On Thursday, Anakeesta announced a new $34 million dollar expansion to the popular Gatlinburg, TN theme park. This new expansion is the largest expansion to the park since it’s opening in 2017, which will double the size of the park.
The first part of the expansion to open is their Astra Lumina experience. Astra Lumina at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg will be the first Lumina Enchanted Night Walk in the United States.
Astra Lumina sets the stage for a visit from the stars. This night walk will transport visitors to a pathway of lustrous light, cosmic visions, and astral song. Visitors will watch as the stars come down and share their secrets. The Astra Lumina experience is set to open October 21, 2022 and tickets are currently on sale.
The newest area of the expansion being built is based on a European village. It will be added to the Anakeesta park in the spring 2023. The first phase of the expansion also consists of two new attractions, a bakery and a plaza with an interactive waterfall.
One of Anakeesta’s European Village’s attractions will be the new Hellbender mountain coaster. Hellbender is the parks first double railed mountain coaster. The park currently has a single single railed mountain coaster called the Rail Runner.
The other new attraction that is being built as part of the expansion is the BirdVenture. It is a birdhouse-inspired play zone. The play zone features three larger-than-life birdhouses, dozen adventure zones and seven slides that wind down 50 feet of the mountain. It will be located in the European Village.
The new European Village expansion will also include Mimi’s Bakery. Mimi’s Bakery is a French-inspired bakery that will serve both sweet and savory bakery goods.
As part of the first phase of the expansion, a waterfall and cave system will be added to Anakeesta’s walking trails and gardens. This will allow guests to walk behind waterfalls and explore caves.
Other new additions will open in phases throughout 2024. Some of these additions will include an event center, themed restaurant and brewery, and an entertainment stage that will feature indoor and outdoor seating.
When Will The New Expansions Open?
Astra Lumina is set to open October 21, 2022. The new European-Themed Village is set to open in Spring 2023. More of the park’s expansions and additions that will continue up in stages into 2024. This expansion is the largest since the park opened in 2019.
“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 of Anakeesta, said in a press release. “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.”