Touring a movie or a TV studio should definitely be on your travel itinerary when visiting Los Angeles for the very first time! But, which of the four studios should you be really choosing? Well, this best tour guide review to the Warner Bros Studio will give you a quick rundown of what to expect from this major studio.
Hollywood movie studio touring is definitely not cheap and can take up a significant amount of your day. Unless you are a huge TV/movie buff, picking out other things to do and see in Los Angeles would be the better option for you!
Towards the end of Leisure’s unbiased tour review, you will know if Warner Bros. Studio is really worth all the money and effort or not. So, let’s get started with Leisure’s best tour guide review of the Warner Bros Studio, Hollywood.
The Warner Bros Studio is located in Burbank, Los Angeles. The easiest way to reach here is by going towards the North West corner from Griffith Park.
Los Angeles encounters a lot of traffic and is famous for being extremely congested on some days. So, if you have your own vehicle and do not mind driving all the way, you will find an underground parking space beneath the WB building.
For others traveling around Los Angeles, no matter where your hotel is, whether, in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, or Hollywood, the most efficient way to reach the studio is to drive up to Cahuenga Boulevard. You should be taking a right turn from here at Barham Boulevard and transitioning into W. Olive Ave. From here, you should take a right onto West Riverside Drive and drive right onto Warner Boulevard. You can find the tour parking signs upon reaching.
PS: If you are not the most confident driver or do not like driving in a lot of traffic, consider arriving here through other means of transportation. Choose public transit or take an Uber or Lyft. While a taxi service here is the most convenient way, the cheapest way to reach would be to get here by Metro through Line B (Red), which stops at Universal Studios.
Now that you are here at the studio complex, let’s see how you will be getting around and exploring it.
Your tour inside the complex will be extremely organized. You will have some of the best tour guide professionals. They have been doing it for a pretty long time and have managed to crack the most efficient code for tourists and guests arriving here. You might have to wait for a little in the lounge area as per your designated time slot before you can begin this tour.
There will be a brief welcome movie you will be shown in an intimate setting. The movie will introduce you to the day ahead of you, right after which you will be starting your tour with some of the best tour guide professionals.
To get around the studio, you will be seated in an electric-powered cart with 9-10 other people. There will, of course, be parts where you will have to walk around, stretch your legs, and hit your target of 10,000 steps a day! So you do not have to worry about being cramped up in a small cart around the Warner Bros Studio.
However, one thing to be noted here is that you will definitely not be allowed to just wander off on a rogue mission to meet “famous” people. The studio’s very own best tour guide professionals will have a keen eye on you!
It is essential to note that the studio is like the celebrities’ office, which means that several people will be working hard to give us the entertainment we need in our lives! So, proper etiquette and protocols are extremely important for this tour.
How long will the tour last?
The full tour experience of the Warner Bros Studio will roughly take three hours. These three hours will be divided into two touring segments. The first segment will be a guided tour, which will last two hours, and the second segment will be self-guided at Studio 48, which will last an hour.
Can you take pictures?
You can click pictures, but only at specifically allocated times. Your best tour guide will take you through the steps between all kinds of stops and inform you of locations where you can and cannot click pictures and videos.
What’s included in this Warner Bros Studio Tour?
Now that you are all caught up with how to reach the studio and get around, it is time to understand what you should expect from this studio tour.
One of the most integral things to remember about this tour is that no two hours will be the same. Every time slot throughout the day will have a different plot going on, a different route through the studio.
This means that what you will be seeing during your first tour will not be the same as your second time or for someone else.
Backlots and Soundstages
Warner Bros Studio is essentially home to 30 sound stages and 10 backlots. But what are they exactly? Backlots are permanent buildings used to shoot exterior, outdoor scenes in movies and TV shows. They will resemble the background you must have seen in various WB movies depicting the Old West or New York.
An example of seeing one of these backlots on the screen will be in the movie Spiderman. There is one alleyway where Tobey Maguire is hanging upside down and kissing Mary-Jane. This same “backlot” or alley is also used in multiple other blockbuster movies.
Once widely used as a part of filming, backlots are now quickly diminishing in their role in movies. Movies are now relying too much on CGI technology.
Sound stages, or just stages, are huge warehouse-like buildings that are sound-proof. Here, most major movies and TV series are shot that are not shot on location. The entire set is constructed inside most of these buildings. These buildings can stay upright in one place for as long as they are needed.
Fun Fact: The popular TV series Friends was filmed inside this very location, inside studio 24. Scenes from the movie Inception depicting Saito’s castle were also filmed here inside Studio 16.
Right outside every stage building stands a plaque that shows every TV show or movie being filmed inside. You can go inside and walk around a stage to view the sets of shows currently being shot there.
