Yes, finally, it was the D-day! The day when we visited Harry Potter Studio on our third day in London. As a big fan of Harry Potter, the boy was soooo………..excited that day. We woke him up early in the morning so we won’t be late because it would a long journey from where we stayed.
The nearest train station from the studio is Watford Junction. From Hammersmith station (this was the nearest tube station from our hotel), we took the District Line train to Earl’s Court (2 stops), then change trains and go to West Brompton (1 stop only), and then change train again to Willesden Junction and finally took the train to Watford Junction……..phew………. After that, we had to walk to a bus stop and ride the Harry Potter tour bus.
Another option is to take fast train directly from Euston to Watford Junction, but since we were staying quite far from Euston, we chose to take train to Willesden Junction and then to Watford Junction which had many stops. It cost us GBP 4.9 per person one way (which I think was also way cheaper than taking the fast train from Euston).
From Watford Junction, we went out to the bus station which located just outside the train station, and look for bus stop 4 (it can change, so please check again to find out where to wait for the bus) and wait for Harry Potter Studio Tour shuttle bus that would take us to the studio.
We had to pay GBP 2.5 per person to board the bus and we must also show our entrance ticket to the bus driver before we could purchase the bus tickets. Don’t loose the tickets as you will have to show them again to the bus driver on your way home. The tickets were for 2 ways journey by the way.
When waiting in the bus stop, daddy asked what was the bus number how would we know if the right bus was coming? And our answer: “Oh don’t worry, you will know, you can’t miss it……………” with big grins on our faces…………
And of course we wouldn’t miss it, we could see it even from far away, because the bus looked like this:
The shuttle buses were all double deckers, and of course we chose to sat on the top. The first bus of the day that we took was full of happy and excited people. Of course we were………….we were going to a very exciting place, were we not?. I am not a big fan of Harry Potter actually, but I also felt very excited that day. So, what was waiting for us there?
For your information, the entrance ticket to Harry Potter Studio Tour must be bought online through the website: www.wbstudiotour.co.uk. You can also check the shuttle bus schedule in this website.
We chose the earliest tour of the day, which was at 10 am (the best choice is to take the earliest time as possible in my opinion). Although there were many people visited the studio that day, we didn’t feel that it was overcrowded. Probably because it wasn’t holiday season yet, and we figured out that it could be very crowded when holiday started (thankfully, Singapore school holiday was ahead than most other countries, so we could start the holiday before everyone else did).
After we arrived, we still had to exchange our e-tickets in the ticketing machine before we could proceed to the entrance door for security checking. Although there was bag check, but we were allowed to bring food and drink (but only allowed to eat in the Backlot Cafe and not inside the studio).
We had to queue again before we could finally enter the studio. Look what we found when we were queuing:
We had to enter the studio in batches, and we were in the second batch. It was good though, because with so many people being in the first 3 rooms together will reduce the dramatic effect that we felt when we first saw The Great Hall. First, we entered the room with full of posters from Harry Potter movies from all around the world (in many languages). A very funny emcee did the greetings and asked us where we came from, and there were people from around the world such as Costa Rica, Portugal, Italy, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, USA, and even Singapore, and other countries too……………all the Harry Potter fans were in the same place, hahaha………Then he explained about the posters and did some introduction about making of Harry Potter Movies.
Then we entered another room (this time cameras were not allowed) when another funny staff greeted us. We saw some scenes from all Harry Potter movies and then, we finally could entered the first room that played a very important part in all the movies: (we stood in the front side, so we were among the first ones who entered the room)
The staff only gave us limited time and asked us to continue to another room before the next batch came, but we had enough time looking around and taking pictures actually. There were not many people in one batch, so we could still enjoy walking around and taking pictures in this huge hall.
Can you see that the hall looked empty? We could take pictures without worrying that other people might come into the scene. So its best to book the tour as early as possible so you don’t have to queue for a long time to enter the studio.
