A trip to London can be a fantastic family trip. Many of London’s landmarks like the London Eye and the Tower of London can be entertaining for kids and adults. One of our favorite stops on our recent whirlwind four-day visit was the Harry Potter Studios Tour. Here are 10 Harry Potter Studio Tour tips that will help you make your visit smooth and easy.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #1 – A Full Day Activity
Consider making this the only thing you do that day. Our tour time was at 3/3:30 so we did the London Eye in the morning. It was only doable because we did an express pass to cut the line at the London Eye. Even so we arrived there a little less fresh and energized than we would have preferred.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #2 – Getting There
The trip out there is long. We elected to do the Tube (10 min) to train(40 min), then take the dedicated Harry Potter bus (10 min). It was a lot of transferring and some decently long waits but totally doable. There are tour buses that get you there with fewer transfers but then you must leave and arrive on their time table. There are also car services that will take you and wait. This was super expensive through our hotel. If we were doing it again we’d consider Uber or just doing the train again.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #3 – The Food
The food at the commissary there is pretty decent. It was deemed yummy by both the adults and kids in our party. The Butter Beer on the tour was pretty darn tasty too. In case you are wondering it is a bit like cream soda. So if you opt to eat before the tour save a little room for this sweet treat.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #4 – How Long will It Take?
The programmed part of the tour only lasts about 15-20 minutes. After that you are left to wander around, look at the sets and listen to the audio guide. If you are dedicated to the audio tour it will take a couple hours at the bare minimum.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tip# 5 – What are the Best Parts of the Tour?
You will probably want to line up for the green screen video and photos of the kids riding
brooms or the whole family riding in the flying car. This will cost extra but is totally worth it. The photos you see of the kids on the broomsticks and us in the car are from that part of the tour. Remember, try a butter beer (pretty much tastes like a cross between cream soda and butterscotch soda). Walk through the train, the Knight Bus, and pretend you are on Track 9 & 3/4, Diagon Alley etc.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #6 -Headsets
At least a couple of the audio tour headsets are worth getting. Our kids are on the young side so the 6-year-old crew got less out of them. The 8-year-old who is also the biggest Harry Potter fan could have listened to the whole thing (the pace of walking through that way might have been glacial though).
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #7 – The Gift Shop
The gift shop is pretty awesome. It might be worth looking at before your tour starts so you can narrow down what you want by the end when a smidgen of the exuberance to buy EVERYTHING has passed. The wands were a huge hit in
our crowd. All the Harry Potter wands were sold out though. If someone in your crew has to have a Harry Potter wand they are available elsewhere. (We saw the Harry Potter wands in a couple shops in Paris. Presumably, they are available online too).
Before You Go…
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #8 Get Familiar with the Books
Invest some time before you go. Have your kids read (or read to them) the Harry Potter book series. We are super fans and own the boxed set and will probably start buying the new beautifully illustrated versions.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #9 Get Familiar with the Movies
Our routine was to read each book then let the kids watch the Harry Potter movies. That way they were prepped for some of the scarier parts. It was also a great way to get them to start thinking critically about the different mediums.
10 Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips #10 – Audio Books
Is your voice horse from trying to read these books allowed to your kids? Running out of time? Listen to a professional read these books to you! The Harry Potter audiobooks are now available for on Audible which makes the download process a snap. Jim Dale, a Shakesperian actor, does voices I could NEVER dream of achieving at a bedtime. The whole family will love listening to this on each road trip you take.
Have you gone on the Harry Potter Studio Tour? Do you have any additional tips? Please share them in the comments section below!