Tour Amazon Fulfillment Center for great family fun. Maybe you live by one. Or, if you are taking a road trip, be sure to look up if there is an Amazon warehouse along the way. Amazon offers free tours which are fun for the entire family.
We toured the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Phoenix, Arizona which is a sortable facility. Amazon offers free public tours at 22 of their locations in North America. They offer tours at 47 sites globally. (Update, we went in 2019; tours stopped in 2020. Amazon is still waiting to resume in-person tours but keep reading to learn about our tour and things to know.)
Teens and adults who order products on Amazon will appreciate seeing the operations firsthand. While on the tour, I saw SO MANY PRODUCTS that I’ve actually ordered on Amazon which was interesting to see. Kids will also find it interesting as it’s a huge space with lots of machines and automation.
I went with my husband, my tween, teen, and my in-laws. We all loved it. Put this on your list of things to do when they reopen.
Tour Amazon Fulfillment Center
They have currently suspended tours. However, you can learn about our experience from going in 2019, and why you will want to plan a visit when they reopen.
When they do reopen, you will have to reserve online in advance for a scheduled day and time. They don’t allow walk-ins. You will need to:
- Tell them your name as it appears on your driver’s license or ID
- Provide your birth date
You will receive an email confirmation with your tour details. We were told to wear close-toed shoes; no sandals, flip flops, etc., and to bring our IDs. (They aren’t necessary for children.) In addition, they wanted long hair pulled back, no flowing scarves, etc.
Amazon Warehouse Tour Time
When does Amazon offer tours? At the time that Amazon was offering their free tours, they were offering tours twice a day, Monday through Friday. Some locations may offer weekend tours as well.
When you go to the Amazon free tour website, you can choose the date and time you want. When we were going, in June, we booked a month out. At that time, there were many choices of dates and times. After registering, we received an email confirmation.
While You are Waiting for Amazon to Reopen their In-Person Tours
In addition to their live, in-person tours, Amazon also offers three other types of free tours. With a strong internet connection, these are good options while their in-person tours are suspended. They are also ideal for people who live far away and who are curious.
- Live Virtual Tours – 60 minutes; schedule online
- Video Tours – Watch whenever
- Amazon Future Engineer Tour (AFE) – 60 minutes; schedule online
Live Virtual Tours that are one hour long to replicate the experience of their in-person tours. They offer a Q&A. You register online; they are free. You have to register at least six hours in advance. Once they are filled, the option will not appear.
They also offer Video Tours which you can watch on demand.
Their Amazon Future Engineer Tour is for teachers and students to show the engineering and computer science behind their operations. This is an educational option for robotics clubs, Scouts, etc. as well. They offer a Q&A session.
What Cities Have Amazon Fulfillment Tours?
In the United States, 16 states have free Amazon tours. One Canadian province does as well. These are the Amazon locations that offer tours:
- San Bernardino
Massachusetts: Fall River
Nevada: Las Vegas
- Robbinsville Township
- San Marcos
Utah: Salt Lake City
Washington: Seattle (Headquarters tour; you can also tour The Spheres on select Saturdays)
Hopefully wherever you live, there will be one close by.
How Much are Amazon Tours?
The great news is you can tour Amazon Fulfillment Centers for free! It is free and fun for the entire family.
What is the Age Minimum for an Amazon Tour?
There is a minimum age of six years old to take the warehouse tour. On our tour, there were 24 people. In addition to our family, there was one other family with tweens and teens. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
It’s fun to go with your family or friends. We went with our family of four. I also invited my in-laws to go. Whether or not you are a frequent Amazon shopper, you will be awed by the tour.
Parking at Amazon Warehouse Tour
When you approach the massive Amazon center, you will see there is ample free parking. We were able to park very close to the entrance for the tour.
When You Get to the Amazon Tour
At the Amazon tour we went on in Phoenix, there is a small lobby with a few chairs. We could see into the warehouse. There were two employees checking people in and verifying IDs.
How Long is the Amazon Tour?
We were in the Amazon building a total of 58 minutes, though these will vary by location and the tour guide. (Our guide seemed to try to keep it moving along.) This included checking in, sitting in the room getting instructions, going on the actual tour, returning the headsets, and being escorted back into the lobby.
Is There a Lot of Walking?
After waiting in the lobby, you will walk to a room with tables and chairs where you will hear the instructions and get the headsets.
After this period of sitting, for the remaining duration of the tour, you will be walking and standing. The actual tour, including people’s questions, took about 40 minutes.
There were stairs. One person in our group was in a wheelchair and was able to take the elevator which was right there. They also also service animals (dogs).
Taking Photos While You are on Amazon Tour
You can take pictures outside of the Amazon building as well as inside the lobby. After that, you aren’t allowed to take pictures or video.
About 3/4 into the tour, you will stop in an area which overlooks the deliveries. The tour guide will take your picture and either email or text it to you. More on this below.
