We recently thoroughly enjoyed a trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour just outside London. We were celebrating the lovely Jennifer from Pastry & Purls‘ birthday. I had actually visited a good few years ago (I really love Harry Potter), and it was well worth going again. This time was a little different though as we had a small person in tow. I found information beforehand a little bit vague in terms of bringing a baby and facilities for babies, so I wanted to write this post in case anyone else is wondering the same things we were before our visit.
This is going to be an almost exclusively baby focused post – so a little bit obsessed with high chairs and nappy changing facilities, ie the nitty gritty if you’re planning a trip and an overthinker like me! It is such a fun day out though, totally unmissable if you’re a Harry Potter fan. It’s very much the story of how the films were made with the opportunity to see and step inside the sets, see the props and all the other behind the scenes stuff that happens when creating such a complex magical world on screen.
I would also say that if you’re a parent and want to visit then taking them when they’re very little is probably better than waiting til they’re a bit older. Obviously it depends on your child but some of the exhibits could be a little scary for a child who is more aware, also if you haven’t read all the books/ seen all the films spoilers are obviously a major risk so I would want to wait til Felicity has (hopefully) read and enjoyed all the books and watched all the films when she’s quite a bit older before visiting again.
It was definitely a different experience visiting the Harry Potter Studios again with Felicity, but it was still such an enjoyable trip. Babies can be so all consuming it’s good to know it’s still possible to enjoy a day out like this.
We also obviously wanted to show Felicity where she’ll be going to school when her owl arrives in about 11 years time! I also got a little bit emotional again at the end of the tour with this closing message – despite the fact we were about to have a nappy explosion.
Seems a bit of an anticlimax to go from that to nappy changing facilities – but here we go anyway!
Getting around the tour with a baby
– The website says that you may not be able to bring buggies or prams on the tour, we came armed with slings because of this. From talking to the staff there doesn’t generally seem to be any requirement to leave your stroller in the cloakroom, so don’t let this put you off if you’re planning a visit.
Getting into the tour
A lot of the information about the tour before you visit is deliberately vague, to save the surprise, so I’m going to try and not give anything important away too!
– The tours have timed entry and because of this there is some queuing to get into the tour as you wait for your slot.
– Most of the ‘tour’ isn’t actually being shown around, rather there is about forty minutes at the start where you are guided round. It starts with an introduction to the Studios, to a short film in a cinema and then into one of the fabulous sets used in the films. Once you’re past this section you can go at your own pace.
– During this forty minutes or so it would be hard to duck out at any point, so be prepared with food/nappy changes first etc.
– If it’s nap time the film in the cinema is quite loud!
Food and drink
– There is a large cafe after you get into the building but before starting your tour, lots of highchairs available and we brought our own food for Felicity.
– The next opportunity to sit down and eat is about two thirds of the way round the studio tour at the Backlot where there is another large cafe and lots of outside seating with an entertaining view. Jennifer had brought us a fantastic picnic to eat here and again there were lots of high chairs available.
– Due to the way the Studios are laid out it would be quite difficult, though not impossible, to head for this cafe and then double back to previous exhibits, so do bear this in mind when planning your day.
– After this the next opportunity to sit down to eat or drink would be after exiting the tour in the original entrance hall. So stop at the Backlot if in any doubt.
– There is baby changing in the main entrance hall, at the end of the section on interior sets, and in second part of the tour just by the Backlot cafe. It never feels too far from changing facilities wherever you are, aside from the initial introduction.
– The exception to this is in the last part of the tour, once you’ve left the Backlot if you need to, duck back rather than going on as you have to exit to get to the next nappy changing station.
– There are also incredibly nice changing/feeding rooms off the Backlot cafe. Not often I can feed looking at Harry Potter artwork! (And yes I am that sad that I took a picture)
Happy Harry Pottering! I’d love to know if you find this information helpful or if there is anything I’ve missed out.