Add these Central Park film locations to your New York itinerary and walk in the footsteps of famous actors and actresses.
New York City. The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. Hundreds of movies and TV shows have been filmed in and around New York City, more than any other city in the world. If I had a dime for every time a critic said that New York City was like another character in a movie… I still wouldn’t be able to afford to live there.
Central Park, especially, has been the backdrop for hundreds of famous scenes in movies and on TV. It’s on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and is the most visited park in the world with around 350 million visitors per year. In geekdom alone, Central Park film locations have included scenes from The Avengers, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Marvel’s Daredevil and Ghostbusters (both the original and the remake).
In addition to Central Park film locations, it’s home to several spots that pay homage to literary greats, like Lewis Carroll and Robert Burns.
In this blog post, I’m going to cover several Central Park film locations and the literary walk. The next time you visit, you can get your pop culture fill.
We’ll begin at 55 Central Park West, at the corner of W. 66th and Central Park West. Then, we’ll work our way southeast to hit the author statues. Next, we’ll turn north to catch Alice in Wonderland. Then it’s back to the west for Bethesda Fountain and Cherry Hill Fountain. Continue from there on West Dr. to go back to our starting point.
Tip #1: See my Google map for all the Central Park film locations in this blog post and add it to your Google account.
Tip #2: You can also see all these Central Park film locations when you book a tour with Central Park Walking Tours.
55 Central Park West
Look up at the building at 55 Central Park West. Picture lasers, demons and a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. You’re standing in front of the apartment building that was used for the final showdown in the original Ghostbusters.
Tavern on the Green
Continuing with Ghostbusters filming locations, head east into the park to see the glassed-walled restaurant where poor Rick Moranis met his fate. Tavern on the Green was also featured in Wallstreet, The Out of Towners and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (More on that show later!)
Keep heading east / southeast on 65h to reach The Dairy. What was once a place to get a cool glass of milk on a hot day is now a lovely visitor’s center and gift shop. The Dairy was spotted in Independence Day.
Make your way northward on one of the criss-crossing paths to the Olmsted Flower Bed. There, you’ll see five statues. Four of these statues memorialize famous authors and writers: Robert Burns, Fitz-Greene Halleck, William Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott.
Outlander fans may want to tip their hats to Robert Burns, Walter Scott and William Shakespeare as they pass. Author Diana Gabaldon has quoted them all in her Outlander books.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive,” from Walter Scott’s poem, Marmion, in Voyager.
“Freedom and whisky gang tegither,” from Robert Burns’ The Author’s Earnest Cry and Prayer in Voyager.
“By the pricking of my thumbs,” from William Shakespeare’s MacBeth, one of many Shakespearean quotes Gabaldon uses, is a chapter title in Outlander.
Walk north from the statues along The Mall and Literary Walk. You will probably recognize these American Elms and the canopy they create from many movies, including Kramer vs. Kramer, Vanilla Sky and Maid in Manhattan. (Remember J-Lo and Ralph Fiennes getting all flustered?)
Alice in Wonderland
Head east and then north to wind your way up to the Alice in Wonderland statue that sits near the Conservatory Water. Depending on the season, the statue might be covered in children, large and small, thanks to the inviting plateaus of the mushrooms. (Psst! There’s a fun geocache here too.)
Now we’ll head west, past the statue of Hans Christian Andersen, to the Bethesda Fountain. This is one of the most photographed fountains in the world, and it’s been the focus of many a movie and TV scene, like Gossip Girl, Angels in America, Stuart Little 2 and Enchanted. (That was the movie — nay, the scene — that launched Amy Adams into stardom when she played Giselle.) My favorite scene that uses Bethesda Fountain as a backdrop, however, was in The Avengers. This is where Thor and Loki used the Tesseract to return to Asgard.
Cherry Hill Fountain
Further west we’ll come across Cherry Hill Fountain. One of my favorite TV comedies was filmed here: In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kimmy and Dong think they are re-creating the opening to Friends, only to find out it’s the wrong fountain.
That’s our tour of Central Park film locations and the literary walk. If you want more information about these Central Park film locations, or you’d rather not have to find your own way, you can book a tour through Central Park Walking Tours. Their experts take you on an affordable two-hour guided walk through all the most beautiful parts of the park. Sign up for one of their scheduled Central Park tours or book a private tour for your group or your family.
Need accommodations for your big trip to New York City? Compare hotels and check out private rentals on TripAdvisor. I’ve used their reviews lots of times to steer clear of dodgy places and find hidden gems.
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