There’s a new attraction in the New York’s Times Square area called Gulliver’s Gate. It opened on May 9, 2017, and, already, there are 1,147 reviews of it on Tripadvisor. 745 of those reviewers rated it excellent. I was less than enthusiastic about seeing it so asked around, and people in the travel business told me that it’s getting, and deserving, mixed reviews. Go see it and make up your own mind.
Gulliver’s Gate is a miniature, fantasy world. It’s on the 2nd floor of the old New York Times Building at 216 West 44th Street. Phantom of the Opera has been playing in the Majestic Theatre at 245 West 44th Street since 1988. Ruth and I were given a key upon entering that activated items, like trains and windmills, in some displays. That was fun….at first.
It’s expensive to see Gulliver’s Gate (GG). An adult ticket is $36. Groupon is a good source for reduced price entry. GG’s website’s main theme is BUY TICKETS and shows a lot of its “immersive world of miniatures”. I completely agree with its insistence that it offers “highlights of the world”. If you love small scale train sets and year-end-holiday-fantasy-worlds, you’ll be enchanted by it. Someone told me that it’s ideal for people who can’t, or won’t, travel but want to see the world. That comment seems spot on.
GG’s chief executive is Eiran Gazit, a veteran of the Israeli military who loves miniatures. Before Kickstarting Gulliver’s Gate, a $40 million project, he built a 14-acre miniature version of Israel in its Ayalon Valley. There’s a big emphasis on this part of the world, like Little Jerusalem, among GG’s exhibits.
The first display we studied was a pretty amazing, mini-version of New York City. Its builders claim to have gone for a “pillars of light” theme while recreating its skyscrapers. The 2nd exhibit was called A Day in New England. “Russia” was made in St. Petersburg by 26 people in 158 days. The Eiffel Tower soars upward but is not complete and will probably never will be. The last display was a still incomplete airport that is Gulliver’s Gate’s biggest project. I watched as its builders climbed under it and enjoyed seeing them in their workshops.
Am I glad I saw Gulliver’s Gate? Yes. Did I linger? No. Would I go back? Probably not. It’s the kind of attraction that strives, and sometimes succeeds, in evoking exclamation marks. I watched as many people, including Ruth, joined a crowd of faces on Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls! See Tower Bridge! Visit Tibet! Admire a tiny version of Edinburgh Castle!