17 New Attractions in Pigeon Forge, Surrounding Areas [2023]

Jason Aldean's Kitchen & Rooftop Bar

Jason Aldean's Kitchen & Rooftop Bar will be located along the strip next to The Village in downtown Gatlinburg (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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One of the things I like about a vacation destination like Pigeon Forge, on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the constant state of renewal and evolution.

Every time you come to the mountains, the experience changes a little.

Whether it’s new shopping, attractions or eateries, each season in the mountains brings something new, something different for Pigeon Forge visitors.

And this season, there are many more things on the horizon.

Read Also: Skyland Ranch: 8 Things To Do at the New Attraction Near Pigeon Forge

Here are some of the new attractions that have recently opened or are coming soon to Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas, listed in no particular order:


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jason aldean's in gatlinburg
Construction progress at Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar in Gatlinburg on April 14, 2023 (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

17. Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar

Coming soon to Gatlinburg

As you can see from the photo above, construction is moving right along at the soon-to-be Jason Aldean’s Kitchen Rooftop & Bar in Gatlinburg.

While few details are currently known about the opening date, we do expect the Gatlinburg location to closely resemble the Nashville version in aesthetics and food offerings.

Young Lady Learns to Operate Equipment Dig 'n Zone
Dig ‘N Zone will be a fun new experience for “kids” of all ages (photo courtesy of Dig’n Zone)

16. Dig ‘N Zone Theme Park

Coming soon to Sevierville

Dig ‘N Zone is coming soon to the mountains, and it’s a place where kids of all ages can operate real construction equipment in a fun and safe environment.

The attraction will cover 27 acres and accommodate everyone, young and old.

And not only can you spend the day operating equipment, but there will also be attractions and rides throughout the park as well.

The attraction is set to open later this spring and will be located at 1707 Veterans Boulevard in Sevierville.

Read Also: Dig’n Zone Construction Theme Park Coming Soon to Sevierville TN

a coming soon sign for sky pirates
Construction is now underway at the future site of Sky Pirates of Mermaid Bay (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

15. Sky Pirates of Mermaid Bay

Coming soon to Pigeon Forge

There may be no shortage of mini golf establishments in the Smokies, but they are popular for a reason. Mini golf is a great vacation activity that is usually a hit for the whole family.

This new epic mini golf adventure features an 18-hole indoor course and an 18-hole rooftop pirate-themed course as well as a candy store and concessions.

And you know it’s going to be good, because it belongs to the same family as other popular mini golf attractions in the area, including Toy Box Mini Golf and Crave Mini Golf.

With so many locations in the area, you know they are doing something right.

The Sky Pirates of Mermaid Bay is set to open this summer and will be located at 2420 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

a sign for exit 407 gateway for adventure
The Smoky Gap District will be part of the Exit 407 developments (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

14. The Smoky Gap District

Coming soon to Sevierville

Officials with Kituwah, LLC are officially beginning the development of Smoky Gap, a new entertainment district that will be located in The 407: Gateway to Adventure in Sevierville. The development is a partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

According to a release, the new entertainment complex will be home to attractions, restaurants, retail shops and more. At the center, it will feature a large clock tower.

During phase one of the project, the venue is expected to open the Smoky Gap District and a Marriott Courtyard in 2025.

Phase two, according to the release, will be home to an overnight destination with a premier resort.

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

13. Puy du Fou

Coming soon to Sevierville

Speaking of exciting things expected to come to Exit 407, we also have Puy du Fou to look forward to.

In case you missed it, the European theme park company Puy Du Fou plans to bring its unique historical attraction to The 407: Gateway to Adventure.

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.

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 press release. 

Gas pumps at the Buc-ee's Sevierville construction site on April 13, 2023 (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Gas pumps at the Buc-ee’s Sevierville construction site on April 13, 2023 (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

12. Buc-ee’s

Coming soon to Sevierville

Also at Exit 407, Buc-ee’s – the Texas-based convenience store with a huge following – is also coming to Sevierville very soon.

Once completed, the Sevier County location will be one of the biggest stores at 74,000 square feet.

It will feature 120 fueling positions, EV charging stations and a 250-foot-long car wash.

