Friday, October 29, 2010

I went to see the Wizard and, apparently left without a brain for me, and a heart for the Tin Man

Okay, as promised, here's the post about Dorothy's House and the Land of Oz.

But let me start this story with some background information. I tried to find the connection between Liberal, Kansas, where the "museum" is located, and the movie.

There is none.

No where in the movie does it state that Dorothy is from Liberal, Kansas. Nope. She's just from a small town IN Kansas.

But the town of Liberal decided to declare themselves Dorothy's hometown.

I thought that the "house" was the actual house that was used in the movie. In fact, I SWORE that I read that somewhere.

Apparently I was wrong. This is what the brochure read,

Follow the Yellow Brick Road. You will soon realize....5000 square feet of animated entertainment - good and bad witches, the Munchkins, talking trees, winged monkeys, and, of course, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Toto, too. Oz memorabilia all along the Yellow Brick Road,  including the original model of Dorothy's house in the 1939 filming of "The Wizard of Oz".
Okay, what does that mean, exactly? I guess I'm stuck on the words "original model". Is it a model of the house used in the movie?

Jim opted to wait in the truck while I took the tour. I plunked down my $7.50 and waited for the tour guide, who was supposed to be dressed up like Dorothy, by the way, but she wasn't, find the keys. I think she was filling in for Dorothy.

We started the tour outside, following the yellow brick road. People could purchase a yellow brick, I think the amount was around $60. The Tour Guide or TG said that there were some movie stars, and pointed out Liza Minnelli's brick.

As you can see, the characters also had bricks on the yellow brick road.

President and Mrs. Reagan also purchased a couple of bricks, although they've never been to the exhibit.

Here is Dorothy's House.

This is "Auntie Em's" bedroom. I asked the TG if anything was authentic from the movie. Uh, no.

On Auntie Em's dresser was this interesting little item called a "hair receiver". Back in the day, every thing was a precious commodity. So after a woman was done brushing her hair, she would pull the hair that was clinging to the bristles and stuff them down the little hole in the top of the jar. The hair would collect in there. Women would make hair nets out of the hair, or cover a button with hair as a memento for a loved one.

This is the living room.

I have to say that at this point, the TG was saying things like, "and Dorothy would play things like..." and I'm thinking, "she DOES know that Dorothy is JUST a character, RIGHT?" I mean, it's one thing if she was dressed up as Dorothy AND there were kids on the tour, then she could say, "I would play with these toys, or this is Auntie Em's room." But if no kids were along, it seems like it would have been better to adjust the tour and say something like "This house is modeled after the one that was used in the movie. These items are typical from that period of time." It was just, well, AWKWARD.

Dorothy's room - notice the ruby slippers. Does this mean she wore them back to Kansas?

Here is a kitchen cabinet. I don't know the official term for this. The bottom drawer is lined in metal to store the flour. The counter was metal - easy to roll out dough.

This is an ice box - the top part holds the 25 pound block of ice. Supposedly this would only last a few hours.

This is a mustache cup. It's quite clever, actually, because back then men waxed their mustaches. When they drank their coffee, their mustache dipped in the coffee and the waxed melted. With this cup, the mustache "sits" on the ledge, preventing it from touching the hot liquid, and keeping the wax intact.

Oh how I would dread wash day if I had to wash the clothes like this! Wash by hand in the right basin, scrubbing on the washboard, rinsing, then put them through the ringer.

I should mention that right when the tour started, another woman joined us. She was in somewhat in a hurry (as was I). Her husband was also waiting for her in the car.

After the house tour we walked over to a large building called, "The Land of Oz". It is a 5,000 square foot building that tells the COMPLETE story of the Wizard of Oz.

Our TG proceeded to tell us the whole story, granted very fast, but sometimes in a baby voice. The other woman looked at me like, "You've GOT to be kidding me!"

I took pictures of some of the exhibits like when Dorothy ran away from home and ran into Professor Marvel:

Or when Dorothy's house crashes down on the Wicked Witch of the East and ends up in the Land of Oz.

Glinda, the good witch

The munchkins

The beginning of the yellow brick road.

Remember these three guys?

Remember, all the while the TG is telling the story! I wanted to say to her, "Look, we're both in a hurry. Can we just walk through the exhibit and skip the story?" Would that have been so bad?

We jump to the castle and flying monkeys. That's Toto hanging off of the drawbridge.

This was kind of cute - when the Wicked Witch of the West wrote in the sky.

Or when the guy says to knock on the door at the castle.

Remember when Dorothy walked down the big hallway to see the wizard?

