The Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri
Where is Branson, Missouri?
Branson is an Ozark town in Southwest Missouri. It's known as a family vacation destination. Locals have been trying to get casinos there to draw more tourists since the 60s, however the people in the area keep voting down the notion. The main drag, the 'Country Boulevard' is famously lined with theatres which once hosted mostly country performers. Today there is still plenty of country performances, but Branson has expanded it's entertainment realm with diverse acts and shows. Landmarks Silver Dollar City, a 1800s themed amusement park, the Dolly Parton Dixie Stampeded Theatre and the Marvel Cave are landmarks and some of the town's oldest attractions. It's located next to crystal clear Table Rock Lake, and it's a fine tourist town with unlimited things to do at reasonable prices. I wouldn't recommend staying there for more than a few days but I would definitely recommend visiting for a weekend or a long weekend.
My husband and I went to Branson last weekend. We usually go there every five years or so for a short visit. This past weekend, we took in some shows, but our favourite tourist attraction was the Titanic Museum. It was beautiful, fascinating, and interactive. It had me in tears at some points as I stared in wonderment. If you're in Branson, I would definitely make it a point to stop at this museum. It's interesting for all ages, and there are special stations for children to help them understand as well!
The Titanic Museum is one of two Titanic themed museums owned by John Joslyn. He actually headed the expedition in 1987 to Titanic's final resting place over 4 miles below the surface of the ocean. The other museum is located in Tennessee. The museum has 20 galleries and over 400 artifacts, and it makes the tourist feel as though they are an actual passenger on Titanic.
Some Personal Pictures of the Museum We Took
The Outside of the Museum
The outside of the museum is a building. It's half of the Titanic to scale, but it's a building, not the actual boat. The boat (building) inside is full of different interactive attractions and information about the passengers and the staff of the Titanic.
When you walk into the entrance you will receive your boarding tickets from the Captain. The Captain (dressed most pristine in his dress attire) will hand you the boarding passes and explain that you are indeed one of the passengers on the Titanic. The boarding passes will give you your name, your class, and background about your person. At the end of the tour, you will find out if you lived or died. There are clues throughout the museum where you can find your character and see some interesting facts about him/her.
You pay the person behind the cash register. We used a Groupon, which saved us about 40% off the tickets. I would recommend the Groupon if you're considering a visit. Your tour then begins and you enter the museum.
When You First Walk In To The Museum
The first thing you will see when you walk into the Titanic museum is a beautiful model built to a much smaller scale. It took the artist 2 years to build it, and there is an explanation of what parts he had a hard time with (he said the rivets were boring), and he also explains how much he enjoyed doing it. It's quite fascinating.
Beside the model, you will also see an iceberg in the wall. An entire wall, I'd say about 6x6, is a real iceberg that tourists can touch and feel to see the thickness, power, and temperature.
Once you walk into the next room, the guests of the museum will see original blueprints of Titanic, as well as several photos, artifacts, explanations, stories and so much more. This room may be thought of as boring, but there is a Titanic worker in this area who refers to herself as a real employee and to the guests as real passengers. You can ask her questions, and she will sort of walk around commenting on things. You get a feel for what you're about to see.
It should be noted that these are not my pictures of the inside of the museum. These pictures are available via searching for them. The photo above is an example of a third class birth. As you can see, there were four beds crammed in a very small area, and there was a sink. There weren't really any private toilets, as a maid emptied chamber pots each morning. There were only two bathtubs on the entire boat. I was shocked to see how small the rooms were. As you progress, the second and third class passengers' amenities continue to be showcased.
There is a sort of doll house that shows the mess for the first, second, and third class passengers, and there are some original menus as well. You can press the light on the different rooms and it will light up the ones you want to see. The rooms are very intricate and they show the tables, chairs, people exactly how they looked (on a much smaller scale).
There are several other artifacts from second and third class and so many stories about the passengers. The stories are wonderful and so very interesting. I found out that there was actually some African American passengers on the Titanic Voyage, and although they had second class tickets, they were not allowed to eat with the other diners because of their skin colour. I found out so many fascinating stories of lives, and bravery. There were dedicated walls to the children on Titanic, as well as the women. They even had a special wall and place for the dogs on the Titanic.
