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WB Studios London: The Making of Harry Potter

WB Studios Harry Potter Tour London with Kids

Habitually early to everything I admit I was late to the Harry Potter party. Not just fashionably late, but disgracefully late… I wouldn’t even consider reading the books until Book 4, The Goblet of Fire, was published.

I didn’t start reading the series until book 4!

I’m not sure what was holding me back? Maybe I just didn’t like the idea of jumping on the bandwagon? However, once I jumped on I quickly plowed through the first four books and then like everyone else anxiously waited for books 5,6, & 7 to arrive. I wish I could say it went differently with my older son, but following in my footsteps he resisted reading the books until I literally bribed him… he then read all seven in 14 days!

The Gryffindor Common Room

Our entire family loves the Harry Potter movies, so you would think that after our experience with the books we might have learned our lesson. Not so! Apparently, we’re  slow learners. We thought that having already visited Harry Potter worlds in both Orlando and Los Angeles as well as a traveling exhibition in Seattle we’d pretty much seen all there was to see, so why bother trekking to the Studios where they were made? Six visits to London later, we finally decided to visit the WB Studios Exhibition: The Making of Harry Potter.


This was so much more than we expected! Even having visited those other Harry Potter related places we realized this was something else altogether, and it’s no wonder, as there really is nothing like the original!

Exploring the Magic of Harry Potter

After you’ve taken care of the basics, coat check, audio guide, etc, see below for some tips, you’ll want to jump in the queue and get right to exploring. The line moves quickly, and while you wait you’ll get a chance to see Harry’s cupboard under the stairs.

Once you’ve made it through the queue, a guide will give you a brief introduction to the studios and you’ll watch a short film about the worldwide phenomena that the books and movies became. It’s almost time to set about exploring the Magical World of Harry Potter and how it came to life, but first you’ll hear a few words from Harry, Ron and Hermione.

There were many moments during our day at WB Studios London that felt magical, and while I want to share them all, I don’t want to give away all the secrets!

Our visit took place during the festive season, and everything within the Studios was decorated beautifully. From the holiday feast and Christmas puddings upon the tables in the Great Hall to the magical Christmas trees and snow throughout.

Your guide will stay with you while you explore the Great Hall and then you’ll be set free to explore at your own pace for the remainder of the day. You’ll have a chance to see and learn about the making of just about everything involved with all 8 films. Take your time and keep your eyes open because magic is happening everywhere!

There are many interactive activities throughout the Studio, including flying a broomstick, Hagrid’s motorbike or the weasly’s car. Maybe you just need a bit of practice with your spells? You’re in luck!

Wondering what it would be like to go inside Dumbledore’s Office, ride the Hogwarts Express, or explore The Ministry of Magic, maybe you fancy a walk through the Dark Forest? Guess what? You can, and many surprises await along the way…

Learn what Dumbledore’s books are made out of!

Choosing a favorite exhibition would be tough as there were so many, but we all loved exploring the Hogwarts Express and the many activities on the platform and aboard the train. The Ministry of Magic sets were, like everything within the Studio, incredibly detailed, but the sheer size of them was also very impressive!

There were many creatures within the Dark Forest.

The Back Lot

Halfway through our day we took a break for a meal and some butterbeer, and were surprised to see it was snowing outside. Was it that cold out? Whoops! We’d forgotten… we were at a movie studio.

It’s snowing! Or is it?

After lunch we had a chance to explore some of the Studio’s outdoor sets, which included: The Knight Bus, the Weasly’s flying car, and Hagrid’s motorcycle.

We also had a chance to walk though 4 Privet Drive, the Dursely’s home, and to see The Potter’s Cottage in Godric’s Hollow.

4 Privet Drive

Other outdoor exhibits included the chess pieces from The Sorcerers Stone, and the bridge to Hogwarts.

These chess pieces stand sentry in front of the Studio.

You’ll see and learn how many of the books magical creatures came to life for the movies when you walk through the model, creature, and hair and make up shops!

Next up a stroll through Diagon Alley where you’ll learn about how those magical footprints happen in the snow.

Our first sight of the Hogwarts model literally made our mouths fall open! I think it must be the most amazing model I have ever seen! It was absolutely stunning! This exhibit is near the end, so make sure you allow time to really take it all in.

Of course we visited the gift shop before heading home and lucky me visiting during the festive season meant lots of holiday baubles to bring home!

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