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Warner Bros. VIP Deluxe Studio Tour Review

The Warner Bros. VIP Deluxe Studio Tour 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.

Daffy duck at the Warner Bros VIP studio tour entrance
Daffy Duck welcomes you to the Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour

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 WingThe 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.

After the screening, you 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 nose clean and your fingers crossed.

scooby Doo mystery van on warner bros studio tour
Scooby Doo, where are you?

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.

Danny Ocean rap sheet from Ocean's Eleven George Clooney
Danny Ocean’s rap sheet from Ocean’s Eleven (George Clooney) in the prop room

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.

Central Perk set from "Friends" on Warner Bros Tour
Central Perk set from “Friends” on Warner Bros Tour

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 the 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.

The Deluxe VIP Tour costs $250 and tickets can be purchased by clicking over to the Warner Bros. VIP Tour website. VIP Tours are also available, running 2.5 hours and costing $49.

{I was invited to experience the Tour as a guest of Warner Bros. in order to write this review, but I was not compensated. All photos are mine, except where noted.}

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Sarah

Friday 2nd of January 2015

Hi there!! Do you think the Deluxe tour of Warner Bros is worth spending the money? Or is the two hour tour enough? I am currently booked for the deluxe and I'm so so so excited but it's so expensive I just wonder if it's that much more, cooler etc experience then the regular tour....? Thanks for your help and feedback! Sarah :) P.S. I am praying to see the Ellen studio where she films....it would be a dream come true and/or meeting her of course! ;)

Sarah Auerswald

Saturday 3rd of January 2015

You do get more with the Deluxe tour, but of course you'll have to decide if it's in your budget. My fingers are crossed you get to meet Ellen! Let me know if you do!

Trina

Wednesday 26th of September 2012

Wow the Friend's Set!!! That would be cool to see. I have been to the Harry Potter Museum and I have to say that I LOVED being sorted by the hat. Made me fangirl squeel!