California Vaca – Studio Tour Reco

California—Fuel Your Dreams (brought you to by

Going way beyond what the travel websites may say, I’m super lucky to have my sister residing in California—this Fall we visited the Warner Brother’s Studios. WB is one of the big 6 in LA area for film makers.


Trina, Mom Candee, Me

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Recommendation is to buy the ticket the night before (or plan way ahead if need be) through the Warner Brother’s website. Then use the [  AAA  ] discount code for $5 off a ticket. Notice NO handling fee.

Arrive for the 9 am – 11 am tours if your schedule allows. When we left at 2 PM the line to get in was way out the door and the California inland sun makes it a super hot tourist day.

Your tour guide random, and every day is different, so no tour is the same! Fridays is when less TV shows are filming because of having the day off. This can be good or bad for trying to get into particular studios and star-sighting. The backlots and soundstages all vary to who books them, while some are consistent with standard shows having their home-base.

Ellen films in stage # 1 (now officially called Ellen Studio 1 after her 2,000th episode).

Stage 23 is a new movie ‘The House’ starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler’s.





IMG_6284We just so happened to be there when Fuller House was beginning to film and also Vampire Diaries took over some of the street so we couldn’t walk through some main areas. Ellen DeGeneres was doing a special on QVC in her TV studio, so we couldn’t get in to peek, like most tours do.

Be prepared to shout-out what favorite shows and movies that are produced through Warner Brothers. You guessed it—we did our homework and shouted out:

Sex and the City!
Gilmore Girls! 
My Fair Lady!
The Hangover!


The tour guide will then will craft the tour with special facts as they come to his or her head about those movies and shows. Did you know that E.R.’s helicopter pad was actually just in the WB parking lot?

Did you know that FRIENDS actually didn’t film much at all in NYC, even though being based there? The cast would report to the WB Studios in Burbank every week and the 3 main sets where the Central Perk, Rachel / Monica’s apartment and Joey / Chandler’s place. All other sets where just walls that would be placed and decorated to look like the set. The scenes filmed in transitions were just s

The Big Bang Theory has surpassed FRIENDS weekly viewers by being at 14-15 million. FRIENDS was closer to 12 Million weekly viewers.

The end of the tour the FRIENDS set is up for grabs for a quick photo. There is an attendant that offers to use your phone or camera and take a photo.

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IMG_6329TIP: Forget about the video upfront with Ellen talking and run to the FRIENDS set. Have more time looking at the set before the crowd follows you and your photo-opt is only for 10 seconds.

Trina and I acted out a few Central Perk scenes before we were kicked-out of the set—I had picked-up Febe’s guitar on the stage and was about to start to belt-out Smelly Cat.

IMG_3904-24Three green screens are set-up to act out a few popular scenes from movies. Gravity was first, then Batman and ending with Harry Potter. Be prepared to then wait and see the video clips for 3 seconds before they try to sell you the $49.95 videos.

Don’t forget to grab the Oscar and take a quick picture. That will have a guard and it’s super heavy!

Thanks for reading through this tour tip and share your experience with me. Love hearing from readers and travelers, like yourself.

Your Traveling Gal — Tricia