Los Angeles Recap
If you’ve been following along on social media, you know that my dad recently retired and to celebrate booked a 3 week trip out to CA! My parents started their trip in San Diego, worked their way up the coast (where I spent a weekend with them in Monterey), and then worked their way back down before flying out of San Diego.
Since Comic Con was in San Diego this past weekend and it’s just absolutely nuts, I stuck around for a day to work and take pictures & then got out of SD for a nice little LA weekend with my parents.
Friday Night & Saturday Morning
I took the train up on Friday evening after work from SD to Anaheim. btw – The Anaheim Amtrack station is no joke. It’s brand new and like a big glass dome that’s lit different colors. There are a few restaurants and a bar that was jamming out.
Anyways, we checked into our hotel for the night and then hit LA on Saturday. Our first stop was to the “island” and I use this term very loosely where Gilligan’s Island was filmed aka Echo Park. It was kind of a bust but a pretty park with paddleboats andddddd an ELOTE STREET VENDOR. Consider me happy. Which I didn’t think was going to be possible since it was like a zillion degrees in LA.
After the park and elote stop (you’re welcome mom & dad for opening your eyes to the deliciousness) we drove to Dodger Stadium, sat in LA traffic for forever, and then went something my dad has been talking about since he went as a kid – The La Brea Tar Pits. I was just excited to be out of the car but I have to tell you – it was kind of cool to see this tar pits that have been around for thousands of years in the middle of urban LA.
Then we headed over to a great dinner at Osteria La Buca. Seriously, if you live in LA or visit sometime, you need to include a stop at this little restaurant. It’s just a few blocks from the Paramount Studios lot so we walked back and then started our After Dark Studio Tour.
Paramount Studios After Dark Tour
We were greeted with personalized name badged and complimentary (bottomless!) champagne while waiting for our tour to start. There’s a little waiting room with some Oscars, a compilation video of some of Paramount’s greatest hits (that gave me goosebumps every time it played), and some costumes.
The VIP After Dark tour is $78 and at only $20 more than the regular tour, I really thought #1 – the champagne because why not? & #2 – walking around in the cooler dusk temperatures were definitely worth it! My parents went to the studio tour at Warner Brothers earlier in the week and said they definitely enjoyed this one more.
Something my parents really appreciated was during this tour, your guide has an Ipad that’s set up with movie clips and pictures so when you get to something worth discussing, you don’t have to try to recall the clip in your head, they play it for you, which really was a great addition!
Once your two and a half walking tour begins you walk across the 65 acre lot and get to see a couple sound stages (you can’t take pictures because they’re all actively filming and the episodes haven’t aired yet), the archives, a viewing theater, the prop warehouse, some office spaces, a costume display room, and some of the back lots (helllloooo NYC!).
There’s an intermission halfway through your tour where you’re treated to water, popcorn, and as much movie theater candy as you can stuff in your purse (or cargo pockets – I’m looking at you dad – his Gooberfilled pockets made the rest of the tour pretty funny shaking and rattling).
Our tour guide (Chasi) was SO SO SO knowledgeable and actually tailored the tour to our specific group (8 people in total) since we said we all watched This Is Us but weren’t Star Trek fans. The tour also covered a lot of Paramount Studios & Hollywood history that I really enjoyed. She also talked about her current assignment as a page (in the legal department) and the program that all the tour guides are enrolled in – it’s almost like a work study. They lead tours but also get temp assignments in different parts of the studio. It sounded really cool! She took as many pictures of your group as you wanted and did a really good job engaging with each couple or group of people as we walked from lot to lot answering questions and personalizing the tour.
I’ve always wanted to do a studio tour (I love cheesy tourist things) when in LA so I’m so glad that we decided to do this and surprisingly it wasn’t cheesy at all but an excellent way to spend an evening. I haven’t been on any of the other studio tours but would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a cool behind the scenes experience into a little bit of Hollywood!
Learn more, check out the different tour options available & book your tour here!