We just visited last Sunday morning. There was no waiting to get on board (other than waiting for the bathroom when we got there--be aware the bathrooms on-site were out-of-order and we had to wait for a single restroom across from the ship entrance).
It took us around 3 hours to do the self-guided tour. We wished we could've seen a little more of the ship, but you do seem to get to see quite a bit of it. Our brother / brother-in-law who has also seen the USS Missouri in Hawaii said that you can see quite a bit more of the USS Missouri than what you can of the USS Iowa. We watched the movie "Battleship" when we returned home and it was interesting to see the ship in the movie (in movie it was the USS Missouri, but both ships are "Iowa class" so the Iowa is basically same design).
There were volunteers peppered around who would answer questions and provide interesting snippets of info. We enjoy history, so it was an interesting and worthwhile way to spend our last day in L.A.
Our 11 year old son was not as interested, however, and was just barely "tolerating" the experience (he would've preferred an hour on the ship versus everyone else's 3 hours). Our 13 year old daughter is quite interested in history, so wanted to read everything and did enjoy it, so as far as "kid value" it really depends on your kids and what they are interested in.
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