Warner Bros. Studio Hollywood is one of Los Angeles’s oldest and most iconic Movie Studios. Home to countless classic and iconic films from the last century along with a host of cutting-edge and modern masterpieces and some really cult TV Shows. The studios are a place where your favorite TV and Movie scenes came to life! Warner Bros. Offer Studio tours of the legendary Sets, Sound Stages, and Props that are found inside the Movie lots and buildings that make up the Studio.
Warner Bros. is not the only studio in the area offering tours and while visiting a studio is often on most people’s to-do lists in L.A, they are quite expensive. So we take a look at the tours and see if they are good value in our Warner Bros Studio Tour, Hollywood, Review. We take a look at the ticket options and where to bag some bargains. Before telling you what you can expect from the tour and give you a few tips and tricks to get the best out of your visit!
Warner Bros. Studio Hollywood Tours
- Studio Tour: $69 Adult – $59 Child (8-12) – 2+ Hours
- Classic Tour: $69 Adult – $59 Child (8-12) – 2+ Hours
- Deluxe Tour: $295 (8yrs+) – 5+ Hours
The Studio tour is the most popular tour and the one we recommend. The Classics tour is for fans of the older movies shot at the Studio, the Golden age ers movies. While these sets will be pointed out on the standard tour the focus is on more modern films and TV shows.
The Deluxe Tour is really just more of the same. Smaller groups and more time to focus on what you find most interesting, Along with a few locations not on the Standard tour such as the costume department and the Property Department. You also get lunch in the Fine Dining Room (but don’t expect Fine Dining!)
It is A lot of money and really you do not get that much more for the price, the Standard tour is so comprehensive there is little missed off. 5-6 Hours is also a long time to commit to the studio. We tend to find the Standard tour suite 95% of people and is the tour we most recommend. Only die-hard movie buffs need to think about the Deluxe Tour.
Warner Bros. Studio Tours are timed slots so you need to know when you are going to arrive. This is not set in stone and a little leeway is fine. The system is just designed to keep the flow steady throughout the day with no HIUGE queues and the studios getting rammed.
These are working studios and a huge influx of guests could disrupt the filming schedule, besides there are only so meant buggies and Guides.
When you book your tickets you simply choose when you want to visit the studio. If you are using an attraction pass (see below) then you can simply call or Email the Studio to book in a time slot.
It is worth noting that the Studio, despite bearing the name Hollywood, is, like most Studios today, not in Hollywood but over in Burbank.
Where to get Cheap Tickets?
Really discount tickets are pretty hard to come by for the tour. The most common ticket resellers do not carry the tickets. It seems Warner Bros keep a monopoly on the tours meaning you have few choices but to pay full price. However, we find the best way to get hugely discounted entry is by purchasing an attraction pass.
Go Los Angeles Pass
The Go Los Angles Pass is a brilliant addition to any Los Angeles Vacation. The pass is packed with top attractions and tours and can bring a whole new lease of life to your trip. We really loved using the pass and found it completely made our last trip to L.A. The Warner Bros. Studio tour is included in the attractions and the pass can save over 50% if used properly.
- 1 Day Pass – Adult – $92 ($92 per day) Child – $72
- 2 Day Pass – Adult – $141 ($70 per day) Child – $112
- 3 Day Pass* – Adult – $238($79 per day) Child – $214
- 5 Day Pass* – Adult – $307 ($61 per day) Child – $269
- 7 Day Pass* – Adult – $360 ($51 per day) Child – $318
* includes Universal Studios
Take a look at our full review here, but this is our top pick for saving money on Warner Bros. Even with just the one-day pass it is not hard to save a heap of money by just choosing two attractions from the list! The longer the pass the more you save and with 3,5, and 7-Day passes you get Universal Studios included as well!
Go California Explorer Pass
The Go California Explorer Pass is another option but we do not find this pass as good value as the Go L.A Pass. The selection is limited and only covers the high-ticket attractions meaning the pass is fairly expensive. But you can read our review to see if it suits you.
Go City Pass Discount Code – We also have regular discount codes available for the Go City Pass’s above, so check out our discount page to see if you could save even more?
Starline Tours, one of Los Angeles’s oldest Tour companies offers two options:
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour Discount Tickets & Transportation – $104 Adult – $94 Child (8-11yr)
- Warner Bros. & Stars Homes Tour Packages – $139 Adult – $119 Child (8-11yr)
The First option is fairly poor as it is not really discounted as you have to pay $35 for transportation. If you have no way of getting to the studios this may be reasonable, but you could get an Uber there from most places for less!
The second option is more appealing. Transportation is included as is the tour again but it is still $25 and the tours are not really discounted. We love the Celebrity Homes Tours but these are included in the Go Los Angeles Pass and with that pass starting at only $92 it offers FAR better value.
