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8 Things You Forgot Happened in the Smoky Mountains in 2022

We had a blast in 2022 in the Smoky Mountains! It turns out 2022 was a year of exciting fun, new, intriguing attractions and more of that cozy and welcoming atmosphere that make the Smokies a special place! As the year winds down, we’ve reflected on some of the great things that happened this year. Here are 8 things you forgot happened in the Smoky Mountains in 2022:

1. New Ride Announced At Dollywood

dollywood sign in the theme park

Dollywood announced that a new attraction will be coming to the Pigeon Forge theme park in 2023! Big Bear Mountain will be the longest and largest roller coaster at Dollywood! Part of Dollywood’s $500 million investment project, this attraction will take visitors on a search for Big Bear that features a waterfall fly-through, 23 different butterfly moments and on-board audio!

2. SkyLand Ranch Opens in Sevierville

The Smoky Mountains welcomed SkyLand Ranch to Sevierville in 2022! This entertainment venue and ranch overlooking a 100-acre farm features live entertainment, a scenic chairlift, miniature animals and more! Located at one of the highest points in Sevierville, SkyLand Ranch offers an escape from the chaos of overpopulated attractions with breathtaking views that can’t be beaten!

3. Downtown Flavortown Arrives in Pigeon Forge

Downtown Flavortown in Pigeon Forge

“Holy moly, stromboli!” The Pigeon Forge restaurant scene received a boost with the arrival of Downtown Flavortown! Guy Fieri, the Emmy award winning television chef, brought his restaurant business to the Mountain Mile in the Smoky Mountains in March of 2022. This 43,000 square-foot entertainment facility includes state-of-the-art arcade games, a bowling alley, a restaurant and a bar!

4. NBC Announces Dolly Parton Christmas Special at Dollywood

There’s no bigger star of the show than Sevierville’s own Dolly Parton! NBC announced “Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas”, a unique musical about the making of a TV special, would be coming to the Pigeon Forge theme park. This musical tells the backstage story and on-camera results of Dolly’s mission to spread “mountain magic” during the holiday season! Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas originally aired on December 1 on NBC.

5. Anakeesta Announces Biggest Expansion Yet

Anakeesta in Gatlinburg Expansion Sign

Anakeesta announced a $34 million expansion project that will double the size of the Gatlinburg theme park! The project will add a “Birdventure” to the park that includes several bird houses and 7 slides that wind more than 50 feet down the mountain! A new European-themed village and a brand new doubled-railed mountain coaster will also be added as part of the project!

6. Opening Date Announced For Buc-ee’s in Sevierville

One of the world’s largest convenience stores is coming to the Smoky Mountains! The Buc-ee’s chain announced it would be opening its Sevierville location in the summer of 2023! You can expect to find clean bathrooms, a massive selection of snacks and gifts and more gas pumps than you can count! This 74,000 square-foot location will include a 250-foot-long car wash and EV charging stations!

7. Dig’n Zone Releases Plans For Sevierville Theme Park


Grab your hard hat and lace up your work boots for this one! Dig’N Zone, a construction-themed attraction, announced it will be opening in Sevierville in the spring of 2023! Guests will find more than 25 attractions that allow them to operate all types of different construction equipment, including an excavator and an altered mining truck!

8. Speedwerkz Soon To Open in Gatlinburg

Car lovers will soon rejoice with the opening of Speedwerkz Exotic Car Museum in Gatlinburg, expected to open its doors in December! Speedwerkz features an extensive collection of hyper cars, super cars and exotics to create an experience that’s both unique and fun! Racing simulators allow guests to feel like they’re actually behind the wheel of a super expensive car! Make sure to get your picture taken in one of the cars while you’re there!

2022 was a great year in the Smoky Mountains thanks to these awesome additions to the area! We’re expecting 2023 to be even better! Check out these awesome new things to do in the Smoky Mountain in 2023!