Downton Abbey’s final episode was broadcast on Christmas Day of 2015, but that hasn’t stopped its millions of fans (including one Queen Elizabeth, who reportedly used to like to spot historical mistakes in the show) from scarfing up, “all things D.A.” So when a new Downton Abbey event was announced in the U.S., thousands of people checked their calendars….and we got to interview two people who went to the event!
After a 10-month stint in New York City, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition opened its doors to its second U.S. stop, in West Palm Beach Florida, on November 10.
The 20,000 square foot space offers a glimpse into the popular TV show, complete with with sets, costumes and historic information. It, “transports you to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six-season run.”
How do the Downtown Abbey fans like it?
Netta D. is a huge Downton Abbey fan and she and her daughter, Leah J. (she’s more of a casual fan) visited the exhibition not long ago. We were able to catch up with them to get their thoughts:
YMMV: Obviously, you are fans of Downton Abbey. What do/did you like about it?
Leah: “I did enjoy the show, although I am not a “super fan” and have not seen every episode. Perhaps the love of royalty and castles perked my interest in the show.”
Netta: “I AM a huge fan and enjoyed not only the story line, but also the attention to details of clothing, social graces etc. and how the show related to the historical events of the time.”
YMMV: How and when did you hear about the exhibit?
Leah: “I first saw an ad on Facebook just last week, after booking a short getaway to the Palm Beach area.”
Netta: “I heard about it from Leah!”
YMMV: What were you expecting the exhibit to be and was what you saw what you expected? Or was it better or worse?
Leah: “Honestly, I had not read much regarding the exhibit so I wasn’t real sure what to expect. I did know that there was some of the original wardrobe on display. It was even better than I anticipated! Most patrons spend 60-90 min and we were there over 2 hours.”
Netta: “I was the one who caused us to be there two hours! I enjoyed being re-introduced to all the characters and reading the background on every one of them! (Even when rather difficult to do so due to small lettering – with several others trying to read at the same time – or with dim lighting. It wasn’t always easy to read it all – but I did!)”
YMMV: What part of the exhibit did you like the best?
Leah: “The show paralleled many historical figures and events and the exhibit brought these to light. Reminders of the dress, socioeconomic status, war, and women’s rights were all incorporated into the exhibit. You may be interested in the prerecorded audio guide since, as my mom said, as some areas the lighting was a bit dim for reading.”
Netta: “I agree. We visited the exhibition on November 12, one day after the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1, so it was interesting to watch the Downton Abbey clip of them all (upstairs and downstairs) honoring the fallen. It was a very poignant moment!
YMMV: Would you recommend people go? If so, just big fans? Casual fans? Or…who?
Leah: “I do believe that most everyone could enjoy the exhibit, although we left the spouses to wander about City Place on their own, so as to not rush us through. The first part of the exhibit introduces you to the characters and time in history. The second part has sets recreated to look exactly like rooms from Downton Abbey (few original pieces are on display as they are currently being utilized during filming of the movie). In the third and final section, they have costumes and accessories worn by the cast.”
Netta: “There were mostly ladies there and some were dressed up. Besides the Downton Abbey exhibits, there were other items of historical interest in showcases. As a big fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the Downton Abbey exhibition and look forward to the movie!”
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is scheduled to remain at its West Palm Beach location through April, and its next location has not yet been announced. It’s housed inside CityPlace, in the former Macy’s department store space at 575 S. Rosemary Avenue. The exhibition is open daily from 10am to 7pm and tickets are $35 for regular admission, $49 for VIP. Your reservation includes a time slot of your choice of when to arrive. VIP tickets offer you the freedom to arrive whenever you wish, as well as an audio guide that’s not included in the general admission ticket. Children age 14 and under may visit for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Think you might want to go? Click here for more information.
*** A HUGE thank-you to Netta and Leah for their interview!
** Feature photo via 97.9 WRMF
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary