Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights lets you take in the town in all its holiday glory with a narrated tour of the town, its streets and neighborhoods.
Is it possible to see 5 million Christmas lights in one night? Quite possibly, and Pigeon Forge is going to give their best shot at it with the town’s Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights. It’s an easy way to get the holiday season started off right and get everyone in the spirit. It’s also a great way to tour Pigeon Forge and see some of the places that you might have missed just traveling down the Parkway. Let Pigeon Forge’s Trolley Ride of Lights be your guide to the holidays this season.
November 6, 2017 through February 28, 2018
And just so you know, just because it’s after New Years, doesn’t mean that Pigeon Forge stops celebrating. In fact, trolley rides will continue through the end of February, just so that we’re sure everyone will get their chance to see Pigeon Forge lit up in all its glory.
Pigeon Forge’s Trolley Ride of Lights is your chance to really take in every bit of the town’s holiday spirit with each trip you decide to take. The streets will be decorated with not only lights but garlands, candles, wreaths, Santas, and watch out for the mistletoe! The tour is completely narrated and the trolley itself is heated. Each trolley comes with its own personal tour guide whose stories about Pigeon Forge’s history are sure to amaze and wonder. Let us do the driving, we want you to be able to see all of Pigeon Forge’s holiday magic.
And just one other note, there must be a minimum of 15 passengers for the Trolley tour to begin. Tickets can be purchased upon arrival and reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. For any other information, call 865-453-6444 and enjoy the lights!
Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg is just a quick trip down the parkway in Pigeon Forge.
Put down your shopping bags for awhile and hit the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort this weekend! The outlets will still be there when you’re done!
If your plan is to ski while in Pigeon Forge during your next vacation, or Smoky Mountain getaway, then the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is where you need to be. Ober is the only ski resort in Tennessee, so if you’re looking for more choices best keep on going to North Carolina, or on toward West Virginia. But here in the Smoky Mountains, Ober Gatlinburg is where folks come whether their staying in Gatlinburg, shopping in Pigeon Forge, or visiting Sevierville.
And don’t think there won’t be something for everyone. Ober Gatlinburg is a family ski resort that has a myriad of activities. If part of your family doesn’t ski or snowboard, take a few laps around the ice skating rink, go play in the arcade, take a trip down the alpine slide, the scenic chair lift, and more. Even the older folks have something to do as they can sit by the fire in the lounge or even “people-watch” around the ice skating rink. Ober’s been a Smoky Mountain staple since 1962 when it comes to entertaining family, friends, and even that hard to please uncle, aunt or grandparent.
When you arrive at Ober Gatlinburg you’ll have two options to get you to the top. Guests can either ride the aerial tramway (which happens to be the largest aerial tramway in America) from downtown Gatlinburg, or drive up the mountain on Ski Mountain Road. Simply turn at traffic light No. 9 on the south end of Gatlinburg (closest to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park) and follow the winding road (Ski Mountain Road) all the way to the top…but have cash in hand for parking. A bit of advice – the earlier you go, the better. The are three tiered parking lots and you’ll have a better shot at getting a space at the top near the resort. Otherwise, it’s quick hike from one of the lower decks.
The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary on Dollywood’s property is the largest aviary of non-releasable Bald Eagles in the world. These eagles have been wounded in the wild, or orphaned in their nests and brought to East Tennessee to be raised in captivity and cared for by the good people of the American Eagle Foundation. Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is located in Craftsmens Valley across form the blacksmith’s shop, right next to the Wings of America Theater. This makes it easy to find and of course the ability to look up the side of the mountain and watch eagle sin nature on the side of the Great Smoky Mountains is simply wonderful.
As you walk toward the netting that is used to protect the eagles and keep them safe inside the sanctuary you will feel as if you are stepping out of yourself, and certainly stepping out of Dollywood. It is almost otherworldly. The eagles have built nests and inherited nests on the side of this mountain. You get a feel for the enormity of the nests, the size of these beautiful creatures. You also get to hear them as they interact.
You might even hear the eagles before you see them on the mountain. They screech and chirp to each other making the wonderful noises you will ever hear. They are very social animals. They do not usually live in quarters quite this tight but they seem to get a long and they are well cared for. The eagles in the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary are being rehabilitated or can simply not be released back into the wild. This is as close as you will ever get to a bald eagle.
Unless of course, you turn around and go to the smaller pens near the eagle gift shop. Here some of the more well behaved eagles are in smaller enclosures that allow you to get much closer to the eagles and see them moving around and interacting with their environment. Especially for young people and people that have never seen eagles before this is a treat and you will find that you spend countless minutes watching the birds hop and flit from tree to tree.
