Exploring New York is one of the #lifegoals of most travelers nowadays, including me and my friend. It’s a city which will make you feel all sorts of emotions just by wandering the crowded streets, admiring museums or visiting Broadway theatres, if you’re a big fan of musicals.
If it’s your first visit in NY, it’s a good idea to join a guided walking tour. This is an exclusive tour which will take you to the must-go-to spots around the city.
We decided to give Disney on Broadway Behind the scenes tour by Walks of New York a try because of the excellent reviews about it online. Although the tour started really early, we were able to enjoy it. Our guide took us around Times Square, which is one of the places that made New York known as the city that never sleeps.
He also talked about the difference of On Broadway and Off Broadway. The former theatre has the seating capacity of at least five hundred people, and the latter seats between one hundred and four hundred ninety-nine. A play can run for a long time as long as there are a lot of people who will keep seeing it and the investors are kept satisfied, he adds. Just look at Phantom of the Opera, which was staged 11,400 times already for over 27 years!
We went around the different theatres as he talked about its history as well. We learned that there are actually forty Broadway theatres but only four of them are located on Broadway. Also, there’s no row ‘I’ in most theatres to avoid confusion to people who might have thought that they were sitting in row 1. Our guide added that the area used to be unsafe back then, but when it was revamped, the famous play Lion King helped revived everything since the families started visiting the place once again because the said play was intended for families.
One of the highlights of our tour was when we got a special access at the New Amsterdam Theatre – home to the Disney Theatrical Productions. The whole was place was really eye-catching and spectacular! Elevators can be found at the lobby which will take you to the mezzanine levels. Prepare to be greeted by ticket takers who look like they time-traveled from the 1930s because of their uniforms. It also has a spacious refreshment area able for everyone in the right side. What amazed us even more is the New Amsterdam Room downstairs, which is a broad space connecting the separate lounges for men and for the ladies. Everything about it was just amazing, both from the outside and the inside. It’s reached by a splendidly-carpeted spiral staircases and features luxurious upholstered benches on which you can sit and wait. The overall design was just intricate and at least visually stimulating once you enter.
We also saw a Whole New World , when we entered the Aladdin theatre which used to be where the Lion King is. According to our historian, back when Lion King was making a lot of money, they had moved it to Minskoff since it was already made and then they brought in Aladdin.
The best part of it was when we were led to the archives and was given an opportunity to try out different costumes used before on some plays like the Beast’s boots, Mary Poppins and Little Mermaid costumes, and some of the Lion King’s head dress. It made me feel like I was living the character’s life just by wearing the same clothes, and I loved it very much!
The tour was very entertaining and informative at the same time. In the end, we did not only enjoy ourselves. I can say that the best souvenir we were able to take home is the stories and cultural norms of New York that we have learned. I am a big fan of musical Shows and this definitely was a good tour to join. Later that evening, my friend and I decided to watch Aladdin. We were that impressed with the theatre that we gave it a go. And it sure did not disappoint.