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Going Overboard: A "Titanic" Museum?

 

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Planning a roadtrip to Dollywood next year? While you're in the kitschy wonderland of Pigeon Forge in eastern Tennessee, be sure to add the brand-new Titanic Museum to your must-see list. The three-deck replica of the ill-fated ship will guarantee an educational (albeit ridiculous) experience in addition to riding the roller-coasters at the buxom blonde's theme park.

The ship, which opens in April 2010, is only 50 percent the size of the original Titanic. However, inside visitors will find full-size reproductions (built from the original ship's blueprints) of a First-Class suite, a Third-Class cabin, and the Grand Staircase.

Though the ship is still under construction, the company is already advertising its wedding and vow renewal services to be conducted by the captain (also an ordained minister) on the Grand Staircase. Other weird details about the museum:

Weird detail #1: Upon "boarding," each visitor will receive a boarding pass bearing the name of an actual Titanic passenger or crew member whose fate will be revealed at the end of the tour.

Weird detail #2: Guests can test their balance while standing on mini-decks built to show the ever-steeper slope of Titanic as she sank.

Weird detail #3: The Titanic Pigeon Forge isn't even the first museum of its kind. The original Titanic Museum can be found in Branson, Missouri, the headquarters of Cedar Bay Entertainment, the company responsible for these over-the-top attractions.

Despite all of its oddities, the actual educational value of the museum can't be ignored. Within the ship's galleries, there are also hundreds of authentic artifacts on display that were either taken off the Titanic by passengers on lifeboats, or were salvaged from the wreckage by rescue boats immediately after it sank.

 

Lyndsey Matthews is the online editorial intern for Travel + Leisure.

Image courtesy of Titanic Pigeon Forge

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