Alcatraz with kids - yea or nay?

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by zimaaaaah, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. zimaaaaah

    zimaaaaah Mouseketeer

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    We are going to California in May and San Francisco (and Disneyland!) is part of the plan. Can't decide whether Alcatraz is a "must do" or something my DD's 12 & 15 will hate me dragging them to. Doubt we will get back there again. Any opinions to share?
     
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  3. danaesacto

    danaesacto DIS Veteran

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    Depends on your kids- do they enjoy history? museums? I took a group of Girl Scouts there last summer- ages 11-15 and they mostly enjoyed it. Most of the girls were very interested- especially if they had ever seen any movie or TV show filmed there- but as there always is- one found it boring (she was the youngest though...) You listen through the headphones on a self guided tour, you can go as quickly or as slowly as you like. The boat ride is fun too. It is uphill walking, so comfy shoes, and windy outside so dress a bit warmer than if you were just in the city. Tickets need to be bought online and weeks in advance- so plan accordingly. They do have a night tour that I am not familiar with- that might be something to think about?
     
  4. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Really want to know? Personally I think most kids won't like it. It's an old military prison that was converted into a federal civilian prison.

    There are some spectacular views from the island though.

    Still - I've been there a few times. Once there was a talk on Al Capone by a park ranger. The guy had a distinct midwest accent - I think Chicago. It was really mesmerizing. Everyone was glued to their seats listening to this guy talk about Capone (who strangely enough was from Brooklyn, but I digress).
     
  5. zimaaaaah

    zimaaaaah Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the info so far! Anyone else?
     
  6. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    I went when I was in the eighth grade and my sister was in the fifth. We loved it! It is really interesting. I think that your kids might like it more than a regular museum because you get to take a boat there, walk around the island, look at lots of cool things, etc. The self-guided audio tour is great, and allows you to choose your own pace.
     
  7. zimaaaaah

    zimaaaaah Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the point of view. :goodvibes
     
  8. Spwhoney

    Spwhoney Mouseketeer

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    YES!! Take them! Went while on Disney cruise my DS and DD loved it. My DD got amazing pictures of the flowers the prisoners planted. A very interesting place. So cool to see the "escape from Alcatraz" cells. Don't miss Alcatraz!
     
  9. Spwhoney

    Spwhoney Mouseketeer

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    I'm reading book on Alcatraz now. Really near to read about the things I saw.
     
  10. Spwhoney

    Spwhoney Mouseketeer

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    Sorry pressed send before I was done. The book was free on kindle. It starts way before Alcatraz was discovers by explorers and up to its closing with everything in between. I have been slightly obsessed with Alcatraz since we went.
     
  11. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    The last prisoner left Alcatraz in the 1960s. Would anything planted by a prisoner last that long?
     
  12. danaesacto

    danaesacto DIS Veteran

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    Why are you always so rude? Tis far easier to just keep your mean comments to yourself- in fact the gardens are a historic part of the island: http://www.alcatrazgardens.org/

    Spwhoney I very much appreciated your comments- we didn't get to tour the gardens too much- it was so cold the day we went, your post makes me want to go again soon :)
     
  13. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    It was half a joke and half serious. I can't imagine that they would have had flowers planted by prisoners that survived more than 40 years of neglect. Even a thriving garden would need to be periodically replanted. In fact, the link you provided noted that the flowerbeds required rebuilding a decade ago when the Garden Conservancy took over upkeep of the flower gardens.

    And if you want rude, have you seen the posts by Mr Snappy?
     
  14. bamagirl@hrt

    bamagirl@hrt DIS Veteran

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    We did the night tour in October. My son had just turned 11 and my daughter was 14-1/2 at the time. They both enjoyed it. I just asked my daughter if she would recommend it. She said yes, that's it's cool in a creepy way.
     
  15. danaesacto

    danaesacto DIS Veteran

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    finally- something we agree on ;)
     
  16. Spwhoney

    Spwhoney Mouseketeer

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    Yes, the book I am reading said the prisoners would work in in the gardens and flowers are still there from when the planted. Not a lot but there are lilies ( I think) not native to island.
     
  17. Spwhoney

    Spwhoney Mouseketeer

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    Didn't take as rude. Hard to believe flowers still there I know. I'm not talking big flowers gardens more like flowers here and there up the hills.
     
  18. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Well - I guess they would be bulbed plants and the bulbs will likely keep splitting indefinitely. However, I'd say it's a fine line to say if they're the same planting per se.

    I generally wouldn't want to keep anything like that for that long. I'd probably tear it up and start over again. The usual recommendation is to pull them out and split the bulbs before they start crowding and getting weak.

    Even with the general lack of maintenance over the years, I'd be surprised if many of them are same plants. I heard that some of the roses have been there for over 100 years, but they were planted before it was a federal prison by the military.
     
  19. Spwhoney

    Spwhoney Mouseketeer

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    I can agree with you. Some could still be there. But they would be more like when the roses turn wild after a long time. I wish I new how to post pictures. Just to show pretty they were.
     
  20. zimaaaaah

    zimaaaaah Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for all the responses. I guess cool in a creepy way will work.
     
  21. disneydance

    disneydance DIS Veteran

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    I went to San Fran last September with my family, I'm a recent high school graduate and I found the place to be super cool! Me and my friends and going to San Fran for our 19th birthday extravaganza and it's on our must do list!
     

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