USS Midway Museum sees record attendance in 2015

Posted at 6:08 PM, Dec 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-30 08:36:55-05

SAN DIEGO -- The USS Midway Museum is on the verge of setting another single year attendance record, and that has organizers already planning how to do even better.

This is the busiest week of the year for the USS Midway because the crowds keep coming from all over the world. 

Brian Kerr and his family came from Northern Ireland.

"We're all excited to see all the planes and see how the ship worked whenever it was operational," he said.

The museum is expecting 8,000 visitors per day. The Post World War II aircraft carrier, which opened as a museum in 2004, could set an attendance record this year of 1.3 million people. 

The challenge for the USS Midway museum is getting visitors to come back. And it has a decade of plans to get people boarding again and again, said Scott McGaugh, the museum's marketing director.

"Because we're such a young museum," he said, "there is so much more to the story of service to country of Naval aviation." 

And many unexplored parts of the ship. Next year, the Midway will unveil its Combat Information Center to the public. It's dominated by radar screens, red lights, and is referred to as the heart and soul of combat operations. The center is expected to open in early 2016, while the museum's schedule for even more unveilings over the next ten years is still in the works. 

"Then folks who have been here maybe a year or two before have a reason to return to the Midway," McGaugh said.

Like the Kerrs, who came here two years ago. Nine year old Bryn said he's already noticed a difference.

"A lot busier, different planes, and it's Christmas," he said.

And he's just referring to parts of the ship he's allowed to see.