Harry Potter Studio Tour 3pm slot too late?

(26 Posts)
Rosvita Sat 18-Jan-14 14:55:48

Hi all,
Just wondered it anyone's been if they can advise on time slots.Really want to go for my birthday in march and 3pm is the earliest slot they have left for the day me and dh aren't working and can take the kids (5 and 3).Hoping the slot is still available come Tuesday when I will have the £ to book it.Just wondered is that too late a time slot?thought we could eat snacks in the car and then have a late lunch 1ish before heading to the studios to get there about half hour before our time slot.aim to leave 6/6.30ish then they can eat a picnic tea in the car on the way home (no doubt they will fall asleep in the car on the way back!).For anyone that's been does that sound a reasonable plan?thanks

TonksLupin Sat 18-Jan-14 15:02:41

We had tickets for around then but we got there an hour early. When we got there we told the staff that we had a while to wait and could we go in the gift shop and look around. They said we could, or we could just join the earlier group. They said that they only give time slots so that they don't have loads of people at once but a few extra people is fine.

Also, they release new time slots 8 days before the date you want to book and then again 7 days before. They don't tell you that though!

TonksLupin Sat 18-Jan-14 15:06:01

Forgot to say, that does sound like a reasonable plan though! It depends how much you want to look around on the day, we spent about 6 hours there (die hard fan blush) but we were exhausted by the end!

Rosvita Sat 18-Jan-14 15:09:21

tonkslupin (loving the name by the way!). Thanks for the info. So do you think if be better booking Tuesday if 3pm still available or risking it and waiting until the week before?have wanted to go for ages (my ultimate dream is to buy my own wand from ollivanders in universal studios ;) ) and I have succeeded in getting both the kids in to Harry Potter so I can share my love of it with them too!

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Uruguay Sat 18-Jan-14 15:14:35

We went about 3pm - got out about 7.30pm. Was fine - I could maybe have spent longer there - but the dc were getting bored.

We spent a fortune in the gift shop because they all had to have wands <deep sigh>

Bunbaker Sat 18-Jan-14 15:16:37

Quite frankly I think it would be wasted on the children. They will be too young to enjoy it and find it quite boring, and they will find some of it pretty scary. It isn't something to rush through, but you will probably have to go at their pace and not get as much out of it as you might have done. Don't bother with the butterbeer, it is vile. Oh, and the prices in the shop are horrific.

Can you find someone to have the children while you go? It is a fantastic experience and well worth the money if you are a Harry Potter fan.

Oblomov Sat 18-Jan-14 15:17:54

3pm will be fine.
We had had enough and the boys were bored by the end.

TonksLupin Sat 18-Jan-14 15:17:56

grin Can't wait until my son is old enough (he isn't born yet so have a while to wait!)

We waited and booked a week before but we had a few days we could go on, if you only have the one day, I would book the 3pm slot and go early. If all else fails the gift shop is a good place to look around and I could have spent hours in there!

(They don't tell you but when you get into Olivander's, the cast and crew all have wands hidden. So fun to try and find them!)

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Uruguay Sat 18-Jan-14 15:20:03

We spent a fortune on the photos too - but those are worth it imo.

Butterbeer is indeed vile - but my ds1 insists he likes it.

Take snacks/drinks for the children.

TonksLupin Sat 18-Jan-14 15:33:21

I loved the butterbeer! Drank loads of it in Florida too, it's nicer without the foam on top though. I have the biggest sweet tooth though! Everyone else I went with hated it

exexpat Sat 18-Jan-14 15:38:58

3pm will be fine - we went at roughly that time, I think.

But I have to agree that it is not a great place to take children aged 3 and 5. They will get horribly bored - there is not much of interest for small children who have presumably not watched the films multiple times. I went with DCs aged 10-14 at the time, who had all read all the books and seen all the films, so they were genuinely interested, but there isn't much that is aimed at small children. I would worry that you're going to get dragged past all the interesting bits by small people saying "I'm bored...".

