Thousands of sweet baby faces in every shape, size, and color greeted us as we entered the specialized hospital. The newborns all smiled with anticipation in hopes that we would take one—or more— home with us at the end of our visit.
Welcome to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia, the birthplace of all Cabbage Patch dolls. Since 1978, when Xavier Roberts began the legend of the dolls, the mystique surrounding the babies has grown. Roberts grew his line to encompass both mass produced dolls with vinyl faces while still manufacturing the original soft sculptured ones. His diversification put the dolls within reach of most budgets.
In the 1980s, Cabbage Patch Dolls became the craze. People stood in lines to buy the mass marketed dolls. The loveable babies were featured on the cover of Newsweek and rode on the U.S. Space Shuttle. They even made it onto a U.S. postage stamp.
But, great as all the acclamations the Cabbage Patch dolls have achieved, none are as wonderful as the smiles on children’s faces when they get their very own doll. Children—and adults—can watch their babies being born in the Babyland General Hospital at the Magic Crystal Tree. When a new baby is born, the crystals start blinking and the excitement grows as everyone crowds around the Tree. The Babyland General Hospital LVN takes a sonogram to show if the baby is a girl or boy and then delivers the baby with TLC (Tender Loving Care). The baby is swaddled and presented to the adoptive parent with Xavier Roberts’ name on its bottom. The new parent can choose their own doll and give it a special name that is included on the adoption papers they receive.
The 70,000 square foot hospital is free to enter and difficult to leave without adopting (aka buying) one or more dolls with their fun accessories. Nurses greet each visitor with a smile and a friendly welcome and are there to answer any questions. Babies are riding in strollers, sitting in baby beds, and peeking out from their cabbage leaves.
Babyland General Hospital also features pictures of famous people who have made their way to the home of the Cabbage Patch dolls while another room features Cabbage Patch dolls dressed in their finery for the holidays.
We escaped without adopting a Cabbage Patch doll, but only because we knew that several were waiting for us to get back home—reminders of our own children’s passion for the loveable dolls. For more information, go to https://cabbagepatchkids.com/.
– Candace Ahlfinger has loved traveling since she was little and has always been on the go whenever possible. Now she is retired and gets to do what she loves best… TRAVEL! Whether it’s traveling with her wonderful husband, or our children and grandchildren, traveling is a great experience that enriches her life. Because she always enjoys reading and hearing about others’ travel experiences, she wants to share her travels with the Ellis DownHome readers.