Parking at the Studios is charged at £15 a car, which is a little frustrating when the entry is $69. The lot is close by and after arriving you simply head into the studios to start your tour.
After check-in, you are assigned a tour guide and will join a small group of around 16 people and led to the Tour Buggy. These small electric carts are a great way to get about and let the guides pull up at certain locations to allow you to explore.
The Warner Bros Studio Tour, Hollywood is a far more authentic experience than the Universal Studio Tours where you are taken around the actual sets and filming locations in and around the Warner Bros. Studio. The sets and sound stages all have a far more “real” and in-use feeling as you are guided around in a large golf-buggy style vehicle, as opposed to the huge multi-carriage “truck” in Universal. The Universal Tours feel a lot more like a “ride” whereas the Warner Bros feels very much like you are exploring a living and breathing motion picture studio.
This is mainly because that is exactly what is happening and many of the people you see coming and going are engaged in the complex process of actually shooting Movies and TV Series. Our last visit saw us witness several scenes being shot from high-profile franchises and offered a real glimpse into the world of film production. The tour comprises of a few different parts.
First, you take a look at the backlots and outdoor filming locations, next you take a tour of the indoor soundstages where some of the highest-profile TV shows and films have been shot. Then you are taken to the exhibits and archives to see a selection of actual movie Props before the final Sound Studio (Stage 48) which is custom set up as an interactive experience to finish the tour off.
The Tour starts off in the Back-Lots of the studio. These are the outside sets that have been used in countless scenes from the big and little screen. This is probably the most interesting part of the tour as you are shown iconic sets from classic films and modern TV productions. You get a bit bombarded with information as the list of things shot on all the different sets is reeled off by your tour guide.
The Jungle is an area of the Studio where any scenes are shot that requires a remote jungle or woodland scene. There are several remote cabins and a Lagoon used for the ER finale. The area is really unassuming and it’s quite amazing the kinds of scenes that can be made with just a thin veneer of foliage!
– Pretty Little Liars – Heart of Dixie – Muppets – Million Dollar Baby – E.R. – True Blood –
One of the oldest sets in the Studio and the setting for thousands of scenes for film and TV over the years. The set is based around a classic U.S city block often New York but can be any major Downtown U.S City.
– E.R. – Batman – Pretty Little Liars – Gremlins – Annie – Minority Report –
Our Favourite stop with many iconic building facades such as the Church from lost boys, The Geller House from Friends, and the Redwood High School from Pretty little liars. The street is your quintessential Small Town USA town square and could be used for just about anywhere you can imagine, and pretty much has.
– Friends – Gremlins – Pretty Little Liars – Greece (Live) – Growing Pains – Shameless – The Waltons –
New York Street
New York Street is a typical downtown New York City Block complete with diners, Court Houses, Brownstone Town Houses, and even an L-Track (Chicago). On our last trip, we had limited access to this area as it was closed off for filming. We witnessed a scene being shot for Lethal Weapon involving a female stunt woman being pulled into a window by one of the star actors!
– Blade Runner – Shameless – Friends – Lethal Weapon – House Of Wax – Argo – E.R –
The Tour then moves onto the Sound Stages. These buildings have been home to some of the most iconic Movie scenes ever shot and some of the biggest TV Shows as well. Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Ellen, Gilmore Girls to name a few along with Dunkirk, The Dark Night Trilogy, The Goonies, La La Land.
While the list of films is incredible, the stages are fairly boring. You simply drive around non-descript large concrete buildings with the only clue as to what goes on inside is the plaques by the door. Unless a door is ajar or you time it perfectly as a star arrives, there is not much to see.
However, you are allowed into one of the working studios to get a look at a real TV set! What you get to see will depend on the day and the current filming schedule. On our last trip, we got to visit the Ellen set! It is not a quick glimpse either you are allowed to have a good look around and go on stage (Partially) for selfies!
The next stop is the Archive where you get to see a selection of actual props from some of the Studio’s biggest films. The Current exhibit has Costumes and props from both the Harry Potter Films and the current (disappointing) DC Universe films.
While the DC exhibit did not interest us that much as we are not the franchise’s biggest fans, we loved the Potter Exhibits. There were costumes, wands, and sets from all of the films and a whole host of characters. There was even Aragog and the Sorting Hat, who was available for sorting you into your respective houses! (I was Slytherin and Kate was predictably Griffendor)
The Tour of the Archive is self-guided and you are simply given time to explore. We found we had plenty of time to have a good look around and were back ready to resume the tour with time to spare.
The Bat Cave is another part of the tour that is self-guided. In this soundstage is a host of different Batmobiles for the different eras of Batman films. Including the Tumbler from the Dark Knight trilogy, The Batman Returns Batmobile, The Bat Bike, Bat Plane, and the Joker’s Lamborghini from Suicide Squad.
