A few weeks ago, my husband and I spent a long weekend in LA. We had a blast the entire time. On the Second day we were there we were fortunate enough to visit the Warner Bros Studio in Hollywood. We are huge TV fans, so this was kind of on our bucket list.
If you are like me and need a wheelchair, please let the studio tour customer service know upon buying tickets. This way they are prepared for you and have a chair ready for you to use. You are in the tour car most of the time, but there are times that you get out and may need it. They were very kind and patient for me to get in and out of the carts during those times.When you first arrive you need to go through a metal detector and security checks your bag (I had zero issue with this, I want to be safe). Then you go into a waiting area. While you wait you can get snacks or just look around at the pictures. Once your group is called you go into a small theater and watch a very short film and then you are on your way.
Since the studio tour is on an actually working lot, each and every tour is a little different. Everyday something different is going on. Some days you don’t see much film shooting, but other days you might. We missed Gilmore Girls by a week (my daughter would have been so jealous as we love that show).
The first part of the tour is taking us around the back lots and showing us the exteriors of sets. There is nothing inside the structures that is of use. They only use it for outside shots. I watch way too much TV so I know they reuse a lot of sets, but it’s so cool to see them in person. All they have to do is change up a few signs and add something here and there and it will look completely different. It’s also so crazy on how small the areas are and how large they look on TV or the movie screen. Take for example the picture below with the trees and the building in the background. This is used for many school scenes. Buses, and cars are often lined up outside the school to pick up the kids.
One of my favorite shows of all time is Friends. So when our tour guide mentioned that this is the location that Rachel and Monica hid during the episode with Jean Claude Van Dam. I have seen every episode of that show a few times so I know the scene well. It was so cool to see. We also got to see where they shot the Central Park scenes, like where Rachel and Phebe would run, or any time they needed to be in the park. I loved every part of the tour but the best part for me was simply sitting on the Friends couch. That alone could have been the tour and I would have been happy.
If you are a fan of Pretty Little Liars we got to see a few of the houses they use for the show as well (the outsides). Inside those houses are offices. Great use of space in my opinion. One of the facades we saw is a house that most everyone knows at once glance. One of my favorite shows as a kid and one that has been brought back for us. Full House. Since almost everyone on the tour was a fan, our guide stopped and let us take some pics closer up to the house.
I motioned before that my daughter and I love Gilmore Girls. It was so cool to see all the sets from the show (since that is coming back as well for 4 90 minute episodes. We got to see Lorelai's house, Miss Patty’s dance studio, Luke’s Diner and of course the town square. Once again, I was surprised that it was so small. If you also watched the show Heart of Dixie you will recognize the town square and the gazebo as they are the one and same. If I paid closer attention, I would have realized that, but I didn’t, so I thought that was neat. I told you I watch a lot of TV.
For the next part we were on our own for about 20 mins to a half hour. We were able to wonder around the archive museum and look at costumes from Superman, Wonder Woman, and Suicide Squad etc. We also got to look at the first copies of some of the comic books. They were of course wrapped in plastic and protected in cases so nobody could actually touch them.
I think my husband’s favorite part of the tour was seeing all the vehicles used in the Bat Man movies. I have to admit, I thought it was pretty cool as well. The vehicles were ones that they actually used in the movies. I think Darin would have loved it if he could actually take one for a spin in real life and not just on the green screen. He did have an opportunity to get on a bike and have a video made of him riding it, and of course wearing a cape (can’t forget the cape). He had so much fun. While we were looking at the vehicles we were also able to turn the bat signal on and off.
The last stop of the guided tour was to see some of the lots. We were able to go inside Ellen’s lot and see where she shoots the show. We also got to see the riffraff room. I wish we were able to take pictures but it wasn’t allowed at that time. If you want to get tickets to her show, plan about 6 months in advance as they are very sought after and takes time to get in. If you go and aren’t able to get inside and sit, you go to the riffraff room. However, if that happens Ellen does give you another ticket that guarantees the next time you will sit in the audience. You can find tickets to, Conan, Ashton Kutcher’s show The Ranch and other talk shows free of charge.
That was the end of the guided tour. They dropped us off at studio 49, and from there we could go at our own pace. This is where I was able to take the picture on the Friends Couch, where Darin had the video taken. This studio is very hands on and you can dive more into how things are done and create your own batmobile. We were also able to look at some props from shows like the cross from the Exorcist, Phoebe’s guitar, and the trophies from the Emmy’s, Oscars and Golden Globes.
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