I am lucky to live very close to one of the most popular spots in Tennessee; Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge is a town filled with so many activities for the family to enjoy, the possibilities are almost endless. I was actually married and spent my honeymoon just outside of Pigeon Forge and we have many happy memories of that weekend. When I was planning for Henry’s 13th birthday, I wanted to find somewhere special to mark the occasion. I had a friend recommend a resort where we could stay and play and that was Wilderness At The Smokies in Sevierville, TN.
If the town of Sevierville, TN sounds familiar, that may be because Dolly Parton was born there! I was not very familiar with all the Wilderness At The Smokies had to offer, so I was extremely hopeful and excited when we packed up for our boy’s birthday weekend.
When you pull up to the resort, you are immediately impressed at its sheer size. There are numerous buildings filled with cozy rooms, an indoor and outdoor water park and an indoor Adventure Forest. The check out process was super quick and the staff was among the most friendly, sincere and caring I have ever had the pleasure to meet. After you check in, you are offered the opportunity to learn about the timeshare aspect of the property. If you choose to participate, you can earn $100 AMEX GC, vacation stays and many other tempting offers.
We stayed in the Bunk Suite, which sleeps 6 with a queen bed, one twin and queen bunk and a twin pullout. The prices range from $114 for a standard room to $304 for the lush villas. Kids under 11 eat free and the passes to the water park was free. You can enjoy dining at several indoor and outdoor restaurants and cafes throughout the property. The rooms were plenty big for the 4 of us, had a nice sized bathroom, 2 televisions, a mini fridge, coffee maker and a lovely balcony view.
The main attraction we were eager to try out was the expansive water park, which is exclusive to the resort guests. You do not need to stay overnight at The Wilderness At The Smokies if you want to play in the Adventure Forest for the day. You can purchase tickets which range in price from $14-$18 for an All Day and $20-$25 for an All Stay pass if you are staying overnight. You can also purchase Ala cart to bowl in the Howlin’ Hound Dog Alley, play mini golf in the Cataloochee Creek outdoor or the Moonshine Run indoor mini golf or play laser tag.
The impressive 66,000 square foot Wild Waterdome indoor water park includes the 10,000 foot Great Wave wave pool, which was a favorite of all of us. Henry, Caitlin and my husband practically lived in the 2 Indoor Tube Slides. If you are afraid of heights, these are the best of the slides as they are only about 5 stories high.
The scariest attraction in my opinion was the Storm Chaser Thrill Ride (how beautiful does it look at night?) This terrifyingly fun water slide takes 4 riders down a 55 foot thrilling ride into a dark tunnel that drops through a zero gravity fall into a huge funnel. From here are you going to experience several fast oscillations and then you safely land in the pool below. I am afraid of heights, so I could not even do the climb up to the top in order to ride. It is sad my kids and husband were riding this one over and over while I waited patiently for them below!
You can also enjoy the Smokies Surf Rider, which my husband seemed to be a pro at! He rode that board like he had been doing it his entire life, although it was his first time. I want to give a shout out to whoever the guy was who worked at the Surf Rider at approximately 3:30 pm on Friday the 14th of August. He was especially kind, patient, friendly and was wonderful with the younger guests. The younger crowd will also love to play in Washout Mountain and their mom and dad will love to relax in the Magnolia Grove Hot Spa.
When you go outside, you have the choice of 4 fun Cyclone Racers water slides, the easy going Cataloochee Creek Adventure River and the Washout Wilderness Rapids and the Wild Vortex. Caitlin and I hung out in the Cataloochee Creek and the Washout Wilderness Rapids. You can also reserve one of several of the spaciously beautiful cabanas.
Henry and Chris went up and down the Cyclone Racers, trying each one of the four several times. I am no expert as I only tried it once, but Henry says the red one is the best! Chris and Caitlin had the nerve to try the Wild Vortex, which is 66 feet in the air and has a trap door you stand on. Once it lets go, you are plummeting down a 39-foot vertical free fall drop at speeds up to 40 mph. This was CRAZY ya’ll!
For some dry fun, the Adventure Forest has a ton of fun for all ages. There are plenty of arcade games, rides, play and climbing areas, bowling and much more. I would highly recommend to pay the additional fees for the All Stay passes so you can enjoy all of the attractions inside at one set price.
If you are planning on staying at the Wilderness At The Smokies, be sure to book early for the best rates. Currently, you can stay for just $99 per night (restrictions do apply.) The resort has plenty of space for you and your family as well as for corporate functions. You can plan a birthday party, family reunion or even a wedding an honeymoon! Of all the places we have traveled, Wilderness at the Smokies is by far at the top of our list. We had such a wonderful time to recharge and reconnect as a family, which is something we really needed to do. I highly recommend the resort and cannot wait to visit them again as soon as we can arrange it! Caitlin has a birthday in October and I bet she would love to go back! Be sure to follow The Wilderness at the Smokies on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Wilderness at the Smokies
1424 Old Knoxville Hwy