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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:

soupmaker · 16/03/2023 20:30

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!

This was the same time slot we had our second visit. We were aiming to go the cafe first before going in but got caught up in traffic so didn't get there for 4pm which was what we'd hoped.

We left at closing time, had time to see everything and managed a break to have some Butterbeer and ice cream at the backlot cafe at 8pm.


onlythesparrow · 16/03/2023 20:34

Don't bother with the priority parking, the car park is huge so you'll get a space easily and it's really not far to walk to the entrance.

Budget for extras- food is pricey, gift shop prices ridiculous, then there's photo and video opportunities. It won't be a cheap day out!

It's a truly amazing place. I'm not a HP fan (not that I dislike it, just haven't read the books or watched the films) but I still really enjoyed it, so much so that we went back the following year.

(Butterbeer was a disappointment, none of us liked it.)


Abelard40 · 16/03/2023 20:47

We went in February - lots of good tips.. I can only add that I felt weirdly emotional about it at the end - that it’s over, that is was an endeavour from our British film makers, that the books came from here.. and the nostalgia about the annual craze of it. It was hard to relate that to my kids - that people camped out for these books when they came out - they gad nothing to relate that to and couldn’t believe it! Such a special series.. the books and the films..


soupmaker · 16/03/2023 20:50

So glad it wasn't just me @Abelard40 DH and the kids were affronted when I got overly emotional walking up past the art display on the way to see the Hogwarts model. I think it was the music and knowing what was coming. They're still ripping the piss a month later!


Abelard40 · 16/03/2023 20:54

soupmaker · 16/03/2023 20:50

So glad it wasn't just me @Abelard40 DH and the kids were affronted when I got overly emotional walking up past the art display on the way to see the Hogwarts model. I think it was the music and knowing what was coming. They're still ripping the piss a month later!

Ha! Yes that bit was a slow walk to tearsville.. and the end thing about them always being there when you open the pages .. waaaaaaah ….


Gymmum82 · 16/03/2023 20:55

I went about 10 years ago when the butter beer was an ice cream float. More recently it was like cream soda. Still pleasant enough but not as good.
Agree with get there early we arrived at 10am and left at 5pm. Amazing day out. Absolutely amazing. Plenty of spends for the shop too I spent about £200 in there last time


poundshoptealights · 16/03/2023 21:07

I am going in a couple of weeks. WTF does the butter beer have in it?!


Mummikub · 16/03/2023 21:23

poundshoptealights · 16/03/2023 21:07

I am going in a couple of weeks. WTF does the butter beer have in it?!

If it's like the one at forbidden forest in Cheshire, like liquid butterscotch


luckylavender · 16/03/2023 21:49

Cally70 · 14/03/2023 21:53

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

This. We've been twice, late in the day each time. Diagon Alley is amazing in the dark.


Nn9011 · 16/03/2023 22:08

Definitely take your time and start early. There is so much to see but honestly by the time we were half way through we were quite overwhelmed and kind of sped walked through the 2nd half.
Bring drinks/snacks/food if you want to save money as although there are lots of places to eat it is expensive.
Wear layers - some parts are outside so depending on weather may still need a coat.
There is a guided tour headset but we didn't get them and honestly it wasn't needed
Make sure you collect the stamps for the kids passports and let them do the photo ops, just be sneaky about filming as they don't like you to so they'll tell you to put your phone away.
When you go into the start, make sure your at the front and try and be in the front row of the seating (will make sense when there).
Have fun!


Noodlehen · 19/03/2023 10:50

Me and DH are going today, so I’m loving this thread. Although we booked 6pm and now I am gutted 🤣


icafus · 19/03/2023 10:54

Book an early slot. Take your time. Don't be afraid to hold your ground even if dc are being impatient. Don't be afraid to go back to stuff you preferred where possible.
Be prepared for annoying dc skipping lines for photo opportunities and being bold enough to say errr no I was waiting for longer than you.
I went 5 times one year saw all the different seasonal events.I think it's fantastic.


purpledalmation · 19/03/2023 11:22

You can go any time because it's booked in limited numbers and so it never seems ridiculously busy. We did week day and it was great.


BritInAus · 19/03/2023 11:23

I loved it! allow loads of time - you can take things as slowly as you like - no need to rush. Whilst there are certainly loads of things to spend a LOT of money on, you can absolutely have a great day without spending anything beyond entrance tickets. We took our own food and water - just bought a coffee half way around. You can still do the greenscreen experiences without paying an extortionate amount for the digital clip of you sitting on a broomstick or whatever, and whilst the shop is impressive, I certainly didn't feel like I missed out by not buying anything.


