a little.  I won't spoil the surprise of the tour for you but it was very short, around 20 minutes. The rest of the time you are free to walk around at your own pace which is lovely. Because of that, I would say it was more of a Harry Potter museum rather than a tour but don't let that put you off.

Once you have broken free from the tour, you can have a little wander and have a look round at all of the fabulous clothes, props and memorabilia used in the films. On multiple occasions I asked my friend to make a scene so I could steal a few bits and bobs but alas, no. If I could have got my hands on anything then Fleur Delacour's dusky blue dress, cape and hat; Neville's dashing cardigan and Hermione's pink Ball dress would be coming home with me, let me tell you! 

I loved seeing all of the set pieces including a section of the Ministry of Magic, the boys dorm and the Gryffindor Common Room; the various masks used on the actors who played the goblins which I found really interesting and all of the hair and make-up accessories used on the actors. I loved Lucius Malfoy's long blonde wig which I really wanted to touch in a slightly strange way and they had a little table with a few of the make-up products that were used, including a selection of MAC products and a Simple make-up remover. I was dying to ask someone which shade of MAC blusher was used but I couldn't find anyone to ask - typical beauty blogger!

After a wander around the first building where we also got to see the Potions Classroom, the Weasley's Kitchen and an insight of how Quidditch was filmed, we entered the outside area which was completely overwhelming. Yes I knocked on the Dursley's front door and climbed into the Night Bus! We tried a Butterbeer which is an essential part of the tour in my opinion but it wasn't to my taste in the slightest which was a shame. 

Then came the last building where you can walk down Diagon Alley (a definite highlight) and see some of the illustrations and designs that the design team came up with when making the films. The last section of the tour was completely awe-inspiring and dare I say it, a little bit emotional. A massive, Hogwarts model which took 7 months to build. Words and photos cannot describe it but it's definitely the best way to end an excellent 3 hours. 

Our trip in the land of all things Harry Potter ended with a wonder around the Gift Shop and a trip to the restaurant which has free wi-fi meaning you can then post photos of your trip onto social media to brag to your friends about what you have seen. Lovely!

I completely and utterly recommend this Tour to those of you who are fans of Harry Potter. You will leave wanting to watch all 8 films back to back and go to sleep resentful of the fact that none of it is actually real. Well done J K Rowling, well done.

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