The tour itself takes you through the most iconic areas in Potterworld, from The Burrow to Dumbledoreís Office to Diagon Alley. A small outdoor section of the tour gives guests a time to pose in front of the Knight Bus, Number Four Privet Drive, or the Potter Cottage in Godricís Hollow. Small explanatory signs in front of the exhibits relay cool insights into the behind-the-scenes elements of the movie, with comments from property masters, makeup artists, and costume designers.
Among my own favorite pieces of trivia: the Gryffindor Common Room has a painting of a young McGonagall, based on a photo of a young Maggie Smith; Umbridgeís outfits got darker pink as she got more evil and powerful; and every wand in Ollivanderís has the name of a film crew member printed on the box. The emphasis here is on how the crew created the world of Harry Potter and made it come to life, not on the stars who played the roles, which makes it a real treat for movie geeks and HP fans alike.
Unlike the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park within Universal Studios Florida, there are no roller coasters here, so younger kids might find themselves bored with the lack of interactivity. There is at least a room where you can get a green-screen photo of yourself riding a broomstick, complete with a separate line and fee to purchase the photo, but itís worth it.
The only big similarity between the Studio Tour here in Leavesden and the Florida theme park is that the gift shop is an attraction within itself. Thereís a Honeydukes section for sweets (chocolate frogs, anyone?), a full assortment of Hogwarts uniforms and Quidditch equipment, reproductions of some costumes from the films, and plenty of stuffed versions of the cuddly and not-so-cuddly creatures from the books.
And, of course, thereís that beloved Butterbeer.