~dedicated to Myasia Gants, the inspiration for this priceless visit~
To honor what would have been Michael Jackson’s 57th birthday, what better way to celebrate than to visit the Neverland Ranch? If you can’t make a trip to Santa Barbara County, California, then plan a trip to Second Life’s version of The Neverland Ranch.
Created by MICHAELjackson Follet, the Neverland Ranch was recreated to allow guest to “…dance, sleep, chill and hang out anytime” in an environment that is keenly designed for the kid in all of us. In fact, the laid back nature of Neverland ranch, according to the notecard given to all patrons, encompasses “the spirit and personality of Michael [Jackson]…and it’s here that his memory is treasured and kept safe…”
Meticulously crafted, and with a keen attention to detail, Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is still vivid, vibrant and alive in Second Life. While many may be aware of the RL struggles of keeping the Neverland Ranch open–specifically as it relates to the May 2015 announcement that the Neverland Ranch would be put up for sale with an initial price tag of $100 million–upon visiting SL’s recreation of this beautiful property, all those tentative worries can be put away (taken from Wikipedia). This is because, in a world like Second Life, Michael Jackson can live vicariously through our imagination, as well as in (and within) our own personal longings.
Nonetheless, upon touching down, the first thing a visitor will ultimately notice are the gates. Big, silent and foreboding, it is hard to discern if it is okay to click on them to open them, or to flee in horror. However, if you know the reason why Michael Jackson created this children’s themed paradise, there would never be a reason to run because those brave enough to click on those gates are in for a wonderful surprise…
There is beautiful foliage all around, from roses, to daffodils, to trees. The foliage on the grounds also includes Neverland’s infamous floral clock…located right by the Neverland Train Station.
Swayed by a peaceful wind, a person’s eyes can easily see the numerous rides available at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Like the real Neverland Ranch, SL’s version houses a Ferris, a carousal, a Pirate Ship, an Octopus-themed amusement Ride…not to mention a Wave Swinger, Super Slide, a roller coaster, bumpers cars and an amusement arcade (taken from Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverland_Ranch).
Just when you have swooned from virtually riding on all of the rides, a patron has the potential to come face to face with a virtual fortune teller. A matronly woman in a box, she parcels out powerful pieces of advice to all that click on her. Click on her to see what she has to say…you will be pleasantly surprised.
Besides the rides and the fortune teller, a visitor can also gleefully interact with the Neverland Ranch’s animals. From pandas, lions, tigers, bears, and even deer; patrons get to see every animal under the sun!
Be sure to take a special look at the ocean, because there are whales to be seen…jumping effortlessly out of the water!
Tidbits About Michael Jackson, and A Look Inside the Neverland Ranch
One of the most impressive things about Neverland Ranch is its movie theater. The SL Parade had a chance to interact with Tinkerbell (to no avail, but hey, Tinkerbell is very photogenic!), and even had a chance to walk around and grab some snacks as well.
Speaking of snacks, ReRe Sandalwood had a chance to visit one of the Neverland Ranch’s snack areas located at the train station. Upon grabbing a plethora of snacks, one of the first things that can be seen is a picture of Michael Jackson, complete with an ice cream cone, posing with a Neverland employee. Both are dressed in yellow themed attire, and Michael Jackson seems to be smiling happily into the camera. This made the writer of this article wonder…what on Earth did Michael Jackson eat?
According to Mani Naill, who acted as Michael Jackson’s personal chef during his 1982 Victory tour, “Jackson had a fairly limited diet and was a vegetarian who didn’t like vegetables; he liked pizza, but did not like pasta, and also had a sweet tooth but did not eat sugary foods…” (from People Magazine’s article, “Michael Jackson’s Former Personal Chef Dishes On The King Of Pop’s Quirky Eating Habits“). For this reason and more, Naill often had to make Michael Jackson sweets without sugar, which included cookies made with pecans and sweetened with maple syrup, which acted as a regular staple on the tour.
Yet, according to Magic Johnson, Jackson would often chuck his self professed vegetarianism for a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. During an emotional speech given at Michael Jackson’s funeral, Magic Johnson recalled a funny story about him:
“So I went over to his house to have dinner. The chef came out and said, ‘What would you like?’ I said, ‘Some grilled chicken.’ So as we begin to talk aobut the video (“Remember the Time”) and what he wanted me to do, the chef brough me out the grilled chicken, but he brought Michael out a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. And I went crazy, like, ‘Wait a minute, Michael, you eat Kentucky Fried Chicken?'” (from Inquisitr’s Story, “Michael Jackson: Chef Shares King of Pop’s Former Eating Habits“).
All contentions aside, it is fair to say that Michael Jackson had a love for all things related to food; this is not only based on the candy selection available at his theatre, but also by the depth of his kitchen. To be specific, the kitchen is not only huge, but houses a smiling Chef…complete with a bowl of fruit on the table and a stainless steel stove.
The theatre has images of Michael Jackson featured on both sides of the movie screen. This imagery is in keeping with not only the theme, but with the Michael Jackson themed music that is regularly played throughout the SIM as well. This, along with the horses that patrons can playfully pose and ride on, are great added details intrinsic of the Neverland Ranch…details that can easily make a person feel hearty, warm and welcomed.
Note: Because I could not squeeze these pics in, I placed them at the end of the article (smiles).
If you want to visit the SL Neverland Ranch, please head over to this landmark: MJJ Neverland Ranch…