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Today in Titanic History - with Searching
Today in
Titanic History

Friday, July 12, 2024
1941 - 1st class survivor Mrs Malvina Helen Cornell died in New York, USA at the age of 84.

1972 - 2nd class survivor Miss Kate Buss died of heart failure / disease in Independence, Oregon, USA at the age of 96.

1892 - 3rd class passenger Mr Peter Andreas Lauritz Andersen S°holt was born.

1911 - 3rd class survivor Miss Helene Barbara Baclini was born to Solomon Baclini and Latifa Qurban Baclini.

1924 - 3rd class survivor Mr Neshan Krekorian married Persa Vartanian, who was not on the Titanic.

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TITANIC - The Experience: Fox Studios Australia



Boarding Titanic at
the Southampton pier




A First-Class stateroom




Entering the Third-Class
general room




Fleeing through the
tilting gymnasium
(click here for detailed view)




Walking out onto the deck




Waiting in the lifeboats




Locked in Third-Class




Stranded in the Boiler Room




Ascending the Grand Staircase




Final resting place
beneath the waves

In the summer of 2000, I was lucky enough to take a trip to Sydney, and visit Australia's own Fox Studios. No doubt many of you have heard about the park's major attraction, TITANIC: The Experience. Unfortunately, I was not able to obtain photographs of the actual ride, due to copyright restrictions. I was, however, lucky enough to spot a model of the ride. So, to please the audience, I have taken photographs of each stage of the attraction.

The ride is split up into two categories: if you line up in one of the lines, you will 'survive'. If you are in the other line, well, 'better luck in the next life'.

We begin the adventure at the docks of Southampton, England. James Horner's musical piece "Southampton" can be heard as we begin our ascent up the gangplanks. The water below lapps against the side of the vessel, while 'passengers' above (wax figures) wave farewell to their loved ones.

We enter the ship via the First-Class entrance, and are immediately instructed towards the Third-Class general room. Along the way, it is possible to sneak in and browse around a First-Class stateroom.

We proceed through the Third-Class library, ending up in the general room. Officer Lightoller appears, wishing us a safe journey as the docks disappear out of view through the portholes. The hum of the engine can be heard, as can the gentle shaking of the vessel as the propellors begin churning the water. We are wished goodnight, Lightoller exits, and James Horner's "Third Class Party" selection begins.

After a short while, Lightoller appears once again, advising us that we have been at sea for three days. And for three days, he has heard nothing but complaints from First-Class about the noise we've been making. Before another word can be spoken, we feel the vessel suddenly jump and rock, accompanied by the agonising sound of ice scraping against steel. The form of an iceberg can be seen passing the portholes, the steel hull buckles, and water gushes into the room.

At this point is where the two lines are separated. Apparently 'splitting up' the crowd into two groups, the first line is directed toward a small staircase, which leads to a landing, barred by a locked gate. A steward appears on the other side. We are advised that we can only pass through the gates if we do not touch anything, as we will be entering First-Class quarters.

We now find ourself walking through an upward-tilted gymnasium. Surprisingly, it takes a fair amount of energy to successfully walk toward the door without slipping on the tiled floor. Knowing I've been instructed against it, I can't help to pause and study the electric camel, attracting a strict glare from an officer. I hurriedly catch up with the group, avoiding the officer.

A rush of ice-cold air hits us as we walk out onto the boat deck. The deck tilts more, and a desperate climb into the lifeboats is accompanied by the gentle hymn "Nearer, My God, to Thee". Icy water splashes against our skin as we drift away from the sinking ship. Only now is it possible to see exactly how much the vessel is tilted. The massive structure looms in the water, visible only by what little light comes of of the portholes. Desperate screams are heard bleow decks, all too realistic to be recordings. The outlines of deck chairs can be seen sliding down the decks, splashing into the water. An explosion comes from below decks, the lights go out, and we are in complete darkness. After a final loud groan of the ship's hull bending, the Titanic is finally gone.

We exit the lifeboats onto a boardwalk, ending the first adventure.

Wanting to experience, I can't resist repeating the ride, this time lining up with group two. Upon being split up after the collision, we are directed towards another locked gate, though the officer refuses to let us through, leaving us no option but to find another means of escape through the bowels of the ship.

After a series of turns through Third-Class corridors, we find ourselves within the cargo hold. Wooden crates, once stacked in neat piles, are now found scattered and broken across the floor. The famous Renault, complete with handprint, is visible in the corner. A sudden crash and flash of light occurs behind us, where we discover that a fallen pipe has barred the only exit. A stoker emerges from another room, coated in soot and sweat. He tries in vain to move the pipe, but to no avail. Desperate to find us an exit, he admits us through into the boiler rooms.

Intense heat hits us as we enter the furnace, which is identical to the boiler rooms which Rose and Jack run through. Fire spews out of burners, while on the other side of the room, ice-cold water gushes through the split hull, sending up huge clouds of steam whenever it comes in contact with one of the burners. Our escape is cut short when one of the furnaces explodes, sending a spurt of hot air which warms every inch of skin on our bodies. The lights flicker, then suddenly we are in complete darkness, with only the sound of gushing water to accompany our screams. This, obviously, is where the screams had come from before.

Great doors open, which before were thought to be a wall. Before us is the magnificent Grand Staircase. The front of the staircase is coated in moss, slowly rotting away, though this fades as we ascend the stairs, turning into the glorious wooden structure we all imagine it to have been. Our photograph is taken of the group on the staircase, and we are thanked for journeying "back to Titanic".

Upon exiting the ride, we see a massive screen, playing the end of the movie, from the part where Old Rose drops the Heart of the Ocean into the water. The diamond twists and turns as it slowly fades away, as does the film, revealing a massive model of the wreck. We are informed that this model is the actual model of the wreck used in the film for the long distance shots. After a good look at all possible sides of the wreck, the ride comes to an end.

All in all, if you ever have the chance to visit Sydney, visitng Fox Studios is a must for ANY Titanic buff.

Mark
Staff member, www.Back-to-Titanic.com

All images taken at TITANIC - The Experience: Fox Studios Australia. Photography by Mark Summerville, 2000






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