Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Now Entering The Twilight Zone:Tourism Of The Olympic Peninsula

8 Oct

Forks, WA. Population as of 2010: 3,532.1 Why is this small town now a tourist attraction? It is the setting of The Twilight Saga. In 2009, Cynthia Willis-Chun travelled there to immerse herself in the Twilight experience.  She visited Forks, Port Angeles and the Quiluete Reservation.

In Port Angeles, she visited Bella Italia. Bella Italia is the restaurant where Edward and Bella had their first date.2 In Forks, she found that the tourist sites had to be policed which limited the visitor’s experience of immersing themselves in the series. For example, at the hospital, there is a parking space belonging to Dr. Cullen that fans can take pictures by. They cannot go into the hospital unless they have a medical emergency.

At the Quiluete Reservation, she met a Quiluete storyteller and was told that some members of the tribe were displeased with Meyer’s representation of the Quiluetes as shape-shifters who take the forms of wolves because it was felt that Native Americans were being portrayed as savages and animalistic. When Stephenie Meyer’s did the research on the legends of the tribe, she took artistic license over the legends in order to fit them into her story and how much she took is unclear. Meyer’s herself stated during a question and answer session that once she realized that people were going to read the books she became concerned about whether or not the residents of Forks and La Push would find the liberties amusing or irritating. Cynthia also stated that the only reference to Twilight she found at La Push was a fireworks stand called “Black’s Fireworks” in reference to Jacob Black.

A few miles outside of La Push, she came upon “Jacob Black’s” house. A motorcycle was parked out front and a large photo of Taylor Lautner (Jacob) was in the window. She and other tourists were allowed to walk across the lawn and pet the owners’ dog. Which she says is in stark contrast to Forks where tourists aren’t allowed to really immerse themselves in the narrative.

She did take a Twilight tour in 2009 and found that many fans had an encyclopedic knowledge of the books. One of the questions asked on the tour was “What is the significance of Russell Road?” Russell Road is where Bella bought the motorcycles from the Marks family. The tour also had musical cues woven into the tour. For example, “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle (the theme from Cops) played when they pulled up to the Forks Police Department. The tour given by the Forks Chamber of Commerce is no longer given but they will give you a “Twilight Map” with places marked to visit on your own.3

I couldn’t find the website for the book and movie tour that was once offered but I did find a site with photos. Enjoy!

Please join us for a discussion 10/9/2012@7pmE/12UTC



Source: Click, Melissa, Aubrey, Jennifer and Morawitz-Behm Elizabeth (2010) Bitten By Twilight: Youth Culture, Media and the Vampire Franchise.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

63 Responses to “Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Now Entering The Twilight Zone:Tourism Of The Olympic Peninsula”

  1. littlebells October 8, 2012 at 10:03 AM #

    I’m sorry, but a parking spot for “Dr. Cullen”????? Come on!!!!

  2. Open Book October 8, 2012 at 12:31 PM #

    Interesting article Paris. The link u provided of the tours leaves me speechless. No wonder these Twilight fans have a hard time separating reality from fiction. Its sad the way Native Americans were portrayed in Twilight. Its just wrong and irresponsible.

  3. Comic Relief October 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM #

    I always wondered what actual Native Americans thought about the Twilight Quiluete. Thanks for giving us an idea of what many may really think. Unlike who they really are, I guess it isn’t so amazing that would resent depictions that said they were shape shifters or anything that made less authentic.

    Seems many of that community prefer the realism exhibited by the film Smoke Signals (1998). Can’t wait to see it.

    • Comic Relief October 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM #

      Sorry: amazing that “THEY” would resent

  4. parisienne October 8, 2012 at 11:01 PM #


    Thanks for the comments! Personally, I think that if a tour was going to be done. They should have built sets (Cullen house, Swan house, Black house) along with all the cars, wardrobe pieces and make-up/wigs all in one warehouse/soundstage for people to walk through in Forks. That would have driven up tourism, given the fans the “Twilight” they really want instead of “here’s Bella’s house but don’t disturb the people that actually live there.” Plus that would have created jobs in the area because the sets would have to be maintained.

    As far as the Quiluetes are concerned some of them didn’t want their legends being shared with outsiders as they consider them sacred. They felt that SM had removed the true intent of the stories for her own commercial purposes. At the chamber of commerce there was a book that asked visitors to use charcoal instead of paint or permanent marker if they wanted to write messages on the driftwood at La Push Beach because it was felt by the people of Forks that it was a sign of disrespect to a place the Quiluetes hold sacred.

    IMO, SM should have not made Jacob a Native American nor should she have taken any liberties with their stories/legends because that’s just disrespectful. What she could have done was make Jacob and his pack/family shape-shifters that resembled Native Americans in order to blend in with the people already on the land and then made up her own legends. She could have done a word mix of some tribe names to make their tribe unique.

    • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 3:20 PM #

      U have made really valid points in your statement and article. I’m amazed Summit never gave back to the Forks community given how much they claim to care about the “Twilight fans experience.” U would think the place to illustrate their gratitude and commitment to fans is by honoring the residents in the Forks community with a Twilight warehouse tourist attraction. They have made boat loads of cash yet they have not given fans a place to go and feel appreciated for their dedication to these craptastic movies? Summit has always looked like a smash and grab studio unworthy of respect. However, I believe the reason they haven’t made a set warehousing these artifacts from the films because it would drive home how fabricated EVERYTHING is and fans might wake up and see other things were fabricated as well. That’s what their entire marketing campaign was built on to blur the lines and exploit fans with emotional and mental problems who have trouble separating fact from fiction. It’s sad!

      • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM #

        “However, I believe the reason they haven’t made a set warehousing these artifacts from the films because it would drive home how fabricated EVERYTHING is and fans might wake up and see other things were fabricated as well.”

        I agree Paris’s idea is a good one.

        OB, normally you’re a big fan of artifice. Tell me why do you think Stephanie Meyers, Twilight and Summit never considered this idea?

        Wouldn’t Forks be a natural place for a Twilight theme park?

        • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:21 PM #

          Hi CR-

          I think SM and Summit did not think this entire craze would last this long. Also, it it looks like they are just making up stuff as they go without any care for the fans or actors involved. When Harry Potter ended they really honored and celebrated the fans, actors and designers etc…

          • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM #


            That sounds logical, yet from time to time you hear of them considering ways to reactivate the series. Through theme parks Universal and Disney have kept movies alive that are decades old. That would certainly help provide badly needed jobs in that area.

            • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM #

              I’m not entirely sure there is enough material to make a ride, lol! 🙂

              • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 8:06 PM #


                “I’m not entirely sure there is enough material to make a ride.”

                Ignore the marketing department, if this was about logical thinking it would not be Twilight.

                • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:32 PM #

                  LMAO! So very true, CR!

            • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

              What kind of theme park ride could u imagine for Twilight? Remember the majority of fans have turned into horny women. So u need to create a ride that would appeal to them. Any ideas anyone?????

              • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

                I can’t think of any!

              • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

                I’m sure the ride would resemble some torture porn 50 shades crap. I’m sure Universal is working on it to coincide with 50 shades film debut…How wonderful!!

                • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

                  Ignore me I’m having fun!

                  • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:34 PM #

                    LOL! I can’t even repeat what I was thinking… I wish I could forget what I thought too! *shudders*

  5. Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM #


    I like the way; after all of this time you’ve turned our attention back to the real people of this environment. Along the way discussing the odd distinctions between actual life and the fantasy Hollywood has given us.

    I guess this whole story would have been a lot more harmless had it not involved the lives and histories of real people.

  6. Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

  7. Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM #

    Hi OB.

  8. Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM #


    Inspired by your interest in the difference between what is actually in Forks, Washington versus what we hear in the Twilight narrative I looked closer myself.

  9. Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

    Following a highway to forks, this video points out how ordinary this rural town is compared to other rural towns in the US:

    Supposedly this video presents wildlife and the actual forks environment. Many of the images address sites that never appeared in the movie such as Jacob’s school.

    This is Commercial Forks in it’s own words:

    • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:21 PM #

      Oops, thought they were all different. Guess not.

      • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

        Wow! These videos are scary. LOL!! This is another example of how fans have developed unhealthy attachments to this film which is being exploited by Summit to extend their fantasy. If they were legit and not trying to take advantage of some fans who can’t wake up from Twilight they would have built and actual tour site so fans can see how its completely fabricated NOT REAL!

        • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 7:47 PM #

          In my local supermarket they have a whole shelf filled with this DVD. They never seem to shift any either!

          • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM #

            They have an entire shelf of this DVD? WHY?

            • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

              No idea! It just seems to be permently there. What’s even odder is that the film dvds have two stacks each (just Eclipse and BD1, they don’t have Twilight or New Moon) that take up about a quarter of a shelf!

  10. Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM #


    I also believe the reason they haven’t done a tourist attraction because the film studio probably intends to re-boot Twilight franchise in the near future and don’t want fans to get attached to the original cast.

    • littlebells October 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM #

      SAVE US ALL!!!!!!

      • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM #


        I agree, yet the series could easily continue in paperbacks and a range of old and new media. I think it might be better to just brace yourself for the potential onslaught.

        The only thing we can be sure of the vampire cast (especially the Cullens) will keep aging making “Twilight” six almost impossible.

        • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

          Well S. Meyer is finishing off Edward’s perspective in Twilight which is released sometime next year. *shudders again* I pray to God she doesn’t do it for the rest of the novels (if she did, I would find a way to get to the International Space Station to escape it).

    • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

      I guess that’s likely too.

  11. littlebells October 9, 2012 at 7:34 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    You bring up so many good points. When I first heard about grown women traveling to Forks shortly after the first film, I thought it was pretty lame. But to each their own.