ProphetOfDoom Sat 18-Jan-14 15:42:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChilliQueen Sat 18-Jan-14 16:02:59

They say the average person takes 3 hours to do the tour. A mega fan could be there weeks! Assuming your DC love Harry Potter and have seen the films that's fine - otherwise I wouldn't bother taking them. There are some scary bits. It really helped that our DS7 had watched all the films (loads) and was very keen to go.
Be prepared to spend a considerable amount once there. Gift shop is brilliant and expensive (cloak £80), and the cafe is great but VERY expensive! The Butter Beer is quite revolting and £2.95 a cup. If you have to try it buy one cup between all of you. You'll end up buying photos and probably a video of you riding on a broom (approx £40). If you want a proper Ollivanders wand you can get it from Harrods or Amazon (HP Studios doesn't sell Ollivander wands, in Ollivander Boxes - or they didn't when we went). Including entrance fees (and guide book), we didn't get any change from £300 for the 3 of us. Probably spent too much in the gift shop!

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sat 18-Jan-14 16:10:01

My six and four year old adored it last summer - went in at 9.30am and out at 1pm, I think.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 18-Jan-14 16:27:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChilliQueen Sat 18-Jan-14 16:36:04

Whoops!! We did see them... but they weren't the same boxes as we got from Amazon (Noble Collection wands). Ours all had velvet and ribbon inside the box etc. Probably same wands though. NB. Amazon was cheaper though (I think). Sorry if I'm wrong.

Rosvita Sat 18-Jan-14 16:58:33

Thanks for all your input ladies.Ds (5) in particular loves harry potter - after months of reading bits of the first book to him at night we have almost completed it , and they have watched the first 3 films multiple times and he loves the harry potter lego and Xbox games.I got him I to it really as wanted him to be hyped up for universal studios when we finally go blush (he'll be 7 by then).Wouldn't feel right going without him, and thought I may as well take dd too as she's free.DH isn't fussed at all about going though and friend's daughter really wants to go though so I could just go me and her and save myself a lot of money!

Bunbaker Sat 18-Jan-14 17:13:59

If your husband doesn't want to go I think you should seriously consider leaving your 3 year old at home with him. She will be very bored and it will reduce your enjoymnt of the visit. It really isn't aimed at 3 year olds. I agree with exexpat that you will be dragged past the interesting bits, and you will want to drag the little one quickly past the animated models which might be very scary for 3 year olds. We went in the summer and most visitors were adults and teenagers.

Rosvita Sat 18-Jan-14 17:24:25

Thanks for your input bunbaker I may consider just going with my friend's daughter (16) and my son then-will save on paying for dh to go too when he's not really fussed!just didn't fancy driving to Watford by myself but will be ok if my friend's daughter is with me!

ProphetOfDoom Sat 18-Jan-14 17:32:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

The cafe is not too expensive compared with other attractions but you can take snacks amd drinks in or a full packed lunch. We assumed no food and only had a hotdog each in the eating area. But a coach load of guides arrived and all had their own food.
My kids were 7 and 8 but were about the youngest there. Ds2 got bored. Dont forget its how they made the films and he didnt want to watch a video of how they did the goblins makeup etc. But for older fans its fab, and we didnt spend a lot in the shop just got kids a t shirt each and a toy owl.
Go with the 16year old. We went with my cousin and her 20 year old dsughter who was just in hp heaven all the way round. 4.5 hours for us.

If you want to chance it, a final batch of tickets are released five days in advance. They are the tickets which have been returned from third party resellers. The tickets go on to the website overnight so if you check the website first thing in the morning there is usually a range of tickets

exexpat Sat 18-Jan-14 17:58:05

A word of warning about the wands if you are intending to buy them for children. DD bought one at the studio tour shop. They are beautifully detailed and packaged, but are not toys: they are made of some kind of ceramic or resin and are quite fragile. DD's chipped within days - luckily not too badly, but one drop onto a hard surface and they would shatter. I think they are intended as collector's items rather than role-playing wizard battles, which is what DD and her best friend were using them for.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 18-Jan-14 18:35:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChilliQueen Sat 18-Jan-14 18:54:53

Our wands all have the odd chip! But he does keep them very nicely in the boxes when not bashing things with them or dropping them! We made a reasonably good one ourselves out of wire and papier mache - he painted it black and it's as solid as you like (though doesn't particularly look like anyones wand as such!).

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