Wild Bear Falls Water Park
Aquatic adventures in the heart of Gatlinburg!
Gatlinburg, Tennessee is filled with outdoor activities and gorgeous views of the Great Smoky Mountains, but did you know that it also happens to be the home of some cool theme parks and water parks? That’s where Westgate's exciting Wild Bear Falls Indoor Water Park comes in! This incredible indoor/outdoor water park features a retractable roof that allows you to splash and swim on your Tennessee vacation regardless of the weather or the season.
Wild Bear Falls Water ParkWith more than 60, square feet of fun aquatic attractions featuring more than , gallons of water, Wild Bear Falls in Gatlinburg, TN is considered the largest indoor water park in the southeast region! It is safe to say that this is not your average water park and you are in for a treat during your Gatlinburg vacationwith Westgate Resorts. The park is one of the many special amenities at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park. The resort features luxurious, cabin style accommodations with amazing mountain views. What better place to begin your Gatlinburg family vacation!
At Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park, we offer a wide range of exclusive resort vacation package options for you and your family. You can choose packages that include Wild Bear Falls Water Park tickets, not to mention the beautiful views of the Great Smoky Mountains and our many other resort amenities & activities.
Gatlinburg Vacations with Water Park Tickets:
Main Water Park Attractions:
|Little Pigeon River||The park is ideal for all ages and the littlest ones will enjoy this fun and kid-friendly, zero-depth spray playground that is designed specifically for toddlers|
Water Depth: 3'6"
|Unwind and enjoy the view with this indoor/outdoor hot tub|
|The Swimming Hole|
Water Depth: 3'6" - 4'6"
|This is one swimming pool you won’t want to miss; perfect for water activities such as basketball and volleyball and recommended for all ages|
Water Depth: 3'6"
|Float along on a tube around a foot long and very relaxing Lazy River that will remind you how beautiful the Smoky Mountains are! Perfect for all ages.|
Min height: 48 inches
|Looking for thrills? Get ready for this exciting, foot long tube slide that will give you a glimpse of the adventures Gatlinburg has to offer.|
Min height: 48 inches
|More thrills await on this fully enclosed body slide featuring a heart-pounding, foot drop that will give you an adrenaline rush like no other!|
Water Depth: 1'6"
|Enter this interactive tree house that includes a gallon bucket, two wild slippery slides, and areas where you can control the flow of water spouts. Be ready to get completely soaked once the bucket fills up and releases water all over the tree house!|
Wild Bear Falls is a world-class indoor / outdoor aquatic playground for families with kids of all ages, located in Gatlinburg. More than your average pool, this mountain-themed attraction features a state-of-the-art retractable roof and guests enjoy perfect, comfortable conditions any time of year, even during the coldest winter months. The park offers a safe, secure and supervised environment that includes a variety of water slides, play areas, a lazy river, an electronic game room and even a mezzanine restaurant where you can grab a quick snack or a full meal. The Roaring Fork, located on the second level, offers up a quick burger, hot dogs, pizza and sandwiches as well as fresh salads and other snacks.
Laurel Falls Slide
As you can see by the names of the attractions listed, the adventure park pays homage to its surroundings by playing off places you'll find in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Getting There:Wild Bear Falls Indoor Water Park offers a convenient location just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and the nearby Pigeon Forge area. The park is inside the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park, situated adjacent to the main entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The resort is located at Westgate Resort Road, Gatlinburg, TN
Severe Weather PolicyThe Water Park will remain open during rainy weather unless lightning or thunder is present in the area. In the event of severe weather or lightning/thunder, the park will close for a mandatory 30 minute period. Once a full 30 minutes has passed without a recurrence of lightning or thunder, the park may re-open. To ensure a safe and friendly atmosphere for all guests, please follow the general rules and regulations posted at the park.
Start planning your Gatlinburg water park vacation today!
- Under 3 years of age: Free
- One-Day Admission: $ + tax
- Three-Day Admission: $ + tax
- Five-Day Admission: $ + tax
- Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times
Visitors must be at least 42" tall to ride the water slides, with the exception of the children's pool area. For other areas, visitors must be at least 48" tall.
Hours of Operation
am - pm
am - pm
get early park admission at Wild Bear Falls one-hour prior to park opening
This Gatlinburg, TN Resort Has a Huge Indoor Water Park
Families and couples will love the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg with its excellent restaurant, indoor waterpark, spa, and proximity to the Smokies.
