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Somewhere in the Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks corporate structure, there lurks an evil genius.
You see, there are bad dad puns. There are terrible dad puns. And there are dad puns so unfathomably sinister that they will bend your mind’s will, making you question the very fabric of reality.
In short, I hope whoever came up with the name Soaky Mountain Waterpark wins some kind of award.
I can’t say it. I can’t type it. The letters try to assemble into words deep in whatever part it is of the nether regions that make up the gray matter of my mind and I find it is an impossible task.
I know there’s no M. I know it’s Soaky not Smoky. But that combination of sound, ideas, patterns are so deeply ingrained that attempts to master it correctly are futile.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark?
That’s gold, Jerry. Tip of the hat.
Excitingly the name isn’t even the best part. SMW – that’s right, I’ve given up completely – is a 50-acre, $90 million project expected to open in the summer of 2020, right next to Wilderness of the Smokies waterpark and hotels in Sevierville.
The park will feature a massive, 35,000 square foot wave pool capable of generating waves up to 6 feet high; a winding wave river spanning an area of 24,000 square feet; and a heavily-themed and exciting kids’ play-and-spray feature with multiple slides for both the timid and the daring. There will also be a kid-friendly activity pool with smaller versions of the other towering slides found throughout the park; an adventure pool with a water obstacle course; a flat-water cabana pool for relaxing poolside; a double FlowRider for the surfer in all of us; and four large slide complexes that will provide thrills and excitement all day long.
Slides will include a one-of-a-kind water coaster; a family ride tower with two five-person raft rides; a tubing tower with five flumes all featuring unique and thrilling one or two-person tubing experiences; two high-intensity body slides; and a four-lane, head-first mat racing challenge to satisfy everyone’s racing desires.
And that is still not the best part.
SMW will be run and operated by Dave Andrews, who was named general manager in January. Who is Dave Andrews, you might reasonably ask? Well, Mr. Andrews is the former general manager of the exceptional SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. My family stayed in that resort and spent two days at SoundWaves last August and if Mr. Andrews brings SoundWaves level quality to Sevier County? My friends, we’re gonna have something.
“We are thrilled to have someone like David with an extensive waterpark background joining our team and helping us to open our new waterpark,” said Joe Eck, COO of Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks. “Soaky Mountain Waterpark is going to be an amazing destination for families with children of all ages to enjoy. It will feature some of the most popular, thrilling and unique water attractions available, and David is a perfect individual to help us open it.”
Let me paraphrase. Hell, yeah.
Here’s a more in-depth look at the attractions.
Kids slides and pools:
- Boomers Bay – A kid-friendly activity pool with 7 smaller versions of the other towering slides found throughout the park including a Kidz Tornado and Kidz TornadoWAVE.
- Slippery Salamanders – An adventure pool with a double WIBIT floating water obstacle course. Aimed at kids but open to anyone willing to take on the challenge.
- The Hive – A bee inspired, heavily themed, zero depth play and spray feature for kids featuring 6 slides from little to big including an exhilarating body bowl.
Family slides and pools:
- Appalachian Falls Tower – A family ride tower with two, five-person raft rides.
- Blue Mountain Mayhem – features an enclosed flume start, to build anticipation with incredible back-to-back zero g wall ride experiences to finish.
- Rainbow Revent – Showcases amazing translucent lighting technology as well as 3 eye popping saucer turns.
- Soaky Surge – A massive 35,000 square foot wave pool capable of generating waves up to 6 feet high.
- Black Bear Rapids – A winding wave river spanning an area of 24,000 square feet.
- Coyote Springs – A flat-water cabana pool with a sun shelf for relaxing poolside in a private cabana or just out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the rest of the park.
Thrill slides and pools:
- Avalaunch – A one-of-a-kind water coaster featuring 3 uphill blast zones, 4 saucer turns (including a back-to-back), and a heart stopping wall ride finish.
- Rocky-Top Raceway Speed Slide Tower – Two high-intensity body slides.
- Whoop & Holler – Whoop features a launch capsule start which drops riders into back to back high g flat turns with a runout finish. Holler sees riders start in an enclosed flume as they gain speed before dropping into a steep open flume prior to a runout finish.
- Splash & Furious – A four-lane, head-first mat racing challenge to satisfy everyone’s racing desires including multiple “rally points” where riders will be able to look their competitors in the eyes as they hurtle along. A braided section and translucent lighting effects with a checkerboard runout finish complete this ride.
- Hang 10essee – A double FlowRider with wave riding action for the surfer in all of us. Also, Hang 10ESSEE? Meh. It’s no Soaky Mountain. I may be ruined for all other puns.
- Snake Den Tube Slides Tower – A ride tower with four, one- or two-person tube slides.
- Copperhead Clash – A racing inspired two-lane tube slide featuring both open and enclosed flumes and multiple “rally points” along the way where riders can see how they’re stacking up against their competition.
- Cottonmouth Coils – An enclosed tube slide with translucent lighting effects in each of 3 tight twisting “explosion” turns.
- American Racer’s Rush – Inspired by Old Glory herself, this stars and stripes themed traditional tube slide features an entirely enclosed flume with more incredible use of translucent lighting technology.
- Timber Rattler’s Rage – a slow and go open and enclosed tube slide including 3 Tornado funnels where riders will slosh back and forth on the funnel walls.
There will be multiple food and beverage options as well. These include:
- Candy Cabin – Featuring heavenly hand-dipped chocolates, bulk candy, candied apples and caramel apples.
- Wipe Out Bar – Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails, bottled beer and jumbo pretzels in a breathtaking setting overlooking the beautiful Smoky Mountains.
- Bee Good Café – The good times don’t have to stop for food. This bright cafe is just steps from “The Hive” zero-depth area and features kid-friendly, grown-up-approved meals and cold drinks that allow guests to grab something delicious without having to venture far from the fun. All right, Bee Good Café? Now, we’re not even trying.
- Base Camp Bistro – The mainstay for satisfying all hunger and thirst needs during a day of fun in the sun! Options include everything from burgers and pizza to chicken wraps and fruit cups.
- Tacolicious Taco Truck – Located on the shores of Soaky Mountain Waterpark, Tacolicious, is where you can sink your teeth into beef, chicken or steak tacos, chips and guacamole, nachos supreme & more! Is your mouth watering yet?
- Soaky Shake Shoppe – The Soaky Shake Shoppe spins amazing milkshakes! From Classic Vanilla to our Cereal Lover which is topped with Fruity Pebbles, we go overboard on our recipes to create entertaining milkshake experiences!
- Rolly Macaroni Food Truck – We’re putting our own twist on the ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese. Rolly Macaroni Food Truck serves up the classic original for those that like it traditional, and also works up new favorites like Chicken Bacon Ranch, Buffalo Chicken and our personal favorite “Boomers Big Attack” which is made up of our creamy white cheddar cheese sauce, smoked pulled pork and bourbon BBQ sauce topped with panko bread crumbs.
- Overlook Bar – After grabbing a milkshake at Soaky Shake Shoppe, head around the corner and kick off your shoes at our Overlook Bar! Enjoy the view of our wave pool as you sip on amazing cocktails, refreshing beer, delicious wine or a smoothie!
- All Day Pass (All slides included): $44.95
- Under 42 inches: $39.99
- Family of Four Day Pass Pack: $99
- Twilight Rate (after 3 pm): $24.95
- Season Pass: $99
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.