Destination: California: Los Angeles
Los Angeles owes much of its glory to its movie making culture, and there’s no better or more amusing way to get a sense of it than visiting Universal Studios, which contains an amusement park and a working studio where movies and TV shows are produced. The best way to visit is to sign up in advance for the VIP experience, which takes you behind-the-scenes at the studio and allows you to cut the lines at the amusement park. The VIP experience, which costs around $250 a person, lasts six hours. Tours, which consist of no more than 16 people in a group, begin at 10, 10:30 and 11 and must be reserved in advance. The VIP tour includes time on the back lot, viewing some of the sound stages and the costume department, a history of the studio, glimpses of real Oscar statuettes and much more.
Warner Bros. Studio
Warner Bros. Studio is one of only a half dozen working studios in LA where you can tour the movie lot, and many consider it the best studio visit in town, though it is much less well known than Universal, which has the bonus draw of the adjoining amusement park. The VIP tour at Warner Bros. is limited to only twelve people and lasts a bit longer than two hours; there is also a Deluxe Tour, which lasts five hours and includes lunch at the studio commissary. Both include time in the Warner Bros. Museum, which is full of movie memorabilia, and time watching a history of Warner Bros. that covers many of the studios greatest hits and provides a good context for what you see touring the 110-acre lot. You’ll visit sets familiar from Casablanca, “The Waltons”, Blade Runner, Bonnie and Clyde and Ocean’s Twelve and may get to visit sound stages for TV shows like “ER” or “Friends”.
Note: Children under ten are not permitted on the tour. Other studios that offer tours are NBC, Paramount, Universal and Sony.
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