I love the movies! Do you? One of the reasons I love entertainment so much is the ability to imagine and get lost in lots of different realities. I also love that I can simply walk away when I’m over it. When I sit down to watch a TV show, or a movie I’m ready and willing to believe the unbelievable! Obviously, I don’t sit down and say, “Prepare to suspend belief,” it simply happens. That’s the magic!
When done right, it’s so seamless, its easy to believe that what you’re watching is actually real. I love nothing more than the ability to settle in with my popcorn, (is there any other movie watching treat) and blissfully forget that it took literally hundreds of people working behind the scenes to create that seamless transition between the real world and places like Hogwarts, The Shire, or Gotham City. Three of my favorite alternate realities!
I literally forget that I can’t actually go to these places, and that Batman isn’t real. Wait! What? Batman isn’t real? I refuse to believe it!
Okay, now that we’ve established that one does not simply walk into Mordor, how do they make it look like we can? How do they make it look so real? Well, it just so happens that Los Angeles, the home of movie magic, is the perfect place to find out! During my recent visit to the Warner Bros Studio Lot we got behind the scenes peeks into many of our favorite television shows and movies both old and new!
Now, you might be thinking that a studio tour is incredibly touristy, and it is, but hey there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s touristy for good reason. Next you might say to yourself, but I’m not into theme parks, and to that I say, “Not all studios are theme parks, however some theme parks are studios!”
Even the cynic in your group will be won over when they see the location of their favorite television show or movie. At least our resident cynic was!
Your tour starts with a brief film overview, hosted by Ellen, (her show is filmed at Warner Bros.) afterwards you’ll be split into small groups! The lot encompasses 110 acres, and is big enough to need its own fire department, so this won’t be a walking tour. Your open air vehicle seats about 12 people and will ensure that you’re able to see everything!
Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to visit the homes and buildings from some of film and TV’s most popular places, including ER, Gilmore Girls, Dukes of Hazard, the original Batman TV series and Full house to name just a few. You might even get the opportunity to step inside some of them. Don’t worry there’s plenty of time for photo opportunities!
What you’ll see on your tour is largely dependent on what is happening on the lot on that given day. We were treated to exhibits showcasing props from Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Suicide Squad and Batman Vs. Superman.
My favorite exhibit had to be the Bat Mobiles, but we also got the opportunity to visit the sound stage of the Big Bang Theory, the coffee shop from La La Land, and even the set of Central Perk from Friends. If you’re so inclined you can even sit on the Friends couch.
Towards the end of your tour you’ll be given the opportunity to explore, at your own leisure, interactive exhibits dedicated to showing you just how the movie and television magic happens, including costumes, scripts, set dressing, green screens, forced perspective and more. We held Oscars, “rode” the bat cycle, explored movie props, and made a trip to the studio shop!
Tips and Advice:
- You’ll need to reserve your tour online in advance.
- Kids under 8 are not permitted.
- You’ll be getting in and out of the tour vehicle, so make sure to dress appropriately.
- The tour is three hours long, but the time flies by!
- The tour operators are very accommodating, so feel free to ask for a photo stop at any point along the way.
- Save time for a visit to the tour studio store, which features items from many well known films and shows and is only available on the tour!
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Jane the Raincity Librarian
CENTRAL PERK!!! That tour looks like so much fun – I know a lot of people turn up their noses in disdain at “touristy” things, but I say go for it! I mean, if you’re a tourist, why not have fun and go with it? 🙂
I agree with you 100%! It was a ton of fun!! #professionaltourist
Such an awesome post! Now you’ve really inspired me to want to visit the next time we’re home! My husband would love this! #CityTripping
I made my husband go and he loved it!
Looks like so much fun – would love to do this!
Sarah Ebner (@sarahjebner)
Would absolutely love to do this – it looks brilliant for the young and not so young! Think I might enjoy it even more than the kids…#citytripping
Ha! I know, my husband I recognized many more of the shows and movies than the kids!
We would love this! We’ve been to the one in London several times, but my son would love the Batman stuff. And I would love to see the sets of so many movies, I do love films. Good to know that under 8’s can’t go! Thanks for linking up with #CityTripping
I’m hoping to make it to the London tour one of these days! We love Harry Potter and butter beer! Are there other movies and sets there as well?
No unfortunately all Harry Potter! Which isn’t a bad thing!
Honestly, this looks like my dream! I would never want to leave! #farawayfiles
You are going to find this silly but I didn’t know about this studio tour until a month ago. Some friends who were visiting LA told me about it (can you believe that?). They said it is a very good tour and 10 times better when you compare it with the one at Universal Studios. I have to go! #FarawayFiles
I get it! It’s often the people who live in an area that are the least likely to do things like this… it was the same for us the first time we lived here. Give it it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! We liked it way more than the Universal Tour, although we had fun there too.
Hilary this looks so much better than the Universal Studios tour – though I last went a long time ago and Jaws was the focus – hee hee. Holy smokes! I love those Bat mobiles. #FarawayFiles
It is a very different tour, not so focused on being a theme park. I was so excited to see the bat mobiles!
This sounds SO cool, Hilary! I would have to visit Central Perk and sit on that sofa and my kids would be absolutely thrilled to try on the Sorting Hat. No popcorn for me though – my cinema treat is always Maltesers! Fab post for #farawayfiles
Ooh! I love Maltesers! Just had some a few days ago!
Bumble Bee Mum
Children under 8 not permitted??? Sigh… I need to wait 4 years!! The photos of you guys in jail was hilarious btw. Hahaha… #CityTripping
I know it seems like a long wait! I’ve been waiting ages for the Sony Tour and can finally check it out! It’s 13 and up!
We definitely like to have fun! Or at least I do, my boys humor me!
Your Travel Guys
Great post! Come and check out our Paramount Studio Tour post!
Absolutely! That ones on my list!
Sounds great! And pitched at parents as well as children which is perfect. Another one to add to the list!
The adults may have even liked it more than the kids!
Hello! Do you remember the cost of the tour? This looks like something I’d like to do when I visit in June 🙂
You’ll want to check the website as it varies depending on the tour you choose and age.
You’re hilarious … “Okay, now that we’ve established that one does not simply walk into Mordor, how do they make it look like we can?” and Central Perk!? Icons! Looks fun – thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin
Ha! You’ll have to come to LA to find out!! 😘