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Pigeon Forge, Entertainment Capital of the Smokies

Program Number: 19553RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/28/2014 - 10/3/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/31/2014; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015;
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 Lobby of the Main Stay Inn and Suites You will be staying at Main Stay Inn Suites that night.
  End of Program:
9:00 AM Following Breakfast 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 travel through some areas that may go above 3000'.

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 28)
   
 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: A BBQ Dinner Buffet is included this evening at the Main Stay Suites 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 29)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is served at the inn and includes hot and cold selections including cereal, yogurt, fruit, juice and coffee.
 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: A make your own sandwich buffet is prepared for lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: FREETIME: Relax following lunch or feel free to explore the area on your own. Your local group leader can help you with your free time. PRESENTATION: This afternoon at 4:00 PM we board the coach for a short trip to the Country Tonite Theater. Here we meet with Chan Mullinax - Stand Up Comedian from the Country Tonite Show and Kevin Wilson the shows producer. Both will talk about the creation of this show and their parts in the theater. Following enjoy a back stage view of the theater.
 Dinner: A delicious Italian Dinner is included this evening with a choice of limited menu at a popular local restaurant.
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: This evening we enjoy an evening show at the Country Tonite Theater, one of the longest running shows in Pigeon Forge.
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Oak Ridge, Y 12 Facility, American Museum of Science and Energy, America's Hit Parade Show
(Tuesday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is served at the inn and includes hot and cold selections including cereal, yogurt, fruit, juice and coffee.
 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: Enjoy a Soup and Sandwich lunch served at the Soup Kitchen in Oak Ridge.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Meet with a local historian who will take us on a guided exploration of the area. Next we visit the Museum of Science and Energy. Learn about the development of the Manhattan Project as you explore the museum.
 Dinner: DINNER SHOW PERFORMANCE: This evening we travel to the Grand Majestic Theater for the America's Hit Parade Dinner Show which has taken over the Smith Brother's Theater.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Evening is free to relax
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Dollywood, Lumberjack Feud Dinner Show
(Wednesday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is served at the inn and includes hot and cold selections including cereal, yogurt, fruit, juice and coffee.
 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: Vouchers will be given so that you can enjoy lunch at one of the many venue's at Dollywood.
 Afternoon: FREE TIME: This afternoon explore the park at your leisure where you can meet with many crafters, see the shows or ride the fantastic roller coasters. There will be two pick ups for return to the hotel. First pick up will be at 3:00 PM and the second will be at 5:00 PM.
 Dinner: DINNER SHOW/PRESENTATION: This evening we travel to the Lumberjack Feud Dinner Show. Enjoy a lumberjack dinner prior to the show and then you will be entertained by these fantastic men and women lumberjacks and lumberjills. PRESENTATION: After the theater clears you will have the opportunity to meet with the lumberjacks as they discuss their profession.
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lectures - Doug Miranda, Grand Majestic Theater, Terry Evanswood, Wonders of Magic, Titanic Museum, Wonders of Magic Show
(Thursday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is served at the inn and includes hot and cold selections including cereal, yogurt, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: LECTURES: 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. Doug Miranda - Grand Majestic Dinner Show. Doug will speak to us about his career and the new creation of his theater and show.
 Lunch: This afternoon we enjoy a Chef's Choice Lunch Buffet. LECTURE: At lunch today we meet with a local city official who will speak to us about the transformation of Pigeon Forge and what is ahead for the future of the city.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Travel to the Titanic Museum. As the whole world remembers the world’s most famous luxury liner, Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tn. will continue to open the door to the past in it’s one-of-a-kind way – letting “passengers” experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of the Titanic while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts directly from the ship and its passengers. As visitors touch a real iceberg, walk the Grand Staircase and third class hallways, reach their hands into 28-degree water, and try to stand on the sloping decks, they learn what it was like on the RMS Titanic by experiencing it first-hand. Each guest entering the ship will receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger or crew. Feel their spirit presence in the galleries where over 400 personal and private artifacts are on display. Many are on display for the first time in the world. This collection is valued at over four and a half million dollars. This is a self-guided tour. Discover your passenger or crew’s fate in the Titanic Memorial Room where 2,208 names line this historic wall. The heart of the ship is the Grand Staircase, constructed from the original Harland & Wolff plans with its oak carvings and cherub statue. Here, a magnificent glass dome reflects light off oak wall paneling and elaborate railings and iron scrollwork. Wide, sweeping steps and landings provide a spectacular area where the original guests of the RMS Titanic made their appearances. You’ll be surprised to learn what the floor was made of – something considered most expensive for 1912.
 Dinner: Dinner this evening is served at a very popular Pigeon Forge Restaurant where you will have the choice of many southern favorites including Country Fried Steak, Chicken and Dumplings and Meatloaf.
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: This evening we travel to Wonderworks for the Wonders of Magic Show with Terry Evanswood.
   
Accommodations: Main Stay Inn Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning Wrap Up with Leader
(Friday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is served at the inn and includes hot and cold selections including cereal, yogurt, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: Say good-bye to your leader and hand in your listening devices before your departure.
   
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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