– this post, “london daytrips // the harry potter tour at warner bros. studios” is in partnership with BoxLunch, and contains affiliate links. this means that if you decide to buy any of the below items, we may receive a small commission – As 2019 comes to a close, we’re still looking back at our 2018 travels, and whoops! We skipped something! About a month before Henry arrived, Carolyn jetted over to London for a long weekend. On the schedule was our usual: eating, relaxing, and adventuring with lazy baby numero uno (and her parents). One not-so-standard addition? The Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros. Studios. Like many millennials solidly in their 30s, we grew up with Harry, Hermione, and Ron — almost year for year. From our desks in our boring old muggle middle school, we followed their every move, starting in year 1 at Wizarding School. We spent an embarrassing amount of time wishing for our own owl-delivered letters to Hogwarts. On an impromptu London meet-up circa 2008, we even visited Kings Cross Station’s Platform 9 3/4… very late at night. Back then, it was just a cheeky little hidden nod to the book, and really only there if you knew to look. Now, of course, they’ve made it a proper tourist destination. At the time, however, we were APPALLED we couldn’t get through and board the Hogwarts Express. a defining moment, truly Anyway! When the team at BoxLunch recently reached out to us about a partnership, we nipped right over to their website for inspiration. Lo & behold, we found it immediately. An entire section of their site is dedicated to Harry Potter. Hello to the perfect excuse to finally regale you with the details of our day on the Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros. Studios, ya welcome. talk about a glow up Before we dive in, a quick note about BoxLunch. We actually didn’t know much about their shop until now, but they have a great mission. As a civic-minded retailer, for every $10 you spend on any of their pop culture-themed product, BoxLunch helps provide a meal secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. So! Definitely check out our links below. If you see anything you love, know that you’re shopping with a bit of a purpose. Win/win/wingardium leviosa. Get excited // We haven’t read all the books in years, though we’re fully guilty of catching the movies if they happen to be on TV. Because Margot didn’t really know what Harry Potter was, we figured an abbreviated viewing of the first movie was in order. It paid off. She was the exact right level of interested in Harry and Hedwig pre-studios. Get ready // We’re not the types to go anywhere in full costume, and the Harry Potter tour is no exception. Even so, we DO love to let our destination inspire our looks. After browsing BoxLunch’s Harry Potter shop, we’re pretty in love with the below: Harry Potter Bolt Snitch Star Stud Earring Set // Harry Potter Snitch Braided Bracelet // Harry Potter Hogwarts Travel Mug // Loungefly Harry Potter Three Broomsticks Coin Purse // JuJuBe Harry Potter Be Zealous Flying Keys Diaper Backpack Out of everything we loved, these little stud earrings might just be our top fave, though obviously the idea of matching friendship bracelets appeals. Remember, this HP love goes back to our middle school roots, where we met on the school bus. Braided friendship bracelets at 33 just… feels right. Almost as right as this HARRY POTTER THEMED NAPPY BAG, hello. A coin purse is basically a requirement when you’re traveling with sterling. And lastly, as we all try to be a bit more sustainable in our day to day… anyone else fancy a Hogwarts-adorned keep cup? Honestly, we’re ready to buy all this up and book ourselves another trip to the studios. Get tickets // The main thing holding us back from planning our HP tour visit in previous years was just how impossible it is to get tickets fairly last minute. As you may have heard… we’re not exactly planners. This time, we had about a two-month lead time from when the trip was officially a go. Naturally, all the dates and times on the website were totally sold out. Around this same time, Jeff let it slip that his office building has a concierge service. We politely asked him to see if they had an in for tickets, while Ashley rubbed her growing belly and blinked slowly. And aHA, they did! This hasn’t worked in other instances — the Dior exhibit at the V&A and Hamilton are two events that come immediately to mind. But because it worked well for Harry Potter, then we feel confident in suggesting that a hotel concierge or travel agent might also have an in if you’re dying to go but don’t have 6 months to plan. The tickets came at a premium, but current website prices note £45/adult. We paid… a lot more than that. Just looked at our receipt and feel embarrassed. Wow, people will do anything for a pregnant woman. Children under 4 are free, which is a good way to tell that little ones will be totally fine. There are some dark and potentially scary parts (a stroll through the Forbidden Forest comes complete with MASSIVE spiders, for one!) But, like anything, it all depends on your kid. It’s really a perfect mix of movie magic and fun, in our opinions. At just over 2, Margot was just curious and excited more than anything else. But she also loves an adventure, so again: it all comes down to personalities. a good example of the kind of personalities that thrive at the harry potter tour at warner bros. studios, tbh Get there // Our tickets were for 11:30 AM on a Sunday morning in March. They suggest you arrive 20 minutes before your entry time. The train takes about 20 minutes from Euston Station to Watford Junction, with regular shuttle buses to the studios. We decided to aim for a 9:30 AM train. When you travel with little ones, it’s always better to give yourself lots of room to breathe. In this case, it was a lifesaver. We had some weird train issues getting out there, and they redirected us to some other random station. We paired up with two German girls and split a taxi, and ended up getting there right at 11 AM. (It’s possible our new German friends missed their entrance, they were not thrilled). The return, it should be noted, was a breeze. So even on a bad day, it was all fine and still better than one of the bus tour packages, we’re sure. not the train we got, but absolutely the train we deserved Get lost // A huge part of the magic was just how little we really knew about the studios. We didn’t research much before we went (hello, how on brand), and you shouldn’t either. After entering through the main hall, we basically just wandered for nearly 90 minutes, taking in as many of the little details as we could. We took pictures in wizard capes while pretending to play quidditch in front of a green screen, and we stopped for lunch and butterbeer at a pop-up Three Broomsticks. you’re extremely welcome In total, we explored for about two hours. We loved Diagon Alley and the Gryffindor Common room, but the fully scaled model of Hogwarts was most definitely our favorite part. Get muggle snuggled // Once we were home, all we wanted to do was experience the movie magic all over again. Next HP viewing party, we demand the below: Harry Potter Clue // Harry Potter Gryffindor Quidditch Alumni Ankle Socks // Harry Potter Gryffindor Tapestry Throw Blanket // Harry Potter White Grim Tea Cup & Saucer Set After a long day of train travel and adventuring with a toddler in tow, there’s nothing better than cozying up. Give us snuggly socks, a warm blanket, a boardgame, and teacups… filled with red wine, natch. So tell us! Have you been on the Harry Potter tour? Are you dying to go? xo! ashley & carolyn
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