USA Part II – The Conan that wasn’t, and other adventures in LA
As we bid adieu to San Francisco, it was time to head to the City of Angels, Los Angeles.
With only 3 full days available, we decided to rent a car to save time on public transport, and keep our core itinerary to a very distilled 3:
- Warner Brothers Studios Tour
- Universal Studios
If we had time, we’ll include side attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Boulevard etc. Turned out, time was on our side.
This is where Jimmy Kimmel tapes his shows, right along Hollywood Boulevard. Where’s Guillermo? Coincidentally, Matt Damon’s (with whom Kimmel’s had a long-standing “feud”) Star was right opposite of Kimmel’s studio.
To the extreme left is the Chinese Theatre, where Happy Hogan was injured in a blast in Iron Man 3. Cool huh!
Aahhh.. Disneyland, a place where adults and children alike fight for rides.
Of course, one of the main events would be the daily Disneyland Parade along Main Street, which happens every evening, where many Disney characters come together in a song and dance float parade!
Warner Bros Studio Tour
When we were selecting our hotel in LA, we sort of knew that our highlights would be Warner Bros, Universal and Disney. With that in mind, we went about searching for a hotel that would be near one of these spots.
Finally, we settled on Tangerine Hotel in Burbank, literally a 10 minute walk to Warner Brothers Studio. The hotel also had a Subway across the street, as well as awesome mexican food.
The hotel staff were also great, and though a pretty small hotel, they had free wi-fi, a small pool, and free parking. It was cosy and awesome. So a shoutout to Tangerine, and if any of you are looking to staying in Burbank, it’s a damn fine choice!
Filming in progress. Looks like shit just hit the fan! And we found the culprit below! Check out the identical cars, pre and post accident.
As we went along various sites of the Studio lots, we were introduced to a lot of facade buildings. You could only film from the outside, and they are made of plywood, or something.
Last but not least, one of the most loved TV shows in the history of television!
The set of Central Perk!
Now, here we come to the part where I explain the title of this post. Right at the end of the WB Studio Tour, our very friendly guide asked if we were keen to be a part of the Conan audience that night. He had some standby tickets to give out, and he said chances were pretty good that we could get on.
We weren’t diehard Conan fans (or even casual fans to be honest), so we wanted to know who the guests were.
He said five words, two of which blew my mind:
JJ Abrams and Jesse Eisenberg
Holy shit JJ Abrams! I didn’t mind Eisenberg either! So we snatched the tickets and proceeded to pee my pants in excitement.
But as you can guess from the title, when we turned up at the allocated time at the allocated place, this lady said that all the seats have been taken up.
Man, I was sadder than Sad Keanu.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Brushing off the disappointment, we drove on to our next destination.
We first went on the Universal Studios Studio Tour. The Tour (video hosted by Jimmy Fallon) brought us around the studio lot, and showed us some of the sets including Bates Motel below, as well as the actual plane crash set from War of the Worlds.
The tour also included many interactive elements where we were shown rain simulation, flood simulation, earthquake in a train station platform, as well as in immersive 360 King Kong experience. It really was one of the more interesting aspects at Universal.
Then, all of a sudden, as if everyone knew who we were, we had bunches of very strange people come take pictures with us.
See what I mean?
Oh, a quick tip. If you’re looking to have a good time, shell out a bit more for the “front of line” passes. Really saves a lot of time and energy from queuing!
Santa Monica Pier
Last but not least, we snuck some time out to visit Santa Monica Pier!
What a perfect and scenic way to end the LA leg of the tour!
Watch out for the Epic Finale to the USA Triplogy – Las Vegas.