Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Tennessee’s Anakeesta in biggest expansion yet

As part of its continued, multi-year $34 million expansion, Anakeesta, Gatlinburg’s popular adventure park, is unveiling two exciting new additions this year: The Hellbender Mountain Coaster and BirdVenture, an immersive and educational space for children.

Hellbender is a new double-rail mountain coaster named after the salamander species native to the Smoky Mountains. Hellbender will offer guests an adrenaline-pumping ride as they navigate a steep mountain incline, sway through tunnels, slither through twists and turns, and take in 360-degree scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With this new installation, Anakeesta will be home to a single-rail and new double-rail mountain coaster for thrillseekers to enjoy.

BirdVenture will give guests the chance to experience three larger-than-life birdhouses, a dozen adventure zones, and seven giant serpentine slides winding more than 50 feet down the mountain.

Each birdhouse is home to three distinct birds – the owl, woodpecker and bluebird – native to the Smokies.

“Our continued investment into Gatlinburg’s iconic mountaintop destination has reached another exciting milestone. These new additions will uplift the guest experience, provide exciting thrills for the young – and young at heart – and create incredible memories for families that bring them closer to nature,” said Bob Bentz, founder and managing partner of Anakeesta. “Our team is proud to offer visitors an experience inspired by the majesty of the Great Smoky Mountains and pays homage to the state of Tennessee.”

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