We actually started our first full day in Memphis by driving to Tupelo, Mississippi. It was about a 90 minute drive and we had smooth sailing.
We arrived at Elvis' Birthplace by mid-morning. We knew there was three main areas to visit: the museum, the church and the house. We purchased a "grand tour" ticket that got us access to all three. The woman at the ticket counter told us we had an assigned time for a presentation at the church in about 20 minutes. We decided to make that our first stop so we looked around the gift shop a bit and then headed over to the church.
The church is the original church that Elvis attended. It used to be about a block away from its current location.
The church was sold and a family turned it into a 2 bedroom home for quite some time. Then it was bought by the Elvis foundation and moved to the birthplace grounds. It was restored to look like the church. The only original piece of furniture is the pulpit.
We entered at our assigned time and took a seat in a pew. A woman told us the history of the church and told us that we would now see a multimedia presentation. Three big screens lowered from the ceiling, one covering the front wall and two covering the side walls. Little projectors dropped down from panels in the ceiling as well.
What followed was about a 15 minute presentation that simulated what it would have been like to attend the church. The side screens made it look like you were seated with the rest of the congregation.
The pastor spoke some but it was most about the music. They sang as a whole congregation and they had a quartet sing as well. They also had a young Elvis come up with his parents and sing a little song.
At the end, they showed video of the process of moving the church and restoring it.
We did not expect the presentation to be like that but we really enjoyed it.
We then moved on to see the house. The house was built by Elvis' father and still stands in its original location. It was only two rooms. The front room had a bed and a small sitting area. It was in that room that Elvis was born. Being the only bedroom, it is also the room that Elvis shared with his parents.
The second room was a kitchen area and a table with a bowl and pitcher.
While electricity was available, the Presleys could not afford it so they used lamps. They also did not have a bathroom. They used an outhouse.
Obviously, being so small, it really doesn't take long to walk through the house. There is a volunteer there to ask questions and she provided basic information about the house.
Our last stop on the "grand tour" was the museum. No photos were allowed inside. It was mainly some items from throughout Elvis' life and some information about his upbringing in Tupelo.
After we were finished there, we walked up to a memorial area called "Becoming." It has two statues of Elvis: one of him as a boy and a second standing behind with his cape spread out as if during a concert.
The total time it took us to go through everything was about 2 hours, at the most. It is well worth the trip there. The grounds are well laid out and easy to get around.
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.