Warner Bros Studio Tour

When we first arrived for our Warner Bros. Studio Tour, we headed outside to the security area. We just brought a small bag and a camera with us. We hit up Starbucks on the drive to the studio, but we could have just grabbed stuff at the Starbucks located inside the waiting area. Guests can bring food/drink on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

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Then, we were ushered into a small theater with 3 other groups to watch a video featuring Ellen DeGeneres. She told us what to expect on our tour and a few rules. It was just enough time to take a few swigs of coffee and then the guides came in to collect us.

Our tour guide Devyn was a 20-year-old engineering student. He used his youth to his advantage and was honest about the movies he hadn’t seen. That made the tour a bit more interactive as we could all interject our own memories of certain movies and iconic scenes.

Backlots at the WB

My favorite part of this Warner Bros. Studio Tour was driving around the back lots. I’m a TV nut. I thoroughly enjoy my TV shows and binge watch series at a time.

We got to see several streets that replicated Anytown, U.S.A and could be easily transformed with a few signs and decorations.

We saw where a Prince video was filmed. And we learned that during the filming of the infamous upside down kiss in Spider-Man, Toby Maguire had to wear cotton in his nose to keep from drowning in the rain!

Fun fact: Did you know the rain in movies contains milk to make the raindrops 3x larger and appear better on film?

The Pretty Little Liars set is part of the Warner Bros. Studo Tour
This is the front of Rosewood City Hall from Pretty Little Liars. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

One of the most recent shows I binged was Pretty Little Liars. My friend told me it was her guilty pleasure show, so I immediately started watching it during my son’s nap time. I’m so glad I watched it because we drove through the whole town of Rosewood!

The coolest part was seeing how Rosewood Middle School was written on one side of a building and Rosewood High School was written on the other side of the same building. This magic of Hollywood revealed itself during our Warner Bros. Studio Tour!

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Outside of Luke's Diner from Gilmore Girls at the WB Studio on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hollywood, CA
This is the front of Luke’s Diner from Gilmore Girls that was also used in scenes from Pretty Little Liars. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Something I didn’t realize is that Gilmore Girls also used a lot of the same sets at Pretty Little Liars! It’s amazing how changing a sign can completely trick the brain into thinking it’s a new space.

I was bummed that we didn’t come here last year so we could see Stars Hollow in all its glory. But, I will say I still felt the spirit of Rory and Lorelai as we drove past Luke’s Diner and Patty’s Studio.

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour drove past the set of Shameless based in Chicago
As we rounded the corner on our Warner Bros. Studio Tour, we were suddenly in the South Side of Chicago on the backlot of Shameless! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

The last TV show that my husband and I truly binged was Shameless. If you haven’t seen it, stop everything and set aside the next few weeks to watch it! That scaffolding for the “L” Train is really just wood and paint and would crumble under the weight of a train.

It was used for the set of ER, too!

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Soundstage

I’m a huge fan of Ellen as a person and comedienne! I remember reading her book when I was in 6th grade and laughing hysterically. In the 90s, The Ellen Show was quick witted and so entertaining.

Drew Brees' seats on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Our guide asked if there were any football fans in the crowd and then invited my husband and I to sit in these VIP seats! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

I tried to get tickets to a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but they were all sold out! So, it was a great consolation prize that we got to explore her studio.

Our guide Devyn asked if any of us were football fans. My husband and I shot up our hands. We love our Seahawks! He told us we could sit in Drew Brees’ seats, which was neat.

Exploring the soundstage at the Ellen DeGeneres Show on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hollywood, CA
We weren’t allowed to sit in the chairs, but we could sit on the steps of Ellen’s stage! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

After a brief talk about what happens on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, we were able to walk around and snap a few photos around the studio. The big rule was we couldn’t sit in the chairs on stage, which makes sense.

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Other Soundstages

We weren’t able to see any other soundstages on this Warner Bros. Studio Tour. That was a bummer because I purposefully signed up for a weekend tour thinking that we’d be able to see more soundstages if shows weren’t filming.

But, it really is true that every tour is different and no two tours are the same! In case you are luckier than we were, other soundstages you might visit include: Shameless, The Big Bang Theory, Lucifer, Young Sheldon, Famous in Love, Lethal Weapon, The Real, The Ranch, Mom, The Fosters, and Fuller House.

Backlots on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Los Angeles, CA
These stairs don’t go down to anything. It’s all the magic of Hollywood! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

The Wizarding World: Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Exhibit

So, I’ve never read any Harry Potter book. I’m waiting until my boys are older and I’d like to read it to them as a bedtime story. Or rainy day story.

But, in preparation for our trip to Los Angeles, I binged all the Harry Potter movies on HBO. I’m so glad I did because it made this exhibit really come to life!

The glasses from Harry Potter are on display at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour
These may be the most recognizable glasses in the world. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

In the back of the exhibit, you have the opportunity to let the Sorting Hat tell you which house you belong to. There was an employee in charge of holding the hat above every guest’s head. I think she no longer felt the magic.

