Here's Where Almost All McDonald's Commercials Are Actually Filmed

You've probably seen a McDonald's commercial before. We don't have to sit here and talk about it in detail, you know the set-up already. Clean, orderly restaurant of smiling workers, families sitting down with big juicy burgers and perfectly crisp fries, you get the drill. You also probably know that, like most commercials, they're not as true to reality as they say. In an actual visit to McDonald's, you get squished-down burgers, slippery bathroom floors, and sometimes overhear unpleasant and shocking conversations both at the counter and sitting down to eat. That's just the way life is. 

But wouldn't it be nice to imagine, just for a moment, a McDonald's untainted by the modern world's hustle and bustle? No blaring ads and inconsiderate braggarts and blowhards, just burgers that are always juicy and stacked high? A place of orderly precision, clean polished floors, and fries that are never too soggy nor too burnt. A McDonald's where the Golden Arches serve as a gateway towards nirvana. Perhaps we don't have to dream anymore, reader, for there exists a McDonald's used exclusively to film these rose-colored commercials, a pristine chapel for all fast-food fanatics. It's known as the McDonald's Production Center.

What is the McDonald's Production Center?

In the heart of the City of Industry, California, according to LA Magazine, two humble-looking McDonald's can be found. As Roadside America notes, one looks like it belongs in a big city, the other would fit well in a suburban neighborhood. But these are no ordinary fast food restaurants. They comprise the McDonald's Production Center, where silver screen scenarios of Big Macs and Happy Meals come to life under the unblinking gaze of a camera crew. 

Within this 5,000-square-foot space, which the LA Times reports has been around since 1978, lies the energy of a Hollywood studio. These "McStudios" boast everything required to film a commercial in style: a soundstage, dining rooms, elaborate kitchen facsimiles, and containers packed with uniforms of every size and color imaginable. The classic sign out front can be wheeled around and adjusted and a basement filled with all sorts of McDonald's furniture allows for easy customization of the set, per Roadside America. Of course, like any major studio, Ronald and his friends turn to movie magic for a bit of assistance — any time you see a cup of steaming coffee in a McDonald's commercial, you have a microwaved tampon to thank. 

The McDonald's Production Center may not be the utopian McDonald's we've been yearning for, yet there's a certain sense of peace one gets when seeing one of the biggest fast food chains in existence gated off and devoid of customers, don't you agree?