the meeting time was 7am, and when i got downstairs there was already quite a long line of folks who were just as excited as i was. i was handed a waiver to sign, and then i took my place in line and waited to board the bus.
i don't know why i thought that the studio was at the nearby ABC complex, where the animation building is. nope, instead the show tapes at the prospect studios, which was a little further away and explained why we met up so far in advance of our 8am tour.
down the street, we spied the area that serves as the park that they often use for outdoor shoots. i was too excited to snap a picture, and besides, i was on the wrong side of the bus anyway. also, i suspect you don't really care anyway. heh.
our bus driver seemed to be having some difficulty in maneuvering the bus, but he finally made it into the parking lot after missing the entrance the first time and then throwing it into reverse for a rather scary ten seconds. and then we were there!
after waiting for our guides to get us checked in for our tour, waiting for folks to take potty breaks and others to take their picture like that one in front of the sign, our tour finally began. we walked up this ramp into a warehouse area where they stored props and pieces of various sets.
and then we walked into the studio and got our first glimpse of the active sets currently in use.
first up, one of their newest sets. if you watch the show, you'll recognize this as sonny's kitchen and outdoor patio area. the corinthos clan and jason have filmed lots of scenes here lately, as well as the scene where josslyn and her friends held their seance.
also, our tour was being hosted by the delightful mary-kelly rodden weir, a producer on the show and who everyone fondly referred to as "MK." she made sure to alert us to things to watch out for, like this wall that wasn't really a wall. apparently, someone during the tour day before had almost crashed right into it as they leaned on it while listening to the narration. oops.
next up: the metro court bar and restaurant.
on the bar was jane elliott's ("tracy") emmy award, as well as a place mat signed by what looked like the entire current cast of the show.
the elevator that everyone comes in and out of.
next door was the set for the interior of the haunted star, currently decorated for liz and franco's wedding reception.
where i was standing behind the bar, i looked down and noticed a couple of script pages. apparently, ingo rademacher ("jax") often hides these out of the camera's view so that he can covertly consult them whenever he needs a reminder for his lines. i wonder if he even realized that his secret would be discovered by a group of superfans on a set tour.
and here's the outside of it.
i don't think any of us recognized the next set, and MJ said it was because it was just used for a scene that hadn't aired yet at the time. again, if you're up to date on the show you'll recognize it as the diner in beecher's corners where michael just located another of shiloh's "dawn of day" victims.
as we followed MJ to the next set, we passed the port charles jail. most of the characters have spent some time here at some point, and she assured us that we'd get to hang out there a little later.
this is the room aboard the "haunted star" where kiki's lifeless body was found by curtis and jordan. there were some fun props there, including mary-kate's decapitated head and ryan's sawed-off hand, plus a couple of his weapons of choice.
while others were taking pictures with the props, i snuck over to take a few pictures in the jailhouse. we'd been told that we'd have ten minutes at the end of the tour to run around and take pictures wherever we wanted, but i figured i'd try to sneak in as many beforehand as i could so i wouldn't be crazed trying to squeeze them all into those measly ten minutes.
next up: the nurse's hub. this is the heart of the hospital, and where lots of scenes are filmed. characters are always rushing up to the desk, or grabbing a snack from the vending machine, or sitting on the benches chatting about whatever was troubling them at the time. the elevator is a familiar sight too, with people coming and going.
look, it's like i got to walk the red carpet at the recent nurses' ball!
dearly departed characters are memorialized on this wall. quite a few of the actual actors are gone as well.
here's a lineup of some of the fancy attire worn during the ball.
this was another of those sets that no one recognized because of the timing. the episode aired last week, though, and it turned out to be the "safehouse" where jason and sam are currently hiding out. it was a breakfast scene, so i'm glad i took that silly posed pic.
look, i'm in the holding cell at the port charles jail! oh no!
but i managed to get out and headed over to the hospital, where i apparently took up nursing and even found a typo on monica's business card.
i headed back to the haunted star for a drink.
and then back to the metro court for another round, plus a selfie with MK.
in sonny's kitchen, i took a closer look at everything - like the stuff on the refrigerator, the stuff IN the refrigerator (with carly's pregnancy, now it makes sense that her beloved frozen pizza was nowhere to be found), the lineup of corinthos coffee products and a quick selfie on the patio.
wardrobe pieces for jason and sam were there too. oooh, i got to touch the leather jacket (one of about 4).
and a few things that were on the walls, out of camera range.
outside, i took what is probably the happiest "emergency room door" photo ever.
it was a wonderful morning on the GH set! so grateful i finally got the opportunity!
and now...back to the hotel for the last day of panels, photo ops and autographs. yay!