Christmas always makes me think of Harry Potter. Once that snow starts falling, I want to be sitting inside The Three Broomsticks with a glass of firewhiskey, contently chatting with the barkeep. And then heading off to Zonko’s afterward, if I’m feeling a bit daring.
Unfortunately, as many friends have repeatedly reminded me, the wizarding world is fictional — Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and all the rest aren’t places one can visit. (As a non-magical muggle, at least..!)
But muggles CAN partake in the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. The tour’s goal? To give fans the opportunity to, “step onto authentic sets and relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter film series to life.”
And boy oh boy, is that goal accomplished.
This tour’s completely worth the price of admission if you’re a diehard HP fan, or even just someone who digs movies in general. They preserved SO MUCH, ranging from costumes and props to entire sets. I strolled past a long line of costumes (everyone from Luna Lovegood to Rita Skeeter), paused to gaze at a Great Hall table (completely overladen with typical Hogwarts culinary fare, including tall stacks of golden truffles), and then rounded the corner to see Dumbledore’s office, completely intact.
The tour is fairly linear, yet “tour” is a loose term, because once you’re inside, you’re left to your own devices. With numerous hours to walk through it all, there’s plenty of time to ride a broomstick (thanks, green screen technology), walk through the iconic Hogwarts train, snag a butterbeer at the in-house cafe, and stroll the streets of Diagon Alley. (And yes, they play Diagon Alley’s musical theme on a loop, so everyone can weep with nostalgia. If you’re like me, bring tissues.)
Only one section of the tour takes place outside (they had to put the Dursley’s home SOMEWHERE, you know), so this really would be a good option for winter travel folk.
An adult ticket for 2017 is £39.00, not including the transportation. To get there cheaply, you can take the shuttle bus that runs from Watford station. OR, you can do what I did and hitch a ride with Golden Tours, which offers a ticket/transportation package deal.
Thanks for reading (and, of course, “mischief managed”),