Category Archives: pigeon forge

New ride at Dollywood in 2011… BARNSTORMER

Dollywood has announced plans for a new ride next year.  Due to the economy, the announcement of new rides has not been as quick as it has been in the past.  I’m looking forward to this new one.  This will be a high flying ride built on a traditional barn building.  There will also be other barn-themed fun things for the kids to do around the “barn.” This should be in place for next year’s season.  Can’t wait to check it out.

The link to the Dollywood press release is listed below.  I also copied the script of the press release below that…

Dollywood Theme Park Announces New Barnstormer for 2011

$5.5 Million Project Creates Fun-Filled Barnyard-Themed Area

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–High-flying high jinks take to the sky at Dollywood for the 2011 season with the new Barnstormer ride, a $5.5 million family thrill ride situated in a barnyard-themed area which also includes play areas for younger guests.

“I remember my daddy and granddaddy talking about the old barnstormers that used to do all kinds of crazy stunts above the fields where they’d work crops”

“I remember my daddy and granddaddy talking about the old barnstormers that used to do all kinds of crazy stunts above the fields where they’d work crops,” Dolly Parton said. “My new Barnstormer ride offers folks those same breathtaking moments, high in the sky above Dollywood. And I’ve recreated a critter-themed barnyard that reminds me of growing up on the farm here in the Smoky Mountains!”

Taking its name from the daring aerialists and stunt pilots of the 1920s, the Barnstormer features two pendulum arms with seating for 32 riders. Seated back to back, riders travel progressively higher on each swing of the Barnstormer’s massive arms, reaching a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour and 230 degrees of rotation. At its peak, the Barnstormer reaches a staggering 81 feet in the air, taking riders high above the barn’s rooftop and the area’s treetops. Situated in the lush foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Barnstormer rests amid a traditional red barn on the Owens Farm, a nod to Parton’s family’s rural upbringing.

While the Barnstormer fills the air above the barn, children’s play areas dot the landscape around the barn. With a fun, barnyard theme, children can enjoy a 22-foot by 16-foot bi-plane play area as well as a pig pen water play area.

The Barnstormer has a ride capacity of 450 passengers per hour, and a 48-inch minimum height requirement.

The Barnstormer is adjacent to the Mountain Slidewinder, one of the park’s most popular rides which opened in 1987.

The new area opens in March 2011 to usher in Dollywood’s 26th operating season.

The number one ticketed attraction in Tennessee, Dollywood is an award-winning 150-acre family adventure park located in Pigeon Forge near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Open nine months a year (late March to early January), Dollywood hosts four of the South’s largest festivals and offers more than 40 rides and attractions, including Thunderhead, twice named the world’s No. 1 wooden coaster, and Mystery Mine coaster, Theme Park Insider’s 2007 Best New Attraction. In addition to the 2009 Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows, Dollywood is the recipient of 15 Big E Awards in recognition of the park’s live entertainment which features country, bluegrass, gospel and Appalachian music. The Golden Tickets’ 2007 Publisher’s Pick for best theme park, Dollywood also is a two-time winner of the Golden Ticket Award for Best Christmas Event. In addition, a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region demonstrate daily. For more information, visit

***This GoSmoky blog post brought to you by If you enjoy staying in the mountains with all the comforts of home at a great price, then look no further.  Click over to to book your next vacation. Deal directly with the owner of 2 great homes right between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  We’ve spent vacations in both homes, and you will love them!***


New attraction coming to Pigeon Forge – Based on Lumberjacks

Looks like there will soon be some movement near the Belle Island site in Pigeon Forge.  A developer has purchased the land with plans to build an attraction that will feature Lumberjacks.  Still not sure EXACTLY what the attraction will be, but you can get an idea by clicking on the company’s website of a show they host in Alaska (

The Belle Island resort area is between the main strip in Pigeon Forge and Teaster lane.  The resort went bankrupt before it could be completed, however you can clearly see they were a ways along in developing it before it was abandoned.  It is nice to see the area around Belle Island will be turning into a productive part of the Pigeon Forge economy soon. 

