Barbie™ Moves To South Florida~ The Barbie Dream House Experience! She may be the original California girl, but Barbie™ has relocated and boy does she have a nice piece of real estate!
Barbie™ The Dreamhouse® Experience recently opened in the Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida. This 10,000 square-foot interactive installation brings the iconic Barbie™ Dreamhouse® toy to real life in the first-ever Touring Life-Size Barbie™ Dreamhouse®.
“Born” on March 9, 1959, in the fictional Willows, Wisconsin, the Barbie(TM) doll has since had more than 130 careers, represented more than 40 different nationalities and collaborated with more than 75 different fashion designers, from Calvin to Cartier, Gucci to Galliano, Versace to Vera Wang. I should be so lucky!
I had the chance to check out Barbie’s™ plastic pink paradise with my twin 10-year-old daughters. Moment of truth; I may have been a bit more excited about our visit. My love of Barbie™ began back in the mid-‘70’s when I was about 6-years-old. I had the town house, the Barbie™ “Friend Ship” airplane play set, the spa, Barbie’s™ Country Camper, (remember the bright orange pop-out tent?) and of course, that fab townhouse complete with the yellow pulley elevator. And with pink being my own signature color, well let’s just say I was as excited as a 6-year-old little girl on the first night of Channukkah to see where Barbie™ lived!
Barbie’s™ life size “house” features her living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and an endless runway-style closet that I would personally kill for.
The visits are led by an adorable tour guide who introduced herself as “Barbie’s friend.” The experience begins once guests load into the very cool virtual “elevator” – clearly just a room with moving windows, but with sounds and lights flashing on the digital screens, visitors feel as if they are being ‘transported´ to each floor of the house.
Barbie(TM) is beamed in on screen and gave a brief video message, encouraging the girls to look for the glitter in every room they visit. Barbie(TM) “webisodes” also play in various rooms of the house.
The tour guide leads the way (all visitors must stay together as a group and are given a limited amount of time in each room.) Guests are able to participate in interactive activities in every room.
The first stop was the luxe kitchen. The very pink luxe kitchen! The whole room looked like it had been coated in Pepto Bismol! Little girls can bake virtual cupcakes and the popcorn popper in microwave turns on. I noticed they made the counters different heights to accommodate children of all ages or those in a wheel chair. (Strollers are not permitted but there is a place to park them outside. There was an older woman on the tour with us in a scooter.)
From there the guide led us into Barbie(TM)’s living room. There were giant couches and more digital games.
In the patio or sun room, the press of a button make flowers rise up from the garden, prompts Barbie(TM)’s dog to walk out of his dog house, and makes a dolphin pop up from a toilet set. The guide also darkened the room and poof! Suddenly it was nighttime in the Dreamhouse ®.
We loved Barbie(TM)’s bedroom. Her enormous canopy bed is actually more like a giant stage and the girls enjoyed “jumping” on the bed and running across it. Visitors were able to go into a life size wardrobe and put on one of Barbie’s™ giant necklaces.
It goes without saying, there’s a lot of pink. In fact, it took 100 gallons of Barbie(TM)-pink paint to complete the Dreamhouse® and all of the custom-crafted Barbie(TM) furniture and accessories are covered in Barbie(TM)’s signature pink, even the bright-pink baby grand piano.
The Dreamhouse® also features more than 350 Barbie(TM) dolls and other collectibles. During the tour, our guide remained chatty and perky, and offered up some Barbie(TM) trivia. I bet you never knew Barbie(TM)’s real name! It’s Barbara Millicent Roberts.
Our guide led us through each room and let visitors experience what it would be like to live in this sprawling life-size doll house.
During our visit, little girls (almost all wearing pink, some in tiaras) flitted around the house, frequently squealing, “Oh wow, Mommy! Look at this!”
There is a gift shop and of course Barbie(TM)’s and other assorted gifts are available for purchase. The first Barbie(TM) doll sold for $3.00 but the ones sold in the gift shop costs $35.00.
I thought it was a bit curious that there was no opportunity for girls to actually play with Barbie(TM) Dolls at the Barbie(TM)’s Dreamhouse Experience. Maybe management wants parents to buy a doll?
All in all, we had a great time at the Dreamhouse. Parents, you can also book the venue for birthday parties.
Are you ready to go? Barbie(TM) The Dreamhouse Experience is at The Oasis at Sawgrass Mills mall, across from Regal Sawgrass Cinemas 23 – 12801 W. Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise, Florida.
Admission tickets are available on site and via Ticketmaster. Prices range from $14.84 to $29.95 on weekdays, and $16.84 to $31.95 on weekends.
The $29.95/$31.95 VIP Megastar Ticket includes access to a “Fashion Runway” activity after a make-up application, hair styling and the chance to choose an outfit to model and strike a pose on the cat walk. While you wait, there are Barbie(TM) heads and guests can style the hair or color.
The visit lasts approximately 45 – 90 minutes depending on how immersed the child is during the experience.
For more information, visit Barbie Dream House