The Wizard of Oz movie was released way back in 1939, and yet decades later it remains popular with generation after generation. And the Wizard of Oz Museum in Cape Canaveral, Florida is a fun little attraction for families. In fact, it’s one of our favorite Things to Do in Cocoa Beach (besides the beach). Here’s what you can expect and tips for visiting the Wizard of Oz Museum.
Wizard of Oz Museum: The Background Story
Year after year parents introduce their children to the story of Dorothy and her journey down the yellow brick road to find her way back home. The story may have taken place in Kansas, but those wanting to visit the land of Oz don’t have to travel that far.
The Wizard of Oz Museum in Cape Canaveral, which opened in 2021, features more than 2,000 items of memorable. It includes props used in the movie, including one of the dresses actress Judy Garland wore as Dorothy, as well as plenty of artifacts related to the books the movie was based on and even some nods to the musical Wicked.
The museum was started by Wizard of Oz fan Fred Trust who collected a ton of memorabilia over the years. He initially wanted to open the museum in Orlando, but high lease prices prevented that.
He then set his sights on nearby Cape Canaveral, because of its close proximity to the port, beaches, and Orlando.
Keep reading to find out what you can expect at the museum and how to prepare for a visit with your little ones.
Tips for Visiting the Wizard of Oz Museum with Kids
This is a self-guided, small museum. There are not a ton of interactive pieces, but rather a large amount of items on display, some dating back to the early 1900s. Allow for about an hour to explore everything.
Also, check Groupon for deals on tickets, which are $29.99 for adults and $14.99 for children ages 3 – 12. There is a military and senior discount for a price of $27.99. Deals are offered for group tours.
1. Watch the movie ahead of time
If your kids haven’t seen the movie yet, a great time to introduce them to Dorothy would be before heading to the museum. Even if the movie is already a family favorite in your house, rewatching it before the museum is a good idea.
It will definitely make the visit more nostalgic if you know and recognize what you’re seeing. You might be a little lost or overwhelmed if you go in with little to no knowledge of Oz.
2. Read the books ahead of time
Some might not know, but the popular Wizard of Oz movie is based on books that were released as early as 1900. L Frank Baum wrote 14 of the Oz books before other authors took over.
The books tell stories that go way beyond the movie, including introducing many new characters and plots. Rare copies of some of these books can be found on display in the museum.
The museum contains a lot of memorabilia related to the books. In fact, one of the goals of the museum is to educate the public on the books and the stories they tell.
3. Relax in the Playroom
While there are not a lot of interactive exhibits in the museum, there is a small playroom designed just for kids. It includes a television that constantly plays the movie the Wizard of Oz.
The room is decorated with adorable Wizard of Oz-themed furniture and also has games and toys for children to play with. There are even some vintage Wizard of Oz toys.
4. Scavenger hunt for Kids
After paying your admission children will be given instructions for a scavenger hunt.
Kids will get a munchkin size pencil and clipboard with a list of animals they need to find throughout the museum. The animals can be found on everything from books, to pictures to figurines.
When the animal is found, kids write down where it is located. If they get them all right, they are awarded with a prize from the gift shop.
No worries if your child is having a hard time. The friendly, knowledgeable staff is there to give hints and help out when needed.
5. Visit the Immersion room
This takes place in a 2,100-square-foot room outfitted with 30 projectors. You’ll be transported into scenes all around you, from floor to ceiling.
The first portion of the show includes scenes recreated from the movie and books. You’ll be swept away in a tornado, visit munchkin land and even go inside the castle in Oz.
This is your chance to skip down the yellow brick road while Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Lion dance around you on the screens.
The immersive experience doesn’t end with the Wizard of Oz. It also includes a portion dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh and his work as well as 3 minutes that feature images and data collected from the James Webb Telescope.
Museum owner Fred Trust added the final part because he wanted to pay homage to the Space Coast.
6. Dress up
Dress up and have fun with it! Where else will you be able to follow the yellow brick road? This is the place to get some great family photos with all the props and displays.
Just be prepared, little ones may be hesitant with some of the displays. There are life-size figures of the Wicked Witch of the West and the flying monkeys. Some kids may be wary of photos with these guys.
If you don’t have costumes, you may find what you’re looking for in the gift shop.
7099 N. Atlantic Ave., Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Open daily (except Thanksgiving) from 8 am – 5 pm