I was in Los Angeles, California again this past June 2017 for the National Braille Challenge Competition (my student placed 3rd in the Junior Varsity Division!!) and this year I took my sister along with me. We stayed on a couple of extra days and did some of the more iconic touristy things around LA.
During my research, I came across the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, which is the most recommended studio tour in LA. I knew about being able to see Stars Hollow and about sitting on the Central Perk couch. I also knew there would be Harry Potter memorabilia to view, but I was not aware to what extent it would be! There is so much more to the tour than I ever realized. And, for a more serious Harry Potter fan, there were things I was able to see up close and do that just blew me away!
I will share with you all of the immersive aspects of the tour specific to Harry Potter and then I will share with you the other fandoms which are represented, so keep scrolling to see all that the Warner Bros. Studio Tour has to offer!
You’ll find a museum full of Harry Potter franchise and Fantastic Beasts franchise movie props and costumes.
You are even able to be sorted with one of the actual sorting hats from the movie! You aren’t allowed to touch anything though. Be warned that the sorting is most likely on a loop, so don’t be disappointed if it says you’re in a different house than what the Pottermore Sorting Quiz has told you. Personally, I’m a Hufflepuff, but it yelled “Gryffindor!”
At the end of the tour in the museum, you can see the Weasley’s flying car from The Chamber of Secrets.
And, they have an interactive feature where you can sit on a broom in front of a green screen and you’ll be “magically” placed into a movie scene.
They give you a robe and a wand. The broom has a seat, so you don’t have to worry about falling off. I was wearing a dress that day and my sister said I looked so dainty riding the broom with my legs crossed.
The employee will tell you to lunge, move left, move right, swish you’re wand, look scared, look surprised, and so on.
They really get into it too!
I felt incredibly silly and couldn’t stop laughing at myself, which is why I’m probably not an actor. If you want to buy the video, don’t be like me! Try to follow his instructions and I’m sure it will make for a better video.
They will let you view the video at the end, but you don’t have to buy it. It was going to cost around $80 and I thought that was a little too steep for me!
If Harry Potter isn’t your thing, they also have Batman motorcycles that you can ride.
There are also more important movie props at the very end that are under lock and key with a guard standing nearby. These are in the same area as the Oscars.
They’ll even let you hold an Oscar, but an employee has to hand it to you and you have to hold it with both hands.
My husband’s favorite director is Christopher Nolan and he was so jealous that we were able to see so many props from his movies.
If you are an across the board Batman movie fan or more specifically love the movies from the 90’s or the more recent installments, then there will be something for you here! They have may props and a room full of vehicles for you to enjoy!
The also have costumes and props from the recent DC movies including Batman vs. Superman, Wonder Woman and The Suicide Squad.
My sister and I loved walking through Stars Hollow! We are able to see Luke’s Diner, Patty’s, Lorelai and Rory’s house, Lane’s house, the gazebo and more!
The Ellen Show
The Big Bang Theory and Full or Fuller House
They wouldn’t let us take pictures of the inside of the sets of The Big Bang Theory or Fuller House.
This is another one that my husband was jealous of!
Lord of the Rings
This is another of the interactive features. They do some movie magic by having you sit at this table using forced perspective to make it appear one actor is much larger than the other (you can google it if you’re curious about how this works).
The museum at the end is where the interactive parts are. They show you steps on how the production process works, including…
the writers process…
how they use models of buildings…
how costumes are designed…
They have additional props from shows and movies and the set for Central Perk can be found here. This is where you can have your photo taken on the Central Perk Friends’ couch.
This is also where all of the interactive things I mentioned are found. They also have a real coffee shop and extensive gift shop at the end before they shuttle you back to the front. My sister bought herself a Luke’s Diner t-shirt.
The tour itself is about 2 hours long, but you’ll end up being there longer. Between arriving early and visiting the museum and gift shop, it will be closer to 3 hours. I’d give yourself at least half your day to be on the safe side. They say to wear good walking shoes, but my sister and I were okay with comfortable sandals. You know your own feet, so go with what you know you’ll be comfortable in. A good bit of the tour you will be on your feet, but they will also drive you around in a cart part of the time as well.
The guides are really good and I was told each one is a little different, so you may not get the same information on every tour. The first part of the tour takes you to the sound stages, then you get to visit the prop storage area (tip: look at all the tags to find out what props are being reserved for what!), you’ll visit museum areas, outdoor filming areas including Stars Hollow before heading to the museum with the interactive parts at the end of the tour. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions or to tell your guide what you are interested in. They may be able to gear the tour towards your interests.
The tour costs $65 when bought in advance online. I recommend booking at least a couple of weeks before you plan on going.
Have you been on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour? What was your favorite part? Share in the comments section below!
Want more Harry Potter? Check out my Wizarding World post!
Want more travel? Check out all of my US Travel Posts!