USS Midway and the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum
San Diego, California, USA
- Self-guided audio tour: Experience what life was like aboard a legendary aircraft carrier, a floating city that took part in operations around the world.
- Exhibits: Visit the crew's sleeping quarters, officer's country, the ship's massive galley, engine room, the brig, post office, machine shops, pilots' ready rooms, primary flight control, and the bridge.
- Aircraft museum: Head up on deck to view 29 meticulously restored aircraft from World War II to Operation Desert Storm – from the SBD Dauntless dive bomber and F-4 Phantom, to a Huey gunship and an F/A-18 Hornet.
About this San Diego, California tour
It just missed out on World War II, commissioned a week after the war ended. It was the first U.S. warship too big to transit the Panama Canal, and the biggest ship in the world until 1955: 2,000 compartments spread over 18 decks. It remained in operation for an unprecedented 47 years, seeing action in the Vietnam War and 1991's Operation Desert Storm. In service, there were 4,500 crew, including, 225 cooks and 200 pilots.
Explore this legendary mega-ship's crew and officer's quarters, and the galley where more than 13,000 meals were cooked and served every day (Navy food is generally rated the best of all the services, so this wasn't just an exercise in mass production). Get a fighter pilot's perspective in the pilot ready rooms, in two types of flight simulators, by climbing into an actual cockpit, and by watching "Ejection Seat Theater." Learn how the crew produced the water and power to keep everything running smoothly, and how the flight support staff maintained the aircraft in the huge hangar bay before heading up to the flight deck. From the bridge, you'll see how the ship's commander oversaw it all, and learn how such a ginormous vessel navigated the world's waters.
The ship's guides can tell you all about it. Many are retired Navy veterans, and some even served aboard Midway. Their personal stories may end up being your favorite part of the experience.
Going overboard for some unscheduled guests
After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Midway was sent to take on evacuees. South Vietnamese Air Force Major Buang-Ly flew out to the carrier in a two-seat Cessna carrying his wife and five children. After dropping a note asking for help, the ship's commanding officer ordered his crew to clear the deck. About $10 million worth of helicopters was pushed overboard, and Major Buang landed safely. The crew even raised money to help the family get settled in the U.S.
Please make your way to Downtown San Diego - Navy Pier, 910 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
The Docent led Island tour (superstructure above the flight deck) is free with paid admission. You must be at least 42" tall to visit the Island. Please note that the Island tour line may close at 4 PM on busy days. Admission includes a self-guided audio tour to over 60 locations. Should you choose to stop at every location, the tour takes about 3 hours. Guests can choose which locations to visit, therefore the length of the tour depends on the guest.
Approximately 60 percent of the museum’s exhibits are wheelchair accessible, including the restrooms.
Family Friendly, Tickets
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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