Hard Rock Vault
This attraction closed in September 2004
If you are a fan of Rock 'n Roll or even if you really aren't the Hard Rock Vault is a "not to be missed" attraction. The Vault is located on International Drive at the Mercado and is one of the best attractions around.From the moment you step through the lobby and down the hallway leading to the Main Hub you will become more and more immersed into the world of Rock. The Main Hub has memorabilia from some of the best performers from the world of Rock from the 50s to today. You can also enjoy playing a game of trivia on the interactive touch screens that are located in several places in the Hub. These interactive touch screens also can tell you about the memorabilia in the cases and give you an opportunity to hear the sounds that makes Rock so popular.
Surrounding the Main Hub are other areas that contain more memorabilia and information on the legends of Rock. The Hungry Eye
is a room filled with one of the best collections of Rock posters you will ever see. Make sure you look closely at all of the posters because there are some pretty rare ones in here. There is an autographed Bob Marley poster as well as a poster from a show the Beatles did before they were considered headliners. Whatever you do you need to walk to the center of the room and look down. This is one of the coolest parts of this room.
The Sun Studios
is a replica of the studio where Sam Phillips made Elvis Presley a King. You can choose a song from their wide selection and try your hand at recording. Just talk to your tour guide and he/she will be glad to assist you with this fun part of the experience.
The Temple of Toys & Trinkets
is a collection of dolls, games, lunch boxes, and more that all feature some of Rocks most popular acts.
The Roots Room
features memorabilia from the Grandfathers of Rock. Some of the artists featured in this area are Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wolfman Jack, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Hank Williams, and more.
But by far the best room is the Sound Asylum
. This room, powered by Klipsch, will thrill you from the moment you step foot inside. Inside you are invited to take a seat and go on the most magical music tour you will ever experience. You will be totally surrounded by corresponding light and sound. Six songs accompanied by a fantastic light show will take you on a tour of the Rock world. Take a good look at the screens in this room. They are almost translucent and the workers installing the screens were made to wear gloves to make sure that no dirt or oils were put into contact with them.
The most interesting part of your visit to Hard Rock Vault will definitely be the Total Immersion Tour
. This tour does just what it says. You will forget you are on International Drive, Orlando, Central Florida, or anywhere else but the World of Rock 'n Roll. You'll find no glass cases on this tour. All of the memorabilia are right there where you can get a close look at them and the guides (our guide was Brian) are very knowledgeable about the items included on the tour and the artists that they came from.
To begin the tour you will see a short video on the history of Rock 'n Roll with commentaries from some of Rocks greatest performers. After the video you are led into the first of many rooms on the tour. This room is the Punk Room
and is full of great items from such artists as The Ramones, Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious, and more.
The second room on the tour is the Dressing Room
. Inside this room you will get to see costumes from such greats as Elton John, Madonna (including a dressing table, which was not hers, that contains belongings she left behind in NY), Gene Simmons, and more. The most interesting thing about this room is how small all of the clothes are. Rock stars sure are tiny.
From the moment you enter the third room there is no mistaking what era you are in. This is the Psychedelic Meltdown
room and was one of my favorites. In this room you can see items from The Cream, The Grateful Dead, The Doors (including the handwritten lyrics for LA Woman), and Jimi Hendrix (including the handwritten lyrics for Midnight Lightning). Take time to look at all the items in this room and ask a lot of questions.
Next is the Light and Dark Room
. This room celebrates the best of the British Invasion. When you enter this room you get a bright, clear view of the Fab Fours collarless suits and more. They have, for years, represented the light side of British music and that is represented very well here. Step a little further into the room, into the Dark, and get a look at memorabilia from the bad boys of British music, the Rolling Stones. This is a great room and is very dramatically done with the expression of the light and dark.
The last three rooms are dedicated to the King of Rock 'n Roll, Elvis Presley
. The first room features items from some of the movies, Graceland, and television appearances he made early on in his career. Ask your guide to show you the label on the shirt Elvis wore in Jailhouse Rock. Also in this room is the red jacket he is wearing on the cover of White Christmas, his GI Blues uniform, and part of a tuxedo he wore in a performance with Frank Sinatra. Ask a lot of questions in this room because almost everything in it has a story.
The next room celebrates Elvis' comeback and Las Vegas acts. This is the only room where we actually watched the video because our guide was so knowledgeable that we chose to listen to him rather than the videos but there are videos available in each of the rooms on the tour. We watched this video because our guide wanted us to have the opportunity to see Elvis playing the guitar they have on display. He played this guitar in his comeback television special and this was great footage to see while looking at the guitar he actually was playing. Also in this room were some of the capes and costumes that he used in his Las Vegas shows.
The last room takes you back to the roots of Elvis Presley - Gospel. Inside the room is a sanctuary dedicated to the memory of The King and is a nice ending to the tour. The Elvis stained glass window that use to hang in the old Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando hangs between lit candles and is just a reminder of how much this icon of Rock 'n Roll has touched many peoples lives.
This is the end of the tour but doesn't have to be the end of your experience. You can still walk around and enjoy the items in the Main Hub and surrounding rooms as well as grab a bite to eat or a drink at the f-Stop
. They offer sandwiches, salads, and beverages including wine at not to bad of a price. This is a great opportunity to have a little lunch.
At the exit of the Hard Rock Vault is a great gift shop offering, not only, Hard Rock items but also items featuring some pretty hot artists including Kiss, AC/DC, and more.
By all means this is more than worth the price of admission. The cost is $14.95 plus tax ($15.85) for adults and $8.95 plus tax ($9.49) for ages 6-12. My final verdict is definitely take the time to see this great attraction.
Their official Link
8437 International Dr