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Did you know there used to be a theme park right on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge? Magic World was a children’s amusement park that was open from 1971 to 1996! Once you stepped though the 100-foot volcano, it was like you were thrown onto the set of a 50s sci-fi movie. For those who’ve been to Magic World in Pigeon Forge, we’re taking you back down memory lane! If you never had the chance to visit this theme park, we’re sharing everything we know about it:
What was Magic World in Pigeon Forge?
Magic World was an exciting theme park for kids, located right on the Pigeon Forge Parkway. The entrance was a volcano that held an 80-foot freshwater aquarium. The attraction featured Merlin the Magician, a magic carpet ride, the Haunted Castle, the Flying Saucer and more. It looked like a movie set from an old sci-fi film. Of course, it couldn’t be called Magic World without a little magic! Merlin the Magician put on a magic show for visitors with a variety of assistants. Another show at the theme park was The Confederate Critter Show, which was an animatronic show with characters dressed up as Confederate officers singing mountain ballads. The Haunted Castle was home to a ghoul, Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mad Headsman. The Flying Saucer was a spaceship piloted by aliens from Mars, and a film tour of the Smoky Mountains played inside. The film showed scenes over Clingmans Dome and under Fontana Lake. Kids loved climbing aboard the Dragon Train, which took riders through Dinosaur Valley to the dinosaur museum. At the museum, you could get your picture taken with a wooly mammoth for a souvenir you could treasure for years to come!
How did Magic World Change Over Time?
Magic World in Pigeon Forge evolved over the years to include more fun for the whole family. By 1991, there were more carnival-type rides at the theme park. Visitors could ride the Dragon Coaster, a Red Baron ride, bumper boats and even a tilt-a-whirl. The attraction continued to do well until 1996, when there was a dispute over the cost to lease the land. The parties involved couldn’t reach an agreement, and Magic World closed.
What’s Magic World in Pigeon Forge Today?
Today, all that’s left of Magic World is a handful of scenes that have become part of Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf. This popular mini golf course in Pigeon Forge features the volcano from Magic World and what looks like part of the original ship. Next time you visit Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf, look for a plaque on display that honors the creator of Magic World. The plaque reads, “In memory and honor of James Q Sidwell, Sr. (Big Jim) … For your vision, integrity, friendship and leadership.”
Other Old Pigeon Forge Attractions You’ll Never See Again
Magic City is just one of the old attractions in Pigeon Forge that you’ll never see again. Magic World sat between a car museum and a Ski Doo Twin Waterslide, and across from a police museum. Just down the street, visitors would find Porpoise Island. If you’re interested in learning more about other old attractions in Pigeon Forge, check out our blog, “5 Pigeon Forge Attractions You’ll Never See Again.”