Discover Pirates & Celebrities in the Smoky Mountains
By Bennie McCann © 2008, All Rights Reserved

The Smoky Mountains have been a source of family fun and excitement for years.  Numerous visitors have experienced the thrills of many different theme parks.  Others have laughed and been amazed by a variety of shows and festivals.  Then there has been the unique beauty and adventure that Mother Nature herself brings to this area. 

You might think the Smoky Mountains couldn't possibly get any better since there is already so much for people of all ages to do year round.  But now there's even more entertainment to choose from!  The Hollywood Wax Museum in Gatlinburg and Adventure Quest in Pigeon Forge have recently opened offering additional fun for you and your family to enjoy when you travel to the Smokies. 

They Look So Real!

The Hollywood Wax Museum is the only wax museum that exclusively features Hollywood celebrities.  These wax replicas of stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie and Tom Hanks look so real you’ll want to ask them for their autographs.

How does the museum make them so life like?  First they take exact measurements of the celebrity.  Next a mold is made using a real person who has identical measurements.  Once the mold is finished, it’s filled with wax or fiberglass.  Sculptors and painters then use their highly tuned skills and talents to make sure every detail precisely matches that of the celebrity.  In addition, hair stylists and dental experts are also brought in to ensure a life-like appearance.

Human hair is inserted to make eyebrows, eyelashes and facial hair.  Porcelain teeth are used to duplicate the actor's real ones.  These works of art can take up to three months and $25,000 to complete, but when they’re finished you’ll have a hard time telling real from wax.  The Hollywood Wax Museum is open 365 days a year, so the next time you’re in the Smoky Mountains, plan to spend some time rubbing elbows with the stars.

Are You Ready for Adventure?

Looking at sites and browsing through stores is fun, but some people are more the hands-on type.  If that’s you, Adventure Quest is where you need to be. 

Start with Odyssey, a 5,000 square-foot mirror maze with endless hallways and dancing lights.  Move into the Infinity Room where every direction you look seems to go on forever.  The walls in the Holograph Room create one enormous holograph, while in the Dance Room the walls react in strange ways to each move you make.  Who knew looking in a mirror could be so much fun?

Pirate Golf is an 18-hole, miniature, interactive golf course.  Don't think that sounds too special?  It is when you consider that this mini-golf is played in black light!  This course takes place in a Caribbean pirate village where you’ll work your way across the ship and through the town as you try to sink your putt.  Look for hidden treasures along the way and prepare to be serenaded by Blackbeard and his friends if you finish the course with a hole in one.

Nest, see how well you maneuver through the laser challenge called The Vault.  Race skillfully around the laser beams to stop the timer at the end and see if you made the top ten list.  Try it over and over to find your best time and win some awesome prizes.

Hang on to your hat.  There’s also a hurricane simulator where you can experience up to 75-mile-per-hour winds.  And - coming soon - the Time Twister where you’ll work to repair a time machine that can bring back Dr. Malcolm Spark-O-Watts.  Frantically fight the clock in this interactive laboratory to fix the time machine before it’s too late.

The Hollywood Wax Museum and Adventure Quest both bring more options for entertainment to the already fun-filled Smoky Mountains.  Now the only question is what will you do first once you get here?