There is no such thing as being too old to become a wizard! I have wanted to go to Harry Potter world for years and with my time in London coming to an end there was no way I was leaving without going!
You absolutely need to book for this. We were going to go about 3 weeks ago but ticket availability was not going our way – I can only imagine what it would be like in school holidays time.
The first important thing to note, after booking ahead, is that it is not actually in London. You’re going to have to head out to Watford and then jump on the Harry Potter bus out to the studio. It’s not too hard though and the buses are frequent so there is no reason for that to put you off.
Neither should the ticket prices. At £39 for an adult they do seem quite steep but actually I think cost per hour ends up ok (though that is easier to say when I am just paying for me). When we arrived they explained that the tour takes about 3 hours, though it is self guided so you set your own pace. My attention span is not a 3 hour thing so I had no intention of being there that long. You can imagine my surprise when I ended up being there 3.5 hours without even realising it. And it could have been way longer if I had read any of the information boards (definitely not for me, it was more of a visual experience).
The display is made up of the actual sets and props from the filming and you can’t help but feel the excitement of the movies as you go around looking at things. There’s a small amount of interaction but this place is really not about that so do not expect rides or playing with stuff.
There are plenty of photo opportunities and even with the crowds you don’t feel like you are crammed in there. I think it’s fair to say that the studio is a bit like Hermione’s bag – there’s so much crammed in there you wonder how it is possible from the outside.
There’s only really 2 points where you wait a bit
1. For you photos with the brooms
2. To board the Hogwarts express
Neither of these taking too long
The photos available for purchase sit in the range of normal prices. £14 for 1 & £7 for additionals, and you have to do it! You can’t go all the way and not get a few cheesy pics! In gear news, they also give you them on digital.
At the half way point it’s a stop for butter beers. Little tip: you do not have to queue in the butter beer queue, you can order at the food counter which for us was a lot quicker. I would recommend sharing, this stuff is just sugar in a glass
Once you finish up there is the obligatory exit through the gift shop. What a massive gift shop! I had to remind myself I absolutely did not need a sorting hat
Or even just a Blair Waldorf style head band
The one thing I wish I did get was the Christmas bauble that was at the half way shop because there were none in the final one.
All in all, Harry Potter world is a fun day out. I can’t wait to try the one in LA where apparently you can go in all the little shops like you are actually there