Things to Do in Pigeon Forge
Have you ever wondered what it was like aboard the RMS Titanic? Wonder no longer. At the Titanic museum, a two-story museum built half-scale (in a pool, to create the illusion of the big ship at sea), you can take a 2-hour self-guided tour designed to give you the sensation of being an original passenger on the ship’s 1912 maiden voyage. As you enter, you’ll be given a boarding ticket. Your ticket has the name and travelling class of one of the ill-fated ship’s actual passengers, whose story you will learn as you pass through the museum.
At the end of the tour in the Titanic Memorial Room you’ll have a chance to check if your boarding pass belonged to a shipwreck survivor, or to one of the less-fortunate passengers. Because more than half of the Titanic’s two-thousand-plus survivors perished, the likelihood of ‘your’ survival is fairly low. (Young children are issued boarding passes that belonged to survivors, as to not totally bum them out.) The museum, which is the largest permanent Titanic museum in the world, holds 400 pre-discovery artefacts (a.k.a. belongings that were recovered floating in the water) in twenty galleries. The personal natures of the items on display closely tie into the individual stories represented at the museum. In the interactive exhibits you’ll get a real feeling for what it might have been like as a passenger on that ship.
Country music legend Dolly Parton is co-owner of Dollywood, a family-centered theme park in the Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Amusements include more than 40 rides and attractions, 15 live shows, and several large seasonal festivals inspired by Dolly Parton and the history of the Smoky Mountains.
Known for hosting live music tribute shows, the Main Event Theater is conveniently located on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. At a show you get to rewind through country music history with Conway Twitty covers, blast through rock and roll's past with an Elvis impersonator, and revisit Las Vegas with the music of Neil Diamond and Tom Jones.
Pigeon Forge visitors looking for dinner and a show won't be disappointed with the live musical performances at the Grand Majestic Dinner Theater. Choose from three tribute shows, which cover genres ranging from Motown to country, and upgrade your ticket to include a large all-you-can-eat buffet dinner before the show.
While Pigeon Forge, Tennessee may be best known as the home of the Dollywood amusement park, it got a new top attraction when the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center opened in May 2012. Built as a tribute to the U.S. film and television industry, the museum is the largest Hollywood wax museum in the country and the only one dedicated entirely to celebrities. With a large Hollywood sign, a giant King Kong scaling the New York skyline and a replica of Mount Rushmore featuring the sculpted faces of John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, it is truly a can’t miss attraction.
Covering 22,000 square feet, the museum offers great photo opportunities for visitors as the wax figures stand out in the open instead of behind glass. Take a selfie with Brad Pitt, dance with Michael Jackson or share a bench with Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump. And then head up to the roof to get up close and personal with King Kong.
On the edge of the Smoky Mountains, the family friendly roadside stop Goats on the Roof draws visitors with a wide range of attractions, including the eponymous goats that graze on the roof of the building, and also a unique Alpine-style roller coaster that twists and turns through the forest. Unlike traditional roller coasters, The Coaster at Goats on the Roof runs single carts that are driver operated. Riders can go alone or with a friend, and once they’re strapped in, they have control of the ride with a hand brake to adjust the speed. At full speed, the coaster reaches almost 30 mph, the track is about a mile long, and the average ride lasts for about 7 minutes.
Visitors to the Red Skelton Tribute Theater can enjoy one of the two long-running shows: Brian Hoffman's Red Skelton tribute, which recreates the beloved comedian’s characters and skits from radio and television, or musician Patty Waszak’s variety show, which includes standards and rock favorites performed on a variety of instruments.
The Hard Rock Café Pigeon Forge sports a country twang in the East Tennessee home of Dolly Parton’s famed theme park, Dollywood. This particular location is fairly new, recently relocated from nearby Gatlinburg to a spacious spot next door to the Smoky Mountain Opry. In addition to the main restaurant, visitors can hang out on the outdoor patio, catch a live show on the stage or virtually explore the Hard Rock’s vast music memorabilia collection at the Rock Wall Solo, a 52-inch interactive touch wall. There’s also plenty of memorabilia to check out in person, as the Hard Rock Cafe Pigeon Forge features three main displays devoted to Dolly Parton, Jimi Hendrix, and Madonna—there’s also a lace dress from Taylor Swift among other country icons.