Once upon a time, I used to work for the oldest and most popular tour company in Hollywood. It was your quintessential, guided, bus tour company that offered tours tailored for visitors from all over the world. They traveled through the trenches of crazy LA traffic to offer various world-famous tours such as:
1. The Movie Stars’ Homes Tour
2. The Grand Tour of Los Angeles (showcasing famous and historical Los Angeles landmarks)
3. The Movie and Television Studio Tours (such as Warner Brothers and Paramount)
4. The Theme Parks of Southern California Tour (including Disneyland and Universal Studios),
5. The “Where Movies were Shot Tour” (showing movie locations around Los Angeles)
6. Trip to Tijuana Tour for shopping,
7. The Haunted Hollywood Tour
8. The TMZ Hollywood Tour.
I worked for this Hollywood tourist company as the reservations supervisor for over five years, so I spoke to tons of tourists in my time. However, there were a few frequently-asked-questions that would indubitably pop up during the phone calls. Here are the top 6:
1. “Do we get to go into the celebrity homes?”
Who in their right mind thinks that they can just walk into people’s homes? Would you like for a tour bus full of people to just show up at your house and go into your home? The obvious answer is no. We just drive by the homes and give general information and facts about the celebrity. These people live in these homes. This is their private space. Why do you think this is okay? Just because we drive a very large, noisy bus through the neighborhood during morning and other hours doesn’t make it okay for us to drive the heard of passengers through the actual living quarters.
2. “What hours is Hollywood open?”
Hollywood is a city. I know some people may refer to it as Hollywoodland, but it is not a theme park or an attraction, you can get traffic tickets and have to go to traffic school to take care of them. It does not have any opening or closing hours. It does not get locked up at night. You can travel the streets at any hour of the day or night (although not recommended – there are a lot of crazies in Hollywood). Does your city get locked up at night?
3. “When is the best time to go on a tour to see a celebrity?”
These are people. They go out and about at all times of the day and night. This is not something that can be predicted. They are not like zoo animals that we put out on display at certain times of the day. What do you expect? Yes, make sure to go on a tour before 6:00 PM because we take all the A-list celebs off display at 8:00 PM, so they can get their beauty rest, but we let the B-list stay out later. It does not work that way.
4. “Why are there rides and shows at Universal Studios?”
We had people that actually went to Universal Studios and wondered why there were rides and shows. All they wanted was a studio tour, so I told them to go on the studio tour and find something else to do for the rest of their time until we pick them back up, but it is kind of a waste of money if that is all they want to do there. $105 spent and just doing a 1-hour tram tour is a bit crazy. Honestly, I don’t know how there are people in the world that are not aware that Universal Studios is an actual theme park or at least did a little research before going there.
5. “Can you tell me where (insert celebrity name here) lives?”
Firstly, I have no idea where anybody lives and quite frankly, I don’t really care where any of them live. That is the tour guide’s job to know, not mine. I am just here to answer your questions and make reservations. Secondly, the whole point in our business is for you to pay us to show you where they live. Why would we give this information out to you for free? Isn’t there an app for that?
6. “Can I get out during the tour at the home of a celebrity that I like?”
No, you are not allowed to get off. You cannot pay them a visit. Leave them alone. This would be called trespassing and it’s kind of illegal. Sorry.