Old Movie Props
It might not sound as exciting as you think. Still, when you are visiting the Warner Bros Studio along with the best tour guide professionals, you are bound to see at least one old movie prop.
Recall those two faded red leather chairs from the movie, The Matrix; or those neon Comedy Club signs from Joker!
You will actually find them here in the studio inside their prop stage building. If you are really lucky, you might as well find Phoebe’s taxi from the show Friends!
All in all, you will be guaranteed to come across props from almost all your favorite movies and TV shows while walking around the buildings in the studio.
The DC Universe
For superhero fans like us at Leisure, this is perhaps one of the best parts of the Warner Bros Studio tour. It is best if you are a DC fan and not team Marvel, though!
During one of your stops inside the studio, the first thing you will see inside is the exhibits for Aquaman and Wonder Woman. The majority of these displays are costumes and their designs and accessories. You can find Diana Prince’s Lasso or the armored suit worn by Arthur Curry.
Even though it might not seem that exciting, this part of your studio tour will allow you to appreciate other elements of movie-making. You will fall in love with how engaging movies can really be. The small parts, the detailing, and the effort to make movies are phenomenal. Things will fall into perspective that when we ignore the film credits towards the end of any movie, their work still remains on display for eternity.
You’re a Wizard, Harry!
Our favorite stop on the entire tour! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can walk around and see everything come alive in front of your eyes — Hogwarts, New Scamander, Grindelwald, and of course, Dumbledore’s Army.
Of course, this tour is nothing like the Wizarding tour in London. However, still, it is extremely exciting for all millennials out there! The only downside is that you can’t see all of the sets, so if you are coming here solely based on your love for the entire wizarding franchise, you might be a little disappointed.
In this part of your tour, you will see props from the movie series, like the sorting hat, Dobby, the House Elf, and real costumes worn by the main cast of the series.
Almost all of your favorite outfits from the Harry Potter series will be displayed. It is actually a lot of fun imagining the actors in person, in the outfits in front of you. It is even more fun to put on one of the costumes yourself! And yes, you can shout “Expelliarmus!” the way Hermoine intends to.
But the most interesting part of this part of the tour is personally seeing the original storyboard. It is amazing how the drawings were sketched out and how the movies turned out to be on screen in the end. It’s just fascinating.
Well, the next touring segment we will be talking about is Batman. And if you are wondering why we did not cover Batman in the DC Universe section above, we have the perfect explanation for you.
In the Warner Bros Studio, a fully dedicated Batcave is on display for all visitors.
It is extremely dark and almost real. You see the Christopher Nolan-Christian Bale trilogy come alive in front of you, along with the tumbler and the Batpod.
Speaking about the darkness of the room, the room can resemble a strange car showroom. There are plaques and purple lights along the walls for reading what’s on display. Also, inside this Batcave, you will find the replicas of the Neutron Bomb from the Dark Knight Rises, older Batmobiles, and the Bathammer that was used in the era of Keaton, Clooney, and Kilmer.
The best part - The Batsuit worn by Christan Bale is on display!
Stage 48, also known as Script to Screen, offers you an insight into what goes on during pre-production, production, and the post-production stage of filmmaking. So, all the budding filmmakers will love this part of the tour. One of the most overlooked aspects of filmmaking by a regular movie watcher will be live on display in Stage 48.
Your best tour guide professional will explain all the intricacies and nuances of sound, editing, casting, CGI, and green screens. No matter how big or small, a movie can certainly not be made without these fundamentals. This section of your tour will be interactive and self-guided. The best thing here will be to ask as many questions as you can to explore more about the things you see.
You could very well spend an entire hour or just rush this part of the tour in 10 minutes. If this is your first time, you must remember to slow down and contain all the information before leaving Stage 48.
Also, while you are here, do remember to ride the Harry Potter Firebolt broom and Batman’s Batpod with a green screen behind you. Your best tour guide professional will help you “turn left or right” and “Cast a spell” as you glide on!
This whole process is filmed, and you can get a souvenir video for yourself at an extra charge. They are not cheap, just giving you a heads up! But, it is still a lot of fun. The process is also difficult at first. Imagine shouting in your deepest, harshest voice, “Where’s the trigger” at Bane, without you wearing that full Batsuit, with a peg on your nose.
The most significant part of your tour of Studio 48 will be the insightful show “art of sound.” Your best tour guide professional will explain the process of composing the sound for the movie Gravity. It is intriguing and is one of the only unmissable parts of the entire tour.
PS: You can also pose with an Oscar in your hand while on tour here!
Fans of Friends, rejoice! We are going to have a cup of coffee at Central Perk.
You can get a real, authentic experience of being at Central Perk cafe with your friends and family. Take a seat on that famous orange couch and order a latte from an imaginary Gunther, who is drooling over an imaginary Rachel in the corner. Maybe pretend that you are Chandler and crack the funniest joke you prepared, right for this moment!
