Today’s plan was simple. We would tackle the two Studios tours and ride as much as possible in Universal before we were asked to leave at closing time. It didn’t quite work out that way though, in a good way.
Our WB tour was booked for 9:00 AM and is included on the Go LA Card. This meant a rush-hour dash across the City to get there for 9 but this is the only way we would get to both attractions in one day. In truth, the traffic was not so bad and we only really found one big queue and were at the studios in plenty of time. Lucky really as we had to descend into the bowels of the earth to park on subfloor 5. Still, we were at the tour center in plenty of time.
Warner Bros Studio Tour
The Tour was really fun and featured tonnes of outdoor sets from A lot of current, recent, and past Movies and TV. As we approached one set we were asked to be quiet as they were filming a scene for the new Lethal Weapon series. As we peered into the set we saw a woman throw herself from the top floor only to be caught by a guy who helped the stricken lady back into the window and to safety. Obviously, this was staged for the shoot but it was super cool to see some live filming. And the Man helping the women back to safety was the Star of the show Clayne Crawford (Riggs)
The second killer moment was as we passed the Big Bang Theory sound Stage and a burly security guard approached an arriving Car. Our tour guide instantly pulled up and informed us to watch the car as this security guard is assigned to escort the Stars from their cars to the Set. And right on cue, Jonny Galecki AKA Leanord from the show climbed out of his car. TBH he didn’t seem to appreciate the intrusion and refused to wave back to us even though we kept a respectful distance.
We had our first stop in a fake town square with a very famous church and some houses used in Pretty Little Liars and the Gellar House from Friends. We looked around the set and took a peek into a few houses. It’s amazing how unpolished everything is seeing how perfect it all appears in the movies.
Next was the Costume vault where we saw actual costumes from Batman and Wonder Woman along with a whole floor of Harry Potter costumes. Despite Universal having the theme park rights to Harry Potter, it’s actually a WB production so they have all the real costumes whereas everything at Universal is a replication.
We also got to see the bat cave with a selection of Batmobiles from the old original Movies right up to the latest incarnations. The Props department seemed a pretty unexciting prospect but was actually really interesting and full of cool movie props from a load of films and TV Series. Finally, as it was a non-filming day we were allowed into the Ellen Show set to take a look around which was all pretty cool.
The tour concludes at an interactive exhibit where you can see and interact with sets showing how movies are actually made. Pretty interesting but the highlight is the replica of the friends Central Perk set including the actual Couch used in the program. And with that, we were done. It’s a really great experience overall and something not to be missed.
We then hopped in the car for the 5-10 min dash across to universal. We were Gobsmacked at the $25 parking charge but had little choice. We stopped for a taco bell at city Walk before heading to the gate. Again as this is included on our Go Card we walked straight in with the cards allowing at the gate admission. No queueing up for actual tickets just scanned at the gate.
Universal Studios Hollywood
The main reason for visiting Universal for us was to do the Studio Tour. We had recently got back from Orlando and visited both Universal Parks there so there are very few rides at Hollywood that are not at Orlando.
The Studio tour is the big thing that is different for us and something we wanted to experience. However, this didn’t stop us from experiencing our favorite rides and attraction all over again! We did Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which had a slight ride malfunction that stopped the ride for all of 5 seconds, which meant we were offered a second go straight away, Which was nice. We also took back-to-back rides on Transformers by utilizing the single Rider Queue. And we got to try the new Walking Dead attraction which was pretty good if a little short and the scares had little impact on Kate, they had me screaming like a little girl, however!
The main attraction for the day was the Studio tour and after a 30 min queue, we were on our tram and off to see the Studios. Overall the tour is very fun, but as a tour, it covers far less than the Warner Bros tour we did earlier in the day. It is far more of a ride and it that sense really good.
You head off around some movie sets while a narrator points out all the points of interest. while at certain parts of the tour the experience becomes a ride. You experience the King Kong Ride, where you are attacked by Dinosaurs and the Giant Ape comes to the rescue, The Fast And Furious Ride, Jaws, the earthquake set, and a Flash Flood. It’s all pretty neat and well worth experiencing.
Some of the Sets Visited are fantastic like the Aircrash Set from the war of the Worlds, others are more generic sets used over and over in multiple films and TV series like the New York Sets or the Western sets. For us, the most disappointing part was we were not taken to see wisteria lane but simply told it’s over there now watch this clip about desperate housewives to see what you are missing!
There was a distinct lack of celebrity sightings too especially after the morning. We did get a friendly wave from Derek Hough from dancing with the stars but TBH I have no idea who that is (Kate seemed pleased to see him though), but it was nice to see him actually stop and wave to the tram, Are you listening Mr. Gelecki? (Guess not).
We spent the rest of the time just looking around the park and enjoying some of the character interactions like the transformer meet and greets (love Megatron berating and insulting guests) and the Raptor encounter, where the “dinosaur” went complete Physco mode on two 4/5-year-old kids who We imagine will never be able to sleep again, you shouldn’t laugh but…
As always we love Hogsmeade and the Harry Potter stuff but the Holly wood offering is a good way behind Orlando, where Diagon Alley is probably the best theming we have ever encountered at a theme park. We could have crammed a lot more in but we were getting tired and didn’t want to overdo it so decided to call it a day and try and get a jump on rush hour. Overall with a bit more effort or a slightly quieter day we could have seen and done everything in the half-day we had (there were still two hours to go until closing). We think the day at the movie’s idea is a great way to utilize two big-hitter attractions on the Go Card. We also took this opportunity to make up for lost time yesterday and after a 4×4 Animal Style at In-n-Out Burger, we headed for the Griffith Observatory.
Being a Monday the Observatory was closed but we just wanted the View. Nothing to say here just take a look at the Pics.
Off to bed ready for our last big day in the City. Tomorrow would be Culture Day.