Monday, October 15, 2012

The Titanic Musum: Branson, Missouri - A walk through history

Titanic Museum - Pigeon Forge
The Sensational Saver

2012 is the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.  I've long been fascinated by this historical tragedy and saw the movie so many times that I know most of the dialogue.  When I had the opportunity to visit the Titanic Pigeon Forge recently while vacationing in there I was thrilled. 


Upon approaching the Titanic Pigeon Forge from the street you are struck by the sheer size of the museum which is built only to half-scale of the original ship but it's still massive and impressive.  Upon approaching the entrance to the museum we were greeted by a staff member, all of which are dressed in period costume, who looked eerily like the captain of the original Titanic.  He greeted us and gave us boarding passes, each bearing the name of an actual passenger.  The boarding pass included some history and background on the passenger but didn't disclose if they survived or not. I was given the boarding pass of Emily Ryerson, a 1st class passenger from Pennsylvania who took a trip on board the ship to mourn the loss of  one of her sons who had been killed in a car accident.  I wondered as I walked through the musuem if I carried the pass of one of the survivors, I hoped so.




We also took advantage of the audiophones offered as part of the tour which really enhanced our experience.  As you walk through the museum you see small signs with a blue number, for adults or red number for children that you dial into your audiophone to hear a recorded narrative about the gallery you are in. They have different messages for kids which they loved.  It kept them interested all the way through the museum.



The museum is separated into 20 galleries.  There are over 400 actual artifacts from the Titanic which include personal mementos and anecdotes about the passengers onboard the ship.  It really gives you a sense of being on the ship itself as part of this historical event.  It was sobering because it was made it very real to me.





The highlights our family most enjoyed:

  • Recreation of the ship's bridge, a third class room, a first class room and replica of the grand staircase.
  • A stairwell with water rushing into it. It was quite eerie. It was one part of the attraction that really effected my husband.
  • Three samples of the deck at different angles that we tried to climb and hold onto.  Not for long though!
  • A replica of a lifeboat which we sat and reflected in.
  • A huge iceberg you can touch in a room kept at the temperature of the air that night. 
  • Salt water you can put your hands in which is cooled to 28 degrees.  Within mere seconds it is painful.
In the final gallery of the museum is the memorial section where I anxiously searched for Emily Ryerson's name on the list of 1st class passengers.  I learned that Emily along with her four children did in fact survive the sinking of the Titanic.  I actually felt relief when I found her name under the list of the survivors.  Sadly her husband perished.


Even if you are not a history buff you will find the museum informative and interesting.  Frankly it made me want to learn even more about it.   Our family from my youngest aged four to the oldest, my mother-in-law all enjoyed it. I am glad to have visited and recommend it without hesitation.

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