Hey there, friends! I hope you're ready to continue exploring Wilderness at the Smokies Resort & Water Park with me! This is Part II of a special three part series on this wonderful resort, which we were fortunate enough to be able to visit a couple of weeks ago for a little mini vacation in the mountains! If you're just tuning in, and haven't read my previous Wilderness at the Smokies posts, be sure to check those out!
Wilderness at the Smokies is nestled into the gorgeous, majestic Great Smokey Mountains, in TN. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Pigeon Forge, Wilderness at the Smokies is located in beautiful Sevierville, TN- a beautiful, quiet, and fun destination for families. Our first evening at Wilderness at the Smokies was so wonderful! Our room was gorgeous, and the beds were so comfy! We woke up nice and fresh, ready for a fun day at the water parks, located within the Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel and Water Park Resort! We knew that we needed to have some breakfast, before settling in for a fun morning of swimming, so we went exploring in our car for a bit, and found a bunch of breakfast restaurants nearby. We could have very well eaten at the Thirsty Miner Restaurant, located within the resort, where kids eat free with a paying adult. B was itching to get out and about for a bit though, so we went for a drive.
The grounds at Wilderness at the Smokies are so beautiful, it was only natural for me to want to take a picture!
We enjoyed a hearty breakfast at a restaurant, before heading to the water parks!
Once we returned back to the WATS resort, we all got changed into our bathing suits, and headed down the hall, to the indoor water park. We were so excited- B, especially! I brought our beach bag along, so that we would have a place to keep our personal items- phones, a little cash, our room keys, and our towel key cards, which would be needed for us to get towels by the pools. They have a great system in place for towel exchange!
We had to walk in through the Wilderness Adventure Forest, one of the neat indoor arcade and activity centers at Wilderness at the Smokies. B was really too young to do much of anything in here, but it sure looked fun! 25,000 sq. ft. indoor, dry family adventure center. Adventure Forest will give guests a chance to DRY off from all of the WET activities Wilderness currently provides.
Welcome to the Wild WaterDome Indoor Waterpark!
When we walked into the Wild WaterDome Indoor Waterpark, we got even more excited by the sights and sounds! B was quickly overwhelmed by seeing all of the pools and slides, but first thing on my to-do list, was to find some chairs. Lucky for us, there were plenty of seats available, and the indoor waterpark was hardly crowded that morning.
Tons of seats available, lockers to the right, snack bar straight ahead!
Grizzly's Grill was the place to get your snack on! They have everything from full sized pizzas for the whole family to hot dogs, nachos, and much more- and it was all very reasonably priced!
On our way to finding a place to sit, I couldn't help but enjoy they warmth inside the waterpark! It was sunny outside, and a comfortable 84 degrees indoors. The water was going to feel so, so good! The ceiling was lined with glass panels, which allow guests to tan indoors- so if you plan on visiting, be sure to apply your sunscreen, even if you plan to stay at the indoor waterpark, only. I loved this- it made us feel like we were outside, even though we were clearly inside, and we didn't have to worry about rain, if the clouds began to roll in.
This new state-of-the-art 66,000 square foot indoor waterpark features a Foil Tech glass roof that allows sunshine in and guests the opportunity to tan year round. This new addition to the Wilderness offers even more amenities to the all-season vacationer. There were seven (yes- seven) water features in the indoor waterpark, and we couldn't wait to check them out!
Here's a look at the Smokies Surf Rider, giving guests the experience of surfing indoors! We didn't get to experience this one, but we watched a few brave youngsters, and it definitely looked fun!
We spent most of our time here, at the Washout Mountain!
We were also excited when we found The Great Wave- the giant indoor wave pool!
After we found a free grouping of chairs, we put our things away, and removed our shoes, and got ready to get wet! B was so, so super excited! Once he laid eyes on the Washout Mountain, there was no other place he wanted to be. There were so many colorful things calling to him!
B hurriedly removed his shoes, and was ready to splash and play!
Washout Mountain was so cool, and I wasn't surprised that B wanted to spend most of our time there.
