So today we went to the WB Harry Potter tour just outside of London.
HIGHLY recommend. It is easy to get to (but I’ll come back to that). It is first off very cool and well worth your time. Second - it is very much different than the experience at US Orlando.
I have to say - that what they have recreated in Orlando - is exceptionally realistic and representational to what is at the original studios - and even more immersive. Since the sets here are the real ones and were not meant to be an exhibit - you sometimes think “where is the rest of it” - so that takes a bit to get over. However it is a WONDERFUL experience and well worth your time. It is a self guided tour with hand held sets and VERY knowledgable and friendly staff that are more than helpful and excited to share their HP experiences. At the end there is a wand room that has a wand box for all the cast and crew. There was a woman there that could tell you who the actor was and where their box was with literally laser pinpoint accuracy. You like Mcgonnigal (sp) - that is Maggie Smith and her wand box is right there (pointing with a laser).
Transportation. We were a family of 4 (2 adult 2 children 10 and 14) and this was what worked out best for us. I do NOT recommend the tour bus for two reasons. 1 - expensive, 2 - you only get 2 1/2 hours there with the tour bus. We spent 5. We are not super crazy HP fans - but we enjoy it - but we wanted to just explore at a leisurely pace - and we did. We also had lunch there - so that took some time.
We took a car out - it was about £77 (this included the tip). Our hotel booked it for us and it was well worth it. It was a nice car (Mercedes) and it was on OUR time and schedule. Got us there with plenty of time and in comfort.
Once we were ready to leave we took the Shuttle bus (£2 per person) to the Watford station and then took a 20 minute ride back into London via Eustron station (sp) at £19. From there you can get to any place in London via the tube. This was LESS EXPENSIVE than the tour bus, gave us more flexibility and we didn’t feel rushed at all. In hind sight - I would have taken the train OUT - but it wouldn’t have been as convenient as we would have had to get up earlier in the morning.
Another suggestion - go AS EARLY IN THE MORNING AS POSSIBLE. Also was told by a staffer to avoid weekdays as there are LOTS of school trips and the kids can be a bit “energetic”. We were there at 9 AM on a SUNDAY and it couldn’t have been more perfect