Tier Point Run to Hawaii in May 2018

This is the BIG ONE! This one takes me to Gold for Life (GfL) with BA Executive Club. The Vickster is coming on her first ever Tier Point Run!

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Warner Bros Studio Tour
Warner Bros Studio Tour
Warner Bros Studio Tour
Warner Bros Studio Tour

Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024: Day 4 – Los Angeles – Late Morning/Afternoon

By Nige on Fri 17 May 2024 at 20:49
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024
Tags: Hilton | Los Angeles | Trips | USA

I had a Warner Bros Studio Tour planned for 11am, but I decided I may as well head up there early.

My heel was hurting, so the earlier I could finish off any heavy walking, the better.

Warner Bros Studio Tours
Warner Bros Studio Tours
Warner Bros Studio Tours
Warner Bros Studio Tours

So, another Uber and another mad dash around LA. Every Uber I have taken so far has involved crazy driving.

When I arrived at the Warner Bros (WB) Studio Visitor Center, I found a Starbucks store, a ticket office, a gift shop and a room that appeared to be the start of the tour.

All were the other side of a basic security check of bags.

The Warner Bros Studio Tour warm-up room
The Warner Bros Studio Tour warm-up room
The Warner Bros Studio Tour warm-up room
The Warner Bros Studio Tour warm-up room

I enquired about whether I could start my tour early and it became clear I could have gone in whenever I fancied.

Tours left every 10 mins. I guess if they were very busy, they may not be quite as flexible.

The basic tour comprises two main parts: a guided backlot tour that lasts about an hour, followed by a self-guided tour around Stage 48 and the building where the tour starts.

The tour started in a room with some basic WB artefacts to get us warmed up.

We then joined a queue for a 5 min movie, to remind us of all the great shows that WB has created over the years.

In a buggy ready to start on our tour of Warner Bros Studios
In a buggy ready to start on our tour of Warner Bros Studios
In a buggy ready to start on our tour of Warner Bros Studios
In a buggy ready to start on our tour of Warner Bros Studios

This included a load of stars explaining what WB Studios meant to them.

It was all trying to build the excitement of touring the studios.

The little movie theatre had about 6 rows and 14 or so guest in each row.

After the short movie, we were introduced to our guides. Each row of the theatre was assigned a guide.

My group got Mark, who proved to be very knowledgeable about all things Warner Bros, which was useful since that was the point of him being a guide!

The first lot that we looked around at Warner Bros Studios
The first lot that we looked around at Warner Bros Studios
The first lot that we looked around at Warner Bros Studios
The first lot that we looked around at Warner Bros Studios

We were taken to a large buggy, holding 14 guests and the guide: 5 rows each holding 3 people. I sat on the back row (as is customary).

Mark drove us around a number of backlot sets, where famous movie/TV scenes have been shot.

Other than Friends, most I may have heard of, but I hadn’t watched or been that “into”.

Mark was a great story teller
Mark was a great story teller
Mark was a great story teller
Mark was a great story teller

We also drove past some live sets, although nothing was really going on with them as such.

Unfortunately, once you’ve heard one story about a particular facade, unless you have a real interest in the film, series or scene, it all becomes a little samey to be honest.

Mark did a great job in keeping everyone interested though.

Another set which has been used in various movies and TV series
Another set which has been used in various movies and TV series
Another set which has been used in various movies and TV series
Another set which has been used in various movies and TV series

What was interesting was hearing how they adapted sets to make them fit particular themes or eras.

For example, they remove doorknobs and light fixtures so they can act as a blank canvas for future use.

Me posing on a Friends sofa in front of that fountain
Me posing on a Friends sofa in front of that fountain
Me posing on a Friends sofa in front of that fountain
Me posing on a Friends sofa in front of that fountain

We ended up at the Friends fountain set: the one where they appear in the fountain in different positions.

It’s the one which appears in the intro to every episode. They had positioned a sofa in front of this fountain as a photo opportunity, so I had to have my photo taken.

Note: the sofa was really hard!

The jungle-type studio where Jurassic Park was (partly) filmed
The jungle-type studio where Jurassic Park was (partly) filmed
The jungle-type studio where Jurassic Park was (partly) filmed
The jungle-type studio where Jurassic Park was (partly) filmed

We had one final buggy destination and that was driving through a jungle and lagoon backlot.

There were more descriptions of scenes from movies and TV series. The only one of any interest to me was the use of this set in Jurassic Park.

Another Friends scene
Another Friends scene
Another Friends scene
Another Friends scene

We were finally dumped at Stage 48, where we thanked Mark and headed into the first of two halls of exhibits.

Stage 48 contained a lot of Friends-related artefacts including a Central Perk coffee shop and a gift shop.

There was also another Friends sofa photo opportunity. There were other similar photo opportunities in Stage 48, but I didn’t hang around too long here.

The Central Perk set at Stage 48 on the Warner Bros Studio Tour
The Central Perk set at Stage 48 on the Warner Bros Studio Tour
The Central Perk set at Stage 48 on the Warner Bros Studio Tour
The Central Perk set at Stage 48 on the Warner Bros Studio Tour

Central Perk was a fully functional cafe in the style of the Friends sitcom.

It was all interesting stuff, but it didn’t take me long to get an idea as to how much WB has contributed to the film industry over the years.

Something Marvel-related!
Something Marvel-related!
Something Marvel-related!
Something Marvel-related!

We then had to wait in a queue for buggies to take us to the final exhibit, which focused on Harry Potter and Marvel comic super-heros.

That concluded the tour and I found myself back where the tour started.

Overall, it was interesting to go and see. I wouldn’t say it was a must-do attraction, but if you are into a lot of the movies/shows that WB has created, then you are bound to find something to grab your attention.

My attention was now back on food…

Lunch at The Cheesecake Factory in Glendale
Lunch at The Cheesecake Factory in Glendale
Lunch at The Cheesecake Factory in Glendale
Lunch at The Cheesecake Factory in Glendale

Since I hadn’t received any indication that my room at the Hilton Garden Inn (HGI) was available, I decided I may as well head to The Cheesecake Factory (TCF), one of many around LA.

The closest one was in Glendale so I headed there after the WB Studio Tour, via an Uber.

I enjoyed my normal salad, along with some fries, a Sam Adams and I took home my normal cheesecake to enjoy in my room later in the afternoon.

My room at The HGI in Hollywood
My room at The HGI in Hollywood
My room at The HGI in Hollywood
My room at The HGI in Hollywood

Whilst at TCF, I got a notification that my HGI room was available, so the next stop was my hotel via another Uber.

I needed a snooze since I had been on my feet all day and done around 20,000 steps already.

I caught up with the Vickster since she was on the verge of heading up to bed.

My bad habit of enjoying cheesecake in my room as my final snack of the day
My bad habit of enjoying cheesecake in my room as my final snack of the day
My bad habit of enjoying cheesecake in my room as my final snack of the day
My bad habit of enjoying cheesecake in my room as my final snack of the day

On the way up in the lift at the HGI, a couple commented on me having cheesecake with me.

We laughed at sharing our love of lemon raspberry cheesecake and we laughed even more when I said there wasn’t quite enough to share…

There’s no need for me to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed my cheesecake, which was a generously sized portion.

I had debated about going out again, but in the end, I was happy chilling in my room and resting up my heel.


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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