(888) 949-6369

Fred and Palina Trust collected Wizard of Oz Memorabilia for over 35 years with passion and dream of opening the Wizard of Oz Museum.

Living in Miami and raising children, they understood that the Wizard of Oz is a narrow niche market for running a museum.
To succeed, they need to rely on tourists from the whole USA.

Of course, Orlando was the first option, but it has many attractions to compete with.

Fred’s background is in Computer Science, and Palinas’s in Tourism,
they first experienced the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Miami in 2018 and decided to create an Immersive Wizard of Oz Experience to complement the Wizard of OZ museum.

They choose Cape Canaveral as the museum location due to its proximity to Orlando, beaches, Kennedy Space Center, and cruise terminals.

They moved to Melbourne, Florida March of 2019, but could not open a business due to Covid.

For the next two years, Fred and Palina spent time creating the scenes for the Immersive Wizard of Oz, while raising two boys ( 8 and 1 year old).

In February 2022, the museum officially opened and has been operating since then.

In 2022, museum attendance reached over 13,000 visitors, with many leaving their reviews on platforms such as Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Yelp, and Groupon.

The museum constantly updates its aesthetic, obtaining additional memorabilia and adding more Immersive scenes.

The museum experience is unique due to its artifacts and the largest Wizard of Oz museum in the US.

The Immersive Experience show is also unique and not be found anywhere in the USA as a permanent exhibit.

A combination of Immersive Experience and Wizard of Oz museum artifacts led to excellent reviews by visitors.

As of April of 2023, the museum maintains 4.9stars on Google from 1100 reviews, 5 -stars on TripAdvisor from 206 reviews, 4.8 stars on Facebook from 96, 4.5 on Yelp from 28, and 4.7 on Groupon from 160+ reviews.

The museum also received various recognition from TripAdvisor and Yelp that rate attractions.

On TripAdvisor, the Wizard of Oz Museum ranks #1 out of 47 things to do in Cape Canaveral, and Number 1 on the Space Coast, number 9 in Brevard county out of 860 activities.

The museum also has a kids’ room to play with old toys and implemented animals hunt to entertain kids. The unexpected kids’ experience led to a museum listed on TripAdvisor as number 16 out of 550+ Children’s museums in the Nation. The museum also ranks high among niche museums and as an art museum due to the implementation of Van Gogh’s art in the Immersive room and flying through the Universe scenes.

The same goes for Yelp, where the museum also ranks as the Number 1 attraction in the area in multiple categories.

In 2022 the museum obtained three original props used in the movie, including an original Dorothy dress to enhance the visitors’ experience.

The museum has been covered by various media and coming to be the main attraction to visitors to Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, and the Cocoa Beach area.

Most tourists take an opportunity to visit the museum during Port of Call or pre or post-cruise stays at local hotels, being 5 minutes from the cruise terminals.

Before you think about listening to another so-called expert, you need to read this first…

Being a collector of the Wizard of Oz Memorabilia for over 35 years, working in the computer industry, and raising kids, I spend most of my money obtaining Oz items and never have enough to purchase pieces above my price range.

I was purchasing rare Oz pieces instead of investing somewhere else.

You might wonder what is so special about The Wizard of Oz, that got me hooked.

Like many, I did watch the original movie, but books got me hooked. Are you aware that the Wizard of Oz movie, which we love is only partially based on the one book published 39 years before?

Additionally, 40 official Oz books continue the story.

Because I was always on the hunt for rare pieces, that were out of reach of the average person, I was always short of funds.

If you collected, you probably understand what I am referring to, there is no limit to spending to improve any collection.

When I have friends and visitors at my home, I spend hours explaining OZ pieces in my collection, and most of them are inspired to learn that there is so much about Oz.

My dream was always to open the Wizard of OZ museum, like many other Oz collectors, but it is easier said than done.

You might wonder what gave me the final push to open the museum.

Visiting the Immersive exhibit of Van Gogh gave me the idea to bring elements from Oz books that were never made into the movie to life using Immersive technology.

In my head, I was thinking how cool it would be to have an opportunity to skip on the yellow brick road toward Emerald City and be surrounded by poppies.

How about visiting a munchkin land with fairy tale-type surroundings with various flowers, mountains with different colors of flowers growing on each, and much more?

By consulting with a few software developers, I realized it is all possible, but it is way more complex than Van Gogh’s creation.

Having collectibles, a computer background, and a concept for what I want to create in the Immersive Wizard of Oz, I was in the location search for the museum.

Ideally, it would be nice to be in Orlando, the tourism capital, but the lease rate is outrageous, and I could only operate for a few months.

Researching, I decided to lease a building in Cape Canaveral due to its proximity to Orlando, Port, Cocoa Beach, and Kennedy Space Center.

I signed a building lease at the end of 2018 but decided to back out because of the pandemic.

During the pandemic, I was working to create the Immersive Wizard of Oz scenes and discovered that a 1-minute tornado scene took around six months to design.

I created the Immersive Van Gogh to complement the Wizard of Oz since we can design 12 minutes of Immersive Van Gogh within three months.

You might wonder why Van Gogh’s creation is 20 times faster than the Wizard of Oz.

The truth,  Van Gogh’s scenes are based on existing artworks. With computers, the scenes can be easily manipulated and created. 

Anything in The Wizard of Oz is created from scratch with no base artwork.

Of course, I could not let visitors watch The Wizard of Oz for 1 minute only, so Van Gogh’s exhibit was a great addition while we continued building other scenes.

During the pandemic, summer of 2021, I decided to go forward with my plans to open the museum. I have my portion of problems dealing with opening the museum. In October 2021, I was allowed to open only the collectible display portion of the museum with a gift shop.

In February of 2022, the museum had a grand opening with a fully functional museum with 3 Wizard of Oz scenes and an Immersive Van Gogh.

With one employee and I running the museum operation, it was an 80-hour-a-week effort for me, working between obtaining products for a gift shop, enhancing the museum experience, and building new Immersive Wizard of Oz scenes.

Knowing that many museums have free admission due to subsidies from the government, it was hard to determine the admission price. With the low overhead and low lease, I calculated that to keep the door open without me as an owner taking any monies, the price needs to be around $30 a person and $15 for the kids based on the average 20-30 visitors daily.

I would feel guilty charging visitors for showing them a movie they can watch at home for free or providing some facts from the internet. My intentions with the museum are to inspire visitors to learn and read some books for pleasure, as I did a long time ago, and enjoy a paradise for the Wizard of Oz collectors.

We learned from visitors that they expected to see original Wizard of Oz props from the movie, which my collection lacks due to astronomical prices.

Did you know that ruby slippers cost over 4 million,  Cowardly lion costume is over 5 million, and a few Dorothy dresses sold for over a million?

Regardless of the price, I decided to purchase some of them and now proudly display movie props like Spear, Emerald jacket, Ruby slippers used in Disney’s “Great Movie Ride” attraction, and Dorothy dress used in the movie at the museum.

We also completed seven scenes for The Wizard of Oz ( almost three years of development) and installed the last scene within a week.

You might wonder about the museum’s achievements since its opening, and I am happy to share with you not my feelings about the museum but about visitors’ experiences.

We had our portion of negative reviews, pointing out that it is too expensive or movie props’ absence, but from 1500+ reviews on Google, we are at 4.9 stars, with the highest achievements number for any museum in Florida.

We sometimes are not supported by local businesses or other individuals, so-called experts, and I can almost guarantee a fun time for any age that visits with an open mind, curiosity, and desire to learn something new.

I have more to lose as a museum curator, with my reputation and credibility on the line.