The independently owned Reel Theatres Movies on the Parkway beckons movie-goers with a fleet of first-run films in a family-friendly setting. The cinematic domicile unspools a rotating roster of blockbusters, including coming attractions The Help, 30 Minutes or Less, and Conan the Barbarian. While awaiting a scheduled appointment with a movie, film-goers can visit the arcade (not included in this Groupon) to train for future real-life encounters with unrelenting Pac-Men. Dolby Surround or DTS Digital Sound envelop eager eardrums with the sounds of cinematic car crashes and sumptuous scores, while the wall-to-wall screens embrace larger-than-life storytelling and giant shadow puppets. An included large bag of freshly popped popcorn inspires buttery thumb-wrestling, while the theater's well-stocked concession stand proffers hot dogs, nachos, candy, and other noshable notions.
Now in its sixth season, Cirque de Chine sweeps across Smoky Mountain Palace’s stage with awe-inspiring flips and twirls as performers don elaborate costumes and props during the two-hour show. Staged by renowned acrobatic troupes from China, the multihued spectacle introduces audiences to scenes such as “Five Flying Motorcyclists” and “Hoop Divers,” the latter of which features players catapulting themselves through circular structures up to 10 feet high, just like basketballs. Against a backdrop of traditional Chinese abodes, dancers build human pyramids, balancing in midair atop teammates’ steady hands as spectators and ziggurat contractors watch, transfixed.
A squad of professional jokesmiths storms the stage to elicit hearty guffaws during interactive improv performances at Rocky Top Playhouse, a venue TripAdvisor ranked as the top nightlife spot in Sevierville. Audience members can sink into their seats within the intimate theater armed with enough popcorn to sustain them through an hour of guttural cardio or to glue together into a dapper beard. Facetious cast members call upon suggestions from the audience while putting on fully improvised productions in the vein of Whose Line is It Anyway?. Spectators can try and stump trained performers with absurd sketch-topic suggestions, such as "funeral party” or “seriously, where is the bathroom in this building?”
Most people associate flying with the sound of whirring engines, intercoms buzzing, and even propellers sputtering into a spin. Wonders of Flight at WonderWorks, however, removes all audible distractions—its helium-filled balloon rises above the trees with nary a hum or vibration. The effect, says the website, is akin to "being on a flying balcony."
A maximum of 30 people can stand on the balloon's circular gondola as it ascends up to 400 feet in the air. After takeoff, passengers are treated to a sprawling view of the Smoky Mountains, as well as a bird's-eye perspective of the upside-down WonderWorks attraction. These 5- to 10-minute flights run throughout the day, permitting riders to snap photos of the scenery as the blue-and-green balloon levitates from its grounded tether. Wonders of Flight also hosts 30-minute wedding experiences, which afford couples ample time to say "I do," and toss a bouquet into a mob of jetpack-wearing bridesmaids.
Tennessee Shindig's professional musicians take the stage six nights a week to resuscitate pop music’s most legendary eras with a schedule of pitch-perfect tribute shows. The 5 p.m. Greatest Legends performance kicks off the evening in rollicking fashion, reintroducing ears to a litany of time-honored country, Motown, gospel, and rock 'n' roll tunes. Musicians compete for the spotlight as they flawlessly belt out songs made famous by Dolly Parton, The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, and other silk-voiced crooners. When performers leave the stage for a quick séance with their spectral counterparts, high-energy dance performances and comedy routines keep audiences enthralled. During the 8 p.m. Tennessee Shindig, musicians draw from their deepest reserves of soulfulness to pay tribute to Ray Charles, Garth Brooks, Michael Jackson, and other masters of the microphone. America's Got Talent star Pete Peterkin graces the stage throughout each performance to wow audiences with celebrity impersonations, virtuosic keyboard playing, and championship-level crowd surfing.