Astra Lumina at Anakeesta is now open, what you need to know

lights all around outdoor trees as part of astra lumina night walk experience

The new Astra Lumina experience is now open at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

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Astra Lumina has officially opened at Anakeesta.

Debuting ahead of schedule, the brand-new nighttime immersive adventure launched with a sold-out opening weekend.

Anakeesta teamed up with Canadian-based multimedia entertainment studio Moment Factory to create an experience completely unique to the Smokies. In fact, it’s unique to the whole United States.

Astra Lumina at Anakeesta is the 15th experience in the Lumina Enchanted Night Walk series and the very first in the country.

The stellar journey of astral magic and discovery offers Gatlinburg a new nighttime offering unlike anything else in one of the newest, most remarkable experiences in the Smokies.

TheSmokies.com

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astra lumina sign at entrance with trees and lights
Astra Lumina is a new night walk experience at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

What is Astra Lumina at Anakeesta?

Astra Lumina is a night walk experience that features lighting, projection and sound.

The walk consists of a one-mile, unpaved nature trail with lighting effects, fog, lasers and more.

The idea of the experience is to “connect visitors with the stars” as they begin exploration through a Smoky Mountain forest.

At Astra Lumina, visitors will feel like they are traveling across mysterious observatory grounds, discovering a celestial pathway of lustrous light, cosmic visions and astral song along the way.

Members of the media, including staff from TheSmokies.com, were able to preview the experience on Thursday, Oct. 20.

And on Oct. 21, the brand-new experience opened to the general public. However, it is already sold out for the opening weekend.

“We’re thrilled to open with so much excitement from our guests,” said Bob Bentz, Managing Partner at Anakeesta.

“We are really feeling the energy from the city, Astra Lumina is only the beginning of Anakeesta’s vision to continue to offer Gatlinburg unparalleled experiences and continue to raise the bar for attractions in Tennessee.”

pink orbs light up night sky
The Astra Lumina experience offers lighting effects throughout a one-mile nature walk (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

What will you see on the Astra Lumina night walk?

During the night walk, stargazers will embark on eight distinct stellar zones:

Names and descriptions of these zones can be found below:

  • Astra Archway: Step inside the starlight and enter the unknown
  • Falling Stars: Open your heart to the arrival of the stars
  • Cosmic Choir: Experience a symphony of fallen stars
  • Stardust Rays: Discover a place where stars and nature are one
  • Stellar Visions: Take off on a journey to uncover the origin of the stars
  • Celestial Trail: Immerse in the flowing force of astral energy
  • Astral Genesis: Witness the regeneration of the stars
  • Rise of the Stars: Look up to the sky as the stars return to their rightful home
a map of the path at astra lumina features eight stops
The Astra Lumina night walk features eight zones (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

What is the Moment Factory?

Moment Factory is a multimedia studio company that has a full range of production expertise.

Their team specializes in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences.

Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 450 unique projects worldwide, including the Lumina Night Walk series.

Other projects from the Moment Factory span the globe and include notable clients such as Disney, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, Arcade Fire, Microsoft, Sony, Boston Museum of Science, Madonna, Universal Studios and the Toronto Zoo.

The company is based in Montreal and has addresses in Tokyo, Paris, New York City and Singapore.

lights fall like stars at the astra lumina experience at anakeesta
The night walk experience follows a journey of stars (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

How much is Astra Lumina at Anakeesta?

Astra Lumina is an add-on experience. General admission to the park is required.

The good news is, visitors can purchase a special discount combo ticket that includes admission for only $49.98 at the time of this writing.

Additionally, guests may also choose an after 5 pm ticket at a discount, and annual pass members receive 20% off Astra Lumina tickets.

Senior and child discounts are also available.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their website.

lasers project in smoky mountain forest at anakeesta
The experience uses fog, lighting and other special effects (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Is Astra Lumina worth it at Anakeesta?

I think so. It’s definitely a unique experience, but the answer is always subjective.

For a family with several young children? It may not be worth the extra expense.

However, if you’re looking for a romantic evening walk for a special occasion?

Definitely worth it.

Do you need reservations for Astra Lumina?

You may purchase either online for a discounted rate or at the gate.

However, I would strongly recommend booking the experience ahead of time. At the time of this writing, Astra Lumina tickets were sold out for the opening weekend.

a sign asks what if the stars could reach for us in sea of lights
Astra Lumina asks, “what if the stars could reach for us?” (media photo courtesy of Anakeesta)

How long is the Astra Lumina experience?

There are eight stations during the Astra Lumina night walk experience.

Each section essentially runs on a loop and averages a little under five minutes or so.

If you took your time enjoying each display and the pathways of light between them, we’d estimate about 45 minutes to an hour to experience Astra Lumina.

path lit up with lights and fog
The pathways are uneven and not wheelchair or stroller-friendly (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Is Astra Lumina wheelchair accessible?

Anakeesta says that the Astra Lumina experience is not wheelchair accessible. It is also not stroller accessible unless parents are using a “sport” stroller.

The experience is on a one-mile, unpaved nature trail.

a sign tells guests to explore at their own pace
Guests are encouraged to explore at their own pace (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Other tips for Astra Lumina at Anakeesta

Flash photography is not permitted, but other photos and videos are allowed.

Allow about 1.5 hours to arrive at the park and get up the mountain on either the lift or the Ridge Rambler adventure vehicle before your ticket time.

You can enter Astra Lumina 30 minutes prior to your ticket time.

Children must be supervised and closed-toed shoes are strongly recommended.

Special effects include strobe lights, flashing lights, lasers and fog.

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What else is at Anakeetsa?

Tennessee’s award-winning theme park Anakeesta is a family entertainment venue in beautiful downtown Gatlinburg.

The park offers the Rail Runner mountain coaster and the chance to soar across the sky with the Dueling Zipline Adventure Course for thrill seekers.

But Anakeesta is best known for its beautiful views of the majestic Smoky Mountains. Guests begin on a scenic chondola ride to the top of the mountain.

From there, they are free to stroll through the Vista Gardens and visit the AnaVista Tower, which is downtown Gatlinburg’s highest point.

There are multiple places to eat at the park, and the chefs offer innovative culinary creations at restaurants like Cliff Top Grill and Bar. It’s certainly one of the best places to eat in Gatlinburg.

Of course, overall, the venue is fun for visitors of all ages. Anakeesta also offers play areas for the little ones, including a splash pad and the TreeVenture and BearVenture challenge courses.

The attraction is also known for having the nation’s longest treetop SkyWalk, which is included in the price of general admission.

Read Also: These are the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN: 37 top places to eat

rendering of stone village at anakeesta
Anakeesta will continue expanding through 2024 and will be adding a European-themed village (media photo courtesy of Anakeesta)

What else is new at Anakeesta?

Astra Lumina is the first step of a major expansion of the theme park.

Anakeesta officials recently announced a multimillion-dollar expansion. This will be the largest development to date since the park’s opening in 2017.

The upcoming expansion will double the size of the guest experience. This $34 million investment will happen in phases through 2024.

The expansion will include a new mountain coaster, a European-themed village and BirdVenture, a birdhouse-inspired play zone.

Read Also: Anakeesta announces $34 million expansion, the largest yet

Anakeesta is located along the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

What do you think about the new Astra Lumina experience at Anakeesta? Let us know in the comments below.

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.

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