best studio tours in Los Angeles

by | Apr 14, 2024 | local guide

Welcome to Los Angeles, the heart of the film industry and a city buzzing with cinematic history! Whether you’re a local finally carving out time to explore your city or a visitor eager to peek behind the scenes, embarking on a studio tour here is a must-do. We’re excited to guide you through the best studio tours in Los Angeles. From star-studded histories to the cutting-edge filmmaking of today, we’ve got the inside scoop on tour options, pricing, and exclusive tips to make your visit truly unforgettable.

In this guide, you’ll discover detailed insights into each tour, understand what makes each studio unique, and learn how to make the most of your visit with practical tips and recommendations. Prepare to walk in the footsteps of Hollywood stars and explore the epic landscapes where movie magic comes alive! Here is the list:

1. Universal Studios Hollywood Tour

Tickets: https://store.universalstudioshollywood.com/

Universal Studios Hollywood, an integral piece of Los Angeles’s cinematic landscape, stands out among LA studio tours. It offers visitors a chance to experience the thrills of movie-inspired rides and the authenticity of a bustling movie studio, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring studio tours in Los Angeles.

The studio has seen Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg produce monumental films such as Jurassic Park and the Fast and Furious series. Its sound stages have been home to movie magic. The famous Studio Tram Tour gives guests a close-up look at active film sets, sound stages, and the secrets behind special effects.

Tour options:

  • Studio Tour ($109+) 🎬 The famous Studio Tram Tour provides a comprehensive look at active film sets, sound stages, and the intricacies of special effects. This tour is a cornerstone of the Universal Studios Hollywood experience, allowing guests to see where movie magic comes to life.
  • VIP Experience ($379) 💎 For guests seeking an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience, the VIP tour offers access to areas normally closed to the public and gourmet dining options. It includes a gourmet meal, valet parking, and a personalized guided tour.

Tourist Tip:

To maximize your experience, consider purchasing the Universal Express Pass. This pass offers one-time expedited access to each ride, attraction, and seated show, which can be incredibly valuable on busy days. It helps you save time and enjoy more of the park without the long waits. This is especially beneficial if you combine the Studio Tour with other attractions at the park.

If possible, plan your visit during the weekdays. The crowd tends to be smaller than on weekends, giving you a smoother and more enjoyable experience overall.

Universal CityWalk, adjacent to the studios, offers a vibrant shopping and dining experience with something for everyone.

2. Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Tickets: https://www.wbstudiotour.com/tickets/

Nestled in the heart of Burbank, California, Warner Bros. Studio represents the quintessence of movie studio tours Los Angeles offers. This studio has been a cinematic playground for legendary actors and anyone embarking on studio tours in LA seeking to uncover the magic behind their favorite films.

The studio spans a vast 110-acre lot, bustling with the energy of ongoing productions and the sets of iconic scenes that have captivated audiences worldwide.

Studio was the cinematic playground for legendary actors such as Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis and, more recently, stars like Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot. The studio’s filmography includes timeless masterpieces “Casablanca” and “The Matrix,” along with modern blockbusters such as the “Harry Potter” series and “Wonder Woman.”

Tour options:

  • Studio Tour ($70+) 🎬 Explore sound stages, prop departments, and iconic backlots where famous movies and TV shows were filmed.
  • Studio Tour Plus ($150+) 🌟 Enjoy all the features of the Studio Tour with additional access to the extended tour experience areas not available in the standard tour.
  • Deluxe Tour ($300) 💎 Experience the ultimate Hollywood adventure with the Deluxe Tour, providing an extensive look at the artistic and technical operations of full-scale film and television productions.

Tourist tip:

For a more immersive experience, visit on weekdays, when there are fewer crowds and more chances to see live productions in action.

Additionally, if you’re a film enthusiast, consider booking the early morning tours to enjoy a quieter, more personal viewing of the sets and facilities before the larger tour groups arrive. Adjacent to the studio, the Warner Bros. Studio Plaza offers a variety of shopping options featuring memorabilia from its hit movies and shows, perfect for souvenirs.

3. Paramount Pictures Studio Tour

Tickets: https://www.paramountstudiotour.com/

Paramount Pictures Studio continues to be a significant player in the industry and a highlight of Hollywood studio tours. Its lot encompasses 65 acres of Hollywood’s golden age, prompting many to ask, “What is the best studio tour in LA?” Paramount’s rich history offers a compelling case.

It has been a creative home for film icons like Audrey Hepburn and Marlon Brando, and the studio has produced groundbreaking films such as “The Godfather,” “Titanic,” and “Transformers.”

Tour options:

  • Studio Tour ($65) 🎬 This two-hour guided tour offers an insider’s look at the studio’s rich history, backlots, and prop warehouses. Experience the vibrant atmosphere where iconic films and TV shows are made. Available daily.
  • VIP Studio Tour ($215) 💎 Dive deeper into the studio’s legacy with a comprehensive 4 ½-hour tour. Includes exclusive access to Paramount’s archives, a chance to meet archivists and craftsmen, and a private gourmet meal. Available only on weekdays.

