Wilderness At The Smokies & Soaky Mountain Waterpark - A Review
From the accomodations, the hands-on helpful staff, the entertainment, the food, and of course: the attractions in the waterparks! We recently had the pleasure of visiting the Smoky Mountains Wilderness Resort location, Wilderness At The Smokies, and Soaky Mountain Waterpark. Ride down the waterslides with us in this video!
Upon arriving to the resort, we were quickly seen after a short wait in line, even though we visited in peak season. Every member of your party is given a wrist band and bracelet similar to the Disney parks access pass bracelet and it also unlocks your door - so convenient!
If you have younger kids, try putting their bands on their ankles if they get irritated easily with bracelets - we called it their surfer bands and they didn't remove them for a week.
When we arrived in our room (a double queen w/a balcony overlooking the outdoor pool) we didn't last long before immediately changing into our suits, and made it down to our first stop: The indoor pool just a couple minute walk through the hotel
Things to know:
Grab a locker for valuables and purses if you brought them down
Find a seat to leave your towels and shoes - there are plenty
To get on the surf rider (surfing wave simulator) you need to sign the waiver inside the doors before entering the pool - we didn't catch this detail until already in line for the attraction #momfail
The inner tube slides are 42" height requirement to be able to ride with someone, and 48" height requirement if you are a single rider
Lifeguards are everywhere and don't even have to be asked to help or assist a little one struggling on a tube. I will mention this multiple times: acts of service are woven throughout everything.
The wave pool is not deep but the waves can be pretty hard core for little ones, so definitely recommend being with them regardless of swim level.
Next stop: Dinner + Adventure Forest
Things to know - dinner:
The Thirsty Miner buffet is DELICIOUS for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Kids ages 3-8 years old are discounted for meals. Kids 2 and under are free
Something that really stood out besides excellent service, was the buffet area that was lower for kids to be able to serve themselves. Its such a small detail but it makes for a memorable experience when a child can be independent and serve themselves like an adult.
Get the omelet at breakfast - yum and yum
They had on kids shows (paw patrol, spongebob, etc) during early breakfasts
Ask for a table by the window overlooking the pool area - its worth it ;)
Adventure Forest - The family adventure center & arcade
Things to know:
Get the adventure pass - it covers the attractions (ropes course, rock climbing, laser maze, glow in the dark put put, the playground, rides, etc). It does not cover laser tag or arcade games, these are extra.
Smaller children require an adult on the ropes course, so put on a brave face and climb yourself into an interesting situation! Dont worry, the attendants are along the course and literally hop across the ropes somehow, more than happy to help.
Again, the underlying theme of service here is noteworthy.
Go to the put put and put your phones away, enjoy the black lights and fun characters in here!
Try the laser maze box located next to laser tag - you can pretend to be a spy and not touch the lasers, or see how many lasers you can break in a small amount of time. FUN!!
Bedtime: A SERIOUSLY amazing note to add...
This resort has quiet hours between 11PM-7AM! Please let this catch on through every other hotel chain, because bedtime was a breeze, even though I forgot to bring a sound machine.
Our second day found me enjoying coffee - they have a Starbucks on site + a coffee maker in the room - outside on the balcony and then we were off to Soaky Mountain Waterpark across the street from the hotel.
Things to know:
Get there when they open - its amazing.
Grab a locker - so many size options and its digital.
Every single seating area is arranged to be able to see your kids in the water - whenever we sat to watch the girls go up to a slide, we were in a seat that truly felt like we could see everything we needed to from every angle. As a parent, this is a major selling point. I was able to relax more at a waterpark than I was at our local pool.
You can drive yourselves across the street, or take the shuttle. It is worth mentioning that the shuttle does not drop you off AT the entrance or gate of the waterpark. It takes you to the hotel across the street and you would need to walk the rest of the way up the hill. *If you don't mind losing your parking spot, take your car and drive to Soaky Mountain
They have a bag check and security which I loved seeing
We didn't have to wait for any attractions until at least 2 hours into our visit, and even then it was maybe 5 minutes at the longest wait time.
Slide height requirements are the same as the resort: 42" for riding with a partner and 48" for single rider.
They have miniature inner tube slides for kids and it. is. adorable.
The Wave pool is INTENSE and smaller kids need to be supervised.
At the end of the day...
...we had an absolutely amazing time. Watching our kids find courage to try something new, something they saw as scary, only to find joy... it is the highest of highs. We loved it so much that we were already planning our next visit to the Resort and Waterpark before we even checked out.