Since The FRIENDS™ Experience made its debut in 2019, it’s amassed raving reviews. The hype was real, so we decided it was time to see what it was all about… and we weren’t disappointed. Our favorite moments came to life through set replicas, memorabilia, photo-ops and merch — transporting us straight into the ‘90s sitcom.
NYC was the first city OGX, Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television Group chose to set up The FRIENDS™ Experience. Originally created for the 25th anniversary of the show, the experience made NYC its home with a 2-floor flagship at 130 E 23rd St. Read on for our review of the adventure, because we guarantee you’ll want to pay The FRIENDS™ Experience a visit.
Arriving at the venue, our excitement went through the roof as it hit us: we were actually about to step inside our beloved show. We took our seats and watched an intro video that got us incredibly hyped for the adventure ahead. Then, as if by magic, the doors opened, revealing the iconic fountain (p.s. we definitely didn’t expect it to be filled with actual water!) Of course, we couldn’t resist bursting into a rendition of “I’ll be there for youuuuu” in between photo takes.
The next room featured FRIENDS™ memorabilia galore, from original costumes to scripts, BTS tidbits and concept designs that made us feel as though we were in the actual series. It was also fascinating to see what goes behind the scenes of such a show!
And after staring in awe at all the memorabilia (did you know Rachel had so many wigs over the seasons?), we walked up a quirky staircase full of The FRIENDS™ Experience quotes before arriving at… Rachel and Monica’s lilac and teal apartment! This was a memorable moment from our adventure, since we’ve always wanted to live in the iconic flat (just beware of the cheesecake slices — if you know, you know).
We then made it to Chandler and Joey’s apartment a.k.a. the boys’ lair. Lounging in their recliner was much needed after we fought each other mercilessly at darts and table soccer. We took a peak at their Magna Doodle, recreated Joey’s iconic “could I BE wearing anymore clothes?!” and took plenty of pics as a souvenir.
Taking photos throughout the experience was effortless thanks to the attentive staff members who encouraged us to pose while they snapped our flicks. If you’re planning to take a group of friends with you, we’d definitely recommend taking advantage of it (plus for an additional price, you can get professional photos printed as something to look back on!)
Nothing could’ve prepared us for Central Perk though. Seeing Phoebe’s musical equipment firsthand, we almost heard echoes of “Smelly Cat” — and that took us for another nostalgic spin. At the go-to FRIENDS™ meeting spot, we delighted in themed merch, accessories and hilarious games that we simply had to take with us. And after pretty much taking the entire gift shop home, we sipped on an actual Central Perk coffee! Definitely checked that off on the bucket list.
Leaving wasn’t easy, but we’ll definitely be back — and who knows, maybe we’ll cross paths next time!