After checking into our hotel in Pigeon Forge, we headed to The Island. If you’re like us, you have never heard of The Island. It turns out it’s a one-stop shop for affordable family fun, shopping, and entertainment.
It’s a place with some hustle and bustle. Parking is free, and you can either walk to the shopping district or wait for a trolley.
Traveler Tip: Park in The LeConte Center Parking Lot, which is owned by the City of Pigeon Forge. From here, catch the complimentary tram ride from the LeConte parking lot to The Island during business hours.
Once you cross the bridge, prepare to be in awe. There are more than sixty retail and specialty shops, some popular restaurants and eateries, rides and games, dancing fountains, live music, attractions and much more.
The name The Island comes from the fact that it is really an “island” in the middle of the Little Pigeon River. It’s 23-acres of entertainment and fun for all ages.
The main attraction at The Island is the Great Smoky Mountain wheel, a 200-foot-tall 10 million dollar observation wheel. You can see it from practically anywhere in Pigeon Forge. It lights up and stays lit all night long.
We visited The Island in the early afternoon. By daylight, The Wheel is impressive.
Once the sun sets, The Wheel becomes an incredible attraction of beauty. It’s neon lights race down the beam lighting up The Wheel in hues of purple, green, and multi-color wonder.
It’s truly the heart of The Island.
You can ride The Wheel by purchasing a ticket at the ticket office. Ride time varies, but the minimum time frame is ten minutes. There are VIP cabins available which seat four passengers at a time, feature plush leather seats and a special glass floor. There are 42 regular fully-enclosed cabins feature class walls, seat four and have air conditioning and heat for climate comfort.
Regardless of which cabin you opt for the view is spectacular!
The Wheel made its maiden turn on June 21, 2013.
In the shopping area, you’ll, find plenty of retail shops and photo opportunities.
The kiddos loved this one outside a toy store and took a moment to pose like their favorite Playmobil character.
During the afternoon the kiddos did a three-story sky trail ropes course-tickets can be purchased at the ticket office. They loved the simulated free fall at the end!
After a day of play at The Island, the kiddos wanted a snack. We stopped in at Poyner’s Pommes Fries for some Pommes Frites (Belgian Fries).They were jam-packed with goodness and delicious. It’s no wonder Trip Advisor rates them as a Top 10 Must-Try French Fry.
They also offer something called Spaghetti Ice–it’s an ice cream dessert made to look like a plate of spaghetti. Vanilla ice cream made to look like noodles, with a marinara of either strawberry, cherry, raspberry or chocolate, flakes of white chocolate to look like “Parmesan Cheese” and Ferraro Roche for the meatballs and served with two cookies as the breadsticks.
We also were fascinated by the multi-tiered show fountain. The fountains danced and lit up in perfect choreography to 14 different songs. It’s a lively show with 89 verticle nozzles and six motion based nozzles. There are sprays and swirls, and a, geyser shoots water 60-feet in the air. It’s a sight to behold.
We enjoyed visiting The Island in Pigeon Forge at night when it was lit up. By day it was fun, but a night visit makes The Island a magical place.