10 Best Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips for Families

July 12, 2022

If you’re big fans of Harry Potter like we are, you won’t want to miss the Harry Potter studio tour. It’s an absolutely amazing tour, and with the right Harry Potter studio tour tips, it will surely be an unforgettable one too!

As a family, we’ve been fans of Harry Potter ever since we first listened to the audiobooks on a cross-country road trip in the United States. So when we were visiting London with kids in the fall of 2021, of course we had to visit the Harry Potter studios.

We had so much fun on the Warner Bros. The Making of Harry Potter studio tour, and learned so much about the movies too. Now I’m excited to share my Harry Potter studio tour tips with you, so you can have a fun experience too.

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Dragon prop at the Harry Potter studio tour (September 2021)

Why we chose to do a Harry Potter tour while visiting London

As we were looking for activities to do to tour London, we knew we wanted to incorporate Harry Potter experiences into the trip. And while we often like to travel like a local, sometimes it’s fun to do touristy activities as a family, especially in new-to-us places.

We already had a Harry Potter walking tour in London planned, but we also wanted to do a more immersive Harry Potter activity. That's why the Warner Bros studio tour London experience was right up our alley.

Costumes for Professor Flitwick, Filch, and Hagrid (September 2021)

Is Harry Potter studio tour worth it?

At the time of this writing, Harry Potter studio tour tickets cost £49.95 for adults and £39.95 for kids, aged 5-15. You can also book a family ticket for £159, which will save you £21.

If you’re asking yourself, “is Harry Potter studio tour worth it for me and my family?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!” For Harry Potter fans, it gives you a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into the movies.

You’ll see sets, props, special effects, and all the production that goes into the movies that you love. For me, it gave me a deeper appreciation for the work that went into the movies and creating a world that looked so real on the screen.

From an education perspective, it’s a great way to show kids what goes into making movies. In fact, a few of my Harry Potter studio tour tips focus on how to make the tour educational for your kids. I always love finding unexpected opportunities for learning. 

Even if you're not familiar with the Harry Potter series at all, you'll appreciate learning about the movie industry during the studio tour. You can always brush up on your Harry Potter stories after the tour!

Here's the whole box set to buy before or after your tour: Harry Potter Paperback Box Set

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Magical currency props (September 2021)

What does the Harry Potter studio tour involve?

The studio tour is a self-guided tour of the Warner Brothers studio where the Harry Potter movies were filmed (they're planning a premium guided tour experience in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that). You walk through rooms where you can see sets from the movies, as well as props and costumes. 

Exhibits are organized by different areas: the Great Hall, interior sets, the Forbidden Forest, Hogwarts Express, to name a few. There are gift shops and cafes throughout the tour, so you can purchase snacks or souvenirs. 

There is also an outdoor area where you can see props like the Knight Bus or the exterior of the Dursley’s home. For an extra charge, you can also enjoy a green screen experience where you film yourself riding a broom. 

At the end of the tour, you’ll see a model of all of the Hogwarts grounds, including the castle and the Quidditch pitch. It’s the perfect way to cap off a fantastic tour!

With so much to see, it all might seem overwhelming. But fortunately, my Harry Potter studio tour tips can help minimize feeling.

The set of Privet Drive (September 2021)

Our top ten Harry Potter studio tour tips

Taking the Harry Potter studio tour is absolutely fun. In fact, if we were to do a Harry Potter studio tour review, we’d give it five stars! Regardless of whether you prep ahead of time or not, you and your family will be stunned by all the behind the scenes movie magic you’ll see on the tour.

But just to make your visit to the studio even better, I’ve put together these helpful Harry Potter studio tour tips. They definitely helped my family and me make the most of our experience. Now you can use these top tips for Harry Potter studio tour to make your trip memorable and educational.

Walking by the Hogwarts Express (September 2021)

1. Plan to spend the whole day at the Harry Potter studio tour

There are over 15 rooms to explore in the Harry Potter studio tour. And each room is filled with exhibits that are packed with information. With that in mind, one of my Harry Potter studio tour tips is to plan to spend the whole day taking the studio tour.

The website advises that the Harry Potter studio tour time needed is typically 3-4 hours. If you are visiting with little kids, this tour might take longer, since they may want to rest or take breaks. And if you want to go in depth into the exhibits you’ll definitely want to give yourself plenty of time. 

The Potions classroom set (September 2021)

2. Choose your must-see spots and pace yourself

Related to setting aside a whole day for the tour, one of my other Harry Potter studio tour tips is to prioritize your must-see exhibits. 

There is a lot of information in the studio tour and so many things to see, you’ll want to be picky about what you see. If you really want to see Gringot’s Bank or Diagon Alley, make sure you leave time for that.

Some of the sets you can see on the studio tour include The Great Hall, interior sets, the Potions classroom, Dumbledore’s office, and the Ministry of Magic. Plus, you won’t want to miss the props and special effects exhibits as well.

The flow of the tour goes one way, and you really can’t go backward against the flow of traffic. Study a map when you get there and pick the top must-see spots for each member of the family. That way, you can avoid disappointment and fatigue. 

The set for the Burrow, the Weasley family home (September 2021)

3. Visit the Warner Bros. Harry Potter studio during the week

The Harry Potter studio tour is quite a popular attraction in London. So there’s a high chance that you’ll see a lot of people on your studio tour.

