This year we took our yearly family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains October 24th through October 27th 2019. My son and I had found a video on YouTube about Beyond the Lens. This would be an opportunity to check out a totally new place that had only been open a few months. We were seeking new adventures! I set out to find the most affordable tickets, which let me tell you is NOT at the door. I used Groupon and saved $41! You should definitely check them out if you are planning to take a vacation, a day trip or just give yourself a little extra attention with something like a trip to the spa. Enough about Groupon, lets get to the good stuff and find out about our attraction Beyond the Lens in Pigeon Forge!
What is Beyond the Lens?
Beyond the Lens is a new interactive attraction for the whole family, there are activities for everyone! Heads up give yourself time to look around and check out the exhibits that you find interesting. It is NOT a quick stop for something to do. There is a delicate mixture of entertainment & facts to keep the youngest to oldest in your party enthralled.
You will begin your animal scavenger hunt at check in. Inside the door you walk out onto the red carpet to meet your own paparazzi. Next up is a wall full of star photos talking to you. There are interesting stories from the National Enquirer and adorable photos of babies. Discover an area where you can show off your dance moves or take on Virtual Reality (VR) Beat Saber. Along the way are photo shoots where you can scan your ticket and have your photo taken. All photos are available for purchase at the end of your adventure!
For the sake of this review I am going to share a few of my favorite exhibits. The things I found the most joy in. It would be an impossible task to tell you about everything. It is one of those things that you really need to experience yourself to “know it all.”
The Animal Scavenger Hunt Beyond the Lens Pigeon Forge
I love animals; the animal scavenger hunt was one of my favorite activities. Use your sharp eyes along the hunt and capture a picture of all the animals and at the end of the adventure you will win a prize! Just the idea of a prize is intriguing right! Fun fact, you can take your picture with the animals. I totally photo bombed! There is a photo of me with a llama. I didn’t like being eye to eye with a snake that my hubby tricked me into!
There were three in our party; meaning we had three sets of eyes. Yet we were unable to collect all the animal photos. You have been warned that you will have to pay very close attention to find them all! The prize escaped us. I don’t have any clue as to what it might have been. I know, total let down, right!
The Secluded Woods with Big Foot
The area containing Big Foot was pretty neat. I have always had an interest in that mystery. The exhibits were amazing. They had sparred nothing on the decor and creepy feel as you walked along. One of my stops included reading actual stories of Big Foot sightings. On down the trail I ran right into Big Foot himself! He was just hanging out over by a tree looking extremely photogenic. How could you resist a picture with Big Foot? Yeah, I couldn’t either!
Other Fun Things We Did at Beyond the Lens in Pigeon Forge
My son and I did a dance off like the stars. They told us we did good on the floor. I think they just tried to make you feel good. I know I for one didn’t give my all! There were just too many people around for my comfort.
My son played Beat Saber twice and enjoyed it. He did pretty awesome for it to be his first time. Warning Parents! You children are going to want VR sets after this act!
Outside the VR and dance area we were able to become animals ourselves! I changed into a deer, rabbit, and owl. It was pretty cute!
There was a huge telescope looking device that allowed us to turn a selfie taken with our phone into a human kaleidoscope. Tip remember your flash at this area or your photo will be dark and not look as nice.
Outside an alien ball pit we ran up on a strange encounter. There stood a very short little green alien guy. He looked like he had just walked off Mars. This experience had to be documented with a couple more photos! Some children inside really seemed to be having a futuristic time in the ball pit. Be prepared if you want to enjoy the ball pit, you are going to have to leave behind your shoes and cell phone. Big sign by the pit plainly states the rules. Guess they don’t want to have drain the alien pit to find someone’s lost devices or shoe.
There were exhibits with interesting facts about the presidents, the O.J. Simpson case, the Royal family, and famous stars. One final camera flash allowed me to get a photo with my childhood hero, Smoky the Bear. The experience was worth every cent we paid and the time we dedicated to it.
In Closing…Why Should You Check Out Beyond the Lens in Pigeon Forge?
If your family enjoys this type of activity this is a great way to make some wonderful memories without breaking the bank. Get the best deals on tickets by shopping around online. This is a wonderful way to pass the time with or without a deal on ticket price. You will dedicate hours to search around, the weather does not matter, and you can make priceless memories! Do you always worry about it raining on your plans? Don’t let it get to you! This is all indoors and can be a great rainy day activity. See how cost effective this is?
Photos were not as expensive here as they have been other places. We got ours with the VIP pass for approximately $16. This is their portfolio deal and is not just the normal common 8X10 you get most places. We got four different prints in two sizes. I am used to getting one photo for around $10. Worth it in my opinion. It boils down to what you want. One 8X10 or four smaller photos.
The staff was extremely kind and polite. They offered to let us go back in to find our missing animals after we came out. We were tired and decided not to go back. More over it was a very nice gesture that made a lasting impression.
This attraction, like the others, will likely change over time. I would definitely be interested in going back and checking it out! I honestly don’t have any complaints about the experience at all. That doesn’t happen often!
P.S. If you discover all the animals, please let me know what that prize is! It might not keep me up at night but I would still like to know!
I am the deer, my son the rabbit & my hubby the hamster.