Kristina was invited to take her kids for a few days to explore all the resort has to offer. Thank you to the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort for hosting us and exceptional hospitality.
Our Review of Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort
The Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg is part of the Westgate Resort family, which has properties in Orlando, Las Vegas, Miami, Daytona Beach, Myrtle Beach, and several other popular locations.
They are top-notch resorts that have plenty of entertainment for both families and couples who want to relax and have fun. They also take great pride in providing excellent dining, spa amenities, and family-friendly activities and events to guests.
You Dont Have to Leave the Resort to Have Fun
We were thrilled to stay at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg, just outside of the main drag and less than ten minutes from both Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. But really, if you wanted to just drive there, park your car, and enjoy the resort amenities without ever getting back in your car until it was time to go home, you could absolutely do that.
The resort has enough things to do to keep your entire family entertained easily for a weekend or more without ever leaving the property.
The Westgate Smokies is enormous and if you don’t have a room on the base level where the indoor waterpark and restaurant is located, you’ll be up the mountain with amazing views of downtown Gatlinburg and the majestic Smokies right outside your doorstep.
And the views are just breathtaking. The resort looks over to Anakeesta, the mountaintop village that we’ve often written about and just love, which is framed by Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, and Mt. LeConte, which is nearly as high.
We could even see the snow-covered peak of Clingmans Dome! The clouds roll in and out of the mountains, creating those postcard-perfect photos that you can’t even believe exist in real life.
Shuttles & a Trolley are Available
Because the resort is so large, they have constant shuttles running to get you where you want to go and will even pick you up if you start walking back and forth to your room. The staff is very friendly and eager to please.
If you feel the need to leave the resort, you can jump on the Gatlinburg trolley, which has a stop right at the resort entrance. That will take you into town for a minimal fee.
How much does it cost to book a room?
The Westgate Smokies offers studio rooms up to five bedroom villas. Prices vary according to room type and season. As of this writing, a studio in January ran about $/night and a one-bedroom was $/night. In April, those same rooms are currently going for $ and $, respectively. July and October are typically the busiest and more costly seasons.
If you’re looking to visit, be sure to go to the Gatlinburg hotel deals, as they actually have more than one resort in the area.
Wild Bear Falls Water Park
For families, the main draw of the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort is the indoor waterpark, Wild Bear Falls Water Park. I kept this part a secret from my kids when we went, only telling them to bring their swimsuits. It was worth it to see their utter amazement when we walked in. They were speechless, which, for kids, is quite incredible.
The waterpark is huge, more than 60, square feet, and is nice and warm. It looks like a giant greenhouse with a big glass ceiling and glass walls. Parents or caregivers need to be in the water with their kids so be prepared to join in on the fun.
Zero-Entry Pool and Playground
There is a zero-entry pool area with two slides that is perfect for smaller children. There is a big playground in the middle of the waterpark that pours gallons and gallons of water on kids as they slip down wet slides and play in the foot-deep pool.
Pool with Basketball Hoops Right Next to a Hot Tub
A bigger pool for older kids has basketball hoops in the center and is the deepest at four-and-a-half feet. Next to that pool is a deliciously steamy hot tub. Adults seemed to gravitate over there.
My kids loved the lazy river, which was only two-and-a-half feet deep and warm. You cruised around the park in a tube and could get out to go on one of two water slides.
Guests need to be 48 inches tall to ride the water slides. Tubes are needed for the red water slide, which is half open to the ceiling until the very end when you go through a short tunnel.
The yellow one is body-only and is totally enclosed. I preferred the red one best and my oldest went on it several times by herself.
There’s also a very warm hot tub near the water slides that opens to the outdoors, which feels really nice in the cool air.
Locker rooms are on-site with showers and there are plenty of towels available for guests to use free of charge. Paid lockers are available if you want to store your backpack with your phone or other valuables.
How Crowded was Wild Bear Falls Waterpark?
We went to the waterpark both on a weekday and weekend. It was more crowded on the weekend than on the weekday but still had plenty of space to not feel like people were close to you.
Are masks required?
All the lifeguards and employees were wearing masks and masks were required for guests everywhere but the actual waterpark area.
How much does it cost?
The waterpark is open daily 11 am 7 pm and rates are $/single day admission, $/two-day admission, and $/three day admission. Children three and under are free.
Are day passes available?
Even if you’re not staying at the resort, you can go and enjoy the waterpark as they offer day passes.
What is there to do at the Westgate Smokies Resort?