Tour times are available every morning and afternoon. Advance reservations are required. Guests 10 years and over are welcome.

Tourist Tip: Given its popularity and the in-depth experience it offers, booking your tour in advance is highly recommended to ensure availability, especially for the VIP option. Consider visiting during weekdays for a less crowded experience and potentially more personal interaction during the tour.

Near Paramount, Melrose Avenue gives a variety of shopping experiences, from high-end boutiques to vintage stores.

4. Sony Pictures Studio Tour

Tickets: https://www.sonypicturesstudiostours.com/

Located in Culver City, Sony Pictures Studio is a pivotal destination for those interested in LA studio tours. It is known for its technological innovations and rich cinematic history. The studio’s blend of historical significance and contemporary success marks it as a standout among studio tours in LA.

Sony Pictures has been the backdrop for many renowned actors, including Judy Garland and Tom Hanks, and is the site of classic films like “The Wizard of Oz” and modern hits such as “Spider-Man” and “Jumanji.” A blend of historical significance and contemporary success marks its legacy.

Tour options:

  • The Sony Pictures Studio Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at making films and television shows, with visits to sets, sound stages, and the studio’s prop department. The tour is $55 per person.
  • Exclusive VIP tours are available, providing a more personalized and in-depth exploration of the studio’s vast campus and operations.

Tours are available Monday through Friday. Children aged 12 and over are welcome. An adult must accompany guests under 18. Free parking is available at the Overland Parking structure at 3990 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90232.

Tourist tip:

Wear comfortable shoes, as the tour involves walking across the expansive studio lot. Also, consider checking the weather forecast and dressing appropriately, as some tour segments may occur outdoors.

Don’t let your phone die during your adventure; bring along a portable charger to capture every moment.

5. 20th Century Fox Studio Tour

20th Century Fox Studio, now part of Walt Disney Studios, is synonymous with cinematic history and innovation. Its legendary status bolsters the appeal of movie studio tours Los Angeles offers. While direct public tours are unavailable now, they’ve been developing a new program that will allow tours shortly. Stay tuned!

The studio has hosted many of Hollywood’s finest, including Marilyn Monroe and Harrison Ford, and has produced legendary films such as Star Wars, Avatar, and The Sound of Music.

While direct public tours of 20th Century Fox Studio are limited since its acquisition by Disney, special arrangements can sometimes be made for industry professionals or through VIP tour experiences that include aspects of the Fox lot. Its contribution to the film industry is monumental, with a catalog of movies that have left an indelible mark on pop culture; we recommend visiting this studio at least once.

Enhance your studio tour with a luxury picnic

After exploring the vibrant film sets on a Hollywood studio tour, we understand how thrilling yet exhausting it can be. At Picnic Makers, we’ve experienced these tours firsthand and know that after hours of walking and absorbing Hollywood’s history, you might crave a peaceful retreat. Why not cap off your adventure with a luxury pop-up picnic at one of Los Angeles’ picturesque beaches like Santa Monica or Malibu?

beach picnic pop-up services in Los Angeles

Our bespoke picnics provide the perfect oasis to unwind. Our service specializes in creating elegant, boho-style setups that are perfect for relaxing after a busy day of touring. We focus on providing an aesthetically pleasing environment with plush seating and sophisticated decor—allowing you to soak in the ocean views and gentle breezes in absolute comfort.

Ready to experience the magic of Hollywood with a touch of luxury? Los Angeles’s studio tours and beach picnics promise an unforgettable adventure into the heart of the entertainment!

It will take just two minutes to make a reservation, simply – book online.

FAQs

What is the best time of year for a studio tour in Los Angeles?

Visiting during spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) offers pleasant weather, making it comfortable to walk around studio lots. These periods often have fewer tourists, leading to smaller tour groups and a more personalized experience.

Can I see actual filming during a studio tour in Los Angeles?

Yes, many Hollywood studio tours offer the chance to see filming in progress, but it depends on the production schedules. It’s not guaranteed, so if this is a priority, check with the studio in advance to increase your chances.

Are there age restrictions for studio tours in LA?

Yes, some studios have age restrictions due to the mature content of the shows being filmed or the duration and nature of the tour. Children under 12 might be restricted from certain tours, so it’s best to verify with individual studios beforehand.

How long do LA studio tours typically last?

Holywood studio tours can range from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the studio and type of tour. Some offer quick highlights, while others provide in-depth experiences, including workshops or visits to multiple sets and sound stages.

How far in advance should I book a studio tour?

It’s wise to book LA studio tours at least a few weeks in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons or if you’re aiming for a tour with popular shows or specific dates. Booking several months ahead is recommended for exclusive or small-group tours.

Olga and Vlad Picnic Makers

Vlad and Olga

Hello, beautiful souls! 🌸 We’re Vlad and Olga, the storytellers behind each journey. Join us on this adventure as we share tales of joy, celebration, and a life well-lived. Thanks for being part of our magical story! 🌟

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