Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank was having a SoCal resident discount of $49 (originally $62/adult) to tour their studios, so I decided to go last minute over the weekend! You must purchase your ticket online prior and select an available time/date for the tour.
This was my second studio tour that I have attended in the Hollywood area (I had been on the Universal Studios tour in 2008). I had read reviews that this is the best studio tour to go on in Hollywood and it couldn’t be more true. The experience was fun and amazing.
I had to pay $12 for studio tour parking across the street from the check-in building. Once a WB staff member scanned my ticket, I was handed a lettered card so that I could hand it to my assigned tour guide. The tour lasts approximately 2 hours and I was required to get to the studios 15 minutes prior.
Before I hopped on the tour cart, we all watched a 10 minute introductory history movie about WB and what to expect on the tour from Ellen DeGeneres. WB has been producing films and TV shows for more than 100 years! We were then introduced to our tour guides and off we went! I was lucky, I sat in the very front next to the guide, best seat in the house.
As we drove through the gates and through the twists and turns, I saw many executive offices as the tour guide explained them, like the one for WB Television below.
We entered what the guide called the “jungle” part of the backlot. I should mention now that WB has a 110-acre backlot and more room is still needed! He explained that the road we were driving on was used in movies such as “Jurassic Park” in 1993 where the actors were trying to outrun the T-Rex in the Jeep.
To the right was a “lagoon” where Kermit the Frog sang “Rainbow Connection” in the “The Muppets Movie” in 1979 and where Pee-Wee Herman swung on a vine with his red bicycle during “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” in 1985.
Next we came upon a house that was used in a scene in the current “Pretty Little Liars” TV series.
We then came upon another house that was used in movies such as “Million Dollar Baby” in 2004.
Next we entered a residential area that has been used in many popular movies, commercials and TV shows. The inside of the houses are executive offices.
We turned another corner and came upon a Pennywise the Clown prop used in the movie “It” this year.
Up ahead, a film crew was preparing for a scene for the upcoming movie “Rampage” in 2018 starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The guide then brought us to the newly DC Universe Exhibit. According to the website, the exhibit “pays homage to the origins of DC Comics, including original comic books featuring all seven Super Heroes of the Justice League, where you can see the very rare original No. 1 comic book issues of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Studio Tour guests can also play three of WB Games’ most popular DC games: “Batman: Arkham Knight,” “Injustice: Gods Among Us” and “Lego Batman.” Additionally, guests can explore authentic props and costumes from “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and see the latest addition, “Wonder Woman.”
Because “Wonder Woman” was released this year, the exhibit was more heavily focused on that portion of it. Below are some of my favorite photos that I took.
Upstairs I had the opportunity to view the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts exhibit. Okay, I am not going to lie, I am not a huge fan of the Harry Potter books or movies, I just can’t get into them, but I know some people are. Here are some photos for you die hard Potterheads.
Next we headed over to the soundstages (there are 35 on the lot), but not before we passed through a replica of a New York City. It was originally built in the 1920s according to the tour guide, and when a fire accidentally destroyed some of the set, a cameraman grabbed his camera and filmed it burning in case a film production needed footage of a city burning. Crazy huh? Oh and the sets are made of styrofoam, not real brick!
The city hall below was used in the movie “Argo” in 2012 and various Batman movies.
We then approached Stage 25 where we went in to see the sets for the current hit TV show, “The Big Bang Theory.” I learned that it takes 5 days to produce one episode, ranging from outdoor shots to read throughs. On the final days, it takes 4-6 hours to shoot due to different camera angles. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take photos inside. It was a privilege just to be inside the soundstage because tour guides are not allowed to bring their groups through during the week, as the shows and films are in production. Each soundstage has a plaque on the outside that says what year it was constructed and the TV shows and films that have been made in them.
Back outside I snapped a photo of the most iconic soundstage for the hit TV show “Friends:” Stage 24. Full House was also filmed on this soundstage.
On our way to the Prop Department we passed the WB Fire Department, which I thought was pretty neat that the studio has its own fire department!
We drove through the Prop Department, which is home to more than 450,000 registered artifacts according to the website, where there were some more executive offices and a lot of props being constructed. The one I found the most interesting is the WB makes the Oscar statues for the Red Carpet each year. I snapped a photo of one in a room below as we drove by.
The next part of the tour was one of my favorite: viewing all of the Batmobiles used in the “Batman” movies. I’ve identified each one below that were my favorites.
“Batman” in 1989, inspired from Corvette Stingrays.
Joker’s pink Lamborghini from “Suicide Squad” in 2016.
Tumbler from “The Dark Knight” trilogy from 2005-2012.
“Batman Forever” in 1995, inspired from a Chevrolet 350 ZZ3.
I had the guide take a photo of me with the Batman signal to call him. You can flip the switch on and off in the room to project the signal!
On the way to our last destination, we drove by the tallest soundstage in the world, 65 feet to be exact: Stage 16. The building was constructed in 1935 and also as a 2 million gallon water tank. The soundstage is also used in the credit introduction of WB films. Films such as Batman, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters were filmed in it.
The guide then dropped us off at our last location: Stage 48 “Script to Screen,” where I viewed Pre-Production (costume design, set design, headshots), Production (“Friends” authentic Central Perk set where you could record a real screen test) and Post-Production (green screen experiences).
A couple of the shots below are from the Pre-Production experience, with the TV show “Shameless” and some WB cartoon sketches.
Next I headed over to the Production experience and walked around the Central Perk set of “Friends.” I even sipped some gourmet coffee while having my photo taken (kidding)!
“Six of One” was the original name of the show for the “Friends” pilot.
Below is Phoebe’s guitar she would play in the show.
Below is the final picture of the original cast as they took one last bow.
The next room had original costumes from some of the legendary movies the WB has made. I identified them below.
“Casablanca” in 1942.
“Rebel Without a Cause” in 1955.
“My Fair Lady” in 1964.
“Gravity” in 2013.
The line was incredibly long for the Post-Production (green screen experience) room, so I decided not to participate in that and went into a Sound Effects experience that showed how sound is mixed and edited for a movie. The movie that was chosen was “Gravity” since it won an Oscar for “Best Sound Mixing” and “Best Sound Editing.”
The last room I entered was the Legacy Room that had famous props used in films and TV shows. All of the Emmys and Oscars are also in a secured case in the room. I identified the one that was hard to read. The rest you can read on the case cards.
Batman costume used in the “Dark Knight” in 2008.
I hope you guys get to experience this tour, it is a memorable one and worth every penny! 🙂