Hi Everyone, I posted the following on another Disney boards that is more local to the SoCal Area. But because this board has been so helpful in helping us plan our WDW trips, I thought this might help anyone planning a trip to Disneyland, especially if they wanted something to do outside of the usual touristy things. ----------- Because I'm a local to SoCal, I get asked a lot about what else there is to do here for vacations. We have a lot of studio tours that are not offered in advertisements, there are studio tapings, and of course, gameshows! Two weeks ago, my sister and my uncle attempted to WIN A NEW CAR on the PRICE IS RIGHT!!! Honestly, they really do yell in exclamation points. I woke up at 3:45am. Showered, dressed, in the car by 4:30 am. I arrived at the CBS Television City at Beverly and Fairfax and got in the left lane to park at the Grove and noticed a bunch of homeless people sleeping in a line...WAIT that's not homeless people, those are people waiting in line to get in! They were just outside of the studio, obviously security wouldn't let anyone past the gate. Yet. I park and run-walk to the line. I call my sister. They are on Beverly. I tell them where to park and let them know just how many people were in front of me, about 120, I thought. Being me, I start to chat with the nice family in front of me. They were from Arizona, and this was the reason they came out. Just to wait in line at 4:45 am, but then, you might win a car, so we agreed it was worth it. The people behind us were boring and bitter. I guess this was the first taping they've ever been at and they kept harping about how the tickets said to show up at 8am. Here's the deal. All tapings have times on them. The times LIE!!! Get there two hours earlier, or even earlier than that. I don't know why, but that's the rule. I have no idea why they never tell you that, either. We waited and waited. At 6:00 am, they started giving out arrival numbers, and told us to get back there at 7:45 am. I was number 133. So yes, there were 132 people in front of me. I was happy to see that the proprietor of a nearby coffee shop was actually collecting trash of his patrons. He even loaned out all of his chairs for the older people. What a guy. We also noticed a group of guys from Ohio. How did we know? The back of their shirts had O H I O on them. Only when they walked, they were not in order, so it spelled out OOHI, or HiHo. Funny, that. Everyone was mostly in clever shirts with Bob Barker on them or some silly saying about the show (IT'S A NEW CAR!!!) The CBS Television City sits on a parcel of land that is shared by the famous Farmer's Market and the Grove. The Farmer's market is an outdoor market, with shops mixed in for good measure. We strolled around and realized they didn't even open until 7:00am. So we waited and then had pancakes and bacon. We walked back to the line at CBS City and yay, they let us past security to the outdoor Contestant Holding Pen. The studio holds 275 contestants and they always send out more tickets due to no-shows. There is also a standby line, where people who didn't have tickets can wait to see if there is any space left. Here they had restrooms, a small cafe-snack bar, and a shop that sold various CBS TV show related items. I almost bought a David Letterman sweatshirt. They have long park-bench-like seating, and it's covered, but it's still outside. This outside area is the perimeter of the square stage. They had us get in number order. We waited and waited and waited. Then, they took our tickets and wrote our arrival numbers on them and sent us on our way again. This took just about an hour and a half, so we were asked to return at 11:30am. We tooled around the Grove for this next break and ended up having coffee back at the Farmer's Market section. The Grove has a movie theatre, and is an outdoor mall. They have a Coach store, a Tommy Bahama, Nordstroms, Crate and Barrel, and a lot of boutique shops for the home. And jewelry stores and restaurants, too. At night, they have this cute trolley that wanders down the middle of the walkway. We get back to the Contestant Pen. The Price is Right organizers ask us to sit once again in number order, and tell us that if we leave now, we will lose our space to someone waiting in the standby line! NEVER!! And by "leave" they mean even go to the bathroom. They start to check everyone's ID cards and Social Security cards, and have us fill out a contestant card. For over 275 people, this takes a long time. And then right after your ID and SS# is checked, SHE comes. The lady with the nametags!!! *SIGH* *SWOON* She thanks me for having such a short name and writes out my name on my price-tag name tag. I feel as if I've arrived!!! We wait some more. They start taking contestants in groups of 30 or so to be interviewed by the producer. This seems to take forever, but at least we can now pee. It finally is our time. They take us around the corner to the next Contestant Pen area. We are on one side of a rail, the producer and what seems to be an assistant are on the other side. We really don't know if it's two producers or if the assistant is really the producer. Anyway, the first guy asks us where are you from and what is your job. The other guy just writes notes. He says ONE thing about what you say to get your reaction. If he likes your reaction, he stays with you. If not, he moves on. He gets to me. I get five questions. I am jumping out of my SKIN!!! They only ask this many if you are right in the top bunch to be picked. He moved on to my uncle and then my sister. When they dismiss our group, I literally squeal!!!! But then, my sister asks me again what he asked me about my job. I said I scheduled ADR and FOLEY stages and he asked me if it was for TV or Film. I said film, so that he wouldn't think I knew any CBS producers. Let me digress. I work in entertainment for a major independent sound facility. I don't know any big producers that are related to TPIR and I COMBED the contestant info page to make sure I was eligible. I was, according to their rules. I do know a lot of CBS Producers, but that didn't count, since I am not employed by them. So we think all think I'm getting picked. Even the people in our group think I'm getting picked. They filter us to the third side of the Contestant Pen with the outdoor seating. Remember, we were in the perimeter of a square