11 new attractions in Pigeon Forge, surrounding areas [2022]

Puy du Fou in France

Puy du Fou is coming to the Smokies as part of the Exit 407 development. This will be Puy du Fou's first attraction in the U.S. The flagship theme park currently has parks in France (pictured above) and Spain (photo by Page Frederique/shutterstock.com)

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One of the things I like about coming to Pigeon Forge, Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains area, in general, is the constant state of renewal and evolution.

Every time you come to the mountains, the experience changes a little because the towns themselves evolve. 

Long-time attractions close and are often swiftly replaced. And sometimes, they are not so swiftly replaced. Some manage to linger on, flickering the spark of former glories before going out entirely. 

Each season in the mountains brings something new, something different for the generations of families of Pigeon Forge visitors.

The new, top-notch variety of attractions can make each visit feel like the first time. It’s the case even if you’ve visited dozens of times before.  

And this season, that sense of change seems even more pronounced than usual. There’s a lot of new stuff in the Smokies. There are new attractions, new restaurants and new hotels. And there are many more things on the way.

Here are some of the new attractions coming soon to Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas:

The SkyCenter at SkyLift Park
The Sanctuary Treehouse Resort is backed by the couple behind the SkyCenter at SkyLift Park, pictured above (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

11. Sanctuary Treehouse Resort

The Sanctuary Treehouse Resort is the vision of Amanda and Brian Jensen. The couple currently runs the SkyCenter restaurant and shop at the top of the scenic chairlift at SkyLift Park in Gatlinburg.

The Sanctuary Tree House promises to be the largest treehouse resort in the world. It will be located on 40 acres of land near the Soaky Mountain Waterpark in Sevierville.

Offering fantastic views and three kinds of treehouse rentals, the prices will start at $399 per night.

Scheduled to open in late summer or early fall of 2022, the resort will be golf cart access only.

The area will include walking trails and a lit enchanted forest. The resort also plans to feature a community area for live music and entertainment, a community inground hot tub and more.

Patriot Park Transit Center
The new transit center is near the Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

10. Patriot Park Transit Center

This $5.4 million facility is located at Old Mill Avenue next to Patriot Park and the Old Mill. It is a central hub for the third-largest rural transit system in the United States.

Certainly, Pigeon Forge is working all the time to improve traffic flow. Roads have been widened and access improved. However, there’s only so much that can be done. In other words, the city needs visitors to use the mass transit trolley system.

Therefore, if used, the system would go a long way to prevent traffic cutting off access to things like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the area’s popular attractions and restaurants.

The new facility was nearly two years in development and is now open. It offers 10 new trolley berths and a dedicated lane of traffic for loading and unloading passengers. 

“Pigeon Forge mass transit’s annual ridership continues to increase, and as demand for public transportation grows, so does our need for an improved facility that will accommodate not only more passengers but also more efficient traffic flow and additional parking,” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster noted at the facility’s groundbreaking.

“As Pigeon Forge welcomes more residents and visitors, better public transportation is more important than ever.”

Puy du Fou in France
A show in the theme park Le Puy du Fou in France (photo by Alexey Gorshenin/shutterstock.com)

9. Puy du Fou

European theme park company Puy Du Fou is bringing its unique brand of historical attraction to The 407: Gateway to Adventure. The development is a partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The two have agreed to develop a “spectacular, immersive show” as part of the 200 acre development just south of Interstate 40 in Kodak.

Tribal leaders approved $75 million for phase one of the project that could attract as many as 6.7 million visitors after phase 1 is complete, sometime in 2024.

The immersive walk-through show will be inspired by the journey of Cherokee Indians who served in World War I. The show is intended to be a “patriotic and moving journey for the entire family,” according to a release.   

Skyland Ranch construction
Construction is underway at the new SkyLand Ranch attraction (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

8. SkyLand Ranch

Set to open later this summer, Skyland Ranch is supposed to be everything that’s great about visiting the Smokies in one convenient location.

Visitors will take a scenic chairlift to the top of Skyland Ranch where they will experience a mile-long mountain coaster, a suspended bridge with a wide walkway, canopy walks, shopping and dining.

SkyLand Ranch will also be home to a variety of miniature animals including mini cows and donkeys.

Shopping options will include a toy shop, a Christmas shop, a souvenir shop and more. The plan is for this to become a premier Smoky Mountain vacation destination on par with Gatlinburg’s Anakeesta.

The bowling ally
Pictured: The 14-lane duckpin bowling ally at Downtown Flavortown (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

7. Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown

Flavortown is the newest addition, for now, on Teaster Lane and is now open. If Dave and Buster’s is grown-up Chuck E. Cheese, then Flavortown is grown-up ShowBiz Pizza.

