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“Worth the trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum
945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
+1 504-528-1944
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$325*
and up
Ranked #1 of 470 things to do in New Orleans
Activities: Group tours/walking tour, Leisure education
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Owner description: Founded by historian and author, Stephen Ambrose, the Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world - why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today - so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Designated by Congress in 2003 as America's National WWII Museum, the campus includes the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion, showcasing the large artifacts of the war and exhibits on D-Day at Normandy, the Home Front and the Pacific; the Solomon Victory Theater, a 4D theater showing the exclusive Tom Hanks production, Beyond All Boundaries; the Stage Door Canteen, where the music and entertainment of the "Greatest Generation" comes to life; the John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion, where staff and volunteers restore artifacts in public view; The American Sector restaurant and Soda Shop - delicious onsite dining options; and the new US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, where exhibits and interactive experiences paint the picture of a nation mobilized for war. Museum exhibits and the Museum Store are open seven days a week, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Museum exhibits and the Museum Store are open seven days a week, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. All venues are closed Mardi Gras Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
Hawley, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Worth the trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

My son is in the PA National Guard and is deploying to Kuwait. We spent Thanksgiving in New Orleans with him before the unit left. He wanted to visit the museum so I tagged along. Beyond All Boundaries is a must see. It costs a few dollars more but it definitely worth it.

Visited November 2012
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“I'm usually positive, but its impossible here. This is NOT a museum, its an "exhibit", barely.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

This may irk some of you because WW II is such a venerable, sacrosanct subject, that to say anything negative would seem like nothing short of a blasphemy. Yet, please remember, I am not writing a review of that horrific event, (probably the worst in human history), but of this so called "National WWII Museum", which, like many things in that largely misunderstood city, is, quite simply, a failure, or worse, a straight rip off. This goes hand in hand with voodoo shops (there was never any of that mumbo jumbo around until it was imported for the tourist trade - just ask any respectable and educated swamp tour guide, who's local heritage goes back generations) or Cajun cuisine -(the Cajuns never lived in the city - again, go and ask them; in Thibodaux, Houma, the Bayous; wherever, if you disagree).
Let me preface this review by saying I am a history buff, and human conflict - as in war - is what interests me the most. I will add that I went there with my 9 year old, who likes military hardware, and has seen some good WWII museums in Europe. I will only say that he was LIVID with disappointment when we left. So was I.
Lets begin with the building itself: its small, and it looks like there isn't much there, but there is a big one across the street, that looks like a part of the Museum complex. Surprise: there is nothing exhibited in it! It's a restaurant, designed to separate you from your $, and a theater, I think. The exhibits are all in the small building. There is a C-46 - a military version of a DC3 (something you can see in many regional airports); they said they have a Sherman tank, but it wasn't there at the time; (i know people who own them privately, but they don't call their shed a National Museum), there are some trucks and a couple of Higgins boats, (which the locals are proud of because those were built there during the War), and the rest, dear reader, is just a bunch of grainy pictures on the walls (you can find those yourself with 3 clicks of your mouse), plus some small artifacts, letters and some embarrassing stuff that looked like it was pilfered form the pockets of the vanquished. There is material on Normandy, and the Pacific War. Excuse me, but that particular War was in large percentage won - and lost - on battlefields east of Berlin. NOT A PEEP ABOUT THAT, or 40 or more million who perished there . So, perhaps it should be called the "National Exhibit of the Pacific/Normandy Theater?" Even as that, its rather poor, and certainly very incomplete. Now, you can drive yourself a couple of hours east and see a very well preserved WWII battleship in Mobile Bay, and there, on the shore - surprise! is a lot more WWII (plus other conflicts) hardware than you will find on 945 Magazine Street - but without undue fanfare, or a pompous, misleading name on it.
If you choose to visit this "Museum", and leave dispirited like i did, a visit to the "Alabama" Battleship Park might help ease the disappointment. You can stop by at Stennis Space center, see an Atlas V 1st stage at Michoud, or take a really cool swamp tour on the Pearl River along the way and make a day of it.
Now, those of you that are considering a written response to this review and want to give me some stick about it, plz, don't bother, as nothing will change my mind about the place. Also, I am not exactly a tourist: i lived in NOLA for about a year.. Finally, like the title says, I am usually very positive even if I am not exactly thrilled about the subject of my reviews, but WWII and it's history is visceral with me, and I simply hate to see this subject so shortchanged.

Visited December 2011
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Gilbert,az
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We spent a very enjoyable day at the museum. The D-day movie was very cool. Ask about the prior service discount it isn't listed but it saves about 40%

Visited October 2012
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Hamden, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Must see!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Although partial under construction, this place is amazing and we had a chance to talk to a WWII Vet. The movies were very educational.

Visited October 2012
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Lake Mary, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Lots of grainey pictures”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Sorry, but if you watch Discovery or History Channel; you've seen most of whats here. Most of the galleries are full of large grainey photos, with recorded narratives. Not a lot of gear and/or artifacts. Lots of letters home, but old letters under glass don't make a museum. I'm 60, so I grew up learning this history; so it might be more interesting for younger folks who don't know the story.

Visited October 2012
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