TV & Manhattan Movie Locations Tour with NBC Studio Tour Review – Take Walks NYC
We’re big fans of American television and movies in our house so this tour seemed like a must for us when we were visiting New York. We’ve done walking tours with Take Walks in Europe before and always found them to be really good as they keep the groups small and the tour guides are usually brilliant.
The TV & Manhattan Movie Locations Tour with NBC Studio Tour lasts just over three hours and gives you the chance to go behind the scenes at NBC studios in the iconic building at 30 Rockefeller Center to see how some of your favourite TV shows are produced. You’ll enjoy a full NBC studio tour, film your own TV segment, and then hit the streets to see some of the most iconic shooting locations in NYC from shows like ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Friends’, and ‘Sex and the City’.
The Manhattan Movie and TV Locations Tour
For the start of our tour, we assembled at the Pulitzer Fountain in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza. The fountain was named after the famous newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. We met our tour guide Joe there who gave us a brief overview of the history of the movies and television shows set in New York. He had a really useful folder jam-packed with pictures of the various scenes set in New York. This was great as it allowed us to see exactly which scene in the movie or television show he was talking about. It helped to put into context the locations we were visiting.
We crossed over 59th street (Central Park South) and into Central Park which, Joe explained, was the setting for many a famous scene. We saw the bridge where Kevin met the Pigeon Lady in Home Alone 2 and it also featured many times in Gossip Girl (this caused our eldest to squeal with excitement). We’d already strolled through Central Park but Joe explained that the park is actually 843 acres so the directors had lots of locations to choose from.
We then went back to the plaza opposite the Pulitzer Fountain and saw the Plaza hotel where we found out that it was €30,000 for one night there in their presidential suite, including your own gym, personal trainer, chef and lots more! We might have to give that one a go if our lottery numbers come up. We actually got to go inside the hotel and learn all about Elouise, a popular fictional children’s character who lived on the top floor of the Plaza. They had memorabilia on display from over the years and they even have an Elouise suite, which is completely pink and white and even comes with an adjacent nanny room.
We then walked through the plaza and came out onto the famous FifthAvenue. It started to rain so we were happy to take cover in the world-famous Tiffany’s store where Joe brought us to admire the stunning Tiffany diamond, only worn three times, by Mrs. E. Sheldon Winehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball, by Audrey Hepburn for Breakfast at Tiffany’s publicity photos and most recently Lady Gaga who wore it to the Academy Awards 2019. We walked by Trump Towers and came to two rival hotels, the Peninsula and the St. Regis, both of which are located next door to each other. Joe regaled the story of a law that you prevented your from selling alcohol within 100 feet of a church, so the Peninsula hotel had to move its bar to the very far end of the hotel.
We then walked to the Rockefeller Plaza where we visited the beautiful Channel Gardens and saw the famous ice rink. They even have a plaque on the ground to show where the ginormous Christmas tree is placed every year.
We went into the Rockefeller building, also called the Comcast Building. The insides were lined with beautiful murals. Originally the mural was painted by Diego Rivera in 1932 called the Man at the Crossroads, but it was deemed offending, so it was destroyed and José Maria Sert created the next mural, American Progress depicting the development of America over the past three centuries.
We also saw Carnegie Hall and the Radio City Music Hall. Joe then gave us our NBC tickets and left us to explore the Rockefeller building until the start of the NBC tour.
NBC Studios Tour
After a short break, the tour met in the NBC gift shop. We were given a cute little badge and we gave our emails so we could have our video sent to us after the tour. We then went into their 4K theatre and watched an introduction to the tour, which told us what we were going to be seeing and a bit of history about NBC. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take any photos or record any video during the studio tour itself, maybe there were concerned we all worked for a rival network?
We were then taken into the stunning Art Deco Rotunda by a NBC Page, where the audience for the shows wait. It has been fully restored to its former glory and recreated to look like the 1930s original.
We got to learn about the entire TV production process, from scriptwriting and production to how it ends up on our television sets at home.
Finally, we were brought to the Tour Studio where we were given the opportunity to create our own show. We were each given roles, such as presenter, guest, camera crew, house band and audience. We did a short segment were we pretended to be hosting our own show. It was videoed and then emailed to us later that day, after the tour. It was a little embarrassing at first but luckily everyone got into it so we had fun doing it.
After the tour we wandered around the gift shop which housed a large selection of merchandise for NBC shows, such as Saturday Night Live, Friends, the Office, the Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
All in all, we enjoyed the tour but felt that some of the NBC Studio tour went over our heads a little as we don’t have access to all the same shows in Ireland. For example, we hadn’t heard of Seth Meyers but everyone else on the tour got very excited when we visited the set of that show.
We did really enjoy the whole experience and the kids loved seeing the movie locations around Manhattan and the behind the scenes tour of NBC studios.
If you’re heading to New York with the family, why not book your own TV & Manhattan Movie Locations Tour with NBC Studio Tour by Take Walks.
Disclaimer : We were offered the TV & Manhattan Movie Locations Tour with NBC Studio Tour by Take Walks in exchange for our thoughts and opinions on it. All photos and words are 100% honest and our own.