While traveling through Tennessee on our Spring Break Road Trip, we took a side trip to Pigeon Forge. We had one and only one goal in going to Pigeon Forge and that was to visit the Titanic Children’s Exhibit.
Since we had never been to Pigeon Forge before we had no idea where to find the Titanic Exhibit. Unlike other buildings that sat back from the road and looked like many other beautiful buildings in the area, there was no doubt that we had arrived when this beautiful boat stood out before us in true Titanic fashion.
Miss JoJo and I live near Branson and have visited the Titanic Exhibit Branson before so we really didn’t expect to see anything new or to be there for very long. We were seriously mistaken!
During this visit, we were greeted by attendants, dressed in period costumes, and outfitted us with personal audio devices which turned many of the displays into a speaking exhibit. Special codes were displayed for an adult version of the spoken presentation as well as a child’s version of the presentation. I could easily see how these handsets are likely to improve the interest level of the reluctant reader and younger visitors. Those are always big pluses to a retired teacher like me. 😉
For our journey, I was given the boarding pass of Gertrude “Trudy” Thorne, 38, a 1st Class Passenger. Miss JoJo was Edwina Trout, a 2nd Class Passenger. Throughout our Titanic journey, we had to keep an eye open for the various signs that alerted us to information about specific passengers.
After boarding for our self-guided tour, we viewed photos taken by Father Frank Browne, a Jesuit priest. He photographed the first and last voyage of the Titanic. Had he not left the ship, by demand of a higher officiant, we likely would have never seen actual pictures taken on the Titanic once she sat sail. His photos were printed in many newspapers after the tragedy, but were filed away unseen again until 1985.
We explored so many areas that it was hard to decide what was actually our favorite. I’m sure that if it had been summer time, I would have had better appreciation of the deck with the iceburg wall, made of real ice. Miss JoJo put her hand into the water feature to feel how cold it was in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912. The Grand Staircase was one of Miss JoJo’s favorite areas of the Titanic Exhibit. We also stood dumbfounded for some time due to the water that crashed and roared down a stairwell.
As a huge fan of the Titanic movie, I was excited to see the Titanic movie collection with actual movie scripts, costumes, and more. Near this section was the re-creation of an entire room on the ship with a display dedicated to Levi & Isadora Strauss, founders of Macy’s. Within this area was a beautiful section of mahogany paneling inlaid with mother of pearl, just like it was on the Titanic.
Of course, these are just the highlights that Miss JoJo and I found so wonderful. We did challenge each other to walk up these sloping decks that simulated the Titanic at various times after hitting the iceberg. We were soon out done by some little kids, though. I suppose the Titanic Totland wasn’t challenging enough for them! 😉 Of course, I personally thought about going in there to play myself because the wheel turned for the little guys but the big one didn’t.
With the new exhibit focused on the 133 Children of the Titanic, it saddened us to reach the Discover the Children of Titanic room. We saw pictures of many of the children, read stories about them, and learned their fate. The two crew children highlighted were something I had not expected.
Once we reached the Memorial Room, we were greeted by the most fabulous attendant! She heard Miss JoJo and I discuss the fact of having survived the Titanic. Much to our surprise, this attendant was a wonderful wealth of knowledge. She gave us background information about each of our ladies. Kudos to the lovely Memorial Room attendant who takes her job so very seriously. It’s obvious that she enjoys her work as it is a hobby that she discussed with us as well.
Needles to say, Miss JoJo and MS Do highly recommend you visit the Titanic Exhibit nearest you or your next vacation location. If you go on just the right day, you might just see a view like this one from the Titanic Pigeon Forge parking lot like I did.
***Although MS Do received Titanic tickets as compensation for this review, all opinions shared here are truthful and 100% her own.