Ireallydohope · 19/03/2023 11:45

It's amazing

Do get the butter beer especially as it can come with special cups you can take home - we liked it

There is a lovely outside area which is great on a sunny day

They had owls flying around when we were there

Go on the green screen flying broomsticks etc

So much fun


Ireallydohope · 19/03/2023 11:49

I went 10 years ago but would love to go again


user1471538283 · 19/03/2023 11:55

We went years ago by train. You can get the special bus from the train station really cheaply and it drops you at the entrance.

Get there quite early! We ate at the café and it was quite nice. The butterbeer is revolting.

There is so much to see. The gift shop is very expensive but the Hedwig mug I bought is still in excellent condition despite being used every day.

How exciting!


neitherofthem · 19/03/2023 12:04

Get there early, the cafe at the entrance is fine, although basic and not the cheapest, but so what?

Agree about the butterbeer, although adult dc says it is better now than when they first opened. If you like sickly sugary froth, you are in for a treat.

The shop is fantastic, but take out an advance on your mortgage, you will need it.

And there is one genuinely jaw-dropping moment as you are walking round.


JackRosenberg · 19/03/2023 12:52

Get the butterbeer and I'll have it 😁
I've tried to lick the cup clean every time.


AmazingBouncingFerret · 19/03/2023 13:04

When you first enter The Great Hall, hold back from the group and don’t rush forward. Everyone else will be eager to get into the tour but if you stay behind you can get some amazing photos in front of the big doors.


Noodlehen · 20/03/2023 16:52

Myself and DH went last night.

It was good, nice to see but wasn’t amazing. Maybe just because of how busy it is. we are both HP fanatics; DH watches them all every single week 🥴 (shift work and struggles to sleep after). Going in, we had goosebumps we were that excited.

some parts are SUPER impressive, the great hall fell a bit flat for me, but the gringotts suprise was amazing, we actually stayed there for ages.

we had the butter beer, both liked it enough, but couldn’t finish a whole one. Loved whatever the cream stuff was. The ice cream machine was broken in the middle which was really disappointing.

we ate the Toby Carvery about 10 mins away before we went, as we live quite close to it and go there most weeks however I checked the menus when queueing for the butter beer. £8 for pulled pork loaded fries and
£10 burger from what I could remember, didn’t seem that bad and smelt nice enough like a burger van at the fair 😃:

agree with others re buying stuff at the middle gift shop, i really liked the doormats (£18) but they didn’t have any at the end which was annoying. Almost bought a trunk but changed our mind. I bought two Christmas decs (£15 each), a football jersey style t shirt (£22) a fridge magnet (£5.95) and a key ring (£10) . We also bought our photos from the train and chose the full package for £40.

Most annoying part was trying to see things. A lot of people are so selfish, they’ll take a pic and then stand where they are chatting, which I think is the height of rudeness and so many young children screaming / scared at the simulations and crying while you’re trying to listen to staff or watch the video explanations. I think under 5s are way too young to be going personally. So maybe book in the week for when children are at school.


poundshoptealights · 24/03/2023 20:50

I am going to this at the weekend with my sister and dad. Dad is in his 70s and recently suffered from heart failure (out of nowhere). He is still in recovery and needs to be able to rest and also get to the loo easily (due to medication)? Can anyone offer any advice on how to plan for this? I think it might be tricky but would hate to cancel. I'm hoping with a bit of planning we can make it a nice day for him.


SirSamVimesCityWatch · 24/03/2023 20:54

Not sure about loo stops, resting is a bit tricky though. Only thing I can think of is to carry one of those little folding stools?

Be worth calling the studio to see what they can do.


poundshoptealights · 24/03/2023 20:57

Thanks @SirSamVimesCityWatch I just looked at the website and it says they have folding stools that can be borrowed, so that's s good start. Thank you, I would not have thought of it myself.


poundshoptealights · 27/03/2023 20:13

We went at the weekend and it was fab. Agree with advice to take your time and enjoy at your own pace. We got early morning tickets on the Sunday after the clocks went back and it was very quiet as a result! Food wise, the Backlot cafe was perfectly fine. Also enjoyed getting a decent Starbucks at the start. Loved the massive gift shop, especially Quidditch gym kit for adults Grin

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