Also new this year is Cabana Forest, a private sitting area that boasts cabin-esque climate-controlled personal cabanas. Enjoy air-conditioning, beverage and menu service, deluxe seating and more. A limited number of cabanas are available, so advance reservations are recommended. “The cabanas offer a VIP experience that is highly sought after,” says Bahe. “You can shut all the doors or open everything up to feel wind flowing through. The cabanas can be a great area for people with small children and even for grandparents, as a way to get out of the summer heat yet still be right there at the waterpark.”
Even the most nervous parent can relax at Wilderness at the Smokies. More than 150 lifeguards keep careful watch on all the activity, plus Coast Guard-certified lifejackets are available for use. “The lifeguards are trained and certified by Ellis & Associates, the industry leader in aquatic safety,” says Bahe.
Though best known for its waterpark excitement, Wilderness at the Smokies also offers other forms of fun. Adventure Forest Family Entertainment Center, located adjacent to the indoor waterpark, has a three-story ropes course with cargo nets, balance beams and mid-air lily pads. There’s also a 23-foot rock climbing wall, a nine-hole mini golf course with black lights, six lanes of miniature bowling, a laser maze, the region’s largest interactive playhouse, more than 100 arcade games, multi-level laser tag, and more.
For quieter play, two studios offer creative outlets. Arts and crafts options change daily at Molly & Monty’s Kraft Korner, with opportunities to color T-shirts, backpacks, pillow cases and more. Kids and the young at heart can paint a plate, mug, bank or other ceramic piece at Polka Dot Pots.