Guest Blogger: Taking the Kids to the Harry Potter Studio Tours – UK

We have something pretty special to share.  Guest blogger, Janine from Families Magazine mentioned to me a few months ago that was going to the UK and wanted to know if there was anywhere in particular that we’d like her to check out for families.

We’re huge Harry Potter (HP) fans especially after our visit to Universal Orlando last year and so the HP Studio Tour was high on the list!

Janine was up for the challenge and here’s what she has reported back… Thanks Janine, over to you! 🙂


Guest Blogger: Janine from Families Magazine on Taking the Kids to the Harry Potter Studio Tours – UK

“Recently we were lucky enough to be in the UK visiting family so we took the opportunity to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tours in Leavesden, Hertfordshire. We took two 9-year-old boys who thoroughly loved everything about it. The tour, is not in London, so unless you are staying in Herts, you will need to travel out of London to get to the studios. The good news is, there is great public transport!

Getting to Harry Potter Studio Tours

If you are staying in London and don’t want to pay for the taxi fare (trust me, don’t! It’s completely unaffordable from London), you should catch the overground train from Euston directly to Watford Junction. There are direct trains every 20 or so minutes and (as long as you ensure you get on the express – please ask at the station) the train will take around 20 minutes. Once you are at Watford Junction leave the station out the main doors where you will see the bus stops. The studios run their own double decker bus right from the front of the station to the studio – and you can’t miss it – it is painted with the Harry Potter images – larger than life!

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Cost of tickets

I won’t lie to you – it isn’t cheap to visit the studio and do the tour.

Adult – £35.00

Child aged 4 – 16 – £27.00

Child under 4 – free (but you must book them a ticket)

Family ticket – (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children) – £107.00

You book a time to attend. You can stay for the full 14 hours if you book the earliest slot – it is not something that they ‘throw you out of’ after a certain time. We allocated about 3 hours from entry to departure, which was plenty for us.

What to expect

When you arrive you will need to wait for your ‘entry time’. You queue (there is always queuing!) and you are let in pretty much on time. We went on a week day after school, so it was pretty quiet… we appreciated the lack of crowd!

Upon entry you are shown a short movie on a large screen – essentially all the movies into an 8-minute blast of all the highlights to get you ‘in the mood’. Then the screen lifts and you are lead to huge doors. After a short introduction to what you are going to see, the doors open and you are literally IN the Great Hall.

You are allowed some time to stand there, mouth open, gawping at the fact that you are actually IN the Great Hall before you are ushered further inside and you collect yourself enough to take photos and study the displays.

After 10 or so minutes you are asked to move on, because the next group is coming through.

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What happens next……

I won’t go into massive amounts of details about what you will see… suffice to say there are sets, props, costumes, animations, robotics, special effects, photo opportunities, an eatery as well as a gift shop.

Watch the video for the highlights including Diagon Alley

Are the Harry Potter Studio Tours suitable for kids of all ages?

Yes… and no! We took two 9 year olds who loved it and 3 hours at the location was long enough. If you are travelling from London, you will need to allocate the whole day. Consider travel time, waiting time (for trains, buses, in queues) and viewing time.

There are plenty of interactive activities across the studio, trains to climb on, cars to climb in and bridges to run across.

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There is a café about ¾ the way through the tour which proved to be most useful for our dinner that evening.

Would I recommend Harry Potter Studio Tours to families?

Yes! My son hadn’t been introduced to the world of Harry Potter prior and is now devouring the books faster than I can watch the movies. If it gets them reading….

“The stories we love the best

do live in us forever,

so whether you come back by

page or by the big screen

Hogwarts will always be there

to welcome you home.”

J.K Rowling


Credits

This guest blogger review was supplied to us by Janine Mergler Editor of Families Magazine.  It has been shared by way of collaboration only with our site, Jetsettting Kids, so that we can continue to inspire families to travel with kids.

Families Magazine is an A4 glossy magazine printed every 2 months and distributed in our hometown of Brisbane, along with Ipswich, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

For more from Families Magazine, check out their site www.familiesmagazine.com.au

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