We (myself and two kids, ages 9 and 6) stayed at the Westgate Smokies for three nights and nearly four days and didn’t get to do half of the things the resort offers just because we ran out of time. They have that many things to do.
Outdoor Pools with Views
There are two outdoor pools, including an infinity pool at the top of the mountain. I saw that on the map and decided to check it out and am so happy we did because it was amazing. The view up there was insane and the infinity pool was perfect and warm. There’s a hot tub there as well.
Towels are provided and during the warmer months, they have a bar. It’s completely picturesque.
Right below the infinity pool is an inviting firepit that overlooks the mountains. It was quite the place to get warm after our dip in the water and I could have looked at those mountains forever.
Playground, Mini-Golf and a Zip-Line
A playground for kids is halfway up the mountain and right near one of the shuttle stops so you can stop there and play or just play while you wait for your ride. There is a mini-golf course and a zip line next to the infinity pool. Guests need to weigh at least 75 pounds for the zip line, which my youngest didn’t quite reach so we had to skip that one. Next time!
Fitness Center, Snack Bar, and Activities
A fitness center overlooks the waterpark and a snack bar also is at the same location as the waterpark. The resort also has a huge list of activities for families and their kids like archery, ornament making, survival courses, guided hikes, ghost tours, and free movie nights. Again, we just ran out of time to do any of these because we were so busy having fun doing other things there.
If I had my husband with us on this trip, I would have taken advantage of a spa treatment because how amazing does that sound, right? They have everything from massages to luxury pedicures to hot stone treatments.
Washer and Dryer
Every floor also has a free washer and dryer, which we definitely used. It was especially convenient to dry our swimsuits after going to the waterpark and pool.
Kitchens and Kitchenettes
The rooms at the resort are spacious and some of them have kitchens or kitchenettes. Whenever we travel, I always look for this feature because it saves us so much money when it comes to not having to eat out at every meal if we can make some of our food at the hotel.
Yet you may not want to cook when you try the restaurant on-site, Southern Comfort.
Southern Comfort Restaurant
Southern Comfort is a brand new restaurant at the Westgate Smokies that serves southern cuisine with a lowcountry, Cajun twist. We sampled several dishes at the restaurant and each was better than the last.
The chef at Southern Comfort used to work at the Biltmore and her food was incredible. It was flavorful with just the right amount of spice that even my kids, who aren’t into anything with spicy flavors, enjoyed it.
One of their favorite dishes was the Nashville hot chicken and biscuit that we had for breakfast one morning. I was shocked. It was like their little palettes were changing right before my eyes.
This is how I can best describe every dish we had: it was so obviously made with love. You could taste it. I don’t mean that mushy romantic love. This was a love of food, of ingredients, and a kind of pride in the dish that the chef was serving to guests.
We had everything from Egg Nog French Toast (as good as it sounds), Blackened Catfish, Pulled Pork with Sweet Potato Cakes, Southern Fried Chicken, Deviled Eggs with Spicy Pickle, Fried Green Tomatoes, Mac & Cheese, and my favorite, a Cajun Gumbo.
The kids meals are also tasty. My oldest daughter got a cheeseburger and fries one night and I kept stealing her curly fries when she wasn’t looking. They were perfectly crispy and salty and hot.
On our first night there, the general manager Crystal, told us about their s’mores dessert that has marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, and peanut butter cups. I had to get that the last night we were there and it didn’t disappoint. We managed not to burn the place down, which was a success.
The entire staff was so kind and helpful. They not only talked to us about the recent opening of the restaurant but also gave us some tips on places to explore in the area.
And the decor of the restaurant keeps with the whole cozy cabin theme of the resort with high ceilings, a log cabin feeling indoors with a large fireplace, and candlelit tables.
All staff wear masks and guests are required to unless they are eating or drinking. Adults are also required to do a temperature check before entering which is contactless on a neat screen (I was a tad bit fascinated with this technology).
Make a Reservation
Southern Comfort is open to both guests and the general public but definitely make a reservation if you want to enjoy a meal there. Weekends can have a long wait. Word is getting out just how delicious this place is.
There is parking on site.
Marketplace & Starbucks
Lastly, there is a marketplace and Starbucks at the resort, which is so convenient if you want to grab breakfast and coffee on the go if you’re heading to the National Park for a drive or hike. I definitely made use of those when we were there.
As already mentioned, masks are required anywhere indoors at the resort and on the shuttles. There are temperature checks for Southern Comfort and the marketplace and if you don’t have a mask, the staff will provide you one.