Located inside the Wild WaterDome, Washout Mountain is a multi-leveled water play feature that is open for fun all year round! Two slides and lots of spraying water features soak you in fun! Kids will rush to find the best splash-down area under the enormous tipping bucket when the warning bell rings.
Blast each other with water cannons and avoid the soakers on your way up to the water slides.
Does this look fun, or what?
Let's do this- ready to go splash and play!
B wasn't sure which part of the Washout Mountain he wanted to try first, so we began exploring, bit by bit.
The first thing we noticed, was this ginormous bucket, which slowly fills with water every few minutes.
Everyone had a great time splashing in the shallow water below the big bucket...
...and then suddenly, a bell began to ring, and a crowd gathered underneath the bucket.
A few seconds later, this happened! The bucket turned over and dumped water on anyone who dared to stand underneath it! Glad I was out of the way at that point! I would have wound up soaked!
B and I climbed up and down and all around Washout Mountain, while my hubby explored a bit more the the indoor waterpark. We were all smiles, the entire time we played! There were lots of fun levers to pull, which made us spray ourselves with water, and we had fun running in and out of all of the little water falls, dumping little buckets of water, etc.
It's so much fun up here!
This water table was a lot of fun for the kids...
Even Sacha came back over to Washout Mountain to play with us!
B had fun, just wading in the shallow water for a while, as did I. It was nice and refreshing!
We played at Washout Mountain pretty much all morning. Around 1:30, we decided we might want to grab a light bite of lunch, and we planned to head back to our room to eat, instead of going out for another meal. However, as we were about to leave, the bell began to ring again, and Sacha decided that he and B were going to stand beneath the big bucket!
There they are- everyone started crowding around underneath the bucket again...
I was so glad to be out of dodge when that bucket of water fell! I had something else in mind... a relaxing visit to Magnolia Hot Grove Spa- a massive indoor/outdoor spa, featuring several little cove hot tubs! I never did get to go into it during this visit, because B is much too young to be taking into a hot tub- the water temperature isn't safe for little ones... it looked so nice, though. It's on my must-do list for our next visit!
Magnolia Grove Indoor Spa with a passage to the outdoor portion of the spa.
After we dried off and got cover-ups on, we headed back to our room. Of course, B put up a bit of a fight, but that was to be expected, as he was having so much fun! We decided the previous day, that we would eat lunch in our room. We were so fortunate to have a small cook top right in our room, along with cabinets, and a microwave, and mini refrigerator. Truly, we had everything we needed to make a simple lunchtime meal in our room, which saved us money.
We were able to whip up some Mac and Cheese, right in our room, for B to have for lunch! Sacha and I just had sandwiches.
Here's B, taking a break and watching some cartoons in our room, while waiting for his lunch.
After our tummies were nice and full and we waited for half an hour, we took the elevator from our floor down to the main lobby, and walked outside to the one of the outdoor waterparks.- Lake Wilderness. I was excited, because this is where the awesome lazy river is located, and I just knew that there was a tube with my name on it!
We were super pleased to see that there were plenty of life jackets, organized by size, on easily accessible racks, for kids of all ages, weights and heights. We found the perfect size for B, with no problem, and once he was situated in his life jacket, we were ready to lounge in the lazy river!
Here's a great view of the outdoor waterpark, complete with snack bars... lot's of seating available.
Across the lazy river, were the three rainbow tube slides, and the Wild Vortex water slide, which Sacha was determined to ride, no matter what!
B and I waited semi-patiently for Sacha to go and test out the Wild Vortex.
I enjoyed the sweet cuddle in the sun, in one of these comfy lounge chairs by the lazy river!
The Wild Vortex looked awesome... but I was not about to ride that thing, and here's why...
A trap door… A 39-foot vertical free fall drop… Speeds up to 40 mph… An adrenaline rush like no other! Experience the Wild Vortex, the Southeast’s only near vertical , looping water slide. Enter into the capsule 66 feet off the ground, wait for the countdown 3…2…1…, the trap door releases and you accelerate down the free fall drop generating maximum g-force, 2.5 G’s in less than two seconds! Plan for your Summer Get-A-Way NOW! Um- no thanks for this little chicken, however, for my thrill-seeking hubby, this was the best part of his waterpark experience.
