Universal Studios Tour

Spencer Wright

Constantly craving a zebra dome...
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Hello,

I am planning my first California visit for November. I am doing to Southern California Disneyland/ Hollywood Adventures By Disney trip. I am thinking about adding a day to to the Universal Studios Tour and Park.


Any thoughts or anything I should know? Is it worth adding a day, considering I am mostly interested in the tour? For some reason I thought it centered around Old Hollywood?? I have no idea why I thought that. Either way, it seems to remind me of the Backlot Tour which I absolutely love!
 


Ross Kratter

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
The Sony Pictures Studios Tour is really good. You'll get to actually walk onto working soundstages. The tour I did visited the sets of the Goldbergs and Jeopardy, walked the backlot, saw an ADR stage, a foley stage, and more.
Warner Brothers is also great; that tour is small groups on electric carts. The guide will customize which sets you visit based on the interests of the people in the group. When I took the tour, we walked through several sets on the backlot, saw lots of iconic sets from the cart, and also went into the Big Bang Theory soundstage (this was when the show was still in production; the main apartment set has now been moved to the museum area where you can now get a photo on the couch).
You could hypothetically even do both Sony and Warner Brothers in one day, depending on traffic.
With Universal, if you're looking for a full-day studio tour experience, they offer a VIP tour, which is much more in depth than the studio tour which is part of the park. I have yet to take this tour, but it's something I've wanted to do for several years; I just haven't had time to take advantage on my recent LA trips.
 
  • wingednike

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2010
    I love the Universal Backlot tour. If the one you are familiar with is the one in Florida, the difference here is that ours is a working studio and you can sometimes see people filming.

    I went on the Warner Bro Studios tour once and really enjoyed it.
     

    travelplanningnerd

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2020
    I did the WB tour a few years ago and really enjoyed it. We got to see the Big Bang set (which you can now walk on) and walk on the Ellen set plus saw the Harry Potter and DC costume displays. I thought it was a really great tour for just $60ish. I also liked the Friends stuff at the end.
     
  • notaprincess

    Princess who?
    Joined
    May 14, 2010
    I’m also a fan of the backlot tour and do it at least twice when there.
    If you can, add a pre-night at the Loews Hotel, it has the metro line to Universal right out front.
    I did the Warner Brothers Studio tour as well as the Paramount VIP tour and both were fabulous.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    I have done all 4 Studio Tours in LA

    This is my order of preference
    1. Warner Bros Studio Tour - Burbank
    2. Sony Studio Tour - Culver City
    3. Universal Studios - Burbank - the Backlot Tour is just another attraction in the theme park
    4. Paramount Studios Tour - Hollywood
    Warner Bros
    A proper working studio backlot tour where you get to walk around the sets and onto familiar locations. A mix of Hollywood films and modern day TV shows. Good for people who have watched recent shows such as Pretty Little Liars, Gilmore Girls, Friends, DC films and Harry Potter, as well as people who love classic Hollywood films. Small golf cart with tour guide and approx 9 people.

    Sony Studio Tour
    A proper working studio backlot tour but not as much sets and locations as Warner Bros. The 2 main sets you get to visit are Jepordy and The Goldbergs. Lots of old Hollywood history and you get to see things such as Foly studio which is something most people don't know about. Walking tour of the backlot area and soundstages.

    Universal Studios
    The backlot tour is part of the theme park, so you need to buy a theme park ticket. You can't just do the backlot tour on its own. While it is still a working studio the sets and locations are more theme parky attractions than sets where the cast and crew have just gone for a break. There are some cool parts like Fast and Furious and Kong, but unlike the first 2, the vehicles are big and you don't get off the vehicles to walk around the sets and locations.

    Paramount Studio Tour
    Old Hollywood, small golf cart with tour guide and approx 9 people. Mainly a history tour of the old Hollywood studio system , Lucille Ball , Cecil B. DeMille era. You stay on the golf cart and only see the outside of the soundstages and the grounds of the studio. Really cool for film history enthusiasts but for those looking to see props, and actual sets not so much.
     

    BrianL

    Doom Buggy Driver
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2013
    THe WB Tour is awesome. If you are into Hollywood and movie/TV show making it is a great experience. They keep the groups small too and the guides are great. I've done it a couple of times.

    The Universal Tour is also cool if you are wanting to do the park, but it's really more of a theme park ride, though you do get to see some real movie history too. It's just a bit different as it is a long tram with a videeo narration and it stops inside of thrill-ride experiences. It's absolutely the jewel of the park, but isn't the experience you'd get on a real tour.
     

    Spencer Wright

    Constantly craving a zebra dome...
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2017
    I am def going to do the WB tour (currently you cant book things for November so it’s not official). I love the classic Warner brothers films so that seems right up my alley.

    The tour involving Lucille Ball.... how much do u see? I am obsessed with Lucy :D

    I appreciate everyone’s responses! I didn’t know all these tours existed.

    I pretty much assumed Old Hollywood was a world which was dead, gone, and never coming back (in a physical sense).
     
  • BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    The tour involving Lucille Ball.... how much do u see? I am obsessed with Lucy :D
    You get to see where her old office was, the outside of the building and you get to see the garden she insisted was made for her children. She was one of the first working mothers and was head of her own studio at the time, and brought her children to the studio. The buildings were eventually bought by Paramount Studios and are now part of the Paramount complex.
     

    dina444444

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2013
    I have done all 4 Studio Tours in LA

    This is my order of preference
    1. Warner Bros Studio Tour - Burbank
    2. Sony Studio Tour - Culver City
    3. Universal Studios - Burbank - the Backlot Tour is just another attraction in the theme park
    4. Paramount Studios Tour - Hollywood
    Warner Bros
    A proper working studio backlot tour where you get to walk around the sets and onto familiar locations. A mix of Hollywood films and modern day TV shows. Good for people who have watched recent shows such as Pretty Little Liars, Gilmore Girls, Friends, DC films and Harry Potter, as well as people who love classic Hollywood films. Small golf cart with tour guide and approx 9 people.

    Sony Studio Tour
    A proper working studio backlot tour but not as much sets and locations as Warner Bros. The 2 main sets you get to visit are Jepordy and The Goldbergs. Lots of old Hollywood history and you get to see things such as Foly studio which is something most people don't know about. Walking tour of the backlot area and soundstages.

    Universal Studios
    The backlot tour is part of the theme park, so you need to buy a theme park ticket. You can't just do the backlot tour on its own. While it is still a working studio the sets and locations are more theme parky attractions than sets where the cast and crew have just gone for a break. There are some cool parts like Fast and Furious and Kong, but unlike the first 2, the vehicles are big and you don't get off the vehicles to walk around the sets and locations.

    Paramount Studio Tour
    Old Hollywood, small golf cart with tour guide and approx 9 people. Mainly a history tour of the old Hollywood studio system , Lucille Ball , Cecil B. DeMille era. You stay on the golf cart and only see the outside of the soundstages and the grounds of the studio. Really cool for film history enthusiasts but for those looking to see props, and actual sets not so much.
    A caveat to universal. If you do the vip tour you do get to get off And walk around a bit on the back lot with the much smaller tram vehicle that takes you around. Also, typically you get to go on to one of the sound stages. We got to go on the stage for will and grace and we got off the tram on colonial drive aka wisteria lane.
     





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