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Disney theme in Volo Auto Museum showroom

Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Provided photo)
Volo Auto Museum Director Brian Grams pulls back plastic sheeting to reveal some of the statuary that will populate the museum's new kid-friendly showroom.

VOLO — The Volo Auto Museum’s latest addition is nearing completion, and its theme is decidedly Disney – with a dash of Looney thrown in for good measure.

Ariel has her waterfall. Belle has her ballroom. Pete’s Garage is under roof, its theater component awaiting visitors.

The new, 10,000-square-foot, kid-friendly showroom will be open Memorial Day weekend, with sneak peeks available now, said Brian Grams, museum director.

“It’s pretty neat,” he said. “It’s going to be fun in there.”

An entire 200-foot-long wall will be “nothing but Disney and the history of Disney,” Grams said. “In the rafters we’ll be hanging signs with different Disney sayings.”

Along with some collector cars, Showroom 5 will feature an extensive collection of kid favorites, such as the sensational Seuss-mobile, the Flintstones-mobile, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles van, Herbie – even Lightning McQueen. It also will have kiddie rides, and a small theater where cartoon shorts will be shown.

In addition, the space features nearly $150,000 worth of Disney statues that Grams has been buying up since Disney Stores nationwide began liquidating them. Finding nearly 14 sets was something of a coup, he said.

“Many store owners were selling the statues individually,” he said. “Finding them in complete sets, it just doesn’t exist (elsewhere). We have several complete sets, some dating to the early ‘90s.”

On view are statuary sets from “Fantasia,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “101 Dalmations” and more.

“Who doesn’t like Disney?” said Grams, the father of two young daughters, ages 4 and 8.

Grams added that this month, a contact notified him of the availability of a number of Looney Tunes statues that were supposed to have been destroyed after Warner Brothers Studios closed its shops more than 10 years ago.  Now, about $80,000 worth of Looney Tunes statuary, including a 9-foot-tall Daffy Duck, also is targeted for display.

Located at 27582 Volo Village Road, the Volo Auto Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is a family-friendly place in any kind of weather. Exhibits featuring roughly 300 cars are all under roof in climate-controlled buildings.

Admission is $11.95 per adult, $6.95 for children ages 6 to 12, and $9.95 for veterans and military personnel with ID. Admission is free for military personnel in uniform and children 5 and younger. Summer rates apply starting mid-May and are $2 more. For more information, call 815-385-3644 or visit volocars.com.

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