stage. This third side also has a bathroom, thank goodness. I was so excited, I had to pee again. From the time we are interviewed to the time they let us inside the actual studio, it's about 45 minutes. How they decide so fast who gets picked, I'll never know. It's almost 2:30pm and time for the taping to begin. So they start letting us in. You walk in a large door and there are stairs. On the wall of the stairs is the big TPIR logo. Everyone touches it for luck. At the top of the stairs there is a plaque stating that this is the Bob Barker Studio, in honor of the 5000th show taped there in the late 90's. And then you round the corner and there is it. The PRICE IS RIGHT SET. And it's small. The curtains look like they are same from 1972. It's all movie magic, though, and you're just excited to be there. And it's cold. We are directed to our seats. We get the right side, back row. On TV, it seems like a long way, but it's about 15 rows big. They explain a few things to us, like the mics above us, where to look if we can't see the stage, and to yell whenever the words "BOB BARKER" is spoken. We practice. I lose my voice. I am so excited to win a car, I start to cry. They explain that the first four contestants will be called first. They also explain that with the music and the screaming, we won't be able to hear, so they have our names on cue cards. They introduce the announcer and then Bob Barker is introduced and it's like he welcomes us to his home. He's done this SO many times, he is slick. He tells us that in-between games, they stop down and let us ask him anything we'd like. And then the music starts up, the lights are on and it's COME ON DOWN TIME!!!!! EVERYONE IS SCREAMING. The lights are going crazy and you can hear the theme music. The producer jumps on stage and shows the first name. Not me. The second. Not me. The third. Not me. The fourth. Not me. What is going on here? At least one of the guys is from the OHIO Group. The first prize is unremarkable and someone wins the bid and plays a game and they win. I forget what game, sorry to say. So, they stop down. Bob opens the floor to questions, the tube top lady is asked about, and then Bob tells the story for the 11,563th time, but he is so good, it sounds like no one ever asked this question before. And then the announcer says, "Joe Smith, COME ON DOWN" and we scream and it starts up again. This happens one more time and I'm not called. I wish I had a better memory, but I was sitting there thinking, I got up at 4 o'early am, and how could they not call me after a great interview? If you don't know the show well, there are two sections of the hour-long show. Three times in the first section, they have a bidding war. Whoever gets closest to guessing the price of a prize gets the prize and they get to come up on stage to play a pricing game. The pricing games have cars, trips, expensive items, cash, fridges, carpets, and even motorhomes. The pricing games are very popular with viewers. Me, well I love Plinko. I play the Plinko slot machine at the casinos every chance I get. After the first three contestants make it to the stage, they get to spin the big wheel so as to eliminate two more players. The big wheel have various penny amounts, from 5 cents to a dollar, in five-cent increments. If you get exactly a dollar, you win this round, you win $1000 and you get to spin again to try to hit a dollar again to win $10,000. The winner of the spin-off goes to the Showcase Showdown. So, this happens, and our guy from OHIO wins. He didn't get a dollar, but I think he got like 80 cents. It was enough to win. They stop down again, more questions and let me tell you something. Us Disney geeks have NOTHING on TPIR geeks and that's all I have to say on that. Some of the questions made me want to shrink away and vanish. So the second half of the show starts and they don't call my name again. There are always four contestants in contestant row, and I'm not one of them. The next bidding war happens, mind you we're screaming out numbers and this guy makes it on the stage. They make a big production out of the pricing games. They have this curtain that comes down when they change games, so we can't see that the next game is.... PLINKO!!!!!!!!! The place goes nuts. The guy who gets to play is jumping all over the stage. Ladies are screaming, guys are cheering...I mean, it's Plinko! They only play this game once every two weeks. How cool is this??? You could win THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS if you get your chip to land in the right place. He gets all of his chips and he climbs up the Plinko board and just misses the $10,000 slot. His next try gets him $500. An then nothing, and nothing. So all of that, and he gets $500. Bob Baker (YAY) says that it happened once where a lady got all chips and won nothing, and then she went in the parking lot and shot herself, but he was just kidding, he tells us. Who knew Bob Barker (YAY) had such humor? "John Neidermeyer" come on down!!!! Again, NOT my name. One chance left. They play the Grocery Store game. They stop down. Okay, this is it. "Ladies and gentleman, Marie Smith, come on DOWN!!!" Okay, that isn't my name. I was so mad, I could spit. But it was the nice lady next to me, so I was happy for her. She had a chance to win a car and blew it but she got $1.00 on the big spin and made it to the Showcase Showdown. The first showcase had a small car, a carpet, and something useless. She passed. The guy from Ohio bid $11,000 something. Marie's showcase was a big car, some artwork, and a trip to Hong Kong. OOOOOOHHH, I wanted to win that!!!! She made a closer bid and she won her showcase. They had about 15 people from her group on stage and they were all cheering and the music was going and we were reminded to spay and neuter out pets and then... silence. Pure nothing. After 75 minutes of music and people yelling numbers and PLINKO and higher, higher, FOUR, FOUR, ELEVEN!!!! And the producers never once thanked us for coming. The end. Boy, that sounds bitter. I don't mean it to be, because it was a LOT of fun. And I could have won a car. Next time, I'm not going to say my real job and say that I am a stockbroker or something. I highly suggest that if you are coming to Los Angeles from out of town, you should seriously consider applying for tickets. You may be the next contestant on THE PRICE IS RIGHT!