My husband went first and was very excited when the Sorting Hat said “Griffindor!” I got Hufflepuff, which was also cool.

WB Studios had props from J.K Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on their studio tour
Props from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The rest of the exhibit focused on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We happened to just watch the movie after we went through Harry Potter withdrawals. It was really cool to see some of the costumes and props from the movie.

DC Universe: The Exhibit

I’m not that into superheroes, so I breezed through this exhibit featuring DC comics. But, my husband is a superfan and snapped a ton of photos! I really enjoyed looking at all the costumes.

I was seriously shocked that Wonder Woman’s costume is made of the same material as any Halloween costume. It looks much sturdier and grand on the big screen.

Wonder Woman costume at Warner Bros. Studio Tour in LA
I couldn’t believe how flimsy Wonder Woman’s costume was because she looked so fierce on the big screen! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

75 Years of Batman

I had no idea that Batman was 75 years old! Our guide Devyn brought us into an unassuming soundstage filled with Batman vehicles. We only had about 3 minutes to explore, so my husband quickly ran around snapping photos.

This vehicle from Batman is one of the most expensive cars in the 75 years of Batman exhibit at Warner Bros. Studio in Hollywood
This is one of the most expensive vehicles created for a Batman movie. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

While I thought the cars were cool, I was more interested in the Bat Signal. Guests were allowed to flip the switch and the Batman logo appeared on the opposite wall. It was a strange feeling of power and I LOVED it!

Guests can turn on the Bat Signal on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hollywood celebrating 75 years of Batman
I got to flip the switch on the Bat Signal! Photo credit: Darren Cheung
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Stage 48: Script to Screen Soundstage

Central Perk Cafe

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past 20 years, you know Central Perk is the coffee shop from Friends. It’s the first thing we saw when we entered Stage 48.

It’s a real, working coffee shop and you can sit and enjoy a beverage before exploring Stage 48, or grab something on your way out. This is different than the photo op set.

Central Perk Cafe is a stop on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Los Angeles, CA
The first thing you’ll see when you enter Stage 48 is Central Perk Cafe, inspired by Friends. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Pre-Production Area

You’ll love this area if you are fascinated by the whole film making process. It’s a fairly interactive spot where you can swipe on screens to create costumes.

They also feature an inside look at casting. I saw a lot of head shots of kids I’d never seen before, which was a good reminder just how difficult it is to get into show business.

Corpse Bride figurines on the WB Studio Tour in Hollywood
This figurines from the Corpse Bride were just one of the many exhibits in the pre-production area of Stage 48 on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

Production

So, now that you’ve seen the work that goes in before the cameras start rolling you are ready to shoot.

Here’s your opportunity to pretend to drink coffee in the set of Central Perk. Usually they have a photographer there to take professional photos. He was on break when we visited, so an employee used my camera to snap a few pics. She took them on the opposite side from where the professional shoot was set up.

We walked past lots of costumes from classic Hollywood films. It’s always cool to gauge how large/small an actor is in real life. And to see that most of the costumes aren’t as grandiose as they look on film.

Forced perspective table from Lord of the Rings at WB Studios
My husband looks like a giant in this forced perspective table. Photo credit: Warner Bros. Studio staff
Stage 48 at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles has lots of photo ops
Now my husband is pretending to be a drunk elf and I’m the giant! Photo credit: Warner Bros. Studios staff

Something I always wondered when watching fantasy movies, is how they make actors look like giants or elves when they are next to a human character.

That’s why this forced perspective table from The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring was fascinating. It’s a photo op where you and another person sit at the table. One will look huge and the other will look small. If you do it, make sure to switch places and take a few more photos.

Note: the employee working when we were there looked miserable, but he did take a couple of photos with my camera.

Post-Production

So, you’ve experienced the pre-production and actual production. Guess what’s next? Yep, it’s the post-production part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour! Here, you have the opportunity to film something on a green screen.

When we were there, the options were Harry Potter and Batman. We waited in line for a bit and watched other tour guests film their little videos and pose for photos. I’m glad we watched because we knew to lower our expectations when it came to customer service.

Every employee working in this area looked like they were having the worst day ever.

Harry Potter green screen at Stage 48 at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Los Angeles
When you see a broom stick in front of a green screen, you HAVE to climb on! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

When it was our turn, my husband and I both said we’d like to do the Harry Potter scene. She grabbed a couple of robes for us to wear and wands to hold. Then, the employee had us both sit on a broomstick together.

I sat directly on the stick and my husband sat on the edge of a metal seat. It may have been the most uncomfortable place either of us had sat before. She muttered a few instructions at us as she filmed. My husband and I are good sports and we had fun with it.

Then, we headed to the desk to view the video and photos. It’s what you’d expect and the prices are also what you’d expect.

