*Caution, affiliate links ahead…Don’t worry, I’ll use the money for something practical, like wine…. or a pony!
From the moment you pull up and see the flashing neon lights on the giant funnel of the Storm Chaser Thrill Ride, you know that you made the right decision when you booked your vacation at Wilderness at the Smokies. This full service resort has everything needed for a quick weekend getaway or an extended vacation.
Visiting Wilderness at the Smokies means you never have to leave the resort to find something fun to do or grab a bite to eat. This is my kind of vacation! Onsite restaurants, indoor playground, laser tag, ropes course and of course the indoor waterpark all within walking distance from your room, yep this was going to be a great weekend!
Our room was decorated in a rustic cabin theme, as are all the rooms here, we had a 1 bedroom suite that had a full kitchen, living room and a bedroom. With the murphy bed and the sofa bed, it was easily able to sleep all 8 of us. We settled in and headed down to check out the Wild WaterDome.
The Wild WaterDome is the biggest indoor water park in Tennessee, the see through roof lets you experience the feel of outdoor waterparks without dealing with the elements and less than ideal temps outside. You can play here year round!
The WaterDome is home to 4 waterslides including the Storm Chaser Thrill Ride, Runaway Canyon and 2 tube slides, but the fun doesn’t stop there! You can also party at Magnolia Grove Hot Spa, body surf at Smokies Surf Rider, get tossed around by the waves at The Great Wave wavepool and let the kids run amuck on Washout Mountain.
My younger kids loved Washout Mountain and spent most of the day running around getting in water fights, sliding down the 2 water slides and of course getting dunked by the 500 gallon bucket that dumps water every time it gets full.
The bigger kids all agreed that the Smokies Surf Rider was their absolute favorite attraction in the whole waterpark. They went body surfing at least half a dozen times while we were there. Epic was the word of the day.
The Storm Chaser Thrill ride came in second, the 55 foot drop in the dark followed by a zero gravity free fall into the giant funnel was the ultimate scream inducer!
We took a break for lunch and to let the kids rest, I can’t tell you how great it was to be able to walk 5 minutes and be back in your room where you can order room service and relax before diving into more waterpark fun.
After our afternoon siesta we were ready for more! We spent the majority of the afternoon battling waves in the wavepool and racing each other down the tube slides. We were officially wore out! Back to the room for dinner and a movie that we rented from the lobby (they have a pretty good selection and DVD players in all the rooms). My littles didn’t even make it through half of the movie before they were fast asleep. My bigs however, were oddly more energized and dying to go check out Adventure Forest where the arcade, laser tag and ropes course were. Since my husband had passed out with the littles and was snoring peacefully, this exhausted mom had to take one for the team.
For the next 2 hours we navigated the Tree Top Towers high above the arcade, played a few rounds of laser tag, solved a laser maze and killed zombies in the arcade. Sufficiently exhausted, we finally headed back to the room and I fell into a deep coma.
What a great time we had there! I wish we could have stayed longer, but a for a quick weekend getaway this was perfect! I can’t wait to come back in the summer for a longer stay so we can play in the 2 outdoor water parks that they have.
Here are a few tips for your visit to Wilderness at the Smokies;
Pack sunscreen! The WaterDome is fully enclosed with glass but it doesn’t protect against UV rays, you will get sunburned if you don’t have on sunscreen. (Hubby learned this the hard way)
Take advantage of the extra time you get. Check in technically isn’t until 4:00 but you can arrive as early as 12:00 and start taking advantage of the water park. You can pre-check in and then go play in adventure forest or the waterpark and they will text you when your room is ready. You also get to stay until the park closes on the day you check out, so you can really maximize your fun.
Get the “all stay” pass for Adventure Forest. Unlike the waterpark, Adventure Forest passes aren’t included in your room rate. There is an extra charge for this pass. You definitely need this pass if you have older children, they can head down there on their own and play while you recover in the bar lol. If you have younger kids, the indoor play structure is free to all guests and you don’t need the pass to access the arcade.
Girls should wear a one piece and boys should wear board shorts on the Smokies Surf Rider. More than a few times we saw someone wipe out and get their bottoms almost completely pulled off (my poor son included). The force of the water is pretty intense and elastic bottoms are not safe lol!
Make sure to like them on Facebook. There are exclusive specials released every Friday on Facebook.
This is a great place for a fun family getaway! Have fun!
This review was based on a complimentary visit to Wilderness at the Smokies, however all opinions are my own.