Gulliver’s Gate is an amazing venue. It is 50,000 sq. feet of “…a technologically advanced, interactive, immersive world of miniatures that will ignite your imagination and challenge your perspective.” (website) And it is really “cool.” I had read about it, but was still unsure as to what I would actually find. Was it as good as it sounded, or just another tourist trap?
The double door, street level entrance got me to the small, lower lobby area. There were five steps (or a lift) to take me to the lobby itself, where the full height admission counter is locate. After paying my admission and getting my lanyard and “magic key” I was on my way. I took the escalator up (there are also stairs or elevator) to the world in miniature. It may be in miniature, but it has incredible detail, down to the thousands of tiny “people” throughout. Many have been handmade, some come from 3D printers (for a price you can get a 3D miniature of yourself). Each destination is labeled. Some of them offer “interaction” by using the key that you received at admission. You can get people to ski in Switzerland, see the Loch Ness Monster appear, watch cable cars move and more!
There is ample room to navigate the world. Some of the places to visit are the U.S, Italy, France, Chile, Panama, Argentina, Tibet, Japan, Singapore, China, Russia, Mexico, Israel, India and Egypt – to name a few. The Great Wall, Taj Mahal, the Vatican, the Panama Canal, and Niagara Falls are there to view. Children (and adults) can take advantage of a “Where’s Waldo?” type of game to look for characters and things hidden among the displays. Several of the kids I saw were very into this activity.
There are a few benches throughout, although not nearly enough, considering the size of this venue. The exhibits are of varying heights, some definitely fine for children and wheelchair users to get an excellent view. Some are somewhat higher, which may keep wheelchair users from a really good look at the things positioned father back. Steps at these higher exhibits allow kids to get a better view but are not of value to wheelchair patrons. This is really too bad, because everything is worth seeing. Just when you think that’s all there is… there is an airport model – the largest model airport in the world. I even watched a plane take off from one of the runways. But wait, there’s more! You can watch employees at work, on technology, building models, creating tiny people, fixing things. All of the workshops are “open” for everyone to see.
Large, multi-stall restrooms with handicapped stalls and baby-changing station are located past the large gift shop.
Although Gulliver’s Gate is certainly a tourist attraction, it is a wonderful experience as well. It can whet your appetite for travel to places you have never been, or bring back fond memories of places you have visited.
As always, we at Destination:Accessible advise you to check a venue’s website, www.gulliversgate.com, when planning a visit , to “know before you go.”