Updated for 2021
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is a wonderful chance to peek behind the curtain and see how movies and TV shows are made, and visiting the Warner Bros. lot means you’ll get a big dose of Hollywood history while you’re at it.
The tour is brand new in 2021, and it re-opens to the public having been completely upgraded with never-before-seen experiences and interactive exhibits sure to delight fans of Warner Bros. movies and TV shows. And for the first time, the tour is welcoming kids ages 5 and up.
From the new Welcome Center and expanded Studio Store, you’ll get to experience the new Storytelling Showcase, a new Action and Magic interactive exhibit featuring the DC superheroes and characters from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series, an expanded Central Perk Café and Friends Boutique, and quite a bit more as a guest on the Studio Tour.
What’s New on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour
The first new thing you’ll experience on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is the Welcome Center. This is where you’ll check in for your tour and where you can shop at the expanded Studio Store as well. Note that the store is open to the public even if you’re not taking the tour. It’s filled with merchandise from both classic and contemporary Warner Bros. movies, as well as their beloved TV series.
There’s a Starbucks in the Welcome Center, just in case you need some coffee, and you’ll be greeted by an impressive oversize sculpture from the Triwizard Tournament (from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and both Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny (in bronze statue form).
This experience is where you’ll learn about the history of Warner Bros., from its origins in 1923 through its nearly 100-year journey making the entertainment we’ve all enjoyed. You’ll see a sampling of the studio’s film, TV and animation titles, as well as some of the technological innovations. Take a selfie with a replica of the iconic WB water tower, see mini versions of the famous Sound Stages, and walk on an aerial view of the sprawling studio lot printed on the floor.
Central Perk Café and Friends Boutique
Friends fans may never want to leave this sprawling re-creation of their favorite show’s sets. Sit on the famous couch at Central Perk, lounge in Joey and Chandler’s recliners and watch clips from the show, or hang out in Monica and Rachel’s apartment. And you can do all of this while enjoying delicious food from the Central Perk Café next door. Before you leave, you’ll want to shop at the Friends boutique, which has some fan merchandise found nowhere else.
Stage 48: Script to Screen Experience
Have you ever wondered about how on-screen magic is made? You’ll get a taste of what’s involved when you check out the Script to Screen section, which includes a special Post-Production interactive area. Learn about Foley Artists, Sound Mixers, Film Editors, and ADR Mixers. ADR, which stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement, is the process of replacing the actor’s voice that was recorded during production with a new version.
Sometimes when crews are filming, there’s extraneous noise that makes an actor’s dialogue unusable, or sometimes a new line is written and needs to be recorded. Whatever the reason, the way new dialogue is recorded and added to the film is something you can try for yourself. Stand in the booth, choose a scene, and you’ll get to record your voice coming out of a movie star’s mouth!
Action and Magic Made Here
Whether you’re a fan of the DC superheroes, the Harry Potter series, cool costumes and movie sets, or if you just like to be delighted, the Action and Magic Made Here experience is going to be your favorite part of the tour.
Wonder Woman fans get the treat of posing with her wings from WW84, or from squeezing her lasso for a special surprise. They also get to see many costumes from the Wonder Woman movies, and even the classic Lynda Carter TV series look.
Not to be outdone, Aquaman, Superman, Batman, and Shazam are well represented for their fans (and fans of their villains), and you’ll find costumes, props, and vehicles from their movies, as well as larger than life posters and sculptures.
Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts
We predict Harry Potter fans are going to love this section of the tour. There are several interactive experiences they can choose to try, like taking a lesson in wand choreography, sitting on Harry’s bed under the stairs, mixing a few potions in Professor Snape’s classroom, or possibly the best one: letting the Sorting Hat choose which house you belong to at Hogwarts.
There are other great photo opportunities and interactives just within the Harry Potter section, and as a bonus, if you download the free Harry Potter Fan Club App, keep an eye out for the Enchanted Keys placed throughout the exhibit, and scan them when you see them, you’ll unlock hidden surprises.
Warner Bros Studio Tour Tickets and Info
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
3400 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
Studio Tours are held on weekends from 9am – 3:30pm.
Beginning July 15, 2021, Tours will be held Thursdays – Mondays.
