Graceland ready for post-Elvis era

 

Elvis Presley's Graceland estate in Memphis has been one of the nation's top tourist draws for many years is making plans to stay that way, even if interest in The King fades out as his fans do. 

What started out as Presley's mansion, and grew to include an Elvis museum and a shopping complex for Elvis-themed merchandise now sports a new 80,000 square foot exhibition center that is playing host to a variety of exhibits, most of them only very tenuously connected to Elvis.

Example: A current exhibit (photo above) that looks as if it could be at the NASA visitor center. Titled 'Journey to Space,' it's a joint project with the Science Museum of Minnesota, it features a simulated zero-G toilet and many other exhibits. Connection to Elvis? In his last years he opened his shows with a fanfare by Wagner that was also used in the film 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Other exhibits that have played the new hall are a history of motorcycles, one devoted to Muhammad Ali and a National Geographic 'Earth Explorers' show.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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