With so much going on year-round in the Smokies it’s almost strange to say that we are officially in the “off-season”. But with two of the Smokies’ most popular attractions now closed through early March – Cades Cove and Dollywood – and Anakeesta officially running on a limited schedule, if there is an “off-season”… this is it.
So here’s what you need to know about current and upcoming seasonal closures of some of your favorite attractions.
Last Sunday, Cades Cove closed to all vehicle traffic to allow for repairs to the Bote Mountain Tunnel. The closure is expected to remain in effect until Sunday, February 29, 2020.
The tunnel is the main access point in and out of the Townsend Wye.
This will be the first time in over 50 years (since it was built in 1948) that significant construction work has been performed on the tunnel. Work will include replacing drainage chases and sealing/repairing cracks.
When the tunnel re-opens, single-lane closures are expected through early summer 2020 which will inevitably cause a few back-ups – so if you’re planning on a Cades Cove trip this summer, leave early and plan ahead for traffic.
Last Sunday also marked the last day of the season for Dollywood. If you’re new to the area you should know that this isn’t at all atypical for Dollywood – they always close for a couple of months in the dead of winter – something that’s always saddened me a bit until I remember how utterly miserable I am riding roller coasters in 40 degree weather.
Dollywood is set to re-open for the 2020 season on March 14th but will remain closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays through April.
Splash Country will follow suit opening for it’s 2020 season May 16th.
Starting this month, Anakeesta will be operating with a limited scheduled, reducing their operating days to Fridays-Sundays, and closed throughout the week, now until March 1st.
There are two notable Monday exceptions to this rule – Anakeesta WILL be open Monday, January 20th for Martin Luther King Jr Day and Monday, February 17th for President’s Day/Valentine’s Day weekend.
The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, a local favorite, will be closed Monday January 12-Thursday January 16th for a mini-facelift including a fresh coat of paint and a deep cleaning. Titanic will reopen to the public Friday, January 17th.