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Museum: Dream Factory & World of Wonders

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Privately owned museum of everything you can imagine and more: From music and movie memorabilia to ventriloquist & theatre puppets, miniature trains, vintage toys, Christmas huts, superheroes and even quirky items like coffee creamer lids. St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The "it" factor

Dream Factory & World of Wonders

What makes it special:

Dream Factory & World of Wonders

What needs to be considered:

  • Some rooms might be scary or creepy - especially for young kids

  • Museum is not interactive - most items are for observation, not hands-on play

  • Museum is in a basement and tends to get chilly - bring a sweater!

Don't feel like reading? Watch a video instead!

Let the journey begin: from peculiar to fascinating

Dream Factory & World of Wonders Toilet Bike

During our research, Dream Factory initially appeared as somewhat... well.. peculiar, and we hesitated about exploring it. Intrigued by the raving reviews and our sense of adventure, we decided to dive in.

And oh, how glad we are that we did!

As we stepped inside, we found ourselves transported to a different universe. The experience was like embarking on a thrilling expedition, with each room revealing unexpected wonders. We all felt amazed, including our 4-year-old, who looked wide-eyed and curious just like us.

The family fun factor:

Is Dream Factory suitable for kids?

Why Yes: the Dream Factory is an educational playground, a crash course into pop culture, and a journey into the past, all wrapped into one experience. Kids have the opportunity to learn about famous buildings through miniature replicas, delve into the realms of music and movies, and explore the evolution of toys. The engaging displays, superhero statues, singing puppets, and moving toys kept our little one mesmerised and captivated throughout our visit.

Why No: However, in the middle of all the excitement, there were times when we felt a bit nervous. Some rooms, particularly those featuring characters from horror movies, raised concerns for us as parents. We swiftly navigated through these spaces, trying to shield our child from potential frights and future nightmares. Additionally, the vast collection of ventriloquist puppets, once deemed suitable for kids' shows, now appeared slightly unsettling. The room filled with these little dolls, each with a haunting grin, left us feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Furthermore, the interactive elements are limited, which might lead to frustration for children who are unable to touch and play with the available items. This situation demands extra effort from parents to prevent any accidental damage or destruction caused by enthusiastic little ones.

The verdict: If the drawbacks aren't deterring you, Dream Factory & World of Wonders are definitely worth a visit. We definitely loved it.

The fun & education factor

1. A toy frenzy without harming your wallet

It's no surprise that our 4 year-old's favorite parts of the museum were the rooms filled with toys, and there were plenty to explore. We enjoyed reminiscing about games and toys from our own childhood, sharing those nostalgic moments with our little one. Our kid, on the other hand, was particularly enchanted by the world of Barbie, Lego (especially the Disney Frozen sets...), and Smurfs!

The great thing about these exhibits is that you can't purchase any of the toys. This means you can freely browse, learn, spark creativity, and dive into a world of imagination without worrying about emptying your wallet. There's a shop at the museum's entrance/exit, but you can easily pass it by if you prefer.

2. Say hello to a superhero

Attention, superhero fans, both small and big! Lifelike statues of characters from movies, comics, and games await you. It was delightful to witness our kid's excitement as she met Spiderman, Tomb Raider, Darth Vader, and a Power Ranger. It's a great opportunity to take pictures and discuss everyone's favorite heroes and the reasons behind their choices with the family.

3. Ride the tracks of Tiny Towns

The miniature cities with trains zooming around are a hit with both kids and parents! We had a great time checking out various types of trains and buildings, and just watching as the trains moved through the towns. But, this area proved to be a bit tricky with our 4 year-old, who was eager to rearrange the trains and buildings and looked confused as to why she was not allowed to play...

4. Discover the Magic of Eternal Christmas

Imagine stepping into a space that radiates the joy of Christmas, no matter the season. Filled with tiny holiday houses and sparkling lights, it creates a truly enchanting ambiance that warms your soul. While, here as well, keeping our curious toddler from doing some hands-on exploring proved a bit tricky, we managed. We're considering to return for a visit during the holidays for an extra dose of Christmas magic!

5. Explore the Wheels of Time... on a toilet

In a museum that boasts a little bit of everything, cars are an essential highlight. Here, amid classic movie vehicles, you'll stumble upon quirky gems like a motorbike with a pink toilet in place of a seat – a surprisingly practical choice that became an instant favorite with our toddler.

