I got the choice recently to either go on the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour or do a normal day’s work.
I’m not a huge Potter fan but have read some of the books and seen most of the films. It was always going to be an easy choice.
I don’t think you need to be a huge Harry Potter fan to enjoy seeing the studio. I had a great day, seeing the real sets, walking down Diagon Alley, trying Butterbeer and generally going behind the scenes of such a huge film series. It was eye opening to see that some people love Harry Potter (or dressing up) so much that they go to the studio tour dressed up in wizard cloaks and ginger wigs.
With the entrance fee alone costing £28 per single adult (which cheekily rises by a pound from 1st January), this was not a cheap day and the best way to prepare for it (apart from saving up) is by knowing in advance that this will not be a cheap day. The shop proved tricky as we all wanted to buy something for ourselves or friends, but even the cheapest price levels of merchandise were not cheap, or great quality. If you go, try not to think about the wads of cash you are spending, only take children if they are old enough to really make the most of it, and try not to get lured in to the extra money spinners.
It was obvious that most of the people surrounding us were prepared on the money front. We saw whole crowds of ‘lurees’ queuing to dress up as Hogwarts students and perform acrobatics on a broomstick in front of blue screens, and then spend even more money taking home the 7 x 5 inch photographic print or DVD of the experience. We also noted that there was no language barrier, and that this small film franchise was raking it in thanks to guests from all over the world.
As you’ve already read, this is no cheap outing. But days out of this kind rarely are. And if you are interested in the making of a phenomenally successful British film which cast most of our favourite British actors, kept extras in work for a decade, and made millionaires and very important people out of its main protagonists and crew members, this tour is a great place to start. Its magic definitely worked on me as, once I had managed to dodge the shelves of films in the tour shop, I came home and bought the 8 film set from Amazon to watch over the holidays.
And if you like triple decker buses in beautiful vivid purple (I didn’t know how much I did until I came to these studios), this tour is a brilliant place to start.
To book tickets and find out more, visit the Warner Bros website here. Quickly, before the entrance fee magically goes up again.