The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is one of the most wonderful attractions and exhibits in Dollywood. They have an amazing exhibit and they do a great deal of good for the bird that is the symbol of our country. It is hard to believe that some of these eagles have been injured by hunters and cannot return to the wild but it is good to know that the professionals that are taking care of them have the best interest of the eagles at heart.
The wettest ride at Dollywood is the Smoky Mountain River Rampage. This white water rafting style ride promises dips, plunges and lots and lots of water. Stepping into the circular boat means that you have agreed to get drenched in the fast moving water. The ride is located at the front of the park, in Rivertown Junction, making it easy to find and of course, making it a perfect last stop after a hot day in the park.
As you enter the line, you are going to notice one thing right off the bat, the line can get very long. It has one of the longest, and most winding queues in the park outside of the roller coasters. This line can really stack up. The wait can take a good bit of time, but the folks at Dollywood have made sure that you stay under the cover of trees and buildings most of the time so that you don’t get too hot before getting really wet. On a similar note, if it starts to rain, that’s the perfect time to head for this ride. For whatever reason, if it is raining people tend to leave the lines for water rides. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but it does seem to happen.
After standing in line for a little while, you will reach the front of the line and you will see a line of circular boats lined up in front of you. The people running the ride will help you into your boat. Make sure that you are secured in your seat before setting off on your journey. The boats bounce merrily along the course before they begin their journey up the first hill. This hill is the start of the fun part. As you top the hill, you get a great view of the surrounding area outside the park, before plunging down the other side. If you are on the downhill side of this plunge, get ready to get soaked. After this plunge, you will be on a twisting course through rapids, beside cascades and close to waterfalls, all designed to get you as wet as possible. Add to that, the fact that the people that are watching you get soaked can add to the fun by firing water cannons at you and you have a ride that is guaranteed to make sure you are cooled off after a hot day in the summer sun.
Once your ride is over, you arrive back at the docks, ready to disembark. After you have gotten out of your boat you can exit, or get right back in line to ride it again. And, if you are lucky and there is no one else in line, they might just let you ride through again without getting out of the boat at all. Either, way you have just been on the wettest ride that Dollywood has to offer. It is exciting, it is fun and it really knows how to take away the heat.
Every town in the Smokies had a small general store that supplied the goods that people needed to exist in the shadows of the mountains. In Pigeon Forge, the mill was also the site of the general store. As the town grew, the people that run the Old Mill Restaurant decided to keep this general store idea going and you can stop next door to the locally famous restaurant and do some shopping for everything from corn meal, that was milled by the water wheel, to area souvenirs. The Old Mill General Store is one of those places that everyone needs to stop at, at least once, while they are vacationing in Pigeon Forge.
When you are driving through Pigeon Forge you will notice a sign at traffic light 6 for the Old Mill and Patriot Park. Turn onto Old Mill Avenue and after you drive past Outback Leather (on the right), you will see a gigantic water wheel on the right hand side of the road. Pull into the parking lot for the Old Mill General Store and the Old Mill Restaurant and head inside.
The general store has a little bit of everything, like general stores of old. Jams, jellies, cookbooks, souvenirs and of course sacks of flour and corn meal line every wall. Right as you come in the door you will be presented with everything Pigeon Forge. From collectibles to t-shirts, bumper stickers to toys, there is a souvenirs for all of those people that you left at home when you went on vacation. Browse through the aisles. Make your way around the store and you will find yourself confronted with rows and shelves covered with edibles. Jams and jellies from the foothills of the Smokies, cookbook from churches and organizations in the area (maybe even one by Dolly Parton herself) and of course flour and corn meal.
If you have never had flour and corn meal ground fresh in an old fashioned mill, get a bag of flour or meal while you are at the general store. You can watch the meal work while it is operation during the day, see the corn and wheat getting ground. Watch as the folks that run the mill go through the process of making a product that has been produced in this location since 1830.
Stop at a traditional general store. Do some shopping. Learn a little more about how to mill flour and corn meal. Experience history. All this and more at the Old Mill General Store.
If you haven’t heard of the Inside Pigeon Forge Getaway Giveaway yet, then you’re just in time! The final details are going into place for this exciting contest that will give you the chance to win an incredible entertainment package that will get you and your family into many shows in Pigeon Forge, TN for free! I can’t release the exact shows, but it’s more than 1… more than 2… more than 3… not 4… keep going! I can also tell you that if you have a family of 4, you won’t have to spend a penny to get into these shows! If there are only two of you…you can go twice! If it’s just you, well, go see each show four times! This is simply too good and too easy to pass up.
