Being a part of history isn’t actually possible, which is unfortunate because it would be super cool to go back in time and experience history the way the people of the time experienced it. But there is a business that surely tries. “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” is a small museum that resides on International Drive in Orlando, Florida. The building itself is pretty hard to miss, since there is a ship painted on the front of the building that looks similar to the Titanic. The building may be small but it’s a cool experience in Orlando.
For those who are unaware, the Titanic was the largest ship of its time but it only made one voyage in the year of 1912, which was never finished due to a large iceberg that was noticed too late. There were thousands of passengers on board who died, all due to the fact that the ship was not designed with the proper amount of lifeboats to save everyone.
This museum is a unique experience in that when you enter to pay for your tickets, each guest is handed a card with real passenger’s information on it, such as: name, date of birth, country of origin, native language and what class that passenger was in as well as the room they stayed in. It tells brief story of how the person could have been during their life. This gives the customer sense that they have become the passenger on their card as they walk through the halls of the museum. It’s really quite a creative and unique way to share the story of the dreaded cruise ship and the many passengers who lost their lives due to the design of the cruise ship.
As passengers walk through the museum with their passenger cards in their hands, there is a tour guide to share with everyone the story of the pieces in the museum. Some are only replicas of what was on the cruise ship while others are actual pieces that had been recovered from the wreckage quite a few years ago.
Room by room, the tour guide recites the events that took the ship down all those years ago, so near the end of the tour, there’s flashing lights and the rooms get colder as passengers realize the ship is sinking. The very last room is a very cold room that houses an iceberg that can be touched if passengers choose to do so. It’s like the passengers are experiencing the cold of that night for themselves.
The whole museum is set up like a ship, so one feels like they are actually on the Titanic when they walk through the rooms filled with history. The floorboards are all wooden and the doors are painted to look like the doors on a ship, complete with the little round windows. The tour guide will answer any questions passengers may have but there are little plaques around the objects to share the history as well. Some exhibits include jewelry, old communication equipment, replicas of the bedrooms that different classes would have stayed in, and even a large piece of the hull of the ship.
Unfortunately, there are strict rules on no photography allowed in the museum, even without flash, but this is strictly to protect the pieces that are actually from the wreckage of the Titanic. Overall, it’s a neat experience that guests or even long-time residents of the Orlando area should visit. It makes for an entertaining Sunday afternoon.