Who doesn’t know Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived? I read about him on J.K. Rowling’s novels on 2004, on my second year of Junior High School. The novels were quite pricey, so I, as well as some of my colleges, chose to borrow them from my friend and, due to high demand while the supply was really low, it was quite a queue back then. No wonder I was ecstatic when my hubby suggested to include the Warner Bros Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in our UK Itinerary. Little did we know that to enter tour, we need to purchase the ticket early. I guess even today, 13 years later, the queue was still long (-_-). I almost broke down in tears, but luckily we found an empty slot provided by a tour agency.
So, for those Harry’s diehard fans, I wrote this post so you guys will be much more well-prepared in attending this tour.
- Ticket. Because there are only limited number of tickets sold (590 tickets per session, and there are only two sessions per day), as soon as your UK visa is approved, please buy the ticket through official website of WB Studio Tours. Alternatively, if you couldn’t get the ticket just like we did, you can buy the package offered several WB-approved tour operators. Their ticket price can be three times higher, but they usually offer a guided tour throughout the studio. In my case, we purchased the packages from City Wonders Tours that cost us USD 367 for two people. That already includes two return train tickets from London Euston to Watford Junction (£46) and shuttle bus between Watford Junction and the studio (£5). I was initially a bit upset by their price, but their guide, Matthew, was very knowledgeable about everything the studio has, and gave us a detailed explanation. So I guess it was worth it after all, because without the guide, we wouldn’t know half as much.
- Since WB Studio was huge, morning session is the best time to visit so we have ample time to explore the venue and its exhibits. We come along way from London not just to see fellow visitors, do we?
- Don’t forget to ask for Harry Potter passport. The passports were provided by the studio for the children. This passport will be stamped in certain posts within the studio. Although intended for children, you guys adults need not to be ashamed to ask for the passport because it’s a worthy collectible. While we were in the queue, I repeatedly reminded my hubby to ask for one, but alas, we forgot to ask!
- After the security checking area, we were guided to enter a theatre room with several rows of seats. My advice: take the front row, for right after the short introductory clip, the screen will roll up and suddenly you will face the gate of Hogward’s Great Hall. This dramatic event succeeded in making me, as well as several others fans, bursted into tears, and I had goosebumps when they opened the gate. By sitting at the front row, you are guaranteed to experience much more dramatic effect.
- Don’t forget to bring your own snack! WB Studio has cafetaria which sells sandwich, hotdog, etc, but since I am the kind of people who can’t hold their hunger, I brought some cookies and biscuits to munch while we waited in the queue. Oh and one more thing: the cafetaria sells Butterbeer! You can buy it either in a £7 souvenir mug or in usual £3 plastic glass. Should you choose to buy the souvenir glass, then don’t forget to also prepare a plastic bag so the butterbeer leftover won’t stain your bag.
- Take enough rest while you are in the cafetaria, because after it, there are still Diagon Alley and CGI areas that describe in detail about the making of Harry Potter the movie.
- Discipline on your budget! This is serious, as the souvenirs in the shop are quite expensive. Hogwarts’ jacket is sold for £80, the mantel is for £60, wands are for £25 each, and one fridge magnets costs you £9. So, keep calm and keep shopping wisely.
That’s a few tips from me. You are more than welcome to add more by leaving your comments below.
Note: The number of tips resembles to the number of horcruxes, but that was purely coincidental.