Tickets must be reserved online in advance.
|Adults, ages 11-up||$69|
|Children, ages 5-10||$59|
Please note that until September 30, 2021, Warner Bros is offering a special weekday ticket price for SoCal Residents of $57.
Parking costs $15 per vehicle.
More About the Studio Tour
The Studio Tour has a one hour Guided portion, and about two hours of unguided, self-directed time in total. The Guided portion of the tour is spent largely on the Tour Carts, riding throughout the studio lot with a tour guide to explain and answer questions. The rest of the tour is made up of time you’ll spend dining, shopping and exploring the interactive experiences. You’ll be able to complete this on your own time, and it may take you less than two hours.
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is available in English and Spanish.
The Warner Bros. Deluxe VIP Tour
Note that the Deluxe VIP tour has not resumed in 2021. Stay tuned for updates. What follows is based on the tour as it was in 2012.
The VIP Deluxe Tour begins with a movie overview of some of the classic films and TV shows that were filmed on the lot, and it makes for quite an impressive resume. Beginning with The Jazz Singer in 1927, and continuing with films like The Maltese Falcon, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Music Man, What’s Up Doc, The Matrix Trilogy and all the versions of Ocean’s Eleven, Warner Bros. has been responsible for many great films – too many to name here.
Plus, dozens and dozens of our favorite TV Shows come from Warner Bros., like ER, Friends, Pretty Little Liars, Ellen, The West Wing, The Drew Carey Show, and so many more. You’ll see clips of many of them in the presentation – and immediately wish you had them all in your Netflix queue.
Academy Awards for Everyone!
On your tour, you’ll get to do something only members of the Motion Picture Academy usually get to do: hold an Oscar! It’s surprisingly heavy, just like all the actresses say when they win – and it’s like a little dream come true when you get your photo taken. At least it was for me.
After that, your tour guide greets you and your group and leads you out to your “private” golf cart which will ferry you around the 10-acre lot for the 5-hour Tour. Photography is permitted in most places on the lot, however, some spots are off-limits and your tour guide will keep you informed.
Celebrity sightings are not uncommon on tours during the week (but rare on the weekends), and of course these can be a highlight of the experience, but since this is where the actors are at work, tour attendees are encouraged not to yell or accost the stars they may see. Photos with celebrities are not unheard of, though, especially if the rules are followed, so keep your eyes peeled and your fingers crossed.
The tour takes you through the backlot, which has doubled for every major city in the world over the years, and the “jungle”, which plays home to the exterior scenes of Pretty Little Liars and True Blood currently, but many others over the years as well.
ER was a major player on the Warner Bros. lot for the 15 years of its run, and so there are many spots on the tour that turn out to have been filmed as part of the show.
The Tour Guides are all extremely knowledgeable about the history of the lot and about all the shows that are currently filming there. Each one brings their personality to the job – one they clearly relish. They really make the Tour special and worth every penny.
The tour continues with visits to the Prop department, where you’ll see replicas of the Maltese Falcon, the Wardrobe department where they construct the specialty costumes, and the Transportation and Picture Car department with cars on display like the Scooby Doo van, the Batmobile and the flying car from Harry Potter.
Plus there’s a special Green Screen photo opportunity there as well, where you can pretend you’re waiting for the Hogwarts Express, and there’s a fun stop at the preserved set of Central Perk from Friends.
There’s a visit to the sound department to see how special sound effects are made, some still “by hand”, even in this digital age.
Of course there are set visits, although not to those where there’s a crew actually working. Still, it’s amazing to see the rooms up close that you’ve only seen on TV or on the big screen. The attention to detail is fascinating.
One of the highlights of every tour is visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Museum. Some of the most famous costumes and props from their most popular movies and TV shows are on display. On any given day, you might see Ingrid Bergman’s suit from Casablanca or Voldemort’s cape from Harry Potter. Oh and for the serious Harry Potter fans: you can sit under the Sorting Hat and find out which house you belong to!
And did I mention lunch? Lunch at the Warner Bros. Commissary is included with the price of the tour. The setting is elegant and the food is terrific.
All in all, the Warner Bros. VIP Deluxe Tour is a wonderful way to spend the day.
MomsLA was invited to experience the new Warner Bros. Studio Tour in order to write this review.
MomsLA is your source for Things to do with Kids in Los Angeles.