Graceland is a must see if you are in Memphis, Tennessee.
I am not a huge Elvis fan, I didn’t grow up listening to him. After visiting Graceland I have a greater respect for him and what he did. He was a humble man and donated a significant amount of money to a variety of charities. Elvis changed music and fought for this country. His family and friends were very important to him and he clearly knew how to have fun with all his toys. He was known to enjoy being outside on golf carts, go carts or riding his horses.
I was a bit disappointed how expensive it was to see Graceland, and was surprised at the added $10 parking fee. You get to pick between 4 different tour packages. Package one is just the Graceland Mansion Tour Only. Where you only have access to the mansion. Package two is Elvis Experience Tour. This included the mansion tour and all the exhibits about his life. Lee and I picked this one and paid the extra $5 to see his airplanes. We chose this because this was the only time we would be here, so we figured we wanted to make the most out of it. Package three is the Elvis Entourage VIP. It included a VIP shuttle and skipping the line at the mansion and back stage pass and full access to all his exhibits including a VIP section. The fourth package is the ultimate VIP Tour. Included everything plus an expert guide, meal voucher and access to a private lounge. This is the only tour where the planes are included.
Fun fact I learned. Graceland was named after the former owner of the house. Elvis bought the house when he was 22 as a promise to his parents.
You start with a short video about Elvis and take a shuttle to the mansion. They give you a iPad and headphones so you can get a virtual tour of the house. It provided you with icons to click on for more information, family pictures and videos. I enjoyed seeing videos of Elvis and the family pictures. As you walk through the mansion you will see that Elvis had an obsession with fabric on the walls, being a musician having sound proof rooms was probably important to him. The microwave he had in his kitchen cost over $600 and was the first one sold in Memphis. He bought Graceland and the land when he was 22 years old. The second floor is not part of the tour due to respect for the family. You also get to listen to Lisa Marie’s and Priscilla’s personal memories of living in the house.
Elvis’s family is buried at Graceland, minus his brother Jessie who was still born and remains in Tupelo, MS. A grave marker was placed at Graceland in his memory. To be honest, I did get a little emotional seeing Elvis’s grave. It was weird to be looking at the burial site of the man who changed music.
There are 10 exhibit rooms at Graceland:
1. Presley Motors Automobile Museum
2. Presley Cycles
3. Archive Experience
4. Private Presley: Elvis in the Army
5. ICONS: The Influence of Elvis Presley
6. Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum
7. Lisa Marie: Growing Up Presley
8. Hollywood Backlot
9. Marty Stuart’s Hillbilly Rock
10. Mystery Train: The Sam Phillips Story
Presley Motors Automobile Museum
Private Presley: Elvis in the Army
ICONS: The Influence of Elvis Presley
Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum
Elvis’ Airplanes are an add on exhibit. It’s an extra $5. Definitely watch the video in the gift shop about how they got the airplanes to Graceland. It wasn’t an easy task.
Lee and I both laughed at the amount of gift shops Graceland has. Each exhibit has its own gift shop with souvenirs specific to that exhibit. A bit excessive in my opinion. There are also 4 places to eat. I could see how a true Elvis fan could spend the entire day there. Elvis family saved so much, there were check he had written, furniture he had sat on. Being their truly made me realize how much he was loved and how he got the name of King of Rock and Roll.