When coming to Hollywood to get a taste of what the industry is like, things can quickly get overwhelming. With the barrage of tourist attractions and places claiming to be “a celebrity hot-spot”, it can be confusing to decide what to do. Not to mention, the variety of studio tours that are out and about. If you’re looking for a more realistic, in-depth dive into the world of Hollywood, I strongly recommend you check out the WB Studio Tour. It’s been my favorite tour of choice for years. Unlike Universal or some of the other tours that come from a ‘ride-like’ approach (which don’t get me wrong, it can be fun in its own way), I feel that the WB tours offer a more realistic look at what it’s like inside these big studio lots. When coming on the right day, you’ll get to head out into the streets of the front lot, get a glimpse of what it’s like inside of a sound stage, and get to walk around the backlot, as well. And for those who love the WB hit sitcoms Friends and The Big Bang Theory, you’ll find a bunch of exciting surprises along the way, too! I was lucky enough to be invited on a WB Studio Tour lot recently, and it was a lot of fun! Here were some of the highlights.
First, it’s important to note that over the pandemic the WB Studio Tour has changed its look, so if you came in the past, you’ll get a different experience, which is refreshing. The entrance is chic, exciting, and there to hype you up (and there’s also a Starbucks in the lobby so… that’s exciting, in itself, for all of us who are addicted to caffeine). As you line up to begin your tour at the new location, there’s more to see and do than there was before, which is fabulous.
The tour starts out with a really exciting movie cut together from tons of Warner Media movies, and I have to say, it does a great job getting you pumped up for your tour. Then, you meet your tour guide who drives you through a tour of the back and front lots of the studios. While this tour has to be adaptable and change on the day, even when the lot is busy, there are many things to see. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky enough to get a glimpse inside of a sound stage to hear all about how filming a sitcom works. Sometimes, you’ll get to walk around the sound stages to get an up-close view of them. Sometimes, you get to explore within the prop warehouse. Pretty much all the time, you’ll get to drive through and explore the backlot sets. And while the guides are pretty much always knowledgeable, if they don’t know something, you can ask a question, and they will radio out to a research team who can respond with the correct answer.
You’ll get to step out onto the streets of the backlot while on the WB Studio Tour and see what it’s like inside some of the facades there. You’ll get to see the fountain from the opener from Friends which was moved out of the Warner Ranch and onto the lot here, which offers an incredible photo opportunity. You’ll get to go into one of the buildings and try out your own coffee from Central Perk while getting to take photos and see the actual Central Perk set from friends up close along with some of the sets from The Big Bang Theory, as well. Honestly, the first time I did this tour and posted photos from Central Perk, dozens of people on my friends list reached out asking where they could get the same photo- so it’s definitely a show-stopper!
And the tour inevitably ends in a building showcasing the newest and coolest props and costumes. Right now, the DC Superheros are all over that final building, which is filled with costumes from many movies in the franchise, as well as costumes from Fantastic Beasts. You can also get sorted into your Hogwarts house by the sorting hat which is… well, just lots of fun. WB also offers a variety of tours from the typical tour to the classic to more in-depth tours, so be sure to check out the details for all of them to do the tour that suits you best.
So, for a fun time that also offers a realistic view into the world of Hollywood, I highly recommend the WB Studio Tour. The opportunity to visit the sound stages and get off the tram in the backlot does definitely separate it from all the other tours out there.