Wilderness at the Smokies Review
Wilderness at the Smokies Resort and Family Adventure Center located in Sevierville Tennesse is just North of tourist spots Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. We received a free stay but all thoughts are 100% honest and my own.
Wilderness at the Smokies is home to the Wild WaterDome, Tennessee’s Largest Indoor Waterpark. It features a see-through roof so you can still enjoy the sun but not the rain or cold weather. Yes, you can still tan while you’re relaxing under the dome. But wait, that’s not all. You will also find two outdoor waterparks and their NEW Adventure Forest family adventure center that features a 3 story ropes course, multi-level laser tag, black light mini-golf, mega arcade and much more! The Waterparks are guest exclusive and included with your stay.
When you drive in to the Wilderness at the Smokies the size alone will make you gasp! It is huge! For lodging you can select from Stone Hill Lodge, River Lodge Suites and Villa Suites. We stayed in the River Lodge Suites. The room included two queen-sized beds, one twin sofa sleeper, flat screen TV, small table and chairs, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, room safe, iron and ironing board. Honestly, I think they spoiled us at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel because the room felt pretty crapped for the four of us but it was definitely very nice. They do offer bigger suites and villas that can accommodate up to 16 people and even some fun bunk suites for the kids. The River Lodge Suites we stayed in was attached to the Wild WaterDome Indoor Waterpark but also included the Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark, Cataloochee Creek Adventure Golf, The Thirsty Miner Restaurant, Mountain Marketplace, Outpost Gift Shop, Back Country Arcade, Paint Your Own Pottery, a Fitness Center and Guest Laundry. Plenty of awesome adventures to keep us and the kids busy!
The picture above shows the stairs to the large water slides inside the waterpark. You can go to the top of one stairs to get in a raft or the other stairs and carry a tube up to ride down the slides. It is very high! I about had a nervous breakdown watching my son climb the stairs! The line was pretty long but it went pretty fast. It actually started storming while we were there and they shut down the slides until the storm had passed. I am assuming they do this because the slides are actually enclosed but on the outside of the building. I am sure it is for safety reasons. They opened them up quickly once the storm had passed.
In the waterpark you see a lot of staff and lifeguards walking around the area. It is good to know they keep plenty of staff to watch over kids and be safe. They also have a fun splash area, shown above, for toddlers and younger kids. All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. They have plenty of outdoor style furniture and lounge chairs for adults to relax in while their children play.
The Smokies Surf Rider was located in the water dome. There was a really long line to it but our son wanted to try it so bad. We watched so many people get tossed around in the water… even grown men! I was pretty nervous while I waited thinking about how it might toss my son around. A young man was standing at the top giving them instructions on how to throw the board in the water and hop on quickly. My son done such a great job and rode the board like he’d done it before! Such a fun experience. It was definitely his favorite activity in the Wilderness at the Smokies waterparks.
After we enjoyed the waterparks, we ate at the Thirsty Miner Restaurant. We had seen a sign that kids eat free so we were excited about that! You could order off the buffet or a menu. We opted for the buffet since our son could eat free. My stepson is 12 so he was too old to eat free but they did give us his for half price. They had a big selection on the buffet and we really enjoyed it. Our waiter was very friendly and done a great job. Our son ate quickly because he was excited to check out the dessert bar. He opted for a piece of cake and some ice cream! They had prime rib on the buffet and it was my favorite of the buffet selection besides the salad. They also offer several other dining and snack options throughout the Wilderness at the Smokies.
Our experience at the Wilderness at the Smokies was fantastic! We definitely give them a 5 star rating. This is a highly recommended family destination. We were only at the resort for one night but I suggest staying no less than 2 or 3 nights to be able to make use of all of their great activities. The staff is very friendly and the resort is kept very clean for all of the kiddos running around in wet swimsuits. An excellent place to stay and enjoy!
Learn more about the Wilderness at the Smokies
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