Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN

2757 ParkwayPigeon Forge, TN 37863
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Overview

Discover the history of American crime at Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge — if you dare! This expansive museum features artifacts from notorious crimes, criminals, and prisons such as Alcatraz. Featuring five hands-on galleries, guests can learn about everything from crime scene investigation to crime in pop culture. From mugshots to forensic science, this crime museum has it all.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Pigeon Forge Travel Experts
  • Located at the entrance to The Island in Pigeon Forge.
  • Additional parking located behind the building and at The Island.
  • Plan to spend 2 to 3 hours, or more if you're a crime buff.
  • The museum features over 500 authentic artifacts.
  • Open 365 days a year.
  • Lockers are available for rent on a first come, first served basis.
  • A crime museum featuring an in-depth look at American crime history as a whole, not just the penitentiary on Alcatraz Island.
  • Look for the famous O.J. Simpson chase Bronco, John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a submachine gun from the movie Scarface, and Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle.

Description

from Alcatraz East Crime Museum
Explore American History from a different perspective. Five unique galleries burrow deep into the studies of criminal intent, criminal profiles, the penal system, victims, crime prevention, forensic science, law enforcement and the Judiciary Branch of government. The museum is 25,000 square feet spread over 2 floors and includes over 100 interactive exhibits.

Located at the entrance to the Island in Pigeon Forge, Alcatraz East has 20 exhibit areas highlighting 5 themes: History of American Crime, Consequences of Crime, CSI, Crime Fighting, Counterfeit & Pop Culture.

Kids can enjoy:
- Jail Cell Escape
- Prohibition Shooting Gallery
- Modern Police Shooting Range
- Heist Laser Maze (additional cost)
- Numerous Photo Ops
- Our Top Detective Challenge! (additional cost)

Some of our famous artifacts include:
- John Dillinger’s Car
- Al Capone’s Rosary
- The Bronco used in the OJ Simpson chase
- Al Pacino’s machine gun from Scarface

NEW Temporary Exhibit - "It Happened Here"
From local stories of moonshiners and vigilantes, to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that rocked the nation, those interested in learning more about the state’s notorious crime history can do so at the new temporary exhibit, “It Happened Here,” open now through April 2019.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, and the exhibit will include items that belonged to assassin James Earl Ray and related to the nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary where he was held.

Legendary lawman Buford Pusser will be featured, along with crime stories local to Sevier County, such as the Perry Camp Murders, and the little-known Knoxville native and inmate at Alcatraz Penitentiary, Kenneth Jones. He was one of only two inmates released directly from Alcatraz Island. “It Happened Here” will also include notables such as labor leader Jimmy Hoffa, moonshiner Popcorn Sutton, and President Andrew Jackson.

Reserve Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

26 Reviews
JOSEPH PRINCE
Tabor City, NC
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"WOW! Neat place"
December, 2018 NEW
My kids wanted to go here, and I was less than enthused. I am so glad that we went ! The museum houses a history of the criminal justice system in America from colonial times to present. Included are witch trials, pirates, gangsters, moonshiners, organized crime, etc. Some of the exhibits are cool, such as the autopsy area, some are interesting, such as the prohibition era, and some like the 9/11 part are sobering. I teach criminal justice at the college level and I learned some things here. You could easily spend an entire day here. There is an audio tour which is a bit extra, and worth it. There is also an add-on "detective" hunt for a missing item which will make the museum more fun for younger visitors and there is a game where you must not trip the laser security which was fun. OJ's infamous jeep is there are several other vehicles. The building seems larger on the inside than it looks on the outside. A highlight of our vacation
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Tip: Several additional activities in the museum can increase your fun and were worth the money

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Lisa Saunders
Batesburg-Leesville, SC
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Educational fun experience"
December, 2018 NEW
Me and my family had an amazing experience at Alcatraz East Museum. We spent four hours and took the VIP tour. There was so much to experience. With the VIP tour you get admission with audio, top detective challenge, and the heist. It is well worth the money. You learn and interact with all aspects of crime. From history, police department, gathering evidence and so much more. The facilities was very well maintained and clean, and the staff was friendly and helpful. I will definitely go back because with there being so much I know I probably missed one or two things. To me I feel like if you visit everytime you come to visit Pigeon Forge there will always be something that you will learn or say to yourself hey I didn't see that the last time I visited.
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Tip: I recommend everyone to wear very comfortable shoes. Also expect to stay awhile if you want to truly experience what Alcatraz East Museum is truly about. It is well worth your money and time.