In Studio 48 at the WB Studios in Hollywood, you can hold a real Oscar!
I got to hold a real Oscar in my hands (and boy was it HEAVY!) Photo credit: Darren Cheung

There was also an opportunity to see how technicians of the movie Gravity layered the different sounds. My husband watched Gravity when it came out. It looked really intense to me and so I hadn’t seen it before.

They showed us the scene in the movie where Sandra Bullock is detached from the space shuttle. First, it’s just the dialogue and it doesn’t seem that dramatic. Then, they add in sound effects and background noise.

When they add in the dramatic soundtrack, it’s quite a powerful scene!

Review of Warner Bros. Studio Tour

There were so many cool aspects to this Warner Bros. Studio Tour. The backlots were incredible! I appreciated the size of our tour group. And it was a relaxing experience.

However, the last part of the tour was really underwhelming. The employees clearly didn’t want to be there and they made zero effort to show otherwise.

The guy taking our photo at the forced perspective table wouldn’t talk to us and we weren’t sure if he had actually taken any photos until we got our camera back. And the woman doing the Harry Potter video and photos might have been the most unsatisfied employee I’ve seen anywhere. Her dead expression left us feeling uncomfortable.

That being said, I’d still say this Warner Bros. Studio Tour was worth our time and money. It did make us wonder about the VIP experience there. Next time, I think we’ll opt for that so we can get off the tram a bit more and hopefully encounter happier employees.

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Are you a TV junkie, like me? Do you love Friends, Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls, Ellen, just to name a few? You'll want to add the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to your next Los Angeles vacation! Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #warnerbros #studiotour #losangeles #california #warnerbrosstudiotour #harrypotterAre you a fan of Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, and Hart of Dixie? See where they filmed these shows and more on the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Los Angeles, CA. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #warnerbros #wb #wbstudiotour #warnerbrosstudiotour #gilmoregirls #prettylittleliars #hartofdixieDetailed review of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

Author

Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.

48 Comments

    • marciecheung Reply

      I’m a huge TV and movie nut, so it was super interesting!

  1. Aww how cool. Totally fan hurling over the friends studio by gotta be honest-I had no clue on the glasses. Haha

  2. I would love to visit the Warner Brothers studio one day! It’s something I’ve never considered before, believe it or not! But your post is so detailed its making me wanna go for sure! Thanks for sharing about your ur tour!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I hope you can swing by sometime! I’ve also heard the one in London is pretty cool!

  3. This is amazing! I am a big TV and movie nerd, so this sounds like my cup of tea! I love Gilmore Girls, so I would have loved to visit some of the sets and what can I say about Friends and Harry Potter! That perspective table is awesome, BTW! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Also, thanks so much for sharing the aspects you did not like about the tour, it is also good to know the downside. Such a shame about the staff, I usually find Californian customer service to be amazing, but I guess it really depends on the person.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Wasn’t Gilmore Girls so good? I binge watched it right before the revival of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes, it was crazy to see some of the stuff up close!

  4. VRITHI PUSHKAR Reply

    This looks and sounds like a lot of fun. I need to check it out.

  5. Great pictures–the tour looks like so much fun! Thanks for all the information. I would definitely consider the tour after reading this.

    • marciecheung Reply

      It was so cool to get a sneak peek at the magic of Hollywood!

  6. Thanks for sharing your tour experience with us. I would love to go on this tour with my husband some day. Getting to see the magic of Hollywood and go behind the scenes of shows you’ve watched would be an awesome experience.

    • marciecheung Reply

      We are passionate about our TV, so this tour was up our alley 🙂

    • marciecheung Reply

      Oh how lucky! There are so many cool things to do in CA!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I hope you get the chance someday! It’s always a new experience!

  7. This is so cool! Definitely loved the secret about Pretty Little Liars- love that show! Looks like a really neat experience. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. That is SO COOL!!! I’m a complete Harry Potter and LOTR nut so those two exhibits would definitely be my favorite. I need a photo at the forced perspective table!

    • marciecheung Reply

      That table was crazy! I had no idea that’s how they shot it!

  9. I would love to do this tour! We have done the universal studios one and loved it! It’s just super neat to see all the sets and stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  10. This is SO awesome!! I think I would have fan-girled so hard visiting the Central Perk and Big Bang Theory Sets. I am definitely signing up for this tour when I have the chance to go.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Central Perk was so crazy to see since it’s on TV all the time!

  11. That is so awesome…especially Ellen’s set! That’s a bummer you couldn’t get tickets. This is such a great review. Thanks for sharing a sneak peak of it!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Tickets to her show are super tricky! But, we did score tickets to the Late Late Show with James Corden!

  12. Universal Studios was one of my favorite places to visit! So much fun seeing familiar movie scene backgrounds. We also got to see Conan O’Brien while we were in the area!

  13. Hi Marcie 😊😊😊 I’m glad you enjoyed the tour and reading this review really put a smile on my face. Hope to see you again for the VIP tour!

  14. Hi again 😉 Well, never mind my question about Friends and Universal – of course its WB – UPS 😀

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