It is located near Pigeon Forge Snow and features – for better or worse – Fieri’s signature cuisine. Downtown Flavortown offers something for the entire family.

Flavortown sports an arcade, a 14-lane duckpin bowling alley, a full-service tropical tiki bar and – at least in theory – delicious food.

Of course, if delicious food is what you’re really after, Azul Cantina will also be located on Teaster Lane. Azul is opening soon and sounds promising as a flavorful twist on traditional Tex-Mex dining. The restaurant features wood-fired grilling methods and traditional Mexican cooking styles with roots from South America to Texas.

Read Also: 8 new restaurants in Pigeon Forge, surrounding areas [2022]

The Edge at Soaky Mountain progress
The progress on the all-new ride as of May 2022 (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

6. The Edge at Soaky Mountain

The waterpark itself is still considered among the best new attractions in the area. But in this business, if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.

To that end, in addition to a new Philly cheesesteak food truck, the waterpark will debut a new, first-of-its-kind water coaster called “The Edge” in June 2022.

Named after the lead guitarist in the Irish rock band U2 – just kidding – The Edge runs two football fields in length.

And that may be 200 yards depending on whether or not they’re counting the end zones. If so, that would make it a total of 240 yards. For the love of Mike, stop measuring things in football fields, people, it’s imprecise. 

“A 70-foot tower will be home to the new slides. Double tubes will sit side by side, each in their own assigned lane. When the light turns green, they will be propelled down a three-story mega drop that leads to the first valley of the ride,” the Soaky website promises.

“Then, they will be quickly blasted up a hill and into a section featuring a kaleidoscope of colors.”  

Then, there will be a second uphill blast. Riders are then taken into another enclosed tube segment, where they will encounter colorful, laser-like AquaLucent stripes.

What are AquaLucent stripes?

I don’t think AquaLucent is a word. If it is, I think it means the riders will be able to talk telepathically talk to fish. I hope someone ran this by the Soaky Mountain legal team.  

These stripes will start longer. But then become shorter and shorter, giving a sense of sci-fi speed while the riders progress into a turn. 

When the riders emerge out of their tube, they will see not one but two imposing Boomerango walls ahead of them. OK. Now I know the people at Soaky Mountain are making stuff up.

After the Boomerango, they’ll encounter a pair of twirly dervy, scrumdiddlyumptious, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, vermicious knids before dropping to the base of the wall. All the while experiencing extreme Gs.

And surely pondering an existence in which they have to reckon with words like AquaLucent and Boomerango. 

As the momentum takes the riders up the parallel walls, they will see their competitors as they feel a sense of weightlessness before sliding back down. As a finishing touch, the riders will go over a zero-G hump to the end of the ride. The finish line is stacked with lights and effects to indicate the winner and who went over “The Edge”. 

It may be a good time, but it also sounds like a lot to me.

dragonflier
The rumored new ride at Dollywood is likely going to be near the Dragonflier in Wildwood Grove (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

5. The rumored new ride at Dollywood

There is no better example of the changing face of tourism in the Smokies than the Dollywood theme park.

Inspired by the queen of reinvention herself, Dolly Parton, Dollywood has been at the forefront of good planning and growth for nearly 40 years now.

Site plans indicate a new coaster is coming to Wildwood Grove, known for now as Family Attraction 2023.

It’s important to note that this attraction has not yet been confirmed by Dollywood.

However, during a June 17, 2021, Pigeon Forge City Council meeting, Dollywood President Eugene Naughton mentioned plans for a “multi-generational rollercoaster” set to open in 2023.

The new plan includes what appears to be a rollercoaster without loops or corkscrews. The attraction follows along the edge of Wildwood Grove, almost to the opposite end of the area near Till & Harvest Food Hall.

At the furthest reaches of the ride, there would be a water feature. But how that water feature would interact with the ride is not apparent.

The plans are not final. But thus far, comparing relative size to other coasters in the park, the multi-generational rollercoaster would be among the longest rides in the park, dwarfing the Dragonflier.

Read Also: Is Dollywood getting a new roller coaster? New site plan offers clues

Shine Girl Distillery
Shine Girl is now open in Sevierville, TN (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

4. Shine Girl

Dolly Parton’s niece Danielle has quite a resume. The first female Parton to graduate college, she became a flight attendant before joining the Air National Guard.

In fact, she served as a pilot who operated the C-130 and C-5 aircraft in combat, deploying numerous times in harm’s way. In 2014, she began flying the Airbus A320 family of aircraft.

Now, she’s operating the Shine Girl label of moonshine. She’s following in the steps of some of her ancestors and is directly opposed to the life path of others. 

“When I decided to try my hand at making shine, I decided I wanted to include what my ancestors did but also put my own twist on things. I love using honey, sugar or molasses instead of corn and in addition to corn,” says the website.

