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The Christmas season is a very popular time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains, due in large part to the area’s popular Winterest event.
Many attractions also get into the Christmas spirit with decorations and seasonal treats, and Anakeesta is no exception. Here’s what you should know about spending Christmas at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tenn:
Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter Event
This year, celebrate Christmas at the ever-popular Enchanted Winter at Anakeesta, set to officially kick off Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 and run through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021.
During the Enchanted Winter event, guests will discover a village of twinkling arctic lights as they stroll through Firefly Village, Vista Gardens and the rest of Anakeesta’s 70-acre outdoor mountain-top park.
And for the first time ever, new for the 2020 season, guests will also be able to climb to the tallest point in Downtown Gatlinburg, the AnaVista Tower, and enjoy a breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains as far as the eye can see.
Guests will also be able to relax around Anakeesta’s cozy fire pits while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa.
Will Santa be visiting Anakeesta in 2020?
Santa’s sleigh will also be landing on Anakeesta Mountain on select dates throughout November and December.
Santa’s current schedule is as follows, but do note these dates are subject to change – Santa is a busy man. The dates are currently scheduled for:
- Friday, Nov. 27: 11 am-3 pm
- Saturday, Nov. 28: 11 am-3 pm
- Friday, Dec. 4: 11 am-3 pm
- Saturday, Dec. 5: 11 am-3 pm
Anakeesta ‘Pro Tips’
Anakeesta can be an extremely popular destination around Christmas time, and it may take longer to find your way up (and sometimes down) the mountain when Chondala lines are long. Plan ahead and wear layers.
Don’t let that Tennessee mountain weather fool you. Just because it was a sunny 70 degrees when you made your way up the mountain doesn’t mean you won’t be freezing your buns off in an hour-long wait to get back down the mountain by nightfall.
I speak from experience.
Also, if the Chondala line is long, you may want to consider taking the Ridge Rambler instead. The queue for the Ridge Rambler begins at the rear entrance of the park near Vista Gardens.
Is Anakeesta open on Thanksgiving?
Anakeesta will be open daily through the holiday season, including on Thanksgiving Day. However, the park will be closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.
In November, the park is typically open until 8 pm, and in December, the park is typically open until 6 pm.
However, hours may vary. Check the calendar for a detailed schedule.
Closing time reflects the time that the last ticket is sold. The last chair goes down the mountain one hour following the posted closing time.
Anakeesta is an authentic outdoor mountain-top experience for all ages located on 70 acres of pristine forested land nestled in and above the heart of downtown Gatlinburg at 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (traffic light #5).
The attraction is famous for having the longest treetop skywalk in North America. It is also home to the Vista Gardens, a garden that began as a clean canvas following the Chimney Top wildfires of 2016, as well as the all new AnaVista Tower.
Anakeesta is a Cherokee Indian word referring to high ground, chosen to capture the authentic Smokies heritage that guests will experience.
Play, eat, shop and relax surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Anakeesta, voted the best attraction of the year in 2018 by the TnHTA. For more information, visit www.anakeesta.com or call (865) 325-2400 for tickets and more information.
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.