By Darryl Payne
Posted on April 15, 2017
If you're headed to the Great Smoky Mountains to cool off this summer, you won't want to miss the new shows and attractions at Dollywood and Splash Country, and in Pigeon Forge. Dollywood's new mission is to help families experience the park together instead of splitting up. This new concept has led to three exciting rides and novel shows.
Take a Wild Ride on Tailspin Racer
The latest attraction at Splash Country is hard to miss since it's now the park's largest feature. At five stories tall and more than a football field long, Tailspin Racer is the next star of the show. Tailspin Racer is a partially enclosed six-lane racing waterslide with spiraling aquatubes, tight turns, and breathtaking drops. Six riders simultaneously race down fast drops and through wildly curved translucent tubes before hitting a long, splashy straightaway to slow their momentum.
If Tailspin Racer is out of your comfort zone, don't worry - Splash Country still has plenty of other refreshing activities to help you beat the heat. The Mountain Waves pool, the ever-popular lazy river, and the Cascades leisure pool are some of the reasons the Travel Channel named Splash Country as one of America's Best Waterparks.
Enjoy Great Views and Kid-Friendly Coasters
In Dollywood, check out Drop Line, a new 200-foot-tall free-fall ride that offers eagle-eye views of Timber Canyon. Look around quickly because you'll have just seconds before dropping 20 stories in seconds! Riders must be at least 50" tall, so this ride is best for older adventure seekers. Got a shorty? You only have to be 36" tall to ride Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior roller coaster with a logging theme. This coaster features lots of twists and turns instead of drops, and is a good introduction to roller coasters. Whistle Punk is meant to help younger kids discover if they like the exhilaration of roller coasters. If your little one is all smiles after Whistle Punk, as long as they're 48" tall they can ride the Thunderhead wooden coaster with parents and older kids.
See Exciting New Shows and Events
This year Dollywood is rolling out a cutting-edge new show featuring Tokyo-based dance company "enra." Part dance, part martial art, part acrobatics, enra combines beautiful movement with multimedia elements that takes modern dance into the realm of 3D. Watch as performers move through video-game–like scenarios that will leave you wondering what's real and what's not. This show is so clever that adults and kids of every age will be entranced.
It's never too early to plan your fall vacation, so be sure to come back in October for The Great Pumpkin LumiNights event, now part of Dollywood's annual Fall Festival. For the first time, the park will open on October evenings for illuminated strolls in the crisp autumn air.
Take a Relaxing Lunch Break
Dollywood has always had delicious restaurants, but this year there is a new eatery that is sure to be an instant favorite. The Front Porch Café is a sit-down restaurant that makes diners feel as if they're having lunch on their friend's cozy front porch. This restaurant might be Dollywood's best adult attraction - and a fitting reward for braving coasters with your kids all day.
Do you love Lumberjack's wood-fired pizza and healthy salads? This popular pie joint has been revamped with more ordering lines, large-screen menus, and Coca-Cola Freestyle machines to make lines move faster. They also moved to individual pizzas instead of family-size so everyone can have their favorite.
Check Out the New Music Mansion Theater
Dollywood isn't the only place experiencing exciting changes. Smoky Mountain Opry is a musical variety show that has been entertaining families for years with a fun mix of music that ranges from Big Band to Country. Soon this venue is changing its name to Music Mansion Theater, and will highlight an all-new show called "Feel the Music."
This novel variety program treats the audience to foot-tapping musical numbers, dancing, comedy, special effects, laser lights, pyrotechnics, and even acrobatics. Everyone in the family will be entertained from start to finish. The Music Mansion Theater has been endorsed as the best variety show in the country by Southern Living Magazine, making this a not-to-be-missed experience when you're visiting the Smokies.
See You in the Smokies
The sun is out, skies are clear, and the weather is just right for planning your spring, summer, or fall vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. New adventures await - see you in the Smokies!
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.