The former Society House of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a historic landmark located at 220 West 57th Street, has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind immersive experience for families based on DreamWorks Pictures’ hit animated movie Trolls and the new Netflix series, Trolls: The Beat Goes On. DreamWorks Trolls The Experience encompasses 12,000-square feet of the Cyrus L.W. Eidlitz designed building, which was constructed between 1896 and 1897. Eidlitz’s other work includes the first New York Times building for which Times Square was named, St. Peter’s Church in the Bronx and parts of Bell Laboratories which have been incorporated into Westbeth Artist Residences. The over 100 year old structure is now outfitted with the latest interactive technology put together by Feld Entertainment, the producers of Disney on Ice and Sesame Street Live, to create a fun and memorable experience for parents and children.
The Society House, which sits near the section of Broadway once known as Automobile Row, has had many tenants over the decades including the Ajax Rubber Co. which used the first floor as a showroom for Stearns-Knight automobiles in the 1920s, and Schrafft’s restaurant in the 1930s. The transformation of the 19th century French Renaissance Revival style building into the colorful, furry and glittering world of Trolls took hours of work and tons of materials, 24,000 hours to be exact (just to create the props!). The carefully crafted scenery throughout the show helps to fully immerse you in the experience. On Untapped Cities’ visit to the experience, Nicole Feld, Executive Vice President and Producer at Feld Entertainment, pointed out that part of what makes the experience really memorable are the vibrant colors and textures. There are twelve different colors and over 207 yards of fur throughout the scenery, enough to stretch across two football fields! Over 20,000 square feet of solid colored and glitter vinyl were used to cover the walls, and more than 122 custom-mixed paint colors were created to bring the fictional land of Trolls into the real world.
Beyond these decorative materials, the experience is also chuck full of state-of-the-art technology. As guests make their way through different rooms of the experience, they have certain tasks to complete to help the peppy pink Troll Poppy plan and pull off a Best Day Ever Celebration. James Shea, the Show Director of Trolls The Experience, says that what sets Trolls apart from other pop-up experiences is this immersive story that guests become an active part of. The first step in preparation for the party is the Hair We Go Salon where everyone gets a Trolls makeover complete with signature sky reaching hair. There is even an available upgrade if you want to go for a full Trolls-transformation with full-face makeup and a premium Troll hair wig based on your favorite character.
Next, it’s into Branch’s Musical Mashup area where guests create a custom beat with touch activated sensors. Of course you need decorations for a party, so after the music making, guests board the Caterbus to catch flying “gems.” The Caterbus is 30 feet long and 10 feet wide, making it the size of an actual school bus, and is ringed with over 150 yards of fur. Finally, it’s time to round up all your friends from Critter Creek by sending out invitations via high-fives delivered on a giant touch screen wall. Once all of the guests have been invited, the music is mixed, and the decorations are up, it’s time to party!
Sparkle on Caterbus – Guest take a ride on the Caterbus where they help Guy Diamond collect floating glitter to decorate Poppy’s Best Day Ever celebration. Photograph Courtesy of Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Critter Creek – The virtual play zone, Critter Creek, allows guests to engage in a collaborative game where they “high-five” critters on the interactive wall to invite them to Poppy’s Best Day Ever celebration. Photograph Courtesy of Feld Entertainment, Inc.
The Best Day Ever Celebration features an interactive 3D-dance party where guest wear “Glitter Goggles” to see their Troll friends literally pop off the screen. The holographic and LED display technology was originally created for Michael Jackson’s This Is It concert series. On the 10-foot tall and 25-foot wide screen, made up of 1.5 millions pixels, the Trolls characters come to life to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the Trolls soundtrack. The dance party room is decorated with flower lights that contain 504 color changing nodes. After you’ve danced your heart out, the grand finale is a photo-op with Poppy herself at Memory Mile, the final leg of the journey. This is where you will assemble a scrapbook with tokens you’ve collected from each phase of the experience.
The 3D dance party at Poppy’s Best Day Ever celebration comes to life through magic party lights and colorful visuals, allowing kids and parents show-off their dance moves to chart-topping tracks from the Dreamworks Trolls soundtrack. Photograph Courtesy of Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Feld says that as a mother in New York City herself, it is hard to find activities like the Trolls Experience that the entire family can enjoy and become immersed in. She feels that this unique and interactive activity will help families create memories to last longer than a twenty four hour post on Instagram. The Trolls Experience is open now through May 2019. Tickets can be purchased online and must be reserved in advance for timed entry.
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