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The wait is almost over. Soaky Mountain Waterpark, the world’s most cleverly named waterpark, is opening this Saturday, June 27. Season passholder preview days will be June 25-26.
Quick note: For those interested in daily passes, it is highly recommended that you buy tickets online in advance to reserve your date. Season passholders do not need to make reservations.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark let TheSmokies.com staff have a sneak peek of the opening, and to put it simply, we are pretty blown away — and we’re excited for fans of the Smokies to see it!
This mountain-modern standalone park is a huge addition to area attractions, coming in at a whopping 50 acres.
What does a mountain-modern mean, you ask? It means colorful, well thought out and meticulously planned. The chairs have been custom made, the umbrellas are colored to display a sunset fading from pinks and reds to yellows and oranges as you walk through the park, nods to Smoky Mountain life are placed throughout, and brilliant naming conventions are implemented, such as the Whoop, Holler and Hang 10essee.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark is stepping it up a notch with more than just the name game and also has a host of unique features, from its translucent sunlight-illuminated tubes to its unique food options that capitalize on food truck popularity.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark is also the first of its kind in the Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks family, being the first independent waterpark that is not tied to a resort.
This $90 million attraction is projected to draw in 100,000 new visitors to Sevier County and will employ 400-500 full- and part-time employees.
Let’s “dive in” to the details:
One of the main highlights of the new waterpark is the Avalaunch, a first-of-its kind water coaster that combines a RocketBLAST® water coaster with four FlyingSAUCER® high-speed turns and a massive sweeping TornadoWAVE finish.
“What sets Soaky Mountain apart is the wonderful attractions,” said Dave Andrews, general manager of Soaky Mountain. “We have translucent pieces that are some of the newest things in the industry that actually set effects on you as you slide down the rides.”
“What’s cool about that is it’s sunlight driven, so the Tennessee sunshine is shining right through these rides, making cool effects,” he said. “Effects that will make you feel like you’re going faster — effects that will make you feel like you’re spinning down a vortex.”
The waterpark has a total of six thrill rides, nine family rides and four attractions for kids.
Soaky Mountain has made sure those little ones will not feel left out with mini versions of some of the adult-sized slides. For example, Mini Mayhem is a pint-sized version of Blue Mountain Mayhem, so youngin’s will not feel excluded from the fun.
Another notable thrill ride is the Whoop, which drops you through the launch capsule floor and plummets you to a runout finish below (for those brave enough to try it).
Food trucks and summer go together like moonshine and mountains, and the folks at Soaky Mountain know it. But they don’t just have any ol’ food trucks come through.
Soaky searched for some noteworthy vehicles to build their stationary food trucks. For example, they purchased a 1954 AEC (Chassis) Regent III, which used to be in the London Transit System. Now it is a Tacolicious Taco Truck, serving up Mexican favorites on the bottom level and offering seating that overlooks the waterpark on the top.
The other food truck, Rolly Macaroni, serves up all sorts of mac and cheese favorites with a twist. It’s a subtle nod to the Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks roots in Wisconsin.
Soaky has a total of seven stations for food, beverage and cocktail.
Safer at Play
Soaky Mountain Waterpark will have a “Safer at Play” policy in place to keep guests safe. Guests will be asked to gather in groups of ten or less people and remain six feet apart from other groups. Signage has been placed throughout the park to reinforce social distancing.
Employees will also have temperature checks and be wearing face masks when appropriate. Guests are also encouraged to wear a facial covering in areas that social distancing is not possible, such as bathrooms and queue lines for restaurants.
“When you come out here to Soaky Mountain, we’re gonna ask that you social distance with your family group,” said Andrews. “We’d love for everybody to be able to interact with everybody, but we gotta keep our distance. When you’re going on the slides, remember to give extra space in the queue lines.”
Andrews also notes that lines may appear longer due to social distancing, but not to let that discourage you.
Additional Shops and Features
Soaky has thought of everything, from towels and sunscreen available in the gift shop to rentable cabanas with bar service. Life jackets are also available throughout the park for no extra charge for any guest who needs one.
“We are in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, [that’s] super big, so we had to come at it really big. So we want you to come out here and conquer the mountain, and we have a lot of elements — 50 acres of fun out here.”
Since Soaky Mountain Waterpark is opening with limited capacity due to COVID-19, guests who are purchasing daily tickets must make reservations ahead of time. The best way to do that is buying a ticket online to guarantee your date. Season passholders do not need to make reservations.
The best way to enjoy the park is to buy a season pass, which are $99.99 and will be valid for the 2020-2021 season, if purchased by June 26. Daily tickets are $44.99, or $39.99 for guests under 42 inches. Military discounts are also available.
Parking is $15 per visit, and seasonal parking is available for $39.99.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark will be open from 10am-7pm and is located at 175 Gists Creek Road in Sevierville, TN. For more information, visit SoakyMountainWaterpark.com.
Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.