Myself (30) and my boyfriend (35) from Canada decided to go to NYC for NYE. Although both of us have been to New York before we had never been to the actual New Years Eve Ball Drop. In order to achieve this bucket list experience we started planning our trip in Nov 2011.
From previous trip experience, the option of standing outside (in the cold) for 9 hours, till midnight, was not a ffavorableoption. I was told that the streets fill very early and each block is barricaded and controlled by the police. If you enter a ‘block’ you cannot leave for the bathroom or get food or drink the entire time. My bladder surely would be unhappy with me. I knew we had to look into other options.
The next option is to purchase tickets to a event in Times Square, then go out onto the street to watch the ball drop at midnight! Yes, the tickets are insanely pricey.. BUT you are paying for the experience. Being warm and cozy… enjoying food and drinks.. going out onto the streets to watch the ball drop…then return into the building for some more celebrating! Many may argue it’s a waste of money… but for us standing outside all day to be close to the action was not an option. This was something on our bucket list that we always wanted to experience!
My first choice was to contact Bubba Gumps. Not only did they have great reviews, but the ticket price included party favours, drinks, food, and entertainment. But most importantly the LOCATION was the key factor. They are located directly under the ball drop. Sadly when I contacted the restaurant they had just sold our 2 days prior. (this was early November!!)
Next on my list was TGI Friday’s. Although they have mixed reviews and some confusion over the 2 times square locations (the 1552 BROADWAY AT 46TH STREET has the ball drop view!)… our experience was FANTASTIC! In fact after it is all said and done, I can admit it was worth every penny and we hope to return next year to celebrate with our friends!
I called the restaurant directly and spoke with the GM, Adam. He took the time to explain the ticket package and answered all my questions. He forwarded the description to my email. I paid for the tickets over the phone and was told we can pick up the security passes and tickets anytime before the event. The tickets were a little shy of $500 per person but also included all you can drink, buffet entertainment/dj, party favours and allowed out on the streets to watch the ball drop!
When we arrived in NY we picked up our tickets and were told to meet at a specific location get through security on NYE.
The evening of the event, we should have really went around times square to get to our meeting spot… but instead we tried cutting through it. By 7-8pm the streets were full and each block were watched by police and were barricaded. Many officers would not let us pass but we found several that let us slip through when we showed them our tickets. Once we made it to our meet spot, the evening went smoothly!
We made our way though security and were greeted at the door by smiling staff who handed out party favours! We quickly made our way up stairs and found a table on the 3rd floor by a window. The restaurant has 4 levels and has many windows that you can view the festivities and the crowds below at an angle. Most of the tables are set up to seat 6 people. We quickly had 2 other couples join us. We had a fun time introducing ourselves and sharing stories. There were never any shortages of drinks. Our amazing server Carl-lee never let our glasses go dry! He was very energetic and helpful. We enjoyed a great feast of seafood and lamb that was served from table to table and even entire platters were left on our table to enjoy. We later helped ourselves to the buffet on the 4th floor. There were plenty of options between the seafood, beef, chicken and pasta!
Time passed very quickly and at 11:30 we made our way downstairs to go outside. There was a little bit of a delay. The police would not let the doors open. The restaurant was beside the main path to and from the stage. And they waited for lady gaga to get on stage before opening the doors. We climbed over a barricade to get a better view of the stage and of the ball. At the stroke of midnight we shared a kiss and sang ‘New York, New York’ at the top of our lungs… as 3 tones of confetti rained down on us! The energy of everyone is so hard to describe! You must try it for yourself! 100% better live than seen on the tv!
After singing and dancing on the streets we made our way back to the restaurant were we had a champagne toast and enjoyed sweets and desserts!
Even as we were leaving they surprised us with yet another gift… a NYE 2012 souvenir tshirt! I can’t say thank you enough to the staff at TGI Friday for making our evening so special! We can’t wait to go back!
I made a video of our journey and thought I should share it! ENJOY!!
VIDEO – 2012 NYE