Fans of the TV show “Friends” will soon have the chance to recreate their favorite moments at a new event coming to Phoenix.
“The Friends Experience” encompasses 12 nostalgia-packed rooms that house Monica’s kitchen, the fountain, Rachel and Monica’s purple door, Chandler and Joey’s recliner, and the Central Perk legendary orange couch.
“The Friends Experience” opens Thursday, February 24, at Paradise Valley Gateway, 10845 N. Tatum Boulevard.
“We’re really excited to go to Phoenix,” says Stacy Moscatelli, co-president and chief strategy officer of Superfly X, which was also behind the Lost Lake Festival.
“‘The Friends Experience’ started in 2019 when we partnered with Warner Bros. in celebration of ‘Friends’ 25th anniversary. So, we created a pop-up in Soho in New York. It sold out within hours. From there, we went to Boston with the same experience, and it sold out there. We really just got excited to learn more about the fandom and the property and the love that people have for it.”
Moscatelli says fans adore the experience because there are “so many amazing anecdotes of relationships bonded by that show.”
“There are people who learned how to speak English from the show,” she says. “We saw an opportunity to grow. We took it from a pop-up to a full experience.”
Sprinkled throughout the attraction are original items, while others are recreations.
“Once you visit the experience, the simplest way to figure it out is anything behind the glass is original and is not a recreation,” she says. “Warner Bros. has an amazing archives team and worked closely with what we could put on display.
The attraction is scaled to keep it safe and clean — “Monica Clean” — to ease the fears of anyone with COVID-19 concerns.
“It was such a great line to lead into Monica’s personality, while we’re all feeling the need to sanitize and clean everything,” Moscatelli says with a laugh. “Throughout the space, there are ‘Monica Clean’ stickers that we created that are on our hand sanitizers and other areas, to show fans that we’re keeping it safe and clean.”
It doesn’t moot the outing, however.
“Fans can go into Monica and Rachel’s apartment and sit at the kitchen table,” Moscatelli says.
“They can look at the things on the shelf. It offers that cool opportunity of stepping on the set and feeling like you’re really in set.”
“The Friends Experience”
WHEN: Various hours, Thursday, February 24, to Sunday, May 8
WHERE: Paradise Valley Gateway, 10845 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix
COST: Timed entry tickets start at $30.50, plus taxes and fees. Private access tickets are also available for groups of up to six or 10 guests. These tickets allow fans to visit the space in the morning before general ticket holders arrive as well as ensure maximum social distancing between groups for a more private experience.