In March of 2007, Dollywood invited its guests to take a ride on the Mystery Mine, its haunted mine car roller coaster that, at the time, was setting records and was the first roller coaster of its kind in the US. This steel Euro Fighter style coaster features inversions, loops and at the time the steepest drop in the country. Mystery Mine is still packing the people in with the wonderful theme-ing and the fact that it is one of the fastest rides in the park. Located in Timber Canyon, it is on the hill as you walk toward Adventure Mountain and River Battle and it is just right up the hill from Thunderhead.
Mystery Mine is a Euro Fighter style roller coaster. This design of coaster is the invention of the Gerstlauer corporation. They build roller coasters all over the world and the trademark of this type of roller coaster is the beyond vertical drop. In other words, one of the drops along the track will descend at greater then 90 degrees. This type of drop really pours on the speed and the g-forces, making the excitement and thrill for the passengers even greater. At the time Gerstlauer installed this ride for Dollywood it actually had the steepest drop in the world, though that spot has now been taken over by the Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach.
The theme of Mystery Mine is that you are entering an abandoned, condemned and haunted mine shaft. You start your journey with a quick drop and several tight turns before the lift kicks in and pulls you straight up the main climb. After this drop you are sent outside the mine building over the walking crowds below and into an Immelman style u-turn and then back into the mine. Inside the mine shaft there is an explosion of dynamite as the car sets off through the last pieces of the track: a 95 degree drop, after which you are pitched back into the outside world to a camera flash, taking your picture, before you start a barrel roll and a final half loop. After the loop, you arrive back at the station. The whole trip took you 2 and a half minutes, you reached speeds of 48 miles per hour and you were inverted in the safety of your car twice. This is a stunning roller coaster that is still calling to thrill seekers from around the world.
Best New Theme Park Attraction for 2007 by Theme Park Insider
48th on Amusement Today’s Best 50 Steel Coasters for 2997
#2 New Ride of 2007 by Amusement Today
Mystery Mine is one of those rides you have to experience to believe. The line does get long, the ride is not very long but you will see people get out of line after riding it and get right back in line to ride it again. This is still one of the biggest thrills at Dollywood. Combining aerial acrobatics, great theme-ing and of course, plenty of safety. Mystery Mine promises to bring on the thrill for decades to come.
Blazing Fury is one of the oldest rides at Dollywood. Built in 1978, this ride has been in operation since Silver Dollar City took over the park but before it even became Dollywood. This steel enclosed roller coaster tells the story of a small mining town that is on fire and the people of the town are, comically in some cases, trying to put it out. This enclosed ride is one of the few rides in the park that can be ridden in almost any weather. It can be pouring buckets of rain outside, and you can still ride the Blazing Fury without fear of getting wet… almost.
The premise behind the Blazing Fury is that you are on a ride, in a mine car, through a little mining town in the mountains. The mine and the town have caught faire and you are watching the people of the town try and put out the flames. The ride was built in the 1970s and some of that nostalgia and style are still evident today. Dollywood, due to the popularity of the ride, has done little to attempt to change it over the years. At times, the crepe paper flames, the mannequin like denizens of the town and voice acting still speak to the time when the ride was opened, but that is part of the fun. Also, if you have been to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO then you might have ridden its sister ride: Fire in the Hole.
The ride itself is very simple. The cars that you ride in are powered. They pull themselves up the winding track with the help of tires on the track to move them along on the steeper sections. The cars take the drops with the assistance of gravity. At the end of the ride, the culmination of the ride, is an 18 foot drop into pitch blackness. The suddenness of the drop and the fact that the ride gets darker as it progress leaves you wanting another go on the Blazing Fury as soon as you get off. You will see people all day rushing to get back in line for another trip.
The Blazing Fury is located in the Craftsmens Valley section of the park. If you are headed up the valley toward the Tennessee Tornado, you will pass the Blazing Fury on the way. If you have gotten to the Tornado by way of Adventure Pass, continue down the valley and you will pass the Blazing Fury on the right as you head down away from the Tornado and the games area at the top of the valley.
So, when you are at Dollywood, the next time you are vacationing in Pigeon Forge, take a ride on the only completely enclosed steel roller coaster at Dollywood, the Blazing Fury. Watch for the nostalgic props that were used to create this ride in the 1970s. Listen for the throw back to Silver Dollar City at the end of the ride when you here the lineman shout: Fire in the Hole. Take a ride back to a simpler time in the parks history.
The Smoky Mountain Car Museum is one of the oldest attractions in Pigeon Forge. They have been presenting vintage and celebrity cars since 1956.
The Smoky Mountain Car Museum closed in 2012. Information below is maintained for historical purposes.
One of the oldest and longest running attractions in the Smokies is the Smoky Mountain Car Museum. This family run museum has one of the best collections of cars and Americana memorabilia that you will ever see. From the cars that started the automobile craze in the US to cars that have become icons of the hot rod era and of course some celebrity cars as well, this museum is a roadside attraction that you have to see at least once while you are visiting Pigeon Forge.
