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Tips for Harry Potter studio tour please

75 replies

chocolateisavegetable · 14/03/2023 21:47

It will just be DH and I, no kids (he’s enough of a child). What’s the best time to go, which of the cafes there is best, and any other tips you have please!

OP posts:

HeBeaverandSheBeaver · 14/03/2023 23:06

They do afternoon tea now so you could time that with your tour

The main cafe in the foyer is the best one. The one in the tour is shit.

They have peak days and off peak so it may not be open to tenpm. Check.

Agree first tour is fab and go as slow as you wish.


jellybeanteaparty · 14/03/2023 23:43

The Butterbeer ice cream is a good alternative to the butterbeer


chocolateisavegetable · 15/03/2023 06:49

@ChiefWiggumsBoy happy to share!

OP posts:

SirSamVimesCityWatch · 15/03/2023 10:02

jellybeanteaparty · 14/03/2023 23:43

The Butterbeer ice cream is a good alternative to the butterbeer

I've heard this too.


chocolateisavegetable · 15/03/2023 19:03

I’m getting the distinct impression that I should avoid the butterbeer 😂

OP posts:

Rockbird · 15/03/2023 19:13

The queue for the food in the backlot cafe in the middle is huge! It moves reasonably quickly but still takes half an hour just to place your order and then another wait for your food. Once you're in the queue it's hard to get out.

The food there is nice enough but there's not a lot of it, so if you're likely to be hungry bring snacks. There is a bag search when you go in and you're not encouraged to bring big bags but I take a standard rucksack and it's fine.

I get really panicky without a drink (soft!) so I always take a couple of big bottles of water which weigh a ton. There is a water fountain in the backlot cafe so don't drag round more than you need. That might be specific to me though!


SomersetBrie · 15/03/2023 19:18

You have to have one butterbeer between you. Otherwise how can you possibly tell everyone how awful it is? Also, you can get it in a mug to take home, which is nice.
Everyone is saying take it slow. Do that, there is so much to see, no need to rush.


dew141 · 15/03/2023 19:23

The Harvester in Croxley is not worth the journey. Different budget but I'd go to Prime in Chandlers Cross. Or there's lots of nice local pubs.

Everyone I know had enjoyed the tour, it's really good.


ClosedAuraOpenMind · 15/03/2023 19:27

maybe buy a butter beer to get the souvenir mug, and that way you can try it. But definitely have the butter beer ice cream, it's good!
we got the audio guides, but didn't use them, but there's loads of info to read
and the gift shop is HUGE so if you like merchandise take your credit card!
would also recommend coffee/cakes in the chocolate frog cafe at the end
but enjoy it. went last year for DDs 11th birthday and I'm trying to persuade her to go back again 🤣


chocolateisavegetable · 15/03/2023 19:28

@SomersetBrie wise advice. Then one day someone else will post a thread asking for tips on visiting and I can offer them honest advice about how awful it is

OP posts:

alrightnowthen · 16/03/2023 14:21

We are going this weekend so these tips have been very helpful reading for me too. We are having the afternoon tea first before the tour. I'm hoping I've booked it correctly. I have given us 1 hour for the tea as I thought the kids would get restless if I made it the full 90 minutes it says you can have. Does anyone know if there's much of a queue to get in to the actual building? Im wondering what time we should aim to get there .


HeBeaverandSheBeaver · 16/03/2023 17:06

I'd arrive at 12.30 if you have tea booked That allows plenty of time to go to the loo have a quick scoot around the shop etc. Do any bag drops etc.


HeBeaverandSheBeaver · 16/03/2023 17:07

Oh I though you were booked at 1 for tea. I'd arrive half hour before your tea is booked


TheFlis12345 · 16/03/2023 17:15

Croxley is a village thank you very much @ThereIsATInWater but as @dew141 says, it is absolutely not worth driving to for the Harvester! Plenty of other much nicer places in the area for food, shout if you want any recommendations OP.


pukkapine · 16/03/2023 17:20

We went in October for the third time. Gringotts is mind blowing!

