NBC Studio Tour, New York City
Admission is $17.50 for adults. The most expensive tourist activity that I have ever paid for. When we bought tickets and paid that amount, we expected to get quite a tour. We were wrong.
This is a 70 minute tour. You begin by going through security, which I must admit, was more strict than even the Statue of Liberty ferry! This takes approximately 15 minutes. Then you are loaded onto an elevator and wisked up to a room which houses three flat-screen TV's. It is here that you view a 10 minute video which is hosted by Katie Couric and Matt Lauer on the studio's history. This is your first opportunity to watch clips of shows you have seen 100 times before! Next they take you to the Dateline studio. This isn't exactly an interesting studio and who watches that show anyway?? From here you board the elevator again (this by the way is what takes up the majority of the tour time) to the floor which houses the Saturday Night Live studio. Normally, the tour groups are given some background on the show and an explanation of how the sets work. However, we were lucky enough to watch a bit of a rehearsal for Saturday's show. Donald Trump was to be the host for that week and he was doing a scene with cast members Horatio Sanz and Maya Rudolph. I have to admit that I was pretty neat to see and was the only highlight of the whole tour!! Next, they send you into a mock-control room/news set where they take souvenier photos of everyone in front of a cheesy news desk. Then they ask for a volunteer to do a silly weather forecast in front of a green screen. We were lucky enough to be with a large group of drama club-high schoolers who were as obnoxious as could be. And to top it all off, your final activity is to watch supposedly HDTV clips of NBC shows (clips that you already saw in the first video) that make you nauceous on a wrap around screen.
Unique Suggestions: Go on a Friday afternoon when you might have a chance to see an SNL rehearsal.
You pay over $10, tour a few studios, which is cool, but you end up in one where they take your picture. Guess what? Then they try to sell it to you for $10. Surprisingly, they will however let you take your own too. There's also this 'green screen' thing at the end that if you do it, they tape it and then try to sell THAT to you. I felt really abused.
Unique Suggestions: Skip the extras.
Fun Alternatives: Walk around and go see the free studios. Visit one of the morning shows and get on TV instead.