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If you’re looking to conquer Pigeon Forge in a weekend, then look no further — I’ve got your ultimate guide. Pigeon Forge’s claim to fame is Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, an Appalachian-themed amusement and water park. However, there is so much more to Pigeon Forge than that.
You’ve got all kinds of shows, museums, rides, and restaurants to choose from. With so many things to do, you’ll want to have a plan to tackle as much as possible!
Here’s my ultimate guide to Pigeon Forge in a weekend
Stay at Eagle’s Ridge
The sheer delight on our family’s faces and in their voices can’t even begin to describe their reaction when we pulled up to our cabin, aptly named Mountain Charm. Stepping foot into the cabin, even my husband bellowed “I want a cabin like this!” as they quickly swept from room-to-room. Pure bewilderment shrieked from upstairs, where the children have discovered the jacuzzi in the master bedroom.
The cabins are very close to all of the action in Pigeon Forge, but nestled in the hills and trees so you still get that out-in-the-woods feel. You’ve even got a hot tub on the back side of the house that’s enclosed, so you don’t have to worry about bugs or critters.
With its full-sized kitchen and gas grill, you can all enjoy a hot meal. And because you’re in Appalachia, you’ve definitely got to sit on the porch swing or in a rocking chair while playing on a banjo or ukulele. Or, if you’re anything like my ten year old — the porch is big enough for you to do stunts on!
Catch dinner and a show at Pirates Voyage
Because this is a brand new show, we didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived. Our family waited in the common area with other families, and explored the gift shop and grabbed a couple of drinks.
Once it was time to head in, we quickly found our stadium seats that surrounded a huge pool with two pirate ships on each side. The show has sword fights, cannons, fire, live animals, diving, and circus-like acts with swinging from ropes and silks.
Not only that, but they have volunteers from the audience to participate in competitions!
While the show is going on, you’ll be served a meal consisting of:
- soup and a biscuit
- a drink (I got tea!)
- macaroni and cheese
- fried chicken
- fried pork chop
- sweet potato casserole (my fave!)
- and an apple turnover
This show is truly for all ages. Our son has Sensory Processing Disorder, so there were parts that had him a little overwhelmed, but he loved most of it. It was no problem taking him out to the common area when he need it. Our favorite part was Davey Jones’ sunken treasure!
Dollywood is for the young…and the young at heart
A trip to Pigeon Forge is not complete without a stop at Dollywood. You’ll enjoy nine roller coasters, three water rides, and all kinds of shops and eateries.
Our family’s favorite was Mystery Mine because it’s got two vertical hills and drops. It’s the first roller coaster we’ve ever been on that’s like that, and it’s a thrill to whip through an abandoned mine in a coal cart.
Be sure to check out their new Wildwood Grove while there. The area is very friendly for all ages, but particularly for the littlest ones! We enjoyed splashing around in Wildwood Creek (similar to a splash pad). And if you’ve got a sensory child, they do have a sensory room to help them calm down if they need it.
You could easily spend several days at just Dollywood, so be sure to plan ahead so you don’t miss out on your favorites.
Pro Tip: When you’re driving up to the parking lot, stick to the far right lane. You’ll be tempted to move over to the middle lane, but don’t. The far right lane opens up to three other lanes much further down and as a result, goes significantly faster than the middle and left lanes. Also, if you pay extra for preferred parking it’s totally worth it!
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Farmhouse Sweets Candy Kitchen
The restaurant we wanted to eat at had a bit of a wait, so we headed next door to Farmhouse Sweets Candy Kitchen to pre-game dinner with ice cream and candy. Obviously, this caused the kids to exclaim loudly, “you’re the best mom, ever!“
I know kids, I know.
They’ve got just about anything you could want: gummi bears, truffles, old fashioned taffy, chocolate covered bacon, chocolate covered jalapenos, ice cream, pixie sticks, jaw breakers, and more.
Enjoy some real southern catfish
The catfish we had at J.T. Hannah’s Kitchen was really good…but their tartar sauce was out-of-this-world! Almost as equally impressive is their vanilla cherry coke.
Because this is such a popular place, you’re likely going to have a wait (ours was about 30-45 min). Go ahead and snag some ice cream next door, and you’ll get a text as soon as your table is ready!
Enjoy the snow while indoors?!
At Pigeon Forge Snow, not only can you play in the snow at their snow play area, but you can also race your friends and family down giant hills in inner tubes.
You don’t need to put on a ton of snow gear, nor do you have to wait until winter. This is available all-year-round. My fave part? Riding the conveyor belt to the top so you don’t waste all your energy.
Free your inner child at Track Family Fun Park
I have never heard my son squeal with so much delight as he spun around in a bumper boat with my husband. If bumper boats isn’t your thing, no worries — there’s tons more to do:
- arcade games
- go karts
- and more!
Cast some spells
MagiQuest is unlike anything we’ve ever done before. You are given virtual magic wands to solve puzzles and earn runes. If you get stuck, they’ve got staff to guide you and give you tips or feedback.
When done, be sure to check out Pirate Golf, The Vault (it’s like a laser maze), and the world’s 2nd largest mirror maze — Odyssey.
Enjoy an alpine thrill ride
This is the first alpine coaster we’ve ever done, and I’m so glad we did it! The Coaster at Goats on the Roof is nearly a mile long, and even the ride up the mountain is incredible. You’re nestled in the woods and it almost feels like a fairy tale. Because you control the brakes, you can make it as tame or as thrilling as you want.
This was by far our favorite thing on the entire trip, and we wish we would have gone more than once but were short on time. Once you’re done, be sure to give the real goats a pat or two on the head!
Go Zorbing down a 1,000 ft hill
Zorbing is where you’re put into a giant inflatable ball and rolled down a hill. Because there’s a little bit of water in the ball, there’s no friction. Instead, it’s like you’re on an enclosed water slide. Everyone loved it — but me. I like to feel in control 🙂