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“Can't get enough of this place!”
Review of Miniature World

Miniature World
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US$169.87*
and up
Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour by Bus
Ranked #15 of 188 things to do in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Unique Tourist Attraction in Victoria, British Columbia. Located in the famous Empress Hotel. Awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor! Over 85 miniaturized dioramas. Further adventures, tiny treasures and little pleasures await all who continue into Frontier Land, Fantasy Land, The Great Canadian Railway,The Fields of Glory, Space 2201, Circus World,The Enchanted Valley of Castles, Old London Town of 1670 & The World of Dollhouses. Special effects in lighting, sound and animation are added to create this miniaturized extravaganza that continues to thrill and delight the young and young at heart! Our latest and greatest creation, "King Arthur's Camelot" is now open, adding 11 new exhibits to our existing collection.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 30 June 2015

This place was amazing! They covered every interest possible in miniature. There were interactive displays as well as static ones and the detail was amazing on all of them. The family spent a couple of hours in this place and could have spent longer if we would have not been on a schedule.

Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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431 - 435 of 886 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2015

This is an amazing collection of mini dioramas, but somewhat overwhelming. Spend time on the first part, more detailed, unless you are mostly in to doll houses and fantasy scenes like King Arthur legends, which come at the end. Especially loved the historic scenes and geographic/historic huge diorama of the history of Canada.

Thank K H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiniatureWorld, Public Relations Manager at Miniature World, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2015

Hello KH,

Thank-you for your 4 star review of Miniature World! Awesome!

We’re glad to know you enjoyed our historic scenes plus The Great Canadian Railway!

It’s important to clarify the reasoning behind such a vast array of miniature displays. As an attraction, our curbside appeal must extend to all ages, cultures, and miniature enthusiasts. With over 80 displays split into themed areas, we’re able to provide an environment that offers something for everyone. As you mentioned, you did indeed find certain scenes that inspired the historian within, while appreciating that others may prefer the World of Dollhouses, or King Arthur’s Camelot. A suggestion for the future would be to return for a repeat visit. This would reduce the sense of overwhelm, giving more time to explore our land of smallness, a section at a time. Another great idea is to visit either in the early morning, or, later evening. These times are less busy for those individuals who prefer a quieter environment during their self-guided tour.

It’s always a treat to read a review that states our dioramas are an “amazing collection!” These kind words are a wonderful source of inspiration, and provide travelers with the knowledge they require before visiting Miniature World in beautiful, Victoria, B.C..

We’d love to see you again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2015

We happened to come across this when we were strolling around Victoria and decided to give it a look and it was so much better than we expected! All age groups would enjoy this since the exhibits range from historical scenes to fairy tale depictions and the detail in each of them is outstanding.

Thank Redlyn522
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2015

I hate writing negative reviews, and I have long-struggled with this attraction. I know young children (under 5) love it, and older people love it (over 70?), but most others seem to have the view I do.... what is this and why I am here? I think it is a hold-over from the era where just going to a city and experiencing it wasn't enough, where the point was to go to attractions, not to experience different cuisine, climate and culture. Perhaps an era where finding "THINGS TO DO" was more important than exploring, and structure was important. So perhaps it is a great relic, and should be preserved and viewed... just don't expect anything interactive, or even the ability to get close or take a good selfie... :).

3  Thank MandyJ2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiniatureWorld, Public Relations Manager at Miniature World, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2015

To MandyJ2012,

While we’re always appreciative of trip advisor reviews and open to constructive criticism, your observations are vague, inaccurate and need correcting.

Actually, people of all ages enjoy our miniature masterpieces. With over 80 displays and a variety of themed areas, we’ve been a much loved attraction in Victoria for over 44 years. We’ve recently expanded, opening a new section called “ Camelot” which depicts 11 new scenes that explore the reign of King Arthur.

Other newer displays include a beautiful, hand-painted carousel that rotates around at the push of a button, plus a Car Rally that houses many shiny, classic cars. Some of these cars have certain features whereby pushing a button gently rolls a car forward, or, opens the hood to see an engine. In fact, many of our displays include interactive features like buttons or people motion detectors that set off trains, gondolas or amusement rides. Other buttons start up plane propellers, activate a trolley or double decker bus, help Jack cut down the beanstalk, move a sword out of a lake, set off a jousting match, open a castle door, plus so much more. I’m not sure how you could have possibly missed the multitude of buttons available for all, so to say “don’t expect anything interactive” is a completely false statement.

To say “most others seem to have the view I do” regarding our attraction is entirely incorrect. Please take a moment to read other Trip Advisor reviews about Miniature World to understand why we’ve been awarded the Certificate of Excellence for three straight years. Also, take a peek at our 4.5 star rating to realize that your statement holds no truth.

Finding things to do in Victoria is still an important factor for many people planning their vacation, giving relevance to both indoor and outdoor experiences. You can explore a new city in many different ways, doing many different things. Really, it’s personal choice, or what interests you that plays a role in scheduling travel activities.

