13 New Attractions, Restaurants in the Smoky Mountains (2024)

exterior building of truth traveler VR experience buliding

A Truth Traveler attraction will be opening in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 2025 (media photo courtesy of Truth Traveler/Ark Encounter)

New tastes and experiences to expect in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville TN in 2024

I think there’s something for just about everyone in the Great Smoky Mountains. For instance, outdoor enthusiasts can explore the majestic beauty of the National Park. Kids love Gatlinburg’s candy shops and Ripley’s attractions. Foodies also appreciate the restaurant scene. In Pigeon Forge, runners also can log some miles on the Riverwalk Greenway. Additionally, thrill seekers can get their fill at Dollywood or one of the Parkway’s many entertainment venues. But the collection of attractions is always expanding. Below is a list of new attractions and restaurants to be on the lookout for on your next visit:

In 2024, five new restaurants and bars are opening in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. These include Red’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream, The Baht Thai Restaurant and the Swimm’n Chick’n, to name a few. Seven new attractions will also debut, including (but not limited to) The Dolly Parton Experience, Truth Traveler, Space Race Adventure and the Nerf Action Park.

The Dolly Parton Experience render
A media rendering provides a preview of the Dolly Parton Experience – an attraction that will sit on the sight of the old Thunder Road ride (media rendering by The Dollywood Company)

1. Dolly Parton Experience

Coming to Dollywood in May 2024, the Dolly Parton Experience will replace the park’s entire Adventures in Imagination area. Notably, it’s triple the size of the Chasing Rainbows Museum. Guests are invited to explore three distinct areas highlighting different components of Dolly’s incredible life. For example, the Songteller exhibit will showcase her music career. The Behind the Seams area will focus on Dolly’s ever-evolving but always iconic style through the years. The DreamSong theater will also reopen with a revamped queue highlighting Dolly’s personal life, focusing on her family and faith. Visit Dollywood at 2700 Dollywood Parks Boulevard in Pigeon Forge, TN and secure your tickets in advance with Tripster.

space race adventure in the smoky mountains
This attraction offers mini golf, laser tag and VR experiences (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

2. Space Race Adventure

Pigeon Forge’s newest indoor activity center opened in March 2024. It offers outer-spaced themed activities, including laser tag, mini golf, go-kart racing and also virtual reality experiences. It’s located across from the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall at 2891 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN.

people having a VR experience at the Truth Traveler
The Truth Traveler is a VR experience by the creators of the Ark Encounter in Kentucky (media photo courtesy of Truth Traveler/Ark Encounter)

3. Truth Traveler

This biblically-based virtual reality experience is expected to open in early 2025. The creators of Kentucky’s Ark Encounter are also behind this project, which will take riders on a journey through key biblical events. At the time of this writing, developers have just broken ground at the site at 2860 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN. In addition to the virtual reality ride, the 26,000-square-foot entertainment center will house a planetarium with a Bible-themed space show.

Foxfire Adventure Park Climbing Wall
Foxfire Adventure Park will soon open a steampunk-themed cidery called the Fox and Apple (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

4. The Fox and the Apple

Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park in Sevierville is adding a steampunk-themed cidery in spring 2024. The Fox and the Apple will feature six different cider varieties to whet your whistle after your high adventure zipline tour. Visit Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park at 3757 Thomas Lane in Sevierville, TN.

The NERF Action-Xperience rendering
The Nerf Action-Xperience is set to open in the fall (rendering courtesy of Hasbro/Kingsmen Xperience)

5. Nerf Action Xperience Park

Hasbro will open its third Nerf Action Xperience Park right on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge this year. Coming fall 2024, the attraction will include blaster battle zones, obstacle courses and also sports challenges. There will also be a food and beverage area and retail store where guests can update their Nerf arsenals with the latest products.

rendering of the new crayola experience in Pigeon Forge
The Crayola Experience is targeted toward kids and adults with an interest in science and art (media photo courtesy of the Crayola Experience)

6. The Crayola Experience

Also making its Pigeon Forge debut in fall 2024, the Crayola Experience will be targeted toward kids and adults with interests in both science and art. Other Crayola Experience locations include Florida, Minnesota, Texas, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Guests will be able to explore over 20 different exhibits in which they can create their own crayons or coloring book pages. They can also learn the science behind the crayon manufacturing process. The Crayola Experience will be located at 2026 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN.

