Explore the Titanic: Pigeon Forge, TN

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Planning a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? We sent KAG Contributor Kristina Hernandez to take a peak inside the Titanic Museum. In this review she’s telling us all about what you can expect to see at the Titanic Museum so you can add it to your list of things to do when you visit Pigeon Forge. Complimentary tickets were provided for this review.

Pigeon Forge

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It’s hard to miss the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge – it looks exactly like the real RMS Titanic, complete with the iceberg and water. It’s an out-of-place ship right in the center of the tiny mountain town. I had heard great things about the museum but I was initially wary of going there for a couple os reasons – first is that the story is sad and I don’t want to do sad things on a family trip.

I’ve been to this museum twice, both times with my kids. The first trip, they were ages 7 and 4, and the second trip, they were 12 and 8. Amazingly, they remembered the first trip but the second one was so much better because they could understand so much more of the museum.

I went with an open mind because I love history and I was excited to try a new experience.

All that said, if you have similar reservations, let them go because this museum is amazing. The first time we went, I was unsure if they would enjoy it because it’s a serious topic and a true tragedy. There’s a lot to take in and the museum does such an incredible job presenting the story that it’s hard not to enjoy it.

They not only tell the story of the great ship itself but also tell the backstories of some of the more prominent guests on the ship, how the Titanic was built, stories of passengers and crew, and the history behind the only photographs that survived the voyage.

For more things to do in Pigeon Forge, see our Ultimate Guide to Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg.

All Aboard at the Titanic Museum

The museum opens at 9 am daily and my kids and I were the first ones there the day we went so we took our time among the exhibits. Everyone gets an audio necklace and a boarding pass with a true story of one of the passengers on the fateful voyage and then it’s off to the museum.

Children get a child’s boarding pass (all the children survive – the museum didn’t want to give a child guest the pass of someone who didn’t survive the Titanic) and the adults receive an adult’s pass with a story of a particular passenger. There are numbers in each room that correspond to a child’s audio device and others for the adult so that everyone isn’t listening to the same story. They are geared for kids and adults, which is a smart touch.

Touch & See: Exhibits at the Titanic Museum

At every twist and turn inside the Titanic Museum, the guest is greeted with photos of the ship, how and when it was built, stories of real passengers, and opportunities to see artifacts from the Titanic. You’ll see items like a life vest, pocket knife, and a watch that was found on the boat, which had stopped forever 20 minutes after the sinking of the ship.

Grand Staircase

The audio stories are short but interesting and you walk through first class, second class, and third class plus see the Grand Staircase (all I could see was Jack walking down that staircase from the movie Titanic) as it was originally designed. The tour takes you through that fateful day, from the bottom of the ship where the coal was thrown into the boilers to a chilly room where the iceberg lays straight ahead on the deck. You can even touch a snow-covered iceberg and feel what the 28-degree water felt like.

On the first visit, my seven-year-old listened to almost all the stories on her audio while my four-year-old gave up less than halfway through. But the second trip, they both got through the whole audio tour and were sad when it ended because they enjoyed it so much.

Both of them really liked the exhibits, especially the kids’ area near the end of the tour where they can try to steer the Titanic away from the iceberg, learn how to tie knots with ropes, do a dive into the ocean to see the remnants of the ship, and sit in a replica of one of the lifeboats.

As you walk through the museum, the first floor encompasses third and second class of the ship and is decorated like you’re walking through those areas. There are cross-section replicas of the ship so you can see what those areas would have looked like plus a sample cabin with bunk beds to view. There are big maps of where the ship sailed and a video of how the ship was built.

Once you reach the Grand Staircase, you’ll head up to the First Class cabins and learn about passengers Ida and Isidor Straus, the co-owners of Macy’s whose love story rivals the fictional one of Jack and Rose. The museum really gives visitors the opportunity to step into so many stories of the different passengers that it’s hard not to get caught up in it, which I think was a good thing.

LEGO Titanic

A super cool thing at this museum is that it holds the largest replica of the Titanic ever completed with LEGO bricks. And who made it? A 10-year-old autistic boy from Iceland. It is stunning to see in person and learning his story made it even more incredible.

Homeschooling at the Titanic Museum

If you’re a homeschool family, this is a really fantastic field trip. There are history, math, geography, social studies, and engineering aspects to explore.

In fact, the Titanic Museum has a printable pdf to go along with a homeschool trip and every day, they offer a homeschool rate of $14/person.

Want to Go?

I would absolutely recommend this museum for your family. Allow 90 minutes total for your trip to the Titanic Museum.

Tickets are $35/adults, $15/kids ages 5 – 11. A family pass (2 adults, and up to 4 kids) is $115. You can buy discounted tickets through different combo options with other attractions as well.

**I received media tickets from the city of Pigeon Forge for this museum. All opinions are mine.

Is the Titanic Museum something your family would enjoy?

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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3 years ago

i like this titanic