This epic travel center is known for its impressive list of snacks and food items and of course, its super clean bathrooms. Despite rumors that it would have an early June opening, an official date has not yet been released.

Read Also: Why Are People So Obsessed With Buc-ee’s? Is It Worth the Hype?

The Mountain of Entertainment Theater
The Mountain of Entertainment Theater is located in the old Buttonwillow building (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

11. Mountain of Entertainment Theater

Now (partially) open in Pigeon Forge

Array is the newest variety show to arrive in Pigeon Forge, which is available in the Mountain of Entertainment Theater.

The Mountain of Entertainment Theater recently replaced the Buttonwillow Civil War Theater.

The new show is now playing and features comedy, world-class singers, dancers and specialty acts which include a world-class juggler, an illusionist and aerial artists.

While this show is not a dinner show, concessions such as popcorn, hot dogs, pretzels and candy are available for guests.

Soon, this new theater will also have another new show called Illusionation, which will be premiering this July.

The new theater is located at 2135 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

Construction on big bear mountain shows large boulders and orange coaster tracks
Workers are nearing completion on the new Big Bear Mountain coaster at Dollywood (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

10. Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood

Coming soon to Pigeon Forge

Most folks know by now about Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood.

The new family coaster is part of the $500 million expansion plan that was first announced in 2021. The ride is set to be the longest and largest roller coaster in the park.

It will run along the border of Wildwood Grove, where riders will search for a legendary big bear as they listen to onboard audio and soar behind waterfalls.

The ride will open this May.

tree fall ride at the island in pigeon forge
Tree Fall Drop Tower drops riders 65 feet (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

9. New rides at The Island in Pigeon Forge

Now open in Pigeon Forge

There have been significant changes at The Island in Pigeon Forge recently.

The entertainment complex has received not one, not two – but five new rides to enjoy.

The rides include:

Tree Fall Drop Tower: This ride features a lift, twist and drop from a 65-foot tower. Young riders may need adult supervision for this one, but a required adult chaperone is free of charge.

farm'n island ride in pigeon forge
Island Farm’N is a kids’ ride for little farmers (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Island Farm’N: A kids’ ride where little farmers can drive tractors around a themed farm track. It’s fun for all ages, but children under 42” must be accompanied by an adult.

dance party ride at the island in pigeon forge
This spin ride is not for the faint of heart (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Dance Party 360: This thrilling ride is a giant pendulum that swings and spins brave riders upside down. Guests should be at least 48” tall to ride with a weight limit of 220 lbs.

clock work ride at the island in pigeon forge
Clockwork rotates riders with its four arms (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Clockwork: This family ride has four arms that rotate in interesting orbits. Riders must be at least 42” tall, and again, there is a weight limit of 220 lbs.

high score balloon ride at the island in pigeon forge
High Score is a classic balloon ride with a sports theme (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

High Score: This sports-themed balloon ride takes guests more than 60 feet high. Guests should be at least 36” tall to ride.

Guests can purchase individual tickets for these rides or enjoy unlimited rides with a wristband.

Additional ride requirements may be enforced, so for details, be sure to visit the website.

three people in an escape room
The Escape Game now has a new location in Gatlinburg (media photo courtesy of The Escape Game)

8. The Escape Game

Now open in Gatlinburg

The Escape Game is not new to the Smokies with one successful location at The Island in Pigeon Forge. But now, they have a brand new location in downtown Gatlinburg as well.

The new escape room location is next to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium.

The Gatlinburg rooms offer experiences including Gold Rush, Special Ops: Mysterious Market, The Depths, The Heist and Prison Break.

To book a room, visit the website. The new location can be found at 105 Reagan Drive, Ste 1 in Gatlinburg.

rendering of stone village at anakeesta
Anakeesta is expanding in 2024 with a whole new European-themed village (media photo courtesy of Anakeesta)

7. Anakeesta expansion

Coming soon to Gatlinburg

Anakeesta is a growing attraction in Gatlinburg.

And with the newest set of expansions, the theme park is expected to double in size over the next few years.

The expansion plans will occur in phases through 2024. Plans include a new Hellbender mountain coaster, a new European-themed village and a new BirdVenture treehouse play area.