    Paris, do u know if tourism has leveled off since 2009?

    • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:41 PM #

      Hi LB & Ozzie

      • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 7:47 PM #

        Hi OB! How are you?

        • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM #

          Much, much better. Thank U!

          • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM #

            Yay! Glad to hear it. 🙂

  12. ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 7:40 PM #

    Hi all!

    I don’t know what to say! I’m lost for words. High schools, bricks, random bits of senery….. Why? Just why?! I just don’t understand it, lol!

    Also, I’m surprised to hear S. Meyer did research!

    • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

      U forgot Bella’s wardrobe? Plaid shirts and skinny jeans.

    • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

      Hi LB & Ozzie.

      • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM #

        Hi CR! Hope you are well too! 🙂

        • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM #

          I am good thanks for asking.

    • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 8:11 PM #


      I heard the reseach did not happen until late in the process.

      • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM #

        That’s very interesting, CR. I’m not surprised, lol!

  13. Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:44 PM #

    Tell me something OB, Ozzie or LB;

    – Forks seems fairly ordinary to me. I imagine many former logging towns look just like it.

    – Shape changing Native Americans do not seem that strange to me either. In the Northwest there’s a whole industry of this romantic stuff that is produced all the time.

    • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 7:54 PM #

      …But what seems the most unusual to me is the Cullens; this glamorous family of wealthy vampires with super natural abilities?????? WHAAAAAA?????

      Where do you think Stephanie Meyers got this idea from? Have you heard?

      • Open Book October 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM #

        Hmmm! IDK

        • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 8:08 PM #

          I fully agree yet it seems that was the most original idea of the whole thing. Unless someone disagrees.

          • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

            i have no idea about the larger details but she got the intial idea (a male teenage vampire falling in love with a female teenage human) from a dream.

  14. Open Book October 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM #


    I have to go. Great article Paris. This topic does make u look critically at SM’s ideas and the film studios lack of concern for what it would cost the Forks community, fans and Native Americans all to make a buck.

    • Comic Relief October 9, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

      Bye OB. Unfortunately I need to leave too. As always great article Paris.

      • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM #

        Bye OB and CR! You’ve had me laughing alot tonight! 🙂

  15. parisienne October 9, 2012 at 8:31 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    I’m here. Came in late and am getting caught up.

    • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 8:54 PM #

      Hello Paris!

  16. parisienne October 9, 2012 at 8:56 PM #

    hi ozzie!

  17. parisienne October 9, 2012 at 8:57 PM #

    I don’t know if he was joking or not but rob said on the jon stewart show that he knew of a t.v. series possibly being made.

    • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM #

      God help us all then! LOL!

  18. parisienne October 9, 2012 at 9:08 PM #

    I know. When Twilight in Forks came out i tried to watch it but I couldn’t make it through the first 15 minutes of it. The people of the town seemed just as obsessed as the fans. Then again they are a small logging town so they were all shell shocked that people were showing up.

    • ozzie20 October 9, 2012 at 9:27 PM #

      Lol, you poor thing! Well done for making it though 15 minutes of it though! I can’t even last the couple of seconds I walk past it without getting a little ragey!

  19. parisienne October 9, 2012 at 9:35 PM #


    To answer your Q, yes the tourism has seemed to taper off considerably. The Twilight Tour that was shown in the vid CR provided is no longer available.

    Thanks CR for the vid! helped me out alot because i was looking for something to go along with what the author of the article was talking about.

    As far as a ride, they couldn’t do it. They could however do a walk through with people choosing to be vamps/werewolves ahead of time then at the end they all meet in the meadow to take on the volturi. Let ,me explain better. Let’s say me and LB decide to go on this walk through. We both would get hand sets that have trivia on them and have to answer the questions as we go along. I choose to be a vamp and LB chooses werewolf. I learn about the vamps/volturi and their legends and what they perceive as threats to their safety. Lb would do the same for the wolves. the handsets would also have audio cues and music that played at different points. Then me and LB would meet in the meadow and go through all 4 books/movies together answering questions as we went along. At the end we would go back to the meadow together to take on the volturi. The way we would take them on is by how many questions did you answer correctly in your trivia about the books and films. If you got over 90% you live. You “argued” well. Less then that your “food” for the Volturi.

    That way the walk through is completely interactive and keeps audiences participating. Also no question is asked twice and the questions could pertain to the actors previous works not just twilight questions. For example, Edward Cullen is portrayed in the films by Academy Award winning actor Robert Pattinson. What painter did he portray in 2008?

    So they would have to know more than just Twilight stuff.

    I should copyright this idea.

    • Open Book October 10, 2012 at 10:05 AM #


      Hahahaha!This ride sound really fun for children and adults. ITA u need to copyright this idea.

  20. parisienne October 9, 2012 at 9:40 PM #

    Ozzie, I’m off for the night. Thanks for sticking around though!

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