After Michael Jackson: Will Tourists Flock to Neverland Ranch?

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  06.30.09 | 2:52 PM ET

Photo of the Apollo Theater by Eva Holland

Over at This Just In, the inevitable question has been asked: Where will Michael Jackson’s Graceland be? After all, the King of Pop’s fans will need a pilgrimage spot just as badly as the King’s do. JD Rinne offers a few possibilities: the Jackson family hometown of Gary, Indiana; Detroit’s Motown Museum; the Apollo Theater in Harlem; and, of course, Neverland Ranch.

I’d bet on the last one, myself—Motown and the Apollo have immense musical legacies of their own, so aren’t likely to be transformed into shrines to MJ, and while Gary might draw a few folks, the “childhood home” angle could be a hard sell given that Jackson spent almost his entire youth on the road or in the studio. Neverland Ranch could be tainted by allegations of abuse occurring there, but then, considering Michael Jackson’s troubled life and controversial legacy, maybe that makes it the most appropriate spot.

What do you think? Would you go out of your way for a Michael Jackson shrine? Could Neverland Ranch be the new Graceland?

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

19 Comments for After Michael Jackson: Will Tourists Flock to Neverland Ranch?

Sophie 06.30.09 | 3:11 PM ET

I think Neverland would be the most appropriate place. I would travel there indeed.

Jennifer 06.30.09 | 3:12 PM ET

I agree that Neverland Ranch doesn’t always conjure up great memories of Jackson, but as a parallel to Graceland, it is the only location that really makes sense!

Angie 06.30.09 | 3:12 PM ET

Heck yeah, I would go in a heartbeat!!  I hope they do make Neverland Ranch a shrine, he needs to be celebrated!!  Love you and miss you Michael!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lindsay 06.30.09 | 3:58 PM ET

This would be the perfect place for a memorial. The prime of his career started here and it’s a place that he found peace. He designed it to reflect himself and that is what the fan wants and would want to be surrounded by when paying there respects.


Eman 06.30.09 | 5:01 PM ET

I’ve never been to Neverland, but judging by these pictures, it looks like the scariest place on earth.

Jeannetta 06.30.09 | 5:06 PM ET

Neverland Ranch would be the most appropriate place for Michael to rest in peace at… He built that place as a sanctuary, I recall him stating that its based off of the story of Peter Pan, and when he was asked why, he stated because he is Peter Pan in his heart. I believe that Neverland would be the perfect place for Michael to be buried at. I know I would travel there to celebrate his life, it only seems right!

Gloriose 06.30.09 | 7:57 PM ET

I agree with everybody who wrote before me. Neverland Ranch would be the perfect place for Michael to rest in peace. If it happens to be his burial site, I will try to travel there at least once to visit him. Michael has given much to the world and we need to show him that we did appreciate. May you rest in peace Michael!

Stephanie 06.30.09 | 7:57 PM ET

I would absolutely travel to see the Neverland Ranch…I hope they make it into a shrine of MJ!

Carmella 06.30.09 | 7:57 PM ET

Michael should be buried at Neverland he built that place and yes I would love to go there one day .

Vegas 06.30.09 | 10:17 PM ET

I think it should be at Neverland Ranch.  Everyone in the media’s talking about how it doesn’t look as kept up as it was in its hayday, but no one’s ever seen or heard of fixing a place up?  I think they just need something to talk about.  Neverland’s perfect.  They could restore it beautifully!  And people would come from all around the world to see it and take pictures, etc.  It would be something!

Vegas 06.30.09 | 10:22 PM ET

Just to add…everyone’s doing this Elvis/Michael thing…Elvis also had issues…I remember them talking about all the drugs and him shooting the tv set with a gun, etc.  These were human beings and they made mistakes.  Their music will go on forever.  In my mind, I don’t believe Neverland brings up bad memories of Michael Jackson.  The first thing that comes to my mind are the rides, the train, the animals.  All that child molestation mess, for all I know, it’s false.  When you’re as big as MJ, everyone wants something and if I was a victim, I’d blame my parents for allowing me to stay with any adult.  They always try to bring the “biggest” guy down and I think MJ was just a target.  It didn’t sway me from him whatsoever.  He’s just the greatest entertainer on earth to me.

Caryn 07.01.09 | 9:07 AM ET

Neverland would be the best place for Michael,he did love the place he only left because of some accusations that are NOT true! He in his heart still thought of himself as a child obviouly thats why he built the place he was Peter pan! I’m sure his children would love to go back home. I NEVER EVER believed any of that garbage about him hurting a child! All I ever thought was that he was a child himself. One fantastic other thing about Michael besides him being a GENIUS is there was no color in Michaels eyes everyone was equal, he never looked at age either his beat friend was Elizabeth Taylor. A while ago he did an interview I forgot who with but they toured the property with Michael and i remember a tree he showed that he’d climb up to write songs or to think . i would go at least once to view his memorial there I’d like to also see the tree in person that he climbed to write his WONDERFUL music in neverland is a part of him I dont know why he left it nothing bad happened there just bad people. happened in his life, alot of people who thought about money! I will truly miss you Michael there will be NO ONE who could fill your shoes no other singer and dancers who try to be like you! I grew up with your music from a kid then into H.S. I am truly your fan You are a genius a mastermind One Of A Kind!!!!! Weove and miss you deeply Michael,now in Heaven you’ll find your pure happiness and being a kid forever! Love you,Caryn

Grizzly Bear Mom 07.01.09 | 10:00 AM ET

Neverland is the place!  In the past month ?Bread for the World? has been playing Michael’s sweet angelic voice, and it reminded me of a time of innocence when all my girlfriends were in love with him. 

MJ built Neverland as his “safe place” from the madness his fame caused.  He was only alleged to be a child molester, anyone with money could become the target of a similar allegation. 

Elvis definately had a physical relationship with a child-Priscilla before he married her.  He abused drugs and died of an overdose.  Priscilla took the little money Elvis left and built a legacy at Graceland for Lisa Marie.

Ling 07.01.09 | 10:06 AM ET

Neverland it is, that will be Michael jackson’s Graceland. His body’s being taken there for public viewing, and you can bet your boots they’ll put up a shrine to MJ there before you can say ‘Beat it!’

Sarah Anderson 07.01.09 | 11:45 AM ET

I agree with Ling. MJ name is big business and I’m sure his family or whoever is in charge of his estate will do all they can to build a lasting cash machine. Can’t fault them. Anyone in the similar situation will do the same.

Just thought that if MJ had planned better, he would have put some of the property in trust before he died.

Sue 07.01.09 | 2:33 PM ET

MJ I will miss you.  I know you have finally found peace, the lord will welcome you with open arms. 

I know one day all those HORRIBLE people that falsely accused you will one day come clean, because the guilt will kill them. 

You’re the most gentle soul I have ever seen.  I wish you had some happiness while you were here, but I do hope your kids bought you some happiness.  There are no other singer/entertainer like you and I know there will never be anyone like you, you’re simply the BEST.

I miss you MJ!!!!!!!!!!!

Pat Serio 07.01.09 | 5:24 PM ET

Yes, I would travel to see Neverland, Michael was a great pop star I will miss him.

Pat Serio 07.01.09 | 5:26 PM ET

It would make me very happy to see where Michael lived.

tomy 07.02.09 | 4:48 AM ET

neverland will and is the best place on earth for Jackson to stay at.GTM (good to me)

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