Updated: January 12, 2021
I’m a huge Friends fan. I know, I know, the series has been over for well over a decade. It’s just one of those shows that never gets old or stops being funny. I love it, and I know I’m not alone, right?
When Jorge and I got married, he watched the entire series so he could better understand my Friends references. If that’s not a keeper, I don’t know what is.
We were trying to decide where to go for our 6-year wedding anniversary and Los Angeles was high on the list. The main reason being that I knew the real Central Perk set was still up at the WB Studios and that you can actually hang out in there!
*Please note there may be restrictions or temporary closings due to Covid. But if you’re planning in advance and something comes up, GetYourGuide offers free cancellations up to 24 hours before the scheduled tour.
About the WB Studio Tour
Your ticket includes a tour of different parts of the WB studio where you get to see how Hollywood is made. The studio is located in Burbank, California about a 20-minute drive up from downtown LA.
La La Land set only temporary
I absolutely loved the tour, and it’s completely worth the money, especially if you’re a Friends fan. Here’s what $69 pp gets you:
- Tour the exterior sets and locations that are used for some of your favorite shows and movies (including Friends locations besides Central Perk)
- Visit various soundstages for shows still being taped
- See the props department for shows and movies
- See the original Batmobile
- Explore Harry Potter and DC comic book stuff (not my thang)
- Experience the Big Bang Theory set
- Then you visit Studio 48, which is an interactive soundstage that lets you see the different phases of film and television
- Last but not least, in Studio 48 you’ll find the Central Perk set, and right after the set you can grab a cup of real coffee at the working replica of the Central Perk Café
See the Real Friends Central Perk Set
Of course, my favorite part of the entire tour was seeing the original Central Perk. The production soundstage is mostly as it was on the show, and it’s so cool to experience it and to sit on the orange couch. It made a lot of my friends back home jealous haha!
Not only that, but the entire tour, in general, takes you to different scenes from the show including the Gellar house. More on that below.
you can buy your photo after the tour
Film Your Own Friends Episode
The best part though? WB Studio made Central Perk into an interactive set. So now you can film a Friends clip during your tour. We did a scene from “The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner.”
If you get chosen, you can play a character in that scene. Jorge was chosen to play Joey, and I was basically Gunther. I made a damn good barista. They go over the lines with the characters on the couch and do it *almost* like they would on a real show.
I was instructed to serve fake coffee and make fake small talk with those at the counter. The way the scene is cut makes it look like Phoebe and Monica are really in the shot and are talking to you. It was such a cool activity! I wish they let you buy the clip, but because of legal reasons, they can’t.
More fake coffee in my extremely large mug, please.
I didn’t want to leave the set.
If you ever want to visit the Friends apartment building that’s located in NYC, you can find that at 90 Bedford St, New York, NY. The downstairs part of that building that’s supposed to be “Central Perk” is actually a restaurant that has some pretty great food!
I suggest you go for photos but stay for dinner or lunch. You can make a reservation on OpenTable ahead of time. If you’re in NYC and looking for more photo spots, check out my post HERE.
More Friends Locations
This is the Gellar’s house from Friends, it’s just one big ol’ fake house! Right down the block, you will find the Gilmore Girls house, and also Pretty Little Liars — they point out a lot of locations for all of those shows. This also varies on the shows currently playing so you may see different locations.
This is inside the Gellar’s house. Remember “The One with the Prom Video” Where Ross is coming down the stairs ready to ask Rachel to prom but she leaves with her actual date? This is where it was shot:
This is where Monica and Rachel were hiding from Jean-Claude Van Damme in “The One After the Superbowl”:
You’ll also see the tiny piece of a park that’s used as “central park” in the show. Remember when Phoebe and Rachel went for a run and Rachel hit a horse? Apparently, that “park” is also used in a lot of other movies and shows.
More Sets: See the Full(er) House
One of the exterior sets you can visit during the tour is the Full(er) House. As you may know, the outside shot of the house was filmed in San Francisco (you can get a picture of that at 1709 Broderick Street), but they still needed a facade on set to do porch scenes.
I watched Full House growing up and now follow Fuller House, so it was a cool thing to see the actual set (outside and inside). When you go into the soundstage they don’t let you take photos. Boo, I know.
The Big Bang Theory Set
I was so excited to see The Big Bang Theory soundstage! Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures but the apartments do look a lot smaller in person.
I planned our tour strategically because I knew that usually, you can only visit certain soundstages when they’re not taping. I booked our tickets for Easter Sunday, when no tapings were happening so we had a lot more flexibility on the tour.
You can also get free tickets to a live taping at the studio of either TBBT or Fuller House! If I would have known sooner, I would’ve tried to get some before our trip. If you live near the area, it’s worth checking out. Find tickets to shows HERE.
*2021 UPDATE: Since these shows above are finished and no longer taping, you can still follow that link to book tickets to any show being taped at Warner Bros. Studios.
Another cool update I just saw is that the Studio Tour now includes a visit to the Big Bang Theory set as part of the experience!
Moving on, this is Hennesy Street where many movies and shows are filmed:
After the tour is done you can stop at the cafe that is a replica of Central Perk. You can get coffee, buy Central Perk coffee bags to go, eat some Friends cupcakes, everything a crazy fan would love!
I had so much fun doing the tour and cannot recommend it enough. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed. Click here to book your own studio tour of Central Perk.
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