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Warner Bros vs Universal Studios – Which One To Visit?

Warner Bros vs Universal Studios – Which One To Visit?

Without a doubt, everyone knows that Los Angeles is the capital of movie production and home to many of the world’s top film studios. Those who are interested in movies can take tours to two of the most influential studios: Universal and Warner Brothers.

Both of these parks visits aren’t cheap and each takes at least half a day to visit, so if you don’t have time or money to visit both of them you can plan your visit accordingly after reading my article.

I definitely recommend visiting both Universal and Warner Bros Studios. Each offers a completely unique experience for visitors.

You also need to consider that both studios are constantly producing movies and TV series. Therefore rebuilding their stages, closing some parts for filming, and adding more things.

Before you head out to see one of your favorite TV show stages double check that it’s not closed due to refurbishment or filming.

Warner Bros vs Universal Studios

Warner Bros vs Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios theme parks are now all over the world and you can visit them in Orlando, Singapore, and Hong Kong, but the most important one is Universal Studios Los Angeles as this is where the magic happens.

It’s the only Universal park where you can see the actual filming locations of many amazing movies.

minions universal
Saying hi to my favorite minions!

You won’t find crazy roller coasters at Universal Hollywood, as you can find at Universal Orlando. But, don’t worry as there are plenty of traditional rides and a studio tour. Plus, you will find a lot of character encounters you won’t find in Orlando – for example the Transformers.

Plus, recently a Nintendo World opened at Universal Hollywood so it’s a whole new level of excitement.

Start your visit at Universal with the Minion ride because it always gets the longest lines! That’s when I found out that almost every ‘ride’ at the park isn’t actually a ride.

It’s more like a 4D movie where you feel like you’re really going through an obstacle course among the minions. I loved it so much that I just had to get a minion shirt after.

Minion Mayhem
Found Gru’s home!

Universal Studios Park is great for anyone, a movie freak like me or an animation fan. I only had a slight idea of what to expect when I visited, but even my friend who hated theme parks quite liked our experience. In the park, you can find a lot of rides and a few live shows.

Come as early as possible to avoid long lines for every ride or prebook your tickets. If you’re short on time trust me it’s really worth it because in the middle of the day on a Saturday I saw the waiting time was almost 2h for many rides.

The only rides that are actually roller coasters are The Mummy (in my opinion it was okay but not spectacular). Jurassic World is also a moving ride, but more of a water drop.

As much as I love the Minions I think the best ride was Transformers. The vehicle was actually moving among a maze of screens bringing us from one 4D spot to another, making the experience very immersive.

Huge line to Transformers ride
The huge line to Transformers ride

There are a few live shows in the park, but my favorite was definitely Waterworld. I just couldn’t believe how incredible the stunts were – there was a fire on the stage, actors jumping into the water from a high platform, and even a plane flying into the stage spraying the audience with water. For sure a must-see.


What about movie sets? Don’t worry movie fans they’re all on the studio tour. When you embark via tram you’ll be taken to an outdoor movie set. You’ll see different tricks by which Hollywood creates NYC in LA, how to create a rainstorm and flood, and much more. There’s even an earthquake on the San Francisco subway!

From the movie sets, you can see the famous Amityville from Jaws, house from Psycho, a plane wreck from War of the Worlds. The unfortunate thing is that you can’t leave your tram and wander around the sets. I would have liked to do that. It was still a lot of fun!

War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds. Did you know they actually destroyed a REAL plane for just a 5-minute scene!?

Important information: If you’re driving, remember that parking at Universal City is $25. If you’re renting a car, it might be cheaper for you to get a round-trip pre-booked transportation or a shuttle from a nearby hotel.


Warner Bros Studios Hollywood


Warner Bros Studios Hollywood is definitely a great stop for movie enthusiasts. Dare to say it’s better than Warner Bros London, unless, of course, you’re going for the Harry Potter experience.

The studio has been home to many great TV series such as The Ellen Show, Big Bang Theory, Friends, Pretty Little Liars and some great movies. It also has the tallest sound stage in the world with a Warner Bros logo facing the headquarters of Universal.

Recognize this place?
Recognize this place from many movies and series?

The tour started with a short movie about the history of Warner Bros before we embarked on our little trams. Unlike the Universal tour, we were allowed to leave the tram quite often and take some photos.

I got to hang out on the set of Pretty Little Liars, take a photo on the steps of Rosewood High School, enter Sheldon’s apartment from the Big Bang Theory, and I was shown different spots where Sex in the City was filmed and where the Gremlins escaped on the street. I loved it!

Sex and the City fans - those are the steps where Carrie got caught for smoking marihuana!
Sex and the City fans – those are the steps where Carrie got caught smoking
Pretty Little Liars set
Hanging out on the set of Pretty Little Liars


There was also a stop at a museum with Harry Potter and Batman exhibitions. I’m not a big fan of either, so when a guy put the famous Sorting Hat from Harry Potter on my head I guess it knew that I’m not a fan of the books or the movies as I was the only person from the group who got Slytherin. How did it know I was evil? 😉

Legs from Hangover 3!
Legs from Hangover 3!

The Warner Bros Studio tour is different every time depending on your guide as different guides stop at different places.

Unfortunately, my guide was neither funny nor enthusiastic compared to other guides. Although, he did let us wander around the equipment where I could see different furniture rented for different movies. How cool is that!

As you can see these two studio experiences are quite different from one another. You should definitely visit both of the studios.

I would say that Warner Bros is more for movie fans, as it tells you much more about movie-making production.
Universal is for anyone who just wants to have fun and enjoy the rides – think about it as Disneyland with a small movie-making part.

Any questions? Shoot them over in the comments below!


Thursday 11th of March 2021

Hi Anna! I have always wanted to visit Warner Bros. Its so cool that your 20 and you get to go to all of these cool places, I am nineteen and never have gone to one of those places. I could not figure out what the place was where you said, "recognize this place"? What is it?

Anna Karsten

Thursday 11th of March 2021

This square has been featured in many movies and tv series, they just change the decor a bit :)

Marie Ling

Sunday 26th of November 2017

Hi Anna, thanks for your post. I'll be in LA soon, and was wondering if I could get a tip on which park to go for: Disneyland or Universal Studios LA? I've been to Universal Studios Singapore 2 years ago though.



Sunday 26th of November 2017

Hi! So I haven't been to Disneyland here in LA, but I've been to Disneyworld in Orlando. I think I liked Universal more. Universal in LA has different rides than the one in Singapore, plus a studio tour, so it's definitely different experience. I actually just revisited Universal LA with my husband for Halloween Horror Nights and it was fantastic!


Thursday 26th of November 2015

Where's the Universal Studios in Hong Kong? I think you mean Disneyland.


Thursday 26th of November 2015

Universal Studios in Singapore.


Sunday 9th of August 2015

It sounds like you had a lot of fun in both places. I hate rollercoasters so it would be Warner Bros for me and I love films. Great post, thanks for sharing


Sunday 9th of August 2015

Well, those in Universal aren't actually roller coasters - more like simulators ;)


Sunday 9th of August 2015

we live in LA and still haven't been to Universal Studios even though it's literally just down the road. This has made me think maybe we need to check it out as soon as the busy summer season is over!


Sunday 9th of August 2015

Yes, probably it's not a good idea to go over the summer ;) I'm waiting to revisit as my ticket allows two visits a year - YAY!

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