To paraphrase The Simpsons, "The Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee are on 'the grow'!"Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and the many little communities surrounding those cities have all seen older places torn down with the promise of new prospects and opportunities coming up in its place this last year with 2019 showcasing an even more impressive set of things to look forward to.
Here's some of our favorite news for upcoming attractions and events that we expect to see in 2019:
Dollywood Wildwood Grove
Where: Pigeon Forge, TN.
When: Coming Spring 2019
"For many years, Dollywood has been a place where families go to reconnect, to play together and to make memories worth repeating. We’ve been dreaming about this for many years, and now in Wildwood Grove, all of us will get to experience a brand new story that fits well within the vision Dolly created for Dollywood more than 30 years ago. While Wildwood Grove is a whole new land big enough to be its own property, it is still ALL Dollywood.
As soon as you pass through the hollow log portal of the new land, you feel the difference. The Wildwood Tree stands over the entire area, its heart song ringing true in the breeze, just as Dolly described it. The entire area is filled with beautiful and distinctive rides and attractions for families to explore. You can imagine yourself riding on the back of a Smoky Mountain black bear, swinging on a giant leaf, or flying suspended from a dragonfly. Most important, Wildwood Grove is a place the entire family can play together. There are indoor and outdoor spaces to play and experience; new friends to meet, and a great new restaurant to refresh and recharge. In short, it is a new adventure and I, for one, cannot wait to take my family on a hike through Wildwood Grove, stand alongside and watch the kaleidoscope of colors dance on the Wildwood Tree. We might even hop on a bear or ride on a dragonfly – together."
"The Mountain Mile & Tower Shops is an unprecedented development project which will completely reshape the retail, restaurant, lodging, and attraction scene of Pigeon Forge and the region. With over 1 mile of road frontage and 174+ acres in total, this will be a project of national significance. It is located along Teaster Lane and Jake Thomas Blvd in the heart of Pigeon Forge, surrounded by the $22.5 million Cal Ripken Experience baseball tournament park, the $42 million Leconte (convention) Center, and “The Island”, a 300,000 sq. ft. hotel/restaurant/retail destination including Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and Paula Deen’s Kitchen... all just minutes from Dollywood!" - Project website.
"Keep an eye to the spyglass, mateys; Dolly’s pirates will be searching for treasure in the Great Smoky Mountains, next summer! After nearly a decade of rave reviews and financial success on the Carolina coast, Parton’s newest Pirates Voyage dinner attraction is slated to open in the spring.
When complete, the 21,000 square foot arena, adjacent to The Island in Pigeon Forge, will be the stage for Crimson and Sapphire pirates to battle on deck, in the water and in the sky above their full sized pirate ships in a 15-foot-deep indoor lagoon. Spectacular acrobatic competitions, live animals and an original music score by Dolly Parton and Mark Brymer create an immersive adventure experience all while guests enjoy a spectacular four-course pirate feast." - Show website.
"SkyBridge: The Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge in North America Coming Summer 2018! Measuring nearly 700 feet in length, SkyBridge will span the valley between ridges on Crockett Mountain at thrilling heights of up to 150 feet. Experience spectacular panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and see Gatlinburg from a whole new vantage point."
"With a planned opening in spring 2019, Ole Red Gatlinburg will be a $9 million, a multi-level 16,000-square-foot entertainment venue with a two-story bar and restaurant, retail area, performance space, dance floor and exterior terrace. Its chef-driven, Shelton-inspired menu will feature a few Nashville classics like Hot Chicken & Waffles as well as BBQ, burgers and additional Southern favorites.
Designed to embody the spirit of Shelton’s clever, irreverent hit “Ol’ Red,” the Ole Red brand is part of Ryman Hospitality Properties’ strategy to create digital content, retail products and entertainment venues that celebrate the country lifestyle and resonate with country music’s rapidly growing consumer base of more than 100 million people across the United States. The venue will be equipped with state-of-the-art performance equipment including concert-level production and sound capabilities, along with LED screens throughout the space. Programming will include curated concert line-ups, showcases for up-and-coming talent and more to be announced as the venue nears completion.
Blake Shelton said, “Gatlinburg is one of my all-time favorite places. This part of the country is full of people who love good food, great music, family and most importantly, a good time. That’s what Ole Red is all about, and I can’t wait to give my fans another place to have fun in Gatlinburg.”
Ole Red Gatlinburg will be located at 511 Parkway, the main drive into town from Pigeon Forge. Ryman Hospitality Properties holds a long-term lease on the building and is working with Tuck-Hinton Architects and Anderson Design Studio on the project." - Official Press Release
When: TBA 2019 (Project has broken ground, only initial progress as of writing).
"Back in the late 1970s, Buster opened a restaurant known for its tasty food and friendly service. A few doors down, Dave opened an outrageous place for entertainment and games where adults were irresistibly drawn for fun. The two young entrepreneurs noticed people rotating between their establishments, and an idea started to form: WHAT IF THEY PUT BOTH UNDER ONE ROOF?
At Dave & Buster’s, our mission is to create our Guest’s first choice for frequent fun through the best combination of the latest and greatest games, ultimate sports-viewing, extraordinary food, and remarkable drinks. Each store has more state-of-the-art games than ever, more mouth-watering menu items and the most innovative drinks anywhere. From wings to steaks, we’ve got whatever suits your appetite and our premium bar assures we’re stocked to satisfy! Plus, you can watch your game on one of our massive HDTVs with epic stadium sound. The food is always fresh, always fun, and there’s always something new! From wings to New York strips, we’ve got it all – and with the whole menu available from open to close, we’ve got whatever suits your appetite! Our premium bar features innovative cocktails crafted by our expert mixologists, an impressive wine selection, and a range of domestic and imported beers to assure we’re stocked to satisfy every taste!" - Restaurant website.