Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is the 1989 sci-fi comedy that took the world by storm, spinning off a franchise of sequels, TV programs, comics, video games, and theme park attractions.
Starring Alex Winters, also known for The Lost Boys, and Keanu Reeves, known for the Matrix, the perfectly dim-witted teens travel through history in a phone box in the hopes of getting an A on their History report.
The film created a sub-culture of its own, predating stoner movies and embodying the ‘dude’ culture. It was a tale of fun, adventure, and of course, an interdimensional telephone box that, from the narrative of the film, tended to have a mind of its own.
It’s only natural that fans of the film would want to know where the movie was shot so that they could live their own excellent adventure.
The movie’s plot was set in San Dimas, and though this place is located in the east of Los Angeles, it might be shocking to realize that most of Stephen Herek’s film was shot in Arizona. Oddly, and as a turning point for Hollywood films, it was one of the first instances that LA didn’t stand in for other states in America, and Herek turned Arizona into LA’s stand-in.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure was mainly filmed around Phoenix, Az.
Ted “Theodor” Logan’s Home
The home of Ted and his police officer father can be found at 1841 East Berridge Lane, which is located between North 18th and North 20th streets, west of the water treatment plant. This plant has been seen in other films shot in the same area, such as Raising Arizona.
Though the home has changed over the years, it can still be recognized by fans of the movie, and if you’re passing through town, you might want to get a quick photo outside. Though remember, ‘to be excellent to each other.’
The property is currently up for sale, and so if you fancy living in the Bill and Ted verse, you can click the link below and check it out.
San Dimas High
The high school that set Bill and Ted on their adventure is, in fact, two separate high schools in Scottsdale, Arizona.
This was most likely because of the filming schedule clashing with school hours and holidays that they ended up shooting in two different schools. This isn’t uncommon for the industry because it means less time spent making the film and bringing the movie to the audience without delays.
The exterior shots of ‘San Dimas High’ are of Coronado High School, located at 2501 North 74th Street, on East Virginia Avenue.
Of course, this means that you can visit the filming location, but it won’t be the seamless melding offered to us by Herek.
The ‘San Dimas High’ interior shots where Bill is set the task of rewriting a history paper that he had previously failed after shenanigans at his father’s shop. If it weren’t for that tomfoolery, the adventure would have never taken place.
The high school that Herek used was East High School, on North 48th Street at East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale.
However, the high school stood for many years after the filming of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but in 2002 it was sadly demolished and so no longer stands as a location to visit.
When did Mongols Rule China?
Bill and Ted often consulted workers, especially in the film, at the local grocery store, where they ask the workers about the date that Mongols rule China. Though the scene is layered with laughs and quizzical frivolity, the supermarket can still be visited today.
The grocery store is the local Circle K Supermarket, 1010 West Southern Avenue on South Hardy Drive.
Though that’s not the most exciting thing that happens in this scene, as the grocery store clerk, Rufus, is the proud owner of a time-traveling phone box, where he instructs the boys how to use the machine to discover the answers they seek.
Much like another film of the same Niche, Jay and Silent Bob, by Kevin Smith, the use of the local grocery store is a staple in dude culture films, so go in, take a look around and pick up some excellent snacks.
A Detour to 19th Century Austria
The time machine has a curious mind of its own, and like most other time machine contraptions in Science Fiction, it tends to take the travelers through time periods they didn’t want to go to. But then again, something as complicated as time travel would have some kinks in its make-up.
This short scene where Bill and Ted meet Napoleon Bonaparte is actually a borrowed clip from the 1956 film War And Peace.
It isn’t long, and in a matter of filmic time, a minute or two, before the French revolutionist was entangled in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
The Old, Old West
Though the filmmakers didn’t take a trip that far west for their depiction of the Billy the Kid historical legend, they did make a good choice in the location of the supposed ‘New Mexico Town.’
The scene and point in time were shot on Western Street at the Carefree Studios, which was built in 1968, previously named the Southwestern Studios, spanning over 160 acres of land.
The studio at Scottsdale road was developed into retail and residential development in July 1999.
The premises can still be visited, and though it is no longer a film studio, the property still boasts its history in film.
A Trip To Italy
The filmmakers spent most of their budget on the trip to Italy, though there’s no holding it against them, especially with the beautiful scenes that it gave to the audience.
Italy has been home to many famous movie scenes, especially in the Science Fiction realm. Even the Ewan McGregor Star Wars film has many scenes inside the Royal Palace of Caserta, Naples.
However, Bill and Ted’s adventure to 410BC Athens is a part of the Piazza Venetia in Rome. Commonly seen is the marble Victor Emmanuel II monument.
This is a busy tourist area in Rome and can be visited throughout the seasons.
Though the statue is not ancient and was completed in the 20th century.
King Henry’s Castle
20 Miles Northwest of Rome, and a far cry, and a belly of water from England, is where the 15th century Odescalchi Castle resides, on the southwestern shore of Lake Bracciano.
The beautiful castle is the setting for Bill and Ted’s meeting with the princesses and their near miss of being beheaded, which was a common occurrence in England during the period the film is set.
Fans of the film can travel to the castle, walk around its grounds and gardens, and imagine themselves inside the Bill and Ted verse. For fans of pop culture, it’s the site where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married.
Back To The Future
While Bill and Ted are gallivanting around the ancient worlds, Ted’s younger brother is tasked with looking after Napoleon, who takes the revolutionist to ‘Zyggies’, an ice cream parlor.
This location can still be visited today, and though it may look different, it is still the home of Pizzas’n’Fun for kids at the Chuck E Cheese on 8039 North 35th Avenue, Phoenix.
Along the journey that Ted’s little brother takes Napoleon on is a bowling alley that is still alive and kicking today without the help of a time machine. The Tempe Village Lanes will transport you to the Bill and Ted verse.
After Napoleon outran Bill and Ted, they finally find him at the water park, though in real life, and outside of the film, it’s called Golfland/Sunsplash. It can be visited to this day.
The water park is located in Mesa, on 155 West Hampton Avenue.
Though, it’s doubtful that you’ll see any historical legends, water fairing ones, or otherwise.