Frequently Asked Questions
What activities will we experience while in New York?
You’ll have the opportunity to attend the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, as well as, see a Broadway show. You will see the Empire State Building, Times Square and ride the New York City Subway. Other activities include the Statue of Liberty Harbor Cruise, shopping at Macy’s and other fine New York stores, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, 9/11 Memorial, and visit Central Park.
Can my parents come?
YES! Your parents or family and friends may also experience the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® and New York City by purchasing our spectator package. Please click the SPECTATOR TAB for more information.
What payment options are available?
We accept cashier checks, money orders, MasterCard, and Visa. NO cash, personal checks or American Express.
Are there other Event Staff on the trip?
In addition to our Staff Chaperones, we also have Operational Staff, Spectator Staff, First Aid Staff and Information Desk Staff. Our ratio is approximately 1:20. The Spirit of America Staff is always highly visible throughout the event and are available to meet your highest expectations.
What happens if I become ill while in New York?
Each Performer must arrive in New York City with 2 copies of the Medical Release Visitation Form. This form can be found on the registration page of our website. We will have First Aid staff on duty 24 hours a day. The hotel has a doctor “on call” 24 hours a day. Medical treatment is at your expense.
Can you tell me more about our hotel?
You will be staying at the New York Hilton Midtown located at 1335 Avenue of the Americas between 53rd & 54th, (212)586-7000. Our hotel is located on the parade route! Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests for rooms to overlook the parade route. For more information about the Hilton New York, visit www.hilton.com. We selected the hotel because it can accommodate our group, provide top-notch security and is centrally located to most activities. Security personnel are positioned on the ground floor of the hotel. Your Staff Chaperone will perform room checks each night and curfews are strictly enforced.
Which restaurants are included on our meal plan?
Participating restaurants include: Cafe Metro, Sbarro, McDonald’s, Europa, Pax, Au Bon Pain, Chick-fil-a, and Cosi’s. A variety of healthy choices are offered at each restaurant.
What if I have food allergies or food intolerances?
We work with multiple restaurants within the city to give diversity to the meals you will eat throughout the week. If a person has specific dietary needs, inform your Staff Chaperone and he/she will assist you in addressing your needs with our food vendors.
What items are NOT INCLUDED in the package?
- Transportation to and from NYC
- Activity fees that are not listed in the package: fees for museums, ice-skating, carriage ride, etc.
- Arrival and departure day meals and Thanksgiving Day breakfast
- Trip Insurance
I am interested in performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. How do you select your performers?
Performers are selected by invitation and/or qualification through summer cheer and dance camps, as well as, competitions and contest. In addition, Performers can audition to perform by completing the Audition Application found on our website. If you are interested in participating please call our office at 214-802-5534 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What kind of routine will I be performing in the parade?
Our company produces two different productions for the parade. Each group consists of 550 performers. Each performance is a high-energy production number based on a theme that Macy’s provides.
I'm traveling alone to NYC. Will I fit in with the group?
Your Staff Chaperone will be your personal “buddy instructor” for the week. Our staff will make sure you are comfortable and informed about the week’s activities. A large percent of our performers travel alone. Performers with only one or two representatives from a school will enjoy making new friends through the assignment of roommates. This is a great opportunity to meet other Performers from different backgrounds and parts of the country.
I am the only person from my school participating in the trip. Who will be my roommates?
Those of you with only one or two representatives from your school will enjoy making new friends through the assignment of roommates. Performers can room with their parent’s, family and friends that have purchased a Spectator Package.
Who are the Staff Chaperones?
Veteran staff members from across the United States will serve as our Staff Chaperones. Many of them have either been on the trip themselves as a performer, are current head instructors with summer camp companies and/or have their own cheer squad or dance team. All chaperones are 21 years of age or older and follow a strictly enforced set of guidelines. A criminal background check is performed on each Staff Chaperone prior to being accepted on our staff.
Will Performers be allowed to go anywhere in New York?
No! You will be escorted by your Staff Chaperone from the time you arrive at the hotel until you depart on Friday. In addition, our Operational Staff are strategically positioned around the city to ensure your safety.
My Director/Coach is coming along with us. Do we have to have permission from our parents to go somewhere with her/him?
The Director/Coach’s name must be on the Medical Release Visitation Release Form.
I want to take my Performer and her teammates to New York places of interest other than those indicated in the scheduled activities. What do I need to do?
The Performers will complete a Medical Release Visitation Release Form to bring to New York City. This form is found on our website homepage. Each Performer must have his/her parents complete the form. Approved visitors must be listed on the form.
I understand activities will be offered to the performers. As a spectator may I join in?
Spectators are welcome to join Performers and the Staff Chaperone to activities. In addition, we also offer Spectator activities when the Performers are in rehearsals.
What do you suggest that I do each day as a Spectator?
Our Spectator Staff offer escorted excursions to many highlights of New York City. A detailed calendar of events will be sent to you in October. The Spectator package also includes the Big Apple City Tour while Performers are in rehearsal.
Will I be able to watch rehearsals each day?
Our rehearsals are closed. Spectators are invited to attend and video the Wednesday dress rehearsal in the Grand Ballroom.
Can Spectators go with Performers to the NBC/Macy's rehearsal and then on parade morning to the assembly area?
No. Only Performers will be allowed in these two areas.
Will grandstand seating be available to me?
No. The only grandstand seating on the line-of-march is NBC reserved VIP seating at Columbus Circle and the NBC Macy’s Executive/Sponsor seating in Herald Square. We advise you to be aware of parade ticket scams online. Macy’s does not sell parade grandstand seating.
What can I do to see the Performers in the parade?
You can either see them by standing along the street or by staying in your room and watching them on television. If you want to find a spot on the street along the line-of-march, it is suggested that you be in place by 6:00 a.m. because the crowd is generally about 20 to 100 people deep by 7:30 a.m.