This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here
A known fact about me is my love for movies and television. One of my favorite TV shows is Friends so when I found out that you could see the Central Perk set and sit on the couch I immediately wanted to take the VIP tour at Warner Bros. Studio. By now I have done the tour three times and while I did see a few of the same things each time, the tour was different enough to keep me coming back.
The tour begins in the gift shop where you will find really fun merchandise for Ellen, Harry Potter, The Big Bang Theory, Pretty Little Liars and Friends to name a few. Five minutes before your tour begins you will be brought into a theatre to watch a short film on tv shows and movies Warner Bros. have played a role in creating. Afterwards three tour guides will come in, call their groups and head off to the trams.
Once on board your tram your guide will want to know what TV shows or movies you like so that they can be sure to point out and take you to places you will like. My first tour I mentioned that I like Pretty Little Liars so our guide took us on the set inside one of the sound stages. This is only possible if they are not filming so I got very lucky as this was unavailable on my last two tours. I was able to go inside all of the Liars bedrooms, see the halls and classrooms of Rosewood High and look inside Emily’s school locker. I also mentioned that I liked The Big Bang Theory so our guide took us inside their soundstage and we sat in the studio audience and saw Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment as well as Penny’s.
On my second tour we went on the set of the Ellen DeGeneres Show and even though I had been there before since I have been to a taping it was really cool because they took us backstage so we saw some really fun stuff that Ellen keeps back there. On my most recent tour we started walking onto the set of Pretty Little Liars when our guide remembered they were going to start production that day so as a back up plan we went to the soundstage for Mike and Molly since they tape in the same spot where Full House and Friends were filmed. Outside of that soundstage is a sign that says The Friends Stage. When you go on sound stages for shows that are still on air you are not able to take pictures but it is still really exciting.
On my first tour we were taken into a room that had vehicles from Scooby Doo, Harry Potter, and a few other films. They had a green screen set up where you could take a picture in front of the Hogwarts Express. On my last two tours this room has been replaced with all Batman related vehicles. During two of the tours I got to go through their prop house which is awesome.
My favorite part will always be getting to go on the set of Central Perk from Friends. It has been moved off the sound stage and is identical to what you would see on Friends. If I remember correctly the couch is from seasons seven through nine and there are only two pieces of the set that are not original, one being Phoebe’s guitar as Lisa Kudrow kept that. The guide will be more than happy to take your picture and for a huge Friends fan it is really exciting.
The tour lasts for around two and half hours so while you will be getting out of the tram to walk around you will also see a lot from the tram itself. Twice my tour guides have been great about driving to the houses used on Pretty Little Liars and if you ask nicely they’ll stop long enough for you to get out and a get a picture in front of houses or buildings that you are interested in.
I have never seen any actors during my time on the lot but the guides have all said that it does happen so have your camera ready at all times! You will stop at a two story building which holds props from Harry Potter on top and you are lucky they will have the sorting hat though results may not be accurate since it put me in Slytherin.
The VIP tour price has gone up since my last visit and the most affordable way to go is by purchasing a Go LA card. This is especially great for those visiting the area but recently my friend and I purchased the Go LA card because we were also interested in taking the Sony Studio Tour which is also included through the card.
The tour is very popular so keep that in mind when planning your visit. You will need to show a government issued id to pick up your ticket so make sure to have that on you. One more tip is to look up which shows and movies are/were filmed at Warner Bros. so that you can tell your guide what you want to see. On my first tour I was the only one in my group who spoke up so that meant that what I wanted to see I got to see.
**The tour has been changed a little bit since my last visit but all the changes sound like they will only enhance the tour!
For information on the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour visit: http://vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com
For information on the Go LA card visit: http://www.smartdestinations.com/los-angeles-attractions-and-tours/_d_Lax-p1.html?pass=Lax_Prod_Go