Unlike the neighboring Universal Studios, Warner Brothers Studios is not an amusement park, but an attraction for real film fans.
A look behind the scenes of popular series hits, such as The Big Bang Theory, Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Two and a Half Men, Fuller House and Friends and insights into the production of major blockbusters such as Harry Potter, Batman, Superman, The Matrix, Suicide Squad and The Lord of the Rings. The tour offer is also updated regularly.
The Warner Brothers Studios site is located in Burbank, in the north of Los Angeles, not far from Universal Studios Hollywood and Griffith Park. The best way to get there is by car. More detailed information on how to get there by public transport can be found on the WBS homepage.
If you enter the following address into the navigation system, you will get to the in-house parking lots, which cost $10 per vehicle: 3400 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505.
Opening hours and prices
The Warner Brothers Studio Tour operates seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with extended closing times in the summer. A new tour starts every 20-30 minutes and is made up of several groups, each consisting of around 12 people who are assigned to a tour guide. These small groups are then driven around the site in small electric vehicles.
The ticket cost for adults over the age of 13 is $69 and for children between the ages of 8-12 is $59. Children under the age of 8 will not be admitted to the tour. You should plan approx. 3 hours for the tour.
If that’s not enough, you can book the deluxe tour at the bargain price of $295. The tour takes place Mon-Fri from 10:00 am and lasts approx. 6 hours in total. Lunch is included.
What can I expect on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour?
Before the actual tour begins, a short introductory film about Warner Brothers Studios is shown. Each group then goes to the vehicles with their guide. The guide will inquire about the visitors’ interests in films and series, as the tour is designed accordingly. So I can only advise you to express your wishes! I immediately shouted “Gilmore Girls” 😀
Ride through the backlot
The tour then begins through the backlot of the site. Passing a jungle setting that was used in Jurassic Park, for example, we moved on to the small town backdrop that many fans of TV shows will recognize. This backdrop has been used for series such as Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Friends and The Big Bang Theory. This imitates both a small-town idyll à la Stars Hollow and the big-city flair of New York.
DC Universe exhibition
After a trip through the backlot – accompanied by numerous interesting stories from our guide – we went on to the DC Universe exhibition. This exhibition is dedicated to the heroes and villains of the DC universe, such as Batman, Superman and the antiheroes from Suicide Squad. You can explore the original costumes and props from the films, try out computer games or take a look at rare comic books. In the Batcave, you can also take a closer look at all the Batmobiles from the Batman film series from 1989 – 2016.
Above the DC Universe exhibition is the Harry Potter exhibition, where you can also see costumes and props from the films. On top of that, you have the option of being assigned to a house by the Sorting Hat. I’m a Gryffindor, by the way 😉
You can see more movie props on a walk through the large props department. Over 450,000 artifacts from films and series are stored there, which were used in Casablanca, Hangover or Game of Thrones, for example.
Big Bang Theory Soundstage
A highlight awaited us at the end of our guided tour: we went to The Big Bang Theory Soundstage. Sheldon and Leonard’s living room, Penny’s apartment, the hallway in between and Howard’s lab – all very close and yet it was somehow unreal to be in the place you’ve seen so often on TV. No photos were allowed during our visit. However, this may have changed now that the series has ended.
Script to Screen
This was followed by the self-guided part of the tour in Stage 48: Script to Screen. This is an interactive soundstage in which you can explore the various processes of filmmaking, e.g. how Dobby comes to life, how the illusion of different body sizes is created in The Lord of the Rings (forced perspective filming), how the camera shots are planned with the help of storyboards, and also how the ideal soundscape is put together from different elements. A guide will give a demonstration and explanation using the movie Gravity. Highly recommended!
You can also try out the green screen function yourself. You have the option of flying on the Firebolt against a green background or riding the Bat-Pod. The surroundings are then added by computer so that the film illusion is perfect.
Central Perk Café
At the end of the tour you come to the Central Perk Café, where you can have a coffee and a bite to eat, just like your friends from Friends. There are also a number of fan articles available for purchase.
Warner Bros Studio Store
Last but not least, you have to go through the Warner Bros Studio Store, where numerous fan articles from the various series and films such as Batman, Superman, Harry Potter, The Big Bang Theory and Looney Tunes are sold. I couldn’t resist and got myself a Gilmore Girls coffee mug. Visitors return to the starting point of the tour in a vehicle that picks them up in front of the store at regular intervals.
Live on stage
If you want to watch a series recording live, you should take a look here. Tickets are free of charge and can be purchased 30 days before the filming date. Experience has shown that tickets for particularly popular series sell out quickly.
The shooting time can vary greatly and depends on the scenes and the daily performance of the actors. You should expect 4-6 hours. Perseverance is the key! However, light refreshments will be provided.
Conclusion on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour
The tour is particularly exciting for movie and TV show fans. You get an informative and fascinating insight behind the scenes – even more so than at Universal Studios. The sets of Gilmore Girls and The Big Bang Theory gave me goosebumps – series that have stayed with me for many years. The whole experience was even topped by our absolutely enthusiastic guide, who completely swept us off our feet, so that we could only go home with enthusiasm. This tour is simply unique and you should visit it if you have the opportunity.
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