Warner Brothers Studio Tour Review

Since I’ve moved out to California to intern, I’ve visited Disneyland numerous times (posts forthcoming), but have also done some non Disney activities.  I figure better late than never for reporting on my California adventures!  Enjoy the next two weeks of posts as I catch up a bit.

Four of my intern friends and I decided to buy tickets for the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for a Saturday morning.  Supposedly, the chances of seeing a star are much higher during the week when filming is actually going on, but we all have work so we had to go on the weekend.

After reading a few reviews of this tour, I had high expectations for the tour and my high expectations were exceeded!  If you don’t want to read about the details of the tour so that yours is a total surprise, don’t read ahead.

IMG_0790

We arrived at Warner Brothers a full 30 minutes before our tour time.  I drove everyone and wanted to be early rather than late especially since I’m still not used to the California roads so we checked in and then grabbed some Starbucks breakfast that we scarfed down before the tour.  Our letter/color combination was called and we were escorted into a small theatre where we saw a short film for about 15 minutes.  Ellen DeGeneres introduced us to the tour during the short and we saw small clips of Warner Brothers films.  We then boarded our tour trams and headed out on tour!

We had a fantastic tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the Studios and asked us at the beginning what we were interested in so that he could bring us to the right places.  No video was allowed on the tour and we were only allowed to take photos at certain spots.

One of our first stops was the Ellen DeGeneres stage.  We actually were allowed to take photos here, but the photos don’t do the experience justice.  It was really neat to be in Ellen’s audience and see the seats reserved for her Mom, Twitch, as well as a few other people.  The stage is a lot smaller than you would expect, as well as the area where she walks out at the beginning to do her monologue.  Since the show wasn’t filming during the week we were there, we saw many props and set pieces crammed in to the monologue area.  Tickets are very hard to get to her show, but I have my fingers crossed that while I’m out here I will be able to go.  We walked through the Ellen shop, but it was closed so we could not buy anything.  We also saw Conan’s stage, but I’ve never gotten into his show so I wasn’t as excited.

IMG_0817

The prop building was one of our next stops and it reminded me of the old area you would walk through on Walt Disney World’s Backlot Tour in Hollywood Studios.  We saw hundreds of props, some with reserved tags on them for the shows they were needed for.  This painting of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca was on the garage doors of the building.  I recognized a few of the props, but not as many as I had expected to.  Some of the dolls from Pretty Little Liars were here and they were very creepy.  I think it would be challenging to try to find a prop you need for a show though as items were grouped by categories (ex. lights in one section) but did not appear to be organized much more.  Maybe during the week, someone works in the prop shop or there’s a master inventory online.

IMG_0824

We then went to a building with a Batman exhibit.  I’ve seen a couple of the movies, but not in a while, so I need to watch them again to refresh my mind on what I saw.  The Batmobile, as well as other vehicles were here.  You could even try turning on the projector light for the bat symbol to appear in the sky.

Our next stop was the Warner Brothers Archive Building.  The first floor was Harley Quinn and superhero focused items.  The second floor was the Harry Potter exhibit where I spent most of my time.

IMG_0830

 

Tons of props were in this exhibit from the Privet Drive sign to Dobby himself and clothes from the Triwizard Tournament.  You could be sorted into a house with the sorting hat as well.  Warner Brothers added a section at the end for the new Fantastic Beasts movie.   I really enjoyed this section as I’ve watched the movie three times now and love it.  Posters and costumes were the main items on display.

IMG_0837

 

 

But they had this bed and briefcase, as well as the bakery creatures in a glass case from the end of the movie.  Either most people had not seen this movie or did not care as much because this section was fairly empty.  We stopped in this building for 20 minutes and you could also use the restrooms here if you needed to.

We proceeded to Stage 25 next where The Big Bang Theory is currently filming and where many classics (ex. Casablanca) were filmed.  We were not allowed to take photos in The Big Bang Theory set but it was much smaller than I had pictured.  The couch where Sheldon’s spot is does not look like it could fit three people comfortably.  The seats are also higher up and removed from the set a bit, but I’d still love to see it filmed if I could.

We drove past the La La Land set areas, which I still had not seen at the time, as well as Gilmore Girls spots (also have not seen).

