Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter Revisited Part 2

By Elie - 1:30 PM

As mentioned, I decided to make a part 2 to my trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter. If you haven't had the chance to catch the first part, I'd recommend clicking here

The Backlot Burger


Picking up from where I last left off, the next stop - much to the joy of my other half's stomach, was The Backlot Cafe. This indoor-outdoor eatery was also the only place you could enjoy a fresh butterbeer around the studio, so you definitely wouldn't want to miss out. 

To nobody's surprise, prices have obviously gone up since my visit 7 years ago with Butterbeer choices starting at £6.95 for the order with a souvenir tankard (as pictured) or £3.95 for the one with a disposable cup. We opted for one of each other so we could both drink to our hearts' content and still keep a tankard. I also ordered their signature Backlot Burger without the onion, which was surprisingly delicious for food from an attraction.

Hello from our new home, we promise we're better than the Dursleys!

"No post on Sundays, ha!"

As you exit from The Backlot Cafe, you'll be greeted by numerous familiar sights - one of which is the 4 Privet Drive home that the Dursleys live. The last time I was at the studio, this attraction was simply an empty shell outside so I was quite happy to see we could now walk inside the building. You'll first come across the flying letters scene from Harry Potter and the Philosophers' Stone before popping into the kitchen for a sight of Aunt Marge blowing up in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 

"Yeah, yeah take it away Ernie!"

Apparently, this is my life motto

The Knight bus was another fixture I'd seen before, but this time they added features like honks and sounds from scenes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This fan favourite may have only appeared in one of the 8 Harry Potter movies, but it did leave quite an impression in everyone's minds. In fact, I feel like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban may well be my favourite movie of the lot.

Ready for a ride?

When leaving the outdoor area, you'll come across two photographic hotspots that never fails to gather a queue. Hagrid's bike (pictured) where he ferries Harry in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:Part 1 is one of the spots, while the other is Mr.Weasley's blue car from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The good thing, however, is you never have to worry about who will take pictures for you as visitors seem to have built a person-help-person system there. That means when the person in front of you asks you to take a picture for them, you quickly ask if they can do the same for you after. This works about 100% of the time but of course photographic skills may vary so don't be too picky with the results!

A costume from the set, supposedly worn by Draco Malfoy (played by Tom Felton) in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Costumes for Warwick Davis who played (from L > R) Professor Flitwick, a goblin from the Gringotts bank, and Griphook respectively

Popping into the second part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, you'll see some notes on how they created animatronics and costumes for characters that needed them. Think items like mandrakes, the Monster Book of Monsters, and of course the very grand Buckbeak the hippogriff. It was lovely to be taken behind-the-scenes on how these were created, and for a fan it must feel like a dream come true.

Just here to take out all my Galleons, Knuts, and Sickles!

To minimise spoilers, I won't be posting the video I took of the spanking new Gringotts Bank set they've added to the studio tour. I will, however, just say that it looks just as magical as you can ever imagine Gringotts to be and it's definitely not like our boring muggle banks. The intricate details they've put into every counter, every light, and every prop piece like papers and such was really mind-blowing, and all I can say is that I truly hope every fan can see this for themselves.

Walking past the bank, we were also treated with a look into the Lestrange Vault before coming "face to face" with the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon that guarded Gringotts Bank. It felt like a blast from the past to relive moments from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, but that's all that I'd tell you about the magic of this new addition to the studio.

Nothing more magical

Once you've moved away from the bank, you'll find yourself walking down the cobblestoned roads of Diagon Alley where Harry and the lot would purchase their wizarding needs. Think amazing stores like Ollivanders, Quality Quidditch Supplies, and of course the very best of all: Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. 

Before you exit the experience, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter gives you the ultimate, unforgettable piece - a scale model of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry itself. This time, you'll also see projections around the castle, though I'm not sure if it's a special piece to celebrate the Magical Mischief theme of the season.

Hello, it's Max again!

Once you've soaked in every magical feeling you can, you'll find yourself at the gift store of the studio tour. Unfortunately, like most attractions, many items here are way too overpriced. We did end up with a customisable trinket for £15 in the end, but sadly left behind a plush Monster Book of Monsters that was priced at £60.

We made our way back to Watford Junction by hopping on the shuttle bus provided by the studio tour, but unlike the last time I visited, the ride was included in my ticket price this time. Buses come at an interval of 15 to 30 minutes, so the wait doesn't have to be long unless you leave when everyone else does. Rides are quick and comfortable, taking just 20 minutes until you're at Watford Junction and ready for your next destination.

Watching Filch move

Overall, I would say it was a £49.95 well spent for each of us at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter. I do have some tips for you if you're planning a visit so hang on to your seats for this.
  • They have a free cloakroom for your jackets and a bag storage if needed, but bear in mind you can't come back out of the tour if you need something midway. Think carefully if you may need your jacket for the short outdoor experience at The Knight Bus or if you're okay to stand in the cold for a bit. The same goes for your bag, because it means you might have to hold onto your Butterbeer tankard for the entirety of the second-half of your tour.
  • You're welcome to rent an audioguide for the tour from £4.99 onwards, though prices will go down the more units you rent. I don't actually recommend the audioguide, however, as I felt the system was rather clunky and the information was outdated. The tour itself has signs put up for fun facts or you're always welcome to chat with the friendly guides along the studio for more details.
  • Wearing very comfortable shoes is extremely important for the experience, because you almost don't get to sit down unless you're that done and you don't mind the floor. Toilets are also scarce, so use one the moment you see it regardless if you "need" it or not.
  • Always pre-book your tickets online. You're not allowed to even approach the studio parking area if you don't have your tickets already pre-purchased. Be ready to produce an e-mail confirmation of your booking when entering, it saves you and the staff a lot of time.
And that, is the end of my 2 part series to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter revisited. If you ask me, I'd definitely go a third time but only for reasons such as theme that would interest me. I've heard wonderful things about the studio tour experience during Christmas, but I can imagine tickets are sold out way too far in advance and traveling during holiday seasons are typically way more expensive anyway. 

But one can hope, so hopefully I can write about my adventures as the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in Christmas someday. Until then, Mischief Managed!

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