Field Trip Friday: Harry Potter Studio Tour

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I am *almost* ashamed to admit that one thing I was MOST excited about seeing in London is was the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I am a bit of a Harry Potter fanatic. I waited in line at midnight multiple times to get my hands on the newest book when it came out, or at the theater to see the movies. I feel a bit like I grew up with Harry Potter, and seeing the studio has been one of the biggest highlights of our time in Germany.

Harry Potter Doors to Hogwarts

When you arrive at the studio, the first thing you do is watch a short film about the sensation that is Harry Potter, and then you step through the doors of Hogwarts (the real doors!) and into the Great Hall. I am really going to show my nerd status here, because I was seriously overcome with so much excitement that I was standing right there, that I could have cried.

Great Hall 3 Great Hall 2

I am proud to tell you that I didn’t and instead, I started snapping a million pictures. I’ll admit, I haven’t had a chance to go through ALL of them yet, and some of the best I have set aside for Wordless Wednesday in the weeks to come- so, Um, more Harry Potter is in our future!

From the Great Hall, you move on to the first large room in the tour, which is filled with beautiful sets and items from the movies. It’s all there. Everything from the wands, to the snitch, the Tri-Wizard cup, and so, so much more.

Slugs Room

All of the sets were so beautifully done, you could have just moved in and called it home. I can’t believe the insane amount of money and resources that were put into these movies. I am so glad they preserved many of these sets to allow people to visit, so they didn’t go to waste.

Hogwarts 3 Monsters Knight Bus Olivanders Hogwarts2

The very best part of the tour is being able to take your time to look into every nook and cranny of the rooms. For example, the paintings and details in Dumbledore’s office blew me away. The Potions classroom has so many bottles and vials to enjoy. It’s all just amazing.

You have to go. Just find a way to make it to London, and go!

Field Trip Friday

If you go to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour: and are coming from London, allow an hour and a half to get there. There is a fast train that will get you there in 30 minutes, but if you aren’t careful (like I wasn’t) you will probably get stuck on the slower train, and that one will take an hour. You have to book your tour time in advance, and in the peak travel months, it’s known to sell out, and you do not want to miss your appointment window! It is very stroller friendly. When you get into the tour, you get as much time as you want to explore the areas, so don’t feel rushed. Do allow at least 4 hours, if not more to enjoy it. The one catch is once you leave an area, you can’t go backwards. There are three main areas, the first has most of the indoor sets, and you should really spend most of your time there. The middle has only the knight bus, and 4 Privet Drive, and the last area has the behind the scenes details,  the monsters and other magical creatures, Diagon alley, and the Hogwarts castle. So really, spend most of your time in the first room. Oh, and drink the Butter Beer- it’s very good!

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  1. This looks like so much fun!

    I would love to see a post on how you travel with three small children. When you do your field trips, is your husband along? I also travel almost everywhere with my three small ones, soon to be four, but I probably would not be quite as adventurous as you! I’d love to hear some of your tips and tricks for making your Friday field trips go smoothly. I find that while I could get there, and get them all safely home again, I probably would be too busy keeping an eye on everyone that I wouldn’t have time to snap photos or enjoy myself!

    1. Monica,

      I probably do half my trips with my husband, and half by myself. Sometimes, we travel with another family or our homeschool group, but I have found my kiddos do best when they are not overstimulated by too many other children, so we don’t join other groups often.

      The more we travel and take field trips, the easier it gets, because they get into the groove. I did post one post about how we pull of tours with kids which you can see here:

      Basically, just get out and do it. It won’t always be easy, but it is worth it. I’ve found keeping up a constant chatter with them helps (did you see that cat? Lets look for gargoyles? Can you find a blue painting? Oooh, this one looks like it has a monster in it!) or telling stories (did you know a real princess used to live here?). Keep them engaged, keep positive, and use rewards instead of threats, and you’ll survive!

      Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks! I have no problem with our local “field trips”- museums, parks, etc, and I will pack my kids pretty much anywhere the trains will go. But I am impressed that you got your kids (I assume) on an airplane, flew to London, did a tour, and came home! Wow!

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