Life in Plastic is Fantastic at the Barbie Dreamhouse

I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world.

Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!

– lyrics by Aqua

I got to be a Barbie Girl for a few hours at the real-life 36,000 s.f. Barbie Dreamhouse at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Like pretty much every other little girl in the United States, I had a Barbie as a child.  I decided to visit the Barbie Dreamhouse on a whim and was planning on an ironic trip down memory lane.

I’ve got to confess though life in plastic was a pretty fantastic experience!  So much so, that I made a Barbie Dreamhouse Experience video to give you a short guided tour.

Visiting the Barbie Dreamhouse

I was pretty happy to be told that our tour group would consist of only two adults.  If I was going to deal with shocking pink, I’d prefer not to have over-excited shrieking little girls along for the ride as well.

Imagine my surprise when the other adult turned out to be a very pretty woman with Kate Middleton glossy locks, decked out in full make-up, wearing a short, tiny hot pink dress and teetering on glittery heels.  She confessed that she hadn’t been able to sleep because she was so excited about visiting the Barbie Dreamhouse.  So much for my ironic tour.

Visiting the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience at the Mall of America in Minneapolis

Of course, you can’t judge a book by its cover.  She turned out to be a bomb disposal expert for the city of Chicago. Respect.

Bomb Disposal Barbie turned out to be a lot of fun!  Her enthusiasm was infectious. At the Barbie Dreamhouse, you wear these bracelets which let you play interactive games. Mercifully, neither of us wanted to play any games.  We just wanted to check out the house and take photos.  Many of my photos did not come out though.  Most of the house and accessories are a shocking, glaring, glossy pink and my camera had problems finding its focus.

The Barbie Dreamhouse Rooms

The Barbie Dreamhouse was ginormous!! The entrance was graced with a giant pink shoe.  After you walk through the doors guarded by pink poodles (obvs!), you enter the main living room.

The Barbie Dreamhouse Experience at the Mall of America in Minneapolis

An elevator takes you up to the top floor.  Half the floor is a kitchen, great for pretend play for little girls.  There is also a living area with pink books and room for Barbie’s pets.  Barbie has a great terrace which overlooks the palm trees of Malibu beach.

Barbie Dreamhouse living room

I’m not sure how Barbie’s horse which sticks its head through the living room window likes living up on the top floor.  That pesky adult realism kept creeping up on me.

On the next floor, we find Barbie’s bedroom, en-suite bathroom and walk-in closets.  Yes, walk-in closets in the plural.  One closet for shoes and one for clothes.

Barbie’s bedroom is hardly cozy.  There’s a giant jewellery box and triple California-king size bed (pink of course!).  Maybe Ken snores and she needs him practically in the next post code to make the relationship work.

Next door, she has her bathroom with a dolphin who pops out of the toilet.  Apparently it all makes sense if you have watched the new Barbie shows which neither Bomb Disposal Barbie nor I had.

Although at the age of 9 my daughter considers herself too old for Barbie, at heart she is a girly-girl.  As luck would have it, she FaceTimed me just as I was doing the tour.  I got to show her a bit of the inside of the Dreamhouse.  She was enthralled, especially with the walk-in closet where a bit of computer gimmickry lets you change outfits by waving your arms.  Check out the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience Video to appreciate how cool it is.

Barbie Dreamhouse closet

Barbie Dreamhouse accessories

In the end, you take the Barbie plane to Barbie’s entertainment centre which is approximately 6,500 square feet little girl heaven.  My favourite part was the runway which features lights and the song “Everybody Needs a Ken.”  Sung non-ironically of course.

You can accessorise in the giant dressing room and/or pretend to be a popstar and sing on the pink stage. Bomb Disposal Barbie and I walked the runway and had our moment of glory onstage.  It helped there were no kids there to make us feel stupid.

Aspiring fashionistas can do Barbie’s hair and make up.  There are tables for them to draw her next fashions.  All under a giant white Eiffel Tower because, of course, Barbie’s fashion house is Parisian.

Barbie Dreamhouse fashion house

Barbie Dreamhouse make up

The interior decor features lots of Barbie dolls some of them quite rare.  Clearly Barbie likes to remember her favourite looks and has no issues with self-absorption.

Glitter Barbie

Outside there is the Barbie cafe and Boutique with lots more pink. I checked out the menu at the cafe which does not even pretend to be healthy like the American Girl cafe.  It has Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes for sale. Enough said.

Barbie Dreamhouse Cafe

Good to know:

The Barbie Dreamhouse Experience at the Mall of America is open by guided tour only.  They run every half hour.  It’s open every day and unlike most places, the adult admission price is cheaper if accompanied by a child.  The price is steep at $23.99 for children and $19.99 for adults accompanying a child.  But, what price dreams?

There is also a Barbie Dreamhouse Experience in Florida in a mall in Sunrise in Florida which seems to be located half-way between the cities of Miami and Boca Raton.  Created by an Austrian company, EMS Entertainment, there are traveling exhibits.  Apparently the one in Berlin was in 2013.

Any little girl will find herself delighted with a trip to the Barbie Dreamhouse. I, too, also enjoyed for a short afternoon pretending I was five years old again.  I’ve created a Barbie Dreamhouse Experience video for a virtual tour I hope you enjoy.

Published by

Shobha

I am an American expat based in London with my travel-loving family. I write at Just Go Places Blog about luxury, cultural and family travel.

10 thoughts on “Life in Plastic is Fantastic at the Barbie Dreamhouse”

  1. Wow. I never knew such a place existed. I liked my barbies but was never obsessed. My sister on the other hand would drool at the opportunity to relive her childhood there. The pics were fascinating and intensely pink.

  2. OMG, that whole thing just gets my feminist hackles up in so many ways! And, yet, somehow, it’s fascinating and fun too. Much like pretty much any animated Disney movie….

    1. They are just providing what little girls like to play with. We had gender neutral toys for our twins and they each gravitated towards what they wanted to play with. Much to my disgust they confirmed to gender stereotypes.

  3. My daughter did the same: gravitated to pink and lace and frills. But do we have to reinforce it and send the message that all that’s important is how they look and what clothes they wear? And yet I can see why they’d love that place: stepping into an imaginary world like that … And why is pink associated with girls anyway? My son, who conformed to gender stereotypes in every other way, loved pink until a boy in his preschool told him pink was for girls. Then he refused to wear it ever again.

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