The Island at Pigeon Forge is truly an oasis of entertainment and not to be missed during your Smoky Mountain vacation.
Declaring The Island as a family friendly attraction, it is a favorite for tourists with children and senior citizens alike. All the shops and entertainment attractions are easily walkable and handicap accessible, making it a great stop for families. Parking in the designated parking lot, visitors can ride a trolley to the main section of The Island at no charge. There is also no charge for parking.
It is hard to choose where to start when you visit The Island. One of the main attractions is The Island Show Fountain, located at the center of it all. The Island Show Fountain is a joy to watch and with plenty of seating surrounding it in the form of rocking chairs, visitors are invited to sit down and relax while watching the water dance to the music that plays for your enjoyment. There is no charge to enjoy this show of music and dancing water. The Fountain is especially entertaining after dark, when the water sprays are lit up with color. The dancing water shows begin every half hour, starting at the top of the hour. With 89 vertical nozzles and 6 motion nozzles, the water really dances to the music. One huge geyser nozzle sprays 60 feet into the air, creating a sensational burst of water at the perfect moment. Watching the water dance is the perfect way to take a little break from shopping at The Island and is accessible for everyone young and old. Sit back in a rocking chair and take a few moments to enjoy the spectacle. The Fountain puts on the show every day from 10 am to 11:30 pm.
The true centerpiece of The Island is The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a Ferris wheel like no other. Towering a full 200 feet tall, The Wheel can be seen from a mile away and its awesome appearance alone will tempt you to visit The Island. Take a ride in the air-conditioned gondolas that seat up to 8 people and take in the views of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park from the top of the Wheel. The gondolas are completely handicap accessible and a wheelchair can roll right into the gondola so that no one is left out when your family takes a ride in the glass enclosed gondolas. Admission to the wheel at the Island in Pigeon Forge is $14 for adults ages 12 and up, $12 for seniors ages 60 and up and $9 for children 3-11 years of age. All prices are before tax. Children 2-years-old or younger ride for free. For $3 extra you can upgrade your single-use ticket to include one daytime ride (before 5 PM) and one night ride (after 5 PM). Riding the Wheel at night is spectacular, giving you a view of the lights of Pigeon Forge and also The Wheel puts on a light show of its own. If you want to go all out for your Wheel experience, you can purchase a VIP ticket for $50. The VIP ticket includes a ride in the only black gondola, which is the VIP gondola. The VIP gondola only holds 4 passengers and has plush red leather interior and a glass floor that allows for all around viewing of the sights. Not only that, with a VIP ticket you get a personal escort to the front of the line and a souvenir bag with gifts to commemorate your experience at The Wheel.
Another gem to be found at The Island is the Island Mirror Maze. Fun for all ages, the trick is to find your way out of the Maze without bumping into one of the mirrors. The beauty of the Maze will astound you. Styled like a medieval castle in bright colors, the beauty draws your eye, making finding your way out that much harder. At 3,000 square feet, The Island Mirror Maze is one of the largest mirror mazes in the country. The mirrors create infinite illusions and you’ll be hard pressed to find your way out without bumping into a few false exits. And it’s not the only maze here. Try the Vault Laser Maze Challenge to get your heart pumping. The goal is to jump, crawl or bend your way through the multitude of laser beams to get to the other side as fast as you can to break the fastest time record and add your name to the leaderboard. And yet this isn’t all that's located here. Atomic RUSH is another game you and the family will have a ball playing. A variation of Simon Says, RUSH challenges your coordination and agility to beat the highest score. There are also Bumper Cars located here that will cause lots of fun and laughter. There are different ticket prices depending on what you would like to include in your visit. With a Plus Pass you get unlimited times through the Mirror Maze, two Bumper Car rides, two Laser Maze rounds and two Atomic RUSH rounds for $19.99 per person. With a Do It All Pass you get unlimited times through the Mirror Maze, one Bumper Car Ride, one Laser Maze round and one Atomic RUSH round for $17.99 per person. With the Unlimited Mirror Maze Pass you get unlimited times through the Mirror Maze and two tokens which can be used for the Laser Maze or Atomic RUSH for $14.99. For a kids unlimited Mirror Maze Pass you get unlimited times through the Mirror Maze and two tokens to be used at either the Laser Maze or Atomic RUSH for $11.99. A single Bumper Car ride is $10.99. Visitors age 7 and up pay regular price. Ages 4 to 6 are eligible for children’s prices. Age 3 and under are free. The Mirror Maze opens at 10 am daily. All prices are separate from any other Island prices and are subject to sales tax.