“Thankfully, I stumbled on a delicious recipe that Shine Girl drinkers will enjoy!”

The Shine Girl website promises a “Smart, Playful and Delicious” moonshine, which is all well and good, I suppose.

However, if I’m being honest only one of those three words should ever be used to describe moonshine. I don’t care how much honey, sugar or molasses they used.

Located on Jenkins Road in Sevierville, Shine Girl is now open. It sells quite a bit of pretty cool-looking merch. I could see this becoming one of the best places to visit for a unique moonshine experience in the mountains.

Buc-ee's store
The Buc-ee’s in Sevierville, which is not yet complete, is reportedly going to be the biggest convenience store yet (photo by Ray Shrewsbrry/shutterstock.com)

3. Buc-ee’s

Here we are my friends, the big dog on the new attraction map.

Buc-ees – the Texas-based convenience store with a huge following – is coming to Exit 407 in Sevierville. Once completed, the Sevier County location will be the world’s largest convenience store at 74,000 square feet.

The Travel Center will be located at I-40 Exit 407. It will feature 120 fueling positions, EV charging stations and a 250-foot-long car wash. An opening date has not yet been announced.

Read Also: Why are people so obsessed with Buc-ee’s? Is it worth the hype?

Anakeesta enchanted night walk
A preview of the new Enchanted Nightwalk at Anakeesta (still image captured from media video courtesy of Anakeesta)

2. Lumina Enchanted Night Walk at Anakeesta

Anakeesta recently announced a brand-new, nighttime immersive experience. And they are teaming up with Canadian-based multimedia entertainment studio, Moment Factory, to bring it to life.

According to the attraction, the Lumina Night Walk will be the first of its kind in the United States. It will be a stellar journey of discovery that offers the City of Gatlinburg a new nighttime offering unlike anything else in the country.

“As one of Tennessee’s premier destinations, we strive to bring innovative adventures to our guests and we are thrilled to introduce an incomparable nighttime experience to the country,” said Bob Bentz, Founder and Managing Partner of Anakeesta.

The experience will feature projections, lighting and music that will create a unique experience with “special effects” and “enchanting storytelling” as well as “more surprises”.

The opening date has not yet been released for this new feature.

If you plan to visit Anakeesta, remember to check Tripster for discounts.

A sign about the history of downtown Sevierville
The Pines will bring a new attraction to downtown Sevierville that honors the city’s past (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

1. The Pines

Downtown Sevierville is growing again.

WATE recently reported that the former site of Pines Theater in Sevierville has plans to be remodeled.

The site is best known for being the place where a young, 10-year-old Dolly Parton reportedly first performed in front of a paid audience.

The new venue will be named The Pines. It will be an entertainment venue with duckpin bowling, video games, bocce ball, board games and more.

The Pines will also have a bar and food service. The project is projected to open by the end of the year.

Bonus: Parson Branch Road

While not an attraction in the traditional sense, we wanted to mention the reopening of Parson Branch Road in the Great Smoky Mountains.

After a six-year closure, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently hosted a small ribbon-cutting to celebrate the re-opening of Parson Branch Road.

The Friends of the Smokies provided $100,000 in funds, matching $50,000 in federal funds, to support the removal of perished trees along the roadside and make needed road repairs.

Crews worked diligently to ensure visitors would have the opportunity to enjoy this unique driving experience in time for Memorial Day weekend and the start of the 2022 summer season in the Smokies.

Parson Branch Road is a historic, gravel road that follows a route traveled by people for more than 180 years. The narrow, one-way road provides motorists a trail-like experience through a mature forest canopy and nearly 20 stream crossings.

The road has been closed for six years due to a high concentration of more than 1,700 perished hemlock trees along a mile long section of the roadway.

Are you looking forward to a new attraction in Pigeon Forge? Do you know of any additional attractions? Let us know in the comments.

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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33 thoughts on “11 new attractions in Pigeon Forge, surrounding areas [2022]”

  1. Also coming soon! We consider that to be more of a “restaurant” than attraction.

  2. Sky Fly was Awesome 👍 I highly recommend That People take a Ride and see Lots of Stunning Beautiful Places up Close and just like being there !

  3. One thing missing from the area is live music. I would have thought the music scene, being so close to Nashville, would be amazing but there’s really nothing here. A cool outdoor amphitheater and some live music venues would be awesome. Branson would have to play second fiddle. No pun intended. Lol

  4. I sure was hoping that since I heard that Dolly purchased Smoky Mountain Opry she would bring back the shows there.. The Christmas show was totally amazing and would love to see it again. A show everyone would enjoy of all ages.

