Destinations

London's Harry Potter Studio Tour Is Even More Magical in the Snow

Here’s what every Potterhead needs to know before visiting.
IMAGE DAN WONG PHOTOGRAPHY
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The Harry Potter films aren’t Christmas movies per se, but between the Yule Ball, scenes of Hogsmead in the snow, and month-long marathons on TV every December, the beloved series has become undeniably linked with the holiday season.

It’s that association which makes Hogwarts in the snow, Warner Brothers’ annual festive feature, all the more exciting.

Considering a trip? Here’s what you need to know before you go.

FOR THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, HOGWARTS IN THE SNOW RUNS THROUGH JANUARY 27, 2019.

If you're already planning ahead for next year, the winter-themed feature will run from November 16, 2018 through January 26 2020.

YOU MUST BOOK YOUR TICKET IN ADVANCE.

Ticket times fill up fast, and if possible, you’ll want to select the earliest time possible. The earlier you go, the smaller the crowd, and the less time you’ll have to wait in line. (When you enter the cinema at the beginning of the tour, try to grab a seat in the front few rows. That way, you’ll get to enter at the head of the pack.) For reference, an adult ticket (16+ years) costs £43; a child ticket (5-15 years) costs £35; a family ticket (for four people) costs £140.

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BOOK HERE

The studio is located about 20 miles north-west of London. Check out the tour's website for information on exactly how to get there. 


The Yule Ball at Hogwarts in the snow

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AT A FAST CLIP, THE ENTIRE TOUR TAKES ABOUT 3 HOURS.

That said, a true Harry Potter fan could explore much longer, so consider that when planning your trip. You'll enter by way of the Great Hall, which is set up for a Christmas feast, complete with flaming pudding. Then, meander your way through authentic film sets like Diagon Alley, Platform 9 3/4, and Number 4 Privet Drive, some of which are decked out for the holidays. Examine costumes and props up close, and take a lesson in the series' special effects. You can even try your own hand at flying a broomstick (and purchase a video of the whole experience, should you be so inclined). Before you leave, take a closer look at several models of Hogwarts, one of which is aptly covered in a light dusting of snow.

ONCE YOU PROGRESS THROUGH ONE SECTION OF THE EXHIBIT, YOU CANNOT GO BACK.

Make sure you’ve seen everything you want to see before moving between rooms. Want to know more about what you're viewing? There are attendants stationed throughout the tour, who can answer any additional questions you may have. (In a pinch, they're also kind enough to snap photos, so you can always remember the time you spent peeking into the Gryffindor common room.)

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YOU’LL WANT TO SAVE TIME FOR THE GIFT SHOP.

The attraction’s largest store is located at the entrance (and exit) of the tour, and features everything a Potter fan might want, from replica wands to Hogwarts Quidditch t-shirts to scarves and sweaters for each of the school’s four houses. If you do go for Hogwarts in the Snow, the shop’s impressive selection of Christmas ornaments is worth a look, as is the large supply of smaller gifts like wand-shaped pens, magnets, and key chains, which make perfect stocking stuffers.

While the main store is certainly the most impressive, there are additional, more specific shops peppered throughout the attraction. For example, one is Forbidden Forrest-themed and another centers around the Hogwarts Express and Platform 9 ¾. These stores offer exclusive merchandise that isn’t available at the main shop, so if you see something you like (maybe a Aragog mug or a Hogwarts Express train set), definitely buy it. You can always exchange it when you get to the flagship store, if you discover something better.

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BUTTERBEER IS A MUST FOR ANY POTTERHEAD.

Better yet, the sweet, fizzy drink is non-alcoholic, so visitors of all ages can enjoy. It tastes a bit like liquified butterscotch and is available to purchase either in a disposable cup or a souvenir tankard.

In total, there are two dining options at the Studio, one at the entrance / exit and one in the middle of the tour. Aside from Butterbeer, the food and drink options are pretty standard. (Think sandwiches, chips, soft drinks, and Starbucks beverages.) Sweets from the books like Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, and Fizzing Whizbees are also for sale in the gift shop.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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