Entrance of Ober Mountain
Ober Mountain entrance in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. Ober Mountain Ziplines

Ober Gatlinburg is expanding its entertainment offerings to include rafting and ziplining in spring 2024. However, both attractions are located in Hartford, Tennessee, not on Ober Mountain in Gatlinburg. Note that Hartford is 26 miles from Gatlinburg. Zipline tours will run on Saturdays from May 25 through Aug. 31 this year. Zipliners must be at least 8 years old and weigh between 60 and 250 pounds. The Zipline Center is located at 3555 Hartford Road, Hartford, TN

red's soda fountain in sevierville, tennessee
Red’s is an old-fashioned themed restaurant in downtown Sevierville (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

8. Red’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream

This old-fashioned soda shop opened in March 2024 in downtown Sevierville. Inspired by Red’s Cafe, this new restaurant will transport guests back to the 1940s and 50s with its classic menu and vintage decor. Dolly Parton often talks about visiting Red’s Cafe growing up, and the new soda fountain is located just across the street from the original location. You’ll find it at 114 Court Avenue, Sevierville, TN. 

sign for four seasons with bank in background in sevierville, tennessee
The new Speakeasy will be inside an old bank vault in Sevierville (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

9. 1919 Speakeasy

Also coming to downtown Sevierville in 2024 is the 1919 Society Speakeasy. The prohibition-era speakeasy will transport patrons back to the 1920s when alcohol was illegal. It’s set to be located inside an old two-story bank vault at 101 East Main Street, Sevierville, TN.

the baht restaurant in the smoky mountains
The Baht restaurant offers Thai food (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

10. The Baht

Located beside the Roaring Fork River in Gatlinburg, The Baht serves authentic Thai cuisine in a riverside setting at 122 Spruce Lane, Gatlinburg, TN. The Baht is open for lunch and dinner, and its menu features classics such as Pad Thai and curries. In addition to on-site dining, they offer online ordering for guests who prefer take-out.

adventure forest with arcade games inside wilderness at the smokies in tn
Swimm’n Chick’n is coming soon to the Adventure Forest area at Wilderness at the Smokies (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

11. Swimm’n Chick’n

Coming in May to the Adventure Forest at Wilderness at the Smokies is Swimm’n Chick’n. The eatery first debuted at the Wilderness Wisconsin Dells property.

The eatery boasts all-natural chicken tenders with no additives. Sides include warm biscuits with honey butter and coleslaw. The Rooster Fries are crispy french fries smothered in white queso and also topped with crispy chicken tenders, crumbled bacon and fresh jalapeños. Wilderness at the Smokies is located at 1424 Old Knoxville Hwy in Sevierville, TN. Check Groupon for discounts when you make your plans.

tijuana flats restaurant in tennessee
This Pigeon Forge location is the first in Tennessee (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

12. Tijuana Flats

Tijuana Flats opened its first Tennessee location in Pigeon Forge in December 2023. The popular Tex-Mex chain originated in Winter Park, Florida, and has expanded rapidly in recent years. Their menu offers customizable burritos, tacos, bowls and more. You’ll find Tijuana Flats at 3060 Teaster Lane (#105), Pigeon Forge, TN. 

dig n zone attraction in sevierville, tennessee
The Dig’N Zone construction park is officially now open in Sevierville (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

13. Dig’N Zone Theme Park

This construction-themed park in Sevierville opened in March 2024. It offers a safe environment for kids and adults alike to have the opportunity to ride, drive and operate real construction equipment. As a mom of five boys, this one is certainly high on my family’s list of new Smokies attractions to visit this summer. Check it out at 1707 Veterans Boulevard, Sevierville, TN.

It’s clear that there are lots of new things to see and do in the Smokies this year. So if you’re in Sevierville, be sure to explore the Dig’n Zone Theme Park or check out Red’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream or 1919 Society.

In Pigeon Forge, don’t miss new spots like Tijuana Flats or The Baht Thai Restaurant to its diverse roster of restaurants. Are you planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains? Be sure to check out our coupons page for area promos.


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Disclosure: We have used and experienced all the products and activities recommended on The Smokies. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products and experiences featured.

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