Unseen Graceland: Beyond the RopesPosted by Elvis Presley's Graceland on Oct 17, 2014 | 220 comments
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore every inch of Graceland? Kind of like a “win the lottery” type golden ticket to Graceland that allows you to really check out every square inch, go through drawers and cabinets, walk around in the rooms and really take a good look at things? Before we get your hopes up, sadly, no such thing exists, nor will it anytime soon. Sorry if you thought this was the lead in to the end all, be all Graceland sweepstakes contest.
However, we were able to take a look at a few unseen, off the tour path spots recently that we know true fans might find of real interest, especially if they have been on the tour more than once, OK, who are we kidding, more than a dozen times.
First stop, the dining room. Little did you know that there is actually a doorbell type buzzer under the table so Elvis or whoever was at the head of the table could summon the staff in the kitchen. There were no cords to pull that rang bells in the basement like we see on Downton Abbey. Pretty fancy stuff for the 70s.
Speaking of the kitchen, let’s take a look inside the cabinets. Here we see a glass etched with the name “Minnie” for Minnie Mae who was Elvis’ grandmother, not Minnie Mouse. However, we also see a glass from EPCOT at Walt Disney World in Florida. What this souvenir from the happiest place on earth really tells us is that Graceland was – and still is – a family home even after Elvis passed and opened to the public. Five years after his passing, the first visitors made their way through the front door of Graceland in June of 1982, however EPCOT didn’t open until October of the same year. A young Lisa Marie would often travel to Memphis and spend time at her childhood home with family, including her great grandmother Minnie Mae. In fact, someone lived at Graceland up until 1993, 11 years after it first opened for public tours. Today the Presley family still makes frequent visits to Graceland in Memphis, often having dinner at their famous home after tours for the day have ended when some of these very glasses may be put to use.
In the kitchen we can also open a drawer to see where it appears Lisa Marie wrote her name in pencil in the bottom of that drawer located underneath the security monitors at a spot that would be convenient for doing homework.
To the Jungle Room we go, first stop, the bar! And why not, this is the only tour of Graceland where you can enjoy food and drink while using the flash on your camera. Now, in this spot no visitor could ever get close to on the regular tour we find not just any bar tray, but one that features a wedding photo of Elvis and Priscilla etched into it, creating a one of a kind memento from a very special day.
Also in the Jungle Room, a clock that most people on the tour get close to, but rarely see, because it is above their heads. This 60s era clock is located just above the wall cutout near the waterfall that gives visitors a glimpse into the north side of the famous room covered in shag carpet and wood paneling.
Our last stop on this “Unseen Graceland” tour is one that is behind lock and key, and that is the closet off the kitchen leading to the basement stairs. If you open up the door, hanging on a peg board are various collars, harnesses and leashes for pets of days gone by at Graceland. This just goes to show that even kings have to walk the dog.
Keep calm, rock on and be sure to make plans to visit Graceland soon. New exhibits and additions to the visitor experience always make each and every trip you make to the king’s castle exciting with a new sense of discovery. The Graceland security team asks kindly in advance that you not go looking for this “unseen” side of Graceland in person on your next tour. Seriously.