IMG_0846

We arrived at a few Pretty Little Liars homes which was neat to see as I have seen that show and saw the infamous chapel as well.   We learned a few fun facts about the show such as that one house might have been used to film the inside of one character’s house and the outside of another’s and that the blowing up of a character’s house was written into the script because Warner Brothers needed to get rid of that building.

Our tour wrapped up in…a gift shop!  Of course, what else would make sense?  But, here was where the Friends set was as well so you could have your picture taken on the iconic couch.  Here’s the one of me by myself but we also took one as a group.  IMG_0851

Overall, there’s really nothing I would change about the tour and I would give it five stars!  I wish we got tickets to come back and see a show being filmed but I know so many people take this tour, that realistically that would be impossible.  If you’re in Southern California, I highly recommend booking tickets to go on this tour!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under California

Oh the Places You’ll Go

I last posted in February so since then I’ve visited Walt Disney World again for the Flower and Garden Festival, graduated from college, and accepted an offer to intern with one of Disney’s offices out in California!

IMG_1177

I plan to post occasionally about my adventures out in California.   I definitely plan to do a few Disneyland trip reports as well as travel posts for any other sites I venture to!

Leave a comment

Filed under California

Friday Funny

img_3578

Happy Friday!  Spring break is coming up so in honor of getting in that fun spirit here’s a friday funny.  Minnie looks great in this photo and I look super awkward mid-sentence.  Can anyone come up with a good caption for what I was saying here?

Leave a comment

Filed under Walt Disney World

Worldly Wednesday: Madrid

This week’s Worldly Wednesday takes us to Madrid!  Madrid was one of my favorite cities that I visited and I had such a great time there with friends.  Continuing my trend of recapping the trip by photos…

Football: We decided last minute to attend an Atlético football match and had a fantastic time.  We had nosebleed seats but felt the energy of the game surrounded by many enthusiastic fans.  I also scored a children’s jersey on sale as a souvenir from the game.  It was a nice warm day as well so it was great being able to enjoy the sunshine and the game.

Retiro Park: I’m seen here attempting to row the boat on the pond at Retiro Park.  We only had about half an hour out on the pond as we had to switch AirBnBs and were short on time.  But, it was so relaxing and was something less touristy that made us feel immersed in daily Spanish life.  We had sangria and sandwiches before going out on the pond and again just enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Royal Palace/other touristy sites: We did not go into the Royal Palace but did take photos outside.  We also hit up the traditional touristy sites such as the Prado Museum and Plaza Mayor.

Madrid was our first trip away from England and so we weren’t sure what to expect but things went very smoothly and our adventures for the semester were off to a fantastic start.

Leave a comment

Filed under England Study Abroad

WDW Half Marathon Cancellation

Well, as you probably heard the WDW 1/2 Marathon was cancelled in January.  I was supposed to run the half on my 21st birthday but the night before the race, we were carb loading at Il Mulino and received the email that the race had been cancelled due to possible lightning the next morning.  I completely understand why they decided not to risk having thousands of runners stand in a parking lot when there was a 90% chance of lightning forecasted for hours.   RunDisney did a great job of offering other options to compensate for the cancellation from a full Disney gift card reimbursement to transferring to another runDisney race.  I didn’t expect them to do this, but it was fantastic and truly Disney guest service that they did.

On the bright side though, I was then able to go to the bar at our resort and right after midnight (and right before closing) I was able to get a drink with one of my cousins (shout out).  My aunt and uncle ran the half on the 7th, as many other motivated runners did and were cheered on by other resort guests.

My friend, sister, and I went to Hollywood Studios for opening and I rode Rock’n’Roller Coaster as the first ride on my 21st birthday which was awesome.  It ended up being a very cold day so we left Studios, had lunch back at the resort and then went to Disney Springs for my birthday dinner with all my family members.

I will definitely run another runDisney race, but since I don’t know what I am doing after graduation in May yet, I didn’t want to register for any others!