One of my Harry Potter studio tour tips to avoid big crowds is to go in the middle of the week. That way, families are either working or in school. Additionally, you want to avoid coming during local school holidays.

Another tip is to come earlier during the day, preferably when it opens. That way, you’ll likely have less of a crowd. And once the crowds do pick up, you’ll be on the tail end of the tour.

Visitors at Diagon Alley (September 2021)

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4. Book the Harry Potter studio tour bus

It’s possible to take public transportation to get to the Warner Brothers studio. If you’re coming from Central London, take the underground to the London Euston train station. 

From there, take the train to Watford Junction (a 20 minute ride), and then the shuttle bus to the studio. Shuttle transport is included as part of your studio tour tickets. Depending on where you’re coming from in London, the journey can take up to two hours, one way.

In terms of transportation-related Harry Potter studio tour tips, an alternative and more direct option is to book the Harry Potter studio tour bus, operated by Golden Tours. The bus picks you up near the Baker Street station, near the Victoria station, or at the Kings Cross station and takes you directly to the studio. At the end of the day, you can take the bus back to London.

You can purchase this package from Golden Tours that includes tickets to the studio tour along with transportation:

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter With Transportation

Or if you have already purchased tickets for the studio tour, you can book the transportation only through Golden Tours.

The Harry Potter studio tour bus (September 2021)

5. Watch a Harry Potter movie ahead of time

What better way to get into the Harry Potter mood than by watching the movies? One of my Harry Potter studio tour tips to brush up on your Harry Potter movie knowledge is to watch some movies before your visit.

This will help you appreciate the details of the sets when you see them in person. Make note of your favorite movie scenes and see if you can find pieces of those scenes on the studio tour!

Here's a set of all 8 Harry Potter movies that you can buy and watch before your trip:

Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection

Inside the Knight Bus (September 2021)

6. Set a budget for yourself and your family

Whether you want to admit it or not, the studio tour is meant for tourists. And unfortunately, you’ll find that prices at the gift shops, snack cafes, and restaurants reflect that.

To avoid going overboard on food or souvenirs, one of my money-saving Harry Potter studio tour tips is to set a budget for yourself. Choose one or two things to buy, and be okay with saying no to the rest. Find cheaper places to buy your Harry Potter memorabilia when you get home.

Book props for the Harry Potter movies (September 2021)

7. Skip the long line for food at the Harry Potter studio tour

While we’re on the topic of money-saving Harry Potter studio tour tips, skip the long food lines and bring food from home to eat during your tour. That way, the only line you’ll have to wait in is the butterbeer line!

While the studio offers food at various cafes, you’re always welcome to bring your own food from home. Keep in mind, though, if you’re bringing your own food, there are designated places where you can eat. You’re limited to the Backlot Cafe area and the outside picnic area. 

The Hogwarts Covered Bridge at the backlot area (September 2021)

8. Listen to the audio guide to learn more about the movies

A free audio guide is included with admission to the studio tour. While some folks might skip out on the audio guide, we found it to be quite interesting and informative.

One of my Harry Potter studio tour tips to make the tour more educational for your kids is to use the audio guide to learn about how the props were made, how scenes were put together, and hear commentary from the directors and actors. This is a great accessibility option for kids who can’t read yet.

Listening to the audio guide during the Harry Potter studio tour (September 2021)

9. Do the activity passport 

Another one of my Harry Potter studio tour tips to get your kids even more engaged is to grab a complimentary activity passport. It’s packed with activities you can do during the studio tour.

One of the main activities is to collect passport stamps throughout the studio. There’s also a Golden Snitch scavenger hunt as well as more puzzles and activities. The activity passport is a great way to make learning fun.

The kids at Diagon Alley (September 2021)

10. Utilize the educational resources on the website

Continuing on the topic of learning, there are several more ways you can make the studio tour educational for your kids. As a worldschooling family, we love finding ways to enhance our travel experiences with learning opportunities.

My final set of Harry Potter studio tour tips is to make use of the website for more resources. The website has several lesson plans that you can download and do before, during, and after your visit. Topics include costume design, film production, and business.

This is a great way for families to incorporate learning into their studio tour experience and learn more about the film industry. The website also has activity worksheets you can download or print out. 

Additionally, you’ll want to check out the Harry Potter studio tour faq page to find answers to any questions you might have for your visit.

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Learning about the make-up process for movies (September 2021)

Using these Harry Potter studio tour tips to make your visit memorable

No doubt, a visit to the Warner Bros studio is absolutely worth it. And with these Harry Potter studio tour tips, you’ll have a truly unforgettable experience.

We loved visiting the Warner Bros studio, and still talk about it today. Our family has always been fascinated by the movie industry, so it was a real treat for us to be able to get behind the scenes insights into the movies we love.

If you’re planning a trip to London, make sure to include a trip to the Harry Potter studio. You will not be disappointed.

Have you done a Harry Potter studio tour London experience? What are your top Harry Potter studio tour tips?

Are you planning to visit London as part of a long term travel adventure? Get my family gap year guide, Hey Kids, Let’s Go Travel! for resources, advice, and actionable steps for planning your trip.

The 10 Best Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips For Families | The Wandering Daughter

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