The new Lumberjack show should be ready by next June. 

Check out the story from below for more…

***Post brought to you by If you are planning a Smokies vacation, and you want to stay in a beautiful home, with decks/hot tub/TVs in every bedroom/views you will find nowhere else/Great little neighborhood/right between Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, then the Smoky Mountain Tower is where you want to stay.  Trust me, we’ve stayed there many times, and the only reason we stay anywhere else is if the Tower is booked already. Check it out!***

BREAKING: Rock Slide closes portion of Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge spur

BREAKING: Large rock slide has closed the spur road heading to Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.  Traffic is now being routed to the Pigeon Forge bound lanes.  That road is now divided into a 2 lane road, one lane headed in each direction. 

The good news… this is not June.  I’d imagine it would be best to avoid the spur if you can.  There are back-roads if you know where they are.  If you’re not aware of those, stop by a visitor center and ask for direction.  Quite frankly, they can be very confusing.  I know where several of them are, and I STILL get confused pretty often.  If they were simple to understand, I’d post them here. 

Find out more about the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge rock slide over at the yoursmokies blog…


***Stand by for many more photos/videos/blog posts/new episode of the Internet Talk Show soon.  It’s the 2nd annual Ski Trip, this weekend.  We’ll be updating right here on the blog.  Trip brought to you by the Cataloochee Ski Area ( and A Holiday Motel ( ***

Smoky Mountains gearing up for fall… I can’t wait!



This is one of my personal favorite times of the year in the mountains (ok, I’ll be honest, I love it up there pretty much anytime, but the color of the mountains does make it that much more special.:) Since I live in Charleston, I’m just a few minutes away from the ocean.  I actually work at a T.V. station that is literally on Charleston harbor.  I get to see the full harbor and the ocean each morning as I drive in to work.  I’m very fortunate.  This year, I’ve made more of an effort to spend time at the beach.  Whether walking for a few minutes at lunchtime or just after work, or taking the whole family for several hours in the sun.  I’ve been enjoying the summer.  But now that fall is here, there are so many things we do that I can’t wait to enjoy.  We go to a local pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin for the girls.  We also walk through the corn maze.  The Coastal Carolina Fair will be here at the end of October.  That’s a tradition I’ve been enjoying since I was a kid.  As soon as it gets cold, I’ll probably attend an oyster roast of some sort.  As much as I’m not an oyster-aholic, there is something special about standing around a couple of trashcans with plywood on top loaded down with steaming oysters that’s just plain fun.  Hopefully I’ll be enjoying that in the near future.  Then there’s the hayrides.  We usually go to my old church on Halloween night, where some of the men from the church have a hayride for the kids set up.  My kids love that so much, we rarely go trick or treating.  Then of course, there is FALL IN THE MOUNTAINS.  The fall displays will be in place (probably already are,) mountain music and brisk, coolness will be in the air.  The hike to Clingman’s Dome will be a cold one.  Then Dollywood will be decorated to the nines, and Southern Gospel music will fill the air as crafters work their magic throughout the park.  I can’t wait to see the mountains in the fall.  Tom from Pigeon Forge sent me a press release of some of the things planned for this time of year.  See the release below…  As for my family and I, we’re planning a long weekend in the Smokies for next weekend.  I’ll fill you in with more details about our plans soon.  Fall is a great time of year to see the Smokies.  Get out and JUST DO IT!

***We love staying at when we’re in the Smokies.  Right between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, with great views at the top of the mountain, you will not be disappointed.***


Press release below (from Pigeon Forge)……

October Draws Craft Lovers to Pigeon Forge, Great Smoky Mountains

Two major crafts events highlight start of autumn leaf season

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (October 2009)—Scores of talented artists and craftsmen seem to take a cue from Mother Nature when the leaves start changing colors in the Great Smoky Mountains and appear in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for two major autumn festivals.

Basket makers, carvers, painters and others are on hand for the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Craft Festival and Dollywood’s National Gospel & Harvest Celebration.