Our 4 year-old, with her keen eye for adventure, loves scrutinising destination photos before the visit, to decide if she's up for the challenge. The Dream Factory caught her attention immediately, thanks to a picture showcasing this motorbike-toilet innovation. Throughout our visit, she kept eagerly asking us where it was, and finally, we stumbled upon this unique piece, leaving us all in awe of its quirky charm.

6. Unleash the puppets (strings attached!)

Prepare for a puppetry time-machine! At the Dream Factory, an astounding assembly of 300 theater and ventriloquist puppets eagerly welcomed us into their magical realm.

Entering the puppet rooms felt like walking into a quirky party where everyone is having an intense staring contest with the abyss! Puppets are the emojis of the old days and used exaggerated, caricatured features to make sure their audience got the right emotion. We did questioned if they were secretly plotting puppet world domination. For us, accustomed to sleek and modern designs, these puppets might resemble characters of horror films – slightly creepy and unsettling, yet strangely captivating in a 'please-don't-haunt-my-dreams' kind of way!

This unique experience offers families a fantastic opportunity to learn and spark engaging discussions about the past. It's a fun and memorable way to learn and appreciate the quirks of history together.

7. Unveil musical memorabilia marvels

The Dream Factory is brimming with musical memorabilia, including autographed records, guitars, musical instruments, and much more. You'll even find statues of Elvis and Michael Jackson, perfect for photo opportunities. While our 4-year-old was more interested in toys and superheroes, this section left a lasting impression on us.

8. Dive into the world of movie collectibles

Looking for more? How about exploring a collection of porcelain plates featured in the Titanic movie, the iconic Mask from "The Mask," or Dorothy's enchanted pair of shoes from The Wizard of Oz? While these movie props and costumes captured our attention more than our toddler's, it's a fantastic opportunity to introduce kids to the world of cinema and engage in conversations about classic movies.

9. Discover retro gadgets

During our leisurely stroll through the corridors and rooms, we unexpectedly stumbled upon a collection of old phones, sewing machines, and radios. Just because, why not? This delightful surprise allowed us to step back in time and provided a unique opportunity to introduce children to the technology and equipment of our past.

10. Press the button to reveal the Grand Finale

Toward the end, we finally entered a spacious room with dinner tables, a stage veiled by a curtain and a conspicuous green button. Fuelled by curiosity, we decided to press it. To our sheer delight, the curtain gracefully lifted, unveiling a captivating scene of animals singing, dancing and playing instruments. It's a unique experience that is difficult to describe and simply must be witnessed in person (or watched in our impression video:) !

11. Guard against the scary section

While most parts of the museum are child-friendly, be mindful of certain sections featuring horror characters, skeletons, or scary animals that might frighten young ones. Although we hurried through these areas and our 4 year-old seemed fine, if you're concerned about your kids being frightened, it's advisable to skip the museum visit altogether. These rooms cannot be bypassed, so it's wiser to take a cautious approach.

But wait, there's more! Casinos, arcade games, magic show props, miniature displays with "guess the building" games, jukeboxes... I'm curious to know which section will be your favorite!

In conclusion: an adventure worth taking

The Dream Factory World of Wonders is a fascinating journey for families. While it might have its moments of unease, the educational value and sheer novelty of the experience make it a unique adventure worth taking. So, if you're ready to explore a world where the past and present collide, embracing both the unsettling and non-interactive aspects, the Dream Factory awaits, promising a whirlwind adventure.

The food factor

Dream Factory & World of Wonders popcorn

There is no food served at the museum. There's a charming, diner-style café serving drinks and a limited selection of snacks.

The hit for kids is a popcorn machine that prepares popcorn right before your eyes. Here's a tip: bring 4 CHF in coins if you want to experience it. You can also get change at the café.

For adults, there are scheduled dinner galas with magic and cabaret shows. Check the event calendar, as advance booking is required.

The value factor

Dream Factory & World of Wonders casino

In 2023 the prices were as follows:

Adults: CHF 18

Teenagers (13-17): CHF 14

Kids (7-12): CHF 12

Family package: CHF 45 (2 adults, 2 kids)

Dinner gala: 165 CHF

Visit time: 1 - 3 hrs

Dream Factory & World of Wonders - practical info

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