The Bat Cave was not the most enthralling part of the tour. Sure it’s pretty cool to see the actual vehicles used in the films and the attention to detail is staggering, but it just feels a bit forced and not really part of a studio tour.
As we headed to the Prop house we were getting a little over our tour. It felt like a real tag on that we just didn’t need to see. However, it proved to be one of the most interesting parts of the tour. The Prop House is the store for all props used in Warner Bors productions. Any prop used is stored in this giant warehouse for movie memorabilia. The store must be worth $millions as really iconic pieces are simply sitting around on shelves.
Some are very specific such as the array of items from the Hangover trilogy, including Marshall’s mansion (the model, not the real one!), and the Piano from the Caesar’s Palace villa. others are iconic and used time and again such as the President’s desk from Scandal. Other items are completely generic and can be used in any film. Clocks, lamps, furniture, etc. Whenever a set needs to be furnished they head here to loan out the items. If they don’t have it, the item is built (we got a look at the workshop too) or procured and then stored forever in the Prop Room.
It really was a fantastic place to look around.
The final exhibit of the tour is Set 48. This is essentially the end of the tour and your guide says goodbye as you look around the interactive sets and displays. The final section Starts well and tails off to disappointment.
The first stop is the Friends Central Perk Set. The set is made up as in the TV Series but is a little underwhelming. It feels incredibly small and unlike the set, but this is the magic of TV. You do not really get to explore the set but you do get to Sit on THE couch and pose for photos. The attendant will also happily use your own camera/phone to take a snap for you, or you can purchase the official image. While the set was a little disappointing it is still a fun and worthwhile part of the tour.
The next few exhibits are about how certain elements of films are created, things such as forced perspective and CGI/Green Screen. There are also a few more iconic movie props, however, these are the more “priceless” type such as Rockies Gloves.
Finally, you are given the chance to be in your own movie. Either a Quidditch scene or a Batpod. Overall this is disappointing and little more than an attempt to sell you overpriced pictures and videos.
Finally, you are transported back to the Welcome Center and the whole tour is a little over 2 hours.
Overall we have a great time. The tour was one of our highlights of this L.A. trip and really exceeded all our expectations. The insight into movie-making was pretty staggering. The overall feeling was how all we had seen was so obviously fake and unrealistic and how this is shot and edited into something that is totally convincing and believable is the real magic of the movies.
The $69 ticket price is a little steep considering the tour is a mere 2 hours and just up the road, the Universal Studios Tour offers a similar experience and a whole load more! The actual tour is far better than Universals, but their tour is included with the entry fee to one of the best theme parks on the planet and is better value in our opinion.
That said they are really different experiences and we do recommend both. Of course, if you have a Go Los Angeles Pass doing both is no problem and will not cost you any more than choosing between them!
Tips For Visiting
Take lots of Photos – You are barraged with a LOT of info. Sets come thick and fast and trying to remember it all is impossible. Taking a photo log helps jog the memory. Also, go through the photos soon after and make a few notes if you want to have any hope of remembering what is what!
Dress appropriately – We tend to Visit early in the morning and even in spring the June Gloom can make the area a little chilly. Likewise in the summer, it can get scorching. For the most part, you will be out on a buggy in the cold or heat for a few hours. The best bet is to layer up, as once on the tour there is no way to go back a grab something you forgot.
Keep an eye out for Celebs – More on this below, but Tour guides are not allowed to point out celebs as they go about their work so it’s up to you to spot them.
You do not need to buy your Action Photos – In the Final Sound Stage 48 feel free to have a go at the Green Screen CGI demonstrations without feeling obligated to buy the overpriced photos and Videos. Make sure for the Friends, Central Park Set you to get a few snaps on your own phone as well as the official photo.
Do Universal as well – It is definitely possible to visit Warner Bros. in the morning and then Universal in the Afternoon. We did both Studios in one day and got on just about every ride at Universal and even left early with several hours left till park close.
Visit during the week – Another tip based on Celebs. These are WORKING Studios. Like most people Celebs and TV Lovvies like Their weekends off. so most shooting takes place on weekdays. You Celeb spotting chances go RIGHT up.
Will we See Celebrities?
Nothing is guaranteed, and there are NO organized meets but the chances are really good. We already mentioned we saw live filming on our last tour but also we ran into Johnny Galecki arriving for work on the Big Bang Theory. While the tours are treated as a bit of a nuisance to the guys and girls working on the productions they are an unavoidable part of the Studio. Interactions between Guests and Celebrities are very common.
Have Your Say
Have you been to the Studios on a Tour? What did you think of the Experience? What was your highlight? Did you spot any Celebs? If you have any comments about the Tour or are planning a trip there yourself and have a question, just fire away in the comments below.