Friends. Gilmore Girls. Shameless. ER. Big Bang, Young Sheldon. Harry Potter. Pretty Little Liars! What do all of these TV shows and movies have in common? They were all filmed, in part, on the Warner Brothers Lot in Burbank California. If you have ever dreamed of seeing what goes into the making of a TV show, wanted a sneak peek into a working set, or are just the ultimate fangirl like me, then you simply must add a Warner Bros Studio Tour to your travel bucket list. Here’s everything you need to know to get the most from this once in a lifetime kind of experience.
- Anyone can book a tour of the Warner Bros Studio in Hollywood California. Simply head to their site, pick your desired date and get that tour booked. You can choose between a Studio Tour or a longer, more in-depth Deluxe Tour.
- Guests must be at least 8 years of age to tour, all guests under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Arrive about 2o minutes before your tour to get checked in and ready to go!
- Be prepared. If it’s hot, you will want some water. If it’s chilly you will want a coat. These tours take off rain or shine. Note that water and coffee can be purchased in the lobby just before you take off on your tour.
- Don’t forget your camera, you will regret it!
- The tour is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours in length and the time flies as you are driven around on trams built to hold approximately 12-16 people.
- During the tour, you have the opportunity to get the inside scoop on a real working studio. Peek at sets and soundstages and maybe see a movie star? Here’s how our tour went:
We began the tour with introductions from our friendly tour guide as we headed straight to the Warner Bros. Studio backlot. Here we discovered a series of non-descript residential streets that are purposely adaptable to stand-in for a variety of different locations, from Chicago to LA to New York City.
I loved this part of the tour as we were invited to jump out of the tram and snap some pictures of the “bar” and Patsy’s Pies where Shameless was filmed and the church used in the filming of Pretty Little Liars.
Following the backlot segment of the tour, we stopped at the Warner Bros. Archives. The first floor of this museum is currently dedicated to the DC Universe Exhibit (Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman) while the 2nd Floor was entirely dedicated to the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. We were allocated more than 30 minutes to tour the archives, truthfully, more than enough time for us.
Our group was then gathered together and we were ushered to the Picture Car Vault. Here Batman fanatics were treated to the experience of a lifetime. Batmobiles and memorabilia from every movie Batman movie were on display for all to see and photograph.
A short time later it was time to move on to the Prop Department. One of the more fascinating stops on the tour was this incredible assortment of props. Thousands and thousands of props! This department is said to hold more than 450, oo0 artifacts in it’s immense 200 000 square feet. Does your movie require a chandelier? Go ahead, choose from hundreds available. Need a chair? There must be thousands in that prop room. As we wandered around you could see a lamp “reserved” for Young Sheldon. Entire sets that had been used on The West Wing, and props from The Hangover and Casablanca. As you walk the floor of the prop house movie moments simply come alive.
Soundstage visit! Our visit was on a Sunday which meant there wasn’t much in the way of filming going on. This meant our charismatic and enthusiastic tour guide was able to take us onto the set of The Big Bang Theory. Amazing. We sat where the studio audience sits during filming, asked all our questions and had a peek at what comes next this season. No spoilers were provided!
Now it was time to move onto the big finale. Stage 48 and home to The Central Perk. A massive Friends fan I couldn’t wait to see the set of Friends. Not just hidden off behind a velvet rope, but neatly organized, with staff standing at the ready, and assisting to take your picture. My Daughter and I took our turn and had our picture taken on the famous Friends couch. Awesome.
You are then afforded the opportunity to learn by exploring the interactive soundstage and exploring all the phases of the film and television production process. One very cool area allowed you to “fly” a magic broom on a green screen or “drive” a getaway car from another movie as you are directed by Warner Brothers staff. For 10 minutes you are taken out of your comfort zone and turned into an actor. Heads up. These experiences are included in the tour price, but there is a fee to buy your finished video.
On the way out you can make a purchase of movie or TV souvenier and make an almost obligatory stop at the Central Perk Cafe.
If you are a movie buff or Television fan add the Warner Bros Studio Tour to you must see list. It’s an engaging, fun, entertaining 3-hour tour. Happy Travels!
Disclosure: I was provided passes to Warner Brothers Studio for the purpose of this review. As always all opinions on this blog remain my own.