Princess Diana Exhibit opens at Downtown Disney

| July 8, 2009

This exhibit opened in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World yesterday. It is located in the former Virgin Megastore near Disney Quest.

I remember very clearly what I was doing the day Princess Diana died. It truly was a sad time when she died.  I wasn’t sure if this was something that tourists visiting the area would find interesting, but I figured it would be a good rainy day activity for the family.

I love touring museums and hoped that this one would hold my interest.  I am sorry to say I didn’t really enjoy the exhibit.  The price is $14.50 for adults, $5.00 for children (up to age 9).  You are warned that you aren’t allowed to use flash photography or video cameras.  I thought I would ask if I could use the camera without flash and was told no.

They did a terrific job of turning a record store into an exhibit area.  I do think they needed to add more signs explaining some of the displays.  If you love reading handwritten notes to people this is your museum! Personally after the first 10 or so I felt I had an good idea that Princess Diana wrote many thoughtful notes to people but didn’t need to read all of them. Be prepared because there are a lot of them throughout the exhibit.

The exhibit has a large number of photographs documenting her life.  They also have the coronation stool that Queen Elizabeth used for her coronation.  Some of the displays though had no signs stating their significance.

Finally I reached the room with her dresses on display.  There were 6 glass cases holding the dresses.  There was a green velvet one where you could still see where her son had crushed the velvet grabbing it.  For me, since I have seen so many of these dresses on TV and in the newspapers, the thrill was gone for me.

The area I found the most interesting had large boards with photos of her with a story of when she wore that dress.  The one I found most interesting talked about when she got to dance with John Travolta at the White House.

The only dress you can photograph is at the end where you exit and they have a small gift area.  Unless you have lived under a rock and you haven’t seen these dresses on tv, in magazines,  and newspapers save your money! I really can’t see spending  money to view this exhibit.  Take in a movie, visit Disney Quest, go shopping!  The money they collect does go to charity but I would prefer to support the charity directly.


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  • mommyceratops

    Wow that is a lot of money to pay to see dresses. I was thinking about seeing it when we were there but I think I will spend my $$ somewhere else! Thanks Kathy!!

  • Dave Parfitt

    OK, this sounds like a dud. So what is the charity that is supported anyway? Thanks for the report Kathy.

  • Kathy Werling

    The People’s Princess Charitable Foundation is the charity.

  • bellaDisneydncr

    Thanks for the review – I’m sad to hear you say you didn’t really enjoy it. This may not be for the passing tourist- but a diehard Diana fan like my Mom can’t wait to go.

  • may1395

    Horrible review- I would advise anyone thinking about seeing these dresses in person to disregard the opinions stated here. I have seen several different exhibits of Diana’s dresses across the US and I can tell you seeing them in person is MUCH better than seeing them in a magazine. These dresses are works of art in themselves. Diana learned to use her clothes as silent messages to the world, understanding that she would be photographed and the images published world-wide. If she wanted to ensure publicity for a charity event, a new dress was chosen thereby guaranteeing endless free publicity for that charity. If she wanted to downplay her fashion image, a dress that had already been documented would be worn. And if she wanted to send a message to her faithless husband that he was making a HUGE mistake- well, VA-VA-VAVOOM!!!!
    It is important to remember that this is not simply a display of someone’s clothes- these gowns represent a cultural phenonmenon who used her fame to make the world a better place. I have done an in-depth study of just how much money Diana, Princess of Wales helped raise over her 16 years in public life. The results are staggering and these monies include tens of millions for US charities as well.
    Although I cannot deny that the items displayed may not be explained properly(have not seen this exhibit-YET!), that is surely no reason to discourage people from attending. I find it very exciting to see the “magic” of Diana still helping out causes 12 years after her death and I HIGHLY recommend you take the time to see this exhibit!

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