MOONACHIE -- Macy's Studio allowed over 400 school children from across the region to take the first look at new parade floats that will travel down the streets of Manhattan for the first time during this year's 92nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"Our measurement of success is seeing the surprise and the light on their faces," said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Newcomers this year include floats featuring the Ninja Turtles, Elf on a Shelf 'Elf Pets', Kinder Chocolate Factory and a Splashing Safari Adventure by Kalahari Resorts. Aan old favorite, Tom the Turkey, got a revamp this year. With a fresh coat of paint, wings flapping, eyes rolling and head bobbing - Tom will usher in Thanksgiving as the lead float.
Macy's studio staff gave tours and a lesson on how math, science, arts and engineering all play a role in building these massive marvels, which are expected to draw 3.5 million local spectators and 50 million national viewers on Thanksgiving Day.
"They look as big as my house!" exclaimed a third-grader from Tenafly.
Macy's floats take 18 months to design and produce. From construction drawings to completion, a staff of sculptors, painters, welders and carpenters work year-round out of the retailer's Moonachie, New Jersey studio to make these creations a reality.
Beginning Tuesday night, crews will start to break down the massive floats into 8-by-12-feet containers, so they can be transported through the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan. Parade set up, including balloon inflation, will begin next Wednesday afternoon.
A total of 26 floats and 56 balloons of various sizes will be apart of this year's Thanksgiving celebration.