Aren’t you always salivating and feel hungry too when you read in the books all the food that was being served in the Great Hall? Pumpkin juice, fries, fruits, sandwiches, sausages, butter chicken, chicken drumstick, roast beef, roast mutton, etc………So, here’s an up close and personal look on some of the food on the dining tables that makes you want to be a Hogwart student just so you can join the feast:
PS: To be honest, I don’t know all the details about Harry Potter books or movies, so all the details here are provided by the boy who seems to remember every single detail and differences from the books and movies……………
When we entered the next room, we were greeted with this:
I remember the scene of when Ron was trying his suits for the Yule ball that his mother gave him and it was so funny. He said he looked like his aunt Tessie and smell like his aunt Tessie and to be honest: the suits was a big no no for him, hahaha…………
Next stop, we skipped everything else first and went straight to the photo booth (the queue would get longer, so went here first). We bought 2 printed pictures (the first one was the first photo on this post / the family picture), and the second one was this:
We bought the GBP 40 photo package which includes 2 printed pictures with soft copies (to be download at home), and a Harry Potter USB that shows the boy flying up high in the sky with a broomstick (the special effect was very good and the video taking process was very fun).
Once that was done, it was time to explore the rest of the room:
For children, don’t forget to ask a passport from the staff and then you can go snitch hunting, answer the questions (quiz) about Harry Potter, and even obtain stamps of all the 4 houses.
We then just took our time to explore the area full with costumes, broomsticks from time to time, accessories used by the casts, trophies, Goblet of Fire, the Philosopher Stone, Azkaban Prison number, and basically all things related to Harry Potter movies. This certainly will satisfy all the Harry Potter fans.
The boy also tried to do some magic stuff, like making the broomstick going up by itself (like in the fist movie when the first grade students learnt how to use broomstick for the first time with Madame Hooch). They had to say up and the broomstick would go up into their hands.
Don’t forget to try this too:
Next, we continued to the other side of the room:
After this, daddy asked if we were done and that was the end of the tour. And I said I don’t think so, there should be more. And yes, we were so not done yet. There were still lots of things to explore.
The Hogwarts Express departed from Kings Cross Station to Hogwarts in Scotland during the series.It took approximately 13 hours from one place to the other. Each compartment could fit about six people and six animals (my boy wrote these details as I never knew myself, hahaha…..).
We also tried the movie shoot and it was fun (we could buy the pictures after that but we didn’t as I took some photos with my iphone……….pssstttt, secretly of course)
According to the boy, the parents (me and his dad) were terrible actors during the movie shoot. We were supposed to be wizards but we took out muggle phone, we laughed and cheered during Dementor attack, and we didn’t speak English although we were supposed to be British Wizards. Wow, so many sins during the movie shoot, hahaha……….
Next, we arrived in Backlot Cafe to have our lunch. Of course we had to try the Butterbeer, the very famous drink from Harry Potter books and movies. It took some times to convince daddy that it wasn’t an alcoholic drink. Don’t worry, it is a non alcoholic drink, it is only rootbeer (mint coke) topped with vanilla ice cream (or maybe just cream).
From the Backlot Cafe, we could see the outside and couldn’t wait to explore all the excitements that awaited us. From our seats, we could see this very famous and big and tall bus that was known as the Knight Bus:
We though it was the end of the tour, but it wasn’t, and once again, there were still lots of things to see (this time would be an indoor tour).
And finally…………..DIAGON ALLEY…………to my surprise, it wasn’t as narrow or crowded as I imagined it would be. The road was quite wide and there were not so many people inside.
Harry Potter bought books from Flourish and Blotts, Hedwig from Eyelops Owl Emporium, quills from Scribbulus, school robes from Madam Malkin, a wand from Ollivander and potion ingredients from the Apothecary. So, here are the stores:
While we were there, we met primary school students and kindergarten students with their teachers. They were on a field trip to Harry Potter Studio. So my boy said: “Whoa………..it’s so good when you go to school in London, you go to Harry Potter Studio for your field trip………………” Yes, so true indeed………….
Although we didn’t want the tour to end, but we knew that the journey finally came to an end when we saw: The
Wand Shop and The Souvenir Shop……………
The shop sold clothes, books, wands, sweets, mugs, cushions, brooms, toys and many more. We spent quite a long time looking at all the super cute souvenirs and felt like we wanted to bring home everything……….
We went back to the same bus stop and took the shuttle bus back to Watford Junction. We showed the tickets that we bought earlier to the bus driver and didn’t have to pay anymore.
You will need at least 3 to 4 hours to finish the tour. The staff told us that once, a person spent 13 hours inside the studio and that was the longest time record up to that day. Wowwww……………….