The Island at Pigeon Forge in Pigeon Forge, TN, about three hours from Greenville, SC is full of fun things to do for the whole family, whether you like exciting rides, good food, or prime shopping. We visited the Island and have all the details you’ll need to plan a great trip. Some of the experiences listed below were provided as complimentary tickets or stays for Kidding Around.
If you have ever seen photos of the iconic Ferris wheel in Pigeon Forge, this is where it is, on the Island at Pigeon Forge. While the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is absolutely a must-do and oftentimes the photo you will see everywhere when reading about Pigeon Forge, the Island where it’s located is filled with tons of things to stay busy and have fun for the whole family.
My kids and I have visited the Island a couple times and never run out of things to do and see! While many of the attractions require admission tickets, there are plenty of things to do there that are free. Additionally, Pigeon Forge has a wonderful guide with coupons that is available online and via hard copy at the Welcome Center. It can also be mailed to you.
Playing at The Island
Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at the Island was our favorite thing to do. We went on once during the day and too another spin at night. We could see so far and the views of the mountains were stunning. We visited in the winter and we could see snow on the tops of the mountains and we loved it. We felt very safe (I have a slight fear of heights!) and really enjoyed the views. At night was also amazing as we could see all the lights around Pigeon Forge – so cool. You go 200 feet up so you get a great bird’s eye view. Tickets are $13/adult, $8/kids 3 – 11. You can buy a day/night pass for $20.
Island Ropes Course
The Island Ropes Course consists of three levels of obstacles plus gives participants the option of doing a free fall controlled jump on the highest level to complete the course. You can as much time as you want on the course, which includes two zip lines. The course is all outdoors so definitely dress for the weather. There is also a little ropes course, the Sky Tykes Course, for smaller kids under 48″ tall. The bigger ropes course is open to anyone 42″ or taller. Those under 48″ need an adult on the ropes course with them. Tickets are $15/person for the Island Ropes Course and $5/kid for the Sky Tykes Course.
SkyFly: Soar America
This is a relatively new attraction to the Island, only having opened in 2021, but SkyFly has already received the “Best New Attraction” award by USA Today in 2021. I had no idea what to expect with this ride but it was so, so cool. You are suspended in a seat in front of a 50-foot dome screen and taken on a six-minute ride across 20 iconic locations in the United States from Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon to Alaska. I absolutely loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat. Tickets are $22.99/adult and $17.99/ages 11 and under. Kids must be 40″ tall to ride.
Other Attractions on the Island
Other attractions on the Island include an arcade, an Escape Room, a mirror maze, bumper cars, a carousel, a 7D theater, racing track, a little kids-size roller coaster, and lots of other games. You can pay for these individually or get an unlimited rides two-day pass for $35-45/person, which covers a great many rides on the Island.
You can also visit the parrot shop and see live parrots or even some baby parrots. They are adorable. There’s also a Build-A-Bear Workshop and lots of shops to explore that carry unique gifts.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in Pigeon Forge for New Years, you can see fireworks at the Island for New Years Eve!
Eating at The Island
The Island was designed to look like a small village with cozy streets lined with cute little shops where you can buy toys or clothes, take one of those Old Time Photos in sepia with your family, and The Fudgery (get the chocolate fudge). It’s fun just to stroll around and check all these places out. Take a break and relax in one of the many inviting chairs surrounding the small lake where the dancing fountains spray the water in coordination with the outdoor music.
When you’re hungry, the on-site restaurants include a Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Mellow Mushroom, Yee-Haw Brewing Company, and Timberwood Grill. You can grab an authentic, and quite delicious, margarita at the Changes in Latitude bar at the Margaritaville hotel, as well as enjoy a quick bite (get the pretzels with cheese dip…mmmm).
Lodging at The Island
The Island at Pigeon Forge is central to pretty much all of the attractions in town. It’s 10 minutes from the Smoky Mountain Opry and Titanic Museum and 15 minutes from Dollywood. You can walk across the street to a couple different pancake houses and other attractions if you like.
Choosing to stay on the Island is a great decision for all of these reasons! The Margaritaville Island Hotel on the Island is incredible and guests can enjoy the rooftop pool and hot tub all year long. There’s also the Margaritaville Island Inn on the Island, which is under the same brand but is a little less expensive and includes a continental breakfast.
Parking at The Island
Parking at the Island is free – take a right past the Margaritaville Island Hotel and over the bridge, where there is a huge lot. Park for free there and take a trolley into the main part of the Island if you don’t want to walk.
Don’t forget to grab the coupon books around town or check online since many of them have coupons to attractions and restaurants on the Island. The Island’s website offers many coupons as well that you can use.
You can plan to spend a few hours or a couple of days here, especially if you stay at one of the properties on the Island.
If you visit The Island during Winterfest in Pigeon Forge, the Wonders of Lights Walking Trail starts at the Island and is free to walk through.