Taking an Amazon tour is an amazing opportunity. We learned the Phoenix center is the size of 28 football fields!
Going on an Amazon Fulfillment Center tour means you get to go behind the scenes with this mega operation!
They have streamlined their processes so well… truly it’s a well-oiled machine. Haven’t you ordered something from Amazon and had it in less than 24 hours? It’s truly remarkable how they do it. And you get to see it for yourself.
What Happens on Tour Amazon Fulfillment Center
- After you check in and it’s time to start the tour, the tour guides will lead you to a room.
- On your way to the room, you will be walking in the warehouse. You will see lots of products piled up in different areas. Also, you may see some employees.
- Once you are in the room, the tour guide will give you a short talk. They also talked about the benefits of working for Amazon. They really seem to care for their employees.
- The tour guide gave us a disposable water bottle to take with us. In addition, they gave us headphones with disposable ear covers.
- Then the two guides lead us through the different areas in throughout their fulfillment center. This includes the entire process from finding the products in the warehouse, to packaging, to shipping.
- There is a photo opportunity during the tour.
- We returned the headset at the end of the tour.
- They gave everyone a reusable Amazon water bottle to keep.
During the tour, we walked past an employee break room. In addition, we saw a lot of positive employee recognition frames on the walls.
Is it Loud?
The Amazon Fulfillment Tour is loud but not unbearably so. Because you have the headset, you will be able to hear the tour. The only difficult part is sometimes, it was hard to hear the questions and answers. If you are lucky enough to have a tour guide who loudly and clearly repeats the question (we didn’t) and then answers for people in the back to hear, it will be great.
Amazon Warehouse Tour Review
We loved it! It’s rare in today’s world that you can go on factory tours. Very few remain throughout the United States due to liability reasons. To be able to go inside the mammoth Amazon center is fascinating.
Anyone who has ever ordered anything on Amazon, from the typical to the obscure, will find it interesting and will learn a lot.
It’s also likely you will leave with a sense of wonder and awe that they process so many orders each day. The scope and scale is truly unfathomable. Even though they have honed it, they continue to improve their processes.
You will get to see a lot of the fulfillment center. You are right in it, walking past employees, seeing the employee awards on the walls. In addition, you will see lots of different products as well. We saw at least five things we had purchased from Amazon!
After leaving there, I had such a higher respect for their employees, that I started doing two things differently:
- Instead of ordering from Amazon whenever I think of something, I keep a running list on my phone. Now, I place orders less frequently, and bundle them together.
- I’m a Prime member and usually have many options to choose shipping speed. In most instances when possible, I choose the 3 – 5 day option instead of the 1 – 2 day option.
Amazon employees work hard!
Seeing the Products in the Warehouse
It was interesting to see how they put the products in areas seemingly-randomly throughout the warehouse and how automated it is so that everyone can easily find the items. They place and store items in a random order which they said is more effective for them than grouping all the same types of products together.
So many products
We were able to walk to one section lined with yellow containers — “pods” — each packed with unrelated products. These pods contained thousands of different types of products.
The guide explained how the employees, the “pickers,” found the products to fulfill the orders using bar code scanners. There were random Lego sets next to plastic forks next to rubber gloves and a hammer.
We saw a yo-yo next to gardening shears and a stationery set.
It was interesting to see how this random system worked for them. At first, I thought they were people’s orders because it was so random.
But think about what you order on Amazon. Oftentimes, it’s very different types of things!
From there, we went to the packing area. They showed us how the products are put into boxes and envelopes and how they seal them with tape. They had automatic label and tape dispensers. We were also able to see where the shipments come in off the delivery trucks.
Before we got to the shipping sorting section, we were able to look down at the area where the deliveries came in.
Can you imagine all the products Amazon receives each day? There are thousands that come in and thousands they send out.
Our tour guide said they try to reuse the boxes that they receive deliveries in. The rest get recycled. At the Phoenix Fulfillment Center, we were a story higher looking down on this area. This is where we were able to get our picture taken.
Photos Inside the Amazon Tour
You have a chance to stand alone or with whomever you came with to get your picture taken with the center in the background. They gave us some props to hold, including Amazon boxes. We posed with the deliveries down below.
The staff below was on a break or a shift change. I’m thinking they arrange the tours around this to give the employees some privacy.
After taking our picture, they asked for a cell phone number and texted us the picture. You can have it emailed if you prefer. It seemed like everyone in our group got their picture taken. It went quickly. While we we were waiting, we were busy looking out at everything.
This section was a little rushed — it is Amazon, after all! — so we didn’t feel we could ask for a second picture of just our kids.
Amazon Fulfillment Center Phoenix tours
They had different areas for packages with expedited shipping versus packages with slower shipping. It was amazing to see the different conveyor belts and areas for packages that were sending out in one day, via Amazon Prime, and for slower shipping.
