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SkyFly Soar America ride at the Island

6 Things You Forgot Happened in the Smoky Mountains in 2021

Are we the only ones who thought this past year flew by? Because everything happened so fast, you may have forgotten all the incredible things that happened in the Smokies. From new attractions and restaurants, to expansions of popular attractions, we experienced it all in 2021. To help jog your memory from the past year and to make sure you didn’t miss out on any of the excitement, we’ve made a list of the top 6 things you forgot happened in the Smoky Mountains in 2021!

1. A Flying Theater Attraction Came to The Island

The Island finally said hello to its $20 million flying theater attraction: SkyFly Soar America! This exciting ride takes visitors on a journey across the United States — feel the mist from Niagara Falls, smell the swamps of the Everglades, soar over Alaska and more! Guests will relax into the ride platform that lifts them into the air before a 50-foot screen. The ride moves along with the film on the screen, so you’ll feel like you’re flying! The film features footage of America’s most iconic locations shot by drones and helicopters. If you haven’t tried this one-of-a-kind experience at The Island yet, then you have to plan a visit!

2. The Gatlinburg SkyTrail Opened at the SkyLift Park

SkyLift Park in GatlinburgThe long-awaited Gatlinburg SkyTrail finally opened at the SkyLift Park in 2021! The SkyTrail is a scenic walkway that connects to each end of the SkyBridge, offering visitors to the park new views and the opportunity to take a stroll among the beauty of the Smokies. It has three sections: The Elevated Boardwalk, which includes interactive signage about the SkyBridge, the history of the SkyLift and more; The Tulip Tower, which is a 70’ tower you can access from two rope bridges; and The Park, which is a path cut into the hillside that offers panoramic views of the highest peaks in the Smoky Mountains. The SkyLift Park also is home to the SkyBridge, SkyLift and SkyCenter.

3. Dollywood Added a Food Truck Park

There are already so many delicious food options at Dollywood, but if you couldn’t make it to the popular theme park toward the end of 2021, you missed out on one incredible dining experience: a food truck park! Dollywood added a brand new food truck park featuring a variety of local chef’s creations. The Food Truck Park can be found near Tennessee Tornado and The Dog House. Some food you can expect to find there is shrimp po boys, Greek food, tacos, donuts and more.

4. Pigeon Forge’s Longest Outdoor Snow Tubing Hill Opened

Rowdy Bear's Smoky Mountain Snowpark Snow Tubing HillPigeon Forge welcomed its first outdoor snow tubing hill in 2021! In the fall, Rowdy Bear’s Smoky Mountain Snowpark opened off the Pigeon Forge Parkway. This attraction has the largest outdoor snow tubing hill in Tennessee, which features a 70’ drop! Visitors will grab a tube and ride on the magic conveyor belt to the top of the hill before racing down as many times as they can in an hour. Smoky Mountain SnowPark is also home to a Power Coaster, Laser Gun Coaster and Sugar Bears Café and Creamery!

5. Guy Fieri is Making His Mark on the Smokies

The Smoky Mountain area is no stranger to celebrities — from Dolly Parton, to Paula Deen, to Blake Shelton. In 2021, Guy Fieri announced he would be the next celebrity to make his mark on the area. Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy opened in Gatlinburg in October 2021 and offers one-of-a-kind flavors for everyone to enjoy, from all-natural chicken tenders to chicken sandwiches. The big draw of the restaurant, however, is the sauces. There are more than 22 kinds of house-made sauces to choose from! In 2022, Guy Fieri will open his new venture in Pigeon Forge: Downtown Flavortown, which will include a tiki bar, bowling alley, arcade games and more.

6. New Smoky Mountain Restaurants Opened

sushi burritos in to go boxGuy Fieri’s Chicken Guy isn’t the only new restaurant that opened in the area in 2021! Can you remember all the delicious new Smoky Mountain restaurants you have to try the next time you’re in town? There was Roll On In, Seasons 101, Leora’s Kitchen, Fort Worth Texas Kitchen and so much more. There was also a number of delicious sweet shops that opened, including the Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar, Cussin’ Custard and The Yard Milkshake Bar.

New Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in 2022

Just like in 2021, Smoky Mountain visitors can expect so many great new things to happen in the new year. From new entertainment options to new restaurants and shops, there is so much to look forward to. Take a look at these new things to do in the Smoky Mountains in 2022 and get ready for an exciting year!