The lines are long (in fact there are two of them), the ride is cheesy (watch the video), the train is small (parents you may have to ride in the car behind your kids to fit), so why do you need to ride the Macy’s Pink Pig? Let us tell you.
What started as a children’s ride at the downtown Rich’s department store has turned into an Atlanta tradition. Whenever we have out-of-town guests for the holidays, we make them ride Macy’s Pink Pig at Lenox Square Mall, not because it’s a great attraction, but because it’s been a unique part of Atlanta’s holiday story since 1953.
If you talk to folks that grew up in Atlanta, they’ll regale you with fond memories of getting dressed up and heading to Rich’s Downtown with their mother to do a little holiday shopping and ride over the toy department on Priscilla the Pig – Percival was added later. That was before Rich’s closed and the Pink Pig moved to Macy’s Lenox Square.
I first encountered the Pig Pig at the Children’s hospital Festival of Trees, a now defunct fundraiser. At that time they were still using Priscilla which is an enclosed pig (you can see Priscilla behind the train in the picture below). I’m still impressed I was able to get in the car as an adult, and more importantly get out!
Lesli’s Visit to Macy’s Pink Pig
Lesli visited the Pink Pig with the oldest for the first four years of his life. At five, he told her he was “too old for the Pink Pig train ride.” She was devastated. This year, he changed his mind and told her that he thought his “little brother would just love it.”
You can look around the mall for days, but you won’t find The Pink Pig because she’s located outside, on the upper deck of the parking lot. We always prefer to park in the deck connected to the JW Marriott so that we can easily walk to the Pink Pig ticket area and tent.
If that lot’s full, or you chose another parking area, look for the Godiva Chocolate store on the Mall Directory. It’s in that part of the mall that you will find the ticket booth (line #1) and where you can easily exit the mall and access the tent for the ride (line #2.)
We chose the “2 rides for $5.50” option. You can pick 3 rides for $7.50 (or one ride for $3.) You can ride the train multiple times without getting back in line…or you can get off and come back later. You just can’t transfer the ticket to another person.
We entered the tent and took a photo with Pricilla the Pig, then headed off for the train. The staff is very kind, allowing you ample time between rides to snap a few pictures of the kids on the train before taking off.
You’ll have to ride with your kiddo next to you…no lap kids allowed. Also, there is a 2 person max per seat. I put the boys in front of me, and leaned over to talk to them while we rode the pig.
Let’s just be honest…it’s a short ride for a long venture to Buckhead (for us). It’s a bit cheesy. But it is a piece of Atlanta history…the kids love it (my little man has looked at the photos all night,) and it helps ring in the holidays each year. Worth every minute and every penny.
Head downstairs for a photo with Santa, and grab a bite at Panera or Cheesecake Factory. And while you are there, make sure to take in the great tree that sits on top of the mall.
More Tips from Sue about The Pink Pig
Since 2003, Priscilla, the Macy’s Pink Pig, has been running on a track beneath a 170 foot, 1950’s themed Pink Pig Tent at the Lenox Square Mall upper-level parking deck near Macy’s. The ride takes you through a very pink life-sized storybook that includes the original Pink Pig. It’s not quite as magical as the 50’s memories, but it is an Atlanta tradition and I feel when you are in Atlanta, you should embrace the traditions that come with it. In addition to being a lot of fun, a portion of the proceeds go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Here are a few tips to make it more enjoyable.
1. There are TWO lines for the Macy’s Pink Pig – One line is inside Lenox Mall where you purchase your tickets. The other is outside in the parking deck where you wait to ride. You can purchase tickets anytime- they are not timed-entry tickets- so if you know you want to go closer to Christmas, you can always purchase your tickets now when the lines are shorter. That way, you only have to wait in the “ride line,” not the “ticket line” as well.
2. Know Your Children – Smaller kids love the train ride, but the story/music can be loud and there are lots of lights, so sometimes kids are a bit scared (there is absolutely NOTHING to be scared of). In addition, you can’t see the train’s path, so kids aren’t sure what to expect. All this to say, with smaller children, you may need to go with them the first time. On the opposite end, older kids may think they are too old for the Pink Pig. Let me assure you, no one is too old for an Atlanta holiday tradition, especially when you know the rich history of the pink pig.
3. Expect to wait – Especially if you are going on the weekends or closer to Christmas, expect some wait time. To keep your sanity, bring along some games, snacks or anything that will entertain your children. (the Apple Store is across the mall and generally entertains my boys for a bit while we wait in the ticket line, but they’re older)
4. The Gift Shop – The line for the ride goes through the gift shop, so there is no avoiding it. I find it helpful to discuss with my boys prior to going that the ride itself is their treat, not a bauble from the gift shop. Of course that doesn’t stop us from trying on pig noses and squeezing a pig plush here and there.
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After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.