Last Saturday marked the grand opening of the Philadelphia area American Girl temporary store. Located in King of Prussia mall, the store is just a short drive away from Center City. This is the first American Girl store in the area with American Girl Place in New York City previously being the closest. The King of Prussia American Girl store is slated to close on January 28th of next year, which gives you plenty of time to handle Christmas purchases and exchanges at a retail location.
We arrived at 9:00 am knowing that they were handing out tickets, but not exactly sure how that process would work. I later found out that the tickets each had a group number on them and there were 50 tickets in each group. They ran out of tickets after 26 groups, so they handed out 1,300 in total! We ended up being in group 15, so there were approximately 750 people in front of us in line. The first two groups were granted immediate access, while the others were encouraged to shop the rest of the mall. We got our tickets at around 11:00 am, so we decided to walk around and then grab something to eat. We were excited to see that our number was on the board when we returned. We lined up in the standby area and anticipated a quick entry. Here’s where things got a little tricky. If your number was lower than what was on the board, you were to get into a different section to gain entry before the group that was in standby. Based on the timing of everything and the size of the other section, it seems like the earlier numbers flew by because many people were at lunch or elsewhere. We ended up spending an additional two hours in the standby line since they allowed the earlier numbers to go in first. I feel as though it wouldn’t have been so bad if they had alternated the earlier numbers with the current standby. Check back in a couple days to see more pictures from inside the store and see what the freebies were at the grand opening.
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Maeby has been asking for an American Girl doll for over a year. Santa brought her an Our Generation doll for Christmas last year so she could practice taking care of an 18 inch doll. Months passed and she became even more interested in American Girl. We watched the movies for McKenna, Kit, and Chrissa. She would flip through old catalogs and make lists of everything she liked. Initially we were planning on making a trip to the American Girl store in New York City, but our recent travels landed us right near the store in Natick, Massachusetts.
When we arrived, Maeby insisted on admiring the display windows. Little did she know that the store was filled with displays she could play with. We were greeted by the Girl of the Year and her accessories as soon as we walked in the door. Maeby loved playing with Grace’s mixer that comes with her baking set. Eventually we made it to the displays for the newest BeForever doll, Maryellen. I was starting to suspect that Maeby had changed her mind about what doll she wanted. Maryellen had such cool accessories and furniture, so I wasn’t surprised by the magnetism. We went upstairs to check out the Truly Me dolls and the Bistro. We knew that we weren’t going to partake in the dining experience because of the limited amount of vegan options, but it was fun to check out the restaurant and decor. I like that they will allow girls to borrow a doll for their meal, so that girls that don’t have dolls or forgot their dolls can still join in on the experience. Eventually we made our way back downstairs and Maeby informed us that her choice of doll was still the same. She chose Girl of the Year: Grace Thomas. Maeby loves helping out in the kitchen, especially when baked goods are involved. I guess it was an easy choice for her. Since Grace has come home with us, we have watched An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success a few times. Maeby brings Grace with her practically everywhere, and she keeps talking about Paris and the Eiffel Tower. I know that she won’t soon forget about her first visit to the American Girl store, and that the American Girl characters will be part of our conversations for many years to come.