We loved visiting the Phoenix warehouse and look forward to touring other fulfillment centers in other locations… even if it was a Sortable warehouse again. No matter which Amazon location you visit, you will surely learn something new and see new things.
What We Liked Seeing at the Sortable Warehouse
- It’s free!
- It was fascinating to be inside.
- They really seem to value their employees. It made me wish I lived closer to an Amazon center to work there.
- There is a fun Amazon sign to take a picture of when you enter or exit.
- They handed out headphones — not ear buds — which were comfortable. In addition, they gave us disposable ear covers to put over them.
- They seemed to schedule the tour when there were less staff around… we liked that. It helped give their staff more privacy.
- We were all blown away by the way they sorted things randomly.
- At the end of the tour, they gave everyone a reusable Amazon water bottle.
Downsides to Amazon Tour
- It felt a little rushed. I’m sure all of us could have thought of 10 questions and lingered around each step in the process.
- Hit or miss on tour guide.
- Can be difficult to hear questions.
While he certainly wasn’t rude, our tour guide wasn’t encouraging of questions. At times, he seemed a bit impatient with questions. It was very hard to hear the questions and answers, especially if we were in the back of our group. We would have appreciated if the guide repeated the question loudly.
Tour Amazon Warehouse Options: Sortable, Non-Sortable, Robotics
Depending on which location you visit, you will see different things. There are three types of warehouses to tour Amazon Fulfillment Center.
The Phoenix Fulfillment Center is considered a sortable facility. This is where they have everything from pin cushions and bags of candy to blenders, pillows, backpacks, planters, and poker sets.
These fulfillment centers ship larger items such as furniture, rugs, etc. These Amazon facilities ship large items and won’t have all the smaller items we saw on our tour.
Robotics sortable facility
These centers ship products smaller than a typical-sized microwave. Robots work alongside the workers to ship products. You can find out which center you will be visiting when you click on the city on Amazon’s website.
- When you scroll down, go past the FAQ section, to the Site Information section.
- You will see 01.
- It will say 01 The Fulfillment Center.
- Read the paragraph to learn if that location is Sortable, Non-Sortable, or Robotics sortable.
Personally, I think going on any Amazon tour would be amazing. If you will be near a facility that offers them, schedule a tour! I would see the Sortable tour again, even in Phoenix, because it was that good. When traveling elsewhere, I would make it a priority to schedule a tour as well.
Tour Amazon Fulfillment Center Field Trips
It would make for an excellent field trip. It would be an ideal outing for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and other organizations and clubs. Amazon makes special accommodations if you have a group of 20 or more. Adults and children will enjoy it.
Tour Amazon Headquarters in Seattle
Oh how we wanted to do this when we were in Seattle in 2019! Unfortunately, the times didn’t work out for us because we needed to get to the airport. You can tour Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Amazon is Seattle’s largest private employer.
They are also temporarily closed. However, when they reopen, you can take an Amazon headquarters tour.
Two Saturdays a month, they open The Spheres to the public. When they open again, this is surely something to put on your Seattle to do list. Seattle Spheres is their outdoor botanical wonderland. They also have a greenhouse and so much more.
Amazon is a Great Place to Work
Something we learned at the Amazon Fulfillment Center tour is that employees definitely walk and stand a lot. It also seems like it would go quickly because of all there must be to do. You can tell they treat their employees well.
We walked past an employee break room which was large and comfortable-looking. Amazon seems to be an incredible company. It’s up to each household to balance it with shopping locally. They give back to their communities as well.
Amazon Warehouse Tour Review
We were happy were were able to see everything from the shipments coming in, the areas the products were stowed in, the packing section which included boxing, labeling, and taping, and the shipping out section.
It was fun to part of the Amazon excitement. We appreciated all that goes into their operations. As much as we try to buy local, you can’t beat the convenience of Amazon. It was incredible to be inside their operation and to try to fathom how they can get all these products to their customers overnight or in days.
We felt “part of the group” being Amazon Prime subscribers.
Tour Amazon Fulfillment Center warehouse
See for yourself how Amazon fulfills millions of orders each day!
It’s fascinating they open up their world to the public, especially in times when so many companies do not.
They train and offer steady employment for area residents and should be viewed as an asset to the areas in which they are located.
Please note, we visited the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Phoenix, AZ in June 2019. Currently, their tours are suspended. Hopefully, you can take one of the Amazon Fulfillment Centers tours next year. There may even be one in the area in which you live. It’s truly a wonderful free tour.
In the meantime, as I stated above, you can take advantage of the free Amazon tour from home. They offer Live Virtual Tours that last an hour. You need to register in advance online, and they are free. While it doesn’t match the experience of actually being in the fulfillment center, it is still definitely interesting to see.
They also offer prerecorded Video Tours that you can click on and watch whenever it’s convenient.
See which products are made in America. Note to Amazon: We need a Made in USA filter!