+ The Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Crafts Festival (Oct. 1-30) is one of the region’s biggest crafts events, attracting almost 50 craftsmen, artists and exhibitors from more than a dozen states.  It takes place under a giant red and white tent at Patriot Park. Rotarians volunteer their time to run the festival, and proceeds benefit numerous charities.

+ Dollywood’s National Gospel & Harvest Festival (Oct. 2-31) complements the theme park’s regular operation with an array of traditional and contemporary craftsmen and adds scores of free gospel music concerts to the entertainment lineup. Among the featured crafts are spinning, weaving, sorghum making, fiddle making, rug hooking and woodworking.

Both events take place against the backdrop of Pigeon Forge’s Harvestfest season, which continues through Oct. 31.  

During Harvestfest, businesses throughout the city erect fanciful fall displays of hay bales, scarecrows, cornstalks, pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers, mums and other symbols of the season.

The Pigeon Forge Travel Planner and information about all aspects of the city are available online at or by calling toll-free to 1-800-251-9100. The travel planner includes the Pigeon Forge Value Card, which offers more than $300 worth of discounts.

New “Titanic” attraction in Pigeon Forge starting to take shape

 Shipshape Re-created Titanic rises above the landscape in Pigeon Forge


Take a look at how the “Titanic” attraction is coming along.  It really looks like the frame of the ship now.  Check out this photo and update from’s site.  Note the comment in the comment section below…  It seems like if folks like that hate the area, why don’t they just quit visiting?  Maybe I’m the only one who feels that way.


****During your next visit, why not stay at Dave’s home, ? It’s right between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  You can get to either town in a few minutes (you’re right on the spur,) or you can avoid the towns alltogether and just take the Gatlinburg by-pass directly into the National Park.  All with great views!****

Stringtime in the Smokies in Pigeon Forge, coming up in a couple weeks…

A friend of mine who works with Pigeon Forge sent me the information below about the “Stringtime in the Smokies” festival.  What better to listen to in the mountains than good ‘ole mountain music?  If you’re in the area at the time, check it out…

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 2009) – Mountain music claims many modifiers—driving, soulful, plaintive, lively, joyful—and Pigeon Forge’s StringTime in the Smokies adds another: free.

Five diverse bands are scheduled for the two-night festival, Aug. 14 and 15 (Friday and Saturday). The Aug. 14 performance is at Old Mill Square, and the Aug. 15 event is at Patriot Park.  Guests are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs for festival seating.

The lineup:

Aug. 14 (7 p.m. start)—The Knoxville-based, four-member Wild Blue Yonder; Gary “Biscuit” Davis and Company, whose namesake is the only three-time National Banjo Champion; and Timberwoods, which recorded its first CD in the studio of bluegrass and country legend Tom T. Hall.

Aug. 15 (6 p.m. start)—Timberwoods; Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper (Cleveland has six Fiddle Player of the Year Awards and two Instrumental Albums of the Year Awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association); and SteelDrivers, a band that blends bluegrass, country, soul and other contemporary influences in a fusion that Vince Gill has called “an incredible combination.”

StringTime in the Smokies is on the official calendar of the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is the sixth Pigeon Forge-sponsored event with that recognition.

Performers’ information and other StringTime in the Smokies details are available at or by calling 865-429-7350.  General information about visiting Pigeon Forge is available at or by calling toll-free 1-800-251-9100.



*****When you’re done watching the pickin’ and grinnin’, stay at our favorite place, We’ve enjoyed several stays in that home****

NEW Internet Radio show tomorrow morning 10:30-11AM

Hiking along trail to Laurel Falls

It’s been awhile since I have been able to host an episode of “The Internet Radio Show.”  I will host one tomorrow morning from 10:30-11:00AM.  The topic of the show will be the 75th anniversary of the Smoky Mountains National Park.  I’ll be discussing the Smokies and Pigeon Forge with Leon Downey, the Exe. Dir. of the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism. 

I also plan to get you up to speed with some Smoky Mountain related news.  We’ll take a look at what’s going on in the area.  If you don’t catch it live at, you will be able to hear it later at

It should be a fun show.