There are many more attractions at The Island for family fun adventures. In total there are 20 activities you can experience at The Island. There is the Island Ropes Course which includes 30 different elements, 2 zip lines and a free fall feature. At the Island Miner’s Gems attraction you can mine for gemstones. There’s the 7D Dark Ride adventure that is not only a movie but will move you, shake you and immerse you into other dimensions. At Alcatraz East Crime Museum there are 100 interactive exhibits to teach you about some of America’s most infamous crimes. At The Escape Game, you can choose from 4 different adventures where you’ll have to use your wits to escape. And let’s not forget the Thunder Dome, a 32 foot high dome that houses 4 trampoline bungee jumps. The Island also includes the Flying Horse Carousel, the Happy Swing, Funny Cars, Arcade City, Twist and Shout, The Island Express Train, and the Shooting Gallery among other attractions. There is something for everyone to enjoy here at The Island at Pigeon Forge.
And when it comes to places to eat, you can find some great venues. Whether you are in the mood for a full meal or just a snack, you won’t be disappointed by what you can find at The Island. For a full meal with Southern flavor, try Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen where you can sample some of Ms. Dean’s famous recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For a genuine taste of the Smoky Mountains, try the Timberwood Grill for lunch or dinner. Like pizza? Then Mellow Mushroom is the eatery for you. Some of the best pizza in the area can be sampled here. Want a taste of the tropics? Then Margaritaville is the place to be. Warm tropical colors and exposed wood decorates the restaurant made famous by Jimmy Buffet. Feel like just a sandwich? Try Paula Deen’s The Bag Lady where they have a nice selection of sandwiches, salads and sweets. If you want a different sort of experience, try Dick’s Last Resort where rude and surly wait staff is the norm. Enjoy the fun as the wait staff inflicts their humor into the situation while they serve you.
If you want something a little less in the way of food, try one of the snack shops like Kapop! for some gourmet popcorn or Auntie Anne’s where you can find specialty pretzels for a great snack. A quick sandwich with the flavor of Europe? Try Poyner’s Pommes Frites. And if it’s pastry you’re craving, don’t forget Cinnabon where you can have some of the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever tasted. Looking to soothe your sweet tooth? There is The Fudgery where the folks there have been satisfying cravings for fudge for over 25 years. And another great place to get your sweets is a little shop called Sweet!, your one stop shop for anything candy in nature. In the mood for something cold and sweet? You can choose either Island Yogurt for a frozen yogurt experience or The Island Creamery for some smooth, yummy ice cream. That leaves the Yee Haw Snack Shack which is open seven days a week for your convenience to grab a quick snack and if all you want is some delicious coffee, try out Margaritaville Coffee which is located in the Margaritaville Hotel and Resort where you can kick back and relax after a day of shopping and enjoying the sights of The Island.
And if you have decided you’d like to stay near The Island so that you can extend your visit, there are two wonderful places where you can find accommodations. The Margaritaville Hotel offers a luxurious setting in the Smoky Mountains. With rooms that have upgrades like fireplaces and balconies, along with ‘Frozen Concoction Makers’ where you can mix your own signature drinks, The Margaritaville Hotel is a wonderful place to stay and relax after a day roaming the attractions at The Island. It is decorated contemporary with island and mountain amenities mixing to create a wonderful experience and the staff there is dedicated to detail in everything they do to make your stay and enjoyable one. Along with the Hotel, you will find the Margaritaville Inn. With 104 nicely appointed rooms decorated with island flair, the Inn offers a cozy coastal flair to your stay. At the Margaritaville Inn guests are invited to enjoy the two swimming pools where they can kick back and relax from their action-packed day in the Great Smoky Mountains and The Island. The staff prides themselves on knowing your name and you won’t be disappointed while relaxing in the costal themed Inn with the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains for your viewing pleasure.
As you can easily see, there is much to attract you to visit The Island at Pigeon Forge. And let’s not forget some of the events that take place at The Island. You can find live Bluegrass Music at certain times and magic shows that will surprise and delight visitors. Be sure to check the calendar on The Island at Pigeon Forge website to be able to plan your stay and even book a room at either the Margaritville Hotel or the Margaritaville Inn to lengthen your stay. You can find the website at www.islandofpigeonforge.com. You can find a lot of information there and read more about any of the attractions or restaurants listed in this article.
To get to The Island, it is located at 131 Island Drive, Pigeon Forge. From the Parkway, you can turn onto Island Drive at light #3A. The entrance sign is very visible. Cross the bridge and bear right to enter the large parking lot where you can park for free and catch the trolley to take you the short ride to The Island just in front of the dancing fountains. You can also access the parking lot from Teaster Lane, avoiding the Parkway traffic. You can access Teaster Lane if you turn at the Biblical Times Theater and follow Teaster Lane around to just across from the LeConte Center and you can access the parking lot.
All in all, The Island at Pigeon Forge has a day full of adventure, good food, and music awaiting you. Be sure not to miss this oasis of entertainment while visiting the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.