Experiencing the New Warner Bros. Studio Tour
One benefit of living in Southern California is that the entertainment industry is right in our backyard and no matter where you live there’s sure to be a film studio (relatively) nearby. Ordinarily, it would be off limits to the public but there is a way to get in on the Hollywood magic. Take a tour! Several area studios offer them and I’m particularly partial to the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Recently, it reopened to the public with a new and improved version and I was invited to check it out.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Warner lot on multiple occasions and every visit brings new experiences and adventures. This visit was no exception and as soon as I checked in I knew I was in for a treat.
The tour begins in the Storytelling Showcase which provides an interactive overview of the studio and it’s 100 year history. Since I’m partial to classic Hollywood I was happy to see it well represented with one of a kind artifacts like leather-bound copies of a range of films from The Public Enemy to Now, Voyager…
the microphone from the first talkie, The Jazz Singer…
and Jack Warner’s handwritten phone book. On these two pages alone are the numbers of Olivia de Havilland, Walt Disney, Salvador Dali, Bette Davis and so many more!
From the Storytelling Showcase guests then board the trams for a tour around the lot. One of the stops, Stage 48: Script to Screen, has been largely expanded and if you’re a fan of Friends you’re in luck!
There you’ll find a cafe inspired by Central Perk which offers a full menu of New York deli food and a range of drinks inspired by the cast. You can then enjoy your treats while sitting in recreations of the characters apartments and afterwards buy an exclusive Friends souvenir from the onsite gift shop.
The final stop on the tour is a brand new area called Action and Magic Made Here which features a number of costumes, props and interactive experiences from a range of Warner Bros. productions including the Harry Potter and DC universes.
I’m not that into DC but I do love my Harry Potter and I had a fun time visiting the cupboard under the stairs, pulling up a mandrake in Herbology and mixing up a spell in Potions Class.
There’s also an area devoted to Warner Bros. classics and I was excited to see props and costumes from some of my favorite movies including Casablanca and The Music Man.
Professor Harold Hill…there’s a man after my own heart.
Before leaving be sure to stop by the brand new studio store which has a range of souvenirs featuring a ton of Warner Bros. productions. From Batman to Bugs Bunny and from Harry Potter to the Gilmore Girls there’s something for just about everyone. I was happy to see they even had a classics section and I made sure to go home with a Casablanca themed goodie.
I was already a fan of the Warner Bros Studio Tour and the new and improved edition only increased my affection. With over a 100 year history and properties ranging from film to television to animation the studio offers something for just about everyone to enjoy and whether you’re a tourist or a local the tour is a must see SoCal attraction.
Ahhh I want to see the cupboard under the stairs and pull up a mandrake!!!!