Sometimes the only way to find out surprising facts about yourself is through trial and error.
For instance, am I the type of history nerd that would pay good money to see the largest collection of Titanic life jackets ever assembled?
Why yes. Yes, I am.
To be clear, this collection is of life jackets from the legendary doomed ship that sank in the North Atlantic nearly 110 years ago. It is not a collection of life jackets of unusual size.
The life jackets are just one of many diverting and interesting displays at one of the more improbably successful attractions in the history of tourism: The Titanic Museum attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge is hard to miss when driving down the Parkway. What is it, you may ask? It’s a celebration of the ill-fated ship, its passengers and crew.
But is it worth the price of admission?
Let’s dive in to some of the frequently asked questions about this attraction and what you can do there:
Why is there a Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge?
You can spend many an hour contemplating why a giant replica museum of HMS Titanic exists in the Great Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge – or in Branson, Missouri for that matter.
But ultimately that question is irrelevant for the simple fact that Titanic exists in Pigeon Forge and the whys and wherefores cease to exist once you climb aboard, so to speak.
Is the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge worth it?
Worth is always in the eye of the beholder, but climbing aboard the Titanic (at least the one in Pigeon Forge) is likely to be an experience you won’t regret.
It’s worth it alone to see the detail that you will find throughout this attraction. The museum is inextricably linked to the blockbuster movie, though not affiliated in the least.
It’s hard to imagine – that even with Titanic’s historic legacy – the museum would exist without the movie.
As such, the grand staircase – which was such a central part of the movie – is also the central part of the museum, serving as a perfect replica.
But to limit the appreciation of the museum to those who wish for a “King-of-the-World” moment, is to dismiss the history nerd that exists in so many of us.
The displays, some of which are rotating, are diverting and informative.
The rooms, exact replicas of Titanic’s quarters, are akin to touring Versailles, Napoleon III’s quarters in the Louvre or the tours at Biltmore.
What do you do at the Titanic in Pigeon Forge?
Like with most museums, you look at the displays and learn about its history.
You can feel the cool touch of an iceberg, take a guided tour, shop at the gift shop and soak in all the interesting information.
The displays – including the life jackets – are authentic Titanic items – and there are many.
There’s a power of being so near to those things that carry you across time and distance, so that you don’t feel exactly that you are in a strangely located tourist attraction, rather a legitimate museum with a legitimate connection to our collective past.
The employees in period costume are excellent in adding to the experience of putting you aboard history’s best known ship.
There is a delicacy that goes along with building a tourist attraction on the back of a great tragedy, even one that happened so long ago. Titanic, somehow, walks that line.
I think a lot of that credit goes to a fairly obvious gambit. When purchasing a ticket, the visitor is given the name of a real-life passenger – Molly Brown, for example.
At the end, you find out whether your passenger lived or died.
It’s a very effective way of reminding you that there were real people who sank along with Titanic, who desperately clung to that collection of life vests, mostly hoping in vain to survive the icy cold night.
How long does it take to go through the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge?
This isn’t necessarily an “entire day” type of attraction. But I’d say it could at least be a half-day attraction if you stretch it out.
This also depends on what type of vacationer you are. I like to stretch my dollar and take my time. At the very least, I would say plan to spend 2-3 hours here.
Anything short of that, and you may not be getting your money’s worth.
What attractions are near the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge?
The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge is located right along the main strip in Pigeon Forge, so there are many attractions nearby.
Do you need to book Titanic Museum attraction tickets in advance?
If you’re planning a trip to the Titanic Museum, we highly recommend that you book in advance.
At the time of this writing, reservations are required, and many days are sold out.
Please plan ahead and book early.
When you book on Tripster, you will select the date and time you wish to go. This serves as your reservation.
Can you take photos at the Titanic Museum?
The only caveat about the Titanic Museum is that you cannot take photos inside the attraction.
Fortunately, you can still take photos outside with that massive replica ship towering over your shoulders.
How much do Titanic Museum attraction tickets cost?
General admission is $28 for adults and $15 for children ages 5-12. Children under 4 are free.
Sometimes, you can find tickets on Tripster for as low as about $25 per adult.
The Titanic Museum is located at 2134 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit their website.
Have you been to the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge? Was it worth it? Let us know in the comments.