Friday, 18 September 2015

The Warner Bros Studio Tour, London

You may remember I mentioned in this post about my plans for September that I really wanted to go to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London for my birthday; I've been a massive fan of Harry Potter since I was about eight and I'd wanted to do the tour since it opened. Now my birthday isn't actually until the end of the month but it falls on a weekend which was pretty much all booked up already, so we decided we'd go early. We booked our tour for 2pm on a weekday, and one four-hour drive later we arrived, like giddy children on a school trip! I honestly had an incredible day (despite a migraine which meant I wasn't able to use the digital guide thingy) and thought I'd share some of my photos in case you missed my obsessive snapchatting my way around... First, though, I will say that I'd avoided spoilers before I went which definitely added to the magic - so if you haven't been and do plan to, I'd maybe skip this post!! This is going to be pretty photo-heavy, I have done my best to whittle them down (I took hundreds) but there are still a fair few...
Dumbledore Snape & McGonagall Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Hogwarts Letter Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Mirror of Erised Warner Bros Studio Tour LondonInvisibility Cloak Warner Bros Studio Tour London
We weren't 100% sure on what we were in for; despite being described as a "tour", the website states that you can spend as long as you like in the attraction, which led us to think it wouldn't be a traditional tour with a guide. It turned out we were right - the building is laid out like a tour which you follow round, and you can pay extra to hire a digital guide which gives you more information and facts as you walk around. I did find that there was so much to look at and read that I was struggling to remember to watch/listen to my digital guide even before the migraine kicked in, but I think they're a nice addition to the tour and certainly, if you've been before, I think they'd be a nice way to get something new from the experience. The batteries obviously weren't up to how long we spent there, though, as my brother's died pretty early on and again almost at the end, by which point mine and my mum's had also given up the ghost.
Neville's Cardigan Warner Bros Studio Tour London
The Burrow Warner Bros Studio Tour London
I found that most of the staff were really knowledgeable and helpful - one girl spent about ten minutes showing us the special effects make-up and talking to us about the wigs, costumes and so on, which was so interesting. In all, we spent around six hours in the tour itself, and a further 45 minutes or so in the gift shop. We paid £33 each for our tickets which I do think is reasonable - there is so much to see! Once inside, you're not supposed to eat or drink apart from in the designated cafe, which we found to be very overpriced. You can take your own food and drink in with you, though you'd have to carry it round with you. I really wanted to try some Butterbeer but by the time we reached the cafe I was feeling pretty dreadful and something so sweet seemed like a really bad idea - so I'll definitely have to go back!
No4 Privet Drive Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Potters Cottage Godric's Holow Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Azkaban Prisoner Number Warner Bros Studio Tour London
The gift shop was also amazing, with so many things to look at. Some of the items seemed really reasonably priced and others (namely the sweets - I would have loved a chocolate frog but wasn't up for paying £7 for one!) massively over-priced - I guess that's gift shops for you. I did think, though, that most of what they were selling seemed to be really good quality, rather than your typical cheap gift shop tat, which is nice - there were a few kids' bits and pieces that maybe weren't so great (fibre optic broomsticks?) but for the most part, things were quite nice. I didn't actually buy anything, but my brother did get me a Hogwarts scarf as an early birthday present ♥ I originally wanted a stripey Gryffindor scarf but they'd sold out, but then I think I like the Hogwarts one more anyway!
Chamber of Secrets Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Borgin & Burke Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Charity Burbage Warner Bros Studio Tour London
I have to admit to having got a bit teary-eyed a few times; when we first went into the Great Hall right at the beginning of the tour, at the Potters' cottage in Godric's Hollow and, without giving too much away, at the castle towards the end. I also found seeing Dobby in a little glass cabinet quite emotional - I've been told this is weird but hey!
Quidditch Balls Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Potions Warner Bros Studio Tour London
We had an amazing day out, it was well worth the money spent and the ten-hour round trip to get there and back, and I'd definitely visit again in the future! If you're a Harry Potter fan then I really would recommend a visit, as it's so interesting to see how the films were made - not to mention the sheer volume of props, costumes and so on, all in one place. I don't think it'd be much fun for very young children but I know I'd have loved it aged eight, so I reckon if your kids are fairly good readers and like Harry Potter, they'd enjoy it, though you may not get away with spending six hours there... Have you been to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour? Is it somewhere you'd like to visit?

xo

11 comments:

  1. We went a while back (I wrote a post on it too) and we loved it. My favourite parts were Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts model (which I just stood starring at for what seemed like forever because it's so magical even as an adult lol). Did you see the train? It's been added since we went and I've secretly been wondering if it's worth going back again so I can see it haha. Em x
    http://themusingsofem.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Oh yes I totally agree about the castle - it's so beautiful!! Yes we saw the train & went on it, although it was actually stored at my local train station before they took it down to the Studios, so I'd already seen it haha! I'd say it's worth going back though, it's really well set up & you can have photos taken in it with the backdrops shown through the window behind you :) xo

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  2. I really want to go to the harry potter studios - I love the films and books x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

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    1. It's an amazing day out Heather, I'd definitely recommend a visit if you can! xo

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  3. I went here a couple of years ago and had the best time. I couldn't believe how fabulous it was!! xxx

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  4. The look on your face at Privet Drive is priceless x

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  5. This was pretty much one of the biggest highlights of my entire life. Harry Potter's been apart of my life for more than half of it and I've loved every minute of it. I went for my birthday last year and I'm already desperate to go back. I really want to books for Christmas. I'd love the originals but they are mega pricey xx

    Kate | A British Sparkle

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  6. I went a couple of years ago too, and your post has just reminded me how wonderful it was! I'd love to go back. The Great Hall is amazing isn't it. Really takes your breath away. I loved Diagon Alley too. Thank you for the fab photos! I didn't buy anything when I was there, but remember the excitement of just wandering round the gift shop!

    Thank you also for leaving your giveaway on my link up.

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  7. I know the Mrs is hankering to go, I am not a Harry Potter fan and think it would bore me so I am hoping she manages to convince a friend to go with her ha!

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  8. This looks amazing! I definitely want to visit it x

    Laura
    Pink Frenzy

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  9. I went a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it but I definitely need to go back now the kids are a little older and know and love potter that much more!

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