- Ship of Dreams
Orlando Exhibition Revisited
By Jerry Davidson
Vacation in Orlando can be a
very exciting with all there is to do with Walt Disney World,
Universal Studios and all the other attractions in the general
vicinity. But lost to many is a very entertaining
exhibition on the Titanic. Visiting the site was a
must on my trip itinerary.
On entering the building, you
are met by many character actors that portray individuals
tied to Titanic Lore in period costumes. Once entering
the exhibit itself, they whisk you into a reproduction of
what Bruce Ismay's office might look like. Most prominent
was the decor and two original posters of the Oceanic and
Majestic. You are next treated to a video of "Ismay"
greeting you and speaking about his ships and what you are
about to see in the exhibit. Each area is designed
to give the viewer a feel of the human story about Titanic.
I will not cover every area of the exhibition but will give
you a brief overview of what is displayed and my impressions.
There were three
areas in the exhibit that I found very impressive.
The first was a recreation of what the dockside might look
like and the ships entrance. (see picture). Not only
do you see the side of the ship and entrance, but they also
have a showcase with 3rd Officer Herbert Pitman's wooden
sea chest and many of his belongings including a uniform
and his sword.
The second area
was a reproduction of Cargo hold #1 complete with crates
and the red Renault. (see picture) The third
area was designed to depict the Titanic's promenade deck
the evening of the sinking. The temperature of the
room is right around 32 degrees and you can look over the
rail and see nothing at all, just stars and what the night
would look like from the deck.
Another area that
I appreciated a great deal was the complete recreation of
the Palm Court i.e. Verandah. Complete with
furnishings, plants and green lattice work on the walls,
this was very impressive indeed. It had show cases
with items, (plates, silverware and cooking items) that
were recovered from that 1st class area of the ship.
We were next treated
to a reproduction of the grand staircase and dome. Impressive
as it was, it wasn't the correct shape and had some detailing
errors like most exhibits.
non the less. From there you are taken to a 1st class stateroom
with an actress representation of Madelyn Astor. (see picture)
The stateroom looked true to the photographs that I have
seen and had rich mahogany walls with gold leaf trim molding.
Much of what is seen in the exhibition is a recreation of
what you might see had you been on the Titanic and from
the perspective of a human being on the ship.
As for many of the
exhibitions artifacts, the exhibition had a great
amount of items from Titanic's sister ship unlike the Chicago
exhibition. The Olympic items were on loan from the
collection of Dennis Cochrane. There was actually
a shortage of what would be artifacts from the Titanic herself.
The relics from Titanic were pretty much confined to plates,
and personal items such as letters, jewelry, money (bills
and coins) and the like. There was a very nice 5 foot
model of the ship with all the usual detail errors.
On each ticket to the exhibit
there is a name printed on it. When you reach the
conclusion of the exhibit there is a large lighted wall
of honor that you can look to find the name that s on your
ticket. This allows you to see if you made it off
the ship or went to Davey Jone's locker. One of the
last artifacts that is presented is one of four remaining
life jackets from the ship. (see picture)