When you think of the history and traditions of great ocean-going ships, Tennessee is probably not the first location that springs to mind. It is, after all, a land-locked state. It has many miles of navigable rivers, but not a whiff of the ocean.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, however, is the site of a new Titanic museum set to open in on April 8th. This Titanic museum boasts a half-scale, three-deck recreation of the ill-fated White Star Line ship. And you can be king of the world on the museumâ€™s full size reproduction of the shipâ€™s grand staircase.
Pigeon Forge was chosen because, according to the developers, â€œPigeon Forge is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in America, attracting more than 11 million visitors each year.â€ The area is also home to Dolly Partonâ€™s theme park Dollywood, along with a number of other attractions.
From the press release: The new Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. will open one week from today with a star-studded Grand Opening hosted by Regis Philbin. The event, which is open to the public, also will be attended by descendants and family members of those on board the Titanic and includes a christening of the ship.
The weekend-long Grand Opening Celebration at the new Titanic Museum Attraction includes the christening by Philbin, a free concert by country music legend Neal McCoy, a free concert by Beatles cover band Liverpool Legends (hand-picked and managed by George Harrisonâ€™s sister), nightly fireworks displays and special events and performances through Sunday, April 11.
Titanic Museum Attraction is a half-scale, permanent, three-deck recreation of the Titanic. The museum houses 20 galleries to display hundreds of authentic, priceless Titanic artifacts that were either carried from the ship and into lifeboats by passengers and crew, or were found afloat soon after the sinking and quickly salvaged by rescue boats.
Inside the Titanic Museum Attraction, visitors find full-size recreations (built to actual Titanic blueprints) of Third-Class quarters, a First-Class suite, dining rooms and â€“ the museumâ€™s centerpiece â€“ a $1 million exact reproduction of the Titanicâ€™s Grand Staircase. The First-Class suite in the Titanic Museum Attraction, which is dedicated to Isidor and Ida Straus who co-owned Macyâ€™s Department Stores, was also the cabin used in James Cameronâ€™s blockbuster movie Titanic as Roseâ€™s suite.
In addition to being a world class museum in the truest sense of the word, Titanic Museum Attraction is also highly interactive and offers a hands-on experience for children, teenagers and adults. The ship is anchored in water to create the illusion of Titanic at sea, and a two-hour self-guided tour gives guests the sensation of sailing on the original shipâ€™s 1912 maiden voyage. Upon entry, each guest receives a boarding pass bearing the name of an actual Titanic passenger or crew member whose fate is revealed on the Memorial Wall at tour end. Along the way, powerful emotions surface as guests:
* Walk Titanicâ€™s Grand Staircase
* Touch the frozen surface of an â€œicebergâ€
* Feel the chill of that fateful â€œStarry Nightâ€
* Study some of the largest, most detailed Titanic models ever built
* Grip the shipâ€™s wheel and follow the Captainâ€™s commands
* Tour world-class galleries and the rare historical artifacts they hold
* Sit in a Titanic lifeboat and listen to actual survivors tell their stories
* Send an SOS from the Marconi Wireless Room
* Test their balance while standing on mini-decks built to show the ever-steeper slope of Titanic as she sank
* Watch children eight years and younger explore the special interactive Tot-Titanic Play-and-Learn Room
* Dive to Titanicâ€™s wreck site via spectacular underwater camera footage
The Titanic Museum Attraction Grand Opening event begins on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 10 a.m. and continues with special events and celebrity guest appearances throughout the weekend. Tickets to the new Titanic Museum Attraction, which will open April 8 after 3 p.m. (invited guests will tour the Titanic prior to 3 p.m.), are now available online at www.TitanicPigeonForge.com. (Note: The outdoor Grand Opening and christening are free and open to the public, but admission to the Titanic Museum Attraction requires a ticket.)
The Titanic Museum Attraction will be open seven day a week from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.