Being a movie and television enthusiast, I was especially excited to get to participate in the Warner Bros. Studio Tour as part of the DoubleTree Hotel’s Rose Parade Package itinerary. Honestly, using the word “enthusiast” might be a little of an understatement. I’m full-blown, crazy excited when it comes to these things, and getting a behind-the-scenes look at a REAL WORKING STUDIO had me hopping around like a kid let loose in a candy store.
The staff at Warner Bros. couldn’t be nicer, and our VERY large group had it’s own private check in station. Once through security, we had plenty of time to relax and shop for goodies related to our favorite Warner Bros. television shows and films.
Once our group was called, we entered a small screening room where we were treated to a highlight reel of some of the greatest Warner Bros. productions. There have been a lot! Divided in to groups of 12, we were all assigned to a trolley (think of a very large, open air golf cart with seat belts) and away we went with our chipper guide on to the studio lot.
Unlike other studio tours that I have been on, Warner Bros. does not have rides or gimmicks. There are no big amusement park-like features that will entertain you. This tour is really designed for those who are interested in seeing sets, props, and learning about how filming translates from the camera to TV and the big screen.
The tour guides get to know the people on their trolleys, what they watch and are interested in to tailor the tours accordingly. We learned about the history of the Warner Bros., how some of the buildings on the lots are used for filming and just how much everything is repurposed just by changing the brick (really a plastic type covering that is manufactured on site to look like brick) and the sign above the door. It’s amazing what they can do with the cameras!
And there are some locations where they absolutely forbid you to take pictures. To the point that they lock up your cameras and phones so people will not be tempted. I’d love to show you pictures of the set from the hit television shows, “The Mentalist” and “The Big Bang Theory”, but there are stuck inside my imagination. You’ll just have to go on the tour to see for yourself!
However, there is one set where you ARE allowed to take pictures, and I took a ton.
This is the last remaining set from the show “Friends”, and it’s their coffee shop “Central Perk”. Once the show ended its 10-year run, Jay Leno did an interview with the cast on this set and suggested that they preserve it. So Warner Bros. did, and it’s located inside of their Property Warehouse. They allow visitors to come in, see it and take pictures sitting on the infamous couch. Here are a few of our Cartan Tours guests enjoying the experience!
Two plus hours later (the time just FLIES) your last stop is at the Warner Bros. Museum where you can wander around and see all sorts of interesting artifacts that they have preserved from movies and television shows. Some come from things as recent as the Sandra Bullock movie, “Gravity” and some are from classics like “Casablanca”. You could spend HOURS wandering around in here there is so much to see.
The Warner Bros. Studio VIP Tour is a fantastic insight in to the magic behind television shows and movies. And because each tour guide customizes the tours, you never see exactly the same thing every time. This is absolutely something that I’ll be doing again!
If you are interested in the going on the Warner Bros. Studio VIP Tour, it can be found in our DoubleTree Hotel Rose Parade Package. Please contact your Cartan Tours Travel Consultant for more information. Come with us – it’s lots of fun!
Speaking of fun, just a few weeks after our group was there, Ellen DeGeneres (whose studio is on the Warner Bros. lot) filmed a promotion for the upcoming Academy Awards telecast on the same “streets” that we toured!