Tyra Banks has taken her career from a young aspiring model, competing for gigs at go-sees and castings in the early 1990s, to where she is now: a top model and entrepreneur.
As one of the creators and stars of the show America’s Next Top Model, Banks has seen her success rise far beyond her original modeling aspirations. For 24 seasons, she helped make or break the careers of dozens more aspiring models and showed the world a peek behind the scenes of the modeling world.
The last episodes of the show came to a close in 2018 and Banks has moved on to another big project that centers around her experiences in the industry: ModelLand.
Tyra Banks says ModelLand is an ‘uprising’
While the premise of ANTM was simple and clear, ModelLand’s purpose and existence are a bit nebulous. In an interview with ET in November of last year, Banks shared this statement:
“ModelLand is gonna be insane. It’s going to be bananas. What it is is… it’s about you coming and joining the uprising. That we are tired of this one, defined, narrow beauty and everybody that comes to ModelLand is joining the uprising to take down the people that say we are not good enough.”
Not the most helpful description. It sounds like the start of a protest movement rather than a place you’d go to enjoy the day. What if guests just want to enjoy a themed drink and cheesy show, and not topple the patriarchy?
Now that tickets are officially on sale, the staff is hired, and ModelLand is set to open May 1st, it’s still pretty unclear what this new venture of Banks’ is all about and why guests would want to visit.
What is Tyra Banks’ ModelLand in reality?
As part of the business’ Instagram campaign, we learn what ModelLand isn’t. The images are simple, just white text on a black background and declare separately: “ModelLand is not a pop-up. ModelLand is not a museum. ModelLand is not a theme park.”
If that isn’t confusing enough, here is Banks’ own description from her Twitter: “At @ModelLand you are part of the ultimate theatrical experience where YOU are the star. From learning how to up your photo game, to couture hair and wardrobe styling, your journey with us means all eyes are on YOU!”
Despite the fact that ModelLand is being talked about as a theme park, which is its closest existing corollary, this descriptor isn’t quite accurate. It calls itself a “first of its kind story-driven attraction.”
On her own website, Banks said she’s inspired by Walt Disney, that’s where all comparisons stop. There will be no rides at ModelLand and there are “shows” in a way, but they certainly won’t include dancing characters.
What ModelLand will have is shopping, dining, special events, and of course, the chance to do specialized photoshoots for a premium rate.
How much will Tyra Banks’ ModelLand cost?
For the average person that wants to just go have a look around, the general access ticket will run $59 for adults and $39 for children, plus fees. For general access, guests will get a “digital lookbook- customized with phierce photos” that are taken at different photo spots throughout the park. There will be posing tips, custom lighting, and the ability to shop “experiential closets.”
For guests looking for a more personalized experience, the starting package is $549 plus fees for the “Fantascene Photoshoot.” This includes a high fashion photoshoot with professional makeup and wardrobe styling as well as a wig to use for the shoot and keep.
A whopping $1,495 will get a guest a “Fantascene Dream” photoshoot. This “elevated experience” includes additional outfits and looks, personal concierge service, and a custom curated image row for Instagram.
ModelLand is in Santa Monica, California and it is unclear what shopping and dining options will be available on-site.
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