Experience Babyland General Hospital
An Insider Look at The Birthplace of One of America's Most Beloved Dolls
In Northeast Georgia, a Southern, Antebellum-style mansion nestled in the lush, mountainous landscape is overflowing with nostalgia. This mansion is BabyLand General Hospital where Cabbage Patch Kid dolls are born and adopted.
The Cabbage Patch phenomenon did not end in 1983. Tourists, locals and collectors still flock to this attraction in hopes of leaving with a new addition to their families. “We have a very wide range. Very young children and also a very strong following of adults and seniors,” explains Margaret McLean, Director of Corporate Communications. “We also have collectors that have been with us for almost thirty years.”
Admission is free and visitors can explore BabyLand General at leisure on a self-guided tour. There are hundreds of Cabbage Patch dolls to choose from ranging in prices depending on the size and style. How many different variations of dolls are there? Infinite. From boys, girls, hair, skin and eye color, babies and preemies to special edition holiday dolls for Christmas, Easter, Halloween; the list goes on. There’s even a Collectors Club for the true, devoted fans of the dolls who want to be notified of special edition dolls and attend exclusive events.
As Mother Cabbage goes into labor an announcement is made and an LPN (Licensed Patch Nurse, naturally) delivers the baby. Visitors can witness the “birth” of a Cabbage Patch baby and families can interact in this process. (They might even have the opportunity to name and adopt the newborn.)
The adoption process is sealed with the “Oath of Adoption,” a promise to love and take care of the doll and it is something that children take quite genuinely, according to McLean. “When they take the Oath of Adoption, they are so serious. What’s special is twenty years later, we find there are people who took the same Oath, that come back with the next generation. They promised to take care of their Cabbage Patch, and they have.”
McLean’s favorite part of her job is meeting different people and listening to all of their stories. “One woman told me her mother had waited in line for a doll in ’83 during that craze. She wanted to bring her own daughter and it was all three generations that ended up adopting dolls that day,” she says. “All laughing and all having fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
-By Ettractions Digital Content Editor, PAULA MARINO
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