We enjoyed the Choc Frog cafe. I had the soup in a cauldron. Everyone enjoyed the themed cakes. We were also treated to afternoon tea under the candle lit ceiling later on which was lovely but service was a bit shit and the sarnies a bit stale. Felt a bit like it was geared to overseas tourists rather than a Brit who knows what a good afternoon tea involves!

Pace yourself! We had an early lunch in choc frog cafe then spent hours doing the tour with lots of breaks just to sit and recharge. Butter beer ice cream is good and there's a little coffee van just into the backlot. Then spent an AGE in the gift shop as the kids love this. Then had afternoon tea at dinner time.

When you go into the first room of the tour with the electronic movie posters, go right in and wait by the most left door. Promise!


MrsMitford3 · 16/03/2023 17:34

I am lucky enough to have been a few times-Hogwarts at Christmas is amazing!!! highly recommend-all snowy and beautiful


Alrightknow · 16/03/2023 18:53

@HeBeaverandSheBeaver thanks! I was thinking about half an hour before should be ok.


soupmaker · 16/03/2023 19:01

We've been twice. It is absolutely brilliant. Prepare to have your breath taken away by some of the tour.

Take your time in the wand shop before the actual shop. There is a tour guide who will show you where cast members wands "live". We were very excited to spot Miriam Margolyes and Jarvis Cocker!


BillyNoM8s · 16/03/2023 19:13

Lone voice in the room but I liked the butter beer. It just tasted like cream soda 🤷‍♀️

I didn't anticipate how long we'd need. We took our time but I could spend many hours more looking at things and need to go back.

The only bit I hurried was the outside section, cos it was freezing.


CherryHouse · 16/03/2023 19:18

Get an early entry ticket and take your time. The audio tour was interesting. I quite liked eating in the backlot cafe. The kids portion (hot dog and chips) was generous, so I ordered those for me and my adult sister 😂 The puddings were delicious. Not a fan of butterbeer, but the little take home tankard was cute and definitely something to try once.

There’s a clearance gift shop towards the start of the tour. That was really reasonably priced and none of the stuff is available in the later gift shops.

If I was going with kids, I’d definitely buy HP merchandise from Primark and The Works before going and give it to them when you stop for lunch!! The gift shop is extortionate.

Avoid school holidays!!


anerki101 · 16/03/2023 19:23

Cally70 · 14/03/2023 21:53

Don't buy the butterbeer, it's revolting and extortionate

Hard disagree. Yes, it's expensive but I bloody love it! Getting the butter beer is the highlight of my visit!


gillyweed · 16/03/2023 19:28

We have tickets booked for next month, I'm very excited after reading this! The earliest slot we could get was 5, which I'm a bit gutted about... Does anyone know if you can go in the first cafe before you queue/get in and what sort of time we should aim for? Thanks!


MrsALambert · 16/03/2023 19:40

Make sure you go in the shops along the way as I assumed they would be selling the same stuff in the big shop at the end but they didn’t and we missed buying something


IbizaToTheNorfolkBroads · 16/03/2023 20:01

I quite liked the butterbeer! The ice cream was nice too.

It's not like a theme park where you need a strategy to manage queues and optimise your time there. You just go round at your own pace.

When you're in the initial introductory film bit, if you say it's your birthday (they'll ask), you get to open the door into.... well that would be telling, but do say if it is (it was DD's, she was made up).

We went first thing, after a massive Premier Inn breakfast, so we didn't eat there, other than butterbeer ice cream.


Emmelina · 16/03/2023 20:11

Take your time, don’t be worried about hanging back, take lots of photos! There are loads of green screen opportunities around and a huge gift shop so take spends. You would expect butter beer to be a cream soda-butterscotch type drink / it isn’t. It’s weird and herbally and fizzy, ours were sadly wasted, such a let down.

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