Open as of March 2, RiseNY snaps the most jaded of Manhattanites out of a pandemic malaise with a transformation for everyone who forgot what it was that we liked about living here.
From the first steps into a recreated City Hall subway station to a final view overlooking the Times Square Area, you will be reminded of the epic Twentieth Century transformation of our home. The five years that the project has taken was certainly worth waiting for. Located in what was originally the Bonds Clothing Building, later Toys-r-Us, the Times Square location is convenient to public transportation. While it is about New York City, most of the specific content is Manhattan-centric.
Divided into three main parts, the venue encapsulates New York City in a lively, immersive experience. Running Subway, the creator, is a local entertainment production company that mounted “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” as one of their top events here In New York.
Entering the venue through the subway station replica, made to look as though it was 1904 again, you sit and watch a documentary by Ric Burns and James Sanders, as wing-walkers and subway trains share the limelight with the development of Times Square and the cultural and economic growth of New York City. Enhanced visual and special effects heighten the experience. At the conclusion, a modern “subway car” takes you to the galleries, starting with the beginnings of New York, concluding with Broadway.
Manhatta, the name the resident Lenape Tribe gave to our borough, is shown, immediately after exiting the subway car, as it would have been when Henry Hudson landed in 1609. After that, visitors journey through NYC’s vibrant pop-cultural evolution to see its indelible impact not only on the city itself, but the world.
The seven distinctly themed galleries about New York — finance, tall buildings, television and radio, fashion, film, music, film and Broadway — each point to the making of the cultural and financial powerhouse that is New York City; partnerships curated by several museums, Broadway shows and experts lend authenticity to each area to make them informative to visitors. Gallery highlights include a hand-painted Keith Haring jacket for Madonna, a replica “Honeymooners” set, a Bob Mackie gown for Beyoncé, a collection of radios from the mid-twentieth century with actual events broadcast from the era of the radios, and an outstanding compilation of emblematic New York-themed film clips.
Beyond the galleries? A hostess greets you to the 1957 New Year’s Eve Broadcast featuring Guy Lombardo, with veteran CBS broadcaster Robert Trout reporting on the first ball-dropping from the Times Tower. A behind-the-scenes look follows after an “elevator” ride, as we watch the five-minute countdown in a “control” room.
Then the real magic starts.
A state-of-the-art flying theater, complete with two 23-passenger flying benches provides a unique bird’s-eye view tour of the Big Apple.
From 30 feet into the air, suspended, feet dangling, you glide over (and through!) the iconic New York skyline, all within a 180-degree, 40-foot projection dome. The 8K aerial footage creates the sensation of flight. You seat dips, turns and soars, while wind, mist and scents enhance the experience, while you see all four seasons during the ride. From Marathoners starting on the Verrazano Bridge to Fourth of July fireworks on the East River, four seasons of New York unfold in all directions and all angles.
After the ride, a farewell; you can look at the Times Square area under a replica of the Statue of Liberty’s torch.
Ric Burns summed it all up: “It’s an incredible love letter to the world’s greatest city and encapsulates the beating heart, and hub, and dazzling point of convergence that is New York.”
Open every day but Tuesday, from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
RiseNY tickets start at $24.00; concessions are available for children (under 12 years of age), seniors (65+), students (with student ID) and veterans and acting members of the military. Special savings for groups of 10 or more with advanced reservations.
Reserved tickets are available, with walk-ins subject to availability. Last tickets are sold 60 minutes prior to closing.
For more information, visit www.riseny.co or follow risenyofficial on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Similar to most amusement park rides, anyone that wishes to ride on the Soaring ride must adhere to the rules. You must be vaccinated, be at least 40” tall, not sensitive to strobe lights, loud sounds, wind and scents. Given the nature of the motion involved, you should not be pregnant, nor have any strong health issues.
Further information can be obtained on the website.
The entire facility is ADA compliant.
“It’s an incredible love letter to the world’s greatest city and encapsulates the beating heart, and hub, and dazzling point of convergence that is New York.” Filmmaker Ric Burns