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Pigeon Forge, Entertainment Capital of the Smokies

Program Number: 19553RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2013 - 9/27/2013; 9/28/2014 - 10/3/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/31/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Price starting at: $869.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Arts, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Once a quiet mill town, Pigeon Forge has blossomed into the “entertainment capital” of the Great Smoky Mountains. Learn about the unique culture and history of Appalachia as you delight in mountain music, stories, nearby protected lands, and other signature elements. Trace the origin of the burgeoning theater, music, magic and comedy scenes with a local historian. Visit Oak Ridge to study its role as base for the Manhattan Project and the continuing importance of scientific development in the economy.




Highlights

• Go behind the scenes of Dollywood and learn the history of this unique theme park.
• Learn about the new Lumberjack Feud Dinner Show and other top billings, including the Grand Majestic Theater.
• Visit Oak Ridge, the Secret City, home of the Manhattan Project.



Activity Particulars

Walking less than one mile, some uneven, unpaved. Elevations of 5,050 feet.




Pigeon Forge

More than 10 million people each year visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and more than half of them pass through the nearby mountain-resort gateway of Pigeon Forge. Born of this high visitor volume is a flowering performing-arts scene featuring theater, music, magic and comedy, as well as a robust calendar of car and truck-shows.



Accommodations
Three-star hotel in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Meals and Lodgings
   Main Stay Inn Suites
  Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 5 nights
 Main Stay Inn Suites
Type: Hotel
  Description: Nestled on a 25-acre farm 2 blocks off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. MainStay Suites was built to accommodate a particular kind of guest to the Smokies - one who looks for more in a hotel room. MainStay Suites combines Comfort, Convenience and Value. It's all weather fun at the MainStay Suites by Choice Hotels! Our pools and Lazy River pool are among the most inviting you'll find at any area accommodation. We're waiting to refresh you and your family. Beautiful indoor & outdoor pool area with lazy river.
  Ship Information: None
  Contact info: 410 Pine Mountain Road
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 USA
phone: 865-428-8350
web: www.mainstaypigeonforge.com
  Room amenities: Climate control, cable television, kitchenettes, hair dryers.
  Facility amenities: Handicapped Facilities Non-Smoking Rooms Indoor and Outdoor Pools Lazy River Ride Jacuzzis Poolside Area with BBQ Grill Exercise Facilities Rentable Creekside Pavilion Convenient Trolley Stop, Convenient to All Area Shopping
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $89 - $119 Call provider at 888-889-8681 for reservations.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $89 - $119 Call provider at 888-889-8681 for reservations.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00-5:00 PM Music Road Hotel Lobby You will be staying at Main Stay Inn Suites that night.
  End of Program:
11:30 AM Following Morning Presentation You will be staying at Main Stay Inn Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. None
  Parking availability:
No charge for parking
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  Nearest city or town:  Pigeoon Forge
  Nearest highway: Interstate 40
  Nearest airport:  Knoxville
  From End of Program
  Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Pigeon Forge/Knoxville

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
A-Plus Taxi
phone: 865-970-0016
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$55 - $65 1-2 People
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 Minutes to 1 Hour 

 

Distance:

 

36 Miles

   

Prices vary due to gas pricing

 

Knoxville/Pigeon Forge

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Rocky Top Tours
phone: 877-315-8687
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$50 - $70
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 Hour 

 

Distance:

 

38 Miles

   

Will send information prior to group people together to lower the cost of the shuttles.

 

Pigeon Forge/Knoxville

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Odyssey Airport Taxi
phone: 865-577-6767
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$55 - $65
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 Minutes to 1 Hour 

 

Distance:

 

38 Miles

   

Will try to group people together if possible to save money.

 
Driving Directions
  From the East If you are coming from Richmond, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, take I-85 to I-40 west. Take I-40 west to the Foothills Parkway exit 443. Turn left onto U.S. 321. Follow U.S. 321 until you reach Gatlinburg. Continue through Gatlinburg to light #3, and at the Parkway turn right and continue 5 miles to Pigeon Forge.
  From the North: If you're coming from Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati or Lexington, take I-75 to Knoxville. Take I-40 east to exit 407. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue on through Sevierville to Pigeon Forge.
  From the Northeast If you are coming from Harrisburg and Roanoke, take I-81 south to I-40 West. Take I-40 to exit 407. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue on through Sevierville to Pigeon Forge.
  From the Northwest If you are coming from Mikwaukee and Peoria, take I-65 to I-40 east to the 407 exit. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue on through Sevierville to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  From the Southeast If you are coming from Tampa, Montgomery, Birmingham, Macon, Atlanta and Chattanooga, the quickest route is to take I-75 to I-40 East, then proceeed through Knoxville to exit 407. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue on through Sevierville to Pigeon Forge.
  Southwest If you are coming from Tulsa, Little Rock and Memphis, take I-40 east to exit 407. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue on through Sevierville to Pigeon Forge.
  West If you are coming from Witchita, Kansas City, St. Louis and Nashville, take I-70 to I-64 (through St. Louis). Continue I-64 to I-57 to I-24 and the I-40 east (through Nashville). Stay on I-40 east to exit 407. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue on through Sevierville to Pigeon Forge.
Elevation Note: We will ride be visiting the Great Smokey National Park at some high elevations as high as 5048 feet

Equipment Requirements: None
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check in, program registration
(Sunday, September 22)
   
