Anakeesta in Gatlinburg recently announced that it is undergoing a multimillion-dollar expansion in a move that will double the size of the guest experience within the theme park.
Anakeesta is a mountaintop theme park located in the heart of Gatlinburg. The park’s newly-announced expansion will be its “most ambitious and largest development to date” since opening in 2017, according to a press release by the city of Gatlinburg. The expansion will happen over the next three years.
“As Gatlinburg’s iconic destination, we’re excited to continue offering Tennessee visitors incomparable adventures that elevate the Smoky Mountain guest experience,” Bob Bentz, founder and managing partner of Anakeesta said in a statement. “This historic expansion will take our park to new heights with unparalleled moments of magic and extraordinary mountain thrills that only Anakeesta and the Great Smoky Mountains can deliver.”
With its expansion investment, Anakeesta envisions a European-themed village complete with amenities that allow guests to relax, recharge, and explore.
The first phase of the expansion, Astra Lumina, will open on October 21. The Astra Lumina Enchanted Night Walk is a sensory experience where guests experience illuminating encounters of lighting, projection, and sound to connect with the mystery of the stars while exploring a Smoky Mountain forest.
Next, the park will add a birdhouse-inspired play zone, a double-rail mountain coaster, and an interactive mountain waterfall and cave system surrounded by walking trails. In addition, the park also has plans to build a French-inspired bakery, called Mimi’s Bakery, and a larger themed retail area.
In the future, the park also has plans to build a heavily themed restaurant and brewery, event center, and entertainment stage with indoor and outdoor seating.
“Anakeesta’s continued investment into expanding its park will allow even more visitors the opportunity to experience the authentic wonder and beauty of the Gatlinburg area,” Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said in a statement. “These planned developments at Anakeesta will continue to add to the many reasons visitors will have to choose Gatlinburg as their vacation destination.”
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Anakeesta” by Anakeesta.