Warner Bros Studio Tour London

I actually did the Warner Bros Studio Tour London in July 2019 - and before that I went in October 2012, blogged about here and here - but looking at what's there now compared to when I went last year, things still look to be the same. So I'm writing this long over-due post and we can all pretend I went recently.

Since I last visited in October 2012, which is the year it opened, things have changed and things have been added. For a start, there's a completely new entrance and two new cafes in that entrance area - the Chocolate Frog Cafe and the Food Hall. We just grabbed a drink and something sweet there after we'd explored, but if you're after a meal, mains are around £11-12. If you're after a Butterbeer, you can only have this once on the tour, from the Backlot Cafe.

Once you've gone through the entrance queue and watched some videos, you'll emerge into the Great Hall. Which looked as enchanting as ever. This is the only bit on the tour you are limited in how much time you can spend there as, obviously, there are other people just behind you watching the videos, waiting for the Great Hall doors to open so they can also have a nosey around. 


We left the Great Hall to look at the costumes, peek in Dumbledore's office, The Burrow's kitchen, the Gryffindor common room and dorm, Snape's classroom, Hagrid's hut, Professor Umbridge's office, as well as a few more places. This is also the area where you can get your photo taken at the green screens on a broomstick or in the flying Ford Anglia. It's going to cost you at least £14 just one for photo; it goes up to £40 for more photos and a video. (We didn't bother.)

After this is the Forbidden Forest, which was something new for us - it's a nice addition but not the biggest section. From there we emerged on Platform 9 3/4, another new thing for us at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London, though we've seen a version of this at Universal Orlando. The train doesn't move like it does at Universal, but you can explore inside it. Remember to pose going through the platform at "King's Cross" - the queue will be much shorter than at King's Cross itself!

Leaving Platform 9 3/4 brings you to the Backlot Cafe - remember, this is the only place you can get a Butterbeer from - and the backlot itself. The Knight Bus, the bridge to the Owlery, 4 Privet Drive and the Potter's Godric Hollow cottage are all here. You can now go in 4 Privet Drive, which wasn't possible when the studio tour first opened, but if you've been to the House of MinaLima in central London, it will feel pretty familiar with the letters. 


After the backlot you can poke around the arts department and learn more about the creature effects, and then it's time for Gringotts. This is another new area and it's pretty cool - especially the dragon after the vaults! The level of detailing in this area is pretty epic (again, we've seen a version of this at Universal - the main tellers area is also the entrance to the awesome Escape from Gringotts ride, which was my favourite Harry Potter ride at the park) - and this bit really feels like you're in Gringotts and not on a set (unlike Diagon Alley).

Gringotts Vault, Warner Bros Studio Tour London

Diagon Alley, as you can see, is just a small section of it - and you can't go in any of the shops. After that though is the rather impressive model of the Hogwarts Castle (pictured at the top), then Ollivanders, and that's your lot. The tour definitely feels a lot grander compared to when it first opened, and you can easily spend half a day here if you take the time to read everything in detail and have food (the longest queues were for the cafes). We spent three hours there, so I'd say that's the minimum amount of time your visit should be.

But, you can't just show up. You need to book a timed slot in advance - and you'll likely need to book several months in advance (pre-COVID times, anyway). Adult tickets currently cost £47; it's £38 for a child's ticket. To get there we took the train from Euston to Watford Junction (which takes 20 minutes), then got an Uber as there were four of us and that worked out cheaper (and quicker) than taking the shuttle bus (the bus is £5 return). If you're driving, parking is free.

If, like me, you haven't been since it first opened, I'd recommend visiting again, though it will probably be another seven years before I return... depending on what comes next there, of course! If they open rides like they have at Universal, we'll definitely head back sooner. 

Have you been to the Warner Bros Studio Tour London? x

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