Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CNN Studio Tours

Anyone who knows me knows I watch way too much cable television news. I can't help it, I worked at a newspaper for six years, so I guess I'm a bit of a news junkie. Needless to say, I was excited to visit and tour the CNN World Headquarters while in Atlanta with our CityPASS.

Tour desk
The CNN center has so much to offer, including a hotel, food court, offices and shops, but the CNN tours office is definitely a prominent focal point.

Tour ticket
The CNN studio tour was our third stop on our list of attractions included in the Atlanta CityPass (link). Prices range from $13-$16, when purchased without the CityPass:

Senior (65 and older) $15
Student (ages 13–18 or with College ID) $15
Child (ages 4–12) $13
Toddlers (ages 0-3) Free

Tour entrance

The tour was a 50-minute guided walking tour, starting every 20 minutes. Andre' and I were stoked, but we weren't sure if the kids would be into it. Fortunately, there was so much to look at and see that all three kids found things they were interested in.

Highlights from our tour:

  • CNN's social media wall
  • A peak into a working CNN studio
  • Behind the scenes of a live working newsroom
A mock CNN set

The escalator is definitely the focal point of the entire building at eight stories tall. We're told that this is the worlds tallest and longest freestanding escalator. It takes a couple minutes to get to the top, where the actual tour will begin.

CNN En Espanol 

This is what you see when stepping off the escalator.
Once at the top, you enter through what looks like a giant Earth sphere and start the tour. To begin the tour you can pose for a picture and purchase it at the end of the tour. Unfortunately, during much of the tour cameras or video-taking are not permitted, so it's hard to share a true detailed account of our experience. Nonetheless we did get to see reporters and news gatherers at work inside of a real working newsroom, which was cool. I've been inside local television news stations and you might be able to fit an entire station inside CNN's newsroom.

A look into the inter-workings of a CNN studio:

Anchor desk and chair

Learning how the teleprompters work  

We visited a working studio and I believe that was the best part of the tour for our kids, especially our oldest daughter, who volunteered to help the tour guide by standing in front of the green screen to demonstrate how the meteorologist technology works in the newsroom.

Future meteorologist in training

In front of the green screen demonstrating how the meteorologist technology works in the newsroom

Our little star was lucky enough to get to sit in the anchor chair.

We enjoyed our tour and I loved that the kids got something out of the experience. I must say, I wish we could have seen a live CNN broadcast, even if through glass, but I believe if you upgrade to a VIP tour that may be possible. Might consider that in the future. The tour consisted of a walk through the head quarters, peaking through windows, including a newsroom and control room, but no real en-depth behind the screens live action. All and all it was a good experience and worth the money to introduce the kids to something different.

There is so much to do and see in and around Atlanta, our family really enjoyed spending time downtown.

Not a sponsored post, just my thought!

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