Crime Museum: Alcatraz East at The Island in Pigeon Forge!

Alcatraz east crime museum

Crime Museum: Alcatraz East at The Island in Pigeon Forge!

The Alcatraz East Crime Museum is a relatively new attraction at the Island in Pigeon Forge. I was given media tickets to check out the museum as part of the Dollywood Social Media Influencer Gathering that I attended in April. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when visiting a crime museum. Would it be a rogues gallery? A wax museum?

I wasn’t sure what to expect at all before visiting the Alcatraz East Crime Museum!

Visiting the Alcatraz East Crime Museum

The Island at Pigeon Forge is a massive shopping and entertainment complex. The Island shares very large parking lot with the convention center, so parking can be an issue at times. Still, you can park right in front of the Alcatraz East building; it’s just a long walk from the crime museum to the rest of the Island. At that point, I’d move my car and use the regular lot (they do have trams). Check out the Alcatraz East website for tickets and hours.

crime museum alcatraz east

The Alcatraz East Crime museum is spread over two floors and offers 25,000 square feet of exhibit space. They recommend two hours,  but I easily spent more than three checking out every inch of the exhibits. So, be sure to eat a good meal before your visit.

crime museum Alcatraz east
Look! they put a manhole cover in the floor. Amazing attention to detail and unnecessary (and awesome) level of theming.

The museum takes you on a tour of the history of crime in America. Through five different galleries and hundreds of exhibits, you’ll see the evolution of crime and policing over the past four hundred years. We travel through the colonies, the old west, prohibition, mobs, mafia, serial killers, terrorists and so much more. The theming of the exhibit spaces are very top-notch and reflect the quality of the artifacts and information presented.

Who Should Visit the Crime Museum?

Alcatraz East boasts that the museum is for all ages. However, I felt that children elementary-aged and younger will have a hard time with the exhibits and the content. The artifacts can be quite disturbing and reflect the violence of the subject matter. It’s a fantastic experience and anyone, regardless of age, that has an interest in any facet of crime and punishment will find Alcatraz East very enjoyable.

Alcatraz east crime museum
It’s the 1993 Ford Bronco used by OJ Simpson during the police chase in Los Angeles.

It was quite eye-opening to see how intertwined many of the criminals were with popular culture. The bandits of the early 19th century were able to capitalize on the newspapers, radio and early television to help garner fame. Many times, this would be their downfall, but it still shows our fascination with crime and criminals.

Visiting the Alcatraz East Crime Museum is a wonderful addition to a Dollywood vacation, especially if you have an interest in crime and punishment in America. It’s a unique museum that offers exhibits that you won’t find anywhere else.

Alcatraz east crime museum

Are You Going to Check Out the Alcatraz East Crime Museum?

FTC Disclosure: A media ticket was provided. No review was expected or required.

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