  5. Another roller coaster ….. just what Dollywood needs😳🙄
    Bring the mountain feel back like it used to be instead of all the technology, new age, whatever you call it! Dolly is so not what it was 30 years ago! Too much modernizing took away the mountain way ! And roller coasters galore‼️ Who’s the one obsessed with roller coasters? I wouldn’t think it would be Dolly‼️ Bring back country music entertainers with shows every weekend or so!! More shows like it used to be! I’m sorry….. I don’t do well with change!!!

  6. Would love to find a better and more timeshares in the Smokies. Not any that are pushy and trying to get more money from you when you visit there. Need more affordable places to stay.

  7. I missed the Smokey Mountain Opry Christmas Show this year. I hope they bring it back. Christmas wasn’t Christmas without Slim Pickens.

    Headliners would be nice. The Louis Mandrell show was The Best (I’m dating myself).

  8. So much new development every year. The area is going to become overgrown and lose the charm and atmosphere of the area. 😢😢

  9. More and more attractions means more and more people with no new roads to accommodate the traffic. I love seeing the area so busy but we seriously need new roads or something

  10. Yes, our family totally misses the shows. More live entertainment at Dollywood and in Pigeon Forge

  11. Getting too commercial and crowded. Need more I’ve music like years in the past. Keep costs down as it’s getting very expensive. A lot of the things we go back for are gone. Own at Westgate and would like to sale.

  12. I’ve only rode through, seems very commercial. If music isn’t there no reason to stop for us.

  13. Can’t see spending all that money on a coaster!! More shows would have been much better at decent prices.

  14. I agree with the “more shows and dinners” I have been going there 2-3 times a year since 2013 and it has changed and a lot closed down. Lumberjack show is now out in the heat. I always wanted to see it but the moved and changed it. If they wanna change something then change the Stampede show! It is so old and out dated.

  15. Would love to see more musical entertainment at Dollywood. Build or remodel existing theaters. We go for the music and the beauty of the festivals. We did enjoy all the additional musicians out in the Park during Christmas. We are hearing this from others who also go for the music. Festival of Nations used to be wonderful but the last few years they had it was not.
    Loved Spring Mix but that didn’t come back after one year.

  16. Affordable lodging
    Most families cannot afford your area. It has gone from quant and natural, to an over priced tourist trap.
    I love the area and seek out quiet natural retreats. But if you’ve seen one Ripply’s you’ve seen them all.
    Your area used to be unique.

  17. need to get the liquor under control. all those moonshine tasters are destroying the family atmosphere. Worst thing they allowed to happen– drunks are now everywhere and I for one dont want my children exposed to that. We had people puking off the balconies of our hotel.

  18. My family and I love pigeon forge in 2018 we was talked into a visit at the resort between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinbug and sunk 3500.00 in a vacation package. Well the next year we tried and tried to get in , followed the directions. And did what we was supposed to do , and all they would give us was a motel out just before you leave pigeon forge nothing like the showed us . What a disappointment plus the loss of 3500 dollars . But I still came back wrote it off as my stupidity, that would had paid a couple of years vacation there. But on the brighter side we now stay at riverside spa and resort we love it there my kids love and a great place to bring my grandson . And my son and his friends can walk to almost everything that teenager loves to do . This was a very expensive lesson , but we will return to Riverside spa and resort in the spring and summer. Like I said we love the place and the area. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid with my parents.

  19. I would love to see some live entertainment along the parkway in the evening time when everyone is out walking. There use to be some and we really enjoyed them, even down on the Island for people to listen to as they shop…

  20. Too much change an commercial dont like all this change but wth they going to find people to work all these places can’t find people now

  21. New options are great, but who is going to fill the staffing positions? The wait at restaurants takes hours and the service is not what it used to be. Also I would like the “country” feel to return and not so much of the fast past way of life. Enough moonshine already, I want the dry laws back or at least slow down the approval of the liquor license. I loved the live music coming from areas around town where folks could stop and listen for a spell while shopping or waiting for dinner. Gatlinburg has lost its luster for me …. Maybe I am just old fashioned and long for the good ole days from my youth. Think about it!

  22. I think what everyone here complaining is missing is that the town has to grow in order for the economy to sustain. When the city loses revenue, schools don’t improve, roads don’t improve, buildings aren’t fixed, etc. Your individual tax dollars only go so far. The town thrives on the revenue from sales tax paid by tourists to improve the town. Tourism is the backbone of the community and if it can’t compete with Branson, Orlando, myrtle beach, etc, the town itself will be a ghost town.

    Your alternative is paying an income tax, which will hurt your bank accounts more than traffic.

    Welcome to reality folks.

  23. Been going to the Smoky mountains for over 50 years, I miss seeing the guys set up in parking lots playing good country music.

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