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Warner Bros. Studios Tour

Learn How They Make Movie Magic at Warner Bros.

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Warner Bros. Studios Tour
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios.
  • Hours: Monday through Friday, Saturdays spring through fall starting late March, 2011 (check current hours)
  • Reservations: Not required but highly recommended. Open spaces are sold on first-come, first-served basis
  • Cost: Admission fee charged (expensive) and parking is extra
  • How Long: The basic tour lasts a little more than two hours, expanded tour options last longer
  • Location: Burbank (directions below)
  • Best Time to Visit: Any time
Did you ever watch a movie or television program and wonder what goes on behind the scenes? Warner Bros. Studio Tour gives visitors an opportunity to find out. For more than 75 years, Warner has been making movies at their Burbank studios and they generously share their heritage with visitors.

Unlike the tarted-up studio tour at Universal, little on the Warner Bros. tour is scripted or set up just to wow visitors. One exception is part of the Friends television show set, which was relocated to a small room near the prop department, just so visitors could enjoy it.

Tips for Enjoying the Warner Bros. Studio Tour

  • Some walking is required, and you'll get on and off the tram several times.
  • Adults must bring legal photo identification, You will have to show it at the ticket counter.
  • Children under 8 are not allowed. Anyone between 13 and 17 years old can take the tour on their own, but an adult must check them in. Children under 12 must have an adult take the tour with them. This information is different than what you may find elsewhere online, but it was current as of September, 2011, according to their Tour Director.
  • Leave your video camera in the car. Still film and digital photographs are allowed in some parts of the tour.
  • Do not bring large bags like backpacks or suitcases, or anything that might be considered a weapon (including pocket knives and mace or pepper spray).
  • Be prepared to be checked by a metal detector and have your personal belongings inspected.
  • If you're visiting several Hollywood attractions in the same day, you can save money on the Paramount Tour with a Go Card. Use this handy guide to find out all you need to know about it or just buy it online in advance through Kijubi.com

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Options

Besides the basic tour described below, Warner Bros. offers an expanded tour or two that cover more areas, go into more depth and may include lunch in the commissary. Visit their website (link below) to find out about these options if you're interested. The deluxe tour experiences may also have a higher minimum age requirement.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

The name of this tour changes from time to time, but most recently it was called the VIP Tour.

The Warner Bros Studio is a real, working film production area, not a theme park. Every tour is different, depending on film and television production schedules, but they generally include a visit to a set or two and a peek at some of Hollywood behind the scenes. Highlights of the tour:

  • The reception center shows a short film highlighting Warner's history.

  • Visitors travel in groups of twelve or less in an open-air tram. The tour varies, but you may see see the Costume Department, Scenic Department, sound stages, editing rooms, screening theatres and the 2-million-gallon tank used for filming water scenes.

  • Some parts of the Warner Bros. Studios are off-limits to photography, such as the sound stages where movies and television shows are filmed. The tour guide will stow your cameras in these areas.

  • Tours usually visit at least one or two filming sets, usually for television series. Which ones depends on filming schedules.

  • The tour visits some of the studio's twenty acres of exterior sets. It's in this area where most of the picture taking is allowed. This is also where the tour guides shine, showing visitors spots such as the scene of Spiderman and Mary Jane's first kiss. They'll also take you behind the facades, building fronts made just for show and into a "practical" set, which has rooms inside.

  • Even though only a small portion of the studio's memorabilia collection is on display in the Studio Museum, you'll probably still be looking around at the costumes, scripts, props, and letters when your tour guide says it's time to leave. Vigilant guards keep itchy hands off the treasures and very little is behind glass, so you can see it all clearly.
Once you've been on the studio tour, you'll never think of a movie or television program in quite the same way again.

Review

We rate the Warner Bros. Studio Tour 4 stars out of 5. It's an authentic tour of a working studio unfettered by special effects, and the museum is excellent.

Others may disagree. You can see what other people just like you think about it, then bookmark this page and after you've been there, come back and tell us what you think.

POLLWhat do you think of the Warner Bros Studio Tour as a tourist attraction?

Getting There

3400 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA
(818) 972-8687
Warner Bros. website

Try to arrive at least twenty minutes before your tour time.

To get there, exit US Hwy 101 at Barham Blvd, then go north past the Warner Bros lot. After Barham curves to the right and becomes Olive Ave, turn right onto Riverside.

Parking is in a special lot near Gate N which is located across from the above address. A parking fee is charged. Driving directions from all the Los Angeles freeways are available at the Warner Bros. website.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary tour for the purpose of reviewing it. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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