WASHINGTON — The FRIENDS Experience is the place where you can fulfill your dream of being a guest star on the timeless show that has shaped generations. Through this interactive experience, visitors get to walk through several of the iconic sets from the FRIENDS show, including lounging in a recliner in Joey and Chandler’s apartment, sitting at Monica and Rachel’s kitchen table and, of course, sitting on the famous Central Perk orange couch.
The venue has endless photo opportunities and behind-the-scenes components explaining every aspect of the show, including a display of sketches for the original cast wardrobe alongside signed scripts, including one from the pilot episode, back when the show was originally titled “Six of One.”
A big part of the experience is searching for the Easter eggs hidden throughout each section. Keep an eye out for the metro-style “Who’s dated whom?” map connecting the series’ relationships and watch clips playing on the TVs showing the most memorable jokes and scenes.
The unique design of the experience makes guests feel as if they are walking through an actual episode of the show, starting at the opening credit scene in front of the fountain and ending in the Central Perk coffee shop. The chance to enter Apartment 20 yourself is unforgettable.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jamaal Orr, vice president of marketing for Superfly X, the company behind the creation of The FRIENDS Experience. Orr described how the process involved close work alongside Warner Bros. to ensure that the experience matched the show as accurately as possible.
Orr explained how the team behind the set-up decisions really wanted to focus on pulling elements of popular culture such as the reemerging craze over ’90s fashion while creating a feeling of nostalgia in the people who come to visit.
In regards to the reception of The FRIENDS Experience in cities across the United States, Orr’s response was simply put: “Fans love it.” Orr expressed how broad the audience is for the experience — everyone from super-fans, casual viewers and “experience enthusiasts” can enjoy it.
For super-fans, standing in the sets “feels like your home, it feels like you’re with your friends,” said Orr.
The FRIENDS Experience, The One in Washington, D.C., is located at 1025 F St. NW, Washington, D.C., and is open through the first week of June.