Visiting “Stars Hollow” on the Warner Bros. Lot: Top 5 Tips for Gilmore Girls Fans

By Brittany Simmons (Special Guest Blogger)

Thinking about taking the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to catch a glimpse of Stars Hollow? Read about Brittany’s experience on the backlot and learn how you can make the most of your studio tour as a Gilmore Girls fan!

My Love for Gilmore Girls

The Warner Brothers Lot is home to my favorite TV show, Gilmore Girls. I started watching Gilmore Girls two years ago when it was put on Netflix. From the moment I heard Lorelai beg Luke for more coffee, I was hooked. Once my family started watching the show with me, it made it even more special. My mom is my Lorelai Gilmore and through our relationship, I was able to relate to Lorelai and Rory in a special way. Since staring my Instagram account about the show, named @GilmoreGirlsOnly, last December my fondness for it has grown even more and continues to grow with every post, fan interaction, and experience I have. I am super lucky to live close to Warner Brothers studio and to have had the opportunity to go on their tour three times. With the upcoming release of the Gilmore Girls revival titled, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, I decided to visit the Warner Brothers tour again in December of 2015, when the construction was beginning to take place.

The Initial Moments of the Tour

The thing that I love most about the Warner Brothers tour is that each visit is a new, unique experience. My main focus for the tour this time was to find as many Gilmore Girls landmarks as I could and to see if I could sneak a peek at the revival construction. I immediately spotted a poster of Rory Gilmore and a behind the scenes photo from season 2 of the show after walking into the lobby and knew from there that my day would be a success. After being separated into multiple groups, I was led to a tram by my tour guide. We introduced ourselves, told him our favorite shows, and explained why we were excited to go on the tour. From there, we were off on our journey through entertainment history. When we finally arrived at Anytown U.S.A. – home to Stars Hollow- I was initially in a state of shock due to the emptiness of the city.

An Empty Backlot

Luke’s Diner wasn’t a diner. The gazebo was nowhere to be found. The buildings were almost unrecognizable. The town of Stars Hollow was deserted. The fast-talking town was silent. Our tram drove by the empty shop windows. Workers were busy painting the details back into the set: to bring Stars Hollow back to life.

Star’s Hollow Book Store, Miss Patty’s School of Dance, Doose’s Market, Mrs. Kim’s Antique Shop, and the Church were all visible while on the tour. Although their names were not displayed in the familiar fashion seen on the show, true fans were able to decipher which towns member owned what building.

The Deception of Television

Television is sneaky. It takes a strip of houses located directly next to a town and makes it appear miles away. As a viewer of the show, you would have never guessed that Sookie St. James’ house was located walking distance from the Church. You also wouldn’t know that Lorelai and Rory Gilmore’s house was directly attached to Sookie’s house; that by walking through one house, you arrived at the other.

Now, you might be thinking: how can this be? Didn’t they film inside of their houses? Where is the interior? The furniture that we know and love? This is where the magic of television tip-toes back into the picture. The majority of the interiors of the houses and the Dragonfly Inn were actually filmed inside of a soundstage. The soundstage, which is about the size of a warehouse, can be manipulated into multiple, different locations solely separated by a wall. The entire Gilmore house was filmed (most likely without a roof) inside of adjacent rooms (similar to the layout of a house) located inside of a soundstage that contained a replica of the outside of the Gilmore house for when someone needed to walk in and out of the home.

A Unique Photo-Opportunity

Now, if you did go on the tour and walked into the Gilmore House standing outside you would see two things: 1) an empty space and 2) the stairs that Lorelai and Rory walked down multiple times throughout the series. On the exterior portion of the house, the stairs that the cast walked up and down on to get inside of the house are still there and provide a wonderful photo opportunity where you can recreate some famous scenes from the show.

My suggestion is using the lawn to recreate when Rory comes home after her fight with Lorelai or using the photo my mom and I replicated to create the perfect mother-daughter moment. Lorelai’s garage, where Help Alien performed and Luke’s boat resided, is still intact and located adjacent to the house. Inside, there is the smallest piece of pink wallpaper from the show that was preserved by the Warner Brothers community. Sadly, my tour did not have the same love for Gilmore Girls as I did, so we could not stay in the vicinity of the house long, but the few minutes I got to stand in the footsteps of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are moments that I will never forget.

Top 5 Tips for the WB Tour

  1. When you meet your tour guide, let him know that you are a big Gilmore Girls fan.
  2. There will most likely be 8-10 strangers on the tour with you. Be loud and speak up to your tour guide so you can have the best experience possible.
  3. If you really want to see a specific place, let your tour guide know. For example, in order to see the Gilmore house, I had to yell at my tour guide to stop the tram.
  4. For the most accessibility, go on the tour on the weekends.
  5. If you want to possibly see a celebrity, go on the tour on the weekdays.

I’ll be back!

The Warner Brothers tour will always be one of my favorite places to go to in Los Angeles and will continue to provide the perfect look into the entertainment business for fans. I will definitely go back there in the future and encourage all of you to check it out as well! To book a tour time and get more information go to:

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