During lunch, we went to the WB Commissary. When I hear the word commissary, I am thinking it is this cafeteria where lots of people are being pushed through a food line and you have to sit in this rowdy lunch room. Boy, was I tremendously happy I was completely off-base.
It turns out that the lunch included at the WB Commissary is actually a near fine-dining experience with nice table cloths, cloth napkins, and formal silverware with first-class service. The menu and selection were those you would find from a formal restaurant except that this is the place were executives, producers, actors, other higher echelon employees would eat.
To give some perspective, the soup I ordered was $5.00, the salad was $8.00, the Diet Coke was $2.75, and the NY Steak was $24.00. Remember, this is LUNCH, not dinner! When I tallied my own bill, I easily had a $40.00 lunch without gratuity. We were provided with a complimentary dessert (slice of pear pie) which by my estimation would have cost $6.00 on their menu. Basically, if I had to pay for this entire dining experience with gratuity, this would have been close to a $60.00 lunch tab!
When I thought about the $150.00 ticket I purchased for the 5-hour tour, easily 1/3 of that cost went to the WB Comissary lunch experience. I told the tour guide that I had expected a cafeteria or a box-lunch experience, not a fine-dining experience. The food was good but the service was rushed mainly because the tour guide said that we did not pay to sit at lunch for over an hour. Although I thoroughly enjoyed lunch, I had to agree with him.
He took us to a screening room which had an large-size mixer stretching to what I estimated to be at least 20 ft. It was a very stylish and elegant room where there were many computer monitors connected to a network of Macintosh PCs.
We eventually went into another studio where a small orchestra could fit in and play music to be recorded. Supposedly, this room was one that Clint Eastwood favored to record music for his own movies.
We visited a few sound stages. We visited a huge sound stage where they made “The Perfect Storm” minus the filled tank of water. We visited a sit-com sound stage similar to what they used when they made “Friends”. We also visited the set of “Cold Case” where it looks a worn office of a city government building. Once again, the attention to detail was extraordinary. The furniture, cabinets, paperwork, books, folders, floor tiles, telephones, etc.
During one of our last stops, we went into the private WB Museum. Being a fan of the Superman and Batman movies, I had the opportunity to closely inspect the superhero costumes. The detail on the costumes were amazing. You see way more in person than you can see on the movie screen. There were costumes from “300”, Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions, and many other movies. The 2nd floor was entirely dedicated to the Harry Potter movies. I have to confess I have never seen a Harry Potter movie, nor have I ever attempted to read a Harry Potter book. So, the whole Harry Potter thing did not do much for me.
In this review, I clearly cannot cover everything in the tour because I cannot remember every thing. Even if I did, this is only a review, not a blow-by-blow account of my tour.
Overall, I felt I got tremendous value out of the Warner Brothers VIP Studio Tour (Deluxe version). It is designed to be an attraction but it is also close to a 1-day educational experience. I liked the fact there was only 10 of us on the tour and we really got VIP treatment. It is actually kind of funny. I thought the 5-hour Deluxe tour is the true VIP experience with a more personalized experience, not the 2-hour version they call the VIP tour where I saw up to 20 people on those tours.
The Warner Brothers VIP Studio Tour like the other movie studio tours are really under-promoted and under-marked in my opinion. I don’t recommend young children going on most of the movie tours. I don’t think they would truly appreciate the grandeur and sophistication of the movie-making process. Because of the prices, I would not bring any children under 15 on most of the movie tours.
Otherwise, I highly recommend this great experience.