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Get to the Smokies in 2023 and check out all the new attractions and adventures opening this year! Are you ready to get under the ocean, on the green, and in a 3-story water coaster?

You’ll be able to get under the sea at Xperia: Ocean Journey, a 3-D immersive attraction. See amazing marine life in 3D including giant battling humboldt squids, sharks, whales, squids, sea lions, and more! “Walk around the curved dome and come face to face with these spectacular creatures” with visual effects created by the Oscar winning VFX artists behind Game of Thrones, Wonder Woman, and Westworld.

Xperia: Ocean Journey plans to open in late Spring 2023 in Sevierville near the Tanger Outlets at Five Oaks in Sevierville. Check out photos on Instagram.

The Pines

Previously called The Pines Theater, The Pines has undergone a massive remodeling, adding retro video games, duckpin bowling, board games, pinball, food, drinks and lots more!

Located in historic downtown Sevierville, The Pines Theater opened in 1944 and was the go-to entertainment venue for movies by day and entertainment at night. Singer and Sevierville daughter Dolly Parton had her first paid concert here. Visitors can stand and pose for pics in front of The Pines mural on Court Avenue with faces of those now famous folk who graced the halls including Roy Acuff, June Carter Cash, Archie Campbell, Chet Atkins, and Country Music superstar and, of course, Dolly Parton.

Anakeesta is in the process of its largest expansion since opening in 2017. The $34 million investment over 3 years was announced in September. Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg with mountain views and 70 forested acres of fun and relaxation, Anakeesta is a mountain playground for all ages.

Lumina Night Walk

The expansion’s first new attraction opened in October with the magical Astra Lumina Enchanted Night Walk. The walk is illuminated by immersive lighting and audio guiding visitors through a celestial story within the woods. In partnership with the Moment Factory, Astra Lumina is the company’s 15th Lumina Night Walk experience and the first in the United States.

In the coming months, visitors to Anakeesta can expect a new mountain coaster called Hellbender and a new area of the park called Birdventure. Hellbender will be a double-railed coaster! Birdventure will be an interactive attraction featuring large birdhouses, seven giant serpentine slides, and 12 adventure zones – built for kids of all ages! Another addition planned in the park e a European-themed village. Expect new shops, dining, trails, and an enchanted waterfall!

Transportation Is Coming

Once completed, Anakeesta will transport guests to a unique and iconic mountaintop village that has been designed with nature in mind and adorned with touches of aged copper, stone, and wood. Future elements will include a heavily themed restaurant and brewery, event center, and entertainment stage with indoor and outdoor seating.

Check out our blog post on 7 other reasons to visit Anakeesta.

Dollywood’s Big Bear Mountain coaster.

This coaster will be the largest and longest coaster to date in Dollywood. During the ride, enjoy on-board audio as you twist and turn through the park! There is even a waterfall you’ll fly through along the way! This $500 million investment is sure to impress. Check out the rendering video at Dollywood.com

Opening Spring 2023

Dollywood’s largest ever park expansion, Wildwood Grove, is expanding itself with a new roller coaster. Debuting in the spring, Big Bear Mountain will be the longest coaster at Dollywood, taking guests on an unforgettable family-friendly expedition in search of the Big Bear. Circling Wildwood Grove for nearly two minutes on 3,990 ft. of track, this gigantic coaster is a first of its kind at Dollywood with onboard audio, including music and announcements from Benjamin Bear caretaker Ned Oakley himself.

Big Bear has been a longtime legend of the woods whose stories began with the first loggers settling the land. “With each retelling, the so-called “Big Bear” gets more and more outlandish, with some stories now claiming he’s twenty-feet tall when standing! The believed tall tale has grown so common that people use Big Bear as an excuse for just about anything that goes haywire in the Grove.”

Ned is a fervent believer in the existence of Big Bear, and he intends to get to the bottom of this legend once and for all. Ned has spent the past four years researching everything he can on the creature and gathering tons of intel. After years of studying, he is finally ready to venture out past the Grove and put an end to the speculation via Big Bear Mountain.

