Derek Cress/The Island in Pigeon Forge

Key Info

131 The Island Drive

Price & Hours

Varies by day: 10 or 11 a.m. to 8, 9, 10 or 11 p.m.


Amusement Parks, Entertainment and Nightlife, Free, Neighborhood/Area, Recreation, Shopping, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Featuring a mix of amusement park rides, shops, hotels and restaurants, The Island in Pigeon Forge offers plenty of fun things to do to keep all types of visitors engaged. Some of the most popular rides and activities to check out here include The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel (a 200-foot-tall observation wheel offering sweeping views of the region), bumper cars, a fountain water show, a ropes course and an arcade. Those interested in shopping will appreciate the 40-plus stores that sell everything from sweets and toys to clothing and accessories. When it's time to eat, you'll find casual options like The Island Creamery ice cream shop, Beef Jerky Experience and The Fudgery, in addition to sit-down options like Paula Deen's Family Kitchen, Timberwood Grill and Yee-Haw Brewing Co.

Visitors say The Island is a great spot to spend a few hours walking around, shopping, enjoying rides and grabbing some food. Travelers were particularly impressed by the fountain's water and light show (typically every 30 minutes), which is set to music.

The Island in Pigeon Forge is in the center of town, off of the Parkway (Route 441). The retail shops at The Island operate different hours, but are generally open from around 10 or 11 a.m. to 8, 9, 10 or 11 p.m. depending on the day. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel operates on a similar schedule. There are several free parking lots on-site, and complimentary trams can take visitors from the parking lots to the front of The Island. There are three sets of public restrooms available throughout as well. While The Island is free to enter, amusement park rides like The Great Smoky Wheel do cost a fee. For information, maps, ride fees and more, check out The Island in Pigeon Forge website.

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Time to Spend
#1 Dollywood

Dollywood is likely one of the main reasons you're planning a visit to Pigeon Forge: It's a sprawling amusement park that boasts more than 50 rides and attractions, music and entertainment shows, multiple dining options and festivals and events galore. Owned by legendary country music singer Dolly Parton, the park is a Pigeon Forge staple. Popular rides include rollercoasters like the Barnstormer, Dragonflier and Wild Eagle, and kid-friendly attractions like a carousel, a scrambler, bumper cars, swings and more. In addition to rides and attractions, Dollywood hosts '50s- and '60s-themed a capella shows and wildlife demonstrations. If you're planning to visit around a holiday, check out the events during Dollywood's Harvest Festival in the fall and Smoky Mountain Christmas in the winter. Not to mention, the park has several souvenir shops, craft stores and dining outlets.    

As expected, Dollywood receives rave reviews from recent parkgoers, with many praising the number and quality of the rollercoasters (a surprise for some). Several patrons said the theme park was a bit bigger than they anticipated and recommend purchasing the two-day pass to ensure you have time to try most or all of the rides you want, in addition to exploring the craft shops and seeing shows. Visitors also say the staff members here are friendly and helpful. A few people warned, though, that the Dollywood app, which has info on ride wait times and a map, can be unreliable. You may want to download and print off a map of the park before you go.

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Courtesy of Dollywood
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