Top Five Must-Dos at The Island in Pigeon Forge. Number 2 is My Favorite
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a relatively new retail and entertainment center located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Situated on an “island” in the middle of the Little Pigeon River, The Island is like a mini newer, nicer, and cleaner version of nearby Gatlinburg and even features some of the same restaurants (like Dick’s Last Resort). Although most of it is still under construction, here are the top five things to do at The Island right now:
5. Get lost in The Island Mirror Maze ($)
The Island Mirror Maze is a 3,000 square foot maze of 172 mirrors filled with tons of twists and bends. They give you 3D glasses at the beginning in case you want to give yourself more of a challenge. Also featured inside the Island Ruins is a high tech Laser Maze where kids climb over and under security beams Mission Impossible style while being timed. If you have no interest in doing the maze yourself you should still check out the two way mirror where spectators can watch and laugh as helpless victims get lost inside the maze.
4. Enjoy a tasty treat from Mellow Mushroom/Dude’s Daiquiris ($)
The Island is home to a new quick service Mellow Mushroom where you order at the counter before taking your seat and the pizzas are brought out to you when they’re done (gluten free options available). You can download a Rockbot app to your smartphone and help select the music being played. Attached to the restaurant is Dude’s Daiquiris, a bar serving delicious frozen daiquiris and a large selection of craft beers. The outside patio seating area is a perfect place to relax with great views of the observation wheel, especially at night when the wheel is all lit up.
3. Eat Spaghetti ice cream at Poyner’s Pommes Frites ($)
One of the most popular treats at Poyner’s Pommes Frites is Spaghetti Ice, an ice-cream dessert made to look like a plate of spaghetti pasta. First, vanilla ice cream is scooped into a machine and comes out looking like noodles. Next, the “sauce” is poured on and is your choice of strawberry, cherry, rasberry, or chocolate. The “parmesan cheese” is made of white chocolate flakes. Ferraro Roche makes up the meatballs and two cookies are the “breadsticks.” Amazing! Other specialty items include: Pommes Frites (Belgian Fries) & Dipping Sauces, a variety of authentic German Sausages & Bratwursts, and fresh baked Broetchen (German Hard Rolls).
2. Watch the The Island Show Fountains (FREE)
While at rest, the three million dollar Island Show Fountains may seem like nothing more than a nice fountain and a relaxing place to take a break. But every thirty minutes starting at 10am the fountain springs to life in a dazzling display of water, light, and sound similar to Disney’s “World of Color” but on a much smaller scale. Geyser nozzles blast water over sixty feet into the air while six motion-based nozzles spray and swirl to the booming music. The 89 nozzles are perfectly synchronized to 14 different songs where each “show” is one or two songs long and each is performed at the same time each day. As amazing as the show is to watch during the day, where it really shines is after the sun sets. With the bright LEDs on the observation wheel in the background, it’s really a sight to behold.
1. Ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel ($)
The main attraction at The Island is the Great Smoky Mountain wheel, a 200-foot-tall $10 million dollar observation wheel. There are 42 fully-enclosed cabins capable of holding up to eight passengers at one time. The cabins are climate controlled meaning the wheel can operate all year long. Ride time varies but the duration is a minimum of ten minutes. VIP cabins are available as well, seating only four passengers at a time, they includes plush leather seats and a special glass floor. Tip: Get Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Combo Tickets and save up to $6.00 per person!
See the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and a portion of The Island Show Fountains in this short video, including some night time footage:
The Island is a great place to visit and it’s only going to get better. Future attractions include Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and Build-A-Bear Workshop. I can’t wait to visit again when it’s totally complete. Want to know more insider tips about visiting Pigeon Forge and the Smokies? Check this out.