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Reserve Gatlinburg Customer
Kiln, MS
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Alcatraz East Crime Museum"
November, 2018
We had a great time! It was super interesting & we can't wait to bring out kids back to enjoy it also.
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Tip: Takes about 3 hours.

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Jason Salyers
Princeton, WV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"VERY cool!!"
October, 2018
We spent around 4 hours in the museum and could have easily stayed longer. So much cool stuff! Loved it and would highly recommend it.
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Victoria R.
McMurray, PA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Very Educational"
August, 2018
This was definitely an educational experience. The whole family enjoyed the fun.
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Tip: Paying extra for the audio tour wasn't worth it because everything is thoroughly documented throughout the museum.

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Cynthia Weaver
Bowie, MD
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Not what I expected"
August, 2018
It was ok. I will not be doing that again. All it was reading boards after boards. The website said it was interacted. I did not see much of that and it did have interesting pictures. The website should said that kids under the age of 10 should not come. It was boarding to them. So of the exhibits did not work either for interaction.
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Tip: Keep youi little ones at home.

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Amber Grigston
Monroe, NC
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Very cool!"
July, 2018
Had a date night out with the hubby, sister and her boyfriend. Loved the different sections! My favorite was the World Trade Center remembrance and driving the cop car after OJ Simpson in the Bronco! Haha
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Tip: It takes 3-4 hours to go throug

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Betty Miller
Augusta, GA
13 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Very Interesting"
July, 2018
I really enjoyed it very informative and educational. The kids even enjoyed it they had things for them as well. I was very impressed.
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Tip: This is very nice We spent as least 3 hours there.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Dawn H
"Educational and Fun !"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 16, 2019 NEW
Alcatraz East Crime Museum Pigeon Forge My boys and I had a great time going through Alcatraz East Crime Museum . There is so much interesting this to see and do .
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Tammy F
Nashville, Indiana, United States
"Interesting and informative"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 16, 2019 NEW
Don't let the name Alcatraz fool ya. This is more an American crime museum. Lots of different crimes displayed as well as a nice 911 tribute room.
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Blank A
Nashville, Tennessee
"Plan to spend 3 - 4 hours"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 15, 2019 NEW
My wife picked this attraction as I never would have. Boy I would have missed out on some really good fun. First of all this is a large two-story museum, with two elevators. Handicap parking is available. No seats anywhere so if you have issues with standing for several hours talk to the clerks and see if they can provide a seat for you. No water fountains that I saw but restrooms on each level. Now the fun part: You go to the second floor and follow the arrows until you are back at the entrance. This took us about 4 hours. Displays are about pirates, witches, jail breakouts, really bad criminals, weapons, prison cells, cars used in crimes, etc. Worth the price. I would have given it a five if they had some seats in places around the floors. That's it. Fun for all ages.
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Nikki A
"Worth the visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 14, 2019 NEW
With my husband being a criminal justice major I thought this would be great for him to visit on our vacation. It was well worth the trip and price. Not only my husband but myself and my nine year old loved it! There was so much to look at, learn and ridiculous amounts of interacting areas. Definitely should visit if your near one.
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SusieL3210
Lexington, Kentucky
"Surprised"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 14, 2019 NEW
My 11 year old wanted to visit the museum, after reading about it I wasn’t very excited but decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how educational it was and very interesting. Only wish we had allowed more time( we stayed over 2 hours) to tour it closer, will definitely go again.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Alcatraz East Crime Museum

How long does it take to complete the museum?
Guests should allow about 2 to 3 hours to complete the entire museum.

Is there somewhere to buy food and/or beverages at the museum?
The museum does sell drinks and snacks but does not have an eating facility. Fortunately, the museum is located at the Island, so there are plenty of places within walking distance to grab a snack or a meal.

Is the museum appropriate for children?
The museum is appropriate for all ages. Please do note that due to the nature of the museum, there is mature content. The museum has gone to great lengths to ensure that children and adults alike have a pleasant experience.

What are the hours of operation?
The museum is open 365 days a year from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Hours are subject to change based on seasonality or events.