THE WARNER BROS STUDIO TOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE
Open: Everyday: 9:00AM to 10:00PM
Time Needed: 3 hours,
Warner Bros may be a household name thanks to producing some of the most famous films in history, but the London Warner Bros Studio Tour at Leavesden Studios is famous for one thing and one thing only: The Making of Harry Potter.
Located about 20 miles from central London, Leavesden Studios served as a key filming location for some of the most iconic scenes in all eight of the Harry Potter films. Over a span of ten years, approximately 588 different Harry Potter sets were constructed at the studio, with the most notable being Hogwarts’ Great Hall for Harry Potter And The Philosophers’ Stone (which was one of the first sets to be built at the studio), Dumbledore’s office (as seen in Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets), and the massive Ministry of Magic (which apparently took nearly 22 weeks to build for Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix).
Once filming wrapped for the final Harry Potter film, the studio was left with so many artefacts and studio sets, Warner Bros decided to expand the studio to develop The Making of Harry Potter into a permanent exhibition in 2012. Thanks to the exhibition, nearly 6,000 Harry Potter fans from all over the world visit the studio each day to see some of the many iconic costumes, props and sets that were used in the Harry Potter films over the years.
From taking a stroll along Diagon Alley, to going aboard the Hogwarts Express, the Warner Bros Studio Tour will make Harry Potter fans feel more spellbound than Neville Longbottom being cast with the Full Body-Bind curse after catching Harry, Hermione and Ron sneaking out of their dormitories.
Visitors will get the chance to glance over portraits in Dumbledore’s office, stare at boxes upon boxes of wands in Ollivanders’ Wand Shop, and even get up close and personal with some horrifying deatheaters and Aragog, Hagrid’s beloved massive, hairy spider. You can also see Harry Potter’s bedroom under the stairs at Privet Drive, Hogwarts school uniforms, and even bump shoulders with Dumbledore, Mad Eye Moody, Dobby and Harry Potter himself.
Not just limited to the tour, visitors can also try out some delicious Butterbeer at the backlot area, buy some chocolate frogs at the Studio Shop, and even take a ride on a broomstick in a green screen technology room so you can take a photo home with you as a souvenir.
If you're worried about getting to and from the studio from central London, when purchasing your tickets on the official website, click on the box with three lines on the top corner of the screen to include transfers to and from the studio.
If you're on a budget, Golden Tours offers transportation to and from the studio for as low as £50 if you choose a later entry time.
If you take any photos during your visit, make sure you use the hashtag #WBTourLondon when sharing them on Twitter and Facebook!
Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden WD25 7LR, United Kingdom (See map).
There are direct services from London Euston (a 20-minute journey), and Birmingham New Street (a one-hour journey).
By Shuttle Bus
There are connections via Mullany's Coaches from the Watford Junction train station which costs £2.50 per return journey, and the last bus departs from the studio 20 minutes before closing time. In order to board the shuttle bus, you will need to show the driver your tour booking confirmation, and you must pay in cash as credit cards are not accepted. Also, try to arrive at the station at least 45 minutes before the time on your ticket.
Also offer direct and hourly return transfer ticket packages which cost £66 (which includes entry into the studio and tickets for the studio tour).
Recommended visiting time is around three hours, but if you’re a hardcore Harry Potter fan, you might find yourself spending as long as five hours strolling around the entire studio. During the busier periods, be prepared to wait in a queue around 15 minutes to 30 minutes before entering the venue.
All tickets for the studio tour must be purchased beforehand, and you can collect your tickets at one of the ticket windows outside the studio before entering. You can receive your ticket confirmation either by post or by e-mail, and must show your confirmation to the Car Park Team upon your arrival.
It is highly recommended that you arrive at the studio 20 minutes before your reserved time slot, and be aware that your bags will be searched upon entry by security personnel. If you arrive extra early for your tour, you can access the Studio Cafe or the Studio Shop before you begin your tour.
There are storage facilities for coats, bags, pushchairs and small suitcases that are free of charge in the studio’s lobby cloakroom, and toilet facilities located throughout the studio.
In the studio’s backlot area, visitors can purchase a cup of Butterbeer (a non-alcoholic beverage), and munch on shortbread and butterscotch. You can even take home your Butterbeer stein as a souvenir for £6.95.
There are digital guides available in nine different languages, as well as souvenir guidebooks and activity passports for children which can be picked up at the lobby.
Tour times vary depending on what time of the year you visit, however you can expect the first tour to start between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and the last tour to start anywhere between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Tickets for the Warner Bros Studio Tour cost:
Digital guides are available for £4.95, and can be pre-booked with your tickets so you can pick them up once you arrive at the lobby. If you are travelling in a group of three or four people, there are discounted group packages of Digital Guides available for £12.95.
Souvenir Guidebooks are also available for purchase and cost £9.95.
If you are checking out the Warner Bros Studio Circus you might also want to join any of the free London tours that are available on offer.