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Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

Solon, Ohio
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31 posts
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Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

My wife and I took the Central park Horse carriage ride. We took a carriage from 59 st. . We really enjoyed the ride- but it was only 12 minutes long.

We felt we were ripped-off - could any experienced folks answer the following:

-We wanted one particular carriage, told that we must take the next in line, yet, the first in line seemed to be waiting on someone (no people in sight) and we were told to take the second in line? Can you reserve these and how do you do so?

-The entire ride was only 12 minutes. I know the sign said "1/2 hour or parts there of" but we expected a ride close to 30 minutes long. Is this normal?

-Dropped us off at 5th ave, when questioned why such a short trip and no return to the original start point, told me this was due to traffic. It was 10 AM.

-Paid him $40, he took the money like I was just giving him a $6 tip.

Any tips suggestions, we do plan to return one day.

West Palm Beach...
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1. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

Next time, take a pedi cab ride through the park.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

A Central Park carriage ride is one of those "must do at least once" things. I went a few years ago on Christmas Eve. It was delightful, but in subsequent Christmases I have been more inclined to walk the Park.

Danbury, Connecticut
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3. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

I agree with you, it's a rip off. Best to avoid.

Queens, New York
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4. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

Next time, take a free guided walking tour or a bicycle tour.

centralparknyc.org/activities/walkingtours

http://www.centralparknyc.org/activities

http://www.centralparkbiketour.com/

Most of the locals who post here on the forum are not big fans of the horse-n-carriage rides, while most visitors have it at the tops of their "must do in NYC" lists, probably because it looks really nice in films and TV shows.

If you look at trip reports, the majority of visitors say that, while it's nice and glad they did it, the general opinion is that it is too short and covers too little ground. I don't recall that anyone's timed it before, or had problems with drop-off location, so sorry that happened to you!

There was a trip report recently including a review of the bike tour. I'm sure you can find it if you search "bicycle tour central park" or something like that in the search box.

Yalesville...
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5. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

While it is a veryn 'touristy' thing to do - the old term Caveat Emptor comes to mind.

Before your trip, it would have been prudent to ask the time duration of the ride and where would you be going and getting dropped off.

Asking questions does not cost anything.

Was he picking someone up on 5th Avenue?

If not you should have insisted to have been taken back to the start point-these guys are licensed and you could have made a complaint to the T&LC, not sure if that would have made any difference, but it always is good to mention to the driver

Solon, Ohio
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6. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

Thanks for the replies.

From what I gathered this is normal procedure. That was my concern- I just wanted to be certain that although the posted sign said 1/2 hour- we just assumed it would be close to that.

It was quite enjoyable, we were not aware of bicycle availability but plan on taking advantage in the future.

Does any one know if its possible to book a carriage for 30 minutes to an hour?

New York City, New...
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for Skopelos
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7. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

Don't see why not....just work out the price beforehand :) Enjoy!

Bonnie Scotland
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8. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

We took a carriage ride and it took about 10-15 minutes. We really enjoyed it, but it cost like $50 including tips. I wanted it to be longer, because at the end I wanted to keep going. I researched it a little as Im planning on taking my boyfriend on one as a suprise, and it seems you can negotiate a longer time for more price. It said something like $10 for every 10 minutes after the original $40 ride, but i thought that was hard to believe.

I remember when we had our ride, we were dropped off where he picked us up, think he just joined the back of the queue of horses.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

For the sake of others reading this, I'd just say

1. If you don't like the carriage they want you to take... WALK AWAY and try another time/day. Do NOT pay for a carriage you don't like.

2. BEFORE you get into the carriage, clarify the amount of time, the route AND the price. If there's a sign, you can say, so it's 30 minutes for $40, right??? If the driver says yes, hold him to it. If the driver says no, it's only 15 minutes, WALK AWAY. If you want to go to a particular place, ask. If you want to go back to where you started, ask.

Just remember, whether it's a carriage ride, a meal, a taxi ride OR ANYTHING ELSE, it's YOUR money. If you don't get what you expect, ASK for it or DEMAND it. NYC is a busy, crowded place and out of towners tend not to be as demanding as NYers.

Solon, Ohio
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31 posts
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10. Re: Central Park Carriage ride rip-off?

All great suggestions- yes we argued a bit- but we did not demand per say.

We were in vacation mode- Just don't want to bother with the BS.

Appreciate all the replies- now I don't feel so bad and I know better for next time- LOOK OUT Carriage driver~!