If you are a true Harry Potter Fans like us then this Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio is the ultimate tour you must visit. The museum is located in Leavesden, 20 miles outside London.
How to get there by public transport
- Shuttle bus from Watford Junction
These shuttle buses are powered by electric so your journey to the Studio Tour is carbon-free. This journey is included as part of your entry ticket. Regular shuttle buses operate from Watford Junction to the Studio Tour with a journey time of around 15 minutes. Buses run at least every 30 minutes from 9.20am (with additional services available from 8.15am when the first tour is at 9am). The last return shuttle bus back to Watford Junction will depart the Studio Tour when the Tour closes. Check the opening and closing calendar here.
- By Train
The Studio Tour’s nearest railway station is Watford Junction and direct services arrive there from both London Euston (20 minute journey) and Birmingham New Street (1 hour journey). Other non-direct train services operate from London Euston, but please be aware that these may take longer to arrive at Watford Junction. Oyster cards are valid between London Euston and Watford Junction.
- By Taxi
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has a drop off and pick-up point which you can navigate to using our postcode WD25 7LR or the What3Words app with the keywords ///grabs.intent.movies. The studio recommend only use pre-booked licensed taxis.
- Bus transfer from Kings Cross/Victoria/Birmingham from Golden Tour which you can purchase together with the entrance ticket. If you already purchased the ticket you can still book the transport separately here. If you want a full immersion of Harry Potter experience then I suggest you arrive in style with this bus.
Where do I buy the Ticket?
All tickets to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London must be pre-booked and access is only available to those with a valid booking confirmation. Standard ticket starts from £49.95 and it has limited availability so you need to book months in advance. We booked ours three months prior.
If standard ticket is already sold out you will need to buy the other package which has more availability like afternoon tea package with additional fee or buy the ticket thru travel agent.
The Studio often have theme events from time to time. Check the website if your visit coincides with any of the event.
What’s On for Q4 2022
Dark Arts: 23rd Sep – 6th Nov 2022
Hogwarts in the Snow: 12th Nov – 15th Jan 2023
Dinner in the Great Hall: 13th – 15th Dec 2022
What to expect during the tour
When you arrive at the Studio, you and your bags will be checked by security before entry. There is a cloakroom to put your coats and bags free of charge. You will then be able to step into the Studio Lobby which is already impressive.
You can see Harry’s room in Privet Drive in the lobby.
Facility available in the lobby:
- ATM Machine
- Toilet and baby changing facility
- If you arrive earlier than your allocated time slot, you can visit the Chocolate Frog Café, the Hub Café or Food Hall in the lobby. Lunch & afternoon menu is served until 8pm during holidays and weekends and until 5pm at all other times. Menu options include freshly prepared hot and cold meals such as soups, jacket potatoes, salads and sandwiches/baguettes as well as cakes, dessert pots and children’s Themed lunch boxes.
- Studio Shop. Access to the Studio Tour shop is only available to ticket holders.
When your allocated time slot opens, your tour will start where you can discover the followings:
1. Step onto iconic sets like the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest, Platform 9 3/4, Diagon Alley, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and Professor Sprout’s green house
2. Spot your favourite props from the film
- Potions Classroom: Over 950 potion jars line the walls of the classroom, each with unique props kept inside them including baked animal bones from a local butcher shop, dried leaves, herbs and shrunken heads made by the props department. Each jar features a label hand designed by Graphic Design duo MinaLima.
- Memory cabinet in Professor Dumbledore’s office: Nearly 900 memory vials and labels were created. Each label was hand-designed by the Graphics Department before being sent to the Props team who would put the label into place on each vial. Some of the memories seen in the cabinet feature familiar character names such as Argus Filch and Professor McGonagall.
- Professor Umbridge’s office: Great attention was paid to the inside of the only pink office in the Ministry of Magic, belonging to Professor Dolores Umbridge, including her collection of plates featuring various moving kittens. Over 130 plates were created for the office which involved filmmakers having to photograph and film real kittens with crystal balls, witches hats and balls of wool.
- Puking Pastilles: Stocking everything from Extendable Ears to fireworks, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes was designed to look like an 18th century storefront and took more than three months to build — and much of that time was spent constructing the 20- foot mannequin above the main entrance. 120 different products were designed by concept artists, each with nods to Fred and George’s mischievous sense of humour. The Puking Pastilles dispenser that can be seen at the Studio Tour was created by Head Propmaker Pierre Bohanna and was designed to be funny and disgusting at the same time.
- The Knight bus, Hagrid’s motor and Ron’s dad car
3. See up close the intricate detail hidden in every costume
- Quidditch: Filmmakers faced a huge challenge when turning the wizarding sport of Quidditch into a real sport they could capture on film. Quidditch uniforms evolved throughout the film series, going from thick robes in the first two films to lighter, sportier robes with the players name and number on the back in the later films. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Quidditch players were given modern tracksuit-style clothes for training sessions and elbow, knee pads and helmets were added to their match gear to reflect the violent nature of the sport.
- 19 years later: The final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 called for an older Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione to bring their children to King’s Cross station to send them off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, nineteen years later. When tasked with creating outfits for the scene Costume Designer, Jany Temime wanted to keep to a similar palette of pinks, oranges, blues and browns seen throughout the film series. Draco Malfoy and his family also feature in the scene and fans will notice that he is wearing his father’s ring and tie pin to show that he had taken over his father’s role within the family.
