The Making of Harry Potter Tour with Toddlers15:16
We've recently been to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter just outside London. It is something that I have always wanted to do, but was a bit worried that they kids were too young, but at 4 and 2 we actually found that they had a great day out and really loved it!
First of all, it's worth noting that kids who are 4 or under get into The Making of Harry Potter for free, so you don't need to worry that they aren't getting enough out of it for the cost, because there is no cost for them! So whilst the tour is not aimed at children their age, we found that there was enough for them to enjoy as well as giving us the opportunity to have a good look around as well.
As soon as we arrived and picked up our tickets the children were each given a passport booklet to carry around for the day collecting stamps at the different exhibits. These are great as they give the kids a special mission as well as giving them something to keep them busy looking at as we queued to get in.
Once we were on the tour the first thing that we did was watch a film in the cinema, I was a bit concerned at this point as some of the scenes from the Harry Potter films are definitely not suitable for young children, but the clips pass quite quickly so there wasn't anything that disturbed the kids, and Ethan understood that it was a film for grown ups (and Ivy didn't really pay any attention at all to it.)
Upon entering the Great Hall you are then free to go on the tour at your own pace, which makes it very easy with young children. There are so many things within the Great Hall that had the kids captivated, all of the costumes on display, the dressed up mannequins and of course the sorting hat! I had been telling Ethan bedtime stories based on the Harry Potter books/films, so there were a few things that he was already familiar with and the sorting hat was one of them, how fun is a magical hat that tells you which group to be in? He loves it and now thinks it will choose which class he will be in at school in September!
Onto the tour and looking at all of the different areas of Hogwarts and finding the stamp machines to imprint the logos into their very special passports. It was a fun task for the kids and kept then searching for the symbols they needed and looking all around them.
In the main exhibit area we really liked the Weasley's house as there were some interactive features that the kids could try out. Ethan waved his hand over a screen and saw an iron pressing a shirt, then onto another screen where his hand movements controlled a knife cutting carrots and his favourite one which did the washing up. He also loved the potions class where we saw all the cauldrons mixing up the potions, some which stirred all by themselves. Ethan was pretending that he was controlling the stirring with his magic too!
There was also an interactive green screen area (photos are not allowed in this area) but we had fun pretending that we were sitting in a flying car, and the kids each got to sit on a broom wearing robes and pretend to be flying all around. Ethan really loved this part and got right into it leaning to the sides and flying his broom. Ivy was able to go on with one of us and was mesmerised seeing herself on the screen. Photos and videos of this are taken and can be purchased at the end.
Of course both of the kids were very excited to see the Hogwarts Express! A magical train that leaves from a magical platform that no one else can see, now that is fun! There is steam that comes up from the tracks and we got to go inside and see the carriages from each film. Of course we also went to the platform and pretended to push the trolley through the wall, it's the perfect photo opportunity too.
After a busy first half of the tour it's the perfect time to stop for a rest, some lunch for us and of course the kids had to try the Butterbeer ice cream (don't worry, there's no actual beer in there!) It's such a treat and they both really loved it, it also comes at the perfect time as they did need a rest after all of the walking they had done.
Next you head outside to the Backlot to see the Knight Bus, the bridge and some of the other vehicles. The kids loved all of the vehicles, especially sitting in Hagrid's motor bike. It's also the perfect opportunity for a little run around outside to get some of the kids energy out before going to see the other exhibits, including the house on Privet Drive and the special creatures area.
Then onto Diagon Alley which the kids really were fascinated by. I love how they've done the lighting and really kept it all in tact, at this point you really do feel as though you're walking onto a film set. Ethan's favourite was Weasleys' Wizard Weezes joke shop as there were a lot of fun things to see through the windows.
After Diagon Alley you move through to see the model of Hogwarts, the kids were both captivated by the castle and enjoyed walking all around it and using the touch screens to learn more about it.
We had a really fantastic day at The Making of Harry Potter Tour and I would definitely recommend taking young children as it does get them excited about the books that they will get to read when they're older and there are a lot of things that they can enjoy already.
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* This is a review post, we were provided with tickets to The Making of Harry Potter in order to write our honest review.*