Soaky Mountain Waterpark, the new, massive state-of-the-art 50-acre waterpark, located at 175 Gists Creek Road in Sevierville, officially opened for business Saturday.
Dave Andrews, general manager of Soaky Mountain Waterpark, said, “We are so excited to be open to the public! Soaky is such a fun place for families and truly features something for all ages to enjoy, all in a beautiful mountain-modern park setting.”
Highlights of new Soaky Mountain Waterpark include the Avalaunch, a first-of-its kind watercoaster with four flying saucer features that create a drop-and-dive sensation and one wave curved wall; Soaky Surge, a massive, 35,000 square foot wave pool capable of generating waves six feet high; Black Bear Rapids, an adventure river encompassing 24,000 square feet; and The Hive, a bee-themed play-and-spray feature with countless hands-on activities for younger children.
There is also Boomers Bay, a super fun kid activity pool area with smaller versions of the adult-size towering slides including Lil’ Rattlers and Mini Mayhem so kids can experience the thrills and chills of the waterpark on their level; an adventure pool with a water obstacle course; a 3,800 square foot flat-water cabana pool for relaxing poolside; and Hang 10essee, a double FlowRider surfing simulator.
In addition to the Avalaunch watercoaster, there are other slides including two five-person raft rides; a tubing tower with five flumes; two high-intensity body slides; and a four-lane, head-first mat racing challenge. Some of the slides feature translucent tubes which create a swirling array of light effects and others are themed in colors like the Rainbow’s Revenge which features all of the colors of the rainbow and the American Racer’s Rush which features red, white and blue stars and stripes.
Another unusual component of the waterpark are some unique food options. Building upon the popularity of food trucks, the waterpark’s creators went on a nationwide search to find some noteworthy vehicles, and they found them.
In Montana, they purchased a 1954 AEC (Chassis) Regent III with Park Royal Vehicles Bodywork, which in its day, was double decker bus for the London Transit System. It is now home to Tacolicious, serving up Mexican favorites on the bottom level, and offering seating overlooking the waterpark and the Smoky Mountains on the upper level. The truck is located next to Black Bear Rapids. The other truck was purchased in Illinois and is now home to the Rolly Macaroni food and beverage outlet, which serves up sorts of mac and cheese with unique twists. It is located by Soaky Surge.
Due to the COVID-19, waterpark officials are encouraging guests to purchase their daily admission tickets in advance at soakymountainwaterpark.com due to restricted capacity levels. Season pass holders are being accommodated. Masks are optional in the park and are not allowed in or on any water attractions.
The CDC has stated there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. With proper operation, maintenance and disinfection (e.g. with chlorine or bromine) the virus should be removed or inactivated, said officials. The waterpark has also created a Safer at Play safety program they will be following. It is posted at https://www.wildernessatthesmokies.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/SOAKY-MOUNTAIN-SAFER-AT-PLAY.pdf
Daily admission tickets are $44.99 for anyone above 42 inches and $39.99 for anyone under 42 inches. Children ages three and up require a ticket. The waterpark will be open through Labor Day, with additional select days being considered through mid-September. Wilderness at the Smokies guests can purchase discounted admission for up to $20 off daily admission tickets.
Because of the COVID-19 situation the waterpark’s official have decided to postpone their grand opening celebration to the start of the 2021 season and only have a soft opening in 2020.
According to Mr. Andrews “We want to throw a big celebration to mark the opening of this fabulous waterpark, but for right now, we will have to wait and practice responsible social distancing and other safety precautions outlined in our Safer at Play Program.”
The new waterpark cost nearly $90 million to construct and will have nearly 500 full- and part-time job employees. It is anticipated to draw over 400,000 visitors annually, of which 100,000 will be new visitors to Sevier County. It is also expected to increase the average nightly stays in the region while generating approximately $400,000 annually in Tourism Development Zone Tax.
Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks currently owns and operates Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, and Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Lodge, and Wilderness on the Lake, Wild Rock Golf Course, Sundara Spa and Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells.
For more information visit: SoakyMountainWaterpark.com.