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Miniature World of Trains - CLOSED
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Great new location and new management

This is a new location in Taylors Mill SC in a redevelopment project in an old mill. They recently... read more

Reviewed January 3, 2018
retiredtravelers1963
,
Roswell, Georgia
growing railroad

they are growing from last visit at the downtown location which was cramp and small. the model... read more

Reviewed February 20, 2016
Paul R
,
Greenville
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Reviewed July 26, 2014

We enjoyed a wonderful visit to the Miniature World of Trains earlier today with the whole family! We visited MWOT on a Saturday in the early afternoon with a large family of boys and girls ranging from 12 years old to 4 years old.

As we walked up to the door, train sounds played over some outdoor speakers, beckoning you inside. At $5 per person, it's really reasonably priced for such a fun and unique experience in downtown Greenville. An absurd earlier review commented that it should be free. Give me a break! As I said, we got a lot of fun for a small admission fee.

Once inside, we took in the huge train display. It was amazing. The mountain range of the display climbs to 12 and a half feet high. The trains run around the base of the display, as well as at several different heights on the mountain. The display is divided into several different areas, including a cityscape, a trainyard, and a wilderness / farmland area. Many tunnels cut through the mountain here and there to allow passage for the trains from one area to the next. There is so much to see here - you just have to look!

There are several notable things about the display that you should be sure to see. I loved the cityscape. There were buildings, vehicles, people, trees - the whole works. It even had working traffic lights that were tiny! They were smaller than a dime but still had the green-yellow-red sequence that lit up correctly in each direction. As you walk around the display, speakers play sounds of train radio chatter - pretty cool! And it's really amazing what the computers they have can do with the display. Trains pull into a station and stop while a different train gets underway for a lap. Then that train pulls in and yet another train pulls out for a lap. You can see trains stop to let other train traffic go by before they continue on their way.

I have to say, my favorite part of the display is when they turn the lights off to simulate night. Lights shine in the windows of the city buildings, train traffic signal lights are more easily seen, and they even have animated billboards! Tiny little billboards that go through a light sequence as they spell out the name of their company! They turn off the lights about once an hour for maybe 10-15 minutes.

To help you take in the whole train display, there is a scavenger hunt that my kids absolutely loved. You can grab a scavenger hunt sheet on your way in if you like. There are about 15 questions on the sheet as I recall, and they are all meant to engage you in the display. How many cows are on the farms? How many restaurants are in the city? How many zombies (yes, zombies!) are in the city? One hint: some of the questions are meant to get you to interact with the wonderful staff of volunteers here at MWOT. (Such as the height of the mountain.) The staff loves to answer questions about the display, the trains, the future plans for MWOT - anything. And they really enjoyed interacting with my kids, no matter how repetitive or absurd the question was that they got.

I should take a moment to mention that the MWOT also has a museum area with some items of interest from the history of trains, as well as some items available to purchase in the front lobby/ticket area including beginner trains sets. Also, they are testing the concept and hope to have a good enough response to move to a larger location and have larger displays. And finally, they have a delightful holiday train display around November and December that you simply have to come see.

So, if you wanted to come in and only spend 10 minutes walking around, you certainly could. Quite frankly, you could do the same thing in the Sistine Chapel or at the Louvre if you were so inclined - you would probably enjoy it, but you would also miss an awful lot. Instead, I recommend that you come in and give it a good hour, or at least enough time to cycle through a nighttime sequence. Do the scavenger hunt with your kids (or by yourself!) to get them to notice some of the minute details they put into the display. Take a look at the museum items. And one of my favorite things - hold your camera steady on the rail that circles the display and get a video roll of a train rolling by. Then look at it later and see how real it looks. However you decide to spend your time, the Miniature World of Trains is worth a look!

Date of experience: July 2014
1  Thank Neerdowell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2014 via mobile

This is a VERY impressive display of multiple trains and tracks combined into a huge display. It appears several train lovers have come together to share their passion, but it's a museum-type exhibit. There's just nothing there for kids to interact with, thus, they get bored quickly. I'd suggest they allow parents to "rent a remote" for a train and let them be a conductor of the model for 30 minutes or something like that. Generates revenue for the business and would make it much better for kids.

Thank rericmills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F C R, General Manager at Miniature World of Trains, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2014

Thank you for your kind comments. The Miniature World of Trains at this time has only been open about 120 days. The interactive feature your are referring to is something that is planned to be added to the large display. This location is the BETA test of the software and materials for the future 60,000sf display. What you had visited is a small version of the large display. It is located in a 3,000sf area of the building and is 40' x45' in size. The current display has up to 40 computerized model trains traversing a large city and industry scene and over 12 foot high mountains amongst highly detailed scenery. Coming up in the next month or so are the interactive buttons that will allow visitors to activate trains on the display, hot air balloons, UFO's and more in different areas around the display. In 2015 there will be special operational days and nights where pre qualified visitors will be able to operate trains on the display. Unfortunately, during regular operational hours we can not allow visitors to operate trains on the BETA display. However, in the large 60,000sf facility at this point scheduled to open in late 2015 early 2016, we will have a dedicated track where visitors will be able operate trains. Our Christmas Display this year will have the capability to allow visitors to operate trains on this display. I am not aware of any other facility of this type the allows visitors to operate on the display during normal operations. So, again we appreciate the suggestion and it will be coming as we move forward with adding features to the display.

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Reviewed July 25, 2014

We enjoyed our trip immensely. The guides were knowledgeable and friendly and the exhibit is amazing. It took us a while to see everything. We wished we could have come back for the special sunset effects on Saturday. It's well worth a look in!

Date of experience: July 2014
2  Thank BnBgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F C R, General Manager at Miniature World of Trains, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2014

Thanks for your kind input about the Miniature World of Trains BETA location and our staff of volunteers. Hopefully you will be able to come back for another visit to enjoy our new features that are added weekly!

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Reviewed July 18, 2014

I took my 5 and 8 year old today. I didn't know how big it would be beforehand. Not sure we would have spent the $15 it cost to get in had I known it was only 1 room. There are a lot of trains to look at, but my kids were done in about 10 min. We had a scavenger hunt to complete which was fun, but the whole trip lasted about 30 minutes. I was told when leaving that at Christmas time they open the other room and have a holiday theme.

Date of experience: July 2014
Thank lisa0916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2014

... the paid five bugs, most club layouts are much better build and you can visit without any admission. Just wondering if the other guys that wrote a review here saw the same display.

Date of experience: May 2014
6  Thank Pieter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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