Warner Bros Studio Tour, Los Angeles
Forget about Universal Studios (unless you have young children) and go take a tour of an actual studio. My favorite is the Warner Bros. tour. You'll watch a film about the studio's history, and then be driven around the lot on a cart and shown various elements of a working studio. Depending on what is shooting at the time, you'll usually be able to peek at a film or TV show in production. In summer, TV shows tend to be on hiatus, so you might just get to wander around the dark set. At the conclusion of the tour, you can walk through the Warner Bros. Musuem and see some amazing bits of film history (including James Dean's motorcycle).
This was a totally awesome tour and not many people know about it. If you are in L.A., I highly recommend that you go on this tour, it's worth the money. Only a handful of Hollywood movie studios offer tours, fortunately Warner Bros is one of them - and it may well be the best overall studio tour available to the general public. Unlike the Universal Studios tour, guests here aren't herded aboard monster trams by the thousands, and driven through theme park rides.
At Warner Bros, the VIP tours are far more personal, limited to small groups of fewer than twelve people. And the studio back lot that you see is the real thing. However, the tour is also one of Hollywood's best-kept secrets. Where Universal processes millions of tourists each year, only about 120 people a day discover the Warner Bros tour. You and your tour guide ramble about in a small tram resembling a golf cart; you are allowed to stop and get out of the tram to inspect many of the sets up-close, and your guide is always nearby to answer any questions you might have.
The tour is much more extensive and authentic than the superficial, indoor tour at NBC Studios. And although the WB tours last two full hours, you don't have to spend all of that time on your feet, as you do during the Paramount Studio walking tour. The Warner's back lot is also a lot more colorful than the Paramount property. The drawback, however, is the cost, Warner Bros charges a whopping $33 each for this special VIP tour (compared with $15 for Paramount, and $7 for NBC).
After the outside lots you are taken inside to see 'working' sets. I saw the set for 'Friends'...and was then taken around the 'prop' department which is huuuuuuuuge!
If you are a TV/Film/DVD fan...then this tour is a must!
We booked this tour online for $45.00 each. We researched how best to get there with public transport and left plenty of time.
We caught the Metro from Pershing Square to Universal City which took about 30mins.
This is where it all went wrong on trying to get to Burbank. There were no public board maps once out of the Metro letting you know where you were or where on earth all the buses went to. We managed to ask someone who let us know the guide book was wrong and we needed to catch Bus 152. As we crossed the roads we saw the bus but did not run as assumed at worst we would only need to wait 30mins to get another one. We had an hour and fifteen minutes to go before the tour started. There are no timetables on bus stops in LA. We waited for nearly an hour before we started to panic. We finally managed to flag a taxi who took us on the $10 journey to the studios. We ran in, just in time to join the tour.
After getting our breath back, we sat back and watched the small movie which is basically a montage of all the best films and t.v. programmes made at WB. We then hopped onto a 16 seater golf cart and were driven all over the studios with opportunities to take photos (the rest of the time they lock your cameras away). The tour guide knew everything about anything to do with WB Studios. He was your own personal walking talking google man. We got to see some sets and peek in through a few stage doors. I even managed to see them doing a spot of filming for ER. The tour takes just over 2 hours and you do come out having learnt a lot about the movies.
I dont recommend this for families with children as there will not be enough here to keep them entertained. I think Universal Studios will be better for a younger family.
If you are a movie fanatic but dont want the 'rides' as at Universal Studios this tour is for you. Despite the transport problems this tour was worth the hassle of getting to the Studios.
They say in the blurb to get your tickets early, but I arrived at 11.00am and got on the 12am tour. After you've purchased your ticket(s), (from Gate 3, a parking lot), you will be escorted to the Warner Bros. lot, where your bag will be searched. You then head to a building 5 mins away by buggy. This houses a store, with a very LIMITED range of things to purchase - and this is the only store you will come across on the tour!! They tell you there's a much better range of goods at the warnerbros.com store. Here you wait for your tour to start, which is inside a small movie theatre (30 seats) in this building. But they don't tell you that. I waited outside with some people only to rush in. Be inside the building 5 MINS BEFORE your tour starts. You watch a short montage about Warners then head on a buggy/big golf cart, to the Warner Bros. museum. Huge collection of Harry Potter items from Prisoner of Azkaban - clothes, props, etc. Also, Audrey Hepburn's hat, the time machine from the remake with G. Pearce, old scripts. Then you tour the lots.
NOTE: YOUR TOUR MUCH DEPENDS ON YOUR GUIDE. We had an old-ish guy who was trying to speak French to the Parisians on our tour for the entire 2 1/2 hours. They were annoyed, so was I. It wasted our tour time!
We saw outside sets from 'Friends', 'ER', and movies, and indoor sets from 'Miss Congeniality 2', 'Joey' (where they filmed Friends) and 'Gilmore Girls'.
This was a relaxing tour, but I left feeling I should have seen more. At $35 it's not cheap, so if there's something you want to see in particular, let them know. We saw the Gilmore Girls sets because someone requested it. And if you want to see CELEBS -don't go on a holiday. I went July 5th and no-one was there!! September is the best time to go, acc. to our guide. And you can watch a show being filmed. www.tv-audiences.com.
Park your car in GATE 3 down Olive Ave. The ticket office is there.
