One of the best things we did on our recent trip to Los Angeles was joining the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Upon arrival we watched a video learning about the history of the studios and some fun anecdotes about the different movies and TV shows that have filmed there.
Afterwards, our guide brought us to a golf court (which is what everyone drives on the studio lots to avoid the loud noises a car can make). We were whisked off to explore the grounds and check out various sound stages with a knowledgeable movie junkie to provide the details.
I loved seeing the mock-up of Central Perk from Friends, the filming set of Stars Hollow for Gilmore Girls, a collection of Batmobiles, and lots of Harry Potter paraphernalia. As a side note, I would highly suggest a day at Universal Studios to explore the Harry Potter Park if you or your kids are into the franchise. From Butterbeer, to wands, to fun rides, it’s so incredibly fun. We had already visited the sister park in Orlando, so skipped this on our trip to LA but would definitely recommend it.
Okay, back to the WB Studio tour.
We were able to go into a few of the studios where current shows are being filmed (unfortunately photos were restricted). But it was so cool to see the actual set designs and crazy to see how small everything is. The studios use wide-angle cameras to make the rooms look actual size on TV, but in person they looked like the actors would barely be able to stand up straight or sit on the furniture.
My dream of hanging out in Central Perk finally came true and the photo below will forever be a favorite of mine! After coming home from LA, we started watching the entire series of Friends on Netflix. I just loved that show growing up, and it’s amazing how much I still like it now!Every space on the lot is filled with streets and buildings that have been used and re-used for films. From city blocks in Batman to the dinosaur chase scene in Jurassic Park there are so many amazing moments that have been filmed here.
Being a huge Gilmore Girls fan, you can imagine my excitement to walk through Stars Hollow. I can’t decide if it’s incredible or a bit of a let down when you see the actual sets. They are very minimal and don’t have nearly the detail you see on the actual show. Luke’s cafe, Sukie’s home, the school, etc. are all recognizable, but it’s the magic of TV that really makes them look special when you watch. In person they are simple, and like I said before, small. Still, so fun to wander around and have your memory jogged of a great episode by seeing something on set.
Mike’s favorite activity by far was seeing the Batmobiles. Fun fact on the model below from Michael Keaton’s first Batman – they forgot to put on doors and only realized after they finished construction (hence the sliding hatch on the top). And if you’re into superheroes, there are all sorts of displays to get your inner 10-year-old boy excited.
The last thing we did while on the tour was experiment with a green screen. I had another dream come true–playing in a Quidditch match! Although you can’t see from the pictures, I was flying through the stadium dodging beaters and bludgers! We didn’t end up buying the videos (they were pretty spendy and we didn’t expect to watch them in our free time), but it was so much fun to experience in the moment!
If you visit LA, be sure to visit the Warner Bros. Tour. The tickets are $65, but for 3 hours of fun, I think you will find it worth it.