Looking Ahead to 2013: Dollywood

It’s safe to say that Dollywood may be scaling back a bit for the 2013 season as two large park attractions, Adventure Mountain and Imagination Cinema, are not a part of the Pigeon Forge theme park’s plans for the coming year.

Three years ago Adventure Mountain opened at the park, and while it was met by frequent guests and long lines during the summer, it is being replaced by a new attraction yet to be name, that will open in 2014. It’s a disappointment for many, but Dollywood officials think that will pass when people hear of the plans the park has for the area next year.

When it was built, Adventure Mountain ran up a $5 million pricetag. The 2-acre play area featured more than 100 obstacles including swinging beams, suspension bridges, flying islands and a tire traverse along a hillside, and was located across from the park’s newest jewel, the Wild Eagle sky ride. New plans for the area include extending it in front of the water raft ride River Battle.

Imagination Cinema meanwhile, will be transformed into a 500-seat venue for a new Dolly family show. It’s currently showing The Polar Express 4D Experience as a part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, but will reopen in the spring of next year. The new venue will also play a part in the park hosting five additional new shows.

As for this past season, the Wild Eagle winged coaster opened to rave reviews and large crowds. Dollywood is on track to open the state’s first water coaster, RiverRush, next year at Dolly’s Splash Country.

Dollywood President Craig Ross noted in a release that the park was moving forward with new shows and looking ahead to its new venue. Construction activity for the new 2014 attraction will be noticeable once the park opens up for the 2013 season.

“(Families) are going to be thrilled and excited about the new additions,” Ross said. “They’ll be like nothing you’ve seen before.”

Dollywood’s Adventure Mountain

America’s Largest Challenge Course

In 2010, Dollywood took adventure and their attractions in an entirely different direction when it opened Adventure Mountain.  Adventure Mountain is part ropes course, part obstacle course with three different course and varying degrees of difficulty.  It is one of the few attractions in Dollywood that is different each and every time you go through the course, choosing your path depending on if you think you are up to the challenge.

Here is the basic idea behind Adventure Mountain.  You step into line, you get fitted for a harness, this harness has a lead rope that will be hooked into the rail system that runs over all of the course, you then get to pick your course and you slide the rope along with you.  The rope and harness keep you safe and makes choosing the harder challenges much easier – because you know that you are safe and secure.  As you walk through each course, you will find that there is always a sturdy, though narrow walkway that is fixed and un-moving – this is for the less-adventurous out there.  But you can also choose the more difficult way to cross that section of the course.  This might be on lilypad like steps that are suspended in the air with no handrail, tires that you have to step across or a tightrope like walk from one side of a ledge to another.  But remember that you are always securely tethered to the course itself.

Adventure Mountain is divided into three distinct courses.  From easy to expert, the challenges that you face not only get more difficult, but they also go higher up the side of the valley in which Dollywood resides.


  • Geyser Gorge – This is the lowest portion of Adventure Mountain.  This is a great place to start, and it is also a good place to get your feet wet… literally.  One of the main features of this particular course is a geyser that goes off periodically as you try to traverse the gorge.  Imagine, you are walking along a narrow pathway, and all of sudden you get drenched with gallons of water.  This is the easiest course of the three and has the least climb in elevation.
  • Black Bear Cliff – This is the mid range course.  Set between Geyser Gorge and Rocky Top Trail, this course has, as its main feature, a vertigo inducing cliff that you can choose to surmount to get to the next portion of the course.  Remember that you are always in complete safety but, you can choose the easier route as well if the idea of the ledge is a little too much for you.
  • Rocky Top Trail – This is the expert trail.  You are are literally 90 feet above the ground, walking along shaky rope bridges, attached to the steel structure of Adventure Mountain.  Not for the faint of heart but the view from the top is out of this world so it is recommended to give it a try.

Adventure Mountain is a great stop during your day at Dollywood.  Turn the kids loose, knowing that they are in one area and that they are completely secured the entire time.  Or maybe you attempt to take on the tallest trail as a family, cheering each other on as you climb higher and higher.  Spend 15 minutes or spend hours as you explore all three of the courses and get your heart rate up as you take on Adventure Mountain.

Family Photos in Pigeon Forge

Are you looking for a place to take a great family Photo while you are on vacation i Pigeon Forge? Here are some options.

Where to take family photos in Pigeon Forge

You have brought your family to the mountains and you want to commemorate the trip.  You want to capture a good picture of you and your kids in Pigeon Forge, but where do you take those pictures?  Here are several places that you can go to take some great family pictures in Pigeon Forge.

Patriot Park – Patriot Park is centrally located with plenty of parking and lots of natural beauty.  Sitting right beside the river, Patriot Park has some beautiful locations along the river and in the park itself to take family pictures.  Also, this area of the Smokies is not quite as hilly, so you don’t have to worry about your tripod tipping over.

