A Motorcycle Group Ryde to Visit the Wizard of Oz

Last weekend I took a ride over to Cape Canaveral with the Ocala chapter of Spyder Ryders (Can-Am Spyder owners like myself call our trips Rydes!). We met up with a group of Spyder Ryders from Clearwater (who had a much longer ryde than we did). We had lunch at the Preachers Bar in Cape Canaveral. An eclectically decorated pub, it has fine standard American food and we had a chance to meet and chat with members of the other group. The museum was just a couple of miles away and we posed before going into the museum.

The museum is a bit of a melange. First you will see very little of the MGM movie version* as it still tightly controls the copyright. But the early L. Frank Baum books, which were wildly popular in the early 1900’s, are free of copyright and used generously here.

They look somewhat familiar as the design of the iconic movie were based on drawings in the books. There were many more books with many more characters but the movie focused on only the first two. But there are many similarities as you may notice.

The museum offers a self guided tour where many display cases have a QR sticker and your smart phone can supply audio background information on the history of the whole thing. There were several costumes, one of which was a model carefully stated it “was built for Judy Garland for the wardrobe in the movie.” Obviously not worn by her but available if necessary. There were other costumes and many display cases to see.

Also notable was a Children Activity room with games and just off the display room if they grew restless. Featured was a television with the Wizard of Oz movie on a loop. Guess that use is OK.

There were two other areas I did not photograph. The had an Immersion Experience Room which featured a loop of images projected on the floor and walls. It featured images from the L. Frank Baum books and inexplicably images similar to the Van Gogh Immersive Experience and Webb Space Telescope. Unfortunately the rectangular room did no favors to the images. But for one section it was cool to have the yellow brick road moving along the floor and having a chance to skip along it.

The other was the ubiquitous gift shop that you passed through entering and departing the space. Here there are more movie souvenirs because, after all, commerce. A big array of stuff to pay for above and beyond the entrance fee but you get to take it home. My verdict: a great place if you are a Wizard of Oz fan, and a very enjoyable way to spend your time even if not a huge fan. Oh, a nice bit of trivia below that I am always wowed about.

(*) The famous “Wizard of Oz” was directed by well known movie director Victor Fleming. A well respected director he helmed more than 50 films in his storied career. In several years he would direct four films in a single year. In 1939 he directed only two films. The Wizard of Oz and …. Gone With The Wind. When you say you had a pretty good year match that against Mr. Fleming. Two of American Cinema’s most iconic productions. In one year. Not bad, not bad.

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