Recently I took my first trip to New York City in December. This was a pretty big deal for me since I’d driven by it, flown through it, and even lived upstate for years, and never set foot on the island of Manhattan until a couple months ago. I finally made this trip happen, but wanted to squeeze in some Disney into my vacation to the Big Apple.
Although we weren’t catching a Broadway show this trip, everyone knows there have been many hits from Disney in New York City from Beauty and the Beast, to Newsies, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Aida, The Lion King, and Tarzan. I did get to go by the New Amsterdam Theatre many times since we were staying just a few blocks from Times Square, so of course I had to get my picture in front of the Aladdin posters. Also in Times Square is a large Disney Store with an escalator that is fun to ride if for other reason than to see the beautiful lanterns from Tangled and the decor. Going to the second floor to see more exclusive NYC merchandise is a good reason too. I ended up getting an awesome New York City shirt at the Disney Store.
Not a lot of people realize this, but Walt Disney lived in New York City for a period of time. He had a place in Greenwich Village, where Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. had also lived at one point, called Twin Peaks at 102 Bedford St. This is just a couple houses down from where the Friends building exterior shots are. It is a very cool neighborhood where Cary Grant also lived. This was one of my favorite places in the city that seemed a bit more chill, aside from all the tour groups trying to take pictures outside of Monica and Rachel’s apartment.
There are also a ton of Disney tv and movie connections to New York City. Every time I’d catch a glimpse of the Chrysler Building, I’d think of the Disney/ABC TV 1999 Adaptation of Annie, which is my favorite version. Of course, the Avengers, and Captain America were on my mind anytime I rode the subway and saw signs for Brooklyn, or when I was near Grand Central Terminal where their final battle is in the first movie. The Empire State Building reminded me of James and the Giant Peach, and I thought of Enchanted when I went by Central Park. When I was in the Village, I had to look for Waverly Place and see if there were any Wizards around, but I didn’t find any (Selena Gomez must have been busy). There are many more set in the city like Oliver and Company, Bolt, The Rescuers have their headquarters under the United Nations, the tv shows Jessie, and Girl Meets World were also set in New York City.
Now even with the Disney Cruise Line having a port with departures leaving from New York City, it is even easier to find little bits of Disney magic in the city. There are new Broadway shows in development like Frozen. The ABC Studios at Times Square where Good Morning America broadcasts live during the week often feature actors from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar movies that debut soon. You also have Adventures by Disney with a New York City Itinerary that lets you see Aladdin, attend a taping of GMA, museums, restaurants, free time to explore the city and more! There are a variety of ways to experience Disney in NYC and I’m glad I finally got to see a few of them, but there are so many more. The new Festival of the Arts at Epcot has me clamoring to get back to see a show on Broadway after seeing these fantastic performances.