The Island Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Sign reading Market Street on arch of a building
Welcome to the Island in Pigeon Forge

I usually go to the Great Smoky Mountains once a year. Usually this happens around mid to late October. One attraction that I have found to be a personal favorite of mine is The Island in Pigeon Forge. The Island has plenty to do and some of the most beautiful light shows around. I have been to the Island twice now and loved it as much the second as the first time. Why do I highly recommend that everyone vacationing in the area should check it out?

The Island in Pigeon Forge Allows Choose Your Own Price Point

The Island in Pigeon Forge is one of the attractions you can choose your own price point. There is no charge to get into the island and many free things you can do. The fountain with light shows set to music draws me like a moth to a flame. I could watch these beautiful shows for hours. It is honestly my favorite part of my visit to the Island and best of all it does not cost a cent to watch. That is right folks, it’s free entertainment well worth checking out. This year (2019) there was a live band playing which was not too bad and also free. Walking around and checking out the shops does not cost anything until you find that one you just have to have some fudge, wine, or that super cute souvenir.

Tall springs of blue lights during a light show.

The Island in Pigeon Forge light show.

Lower purple lights during a light show.

Low lights are just as beautiful.

Very tall red lights during a light show.

All the colors are beautiful it is hard to pick a favorite.

Fun & Excitement at The Island in Pigeon Forge

If you are up for a little excitement during your visit to the Island in Pigeon Forge you can check out the scene from atop their massive 200-feet tall ferris wheel. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel (the ferris wheel) is the central focus of the Island. Since the gondolas are glass you have a spectacular view. They can seat up to eight people and were comfortable for our party. Don’t forget to take your camera or have your cell phone ready because you can take pictures during the experience!

I chose to ride during the night to check out the night lights of the city. Let me tell you they are really beautiful. I have not ridden the wheel during the day but imagine it would be like another whole new experience.

At time of publishing adult tickets for the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel are $14 for adults ages 12 and up, $9 child ages 3-11, and you can get a day/night combo for $20. If you keep an eye out on Groupon you can sometimes land even better pricing.

A view of the Island from the Ferris Wheel
View from Ferris wheel
The Ferris Wheel lit up with green, red and white.
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
Another view from the Ferris Wheel
Another view from the Ferris Wheel

Aside From the Ferris Wheel

This is a great place for an adventurous child. They have rides much like a small fair or amusement park. They do have some entertainment for adults but not as much as for smaller children. The rides of course do have a price. You can get a pass that will allow the child to ride unlimited to save you an empty wallet. I didn’t do any of the rides but my friends little loved them! She was such a brave little one.

What about Fudge at The Island in Pigeon Forge

I have to mention that if you enjoy fudge you should check out the Fudgery or Big Rock Candy Kitchen while you are out and about at the Island in Pigeon Forge. Big Rock Candy Kitchen offered smaller pieces of fudge but had a variety that I had seen in very few if any other places. They also had a buy 4 get 2 free while we were there. This meant we were able to try a larger variety than we normally get to try. The peanut butter and the raspberry cheesecake were my two favorites. They did not have cookies and cream which lead us on to the Fudgery. They also had exceptional choices. Their special was more like most with the buy 2 get 1. Both places were delicious. The Fudgery also had fresh squeezed lemonade.

The Island at Pigeon Forge has WINE

Most of my vacation wine comes from Gatlinburg. This year however, I learned that the Island also offered a decent amount of wine choices. I decided to give Bootleggers Winery a try. They offered tasting just like the other winery’s in the area. Just be sure to have your ID or they will not take your word for it! They had a pretty good wine and cider selection. They also had a buy 4 get 2 free! I left with two boxes full of wine. The peach and pumpkin spice were two of my favorites.

A Few Tips for First Timers

Arrive prepared to walk and possibly stand for most of your visit. There are rocking chairs around the beautiful fountain, but they are usually occupied. IF you get lucky and get a seat, you may occasionally feel the gentle mist from the fountain as the fountain peaks do their dance. If you go in warmer months I am sure it it a welcomed blessing, in the fall and winter however it can be a chilling experience.

Bathrooms are available for the public to use while enjoying the entertainment offered. Keep in mind there will likely be a wait. The wait can vary from not bad to terrible. I recommend going while you can stand still in line and not have to do the “I gotta go” dance. Great entertainment for those waiting, not so much for you.

Most shops offer snacks and drinks. They offer a pretty wide variety. From common you see that everywhere options to I have never seen that choice anywhere else. Be prepared to spend a bit of cash if you need a drink or snack because this is a popular tourist attraction.

If you want to enjoy the Island for more than a couple hours they actually have a hotel you can stay in. They also have bars and a spa. I have personally never stayed at Margaritaville Island Hotel or used the bars or spa. I would like to have a room, fountain side, at least just once to say I have done it.

View of light show from the Ferris wheel with red and blue lights
Light show from the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
The ferris wheel in black & white
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

In Closing…

There is not really much I haven’t liked and enjoyed about my couple of visits to the Island. I would definitely give The Island in Pigeon Forge a 5 out of 5 stars. There is much to see and much to do while here. You can choose what you want to spend. If you are frugal you can even enjoy this attraction for free! Feeling a little extravagant splurge on The Great Smoky Mountain wheel, maybe some fudge and wine. You are in control of your enjoyment and budget when you head to the Island. Catch at least one light show that begins at the top of each hour and repeats each half hour. Trust me you will thank me for it later.

Have you ever visited the Island in Pigeon Forge? In the comments, tell me your favorite thing you discovered there. If you have not visited, would you like to? What catches your attention the most?

Purple light springs
the Ferris wheel lit up with red lights
Great Smoky Mountain Wheel red and colorful
Light show with purple and blue lights

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