Wilderness at the Smokies to expand its Wild Waterdome Waterpark

Resort also adding a Cloud Coaster, XD Theater, Revamping Thirsty Miner and Building 12 Villas

SEVIERVILLE – Wilderness at the Smokies officials today announced that in honor of the resort’s upcoming 15th anniversary in 2023, they are starting on $40 million expansion/renovation, the largest in the resort’s history.

A special groundbreaking event will be held on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m.to mark the occasion.

The resort will be adding nearly 40,000 square feet to their Wild WaterDome indoor waterpark. It will include: 

Switchback Mountain, 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.

According to Pete Tennis, Managing Director for Wilderness at the Smokies, “Switchback Mountain is guaranteed to be amazing! To get riders’ adrenaline pumping, the water coaster will begin with a heart-pounding 22-foot drop at 29 mph before propelling the 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.” 

The waterpark expansion will also include Forbidden Caverns Lazy River, featuring an immersive tunnel experience complete with LED color changing kaleidoscope lighting, mirrors and projections. 

Finally, the resort will be taking advantage of the waterpark’s expanded rooftop by adding Lookout Lagoon, a roof top pool with a glass edge. This area will also be home to the Peak Rooftop Bar and Grill, three rooftop cabanas and entertainment stage area. For convenience, an elevator will transport guests to and from this area. 

Tennis adds that per guest’s requests, the resort will be adding 500 seats to the waterpark, six additional cabanas on the mezzanine level of the waterpark and nine additional on the main level.

Preparation for the expansion began on Aug. 22. The project is anticipated to be complete by fall of 2023.

More Things in the Works

In addition to the waterpark expansion, the resort is adding an indoor suspended Cloud Coaster to its Adventure Forest.

The new Rocky Top Glideris designed to interact with the Adventure’s Forest’s other attractions such as our mini golf, mini bowling and ropes course. It will have a track length at approximately 400 linear feet with two lift hills, soaring riders high in the sky. The award-winning family coaster will be mostly suspended in the Adventure Forest’s ceiling, reducing the amount of necessary structure needed for operation. A raised platform will launch riders at a starting height of 18 feet with maximum heights of approximately 25 feet in the air. 

The cloud coaster will be the first of its kind in Tennessee. Only eight other versions of it exist in the world.

Guests who are at least 40 inches in height will be able to ride the new attraction. The maximum ride weight will be 250 pounds per seat. Construction for the project is anticipated to be completed by Spring 2023. The Adventure Forest will remain open during the construction. 

XD Theater
An eight-person XD theater will also be added to the Adventure Forest. The theater offers an unparalleled, multi-sensory, immersive experience by combining 3D stereoscopic graphics with visual effects. It will be completed in fall 2022.

Camp Social 
The resort’s Thirsty Miner restaurant will also be receiving a makeover, as well as a new name. The 5,000 square foot space will be converted into a family friendly food hall named Camp Social with a summer camp theme. 

Within Camp Social, guests will be able to enjoy: The Burger Bar a full‐service bar that will also serve up a small menu of great burgers and fresh fried chips; Tacolicious which will serve delicious tacos, nachos, taco bowls and the famous walking taco. Lily’s Campsite Pizza Bakery which willoffer giant slices, as well as whole pizzas, breadsticks and large soft pretzels; Coffee Canteen that will serve Starbucks coffee, teas, smoothies, & doughnuts and a Breakfast Buffet that will serve up hearty breakfasts, from French toast to scrambled eggs plus so much more!

There will also be a TV/video wall, where patrons can watch sporting events and will also feature an area for classic yard games to keep the young ones busy. 

Camp Social will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours are TBD. The restaurant is set to be open in time for the 2022 Christmas season. 

Grizzly’s Grill in the WaterDome will also be getting a makeover in 2023 and Molly’s Shake Shoppe, serving up ice cream mixed in a shake with crazy flavors and toppings, will be added in 2023 as well.

Additional Villas
Finally, the resort is building 12, three-bedroom villas which sleep up to 12 people and are more than 2,600 square feet that will be available to rent starting in early 2023. Each unit will be 2,600 square feet and will be fully furnished. They will also include an electric fireplace, game room with pool table and view overlooking Sevierville Golf Course.

The Wilderness at the Smokies features 234 Stone Hill guest rooms; 472 River Lodge suites and 8 Villas; an 84-degree, year-round indoor waterpark; two seasonal outdoor waterparks; an indoor family entertainment center; a variety of dining and shopping options; a 36-hole championship golf course; and more than 200,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. 

It is owned by Wilderness Resort and Waterparks, a Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin-based hotel and hospitality development and management company which also operates Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Lodge, Wilderness on the Lake and Sundara Spa all in Wisconsin Dells.  

Wilderness at the Smokies has created hundreds of jobs in the greater Sevierville community, attracting year-round tourism, and having a major impact on sales tax and room tax generated for the City of Sevierville since opening its doors in 2008. For more information visit WildernessattheSmokies.com or call 877.325.9453.

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