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  • Trip Report The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

    I'm a big Disney theme park fan, and I think anyone who enjoys Disney rides and theme-ing would enjoy, as I did, a visit to "The Henry Ford" in Detroit (except that this isn't "themed" - its really old). It is made up of three experiences. 1 - an indoor museum of artifacts, similar to the Smithsonian in DC, and with an Imax. 2 - an outdoor "Village" (called Greenfield Village) where they have relocated actual historic buildings from around the region and also recreated a few. Its similar to Williamsburg in Va. The best part for me was that you could actually take a ride in one of a dozen old Model-T cars that still work - and I could not help but feel like I was on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (and in Orlando that ride is sorely missed.) 3 - a walking tour thru one of the actual factories where they make Ford trucks, including two theaters with "sensory" sound and light kind of stuff - like the "Daytona Experience" attraction in Florida.

    The Greenfield Village reminded me of some of the earliest sketches I've seen in books for Disneyland when Walt wanted to do something small near the studios. It has a train that goes around the outside edge, a steamboat, and a main street, a carousel, and its all about Americana. I wondered if Walt had seen this place before he planned Disneyland.

    Some of the stuff there isn't from the Detroit area - like some country homes from England, and a surprisingly accurate full scale copy of Independence Hall from Philadelphia (where I'm from). These were apparently buildings Ford just liked, and if he couldn't buy them and move them, he just built copies. But his gift to the citizens of Detroit (and his workers) was to make it all accessible like a museum. Also of particular note, the Rosa Parks bus is located there - and you can sit in the seat where she would not "move to the back from" (shades of the American Adventure perhaps?) and hear a recording of her talk about it.

    Historic Rides and Transportation

    I could describe it more, but I think the website does a good job at explaining what's there - and you have the recommendation of a fellow Mice-Chatter that its worth the trip next time you are in the area.

    Here are a few pictures:

















  • #2
    Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

    Great thread, Jeffrey! Thanks for the photos.

    We look forward to visiting The Henry Ford one of these days!
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    � Ernest Thompson Seton

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    • #3
      Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

      I loved this museum when I went. I'd love to see it again.

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      • #4
        Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

        this goes on my list of things to see... thank you.
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        • #5
          Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

          I went to Greenfield Village on a class trip back in 1985. My teacher wanted to kill my mom because she showed us how to lay coins on the railroad track and have the train flatten them out. :lol:

          I remember they had a carousel and a couple other rides back then... but this was 25 years ago and I don't really remember for sure.

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          • #6
            Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

            I love having this "in my backyard". I can go visit on my lunch and it gives me a little bit of the Disneyland feeling walking around there.

            The river boat is in disrepair and stopped giving rides a few years ago.

            Walt visited Greenfield Village in 1940 and some say he gathered some ideas for Disneyland with this visit.

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            • #7
              Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

              Thats pretty cool!
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              This is excellent news! There are all sorts of good changes to the park that we were promised when Hell froze over.
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              • #8
                Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

                Great TR! Thank you for sharing. I definitely must visit.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

                  I went with my parents in 1992 (I would have been 15). I remember seeing the chair that Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot and since I am from "The land of Lincoln" that really made an impact on me.

                  It was a neat trip. I have at least 20 photos from there. I should find them and scan them because they are great memories. Thanks for reminding me!

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

                    Thank you for sharing these!! I don't know if I will ever get back to that part of the country but I'd love to see this in person!




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                    • #11
                      Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

                      The only problem with this trip report is that it was too short!!

                      Thanks for sharing what seems like an awesome day.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

                        I came to this part of the forum specifically to see if anyone had posted about the Henry Ford. All I can say is, after having spent four years wandering around that place it really makes me miss it now, and I've only been gone a year! I agree with the OP when they said that this place reminds them a lot of Disney. You see people from all over the world there and it just gives off a vibe that almost says "home." I think that's why I loved my four years of high school so much, because I got to enjoy this little piece of "home" everyday.

                        Originally posted by aimster View Post
                        I remember they had a carousel and a couple other rides back then... but this was 25 years ago and I don't really remember for sure.
                        Greenfield Village does still have the carousel, as well as the Model T rides and the train.

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