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Beaumont, Texas
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19 posts
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We will be arriving on Sunday around noon and plan on enjoying PF / gatlinburg Sunday and Monday with the Dixie Stampede on Monday night. As the show starts at 6:00Pm is it mandatory to be there for the pre dinner stuff that starts about 4:30.

Also, do you think this is enough time to do the touristy things there. Obergatlinburg,Aquarium,scenic chair lift, putt-putt, go carts etc.

Tuesday we will be heading to Cades Cove for opening which should be around 6:50am?? Trying to catch different waterfalls there and then going to Roaring fork nature trail and doing some more hikes there.

Do you think we will be able to do both in one day if we hit just a few hikes at each place?

Wednesday will go rafting then horse back riding then catch the Magic beyond belief show at 8Pm.

Thursday will go to Clingsman dome on our way to Cherokee and Mingo Falls and hopefully to some swinging bridge or something around there to hike to.

Not sure about what that is.

Friday check out and head slowly home.

Want to try Partons Deli, Old Mill or the Cafe, Apple Barn, Cherokee Grill, Pkwy Mkt, HuckFins and of course the only restaurant I remember going to when I was a kid and we used to go every year to the Pancake Pantry.

Would you change anything or any better ideas

Great Smoky...
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1. Re: Questions

Well to start off with I would do the preshow since the tickets are so expensive I want to see everything they offer the preshow is great!

And on your time its just according to how long you spend in each attraction. The aquarium you can go thru in like a hour BUT it was only my husband and I we didnt have any kids intow...lol to hit the go carts and putt putt I would wait till after you went to the show or eat at night then hit them dont try to do everything all in one day they are open late give you a chance to wind down.

Cinn, OH
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1,486 posts
33 reviews
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2. Re: Questions

No, you don't have to do the pre-show at Dixie, but it is good, but you don't need an 1-1/2 hours either, they take your picture and if I were you, I'd hit the bathroom beforehand. On Tuesday, doing Cades Cove, you can make that all day, depending how many places you stop at, if you do Abrahms Falls, it is like 2 hours, bring a drink. Roaring Fork is a good 1 hour drive without stopping to hike. So yes you can do Cades Cove and Roaring Fork and hike at each place, but you are going to be tired that night.

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3. Re: Questions

I think the pre-show is OK - but they pack you in there like sardines and try to sell you pre-show snacks. I will say the entertainment was just fine, but I'd pull my hair out to sit in that packed room an hour and half! LOL.

Looking over your plans- it looks like too much to me. After hiking all day and other things and then an 8:00 pm show? Think about it. You might have great stamina and be fine but I couldn't do it.

Magic is a good show - I liked it. The Cirque de Chine was more breath-taking to me.

Apple Barn! Yum!!!!!I also enjoyed Cherokee Grill, but found the food at The Peddler ( nearby) better.

Have a great trip!

Spring Hill...
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245 posts
91 reviews
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4. Re: Questions

Hello Orionstars**

Hope you are able to enjoy every moment of your trip down to the beautiful Smokies. I must say it looks like your itenerary is quite FULL, so be ready to trim some activity so you can have some 'rest and relaxation!'

> Touristy stuff I would rank the Aquarium as a must see, especially if you have children of any age, it's absolutely great! For a panoramic view you could take your pick between the chair-lift and the tram to Ober-Gatlinburg, I would not suggest both.

And, my wife would DEFINITLEY say go for the Go-carts!

> I'm a bit of a hiking junkie so, trying to suggest a good hike is sort of like determining which child you love the best?? All of them! haha Good choice on Cades Cove EARLY, you will have many options there and probably will be able to see some active wildlife. Take a picnic, some snacks and drinks for your excursions there. I can't say Roaring Fork would be recommended UNLESS you are considering one of the trails headed up to LeConte (Rainbow Fall, Bull Head, Trillium), the Motor Trail is monotonous and takes up time you could devote to being out of the car on the trail! For some ideas take the time to go over to the Sugarlands Visitor center (about a mile past light #10 into the Park). Ask a ranger on duty any questions you have and BE SURE to see the wonderful FREE movie about the Smokies. It will give you some glimpses to areas of the park you may not have time to visit and explores the history of the park, the scenery is breathtaking!

> As for restaurants, my family and I ate at the Cherokee Grill, Calhoun's and the Smoky Mtn Brewery last week and had good experiences at each establishment! Apple Barn is always wonderful, particularly at breakfast! Had a similar situation last week regarding the Pancake Pantry. I had been telling my wife about another pancake house over on Hwy 321 (take the right turn at light #3) called the Little Pancake House, she was sure I was telling a story. But she decided to go there since it was very close to our resort. The food was delcious and in abundance. During the week it is not crowded, they offer GREAT service and accept all payment types unlike the Pantry who are cash only!

Again, all I can say is ENJOY!!

Let us know how your agenda goes!!

Beaumont, Texas
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19 posts
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5. Re: Questions

Tks for your suggestions. The late show 8Pm was my wifes suggestion for that day to relax from a day of hiking.

Our two boys both early teens picked that show. I would have picked comedy barn.

Last year when we went to Disney we got up every morning at 5am went straight to the park that opended up early that day and then stayed until they kicked us out around 1 am.

I know vacation for some is for relaxing but I know I like to see/do everything I can. Unless the wife tells me otherwise lol.

My wife is really excited about seeing waterfalls and the boys are dying to see a elk.

Will write up a travel report once were back of what we were actually able to do.

We're staying at the Inn at Christmas Place so able to eat breakfast there almost everymorning until we go to the Pancake pantry. Understand this is supposed to be a super nice hotel. At least I hope it is as the wife as fears of hotels.

Spring Hill...
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245 posts
91 reviews
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6. Re: Questions

A follow up to your mention of the Inn at Christmas Village.

My family and I stopped in to see the hotel at the insistence of my Mother in Law, I must say the Inn is fantastic!! You will certainly live like a King and Queen for a few days. According to the in-laws breakfast is something to behold too!! I'm envious!!

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47 reviews
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7. Re: Questions

To see elk you will have to go to Cataloochee or Oconaluftee. I think I recall you posting a thread about that, so you probably already know all about that.

I don't really see any reason to visit Roaring Fork after Cades Cove; there's quite enough on Little River Road and Cades Cove to fill up a day even if you don't hike. The only waterfall at Cades Cove is Abrams Falls, which is a nice hike (5 miles, moderate) but I've heard the water levels have been reduced lately due to the drought. Waterfalls off of Little River Road include Cataract (Sugarlands, .1 mile), the Sinks, and Spruce Flatts (Tremont, 2 miles). The Little Greenbrier School is worth checking out.

As a teen myself and from what I've seen of the Magic Beyond Belief show (I preface this by saying that I haven't been myself) I wouldn't recommend it. I've been to shows like it before and simply haven't been impressed. Sure, I'm a magician myself (close-up magic) so that always changes things, but I can still appreciate a good act when I see one. Of course, your boys may like it even though I wouldn't.


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15 reviews
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8. Re: Questions

I would need another vacation just to recuperate from yours!

Savannah, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
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3,696 posts
22 reviews
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9. Re: Questions

As far as when to get to Dixie Stampede, I wouldn't get therelate. We had call-in reservations a couple years ago on my birthday. We were told to be there 15 minutes early. We got there 10 minutes early because of traffic. They had already cancelled our reservations and sold out.

I was pretty disappointed, but I understand that they are there to sell seats. If we were the kind of folks to just skip that night, they would have missed out on selling 6 seats.

10. Re: Questions

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