Family Photos at the Community CenterPigeon Forge Community Center Park – Here is a favorite for local photographers when they are taking family portraits outdoors: the park behind the Pigeon Forge Community Center.  This park has some wonderful grassy areas under the trees and several playgrounds that give plenty of options for great pictures.  Though, if you are looking for that place that the pros use, it is the footbridge over the creek located at the back of the park.  The footbridge is set in a clump of trees and gives you the feeling of being in the wilderness, away from the Parkway and civilization.  A great location!

Dixie Stampede – Dixie Stampede changes the decoration on the lawn in front of their building throughout the year.  In the spring, the summer, the fall, and the winter, they put on a show with the decorations they put out in front of their venue.  People go to Dixie to take pictures of the decorations but they also go to take pictures in and around those decorations as well.

Your Cabin – But be fair, the best place to take pictures in and around Pigeon Forge is in the seclusion of your own cabin in the Smokies.  The cabins in and around Pigeon Forge were built to give you the best view possible from the decks on the cabin.  Line the family up on one of the decks and start snapping away.  Let the backdrop of the Smokies be the backdrop for your pictures.  Get everybody in coordinating outfits and start snapping away.  You are going to get some amazing photos and have a blast while you do it.  The best thing about taking the pictures at the cabin is the fact that you don’t have to drive anywhere to take the pictures to remember your visit to the Smokies.

The Synchronized Fireflies in Gatlinburg

Synchronized Fireflies return to Gatlinburg June 4 – 12

The Synchronized Fireflies return to Elkmont June 4-12.

If you want to see a show while you’re in town that you can’t see anywhere else in this hemisphere, then you should see the synchronized fireflies in Elkmont. It’s simply an amazing experience that lasts for about one week out of the year (around the second week of June… 4-12 this year). These lil’ critters fire up around 9:30 p.m. and start a show that can only be seen in Gatlinburg and Southeast Asia (who knew we had something in common!). They start flashing random at first and then all of a sudden they start blinking together in bursts that last up to six seconds! It has become more and more popular in the last few years, so the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has imposed some rules if you want to see the show. Our sister site, Inside Gatlinburg, has the scoop, so hop on over using the link below to get the details!

Synchronized Fireflies in Gatlinburg

Inside Pigeon Forge Getaway Giveaway

Inside Pigeon Forge Getaway Giveaway


What is it?

Inside Pigeon Forge is giving away an entertainment package for Pigeon Forge that will keep you and your family laughing, smiling, clapping, mystified, fed, and more! The package includes comedy, music, magic, theater, gospel, and food that will appeal to all ages. This is tickets to not just one show, two shows, or three shows…no, we’re going the extra mile to make sure your entire family of four is entertained by giving you tickets to six shows!

4 tickets to 6 shows = 24 tickets total!

Total Value = $673.48!

Shows in Pigeon Forge, TN

How do I enter?

Inside Pigeon Forge has launched a brand new forum for users to discuss anything about Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or Sevierville while getting feedback from “insiders” who live & work in the area. We’re so excited about the opportunity to provide visitors an “inside look” into our cities and we want to show our enthusiasm by giving away a vacation package to someone who shares the same enthusiasm about the town we love.

  • Step 1:
    Register in the new Insider forums by going to the link below
    (if you’re already registered, skip to Step 2)
  • Step 2:
    Find the topic named “Inside Pigeon Forge Getaway Giveaway”
    in Pigeon Forge General Discussion.
  • Step 3:
    Post a reply in that topic and tell everyone “Your Best Tip for Visiting Pigeon Forge.” Be as creative and detailed as you want! It’s your chance to share your favorite thing to do, place to stay, restaurant to eat at, waiter to ask for etc. Have fun with it! You can post as many tips as you want and each tip will count as an entry, but only the best tip will win the giveaway. The main requirement is that your tip is a reply to the main thread rather than posted somewhere else in the forum. Only replies to that thread will be counted as entries. If two posts are similar, we’ll be accepting the first one or the one that is the most detailed/helpful…so it definitely pays to act fast and provide great tips

The insiders will then choose one of the posts and award the author the Inside Pigeon Forge Getaway package. It really is that simple! There is nothing to buy, no lengthy sales pitches, etc. All that you have to do is share “Your Best Tip for Visiting Pigeon Forge” and you’re entered into the giveaway!

We’ll only be accepting entries until July 31, so hurry and beat the crowd!

Good luck and welcome to Inside Pigeon Forge!

Free Fun for Kids in Pigeon Forge

Discover all of the free things for kids to do in Pigeon Forge, TN and Gatlinburg, TN! Save money and still have fun on your family vacation!

So you you’ve loaded down the SUV, filled it up with gas, cruised into Pigeon Forge, paid for the accommodations, fed the family, and are wondering what in the world you’re going to do for fun the next few days while your funds start to disappear. Fortunately for you (if your kids are 11 & under) many shows are letting kids in for free and even eat for free as well! Here’s a rundown of the attractions that are helping families out:

The following Pigeon Forge shows let children 11 & under in for free!
(One child per paid adult)

If anyone knows of other attractions in Pigeon Forge, TN that children can get into for free, post them in the comments below!