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Hard Rock Vault

Posted on Saturday, May 29th, 2004

Dave!The Hard Rock Vault Orlando is a kind of museum which features some of the organization's most precious and valuable memorabilia. Since every cafe in the chain is home to some pretty amazing stuff, I was always curious to know how it could get any better. The building itself is far-removed from the hotel and cafe in Orlando, and sits off the incredibly congested International Drive, just south of Universal Studios.

The building exterior is funky and dramatic... but mostly decorative, it would seem. As far as I know, there is nothing up in that inverted pyramid...

Hard Rock Vault!

A ticket costs $15 and gains you admission to the "hub" where photography is permitted...

Hard Rock Vault!

I have to hand it to them, they did a pretty amazing job of cramming a heck of a lot of stuff in that room in very inventive ways. It makes me wish that the city of Cleveland would hand over their lame "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" to the Hard Rock and let them make it much, much better. Nobody can take a load of old crap and make it come to life with warmth and interest better than the Hard Rock. It makes the "Hall of Fame" look cold and boring by comparison.

A cool piece that I almost missed is Elvis' Green & White Harley-Davidson motorcycle! The story is that he gave it to his chauffeur as a gift, and it was eventually sold the the Hard Rock. What a beauty...

Hard Rock Vault!

After wandering around the exhibits for a while, I was called for my tour into the actual "vault" where no photography is allowed. Since I was the first (and only?!?) visitor of the day, I was all alone on the tour which was very cool. There are 5 different rooms, each themed differently. The first room is the Punk Room, which I loved. The second was the Dressing Room which had some of the more outlandish costumes from rockers of the ages. The third was the Psychedelic Room (just like it sounds, mushrooms not included!). The fourth was pretty much all the Beatles Room (incredibly cool... my favorite piece being the back of the cereal box that Lenon wrote out the lyrics for Help on!). The last was an Elvis Room (complete with those stupid Vegas lounge singer duds he wore late in life).

If you have any interest in the history of Rock and Roll, the Vault is an absolute can't-miss opportunity, though I think the $15 entrance fee is a bit stupid, as I don't think very many people are going to be willing to pay that. They should have the entry be free, and then clean up on merch sales.

Categories: Hard Rock 2004, Travel 2004Click To It: Permalink


  1. Josh says:

    The Hard Rock Vault closed September 2004. I saw it before it that and thought it was great. I wasn’t that concerned about the admission price or the lack of mediocre food. It was an up close tour of fantastic history.

  2. RockitMan says:

    I guess I was one of the lucky ones. My tour guide actually waited for me to take pictures on the tour. Way cool! I had hoped to go back, but I guess I’ll just look at the pics instead… 🙁

  3. dustin says:

    We’re going down to Orlando on vacation in the upcoming weeks and “The Hard Rock Archive” was suggested to me by family living down there. According to a previous commenter the “vault” is closed… I wonder if they reopened it under a different name? It’s something I would like to see.

  4. Neil Stretton says:

    I visited the HRV in ’03 and ’04, and I was so impressed, I was hoping to go back again this year. It’s closed???!!! Terrible! My best memories were: a) the great tour guide b) the Beatles collarless suits worn in “A Hard Days Night”, and Jim Morrison’s incredibly small trousers. Let’s hope it re-opens…and soon.

  5. bk says:

    I was part of the Vault as one of the Total Immersion Tour guides (if someone really wanted a pic of something- I would always let them. Hell if somebody REALLY wanted to touch something- I’d let them do that to) and it was THE best job I ever had! I mean, I got paid to talk about music all day and with my affection and down right fire for all that is music, the Vault was my fuel! Unfortunately, it wasn’t managed the best and when it started sinking, the company kind of jumped ship. Don’t get me wrong the Hard Rock Company was great to work for, it just seemed that it might not have given the Vault the push that the cafes and hotels/casinos have gotten.

    I have met some of the COOLEST people there; as coworkers and guests and I will never, ever forget it. Just really wish they could’ve franchised it out to other cities or countries to give it a try. Would’ve loved to have been a tour guide trainer. Thanks for all the great comments about the most treasured (no pun intended) time of my 37 years-hopefully there is more. But alas, there is no more Vault and never will be. It still seems like a lot more people would’ve loved for it to stay open…

    • Dave2 says:

      I was hoping that The Vault would stick around a while to see if they changed out some of the display rooms with something new!

      Glad to know that the employees enjoyed it… that always makes it more fun for us visitors!

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