Big Bear Mountain joins the eleven other attractions of Wildwood Grove to continue the story of this hidden land just beyond the hollow log.

Sky Pirates of Mermaid Bay

The Sky Pirates of Mermaid Bay is another Smoky Mountains adventure expected t open this year – in the summer. It’s an ocean themed immersive mini golf adventure created by the same people who brought Crave and Toy Box mini golf to the Smokies. The attraction will have an 18-hole indoor course and an 18-hole rooftop course.

The journey that will take visitors to the deepest depths of the sea all the way into the clouds high above Mermaid Bay. The path will be full of playful friends and foes alike play continues through the most immersive mini golf experience the world has ever seen. Don’t get too comfortable – the monstrous Kraken lurks in the shadows!

Once open, find The Sky Pirates of Mermaid Bay at 2420 Parkway Pigeon Forge

Wilderness At The Smokies

Another expansion under way is at Wilderness At The Smokies for its water park’s 15th anniversary this year. The $40 million, 40,000 square-foot expansion of Wild WaterDome indoor waterpark will include a 3-story water coaster, a new lazy river, a rooftop pool and a bar and grill.

A three-story water coaster featuring three steep drops, uphill blasts, high speeds and the premier of the world’s first slide with Reverse AquaLucent effects with colorful, spellbinding patterns. These special tubes will also allow light to filter through, adding brightness to the Wild WaterDome.

The water coaster will begin with a heart-pounding 22-foot drop at 29 mph before propelling riders up into a right hairpin turn inside the first Reverse AquaLucent section. A second drop will follow into an open flume, followed by an uphill blast into a sharp left turn inside another Reverse AquaLucent tube with different patterns. For thrill’s sake, the coaster will repeat a third time into a final set of patterns inside another Reverse AquaLucent tube. To round out the sensations, riders will loop through a dark tube before finishing in an open flume, according to a press release.

Find Wilderness at the Smokies at 1424 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, (877) 325-9453

Skyland Ranch

Skyland Ranch, which opened last year, is expanding with Legacy Lookout, a scenic walk attraction that will put visitors 350 feet above the Parkway and offer 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains. Along the way, visitors will be able to learn more about our attraction and the historic farm that SkyLand Ranch is built on.

Skyland Ranch combines gorgeous views, exciting rides, shops and eateries, live entertainment and miniature animals. Set on a 100-acre farm in the heart of Sevierville, SkyLand Ranch is located at the top of the Horizon Skyride chairlift. There also are shuttles and an open-air safari truck option for visitors who prefer not to ride the lift.

Find Skyland Ranch at 1620 Parkway Sevierville, TN 37862, (865) 505-7668

Alcatraz East Crime Museum


Alcatraz East hosts temporary exhibits related to crime and law enforcement topics, often in partnership with outside organizations. Temporary exhibits are included with every ticket.



December 1, 2022 – February 1, 2023

Learn More About This Exhibit


October 21, 2022 – September 30,2024

Learn More About This Exhibit
Press Release


March 3, 2022 – March 3, 2023

Learn More About This Exhibit
Press Release


July 13, 2020 – May 2023

Learn More About This Exhibit
Press Release
Find the museum at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, (865) 453-3278.

Axe House

Alpine Axe House is a thrilling adventure in the heart of Gatlinburg.

Try the unique and fun sport of axe-throwing in a safe and controlled environment. Customers of all skills can hone their throwing craft and get assistance from trained throwing coaches. Privately owned, Alipine Axe House was built because the owners love the sport. Since 2019, the owner has been competing in axe throwing and has participated in world competitions featured on ESPN.

The venue is decorated for all holidays with changing target designs and black light events. Discounts are available for military and first responders. Find the Alpine Axe House above The Chocolate Monkey at 702 Parkway, Suite 3
(865) 412-1170.

You’re going to need a place to go home to after all that fun – let American Patriot Getaways find the perfect vacation spot for you! The Great Smoky Mountains offer a wide array of rental homes.  We offer traditional cabins and chalets. We also offer modern condos and a few traditional homes.  Find your perfect Smoky Mountain vacation rental and enjoy!

Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!


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