 Arrive To: CHECK-IN: Please arrive at the hotel between 3:00-5:00pm. Check into your room at the front desk and then register with Road Scholar staff in the Main lobby. At this time you'll be given a welcome packet containing your name tag, up-to-date itinerary and other useful information.
 Dinner: Dinner is included at the Music Road Hotel
 Evening: ORIENTATION: After dinner we will have our Orientaion. This will provide you with information about the hotel, program itinerary, instructors, venues and on site staff.
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lectures: History of Pigeon Forge, Evolution of Music in Pigeon Forge, Comedy Shows
(Monday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served at the inn
 Morning: PRESENTATIONS: Meet with local historian and discuss the transformation of Pigeon Forge. Learn why this small mountain town has become the entertainment capital of the Smokey Mountains. Learn what has drawn these entertainers with their many varieties of showmanship. Evolution of Music in Pigeon Forge Mountain/Bluegrass/Country Music is as timeless as the majestic Appalachians themselves. When our great country was young, shipload after shipload of immigrants came to her shores from points far and wide, and many of them found themselves trying to eke out a meager living in the hills and hollows of Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina. Back then times were hard, days were long and entertainment options were very few. One of the most common forms of entertainment in those days was music, and since there were no recordings - or even radio for that matter - families spent much of what little free time they had making their own music. They sang a bevy of songs that they brought with them from their native countries, and over time a new form of music took root that was influenced heavily by a mixture of Irish, Scotch and African rhythms. This "Mountain Music" has endured for hundreds of years, giving birth to what we now know as Bluegrass and Country music along the way. Singers and musicians from the middle Appalachian region have contributed enormously to the rise and perpetuation of Mountain Music, Bluegrass and Country, including many within a short drive of the official Birthplace Of Country Music: the twin cities of Bristol, VA-TN. This program will include demonstrations and performances of each music.
 Lunch: Lunch is included at the hotel.
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION:This session will be produced by the staff of the Comedy Barn. Lecture will include information on comedic entertainment, comedy routines and the production of a comedy show. The Comedy Barn Theater, located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is the award winning family comedy variety show in the Smoky Mountains. The show features magicians, fire-eaters, jugglers, ventriloquists, clean family comedians, live country and gospel music as well as fun barn yard animals. The Comedy Barn® in Pigeon Forge offers clean comedy for an enjoyable evening of family fun. You'll laugh until you can't laugh anymore. Behind the Scenes – Comedy Barn This afternoon we visit the Comedy Barn for a behind the scenes look at putting on their production. Here we meet with the producers and entertainers at the facility.
 Dinner: Dinner is included at a local restaurant
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: This evening we enjoy a performance at the Comedy Barn Theater.
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Behind the Scenes at Dollywood, Lecture with Dixie Stampede Performers, Dixie Stampede Dinner Show
(Tuesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet is served at the hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Behind the Scenes of Dollywood. Join us for a trip to Dollywood where we will meet with different staff members and learn the history of this entertainment park. We will take a look at many different aspects including the entertainment, park attractions and history of the park.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own at Dollywood
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Meet Performers of Dixie Stampede. Enjoy lectures from different staff on performing and operations of the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show. Learn about this successful Dolly Parton attraction, The Dixie Stampede.
 Dinner: Dinner show at the Dixie Stampede
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Evening is free to relax
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Oak Ridge & Museum of Science and Energy
(Wednesday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet is included at the hotel.
 Morning: Oak Ridge was established in the early 1940s as a base for the Manhattan Project—the massive U.S. government operation that developed the atomic bomb. Scientific development still plays a crucial role in the city's economy and culture in general. Oak Ridge's nicknames are the Atomic City, the Secret City, the Ridge and the City Behind the Fence. Oak Ridge Program will include visits to Jackson Square, the Emma Spray Gardens and the Graphite Reactor. In an effort to bring an end to the war, three cities were chosen to be part of the top-secret “Manhattan Project” which would produce the world’s first atomic weapons. Those cities were Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford, Washington; and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which was built specifically for the war effort. In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bought 59,000 acres of rural farm land. A city and three manufacturing plants of unprecedented scope were constructed to develop a technology that ended the war. The land on which the town and plants were built met military requirements for isolation, electric power from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Norris Dam, water, labor and accessibility to nearby highways and railroads.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch is served.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Museum of Science and Energy. Enjoy a scientific program on the Manhattan Project.
 Dinner: Dinner is included at a local restaurant.
 Evening: FIELD TRIP: This evening we visit the new Titanic Museum
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lectures: Smith Brothers Musical Lecture, Terry Evanswood Illusionist, Performance: Grand Illusions of Magic, Smith Brothers Dinner Theater
(Thursday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet is included at the hotel
 Morning: PRESENTATIONS: Smith Family Singers Our lecture this morning will include the Smith Brothers who operate a long running Pigeon Forge Theater. You will learn about their careers, their theater and the music that they perform. Terry Evanswood – Grand Illusionist & Magician This morning we learn about the world of magic and illusion. Terry Evanswood is a professional magician who has appeared in live stage shows and on television throughout the United States as well as on international stages. He has performed professionally since the age of ten. Early in his career, Evanswood was awarded an entertainment scholarship to attend the Chavez College of Magic. In 1991, Evanswood became the youngest illusionist in history to perform at Hollywood's famed Magic Castle. Evanswood was presented with the Certificate of Excellence award, which was the first and only honor given by the American Museum of Magic. Evanswood is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
 Lunch: Lunch is served at the hotel
 Afternoon: PERFORMANCE: Enjoy the Wonders of Magic Show at Wonderworks starring Terry Evanswood
 Dinner: PERFORMANCE: This evening we enjoy a dinner show at the Smith Brothers Theater
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning Lecture with Area Historian
(Friday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet is served at the hotel
 Morning: FINAL PRESENTATION: Morning lecture with area historian that will feature the history of this area in the Smokey Mountains. Following lecture you will check out and depart for home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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