/ Travel & Leisure

Harry Potter and the High Studio Tour Price – is £28 too much?

The sets used in the magical movie franchise are about to open to visitors. But at £83 for a family ticket to ‘The Making Of Harry Potter’ studio tour, will even those people potty about Potter steer clear?

If Dobby, the Sorting Hat, and the Golden Snitch mean anything to you, the chances are you’ll be interested in the brand new attraction opening on 31 March at the Warner Bros. Studios near Watford, Herts.

‘The Making Of Harry Potter’ Warner Bros. studio tour enables mere Muggles to see up-close the sets where much of the eight Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Reviewing the Harry Potter tour

I visited the studio for a review in our Which? Travel magazine, and I’d rate the experience as a great treat for fans young and old(er), who’ll be enchanted by the range of sets and the thousands of familiar costumes and props on display.

Like a magician revealing the secrets behind all their tricks, the tour explains – often using clever multimedia techniques – how the blockbusters were produced. After an introductory film and guided tour of the majestic Great Hall, you’ll walk self-guided past the Potions classroom and Hagrid’s hut.

Highlights for me included Dumbledore’s grand study, the cobbled Diagon Alley, and a massive model of the multi-turreted Hogwarts castle used for filming.

Harry Potter tour costly by the hour

My own visit – at a relatively leisurely pace to take in most of the accompanying explanatory films – lasted two and a half hours. Even the biggest aficionados probably won’t need much more than three hours to see everything.

This makes the admission price pretty steep for the price – £28 for adults, £21 for 5-15 year olds, and £83 for a family of four. So adults will be paying around £9 an hour.

Theme parks like Alton Towers cost slightly more (currently around £32 per adult if pre-booking online), but people tend to stay there for six hours or more, which seems better value at just over £5 an hour.

Adding on all the extras

Then there are the optional extras. One of the few interactive experiences is the chance to don a robe and be filmed flying on a broomstick through London. It’s great fun, but if you want a photo, it will set you back £12.

And couldn’t the famous (non-alcoholic) Butterbeer have been part of the overall experience, rather than costing an extra £2.95 a cup?

The tour inevitably ends at the vast gift shop, where pester power could reach epic proportions, but there’s little for under £10. Temptations include 17 different wands to collect (£25 each), Gryffindor swords (£12), and Weasley toys like the Extendable Ear (£15). There’s even a Dumbledore replica robe for a mere £496.

You might resist the merchandise, but if you’re arriving by train to Watford Junction it will cost £2 per person for a return ticket to the studio on a shuttle bus. Including the bus ride in the admission cost would have been a nice touch, especially as the car park is free.

A price worth paying?

Maybe I’m just being a Moaning Myrtle about this. Try to book tickets for the Harry Potter studio tour and it’s already virtually impossible to find any available date in April or any weekend in May. Is this a sign that perhaps the entry price isn’t so prohibitive after all, or just that people are under the spell of a much-hyped brand?

Warner Bros. no doubt sat down and researched what potential visitors would be willing to pay, so perhaps £28 is to be expected. After all, it’s much cheaper than seeing all eight Harry Potter movies at the cinema, or even going to a West End show.

Are you enthralled by the Potter magic? Will the cost of this three-hour experience deter you from visiting?

Comments
Guest
Gerard Phelan says:
18 March 2012

A family ticket for Madame Tussauds is £108 or £97.20 booked on-line, so Harry Potter at £83 looks like the bargain of the century as well as being original! Given that one is permitted to take photographs of what ARE the original sets then a dedicated fan will struggle to get round in just a single day as they strive to take in every small piece of the never ending depth of detail.

Guest
ssb says:
21 May 2014

yes, but you can get bogof for Madame Tussauds, but not for Warner Bros, so personally, I think it’s ripoff.

Guest
ssb says:
21 May 2014

By the way it’s now £30 an adult, and £89 for a family of four.

Guest

£83 is major purchase territory for us. Fortunately, for most of these places there are countless two for one and similar offers around, and fingers crossed this will go the same way after the initial rush of die hard enthusiasts. I shall wait for it to be available on Tesco Clubcard!

Guest

Normal pricing method of setting it as high as the market will stand .
When bookings start to drop , along will come the offers and eventually lower prices.

It is a commercial venture and thus designed to make as much money as possible over the life of the asset.

Guest
JamesAard1 says:
19 March 2012

All of these attractions are only ever visited if there’s a great deal available, which is seldom. They are all far too expensive. A great (and cheap) day out for the family is only a short walk or drive from ones own door.

Guest

I’m going in a week or so with my niece and we’ve been hit by a different ‘rip-off’.

If you book directly the tickets are £28, which I thought was fair enough. The studios have also partnered up with a coach company offering return travel from Victoria to the studio near Watford. These package tickets cost around £45. Again, fair enough.

However, when I came to book, the studio-only tickets had sold out until late April, while the coach company had loads of tickets for almost any date you like. I live in Harrow, which isn’t all that far from Watford – but to get tickets for the dates I wanted, we now have to travel into central London, just to get a coach out again. And we have to pay almost double the price for the privilege.

It’s like those impossible-to-buy-unless-you-go-through-a-pricey-travel-agent Olympics tickets again…

Guest
Ravi says:
29 April 2017

I fully agree with you. I do live near Watford and was trying to book tickets and each ticket is £129 pounds including transport. When I called the trip advisor contact saying only ticket, I am told it’s not possible. It,s a scam and I am sorry that Harrypotter studio is encouraging this! This is unacceptable and everyone should boycott and name and shame these touts encouraged by Leavesdon studio

Guest
Gerard Phelan says:
29 March 2012

Melissa, web mistress of the Leaky Cauldron fan web site has just written an article which captures the excitement that fans will experience and explains far better than I did above why FOR THEM, the entry cost will just not be an issue.