SDCC 2012 Wednesday: Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour
Last week, Francesca and I experienced San Diego Comic-Con for the second year in a row. Like any good sequel, there were higher highs, and lower lows. I’ve already posted about the Firefly Anniversary panel, as it deserved its own special post; however, for the rest, I’ve divided up my posts by day. First up: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012. We didn’t actually set foot in the convention center that day, but I still consider it part of our SDCC adventure.
Francesca’s flight arrived in the morning, and she proceeded to rent a car, and then come and pick me up. Before heading down to San Diego, we had plans to take the Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour over in Burbank, CA. We figured that it would be a great way to start off Comic-Con week. You can find details about the different tours offered, and how to buy tickets, on the official site. We took the VIP tour, which is actually the shortest (and cheapest) tour they offer, lasting about 2 hours and 30 minutes. While I have scattered this post with a few photos, you can check out the full gallery of our tour pictures on the Heroine TV Facebook page. For fans of any Warner Bros. properties (particularly Friends, Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, and Harry Potter), the tour is well worth it.
When you get to Warner Bros. Studios, they have a really cool tour center building, complete with a gelateria and a Starbuck’s. There’s also a gift shop there, which I could have spent hours in. So many pretty pretty geeky things. I snagged a Luke’s mug and a Batman shirt. There are some Harry Potter costumes and props on display along the windows of the tour center too.
At the start of the tour, we lined up to go into a little theater, where they showed a short highlight reel, featuring a variety of Warner Bros. properties. Then we were divided up into tour groups, and hopped on these stretch golf carts. Our tour guide brought us the museum first, which had costumes and props from Harry Potter, Smallville, Gossip Girl, Friends, The Matrix, and countless other things. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in there.
Then we hopped back on the cart to drive around the studios. We stopped at the stage where they shoot The Big Bang Theory first, and were able to go inside and look around. They weren’t filming, of course, because it’s July, but it was still pretty fun. Our tour guide talked about what filming is like, etc. This stage was right across from the one where they filmed Friends and Full House!
Later, as we were driving through the lot, we passed by the Shameless cast. We saw a morose looking Jeremy Allen White (Lip), sitting on the steps outside his trailer, presumably getting into character. Favorite! Then we passed by Emma Kenney, who plays lil’ Debbie Gallagher, and she was nice enough to come over and talk to our tour group. She was very sweet and very adorable. As we passed by the little road where their trailer are again, we spied William H. Macy (!!!) and a number of other cast members, including an almost naked Justin Chatwin, stepping out of his trailer in tighty whities. Hilarious.
Next, we stopped by a garage that housed a number of famous cars. We saw the car from Chamber of Secrets (probably a replica?), Chuck’s Nerd Herd car, and a number of other famous automobiles. Also, they had a green screen set up in there, where you could take a photo next to the Hogwart’s Express. So much fun.
Then the highlight of the tour: Central Perk. We were able to get on the stage (?) that houses the Central Perk set and it was amaaaaaaazing.
Later, we finally made it to Stars Hollow/ Rosewood/ Bluebell. We saw Luke’s Diner that was (now a restaurant on Pretty Little Liars), Rory’s reading tree, Miss Patty’s dance studio (and setting of many town meetings), an area being prepped for a graveyard scene on Pretty Little Liars, Rosewood High, Radley Sanitarium, and the church that you can see in pretty much everything. Then we drove through the little neighborhood full of famous houses. First up was Emily’s house from Pretty Little Liars, but apparently that was also used Monica and Ross’s childhood home in Friends, and countless other scenes. We spotted the rest of the little liars’ houses, Sookie’s house on Gilmore Girls, and then our time was up. Luckily, our tour guide was the nicest, and he brought us to see the iconic gazebo from Gilmore Girls. He also looked the other way while we snuck off to take pictures of Lorelai’s house. Right across from Lorelai’s house was Spencer’s barn from Pretty Little Liars, but we were rushed so we didn’t get pictures of that.
After the amazing tour, Francesca and I rushed back to the car to drive to San Diego. Unfortunately, we got caught in a lot of traffic, so we didn’t make it to our hotel until about 7:30p.m. Then I picked up my SDCC badge (thanks, Town & Country!) and we headed downtown to eat and drink and plan our next move. We were even able to meet up with my podcasting buddy, Melissa of The Televixen. A very good way to start Comic-Con week. Here’s a short dorky video of our journey, if you want to watch.