Out of all the Studio Tours this is the best. Its expensive but if you are going to bother getting on a studio lot, this is the tour to do it with. You go inside working studios, the museum is great. There are always stars around and the tour guides are friendly and know so much more than people should know about shows and Warner history. Also if you know someone who works for TimeWarner or your with a school, you can get a bit of a discount.
We got very lucky here, we did not know that you have to book a tour. However, we managed to get on a tour because of no-shows. Tours run on weekdays and you should book in advance. Warner Bros. offers a two-hour tour of its back lot (you go on gold carts) and studio facilities the tours are an introduction to the actual behind-the-scenes technical workings of the motion picture crafts. It is very different to universal this is for ‘real’. We got to see a scene of Ally Macbeal being taped and got a wave from Martin Sheen as he went into the West wing studio. You are not allowed to take photographs (they are very strict about this). You can also stay to view filming of some shows in the studios, again you need to book for this (our luck ran dry at this point).
We visited the Warner Bros Studios. With a little tour cart, we were driven around the sets of most famous TV plays and movies ( E.R., Gilmore Girls, Cold Case, Harry Potter, Matrix......). We visited the costume room , sound stages, special effects , etc. Our 9 year old son was fascinated by the way they make it look like someone gets killed in a movie.
It was fun to do and we even got a free picture souvenir.
They take you on a tram tour throughout the studio . You get to see sets (Gilmore girls ,joey ,friends etc) . They show you the prop rooms ,sets , costume rooms . It's a intresting day if your into television. The best part was seeing the Gilmore Girls actually filming and the E.R outside sets. My husband couldn't have cared less . My girls had a good time (13 and 17 year old) . I believe you can only reserve tickets for the morning tour . They suggest you get there early . I was able to make reservation through the conceirge at my hotel . I was told the studio doesn't like to do this and they are not always accomodating.
Take a tour of the Warner Brothers lot, for a glimpse behind the scenes. If you're lucky, you'll pass by a scene in progress.
During my visit, however, while cameras were allowed, and digital still cameras were okay, the fact that my Sony Mavica could take a tiny, short video, made it a no-no on the lot, despite my objections that I wasn't able to bring out the studio's innermost secrets with a 15-second video.
Wow did we have a great time! This was, by far, the best studio tour that I've ever taken. It's usually pretty crowded and WB does a great job at keeping everyone in small intimate groups and giving everyone a great movie/TV experience. From the parking lot, to the gift shop, to the studio, the facility is excellent, clean, and safe. Our tour guide, Andy, was entertaining, accommodating, and extremely knowledgeable. Whether you're a fan of Batman, Harry Potter, Friends, the Big Bang Theory, or the hundreds of movies and tv shows in the WB family, this is definitely a tour that the entire family will love!
My husband and I signed up for the Deluxe Tour ($250/pp) which buys you a smaller group and a longer, more thorough tour of the studios.
We visited many TV and movie settings, including sites used for True Blood, Shameless, and The Lost Boys. The tour also includes photo opportunities in a Friends replica set (all the props are in there) as well as one of my favorite parts: the props department.
When one arrives in LA's Hollywood, high on anybody's "must Do List" is to visit one of the Studios producing epic Films and TV series. we were informed by an LA insider that of the three Studios, go on a Warner Bros VIP Studio tour. All e to drive the 12 seater extended Golf Buggy are aspiring film stars who have graduated from Acting schools, thus they are very animated and full of information of all aspects of the Warner Bros Studios past, present and future.
. . . . . to be continued . . . .
If you go to Hollywood you have to do the Studio Tours. Warner Bros is one of the better ones as the tour takes you through the working studios. There is even a chance you may see a celeb as you are riding through.
The only down side is that your camera is locked away for most of the tour to respect the people working there.
They stop so you can have a look inside some of the studios and you are almost guarenteed to see something you recognise from TV, whether it be houses from Friends or the External set for the West Wing.
Our terrible experience is still ongoing. The golf cart that we told to ride was not in safe working order, even though we questioned it and the guide said it was the worst cart ever, we were told to ride it anyway. We should have insisted on getting on another cart because we got hurt. Additionally, the microphone wasn't working so we couldn't hear anything the guide was saying. The worst of the tour was saved for last. The guide took a corner too sharply and ran up the curb. Despite stopping and knowing people were hurt she took off again and this time crashed into a concrete barrier. We were told to see the Manager inside for medical assistance. After lining up for 15 minutes we got to see the Manager who told us that she had to make a few work calls before getting us medical attention. Ten minutes later she said medical assistance was on the way. Ten minutes later we asked where it was and she said it wasn't coming afterall and we'd have to go to the clinic. At the clinic the nurse recommended we be taken to the hospital for treatment, all expenses covered. Following treatment at the hospital we went home. Instead of a fun day sightseeing it was a six hour nightmare. Fast forward three months to October and we received a medical bill from the hospital for $180. I called the VIP Tour Manager and I was told it would be paid by the insurance company right away. Two weeks later I received the same medical bill saying that I was late with payment. I called the VIP Tour Manager and I was told that it would be paid the same day either by the insurance company or with his credit card. The Manager told me he would call me by the end of the day, he didn't. The following day I received a call from a very rude insurance agent asking me if I'd paid for the hospital bill. I immediately called the VIP Tour Manager to find out what was going on. No returned call as yet. Four months later I am still dealing with this nightmare. I wish I had never chosen to take my visitors to the Warmer Bros tour.