Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – The new Titanic Museum Attraction in East Tennessee had a star-studded weekend-long Grand Opening hosted by Regis Philbin this weekend. The event also featured numerous descendants and family members of those on board the Titanic and included a christening of the ship by Captain Edward J. Smith.
The weekend-long Grand Opening Celebration at the new Titanic Museum Attraction included the christening, a special Grand Opening ceremony hosted 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 Harrison’s sister), amazing nightly fireworks displays and special events and performances over a three day period.
More than 20,000 guests from all parts of the nation visited the attraction during its opening weekend. During the free evening concerts with Neal McCoy and , standing room only crowds overflowed onto the sidewalks and nearby properties. Traffic on the well-traveled Parkway through Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park came to a halt once the nightly 25-minute fireworks display lit the night sky for miles around.
The Grand Opening Celebration was covered locally by WBIR, WATE and WVLT television as well as television stations from Nashville, Tri-Cities and Chattanooga. The Knoxville News Sentinel, The Daily Times and The Mountain Press all gave considerable coverage to the special event and radio stations from all over East Tennessee showed up to do live broadcasts. Nationally, the event was covered by USA Today, The TODAY Show, Regis & Kelly, ABC News, The New York Post and a large number of travel magazines.
Titanic Museum Attraction is a half-scale, permanent, three-deck recreation of the Titanic. The museum houses 20 galleries to display nearly 400 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 – the museum’s centerpiece – a $1 million exact reproduction of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase. The First-Class suite in the Titanic Museum Attraction, which is dedicated to Isidor and Ida Straus who co-owned Macy’s Department Stores, was also the cabin used in James Cameron’s blockbuster movie Titanic as Rose’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 ship’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 Titanic’s Grand Staircase
• Touch the frozen surface of an “iceberg”
• Feel the chill of that fateful “Starry Night”
• Study some of the largest, most detailed Titanic models ever built
• Grip the ship’s wheel and follow the Captain’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 Titanic’s wreck site via spectacular underwater camera footage
The Titanic Museum Attraction – which is conveniently located to all areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville – is now open every day from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. ET. Tickets are available online at www.TitanicPigeonForge.com or by calling 1-800-381-7670.
Cedar Bay Entertainment, which owns and operates Titanic Museum Attraction, is a privately owned entertainment and development company headquartered in Branson, Missouri, the site of Cedar Bay’s first Titanic Museum Attraction. Since its April 2006 grand opening, it has welcomed more than 2,000,000 guests.