The special effect of the floating wizard head at the end of the hall was pretty cool, but it was a hologram and the picture didn't turn out.

Here is the scene where the lion, tin man, scarecrow and Dorothy are all going to go home via the hot air balloon.

At the end is a room with a large display of memorabilia about the Wizard of Oz. Some of it was donated from the actual actors who portrayed the Munchkins.

Do you know how the author, L. Frank Baum, came up with the name of "Oz"? He was sitting at his  writing desk, and he looked over at his filing cabinet. He noticed the drawers, A-G, H-N, O-Z, and just took the dash out between the O and the Z. Wa-lah! "OZ"!

Did you also know that L. Frank Baum wrote 14 books in the Oz series, The Wonderful World of Oz being the first? Me neither!

This is the Tin Man statue outside. I gave Jim the nickname of The Tin Man because, at times, I feel he has no heart!

Here's the statue of Dorothy that stands outside of the house.

So. That's the big tour of Dorothy's House and the Land of Oz. I give it 2 stars out of 5. I think a tour guide can make or break a tour. This guide left a lot to be desired. The brochure said "animated". Doesn't that mean that things move, like in Disneyworld? I didn't see any characters move. Kids would probably enjoy this. Adults? Not so much. I read mixed reviews on this place.

I clicked my ruby slippers, oh who am I kidding, my fuzzy slippers, and I'm not in Kansas anymore. We are in New Mexico.


Brian Miller said...

really cool...i did know about the books...i stumbled upon another one a while boys would probably like to go one day...and i want a flying monkey as a pet...smiles.

Missy said...

You are such a good teacher! I love reading about your adventures! Very educational!

misslynda said...

Wow - - - you got to NM fast! Looking at the tour and watching the movie, I think I like the movie much better. Perhaps it is because special effects can make the ordinary seem extraordinary. What always fascinated me about the movie was when the first part was in black and white and then it switched to color when she landed in Munchkin Land. It was so dramatic.
I had never seen or heard of a mustache cup - - or maybe I had but thought it was for shaving. but you showed us a mustache tea/coffee cup. That is really a clever design.

Anonymous said...

wow, what a cool place, very Im in the mood for the movie;)

holmsted said...

LOved the tour! It did make me feel old. The place for flour is a "flour bin", the cupboard it is in is officially called a Hoosier. I had one in my kitchen for several years after I was married. We always had an ice box when I was a kid, and there was always a mess under it from melting ice. The washing apparatus are also
familiar. They as well as I are antiques.

Anonymous said...

loved the tour, thank you for letting me tag along. You certainly take us to the best places my friend;)

Eva Gallant said...

I didn't even know this place existed. it's kind of neat, I guess. Sorry it didn't live up to expectations.

That corgi :) said...

I find it interesting that both husbands elected to "sit out the tour". I have to say I would be fascinated with this all even though I think, like you, it wouldn't have lived up to my expectations of what I thought it should be. Seems like they tried to catch their "15 minutes of fame" but only settled for 10-1/2 minutes of it. If you are in New Mexico, then Arizona can't be far behind!!


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How funny! We saw the signs about this one time but didn't stop, because earlier on that trip Bill had detoured so we could visit the Little House on the Prairie thing in DeSmet S.D. So I thought I'd used up my fair share of little girl lit stops! Now I'm glad I didn't stop -- although I loved your post..... too funny. I agree w/ you about the tour guide's part.

Also LOL on the comment above about using up their 10 1/2 minutes of fame. You even have funny commenters!

Safe travels (you're probably back to AZ already!)

Ca88andra said...

Your description of the tour made me laugh! I'm so glad I've got a washing machine...

Valerie said...

Oooh Pat, all my illusions are destroyed. I guess I'll stick with the film, see if they come back.

becky said...

I don't know about Dorothy's house, but the Land of Oz looked alright. What do you mean Jim has no heart? After hooking up the satellite, & changing all the blown tires?? I do like the pic of the tin man, though.
WELCOME to The Land of Enchantment!!!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

He who drives would have balked at the idea of touring the Land of Oz also! Fuddy-duddy! I saw a Hoosier cabinet in an antique store not too long ago. I liked the idea of having the bowl right under the sifter.......

Sunny said...

Thanks for the tour. I think you would make a great tour guide, at least you would make us laugh, LOL!
Happy Halloween!
☼ Sunny

SquirrelQueen said...

I think it would be interesting to see the antiques but the tour sounds a little boring. Unless someone is from another planet or under the age of eight they already know the story. But it was definitely fun to read your narration of the tour.

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

Loved to hear your narration for the tour.
Interesting place, now I'm in the mood to see the movie.

B xx