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a German helmet
Photo Credit: guyonthego

National WWII Museum Behind The Scenes Tour

945 Magazine Street New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Museum is open 9-5, all week. Tours are by reservation only.
504-528-1944 3 hours
February 2013 All year
$200+ New Orleans Louisiana
Website Tours Walking Tours
First review
The Private Collection Tour at the National World War II Museum is a 3 hour hands-on tour of selected museum holdings, including a vault with weapons and equipment as well as a larger storage area with vehicles. The tour costs $225 per person and is available for up to 6 people. A museum curator leads the tour, so part of the tour’s value includes access to and interaction with a knowledgeable professional.

The museum opened in 2000 and has significantly expanded its facilities over time and also broadened its mission from the D-Day landings to the entire American war experience. When current expansion projects are completed sometime in 2016, the museum will have 6 distinct pavilions with numerous displays and exhibits on all major facets of the war. In addition to the display areas, the museum also has two restaurants and a very popular film about the war.

The tour commenced in the entrance building and with an invitation to go behind the ropes to see landing craft and military vehicles up close and personal. This part of the tour has now changed and instead visits a separate pavilion to check out aircraft. In the vault section guests get to don white gloves and can see and touch authentic equipment and clothing from both Allied and Axis forces including: uniforms, helmets, metals, badges and personal weapons. Such intimate access to a variety of materials was the best part of the tour, and the guide did a good job at pointing out various attributes and answering questions. The last place to visit was a storage facility in which vehicles and planes are held and/or refurbished. This area was less interesting, but sitting in a Sherman Tank was quite a novel experience, even if one with very tight quarters. As for the overall value proposition, if you are into military history, seeing and holding genuine gear from the war will be of great interest and highly memorable. If you are not a military buff, then it will be hard to justify the cost.
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