The resort has instituted the WestgateCARES program, which assures guests of the enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures the resort has taken to make sure touch points are frequently cleaned.
You can read more about the program at the link but in summary, the resort is taking COVID seriously and is making great efforts to keep their guests and staff as safe as possible.
Other Local Attractions in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge
Kidding Around readers know how much we love Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Smokies as we have many stories on things to do in the area. Additionally, the Westgate Smokies has these 51 things to do in Gatlinburg, most of which are within a quick jaunt from the resort. Yet every time we go, we always discover something new.
Even after going to Anakeesta several times, we’ve never been during Christmastime, which was a special treat. Lights are strung so beautifully up on the mountain village and the new restaurant is now open (make reservations as the waits are long). We finally got to watch one of their outdoor movies for a bit, which my kids really enjoyed. Elf was playing and they had never seen it before and thought it was hilarious.
Ole Smoky Moonshine
I got to do a special moonshine tasting as well this trip at the state’s oldest distillery, Ole Smoky Moonshine, right in the heart of Gatlinburg. I’m not a big straight liquor drinker but it was a lot of fun learning about the history of the distillery and tasting their surprisingly delicious offerings. The White Lightening, the straight up moonshine, was quite the kicker.
The others were a lot less of a punch in your face and I loved the peanut butter chocolate one, which hardly tasted like liquor at all (could be dangerous, right?).
The distillery is America’s most visited and you can sample several moonshines for $5. The samples are thankfully tiny since the alcohol content is so high.
Their moonshine making process is open to the public and you can see how it’s made so if you happen to be homeschooling your kids, that’s a science lesson right there.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
And of course, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is just minutes from the resort. I love this park for its beauty, its miles upon miles of trails, and its fascinating history. The Westgate sent us on a short hike to the Noah Oglesby cabin with a guide and it was so interesting.
The trailhead was just 15 minutes from the resort and we learned all kinds of history about the family with nine kids who lived there and farmed the area.
My kids soaked up all the information and loved learning about the environment and different things to look for on hikes like twin trees, quartz, and woodpecker restaurants, which looked like lines of holes circling trees.
Virtual Learning & Homeschooling at Westgate Smokies
For families who are homeschooling or doing virtual school, taking a trip to Westgate Smokies is ideal because there are plenty of opportunities to learn about different subjects while getting homework done online at the resort and then playing at the waterpark or enjoying other amenities offered.
It’s a nice change of scenery that could help give everyone a break while still making sure the work that needs to get done happens.
As of this writing, the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort is offering a Schoolcation package that includes a discounted rate plus up to a $ resort credit when you book two nights. Other specials can be found here.
Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park
Westgate Resorts Road, Gatlinburg, TN
Theres no doubt some of your best summer memories involve running through the sprinkler or swimming at the local pool with friends. Summer just isnt summer without getting a little wet. This year you can kick your summer fun up a notch with a trip to one of these outdoor or indoor water parks in TN. Thankfully, with so many indoor options, the family-fun can continue all year long!
For your convenience, this post may contain various affiliate links. As an affiliate, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. View the disclosure page for more information.
Indoor Water Parks in TN
Wild Bear Falls Water Park, Gatlinburg
With a rustic mountain theme, this quirky water park features classic attractions named after iconic Smoky Mountain favorites, like Clingmans Dome and Cades cove. This park boasts several water slides, a lazy river, swimming pool, kids zone, and more!
Although the park is located inside the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort, you do not have to be staying at the resort to enjoy the water park. Day and week passes can be purchased separate from hotel rooms.
Wilderness at the Smokies, Sevierville
This resort boasts an incredible 3 water parks. Lake Wilderness and Salamander Springs are outdoors, while Wild Waterdome is entirely inside. This resort prides itself on having the largest indoor water park around!
Each individual park boasts a large kids area, plenty of water slides, and a swimming pool. There is also a lazy river, indoor surf riding attraction, raft rides and more! All kids zones have spray and rain features, dump buckets, slides, and wading areas.
You do not have to be staying at the resort to enjoy the park. Day and week passes are available for non-resort guests, although they are subject to availability.
The Resort at Govenors Crossing, Sevierville
This location features both indoor and outdoor water attractions, including a lazy river, indoor and outdoor water slides, 3 kids areas, and more!
The water park is reserved for resort guests only. If youre local, theres no reason why you cant treat yourself to a little 1 night stay.