The Wild Vortex (the blue slide).
We actually watched Sacha ride this water slide. He reported that the bottom drops out from under you, and you just sort of drop down (yikes!), and get shot back up through the tunnel (there's a loop), and then you come out on the other side. The neat thing about this water slide, is that it's translucent, meaning you can see through it from the outside. When Sacha went in this ride, we could see his body, inside the tube from where we were sitting. We knew he made it out, when we heard the big splash a few seconds after his initial drop. He loved this so much, that he rode it at least five times... and he was one of the only people up there, willing to try riding it. Brave man.
After he got his kicks, it was time for the whole family to relax in the Cataloochee Creek lazy river! I was so looking forward to this! We found our tubes, and the three of us slowly floated around and around the river. It was such a relaxing ride... until the unexpected (small rapids) near the end of the river! The current suddenly picked up, and before we knew it, we were being dumped back out into the Washout Wilderness Rapids, a 12,000 sq ft wave pool, which is that extra bit of excitement you’re looking for. Whether you ride the waves or lounge on the beach entrance, you’ll soak up all the rays you wish!
Entrance to the Cataloochee Creek lazy river...
Sacha and B, checking out the wave pool...
...and then getting back into a tube for another trip around the river!
We went around the lazy river five or six times as a family, and then Sacha and B rode it five or six times without me. I scraped my toe on the bottom of the shallow part of the lazy river, ad decided to chill out and lounge in the sun for the rest of the time we spent at the outdoor waterpark. It was so beautiful, sunny, and warm out there!
I loved that there were so many lifeguards around, keeping watch over all of the guests. I never saw a single incident, but they were all really on their game. There were lovely cabanas around the waterpark, which were an extra fee to rent, but they looked very nice, and shaded. Some of the resort staff came around, making sure each guest was happy, and some of the wait staff came around to take drink orders while guests lounged. It was such a nice experience!
We wrapped up our time at the outdoor waterpark after we had been there for several hours. B was super tired, and we were ready to get cleaned up, and head back out for a bite to eat. A refreshing shower back in our room sure did feel nice, after a fun day at both the indoor and one of the outdoor waterparks!
There were tons of our top favorite restaurants around the area, so we decided on steak for dinner!
On our way back to the resort, we noticed that the sky seemed to be lighting up in all sorts of different colors! I wondered if we were in our own secret Fantasia scene or something, but then, we noticed that the colorful lights were actually coming from the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort!
The lights were coming from this- The Storm Chaser Thrill Ride!
A scream-tastic waterslide that gives its riders a hair-raising experience! Four guests plummet 55 feet down a thrilling, dark tunnel ride before dropping through a zero gravity fall into a funnel where they experience several fast oscillations before splashing into a pool below.
When we got back to our room, we were stuffed from dinner, and exhausted from a super fun day of splashing, playing, and floating down the river! The sun made us sleepy too, as did the waves in the wave pool, which made us feel like we were at the ocean. We wanted to be sure to rest, and get a good night's sleep, because we'd be getting up to do it all again the next morning!
Back in the room, B watched a movie (so thankful that there was a DVD player in the room) and played quietly, as we wound down for the evening.
Half an hour later, it was time for that last bit of milk before falling asleep in this huge, cozy bed!
We had a fantastic Day 2 at the Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel and Waterpark Resort!
Stay tuned for the final post in this special series, coming soon!
Want to Visit Wilderness at the Smokies?
Want more info about Wilderness at the Smokies, or ready to book your own trip? Head on over to Wilderness at the Smokies and take a look around their website! It's filled with beautiful photos, and lots of info on how to plan a trip for your family. You can also connect with Wilderness at the Smokies through Facebook and Twitter, and check out their YouTube channel, too!
Disclosure: I was provided a media rate for visiting Wilderness at the Smokies with my family. Our trip was not free, and I am in no way obligated to review or share our experience. We had a fab time, and I wanted to share about it with the MBP community, so you'll know of this hidden gem in the Smokies, and how wonderful a place it really is. I would highly recommend considering WATS for your next family vacation.