I disagree with calling us a “hold-over” from another era. Our continued success as a viable, updated, Victoria attraction shows that your statement bears no truth. Our newer displays add a more up-to-date look, which in turn, keeps our attraction fresh with new creations, while still embracing our much-loved older exhibits.

You also wrote “that you cannot get close to the scenes.” This is somewhat accurate. The only thing between the visitor and the various displays is plexi-glass. Plexi-glass surrounds each scene to preserve quality and prevent potential damage. In fact, many museums, such as the Royal B.C. Museum, have sections of items behind plexi -glass for the same reasons.

The kind of workmanship involved in miniature making requires the finest artists from around our beautiful city and beyond. Did you know Circus World took four years to create and 13,800 man hours of labour? Or, that our latest, greatest adventure, “Camelot” was a three year labour of love? Understandably, not all individuals are aware of the time, labour or artistic talent involved in miniature making which is why it’s important that we share these details. Having said this, giving us a 1 star rating, and not really explaining the reasons of why you dislike our attraction makes no sense. If you have constructive criticism regarding a miniature display inside our attraction, please let us know, but to not like us based on wanting to experience other things like cuisine, climate and culture is quite unfair. While we appreciate not everyone likes miniatures, the choice to enter is yours and yours alone. If miniatures do not interest you, why did you choose to go through our attraction?

With the above explanations, I’m hoping you’ll re-think your views about our well-loved attraction and be able to give us a thumbs up rating in the future.

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Reviewed 26 June 2015 via mobile

With photos showing a man right up close to the displays, I was expecting a place where my child could view the displays from different angles and to be able to take interesting photos.

Instead, everything is behind glass and the only sections we really enjoyed were the nursery rhyme and dollhouse ones.

Our two year old enjoyed pressing the buttons to make the trains and buses move, but some of the other animated parts were difficult to find. Even older (and taller) children had problems seeing what the buttons did - one button made a rocking horse on the third floor of a dollhouse move. Poor kids were busy looking to see what the buttons did and I had to point it out or tell them.

I know it took a lot of effort to build and plan all the exhibits, but I really think it was a waste of time and money. At the end of the exhibit, there isn't even a gift store or cafe. You just open a door and are suddenly out on the street again.

Thank maevdb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiniatureWorld, Public Relations Manager at Miniature World, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2015

Hello maevdb,

Thank-you for your Miniature World trip advisor review.

We’re delighted that your child made use of our interactive features such as moving the trains or buses. Yes, these features, mostly buttons, are located on a fair number of our displays. While some of these buttons have an instant gratification, meaning, the button lines up with the train station, some of our other buttons require creative thinking to locate the item the button is connected to. While a high number of our reviewers on trip advisor rave about the challenge to locate the moving item and appreciate the time/dedication put forth to create these unique features, it appears our interactive component did not meet your standards. While this saddens us, we feel these special features, plus our plethora of exhibits are embraced by most visitors touring our attraction. In fact, we’ve received a 4.5 rating and have won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for three years in a row.

Many of our displays have stepping stools for young children, giving them the opportunity to view the displays from a higher perspective. So, in fact, we do provide better viewing opportunities for children or smaller adults. If this particular dollhouse display you mentioned did not have a bench, it may be due to fire regulations as we need ample space for individuals to move about. A suggestion for future families would be to lift your child up to view the area in question.

Yes, our Brochures / Advertisements do have life models close to the miniature scenes. This feature is important as it shows the viewer proper scale. Some of our city scenes look so real that the viewer may think it’s a real street in downtown London or a real war scene from somewhere in the world. Adding a life size person helps to create an understanding of what Miniature World is and has to offer.

Interactive buttons can be touched, while our miniature scenes cannot be touched. Plexi-glass surrounds each scene to preserve quality and prevent potential damage. In fact, many museums, such as the Royal B.C. Museum, have sections of items behind plexi -glass for the same reasons.

You are correct in stating we do not offer a gift store or a café. We are an attraction, and advertise as an attraction. Our advertising does not indicate a gift store or a café, so, I’m not sure as to why there was an assumption that this was something offered. With lots of restaurants/café’s and gift stores nearby, there is ample opportunity to refuel and shop. We frequently direct our customers to these locations and would have been delighted to do the same for you.

It’s taken 44 years to create our world of miniatures. So, yes, the effort put forth in building an attraction of this magnitude is exceptional. With over 80 miniaturized displays plus a brand new section called “Camelot” that opened in 2014, we’re surprised you did not enjoy your experience. While miniature displays do not appeal to everyone, to openly say our attraction is a waste of time and money is unnecessary and unacceptable.

I hope this response has provided some answers and the necessary clarity in understanding our business operations. If you’d like further discussions regarding our attraction, please feel free to email us at 3859731@miniatureworld.com

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