Holiday Inn Vacation Club, Gatlinburg
This popular hotel offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, but the main attraction is its small indoor water park called Splash Hollow. Splash Hollow is geared towards kids and features sprayers, rain features, slides, dump buckets and more!
All water attractions at the vacation club are reserved for hotel guests.
SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland, Nashville
This attraction is everything you would expect from a Gaylord resort. SoundWaves features both indoor and outdoor water attractions, including a large activity pool with an obstacle course and rock climbing for the adventure enthusiast. It also boasts 11 amazing water slides, a lazy river, wave pool, rapid riding attraction, and so much more!
They havent forgotten the kiddos, who have their own zone packed full of spray and rain features, slides, dump buckets, and more! There are also 2 adults only zones for those looking for a little peace and quiet.
This resort also features onsite shopping and dining options, and is known for their stunning holiday decor and seasonal events, like ICE.
Day passes are only offered for this park, if room allows. This helps to ensure a great family-fun experience for their hotel guest who have booked the SoundWave experience.
KROC Center, Memphis
This local community center has a ton to offer, with a large swimming pool, lazy river, water slide, kids area, outdoor splash pad, and more! This is a members only facility, but members are allowed to bring guests.
Outdoor Water Parks in Tennessee
Dollywood Splash Country, Sevierville
Nestled within the lush scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessees largest water park truly has something for everyone, including amazing views!
The park decor is classically county with rustic buildings and natural landscaping. Splash Countys most popular attractions include the lazy river, wave pool, Raging River Rapids, and River Rush, TNs only water coaster. There is also a large variety of water slides for the more adventurous crowd.
Of course, the kids havent been forgotten. They have their own areas called Little Creek Falls and The Cascades. These areas boast a variety of spray and rain features, slides, dump buckets, and more!
Admission can be purchased by the day or via seasonal membership. You can also get combo passes, which combine entry with Dollywood.
Soaky Mountain Water Park, Sevierville
This popular new addition has over 10 different water slide attractions, a wave pool, rapids tubing ride, surfing, and more.
In addition to the traditional kids splash zones, this water park also offers several mini versions of their larger thrill rides. These are perfect for little swimmers looking for a big adventure!
As an added bonus, a one day admission ticket is a few bucks cheaper than other local options. Every dollar counts right?
Country Cascades Water Park, Pigeon Forge
Located in one of Pigeon Forges newest resorts, this mini outdoor water park features a large swimming pool, two water slides, and a great kids area called Splashaway Bay. The bay has a variety of spray features, slides, dump buckets, and more!
Admission is reserved for resort guest and is included at no additional cost. Their affordable room rates make this a great deal for visiting or local families.
Wetlands Water Park, Jonesborough
Small but mighty, this local favorite features several different water slides, a lazy river, wading pools, kids area, and more! In addition to their regular water park features, this attraction also hosts special events throughout the season, such as outdoor movies and praise nights.
Admission can be purchased by the day or via a seasonal membership. The facility also offers party packages for your next birthday or special occasion.
Kingsport Aquatic Center, Kingsport
Managed by the city of Kingsport, this is a community recreation center on steroids. This mini water park features a large swimming pool, lazy river, 2 water slides, kids splash zone, and more! There are also 3 large indoor pools, which are open year round.
This facility offers a variety of classes year round, and several different birthday party packages. Admission can be purchased by the day, or via seasonal and year-round memberships.
Nashville Shores, Nashville
With a scenic view of Percy Priest Lake, this fun attraction features 8 water slides, 3 pools, a kids area, and natural lake swimming. Lake rentals like jet skis and pontoon boats are also available. For families who would like to stay onsite, there are camp sites and cabin rentals.
Both day and season passes are available for purchase. Camping, cabins, lake rentals, and zip lining cost extra.
Wave County, Nashville
Though smaller, this park is perfect for an affordable day of water fun. It features a large wave pool and several water slides. Although day passes are offered, you can purchase a seasonal membership for as low as $50 per person.
SOAKya Water Park, Rossville, GA
Located just outside of Chattanooga. this fun park features multiple water slides, a flume ride, lazy river, kids area, and more! This water park is also attached to Lake Winnie Amusement Park which features roller coasters and other thrill rides.
One ticket gets you full access to both parks. Both day and season passes are available.
Jewish Community Center, Memphis
This amazing community center packs a mighty punch! It boasts a lazy river, 2 mega water slides, large zero entry swimming pool, splash pad area, and island play area featuring sprayers, slides, and water features for kids.
This water park is open to members only, but members are allowed to bring guests.
Water park gatlinburg indoor
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