The Smoky Mountain Car Museum opened in 1956 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge and though the area around the museum has changed over the years, the museum has remained a staple attraction, year after year. The collection that you see inside has been selected to represent cars from different eras of history and the collection does change occasionally so you never know what you might get to see. Cars that feature a change in the making or driving of cars. They have also managed to pick up cars that were once owned by celebrities – throughout the years they have one of Elvis’ Mercedes, a James Bond Aston Martin and Hank Williams Jr’s Silver Dollar Cadillac.
Here are just a few of the cars in the collection:
1910 Brush Model D – Runabout
1915 Harley Davidson
1947 Indian Chief
1959 Ford – Custom Police Interceptor
1970 Plymouth Superbird Winged Warrior
1915 Ford Model T
1930 Dussenberg – Model J
1937 Packard – V-12 Convertible
1971 Mercedes Benz Model 280 SEL – owned by Elvis Presley
Along with the cars there is also an ever-growing collection of Americana. Burma Shave signs to lit gas pumps, you will take a walk down memory lane as you browse through all the advertising pieces and vintage signs on the wall. If you are a collector of tin signs and advertising pieces from early in the 20th century, there is no other place for you to go in the Smokies, except for the Smoky Mountain Car Museum.
If you have a gearhead in the family or if you would just like to take a trip down memory lane, you need to make sure that you are in line to see the Smoky Mountain Car Museum. They are open from early spring through late fall so there is always plenty of time to visit. Right next door to Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf and seconds from outlet mall shopping, there is always plenty to do in this part of Pigeon Forge. It is also a good idea to call ahead of time, because their schedule does change from time to time. Take a step out of the ordinary for your next visit to the Smoky Mountains. Give the Smoky Mountain Car Museum a try and walk amongst vintage cars, motorcycles and history.
Smoky Mountain Car Museum
Pigeon Forge, TN
The Pigeon Forge Insider reviews WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, TN and gives the best tips and tricks to have a great time and save money with discounts and coupons!
What the Insider Says:
What do you get when you cross a science museum and an arcade? If you said “a mess” you’re half right! If you also said “WonderWorks” then you’ve got it! The “mess” is that the building is built to look like it has landed upside down in Pigeon Forge. You simply cannot miss it as it is arguably the most unique building in the Smoky Mountains. WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, TN says it is “Tennessee’s only upside down attraction. An Amusement Park for the Mind, featuring over 150 interactive exhibits. It’s 55,000 sq feet of Family Fun…and don’t miss the most anticipated Dinner Show – Hoot ‘n Holler” according the WonderWorks home page.
This is an extremely entertaining attraction that is well worth every penny. Unlike a dinner show or theater where you have a specific amount of time to enjoy them, the WonderWorks in Tennessee is a go-at-your-own-pace attraction that lets you try out every single exhibit as many times as you want! There are no limits (that I know of) to the amount of times that you can play interact with the exhibits. Wonder Works will honestly keep an entire family of every age entertained for hours! I spent close to two hours going through and trying out everything that I could. I got to feel the winds of a hurricane, experience what an earthquake feels like, ride some bicycle thing that flips you completely upside-down, throw a baseball, design and ride my own virtual roller coaster, lay on a bed of nails, and so much more! WonderWorks is definitely one of the best attractions in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Pick your times. It can get crowded, so choose wisely when you go. The best times are early morning or late after dinner. Try to avoid Fridays and Saturdays if at all possible.
Watch when you eat. There are rides that spin and flip, so eat either before or after you go depending on which doesn’t make you sick!
Bring your camera! There are so many photo opportunities at WonderWorks. Take a picture of someone in a spacesuit, on a bed of nails, flying through the air, etc.
This is a great place for birthday parties, youth group trips, reunions, etc.
The only disappointment that I had with WonderWorks was that some of the exhibits weren’t working. With so many people interacting with them, it’s understandable that some exhibits will tend to take the day off. I tried messing with a computer that could supposedly read my mind by asking me 20 questions, but it wouldn’t even ask the first question…I guess my mind is hard to read! There was also a spaceshuttle simulation on a plasma screen that wasn’t working. I messed with an exhibit that was supposed to show me what I will look like in 20 years, but it simply made me look like I do every morning! With so many things to do, these were easily forgiven. I still give WonderWorks a big 5 star rating simply because of the bang for the buck entertainment. WonderWorks also has the Hoot and Holler Dinner Show, which is a turn-of-the-century vaudeville style dinner show with family-style Italian food. It sounds like a lot of fun with a ton of audience participation.
If you have tips that you would like to share about Wonder Works in Pigeon Forge, TN then please post a comment below!