Just when I was engrossed in all of this information and artifacts like the original life-jackets of some of the passengers, I turned the corner to find something that blew me away.
Transitioning to First Class
The Entrance to First Class
My husband and I turned the corner from learning so much about the Titanic, it's workers, it's second and third, and fourth class passengers- to find an exact replica of the Grand Stairway. This replica was made to scale, just the same as it was made to scale in the movie 'Titanic.' They explained that the floors were made of the most expensive material of the day which was not marble.. but the new trendy thing- linoleum! The stairway was intricately carved with gold trim, and the ceiling was absolutely beautiful. I was blown away by the room itself, and my husband and I ascended the stairs to enjoy the rest of the tour. A person greeted us at the stairway to welcome us to first class.
When you walk through the grand stairway, the first thing you see is a first class sitting room. I think they said that this sitting room belonged to Mrs. Aster, the wife of the richest passenger on Titanic. The room seems small, but I had to correct myself and remember that it was much smaller because it was on a boat- and at the time it was considered large, beautiful and very luxurious!
The Grand Piano Room
I have to say that the Grand Piano Room was probably the most touching of them all. Each of the pictures you see around the piano were the men who performed on the Titanic while the ship sank. It gave a wonderful memorial to the bravery they showed as they continued to play to calm the passengers.
Each picture had their last words or words remembered by other passengers.
We had a representative there who was the 'pianist' in the room. He sat and explained so many things to us, and then he played most magnificently. I actually was transcended into thinking I was on the Titanic at that point. It seemed as though I lost track of time and lost myself for a few minutes. I couldn't believe that the beautiful sounding music was there with all of the romance and intrigue of the experience.
Tourists get the opportunity to walk into the bow of the boat where the help is located, and then walk around the front on the promenade. The museum is kept at the same temperature it was the fateful night that boat sunk- so basically it's freezing. You can see the twinkling lights and the iceberg off in the distance, and it really gives you the feeling that you are taking a cool midnight stroll on the deck.
Some Really Cool Things At The End
There are three different sloped decks at the end that show you the angle of the boat at different times. You can also sit in one of the life boats that are to scale, and you can see just how much room they had in them. Twenty-four people were in one boat, but they could have fit three times that.
At the end there is a pool of water that you can put your hand in. You are supposed to try and keep your hand in the water for three minutes, but I couldn't last for 30 seconds. My husband managed the three minutes, but he couldn't move his hand. It's the same temperature as the water hundreds of people drown in that horrible night. The sign explained that fifteen minutes in the water would put a person through terrible shivers, and then numbness, and then incredible sleepiness and then they would die. I shuddered at the thought of being immersed in that water.
You find out if your person lived or died, and then you also find out what your person did if they did live. It was really interesting. Some of the people had pictures and some did not.
The guest shop at the end sold some really neat souvenirs, including charms of the blue 'heart of the sea.' I didn't get one because I thought it might be bad luck, but I DID get a sweater- not sure if I will wear it while driving.. ha!
The whole experience was so fascinating and it's one that I'll never forget. I am so glad that we decided to visit this tourist attraction. There was so much more that I haven't mentioned, including films about what they found underwater in the real Titanic, and other precious artifacts like pieces of wood, china, letters, post cards and photos.
I highly recommend visiting this attraction if you ever find yourself in Branson!
Some Information About The Branson Museum Via Youtube
Your Thoughts On Visiting The Titanic Museum
Would you find visiting the Titanic museum in Branson interesting?
Thank you so much for reading! If you ever would like to check out the museum, you can find it in Branson at the following address:
3235 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616
You can phone for more information: 800-381-7670
**For tickets I would recommend visiting Groupon.com and searching for 'Titanic Museum Branson' You can save up to 40% with the Groupon! Or, if you don't wish to do this, there are several coupons you may find online or in local coupon books in Branson.