If you’re looking for an inclusive family getaway in the Smoky Mountains, consider Wilderness at the Smokies. It’s a waterpark and family adventure center located in Sevierville, Tennessee. Just last year I was in Sevierville for Thanksgiving, and I remember seeing the enormous water slides at the resort, thinking wow, that place is huge! I was excited when I received the invitation to visit and find out for myself that it was all that I imagined.
Check-in and Arrival
If you have children, then you know a speedy check-in is important. Check in process was a breeze. In less than 10 minutes, we had our room keys and waterpark wristbands. Shout out to Jake—he checked us in and was SO nice! You do have to wear the bands for entry into the park. My 2-year-old liked having a “green bracelet” like mommy and wore it without complaint the entire time.
We arrived early and were able to get into our rooms right away. So we changed into our swimsuits and headed straight to the pools. For convenience, a shuttle bus runs every 10 minutes to take guests to the parks. See, I told you it was big. You could of course drive or walk, depending on where you are staying at the resort, but because it was cold, we took full advantage of the free service.
When we got to the Wild Waterdome Indoor Waterpark, the resort’s 91,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, we were wide-eyed from everything we saw. You could go down a huge water slide that went outside, soak in an indoor and outdoor hot tub, ride the giant wave pool, have the kiddies enjoy the splash pads and go surfing all in the same place. My daughter, Sienna, of course, was ready to jump in ASAP.
There are lockers for rent for $5 or $10 depending on size, a full restaurant with treats such as pizza, snow cones, nachos and a bar for the adults. I like that you don’t even have to bring a towel with you; the resort provides everything.
We took Sienna to the preschool splash pad area, and she had no fear of running straight to the kiddie slide. There is a second splash pad for elementary-aged kids with a huge bucket called Washout Mountain that tipped over every few minutes. If you are anywhere near it, you will get SOAKED! They also have a few slides that are a little larger.
Sienna’s favorite part was the wave pool! She thought she was such a big girl “jumping” the huge waves in her little floats. We brought my younger sister with us, and she stayed with Sienna while the hubs and I checked out the three indoor water slides. They were definitely my favorite! One was completely dark; it was so cool. My husband and sister rode The Storm Chaser slide, and they said it was insane. You literally drop on your raft 55 feet straight down into a funnel that goes outside and brings you back into the building into a pool.
The roof of the indoor park was awesome! It has a clear ceiling, so it appears as if you were outside. Even in the yucky rainy weather we experienced, it was pretty neat. So no matter the weather, you will still have fun!
There is also an indoor pool and the Smokies Surf Rider—which has over 19,000 gallons of water gushing under you creating waves up to 5 feet high! I planned to ride it, but I forgot. Yeah, we will just go with that excuse. Maybe next time. ?
We ate dinner at the Thirsty Miner Restaurant and breakfast at Hidden Trail Bar and Grill. Both were buffets, and both were very good. Another great perk is that kids under 10 eat free! For the rest of the weekend, we went back to the indoor water park and also visited the Adventure Forest. It is in the same building as the indoor waterpark. They do require you to be dry, so we opted to go after dinner. We played glow-in-the-dark golf; my sister Jada did the aerial tightrope; we played tons of arcade games, and we even enjoyed bowling. We all did the rock climbing and let me just say, it was much harder than it looked.
Each night, we were pooped! The rooms were very nice and had everything we needed including a microwave and mini-fridge. They also have rooms with a full kitchen. I brought snacks with us, and we didn’t even have to leave the resort.
We had such an amazing time creating these memories as a family. I think this may be our new Christmas tradition. We are already planning to come back this Spring so that we can enjoy the outdoor waterparks as well.
Wilderness at the Smokies
1424 Old Knoxville Hwy
Sevierville, TN 37862