Beyond the Lens Family Fun
(formerly National Enquirer Live!)
People love gossip and particularly celebrity news – the good the bad and the weird. There are even scientific studies that consider this fact. In that vein and in celebration of one particular “gossip rag”, Pigeon Forge has its own attraction embracing the tabloid headlines that have stuck with us most over the past 100 years. At Beyond the Lens Family Fun, see your favorite and most outrageous pop culture stories presented in fun, interactive museum-style.
Enter through the giant paparazzi camera at the front of the building that appears to be falling and crumbling. The 20,000-square foot building is hard to miss at 2115 Parkway. Don’t forget your own camera because there are plenty of “paparazzi” photo ops inside too. Get your discount tickets with American Patriot Getaways.
Learn the stories behind the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer stories. See the headlines come to life. Learn about the magazine’s 90+-year history, biggest scoops and wildest stories. Deep dive into conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Find out more about the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase and his trials. Get to know the Royals and even become one. See Michael Jackson in a hyperbolic chamber in the Michael Jackson Room. Chase Bigfoot – or is he chasing you?
Search for Bigfoot
In the Bigfoot Forest, find the bigfoot cabin and check out all the sightings of Bigfoot and Sasquatch in the United States. Was there one in your neighborhood? Maybe you will even come across the famous beast himself. Maybe he will find you first. Either way, snap a picture!
Here’s a National Enquirer story just this week about a Bigfoot sighting in nearby Kentucky!
UFO and Space Conspiracies Room
In the realm of fascinating mysteries such as Bigfoot is the UFO and Space Conspiracies Room. The National Enquirer has long been known for reporting UFO sightings. Several of the tabloid’s most notable space conspiracy stories are highlighted in this exhibit. This room is also where you will find the Alien Egg Pit – climb in, take pictures, examine the “eggs.” It kind of looks like a giant bubble bath but without water. It’s definitely a place to be silly with family and friends.
Virtual YouTube Wall and Moving Pictures
In the History of Social Media Gallery, there’s a YouTube tower and a station that lets you create your own tabloid cover. Perhaps your brother is secretly an alien? Is your mom a famous peanut butter thief – sneaking into pantries across the country to dip her finger in new jars of the popular treat? You get to decide!
The Hallway of Moving Pictures is like something out of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts’s School of Magic with celebrities spilling their conversations and you can join in.
The Royals Closet
Step inside the augmented reality closet and decide what your favorite British royal will wear and just how much it cost. Find out what those medals on the jacket stand for. You can also follow the “Path to the Crown” for all those what if this person dies, or this person abdicates scenarios.
Also in the Royals area is a model showing the path Princess Diana’s vehicle took the night of Aug. 31, 1997, when she was killed in a car accident in Paris, France.
Who Killed JFK?
President John F. Kennedy – part of America’s royal family The Kennedy’s – was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, during a motorcade on Nov. 22, 1963. The 35th president of the United States.
Within a few hours of the shooting, police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald and charged him with the murder of the 35th president of the United States. The next day, Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald, thus silencing the only person who could have offered more information about the event. The Warren Commission was organized to investigate the assassination and to clarify the many questions that remained.
There are still many questions and theories about how, who and why President Kennedy was killed. At Beyond the Lens, go back in time and witness the view from the School Book Depository window decide for yourself among the Government Theory, Secret Service Theory and Grassy Knoll Theory. Then vote on which conspiracy you believe to be the most conceivable. There are 13 more conspiracies waiting via the red phone “hot line.”
For some less serious adventures, look at the inside of a 20-foot long Kaleidoscope filled with thousands of colors and effects. Beyond the Lens calls this an “Ultimate Selfie.”
Walk the Red Carpet
Just like a celebrity at this week’s MTV Video Music Awards known as the VMA’s, walk the red carpet and watch yourself “LIVE” on the monitors while throngs of Paparazzi take your picture and call for you to look at them or answer their questions.
Throughout the Beyond the Lens attraction are augmented reality interactions and virtual reality games that will have your friends laughing as you hit, punch, kick and play with things they cannot see.
In addition to the Royal’s Closet, there are yellow discs on the floor come to life in an Augmented Reality when the Beyond the Lens app is pointed at them. What pops up? Your favorite celebrities’ pets – be it a pig, a snake, an elephant or maybe a goat.
About National Enquirer
Beyond the Lens Family Fun opened in May as National Enquirer Live! Shortly after, the company rebranded as Beyond the Lens Family Fun! The 20,000 square-foot building represents a $15 million investment by FrontPage Attractions.
“As new exhibits are being added, it was obvious to the owners that the National Enquirer name did not fit the scope of the museum,” said Beyond the Lens area marketing manager Jon Elder. “New exhibits are centered on pop culture and new technology fun and interactive games. A more inclusive name was needed to help the visitor understand what is being offered.”
The immersive adventure is spreading to Branson, Missouri, as well – in a 30,000 square-foot space set to open Labor Day weekend, Elder said. Clearly, we as humans love gossip, celebrity news and all the weird and wonderful mysteries told by the tabloids every day.
Check out this story from Psychology Today on the science behind why we love gossip.
National Enquirer was sold for $100 million in April by American Media Inc. to Hudson News CEO James Cohen. The tabloid has a long history – starting in 1926 as a Sunday weekly called New York Evening Enquirer. It was founded by a former advertising man, William Griffin, with funds from newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Beyond the Lens, though no longer named for the tabloid, still celebrates the many headlines and stories of the newspaper. Here’s a fun story on Ranker about news The National Enquirer broke and got right way before – sometimes years before – anyone actually believed it or the celebrity admitted it.
Located at 2115 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, (865) 366-1609, Beyond the Lens Family Fun is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. What a fun way to spend a hot summer day or an evening after dinner.
Discount tickets through American Patriot Getaways:
Adults (ages 13 and older) : $26.00 (Ticket Value: $28.05)
Children (ages 5 – 12) : $15.00 (Ticket Value: $16.83)
Find a Beautiful Smoky Mountain Cabin
Whether you want to spend a weekend or a week, American Patriot Getaways has a cabin for you – up in the woods where you can speculate about (and search for?) Bigfoot or closer to the action in Pigeon Forge – all beautiful and secluded with amazing Smoky Mountain views.
Give American Patriot Getaways a call at 800-204-5169. Let our experts help you find the right cabin and all the right fun and food in Pigeon Forge.