So we booked to go to Harry Potter tour in Watford for the day starting at 10am. We were told it was around 3-4 hours so we decided to stay overnight at a local hotel.
We arrived around 20 minutes earlier and were greeted by parking attendants, it is free to park and nicely laid out so no queues. Outside there are a few chess pieces to look at and a collection of tickets booth or box office, we used the booth as it was more manual service rather than a person then a quick bag check and we were in. I will start this by saying I haven’t seen the films or read the books, however the kids have and so has my husband so on to the review. There was a long row of corridors with a sort of map with pictures and slogans and quotes of text on them that were nice to read and then you came out in a café. The queue then started for the tour.
So you go into the queue and wait for your turn, they have some videos on the walls to watch and also Harry’s bed under the stairs set to look at. Then you visit a room where you look at posters on the walls then a short cinema experience and then into the Great Hall. Many photo opportunities of the large room, spectacular food on display and the house badges here.
Once through that you come into a large room with lots of sets, costume design and some other creations. The kids can also get a free passport book to collect stamps as they go through. We saw many things walking through, then we went into the green screen area where you could try riding on a broomstick or getting your photo taken for a poster – At £14 for 1 picture we passed but I am sure its a great price for some people. The creative area where it shows you stunts with the car, tree and doors were interesting and their are Televisions all over showing you what happened in the film and how it was made.
The kids could also have a go at wand training in front of the mirror before we went into the forest where all the spiders came out to play. Other areas we visited included the Hogwarts Express, Harry’s house, the bridge and the prosthetics area. There are many things to read and photograph on your tour. In the courtyard the deatheaters gave a demo where the kids could get involved in a live wand battle, the kids could also try out the car and bike and take a seat on them and also get on the bus at the back.
My favourite part of the whole tour was the Butter Beer and butterbeer ice cream that we tried, expensive at £4 and £5 respectively but I guess we will only be there once and you can’t seem to buy it anywhere else so we did try it. There were some benches in the second café after the Hogwarts to have a nice sit down.
You could also get on the train and take your own images, as well as the carriages open so you could have photos taken their and buy them. The station had some trolley and luggage areas you could pose for photos as well so all in all a good photo opportunity day.
Overall it took us just over 3 hours to do the tour and we stopped to look at most things and take pictures, we also had a sit down for the butterbeer and had a browse of the giftshops. I wouldn’t say of the experience it was value for money as it cost us around £160 for the 6 of us, however It was a nice few hours and the sets and effort that went into creating them were brilliant. The drawings, artwork, 3D creations and then the last part with the magical set on a smaller scale and how that was shown in the film, as you can see on the screens around it is fabulous, but it does ruin some of the film magic in my opinion. I do like the fact you can have family photos done and they are not all ones you have to buy at the attraction as with that, entry, gift shop and also food it can be a pretty pricey day out. Here below is Kylo on the giant chair.
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