From props and costumes to creatures and film sets, the Warner Bros Studio Tour is an incredible opportunity to take a close look at the objects that made the story of Harry Potter so enchanting on the big screen. Items range from small glass bottles right up to a full-size steam engine and entire sections of the quirky Diagon Alley as well as the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
Such is the extraordinary detail that it’s easy to let yourself get drawn into believing that somehow, the tale of the boy wizard who took on the dreadful ‘He who must not be named’ might actually be true.
Despite the charm of the higgledy-piggledy looking streets and buildings of the film series, disabled people will be relieved and maybe a little surprised that the tour is largely accessible to them.
The majority of the tour is suitable for wheelchair users, though some areas can be difficult to navigate, such as Diagon Alley’s cobbled street, the Great Hall’s slate floor, and the Forbidden Forest’s spongy surface. Only a small number of sets aren’t fully accessible to wheelchair users but it certainly won’t constitute a great disappointment since taken as a whole, the tour is an absolute feast. That said, wheelchair users that are part of a large group are asked to provide advance notice, since there are limited wheelchair spots on certain parts of the tour.
Similarly, mobility aids such as electric scooters wider than 86cm are not able to enter the attraction, instead visitors are able to borrow a manual wheelchair. Portable stools are also available (and recommended since there are few seating areas along the route of the tour) and fully trained assistance dogs are welcome.
Personal induction loops can be reserved in advance and some of the content on the digital guides can also be subtitled. Note, however, that subtitles are not present on media throughout the tour but a portable iPad is provided with a subtitled version of the cinema film (subject to availability and must be booked in advance).
Ear defenders are available to borrow for visitors who find loud noises disturbing and a sensory room is available to provide a more calming environment. Incidentally, visitors with additional needs can collect a hidden disability sunflower lanyard during their visit.
Blue Badge parking bays are available close to the main entrance and in addition to the accessible toilets located throughout the tour, there is also a Changing Places facility, accessed using a Radar key (visitors should bring their own slings to use with the hoist).
The well-informed visitor services team are able to discuss any accessibility concerns prior to booking, and you’ll find other friendly staff on hand to assist throughout the tour itself.
Each paying disabled visitor can bring in a carer free of charge, though proof of entitlement is required on entry.