- The Yulle Ball: The Yule Ball held to celebrate Christmas and the Triwizard Tournament presented an opportunity for the Costume Department to create a more formal style of wizard wear. Costume Designer, Jany Temime designed over 300 costumes for the Yule Ball which required over 100 extra costume staff to help create. Creating Hermione’s iconic Yule Ball gown proved to be a daunting task for Temime. Taking three months to created, the final dress was made of yards of pink silk and 12 metres of chiffon, layered to form a beautiful, romantic gown. A kind of ‘Wizard’s Tuxedo’ was created for the Hogwarts boys in a satin silk while the Durmstrang students had military dress uniforms. Ron Weasley was the only exception with robes made from an old carpet fabric and acres of lace!
- Beauxbatons uniform: Led by headmistress Madame Maxime, the students of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic visit Hogwarts as part of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The “French Blue” fabric of the Beauxbatons uniform was chosen to stand out from the muted blacks, browns and greys of the other school colours. The iconic pointed Beauxbatons hat was designed and produced by renowned milliner Philip Treacy. After creating an initial model from canvas material, Treacy would send this to Paris for a wooden mould to be shaped to the exact measurements. This was used to create the final hat for each student.
4. Discover how the special and visual effects teams made Harry and his friends fly
- Chamber of secret door: Often mistaken for a Visual Effect, the Chamber of Secrets door is actually a fully operational door created by the Special Effects team based upon sketches provided by the Art Department. The articulated snakes slither along slotted tracks and are powered by an electric motor hidden behind the door. Each snake was individually cast in resin and painted before being attached to the door with careful thought so that each snake would retract at the precise time avoiding a collision.
- Invisibility Cloak: Gifted to Harry in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Invisibility Cloak features prominently in the films. Several different cloaks were made, including a version with a green fabric lining which allowed the Visual Effects Department to make Harry and his friends invisible in post-production. The cloak that can be seen at the Studio Tour was created from a special velvet fabric and printed Celtic symbols and ancient runes onto it by the Costume Department.
- Whomping Willow: The temperamental tree began as a sketch from the Art Department which then had to be made into a real Whomping Willow for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson and his team set about creating mechanically operated branches that would ‘whomp’ Mr. Weasley’s flying car. A full-sized tree trunk was built on set for the Whomping Willow’s appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with branches added digitally in post-production.
- Green Screen: Filmmakers often shoot visual effects scenes on a green screen, which allows them to replace the green colours with a completely different background or computer-generated set. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take part in our green screen experience and fly a broomstick over London just like the cast did during filming.
5. Learn how magical creatures were brought to life on screen thru creature effect
- The Basilisk that lives deep below Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was created through a mixture of Practical and Visual effects. A full-size practical Basilisk mouth was created by the Creature Shop to fight against in the final battle scene measuring up at 30ft long with jaws 3ft deep. The aquatronic model created was able to move allowing for less to be created via CGI. The model could even slither up a track to get close to Harry in the fight scene
- Buckbeak: Three life-size animatronic versions of Buckbeak the Hippogriff were created for the Harry Potter film series: one standing, another rearing and a third lying down. When creating the models of Buckbeak, each feather had to be individually inserted and glued by the Creature Effects team who were busy adding feathers right up until the final moment Buckbeak was needed on set for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The designers of Buckbeak took inspiration from real birds, specifically the Golden Eagle for the creature’s profile. They also consulted with vets and physiologists when looking at the proportions of Buckbeak’s legs and wings.
- Goblin heads: Goblins in the Harry Potter film series act as bank officials and tellers at Gringotts bank in Diagon Alley. Created by Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, and his team, each goblin was given a particular personality perceptible in their distinctive ears, chins and noses to ensure they all looked different. To create the scene inside Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, 140 make-up artists from all over Europe were needed to turn 60 actors into goblins in just four hours. Goblin prosthetics could also not be reused after they were removed at the end of the day’s filming and so multiples of every goblin head were created for each day of the shooting schedule.
- Aragog: Created by Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, with help from Production Designer Stuart Craig, Aragog had a leg span of over 18 feet and was even able to crawl out of a hole and deliver dialogue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Each of Aragog’s hairs was individually inserted by hand using a special needle using many different materials from brooms bristles and pieces of coconut to the centre of feathers. On set for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it would take over 15 people to operate the animatronic Aragog, four of which would be behind the scenes acting as puppeteers for the back four legs.
6. From technical drawings to scale models, learn how Hogwart Castle were created
The jewel in the crown of the art department is the intricately detailed model of Hogwarts castle. Built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the model’s every courtyard, tower and turret were filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create unforgettably realistic views of the magical school. Footage of this meticulously built model was combined with digital effects to create unforgettably realistic views of the exterior of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A team of 86 artists and crew members built the first version of Hogwarts castle for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. To make Hogwarts appear even more realistic, artists rebuilt miniature versions of courtyards from Alnwick Castle and Durham Cathedral, where scenes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were shot. The Hogwarts landscape is inspired by the Highlands of Scotland, including the regions of Glen Nevis, Glen Coe and Loch Shiel. Model makers installed more than 2,500 fibre optic lights, which simulate lanterns and torches and even gave the illusion of students passing through the hallways. Artists also used real gravel for rock work and boulders, and real plants for landscaping and trees. The work on the model was so extensive that if one was to add all the man hours that have gone into building and reworking the model, it would come to over 74 years.
The Studio also has outdoor section where you can buy butterbeer and walk around Privet Drive, Godric Hollow, Tom Riddle Gravestone and see more props
The Museum definitely lived up to our expectation and was the highlight of our London trip ❤️ Prepared to spend 2/3 of your day here and maybe longer!
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