We were recently invited to experience THE RIDE, an entertaining performance-based bus tour around midtown Manhattan and the whole family truly had a blast! A new twist on the traditional Manhattan bus tour, THE RIDE launched last fall and is ready to host the scores of families, tourists and travelers visiting NYC this summer.
THE RIDE is essentially a traditional double-decker bus that's been reconfigured with three-row stadium seating to allow passengers to peer out the side of the bus, with the streets of New York as the stage of the tour-based show.
The tour is led by two narrating guides, dispensing facts and historic notes about NYC interspersed with impromptu jokes with passersby, situations taking place oustide the window, or chats with passengers on the bus. Add to this the voice of "THE RIDE," a KITT-like computer database of knowledge with funny explainations or facts, photos and videos about what you're seeing out the window. To say it's a lively interactive experience is no joke. However, there's no getting on/off the bus, so I imagine the line to be long once the hotter months kick in and passengers can enjoy the 75 minute ride at their leisure to escape the heat...or rain, whatever.
Here's one of the performers you encounter along the tour...a New Year's Eve partier. The interactivity of the tour is heightened when the bus turns on outside speakers so people outside can hear the conversation or music to participate too. The passersby couldn't help but smile. :-)
This dancing banker had passers smiling too . . .
A crowd favorite though, had to be the rapper, improvising and jumping around fist-bumping and interacting with people on the NYC sidewalk and having us bus passengers in stitches.
Not to worry that it's all performances...you absolutely get the opportunity to awe and marvel at midtown Manhattan's famous landmarks and sites - like the Chrysler Building here...
While you wait in line to board the bus, you're asked questions like your occupation, what kids want to be when they grow up, your favorite singer or music group, what shows you've seen in town, etc. Extra points to anyone who can guess who the Kiddo answered...hint: the performer below used the Kiddo's responses as she sang outside of Carnegie Hall. He was thrilled and danced along on the bus!! :-D
One of the more ingenious performances was a ballerina dancing around the Columbus Circle fountain spinning her way through the crowd. The ride ends with a rousing "New York, New York" singalong.
Afterward we met up with some of the cast from THE RIDE where we learned that they have wireless sets on so they can hear when the bus is coming and time their performance for the bus to pass, as well as have their mic working to be able to talk back to the bus. Doesn't the Kiddo always get to hang with the prettiest girls??!
Other performers from THE RIDE with some of the other bloggers' kids on Blogger Day:
THE RIDE was truly a riveting, entertaining experience for the whole family. I can't wait for our family and friends to visit us this summer and take them along for THE RIDE!