Paisley park is (officially) open for a new kind of business

Prepare yourself for the royal tour.

The atrium of Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Courtesy of Paisley Park NPG Records

The atrium of Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

by Sophia Vilensky

As of Oct. 28, you no longer need to be awake at an ungodly hour to visit Paisley Park.

Prince’s palace is now open for more of a regular schedule. The show can start and end by late afternoon.

I’ll admit, I’m not the museum’s target audience. As someone who was often too young to make it to the infamous middle-of-the-night shows, the tissue boxes thoughtfully placed throughout the tour areas were left untouched by me. For others, however, they proved necessary.

In the white tent where tours are checked in, “1999” plays over a loudspeaker. Tables where guests can sit and enjoy some of Prince’s favorite foods are covered with purple tablecloths, and purple flowers — almost certainly not in season — provided decor.

The food, a nine-item menu of vegetarian favorites curated by Prince’s chefs Juell and Ray Roberts, is delicious. All menu items offer an anecdote about Prince’s relationship to them.

There’s delight in the idea of Prince requesting a smoothie as a movie-time snack — according to the tour guide, Prince loved “Finding Nemo.” Tourists can sip on Prince’s favorite tropical concoction followed with a cup of minestrone. Other offerings include pancakes and curry, as well as coffee with special Paisley Park branded sleeves, but no starfish.

There are parts of Paisley Park that feel almost haunted-house-like, minus the actors. One themed room leads to another with no concern for style consistency. Tributes to “Under the Cherry Moon” and “Graffiti Bridge” are both contained in the same four walls — tourists pass through a divider that’s nothing more than a wide beam of light. Smoke machines provide extra ambience.

“Untouched” rooms, like Prince’s kitchen, which showcases a DirecTV remote and a stack of magazines on the coffee table, seem almost too neat. When the tour guide said that this was how everything was left, everyone peeked a little closer. I began to understand Prince a bit more. And then it was gone.

Due to the immensity of the 65,000-square-foot property, we were unable to make a dent in the wall’s stories. Nothing overtly upsetting was discussed — the tour guide’s monologue was something along the lines of, “Prince is talented. Great things happened in this room. There are the doves. Ta-da.”

It’s weird and beautiful. Underwhelming and suggestive. Maybe it’s exactly what Prince wanted it to be.