Pigeon Forge attraction is well worth the trip from Fairfield Glade
A VISTA REVIEW
By TRACY WALTHER
For The Vista
Are you as intrigued by the tragedy of the great ship Titanic as I am? Does it fascinate and sadden you all at once? Do you love interactive museums? Do you appreciate history? If so, you will greatly enjoy the experience of the Titanic attraction, in Pigeon Forge, TN.
My daughter and I visited the attraction last week for the second time in as many years. Yet again, it did not disappoint.
New and eve- changing exhibits, as well as permanent ones, which are informative and moving, along with a friendly and knowledgeable staff (or crew) make Titanic a must-see.
Upon entering the museum, each visitor is given a “boarding pass” with the name and brief information about an actual Titanic passenger.
As you go through the museum it is quite interesting to look for exhibits relating to your particular passenger – and at times their family – and to see what the eventuality was for them in the Memorial Room. When you visit there, look for my third class passenger – Selma Asplund from Sweden, who was traveling with her husband and five children.
This attraction is chock full of authentic artifacts – from dinner plates and tea cups to a deck chair, and even pieces of railing and wood from the Grand Staircase. There is also much information that is very educational, and at times emotional. One interesting board shows a list of supplies that Titanic was stocked with upon its departure. They carried 75,000 pounds of fresh meat and 40,000 eggs! There were 12,000 dinner plates and 3,000 teacups – all made of fine china – on which passengers could enjoy dining. And of course, there is a whole room of mementos from “Titanic”, the James Cameron movie.
Are you someone who doesn’t particularly care to go through a museum and read all of the information at each exhibit? Then Titanic is the perfect attraction for you. Audio players are available for your enjoyment. You simply type in the number displayed by the exhibit and a recorded message regarding that exhibit can be heard. Oftentimes, there is additional information that is not available to the reading-only visitor.
Many exhibits are interactive, such as the one where you can dip in your hand to experience the frigid 28 degree water that Titanic passengers experienced.
One very touching item is a small stuffed teddy bear. Originally given to a small son by his father as a gift, the young boy gave it back to his father, a passenger, before he boarded Titanic for good luck. The bear was later found among the father’s belongings, tucked safely away in his tobacco pouch.
A wonderful feature is one whole room dedicated to the only photos of Titanic taken by a passenger. Learn his story and see photos of the deck, gymnasium and crew members on board that would have never been seen without this young man’s photographic talents.
Halfway through the tour you will experience a replica of the Grand Staircase, built to scale and detail. The owners of the museum spent $1 million recreating this beautiful feature, which includes the lovely milk glass dome, the 14-karat gold leaf on the railing and the flooring, made from the latest and greatest new flooring product of that day – linoleum.
A new and touching exhibit this year is “Children of Titanic”, honoring all 133 children aboard the ill-fated vessel. The highlight of our tour, however, was the gorgeous exhibit featuring the violin played by the bandleader as the ship was sinking. It is truly a touching and remarkable story that is told to visitors by a crew member. This is the first, and only, time the violin will be exhibited, according to museum personnel. But hurry for this one – on July 27th, it is headed back to Europe and slated for the auction block in October.
An easy drive from Fairfield Glade on I-40 east to exit 407 straight into Pigeon Forge, Titanic, which is open year-round, is an attraction for young and old – truly one that should not be missed. For more information call 800-381-7670 or visit www.TitanicAttraction.com.