CG779 Setting Up Circus
Visit to Northlandz in January of 2010. An astonishingly large HO model railroad layout, recommended for train enthusiasts. It occupies a building the size of a large 3-story warehouse.
+ Quirky - some of the scenes are pretty amusing
+ Detailed - lots of fine work. You can spend a long time in one place, just looking at the subtleties
+ Huge - Very extensive dioramas
+ No that does not quite do it, how about "Gargantuan?"
+ No, still not right. I think this: "You're lying. It cant be that big." - No, it is. Jaw-dropping. That link shows only part of one of maybe a dozen rooms. Plan on 90 minutes if you jog through, three hours if you take your time and enjoy it.
+ Organ music - The builder and owner, Bruce Zaccagnino, is a skilled organist and plays for visitors (I think every day) in a little theater in the middle of the building.
- Dust - Lots of it. I'm sure it's a nightmare to clean, but it needs it. At HO scale, it's up to the inhabitants' ankles.
- Disrepair - Plaster landscape cracking in places. Little figures fallen over. Not too often, but enough to jar you from your reverie.
- Few trains! - When we visited most rooms were largely silent; I guess it made the trains more exciting when they did come through, but they did so rarely, and often only a handful of cars.
- Somewhat inflexible - you have one shot at moving through, then you need to buy another ticket if you want to revisit a scene. Not a big deal... except there's only one bathroom inside at the halfway point. Remember, it's HUGE. Know your kids' tolerances if you go.
All in all if you like railroads (or have kids that do) you should probably see it at least once.