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It has always been my dream to get tickets to The Ellen Show, but to be there for the 12 Days of Giveaways is one of those things that I just knew wouldn’t ever be possible, even in my wildest dreams – until it actually happened!
So how did we do it and what was it like?! I am so excited to share with you all!
In December of 2016, two of our close friends called us around 9 o’clock at night. They started the conversation by telling me that they had just received tickets to The Ellen show. They said that it was only about a week and a half away! I was absolutely thrilled for them and told them to take a million pictures, but then they asked us if we would like to go with them!
I basically started crying and jumped up and down in hysterics. This is literally a dream come true, right? It didn’t seem real! (At this point, we had no idea that it would be a 12 Days of Giveaway show!)
We purchased our flights and started packing! We immediately began researching what we should wear, what time to arrive, etc and some of the answers were difficult to find online. I hope that these will be helpful for anyone who is planning to visit her show one day. (Don’t give up hope!)
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What do I wear to The Ellen Show?: Jeans are not allowed and they request that you wear brightly colored shirts (no graphic tees permitted.) You should ensure that you don’t match anyone else in your party or they may split you up!
Will I be seated with everyone in my party?: This is not guaranteed. We saw them move some people away from their groups and were told that it is based on clothing color, hair, etc and how it looks on camera. They want to ensure that the audience looks seamless. Most parties did stay together, however. We were fortunate enough to sit together and were seated in the third row!
Are we seated according to line number?: Not necessarily, although it definitely helps. The earlier you get there (and the closer you stand to the line when they call out for numbers) the better. (Read more below!)
Where do we park?: You will park in the Warner Bros. parking garage, which is also the same place that you will wait and initially line up.
Is there anywhere to eat?: They encourage you to bring snacks, but after we initially checked in we went down to an amazing Italian restaurant that was 3 minutes away (walking distance), ate as quickly as we could then headed back to the parking structure.
What is the temperature like in the studio?: It’s cold! But when they say you’re going to dance, they really mean it. We warmed up pretty quickly because we didn’t stop dancing unless we were sitting down! Bring a light sweater if you get cold easily.
Need somewhere to stay?! Here is $40 toward an AirBnB as my gift to you!
Arriving Before the Show
We had guaranteed tickets so we were told to be there at about 1:00pm. We arrived at the studio at about 10:45am – just to be safe! (P.S. There were people standing in line before we arrived, but they had standby tickets. They did end up getting studio seats!)
We went to the parking garage and waited in the bleachers until they called us up to show our tickets and get hand stamps. They encouraged us to go and get lunch and be back within two hours.
We walked down the street and ate as quickly as we could. We wanted to be back before most of the audience, just to be sure we weren’t stuck in the Riff Raff Room (Ellen’s version of an overflow room.) Shortly after we got back, they started to call people up to give everyone a number, which was on a card with Ellen’s face on it. Although they reiterated that the “numbers don’t matter”, they definitely do.
Tip #1: THE NUMBERS MATTER!
We were given numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 which means you are in the first group to be seated. This means that you are highly likely to be placed in seats closest to the stage and get to enter the studio first.
As we were grabbing our numbers, a sweet guy on staff stopped us to ask us some questions. We were asked if we had traveled to LA specifically for the Ellen show and why we loved Ellen. We were (overly) excitable and he told us to come and find him when he called out for “The Bungalow”.
“Behind-the-Scenes Secrets” at The Ellen Show:
When the staff member called us over to line up, there were about 55 people total. He said that he would send 12 of us to the “Bungalow” and the rest would need to go back. Happily enough, he chose to send us to the Bungalow, but sent our husbands back to the parking garage. We were in the Bungalow (a small trailer) for about an hour, and it was a group of very excitable girls.
Tip #2: SHOW YOUR EXCITEMENT!
For that hour, they prepped us for the show. They prepped us for the excitement, the screaming, the dancing. We were all asked (multiple times) how we would respond if Ellen called us up for any reason and asked us to scream and jump up and down. They asked us questions about ourselves, what we do and wanted us to share a few things that we have on our bucket list and and recorded all of it. They prepped us for the games, in case there were any, but we quickly realized that they had been prepping us for the 12 Days of Giveaways!
All of the girls in the Bungalo including ourselves were in the first three rows of the audience. We assume that this is because we are the loudest and most obnoxious ;), but honestly, I think it’s just because they prepped us and knew that we would all have the energy for the cameras.
What we did during commercial breaks:
We danced – A LOT! My husband said multiple times, “They definitely weren’t joking about the dancing!” And it is so true. We danced at the beginning, the end and throughout all of the commercial breaks. It was so much fun! 🙂 They also have someone who ‘amps up’ the crowd the entire time to ensure that everyone is clapping and screaming when the show comes back on.
Where We Stayed:
We stayed at a super cute Los Angeles Airbnb only seven minutes away from Santa Monica pier and 15 minutes from Burbank (where Warner Bros. Studios and Ellen’s studio is.) It was a cozy and quaint home – similar to a mother-in-law quarters – in a very beautiful neighborhood with other gorgeous houses.
We immediately felt safe when we pulled up (which is obviously of major importance when booking Airbnb’s) and the host was there waiting for us. She handed us our keys right away and let us know that she would be happy to help if there was anything that we needed.
We walked upstairs and found a basket of sodas and snacks waiting for us. We were never bothered by anyone, everything worked properly and there was a beautiful outdoor seating area in a lush garden, which we loved.
Also, the location seriously could not have been better! We were able to drive to a huge indoor and outdoor mall, a sushi restaurant and then walk along that area straight to Santa Monica Pier. A variety of shops and restaurants lined the street which allowed each of us to do something that we all enjoyed. We absolutely loved our stay!
Here is a coupon for $40 toward any Airbnb reservation as my gift to you!
So: HOW did we get tickets to The Ellen Show + Bonus 12 Days?!:
We just applied!
If you didn’t already know, The Ellen Show is always free, so applying as often as you possibly can is key! Tickets can be applied for online at ellentv.com/tickets/. It is best to check the site daily to see if there are any dates that say ‘Tickets Available.’ Don’t be discouraged if a day says ‘Fully Booked’ – that changes very often when cancellations come up.
Our friend, Adam, applied online multiple times. He continued to try throughout October when it actually worked!
P.S. I have a small feeling that applying under a male name is helpful considering that there are so many women applying daily.
It’s also important to begin applying a few months before Christmas. If you are accepted, you will receive an email requesting the names of the guests and then get a confirmation email that states whether or not you have reserved seats. We were lucky enough to land on one of her 5 bonus days! Obviously these are highly desired tickets, but if we could get them, you definitely can too! (Having amazing friends helps, too!) 😉
Ellen also does multiple giveaways on her website and social media accounts to win tickets to 12 Days of Giveaways. She tends to run these contests throughout the entire year, so try and take five minutes a day to check it out and enter if you can! Good luck!
Who did we see and what did we win?
I didn’t want to know anything about the guests beforehand, so everything was a complete surprise for me! Alicia Keys was the first guest and she performed about 10 feet away from us. She was inspiring and amazing! The second guest was Rosemarie Dewitt from La La Land!
Ellen was kind, quiet (more so than expected) and so funny! And you guys – those jinglebells! When Shayna and I saw the reindeer and heard the bells announcing that it was a 12 Days of Giveaways, we immediately burst into tears! haha. We were SO excited!
My husband and I each won two large poker sets, $300 Kohl’s gift cards, $300 Bliss Spa + Skincare Gift Cards and a $600 Hulu Subscription!
Thank you all for stopping by Sparrows & Lily!