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Titanic: Unsinkable in Pigeon Forge?

The attraction vortices of Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, have their cultural critics. But without them — landlocked meccas of God, Elvis, the flag, and toilet seat guitars — America would be without what are now its two largest Titanic museums, housed in lookalike giant replicas of one-half of the doomed luxury ocean liner.

(Serious New England has for years had its own, much less flashy though eclectic Titanic Museum.)

Pigeon Forge TitanicA second “Titanic: World’s Largest Museum Attraction” has opened in Pigeon Forge, and for all practical purposes it’s identical to the one in Branson (they were built by the same company). Outside, a simulated iceberg sits in a pool of water, piercing the hull. Inside, actors in period costumes roam the ship, dispensing tidbits of information and lots of role-playing verve. Actual [salvaged Titanic] artifacts are scarce [as would be expected], but interactivity abounds: you get to touch a wall of ice, sit in a lifeboat, and stand on a sloping deck. At the end, you find out whether you lived or died, and odds are you’re dead.

We’re not sure what the presence of the Titanic in Branson and Pigeon Forge means. Both towns and their demanding audiences have broken the spirits and spines of countless earlier entertainment vessels (Johnny Cash, Anita Bryant, rock and roll, etc. etc.).  But maybe this Vegas-style monolith has just the right mix of doom, drama, history and kitsch to please the Smoky Mountains like it has Branson.

And if wildly successful in Pigeon Forge, can we expect to see 1/4 size Titanics opening up in every mall parking lot in America?

Sections: Attraction News 3 Comments » Team Field Report

Titanic: World's Largest Museum Attraction

2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN
On the southbound side of US Hwy 441 on the north edge of town. Difficult to miss, especially driving south.
Daily 9-9 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $28.
RA Rates:
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3 Responses to “Titanic: Unsinkable in Pigeon Forge?”

  1. Tom Adkinson Says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Kitsch on the outside, perhaps. But inside is a top-notch, professional museum with in-character employees who truly create a time-travel experience.

  2. Frank Williams Says:
    April 12th, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I was there this weekend and this review could not be more inaccurate. There are hundreds (400 or 500) of actual Titanic artifacts and the museum is something you would expect at Disney – not in Pigeon Forge. Whoever provided this article should have actually visited this museum before attempting to write about it.

  3. Ken Says:
    April 12th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The Branson Titanic also has hundreds of artifacts, but the majority of them are from Titanic’s sister ships. Barring an accident of distribution, they could have been on the Titanic! Regardless, the Pigeon Forge Titanic is certainly a bold step for Pigeon Forge, and it seems as entertaining as its Branson lookalike.

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