Got a kid with a special birthday coming up? (Of course they’re all special, but you know…) If your child has a thing for those colorful, positive vibe-loving Trolls—are there any who don’t?—we’ve got a suggestion. Midtown Manhattan’s Trolls the Experience, an interactive journey featuring Queen Poppy and friends, hosts birthday parties, and we were invited to celebrate the Big 7 there. Trolls the Experience solo? Super fun. Trolls the Experience with your snack pack? Best. Day.  Ever. Read on for a play-by-play!

photo: Mimi O’Connor

They Deserve It, But So Do You
If you’re like us, your ability and inclination to plan and throw a kid’s birthday party waxes and wanes from year to year. Some years you can whip up a disco dance party in the park (done it), others, not so much. Which is why sometimes you need someone else to do all the planning, work, and entertaining. (Also: a turn-key party with someone else as host gives you the chance to actually enjoy your child’s birthday party—what a novel concept!)

When we say the Trolls the Experience has it “handled”, we mean it. What’s included with your party will vary depending on the package you select (more on that later) but thanks to a decorated private party room, top-notch party help, the Trolls Experience itself, cupcakes, and a personalize souvenir, you really don’t have to do a thing. (We brought a cake and added some doo-dads to a goodie bag, but don’t really need to.)

photo: Mimi O’Connor

Where’s the party at?
Aside from the Experience itself, one of the best things about a Trolls the Experience birthday party is the party room. This festive, roomy private space is not only decked out with balloon towers and lots of party decorations,  it serves as a gathering point (all guests are sent up to the third floor prior to embarking on the Experience), home base for your stuff, and, if needed, a spot for parents or kids to take a breather if they need to.

Once our guests had all arrived, our two party hosts (total pros who did an amazing job) briefed the kids on the party’s events. (We hosted 15 kids total, ranging in age from about four to nine, and that seemed to be the sweet spot in terms of age appropriateness.) Since the kids travel as a group through the Experience, they’re taught the phrase “No Troll Left Behind” to make sure they stick together, and are shown a wand that indicates where the group is. It was clear throughout the journey that our guides were mindful of keeping everyone on track and accounted for.

photo: Mimi O’Connor

First stop: Troll-tastic transformation with Glitter Gurus
When it Trollville, get Trolled-up. Kids saddle up to makeup stations for a Troll Transformation from “Glitter Gurus”, with cheeks, eyebrows and the nose getting painted. They can also choose some Troll “hair”—cardboard donned with the use of a rubber band a la a birthday hat—in the style of Trolls like Poppy, Guy Diamond, etc. When they’re done, they can check themselves out in mirrors both normal and “goofy.” (For an extra special treat for the birthday kid, you can opt for the VIP Hair We Go Experience, complete with full facepaint and take-home deluxe Trolls wig!)  And then, they’re ready to rumble!

photo: Mimi O’Connor

Follow the Rainbow Path
The loose narrative of Trolls the Experience is visitors complete tasks as they move along a rainbow path in search of Poppy’s Best Day Ever Celebration. At each stop along the way, kids get a sticker badge when they complete the activity found there.

The first stop is “Branch’s Musical Mashup” where kids activate the critters of Trollville to create a music track for the big celebration. It’s a light- and sound- filled sensory experience, with kids activating different character elements in the space.

photo: Mimi O’Connor

Caterbus Fun
Next stop—one of our favorites—is a “ride” on the Caterbus, a giant caterpillar filled with paper “gems” that must be collected for the party. One catch: a fan blows them everywhere and kids have to grab as many as they can as they fly around like confetti.

photo: Mimi O’Connor

Critter Creek
Party-goers then move on to Critter Creek, where they play virtual tag on a giant screen, “splash” in a virtual creek filled with gems, and climb a tree trunk just because.

photo: Mimi O’Connor

The Big Event
Finally, the group makes it to Poppy’s Best Day Ever Bash. But first, they don special glasses, because this isn’t just any ordinary party—it’s a 3D dance party!

Party-goers are led into a big, colorfully-lit room resembling Troll Village that has a large screen/stage area at the front. With Trolls the Experience party hosts leading the crowd, the soundtrack includes some of the greatest Trolls hits, including, of course, “Best Day Ever” and the finale, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

All the while, a 3D video featuring all of the Trolls and friends doing their particular thing plays on the jumbo screen. (Guy Diamond, of course, makes an appearance to fart glitter, and everyone does the floss together, as it should be.)

photo: Mimi O’Connor

Don’t Forget the After-party!
From there, your party is led down to an area for a group selfie (another highlight), and kids create their own memento of the experience by scrapbooking it. (This is where the badges they got along the Rainbow Path are used, and everyone gets a copy of the group photo. Staffers are on hand to help with scrapbooking as well.)

Our party hosts were particularly determined to make sure everyone could be seen in our photo, and that it was a good one. It was much appreciated.

photo: Mimi O’Connor

A Special Meet & Greet
It wouldn’t be a visit to Troll Village without an appearance from Queen Poppy herself. Following the scrapbooking, she comes out to present a special gift to the guest of honor, hug each of the attendees, and pose for a group photo.

Let Them Eat Cake!—and pizza
And then, it’s time to eat. It’s back up to the party room for pizza, juice and water, and cake.

Again, our party helpers took care of everything, from serving to cutting the cake, to stuffing the goodie bags, which everyone got on their way out.

photo: Mimi O’Connor

Trolls the Experience Birthday Party Basics
If you can’t tell, our guest of honor gives the Trolls the Experience Birthday Party two thumbs up. We do, too, and were particularly impressed by how well the event was run. We were told to expect and hour for the experience, and an hour for pizza and cake, and the timing was almost exact.

As stated, our party hosts had things well in hand, and kept the kids entertained and in line—an impressive feat!

We had some jitters from a couple kids and parents (would it be too overwhelming?) and let kids know if at any point they wanted to come back to the party room and relax, they could. No one took us up on it, and every kid really seemed yo enjoy themselves. (We received positive feedback from several parents unprompted. One younger sibling wasn’t feeling well, and took a time out in a separate “family room”, which was much appreciated and a great thing to have as an option.

FYI: There’s stroller parking on the main floor if needed.

Troll the Experience Party Packages
Interested in holding a Trolls the Experience birthday party? You have several options. Choose from the Classic Trolltastic Party ($1,200), the Deluxe Trolltastic Party ($1,350), and the Ultimate Trolltastic Party ($1,650). Basic party packages include the Experience, electronic invites, private room, decor, cupcakes, water and juice, setup and cleanup, Poppy meet and greet, and two party hosts. The pricier options include some or all of  the following: pizza, sandwiches, goodie bags,  and the Hair We Go transformation for guests and birthday boy or girl. You can download a full party brochure with all the details here.

Parties are for 12 people, a combined number for adults and kids; a 5:1 ratio of kids to adults is required. Because of space constraints, this is largely a drop-off party.  Parties larger than 12 can be accommodated for additional cost.

Trolls the Experience
218 W. 57th St.

—Mimi O’Connor

We were guests of Trolls the Experience, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.


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