GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Gatlinburg theme park Anakeesta on Sept. 8 announced a $34-million expansion that will double the size of the guest experience over the next three years.

The park will add a new mountain coaster, a night walk with lighting and guided audio, a bird-house themed play area, and European-themed village.

The new “Astra Lumina Enchanted Night Walk” will feature immersive lighting, projection and guided sound in partnership with Moment Factory, an award-winning multimedia entertainment studio. This will be Moment Factory’s first Lumina Night Walk experience in the United States and 15th in the world. It is set to open in October.

In Spring of 2023, a “European-Themed Village” will open and offer two new attractions. The park will add a second mountain coaster called, “Hellbender.” One of the new attractions will be a double-railed mountain coaster in addition to the existing single-railed coaster, “Rail Runner.”

The second will be a birdhouse-inspired play zone as part of a new “European-Themed Village” where kids can enjoy three larger-than-life birdhouses, dozen adventure zones and seven slides winding more than 50 feet down the mountain.

The first phase will also add a waterfall and cave system to their walking trails and gardens, allowing guests to walk behind falls and explore caves.

New food and retail offerings will also be added in the first phase of expansion. New additions will open in phases throughout 2024. Anakeesta plans to add an event center, entertainment stage with indoor and outdoor seating and a themed restaurant and brewery.

“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,” said Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner.
“These planned developments at Anakeesta will continue to add to the many reasons visitors will have to
choose Gatlinburg as their vacation destination.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.