Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Harry Potter Studio Tour

My two have watched the first three films so were quite excited to be heading to the Harry Potter Studio Tour to learn more about the production of the films and hear a few secrets too! 

You are advised to arrive 20 minutes before your allocated slot to ensure you have adequate time to pick up your tickets (if you only have email confirmation like us) from the kiosk outside the attraction.  Posted tickets mean you can join the studio tour straight away, but I would still arrive a little bit early, as it is a busy attraction.

On arrival we were given a passport each for the boys.  They were quite pleased with these; you go around seeing the various exhibitions and collection embossed stamps as you go.

You can also keep an eye out for 15 Golden Snitches and tick them off when you find them.  Having these little extra activities helps maintain the interest of younger children and means the adults get to spend a bit more time taking in all the information and admiring the sheer number of props, costumes and sets without being rushed along quite so fast!

Make the most of the grand hall and get all the photographs you want quickly as your time in this area is quite short, but after that part you have freedom to roam at your own leisure.

The boys enjoyed a wanding tutorial, beware everyone they have fast reflexes so any dementors will be going down!!!

We also did the photo opportunity where the boys dressed in a Harry Potter robe hopped on the broomstick and under the guidance of a member of staff ducked down to splash “water” on there face, wave at the video and sway in different positions.  Watching them do it was so cute I could not resist buying the package but it was a bit on the expensive side.  Two photographs and two videos set us back a hefty £50.  But I could not bear to leave without the memories, I guess that is what the studio is hoping for, although to be fair to them they do not make you go through that section it is easy enough to skirt round but on our first visit we wanted to discover as much as possible.

It is a well thought out attraction in that you can break for refreshments part way through and enjoy the outside section of the tour.  The sun was shining and it was pleasant to head outdoors, the boys had ice creams then excitedly knocked on Harry Potter’s door!

After establishing he definitely was not in they had a nose around the other things to see.  At the moment there is a Feathers and Flight special feature (until the 27th of April) and you can get closer to the actual birds from the film.  The ravens were having a rest break so we just missed them sadly, but if we had hung around for longer they may well have come back again.  But the boys were happy enough to see Hegwig. 

A visit for us (two adults and two children) would have cost £89, I think if you take your time and savour your visit there, soaking up the atmosphere and relishing in all things Harry Potter its worth the money.  Do not feel you should rush around because otherwise it’s over too quick and you’re out of the attraction and in the shop before you know it!  I think I should have stopped to make time for some Butterbeer and somehow we left having missed the last stamp in our passport!  But you will understand why if you visit, that room is quite magnificent.

The shop is very impressive, my boys left with a pair of Harry Potter glasses each and a soft toy (eldest had Buckbeak and youngest had Hagrid's hound), thanks to their nanny spoiling them.  It can get expensive though, so many lovely things to buy on top of the money you may have spent getting photographs/video footage earlier.

I left with an appreciation of how much work was required to make each of the Harry Potter films such a success.  The boys left just pleased they had seen lots of interesting things to tell their friends about.

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