In New Orleans, you can’t miss the WWII Museum. This museum, ranked 8th best museum in the world by TripAdvisor, immerses you in the heart of the Second World War with as much intensity as the Medal Of Honor video games.
From the begining, this museum is immersive. At the reception, planes are suspended. On the ground, we are in a station hall. All in real size. Veterans are present so that you can discuss with them. Impressive.
This will be followed by a visit of nearly four hours to discover the Second World War as seen by Uncle Sam.
Four buildings make up this museum.
The first pavilion is the “Louisiana Memorial Pavilion”. There is the exhibition Arsenal of Democracy, words spoken by Roosvelt in 1940 to convince the American people of the need to help Europe. This exhibition highlights the debates that ignited the United States before the war, the social crises to be resolved, the propaganda measures and the industrial reorientation to be implemented to prepare for the war. There is also the exhibition D-Day Invasion of Normandy dedicated to the landing in Normandy’s beaches.
The second pavilion “Solomon Victory Theater” is mainly interesting for the Beyond All Boundaries experience: a 4K experience narrated by Tom Hanks in order to “See, Hear, and feel the epic story of World War II” according to our brochure. The experience recounts, with heroism, emotion, and bling-bling, the war: a cockpit falls from the sky, foam simulates snow, watchtowers coming off the stage… In short, once again, very impressive!
The third pavilion “Campaigns of courage: european and pacific theaters” provides more information on the outcome of the war with Nazi Germany (Road to Berlin) and Japanese imperialism (Road to Tokyo).
Finally, the fourth pavilion “US Freedom Pavilion” is an opportunity to experience The Final Mission: USS Tang submarine experience, an immersive experience in an underwater world immersed in the heart of maritime conflicts.
What we loved:
A controlled “StoryLiving”:
In the land of Entertainment and Hollywood cinema, this is not surprising! You will find yourself going through several emotional states: from a surge of heroism, to sadness and compassion, the emotional setting is successful! This is largely due to the museum’s ability to immerse us in the atmosphere of the time: to show us the pre-war propaganda, we pass in front of a cinema window advocating “nation goes to war”, before arriving in a house. We then discover a kitchen with special recipe books, a living room with fireplace, all with a radio from which are relayed propaganda messages… we would think we were there! Each historical fact is associated with a particular scenography, supported by testimonies that you can listen to on military phones of the time, it’s poignant from beginning to end! Hats off.
In this museum you will not find (for the moment at least) any virtual reality, holograms or augmented reality devices. We meet models, films, cards, or stories to listen to. It’s simple but very effective. The spaces are so large that it is possible to immerse participants directly into historical settings. And if you really want to go further and live in the technological Wahou, the Beyond All boundaries experience is perfect!
The opportunity to live your own experience!
The walk is free in the museum, the spaces and information are sufficiently well defined to make “pick&collect” (trololol). And it’s not that simple: There are always a lot of people in the museum. Normal, it is the #3 museum in the United States !.
In each room there is always a film, music, a testimony, in addition to the noise of the visitors. We could then believe we would be surrounded bya lot of noise… not at all! With the help of “sound domes”, the sounds from videos and other devices are always redistributed to specific locations. The opportunity to feel a certain proximity to the works, without disturbing the people around and without being disturbed by the ambient noise.
What we didn’t like so much
The experience “The Final Mission: USS Tang submarine experience”:
On paper the experience looks great! You form a crew with about twenty other people, each with an assigned role, to try to succeed in your mission. However, we very quickly feel the limits of the experience. Who wants to stay 10 minutes in front of pressure indicators without seeing what’s going on behind them? What his neighbor sees in the torpedoes? We don’t see the result of our actions, we press buttons without knowing what it is, we don’t share with the collective… quite disappointing although the initial idea is good!
What we get out of it
Edutainment works! The museum gives young and old people the opportunity to immerse themselves in great moments of history. You come out with the feeling that you had a good time and learned a lot.
No need for state-of-the-art immersive technologies to create immersion! If you have large spaces, you might as well take the opportunity to immerse the visitor directly into atmospheres using realistic settings.
More information about the WWI Museum
Address: 945 Street Magazine, New Orleans, LA 70130
Rate: For an adult, count $28 for the museum visit + $7 for the Beyond All boundaries experience + $7 for the Final Mission experience