As one of the newest area attractions, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel has become a staple of the Pigeon Forge skyline enjoyed from hundreds of cabins in the surrounding mountains and the point at which those on the Parkway know to turn. You are here, past the big sign reading, “The Island in Pigeon Forge,” now what? What is the parking situation? What is all the age-appropriate entertainment, (and, by all means, that could also mean the state of mind for those young at heart)? What kind of food can you find to ease your current cravings? At Cabins for YOU, we like to consider ourselves something of Pigeon Forge experts (check out our extensive blog!, so here is an entire day planned down to time of the day!
You can also check the area weather, here, to plan your perfect Island day accordingly.
Once you are passing the 200-foot high Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and going over the second bridge, there is a huge parking lot with plenty of spaces! Don’t worry about parking towards the end of the lot, because you will see plenty of white tram stations where the free Island train will pick you up. The tram is extremely handy once you have done some shopping; instead of lugging all your new clothes and toys around, just drop them back off at the car!
When you hop off The Island Tram
Okay, you are now mesmerized looking at the long strip of alluring shops circling The Island Fountains with the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel towering above. What first? There is a convenient information booth to your left that can provide you with directions and a map of the entire Island, perfect if your group is full of people with varying tastes and you can coordinate to meet back up in certain spots.
If you already had breakfast back at your cabin but still need a little bit of a pick-me-up, the Margaritaville Coffee Shop is awaiting you on your right once you get off the Island train with a full range of caffeinated delights! Want a mouthwatering pastry for breakfast? Head on over to Cinnabon where their buns are constantly hot and freshly frosted! There are two locations: the first is near the Island Show Fountains near the restrooms, the second is beyond the Thunderdome Bungee, which is hard to miss. If you haven’t eaten, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is the place to really fill up.
Good fun before the sun is all the way up
If you have little ones, this part is mainly for you. While spending an entire day at The Island is do-able with older elementary children, middle schoolers, and teenagers, the smaller humans need that nap time. So tucker those little bodies out with tons of fun geared towards them! Near the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, you’ll find the Happy Swing, the Funny Cars Ride, Lil Ribbits, and the Twist N’ Shout Ride. And of course, a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a must, taking you and the kids high above the skyline for some incredible views of Pigeon Forge and the surrounding Smoky Mountains. For the 2nd-5th grade age group, the awesome Island Ropes Course allows them to swing, climb, zipline, and even free fall to a giant mat!
The Island offers an Unlimited Ride Pass that allows visitors to play on 9 rides for 48 hours, and just $10 more provides access to the Island Ropes Course! This pass is perfect for the vacationing family with younger children who need to head back to the cabin for a nap each day.
With over 60 shops located at The Island, there is a unique souvenir for everyone! Build your own remote-controlled car in RideMakerz where the kids can leave with their one-of-a-kind vehicle. Inspired by all the mountain-motif and country décor in your beautiful Smoky Mountain cabin? Pick up your own gorgeous home accents at Farmhouse 9110 or Timber Valley Rustic Furniture, where you’ll find all the trendiest décor created from reclaimed wood, handmade pottery, and dreamy linens. Discover every flavor of jerky while perusing over 200 varieties in the Beef Jerky Outlet! Your girls’ shopping trip found its perfect shopping locale in The Island with shops like Blossom, an essential oils and herb shop, Bootleggers Winery, Earthbound Trading Company, and numerous small-town boutiques with stylish clothing, handbags, and jewelry.
After playing with the kids, shopping, and exploring with the faint delicious smells of food drifting throughout The Island, you are sure to work up quite an appetite. Eat light to keep from a sleepy full stomach with a meal from Poyner’s Pommes Frites, Yeehaw Snack Shack, or split a pizza at Mellow Mushroom! You won’t want to miss out on more of the awesome fun awaiting you after lunchtime…
Fun for adults and teens
Now that you are refueled from lunch, it’s time to take on The Escape Game where a team of friends and family take on a timed scenario room for bragging rights and fame! Escape from wrongful imprisonment, beat the mob to a hidden treasure, solve the mystery of priceless stolen art, or save your spaceship from being consumed by an overheating planet; you pick your adventure. Afterwards, visit the realistic prison replica to learn all about America’s most prolific crimes and bad guys in the Alcatraz East Crime Museum– a true crime lover’s paradise. Experience more senses than you knew you had in the 7D Dark Ride Adventure and test your navigational skills in the Mirror Maze as you work up a hefty hunger from all your thrilling excursions!
After all the excitement and having saved your appetite during lunch with a smaller meal, it’s time to dig into some mouthwatering entrees from any of the delicious dining located in The Island, including Timberwood Grill, Dick’s Last Resort, and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Restaurant. While vacationing in Pigeon Forge, however, you will definitely want to make a visit to the famous Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. The massive open dining room overlooks the beautiful Island Show Fountains and serves up big portions of savory Southern cuisines around big tables for a family-style dining experience with friends or family.
Entertainment after the sun goes down
Now that you’re unwinding from all the fun, shopping, thrills, and you’re well-fed, it’s time to enjoy the slower nightlife of The Island. Settle into one of the rocking chairs around the Island Show Fountain because if you thought it was impressive during the day, just wait! Now, there are over 100 lights accompanying the rotating fountains, all in perfect choreography with 14 of today’s biggest musical hits! Hit up Dude’s Daquiri Bar or Latitudes Bar for a couple delicious drinks with friends before taking a night ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel to really round-off this beautiful day at The Island with breathtaking night views of Pigeon Forge before heading back to your dreamy Smoky Mountain cabin for rejuvenating night of rest…