A few weeks ago I took Midge with me to make the long journey to London with my mum. We stayed at The Jury Inn in Watford, a good place to stay as it's near the studios and near the town for dinner and shopping if you're there earlier. We met up with my sister and her boyfriend and went for dinner, then after a nice warm bath each we settled down for the night.
We all woke early for breakfast which although at £10 seems pricey it's all you can eat and I knew we wouldn't be eating at all during the day because the tour is as long as you like (long!) and cafe prices there are unsurprisingly high. Fully fuelled we headed to the Warnerbros Studio Tour. You can check in bags and coats, have something to eat and drink, use the loos, order Starbucks coffee and also dive straight into the shop (warning! this is definitely not budget friendly! Cheapest item is a postcard at 95p..I'm not sure I want to know the highest!) we did look around the shop however but didn't purchase anything at this point. We did marvel at the beautifully huge Christmas tree in the center of the waiting area and I measured my hands up to the 3 main stars prints, the one pictured is Daniel Radcliff's hand print.
We started queueing for our 12.30 tour, got our tickets checked and Midge got a passport to fill in, a great activity for the children (big and small!) the queue looks massive (because it is) but you get filed into a fairly large space so the line goes down very quick indeed. Make sure you don't miss the cupboard under the stairs and the 'flying' car!
I won't detail the next part, I know many have but it was the most magical part for me and I'd hate to tell you what happens before you enter the Great Hall. From this point on though it's spoilers all the way...
|Midge with Aunty Issy|
Once inside the hall we were greeted with a huge feast which would've been in the films. The hall was decorated with trees, wreaths and looked amazing. The next section is full of props from the make up and dressing department, the portraits, Hogwarts gates, the Gryffindor common room, manikins dressed up in the actual clothes used in the films, dark arts props and so much more.
|A huge spread|
|Chocolate table from the Yule Ball|
|The Philospher's Stone|
|Prison number from Azkaban|
|Fleur's hat and shoes|
|Lord Voldemort and Harry's clothes at the start of the film on left// On right, the clothes by the end of filming|
|Gryffindor common room all festive|
|Harry and Ron's first meeting|
|Buckbeak is an amazing piece of art|
|The miniature dragons from the Goblet of Fire|
Once through the art and design you'll see many built up designs of the most well known houses such as Luna Lovegood's house, the Durmstrang ship and the Beauxbattons carriage plus much more. Brace yourself for around the corner though, the best bit is yet to come. No photo of Hogwarts castle could take away from the experience you will have at the Harry Potter studios; it's a piece of art in my opinion and can really only be seen in the flesh, so to speak. Below you can see the photos I took but believe me, they don't do it justice!
One you have dragged yourself away you can look for the names of all the cast, crew and actors/actresses on the thousands of wand boxes before heading into the shop where I bought a bunch of postcards and a chocolate wand for Little A. Midge had £10 pocket money which got her a chocolate frog and a couple of postcards.
It was such an amazing trip and I can't recommend it enough. Ticket entry is reasonably priced, the real cost is getting to and staying in London but Late Rooms was my handy tool for the latter! Now I've done the tour twice I feel happy, I don't need to go again (but if a friend needs accompanying I'm not going say no ha!)