The Wizard of Oz Museum in Cape Canaveral, Florida, celebrates its first anniversary in February 2023. Founded by Fred Trust, the museum showcases artifacts from an ever-expanding collection of memorabilia based on the beloved L. Frank Baum story.
In a 2022 interview with Toy Tales, Trust shared some of his personal favourites from the more than 3,000 items in the collection: “I have the first-known copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz dated May 23, 1900. This is a pre-publication copy given by author L. Frank Baum to his mother. The only other copy I know to exist is in the New York Public Library. There are also dolls made by Ideal Toy Company that were produced in 1939.”
The museum has continued to acquire items, taking a cue from visitor feedback. Guests coming to the museum expressed how much they enjoy seeing original props and costumes from the 1939 The Wizard of Oz movie starring Judy Garland. During a recent conversation with Toy Tales, Trust revealed, “I obtained an original Dorothy dress, an Emerald City Townsman jacket, and a spear used by a Winkie Guard.”
Since opening, the museum has welcomed guests from near and far. Trust states, “We’ve welcomed over 12,000 guests since opening the museum last year. Visitors come from all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, Germany, and Israel.”
The museum quickly gained attention thanks to positive online reviews and a supportive local business community. Trust explains, “The museum is rated 4.9 on Google with over 1,000 reviews. We’re the highest-ranked museum in Florida.”
To build on that momentum, Trust discloses: “The goal over the next year is to increase the foot traffic to 24,000 guests.” He explained the role the cruise ship industry plays in the area, too: “The Port has over 4.5 million visitors each year. It’s very hard to get into the brochure highlighting the attractions in the area. If we can increase our awareness to the cruise ship visitors, we can double our number of visitors.”
Looking to the future, Trust keeps families and young visitors top of mind as he develops new elements for the museum. “We created a scavenger hunt to keep children entertained while they are here and they get a lot of entertainment inside the immersive room.” He adds, “There’s huge potential for school field trips.” Trust’s desire to build a first-rate museum experience and infuse fresh features into the experience keep visitors coming back. “We see visitors returning to bring their relatives with them.”
Visit the Wizard of Oz Museum website to learn more about the museum and see pieces of the collection.