The traveling Pyra is back (!) And this is my last entry from my trip to South California. For the past few entries I was showing you around South California places on a budget… but come on… there has to be some point in EVERY vacation where you kiss your money away with no regrets. AND I’ll do it without buying a Chippendale or gambling.
I love taking tours because you learn extra background information you could never find on your own. While there are many studio tours to choose from around Hollywood for similar prices (Sony Pictures and Paramount Studios to name a few)… ta-daaaah Warner Brothers was the only one giving weekend access.
The V-sa kids stayed true to saving money though. Online coupons for our $49 reservation (yes– steep but worth it) became $42 and we skipped the $7 parking by getting dropped off.
Naturally, the tour began in a gift shop. After having our bags checked for weapons, small children, and Walt Disney’s body, we wandered around the shop until our tour number was called and our large group was led into a small theater where we quickly learned the history of the Warner Brothers amidst memorable WB movie clips. The group was then further broken down into groups of 12 and each given a tour guide.
Jumping onto our extended golf cart, Kayci drove us to the outdoor area of the studios. It was a little town! Even my television-stupid mind squealed at recognizing the “town center’s” most obvious use– Stars Hollow Town Center in Gilmore Girls! Meanwhile, Sister PopCulture was having a mini-heart attack. She has the ability to spit out what each character wore per episode.
It was amazing by what can be accomplished by small spaces and different camera angles. A tiny “park” (40 feet across) served as a Gilmore Girl’s college study set, a town park, and Big Bang Theory football field among others. Or one side of a house would be the patio to one character… only to have the “rear” of the house ALSO be an entrance to a different character’s house. Definitely movie magic.
We also sat on the audience benches and gazed at the active sets within the Big Bang Theory soundstage (Cue Sister PopCulture’s squeal) A smaller stage was also converted to house about 10 popular movie cars such as the Gran Turino (enough said) and the Ford Anglie from Harry Potter. Another building held movie costumes on display. We oohed and aahed over Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman suit and even had the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter over my head to sort me into Hufflepuff.
The best part was listening to Kayci’s background stories. There’s the basketball court at the center built by Clooney because he wanted the ability to play basketball whenever he was there on a shoot. There’s the Pretty Little Liars very sexy golf cart. Also Conan’s parking spot which he labeled as “Roosevelt.” Kayci was an awesome tour guide and easily answered all our questions no matter how strange.
I’m not so sure how active this place gets on the weekdays because the only non-tourists at the studios that Saturday were some set builders. I’m sure it would’ve been cool to see a celebrity jogging around. I was worried my limited television and movie knowledge would prevent me from recognizing many parts of the tour … but there was NOTHING to worry about. Even if you can’t tell Batman from Harry Potter.
Boooo… cameras weren’t allowed inside soundstages and some museums, but click on my pictures to see the photogenic parts of the tour