Friends is a cult classic. Lasting over 236 episodes, the show is one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time. The show is a typical feel-good show for all occasions, or just good background noise when working on the side.
Could we be any more wrong!?
It is one of the only American sitcoms that are still widely replayed repeatedly across the globe. Netflix even went so far as to pay over $100 million to get the rights to stream all its reruns from 2014-2019, while the show ended long back in 2004.
The Big Bang Theory
Another one of our favorites, The Big Bang Theory, is also a part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour. The show is also the longest-running, multi-camera sitcom, with 279 episodes across 12 seasons.
Imagine yourself spending time with Sheldon, Penny, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Bernadette, and Amy, eating mee krob and chicken satay with extra peanut sauce from Siam Palace every Monday.
Much like the sets of Central Perk, the sets of TBBT also show the famous Elevator, Caltech cafe, and Sheldon and Penny’s apartment, 4A and 4B, as a part of your tour.
The Warner Bros Studio Tour is a widely regarded, purely movies based tourist attraction in Los Angeles. The price for an adult ticket will be a hefty sum of $69.
Now that you are all caught up with what to expect from the Warner Bros studio tour and the price of the same, it is essential that you also know other significant information about all the competitive ones.
There are basically four major movie studios in Los Angeles.
Let’s look at the most significant aspects you should consider when choosing a movie/TV studio to visit.
The aspects range from the price of the tour, the movies they shoot, the ease of access and their location, and what you will see during the tour.
Here are a few basic pros and cons curated by Leisure’s best tour guide professionals with all the essentials you need to make your final call.
Warner Bros Studio
2.5 – 3 hours
45 mins-1 hour
Days and Time
Mon to Sun – 8.30 am – 3.00 pm (Every 30 mins)
Mon to Sun – 9am – 3.30pm (Every 30 mins except 9.30am & 1pm)
Mon to Sun – 10 am – 6 pm (nonstop)
Mon to Fri – 9.30am, 10.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm
English, Spanish, French, Mandarin
English and Spanish
Movies and TV series
Matrix Trilogy, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Batman Series, Harry Potter Series, Troy, Inception, 300, Twister, The Departed, Mad Max, Oceans, etc.
Friends, Big Bang, Lucifer, Supernatural, Westworld, Shameless, Gilmore Girls, The West Wing
Thor, Captain America, Titanic, Pulp Fiction, Top Gun, Forrest Gump, Mission Impossible, Saving Private Ryan, Indiana Jones, Shrek, Madagascar, etc.
Glee, Community, Happy Endings, Medium, Numb3rs, Charmed, Frasier, Everybody Hates Chris.
No Time To Die, Jurassic Park, Fast & Furious, ET, Gladiator, Bourne, The Mummy, Back to the Future, Notting Hill, Apollo 13, Schindler’s List, etc.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Suits, Parks & Rec, House, Dexter, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Jack Ryan, The Office.
Skyfall, Casino Royale, Rocky, Terminator, Gone With The Wind, Wizard of Oz, Men in Black, Spiderman, Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Bad Boys, etc.
Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Breaking Bad, The Boys, Seinfeld, The Goldbergs, Stargate.
Walking or Cart
Our best tour guide professionals say that the studio tour is really worth every penny you spend, especially if you are a fan of Penny from TBBT, Harry Potter, Batman, the DC Universe, and Friends. Choose other studios if you are not interested in the above-mentioned shows and movie series.
The tour is extremely exciting.
However, for the sake of argument, let’s take a quick look at what our best tour guide professionals stated they liked and did not like.
- The sheer magnitude and scale of the studio overall
- Knowledgeable and best tour guide operators and professionals
- A fascinating display of costumes and props
- The longevity of the tour
- Underground multi-story car parking
- Feels like we are on a factory conveyor belt since a tour starts every 30 minutes
- Running into other tour groups throughout your tour.
- A lack of personal touch by even the best tour guide professionals, probably because it is a routine job for them
- Lack of freebies or goodies for tourists
- Paying for parking above the ticket price, since tickets are already expensive
- Some tour groups move too quickly at certain exhibits, due to which you might not get enough time to read and garner all the information.
If you are a huge fan of Warner Bros movies and TV shows and have a spare afternoon schedule on your hands when in Los Angeles, our best tour guide professionals say to go for it, at least once in your lifetime!
It will not disappoint you.
Get Your Tickets For Warner Bros Studio Tour
If you are sold on the idea of touring the Warner Bros Studio like our best tour guide professionals were, get your tickets for the Warner Bros Studio Tour Hollywood from their official website.
Book ahead with your desired date and time. Visits during the holiday season can get a little packed.
Happy touring to you!