Friends Pop Up NYC Review

The Friends Pop Up is an all-new experience in New York City celebrating the 25th anniversary of the classic TV show. We here at Theme Parks and Entertainment got to go for free the first day of this experience through AT&T Thanks. Above is a video of the whole experience so you could make up your own opinions and below will be photos and an in-depth review of what to expect if you decided to visit the pop-up.

First, let me warn you that the pop up is already sold out for its entire month-long run. But you CAN still get in. There is a standby line you can enter, but you will have to pay for tickets, and you only get in if someone didn't show up to their time. I will say though that I got there twenty minutes before my time, and people in standby actually got in before me so it isn't impossible.

You do have to arrive 10 minutes before your official entrance time, at which time you will be placed in a holding room with the only bathrooms in the entire experience. If you need them make sure you use them as you will not be allowed back.

Then at your actual time, you are let in the experience, and given a brief safety spiel where they tell you not to lean on the fake walls throughout the experience and to be sure to tag #FriendsPopUp on social media.

Friends Pop Up Fountain Recreation

Then you are brought to the only formal photo op of the experience, the orange couch in front of a replica of the fountain from the opening experience, complete with colorful umbrellas to pose with. The staff members are more than willing to take photos with your devices and then will also take a photo with the experience camera that can be emailed or texted to you. You can take as many photos as you want, but once you move on you can't go back (that is the rule for the entire experience so I don't have to repeat it again).

Ross Geller Friends Pop Up Display

The rest of the experience is lightly themed around specific characters, starting with Ross and ending with Phoebe. Each has at least one major photo location, where there are staff members on hand to take photos for you.

PIVOT Friends Pop Op Recreation Photo Op

The main Ross photo is a recreation of the famous PIVOT scene, where you can try and get the couch up the stairs.

Monica's Door Friends Pop Up NYCPurple Door Recreation Friends Pop Up New York City

Next is a recreation of the door into Monica's apartment, which you are free to take photos on both sides of, and recreate one of the most famous scenes from the series.

Ross Geller Props Friends Pop Up New York City

Also sprinkled through the experience are authentic props provided to the experience by Warner Bros from the series. Here are a few of the Ross themed props including the famous red sweater.

The One About Ross and Rachel Information Friends Pop Up Experience

Around all the sections are informational posters about characters and relationships from the series, often accompanied by the props scene in them.

Turkey Head Friends Pop Up Experience

Moving on to the next photo opportunity, you can wear a raw turkey on your head, along with a fez and sunglasses. Don't worry its not actually made of Turkey.

Joey Tribbiani Information Friends Pop Up Experience

Then we move on to the Joey section.

Could I Be Wearing Anymore Clothes Friends Pop Up Experience

The main photo here is the chance to recreate the "Could I be wearing any more clothes" scene in which Joey puts on all of Chandler's clothing at the same time.

Joey and Chandler Door Friends Pop Up Experience Photo Op

There is also a recreation of the door into Joey and Chandler's apartment.

Joey and Chandler Apartment Recreation Friends Pop Up Experience

Now comes my personal favorite part of the experience. The elaborate recreation of Joey and Chandler's apartment. This section is so filled with detail I wanted photos of every section of it.

Joey's Dog Statue Friends Pop Up New York City

They had Joey's dog statue, labeled as one of the few things in the exhibit you can't touch.

Friends Foosball Table Pop Up New York City

Of course, they also have the fuse ball table, surrounded by a wall dedicated to tall the animals that were a part of the series.

Chandler and Joey's Apartment Recreation Friends Pop Up

There is also a staff member here to take photos, but really, they are there to take videos of people in the lounge chairs.

Phoebe Friends Costume New York City Pop Up

Phoebe's Dollhouse Friends Prop Pop up 2019 New York City

After that, you enter the last character-themed section, based on Phoebe. Here you can find props such as one of her guitars and her dollhouse.

Central Perk Photo Op Friends Pop Up NYC

Then, what better way to end the experience than with a Central Perk photo op.

Central Perk Cafe Friends Pop Up

After that, you can purchase things from a Central Perk themed coffee shop, which I tried and I can say it was nothing special and honestly you can save your money.

Friends AT&T Thanks MagnetFriends 25 Pop Up KeychainFriends AT&T Thanks How You Doin Bag

At this point, you exit the paid portion of the experience. Since I was there opening day, I was given a few free gifts, a bag, pin, key chain, and pin.

Friends Pop Up Store NYC

Then you end the experience in, you guessed it, a gift shop! This section is available without purchasing a ticket, although space is limited, so expect a line to get in.

So, was it worth the price?

I'm going to say no, but let me explain why.

I have done the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Hollywood, which features a sizeable part dedicated to the filming locations, props, and even a full set from the TV series. All of these are authentic, and they even let you reenact scenes on the real set of Central Perk. After having experienced that this just did not live up. Having gotten in for free I had fun, but I don't think it was worth the normal price.

Now I will say I had a great time. The photo ops are hilarious and a lot of fun, specifically as I traveled with three other people, so we were able to recreate the four heads in Monica's door scene, but if you want the best and most authentic Friends experience, I would recommend instead Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Hollywood.

This experience takes you through the soundstages and backlot where the show was actually filmed, before taking you to a museum-like experience with props from the show and the FULL CENTRAL PERK SET. I spent roughly 45 minutes in the Friends experience, whereas the Studio Tour can easily last over three hours, including the museum at the end. They also feature a Central Perk themed coffee shop with edible food (seriously don't eat at the Friends pop up, ESPECIALLY not the cookies).

Central Perk Set Warner Bros Studio Tour
Central Perk Set Warner Bros. Hollywood
Even comparing pricing, $29.50 on the Friends Pop Up experience has nothing on the $69 studio tour, which is over double the time (possibly triple depending on how much time you spend at the end museum), and when you get to the exhibit at the end, where the Friends Central Perk set is, you can go through as many times as you want, also seeing props and sets from numerous other shows and films along the way.

If you want the ultimate Friends experience, consider a trip to the Hollywood Warner Brothers Studio. But if you are in New York City over the next month, the Friends Pop Up is a lot of fun and it really is worth your time, especially for any superfan of the show. Just don't make a special trip for it.