If you haven’t been to Anakeesta in a while, you may also notice the somewhat recently-opened attraction Astra Lumina – a night walk experience.

Anakeesta teamed up with the Canadian-based multimedia entertainment studio Moment Factory, and this new feature is the first of its kind in America.

Astra Lumina is a special ticketed attraction at the park.

To book your visit for general admission, check Tripster for discounts.

a photo of two renderings showing the updates to wilderness at the smokies complete with a new rooftop pool
Wilderness at the Smokies will soon have a rooftop pool (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

6. Wilderness at the Smokies expansion

Coming soon to Sevierville

Expansions are underway at Wilderness at the Smokies Resort. To celebrate the resort’s 15th anniversary, Wilderness has started a 40,000-square-foot expansion of Wild WaterDome.

The expansion will include a new three-story water coaster and a new lazy river.

The resort will also have an expanded rooftop which will include a rooftop pool with a glass edge, complete with a rooftop bar.

These expansions are expected to be completed later this fall.

The resort also has a new XD Adventure Theater. If you’re considering a stay at Wilderness, be sure to check Groupon for discounts.

Read Also: Wilderness at the Smokies To See Largest Expansion in Park’s History

xperia attraction under construction
Xperia is expected to open later this spring (photo by Kimberly Grayson/TheSmokies.com)

5. Xperia

Coming soon to Sevierville

Xperia Ocean Journey is a cinematic experience that is coming soon to the Smokies.

The new attraction will use visual effects and technology to “transport guests into the depths of the ocean” and see humpback whales, thresher sharks, sea lions and more.

The experience is created by impressive artists who have worked on “Game of Thrones”, “Wonder Woman” and “Westworld” according to the attraction’s website.

The new feature will be part of Tanger Outlets in Sevierville and is expected to open later this spring.

entrance to wildlife museum
The Mountain Wildlife Museum is now open (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

4. Mountain Wildlife Museum

Now open in Pigeon Forge

The Mountain Wildlife Museum is a new attraction in Pigeon Forge that brings the wildlife experience inside.

The museum features taxidermy from all over the world and provides education about them to its guests. The exhibits include bears, foxes, cougars, lions, monkeys and many more.

General admission for ages 4-11 is $10.99 or $18.99 for adults, at the time of this writing.

The museum is located at 2530 Parkway, Ste 4 in Pigeon Forge.

speedwerkz in gatlinburg
Speedwerkz has a collection of hyper cars, super cars and exotics (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

3. Speedwerkz

Now open in Gatlinburg

Have a need for speed? Speedwerkz is a new one-of-a-kind experience in downtown Gatlinburg that is perfect for the car enthusiast in your life.

This new attraction has exotic car displays, racing simulators and customized video experiences.

Racers will get a feel for what it’s like to be a real race car driver in a simulator and see a collection of exotic cars on turntables.

The attraction, of course, also features a gift shop. This new Gatlinburg experience is located at 467 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

sevier air
Sevier Air now has a new laser tag arena (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

2. Sevier Warfare Laser Tag Arena

Now open in Sevierville

Sevier Air Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Park now has a new attraction: Sevier Warfare Laser Tag Arena.

The new arena boasts a massive environment where up to 26 people square off in epic laser tag battles.

Sevier Air is located at 266 Collier Drive in Sevierville, Tennessee.

1. We Rock the Spectrum

Coming soon to Pigeon Forge

We Rock the Spectrum is a chain of gyms that specializes in providing sensory equipment for children of all abilities.

The equipment helps kids in the areas of strength, movement, communication and more and involves equipment such as trampolines, carpet swings and rope bridges.

Can’t wait for the Pigeon Forge location? There is one currently open in Bristol.

Are you looking forward to a new attraction on your next Smoky Mountain vacation? Do you know of any additional attractions? Let us know in the comments.

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John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

35 thoughts on “17 New Attractions in Pigeon Forge, Surrounding Areas [2023]”

  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.

  24. Check out the Bearpaw Palace on Big Bear Way !!!!!…Pigeon Forge …..clean, comfy , Mountain Views , oversized balcony and close to a myriad of Restaurants, Attractions, just a few mIles from Dollywood , minutes from The Island!!…….

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