Visit: The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel {Pigeon Forge, Tennessee}

by Cate on May 14, 2014


I didn’t used to be afraid of heights.

Years ago, when my ex-husband and I were dating (and even boyfriends before him) and we visited amusement parks, I always went on the roller coasters.

As a good girlfriend would.

And then one day, I stopped.

I can tell you exactly when the fear of heights set in. We were on a ferris wheel and got stuck on the top.

Mechanical difficulties.

Twenty minutes.

And I said never again.

Nick, on the other hand, has exactly zero fear of heights.




And unfortunately for me, his sister is following fast in his footsteps.

So it sometimes means that I need to suck it up in the interest of not standing in the way of my kids having fun.

Which is exactly how I found myself some 200 feet in the air (roughly twenty stories high) during our recent Spring Break vacation.


Because every day that we stayed in Sevierville, we passed by The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel.

Multiple times daily.

And it was huge. And it looked like great fun.

Except for the, you know, fear of heights thing.


Two things got me on the ride.

My kids.

And the photo opps.

Because I love both something fierce.

Those kids. And photos opps.

In that order.

And, I’ve got to say, as far as ferris wheels go, this one ranked pretty high on the list. Each of the 42 cars seat 8 passengers, and actually have their own air conditioning and heating controls that the passengers can use. And a red panic button.

A button that the ferris wheel operator was sure to point out to me.

I’m guessing I might have looked slightly panicked.


The ferris wheel is gorgeous all lit up at night, with over one million LED lights illuminating the area, and during the day the views are stunning.

Well worth the minor fear issue.


The ferris wheel is located at The Island, which is a little area carved out with a variety of restaurants and small attractions, with more coming soon, including a hotel and a restaurant of Paula Deen’s.

While we were on top of the ferris wheel, the kids spied the Thunder Dome and that was their next adventure.

*My Dad recently told Madeline that when she is a bit older, she should start wearing matching socks. Needless to say, she’s not down with that.


And we finished off our visit with freshly made pomme frites at a little spot adjacent to the Thunder Dome. The Black Forest fries with roasted garlic dipping sauce (their best seller) we got were delish. Poynor’s also specializes in an ice cream dish that is designed to look like spaghetti and meatballs. We were still full from a nearby lunch, so we skipped that, but if you stop in, give it a try.


Stepping out of my comfort zone was a recurring theme during our week in Tennessee, as you’ll see in future reviews. I am the luckiest. ;)

The Island
131 The Island Drive
Pigeon Forge, TN
(865) 286-0119

Hungry for more Tennessee?
Our visit to RainForest Adventures was fun, with questionable vending machine prizes.
Jack’s Bar-B-Que in Nashville was a highlight and not-to-be-missed.
Our favorite Tennessee eats can be found here.
And lastly, some highlights from our week-long adventure.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne May 15, 2014 at 6:45 am

I still don’t wear matching socks, so Maddie has some time. Go you for facing your fears! Sounds worth it.
Joanne recently posted..Black Bean and Kale Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce


Sarah Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) May 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

Ha! Paige NEVER wears matching socks. I’ve stopped fighting it. Pick your battles, right?
Sarah Caron (Sarah’s Cucina Bella) recently posted..Very Veggie Tabbouleh


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