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 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

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 still in Los Angeles as this is where the magic happens. It’s the only park where you can see the actual filming locations of many amazing movies.

minions universal
Saying hi to my favorite minions!

I started my visit at Universal with the Minion ride as I adore those little yellow guys! 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 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 to every ride or purchase a VIP Skip The Line Pass. 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) and Jurassic Park, which is supposedly very good but it happened to be closed when I visited, but don’t worry, I’ll be back at the end of the year to check it out!

As much as I love the Minions I think the best ride was Transformers. I haven’t seen the movie and I still thought it was the best because 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
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 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.DSC01719

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 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.

Warner Bros Studios

I had the pleasure to visit Warner Brothers thanks to Tinggly that as I mentioned after my helicopter flight in Las Vegas is a wonderful website providing gift vouchers for experiences all over the world. I got a trip Warner Bros & Movie Stars Homes using their website, however I could only take part in the first part of the tour and I didn’t see the mansions as their provider screwed up the length of the tour and I had to go and meet David Duchovny before the second part of the tour was scheduled. It’s not Tinggly’s fault as they were excellent with the organization of my tour and I definitely recommend them! DSC00812

Anyway, Warner Bros is definitely a great stop for movie enthusiasts. The studio is 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?

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 for smoking marijuana!
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? 😉DSC00795

Legs from Hangover 3!
Legs from Hangover 3!

The Warner Bros Studio tour is different depending on your guide as different guides stop at different places. Unfortunately, my guide was neither funny nor enthusiastic comparing 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 the 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.

Any questions? Shoot them over in the comments below!

28 thoughts on “Warner Bros vs Universal Studios – Which One To Visit?”

  1. I didn’t even think it would be possible to see all those things, looks really interesting. What about Duchovny? That was the part that cought my attention too. And The Mistery Machine <3 For that pic I would kill! jejeje

  2. I haven’t done either but I think I would prefer the Warner Brothers tour, I love that you can actually explore some of the sets! I would love to explore Rosewood! haha

  3. Awesome post! I’ve been on the Universal Studio Tour several times (I just posted about it, actually!), but I have yet to visit the Warner Brothers Studios. I’m definitely jealous that you were able to get off the tram and walk around and take photos that don’t have a bunch of other peoples’ heads in the way. 😉

  4. Thanks for this post! We’re heading to LA in a few months, and I definitely want to hit up both!! We have a Warner Brothers theme park here in Aus in Queensland called “Movie World” and it’s just the best fun – one of the best adult theme parks I’ve been too mainly because they have such a huge range of popular movies under their belt.

    Totally had to laugh when I got to reading about the minion ride – just because minions are a really big thing in our household at the moment, and we recently bought my nephews a minion moneybox – it’s literally about the same size as that minion in your photo. It’s flippin HUGE!!!

    Thanks for the great post!

    • OMG I want this big minion! My boyfriend is gonna kill me if I bring it home, but I just HAVE TO GET IT! Please send me a photo! 😀
      Btw when are you coming to LA dear? Maybe we can finally meet!

  5. 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!

    • 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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.


    • 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!

  8. 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?


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