So not only is Wall conveniently located 8 miles away from the entrance to the Badlands, there’s also a little tourist attraction called Wall Drug here. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
Alas, despite hundreds of miles of signs promising wondrous things, Wall Drug is mostly a tired set of lazy props strung haphazardly amongst junk stores.
That’s not so say there’s nothing here. There is a smattering of western stuff, and the “back yard” has the jackalope and a building that feels like a small shopping mall but with extra props.
There is an animatronic dinosaur that wakes up every twenty minutes, wiggles a bit and roars impressively. Presumably that’s fun when there’s kids around to scare.
I’ve been trying to think why I loved House on the Rock so much but found Wall Drug to be mostly just boring. I do think it’s the love put into it. House on the Rock was created by someone given over to creating spectacle. There are hints that Wall Drug originally was built around truly making an impressive spectacle, but then changed hands a while back. Now ti feels like it exists purely to trick you here so you’ll buy some junk and then move on. Of course, House on the Rock charges admission whereas Wall Drug is free, so that also perhaps explains their differences in style.
There’s probably some metaphor to modern web services or newspapers in there somewhere. In summary: disappointing even though my hopes were low. It’s quick in and out, worth a stop if you’re driving by on I-90, but not really worth much time. Oh, and the food is poor, the ice cream is bland and the only beer they serve is Bud Light.