So during my Memorial Day Weekend, I decided to be a tourist in my own city. I didn't have a chance to book a flight out for the weekend, but still wanted to do something fun where I still felt like I was traveling. So why not hit up as many tours from my 1,000 List as I can!
So, the Warner Bros Studio Tour was our first stop of the day! I think it's best to buy the tickets online ($59) and arrive at your scheduled departure time for the tour. There is a small parking lot next to the building hosting the tour, and its $10 to park there. And if you woke up late and missed breakfast like I did, there is a Starbucks inside the waiting area so that you can eat and drink while you wait. You start off by checking in and waiting to go into a small theater where you hear about what to expect, with a little introduction about Warner Bros Studio. Next, you're whisked off to a golf cart that holds about 12 people, so it's a pretty intimate group. Unfortunately, I think we had a sub-par tour guide. She wasn't as knowledgeable as you'd think a tour guide should be, and she had some body odor. And I was seated right next to her the entire ride. Hmph! Plus, she kept talking about 'Pretty Little Liars'. Listen lady, I don't know about you, but I don't watch that show! I'd say my most memorable moment was going into the Archive Museum. This is where they had exhibits of WB's Suicide Squad and Harry Potter. This guy put the Sorting Hat on me, which tells you what school you're assigned to...and I got Slytherin! How appropriate. Peter, whom I went with, got Gryffindor. Even though he's more of a Hufflepuff I think. (Laughs)
After the WB Tour, we headed to Shake Shack for lunch and debated whether we should go nap or push through to our next tour. We decided to power through and head to the Chinese Theatre, where we needed to check in for our Starline Movie Stars' Home Tour (Get Discounted Tours Here). You will be out in the sun for the 2+ hours tour, since it's a convertible van, so be prepared by applying sunscreen! Even though I'm a local, I did learn a ton of stuff on this tour. I found out where Keanu Reeves (very sleek modern house), Katy Perry (right by Runyon's entrance on the other side), Leonardo Di Caprio (owns like a block of houses), the Hilton's (modest house in comparison), and many more lived. We didn't get to see any actual celebrities, but we learned a lot about what kind of cars they drove (lots of Prius' and Range Rovers) and how much their home's were worth or bought for (obviously in the $10+ millions). So yes, a bit depressing that I would never be able to afford those houses. But maybe if I win the lottery...
Since you'll be out in the sun during the Starline/WB Tours, you should stock up on some sunscreen before taking the tours.
My second to last tour needed to complete the List (well, in regards to taking tours) was the Dearly Departed Tour. Obviously based on the tour title, it was not going to be a happy-go-lucky adventure that we were going to partake. So there are two tours throughout the day, one at about 11 am and another at 2 pm. I had originally been scheduled for the 11 am slot, but I think since there weren't enough people, they moved everyone over to the 2 pm tour instead. So leave room in your schedule for this to potentially happen! If you are into celebrity scandals and murders, this would be your tour. As a local, you hear about these things all the time. So when I learn something new (which I did on this tour), it's exciting and makes the tour worth it. Be forewarned that they give you a binder full of pictures of the topics covered on the tour, and there are some graphic photo's....like crime and murder scene photos. So if you are really squeamish, I would avoid turning the page to see them. The only overlapping thing that they showed on this tour compared to the Movie Stars' Home Tour was Michael Jackson's home, so you won't feel like you are taking the same type of tour again.
The last tour on the List I completed was the Paramount Pictures Studio Lot Tour. Now, this studio tour is very similar in style with the Warner Bros. Tour but on a smaller scale. If you are a California resident like I am, there is a discounted ticket price you can purchase online (I'm not quite sure if it's a promotional price at the time of purchase or a permanent thing). If you want to save some money, avoid parking in the lot across the street ($15) and instead go find street parking. There was plenty of street parking available when we went on that Friday morning. The things I liked about the tour was that it was intimate (only 4 other people in the group), had an interactive prop warehouse where you can try on costumes, and it was quite informative. The disappointing aspects of the tour was that we had limited access to certain areas if they're filming, it wasn't that big of a studio to explore so the tour felt short, and you couldn't take pictures in certain areas when that was the point of coming to a studio. However, I enjoyed myself on the tour and would recommend it to those wanting an authentic Hollywood experience.