Leave a comment

Filed under Running, Walt Disney World, WDW Marathon Weekend 2017

Worldly Wednesday: Amsterdam

An old posting series is returning!  Worldly Wednesday will highlight my travels while I was studying abroad last semester.  Our first destination is Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  Amsterdam was not on my list of places I had to visit but I am very glad my friend and I decided to go for a four day weekend there. In connection with my photos, here are my thoughts on the city…

The Brightly Colored Sandwich:  Yes, I could get a sandwich anywhere.  But, my friend found this wonderful breakfast restaurant in her guidebook called Omelegg.  I highly recommend eating at this quaint spot in the Red Light District but you will probably have to wait outside.  We also ate at a cafe called Blushing for two meals that had delicious sandwiches as well.  I did not know what type of food to expect but overall our meals in Amsterdam exceeded my expectations.

The Canals: Amsterdam is known for its canals and it was especially pretty when we visited in the fall with the foliage changing colors.  We took a canal cruise as well which I recommend as we were able to take a break from walking all day and hear about the history of the city with the audio guide. If you have a map, it is a very walkable city and we walked all around each day, sometimes from one end of the city to another.  We would count how many canals to cross to keep our sense of direction.

The Clogs: My friend ended up purchasing some clog slippers during the trip but I just enjoyed browsing at all of the different stores.  It was interesting to see the many clog variations and see how each retailer used the shoe.

The Museums: We visited the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and of course the Anne Frank Museum during our weekend.  The Rijksmuseum was neat and very large.  The famous I Amsterdam sign is in front of the museum.  The Van Gogh Museum is a must do but make sure to go before it gets too crowded and buy tickets ahead of time.  I couldn’t go to Amsterdam and not visit the Anne Frank Museum, especially since my friend and I had done a project on Anne Frank for our English class the semester before.  We were not able to get tickets in advance, but that morning at breakfast I checked online and a few slots opened up.  So, I used my international data and got us in.  It was such a moving experience to be able to see where Anne Frank hid and now I’m inspired to re-read her diary.

IMG_2213.JPG

 

Leave a comment

Filed under England Study Abroad, Worldly Wednesday

WDW 5K Part 2: 6am-8:30am

I last left off with my friend and I standing in the corrals at 5:38am.

6:00am: Corral A goes off with fireworks!  This year they started doing mini corrals and since I couldn’t hear the announcer too well all the way back in Corral E, I did not know when we would go.  A boy in the family next to us kept asking his parents when it would be time to run.  I felt the same way and the standing around was getting a little tiresome.  I also was getting hungry as I had only had a small breakfast but really should have eaten a whole bagel since we had so long to wait.

6:00am-6:42am: Corrals A through D and all of their many mini corrals start running.  We finally begin to move towards the starting line step by step.  The fireworks did not continue for each corral which I thought was odd.

6:45am: We are off!  After a few times where we thought we would be able to cross the start line and were stopped very close, we finally began the 5K.  img_3078

6:45am-7:25am: It took us just around 38 minutes to run the race.  I forgot to stop my watch so I don’t have a very accurate time.  We ran through Epcot, stopped at Norway for a bathroom break (much nicer than porta potties and empty!), took a few photos and videos, ran out of Epcot, ran backstage, then came back in Epcot and finished the race in the parking lot.

The race was SO much fun!  We didn’t have too much of a problem with the crowds but were zig zagging a bit.  Even though my friend was worried about running, she did a great job and I was the one who was getting a little sore by the end!  As we ran, we said how we were disappointed it was such a fast race and that we should’ve signed up for the 10K.  We did not stop for any characters because the lines were so long and we already had gotten our photo with Pluto earlier in the day.  I loved seeing the park wake up though and the support of the other runners is fantastic-from the Tooth Fairies (men sprinkling pixie dust on everyone) to a 90 year old woman running the race.  I highly recommend signing up for runDisney 5K’s but beware they are very short once you actually start running!  img_3080

7:25-8:30am: We received our medals, snack boxes, and water and then started walking to the buses.  I really struggled to carry all of my stuff as I always do and had taken off my jacket at this point as well.  The bus came fairly quickly and we did not have too long of a line.  We boarded the bus with all of the other sweaty runners and then were back at the resort in no time to relay our race tales to the rest of the family who were just waking up!

Leave a comment

Filed under Running, WDW Marathon Weekend 2017