Pigeon Forge is truly a family friendly vacation destination. There’s something here for everyone, even those who might be living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. You’ll find many destinations around the Great Smoky Mountains that are taking extra steps to create autism friendly environments. This gives every member of the family something to enjoy and makes sure those with ASD and special needs have a good time, too. When looking for activities for children with autism, check out these top attractions.
Taylor Time at Soaky Mountain
A unique experience at Soaky Mountain Waterpark, this event has specific dates in the summer. Taylor Time is designed to be a low sensory experience in a controlled environment where guest capacity is drastically reduced. Music is silenced and rides are contained to certain lower-stress areas of the park.Taylor Time
Titanic Museum Attraction
Titanic Pigeon Forge is a supporter of those with ASD and other special needs. In fact, one of the featured attractions at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is a 26-foot replica of the original ship, built from 56,000 Lego bricks by a teen with autism from Iceland. The story of the Lego replica is an inspiring tale, as the young man with autism spent 11 months on the build, gaining confidence as his project continued.Titanic
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Located in nearby Gatlinburg, Ripley's Aquarium hosts a special event for children with autism and their families several nights a year. The Sensory-Friendly Night At The Aquarium allows those with sensory issues to take in the attraction on their terms. During the event, the aquarium turns off the extra music and lighting to create a quieter experience.Ripley's Aquarium
Wonderworks Sensory Days
Wonderworks, a science-themed attraction in Pigeon Forge, often hosts special events called Sensory Days. These special days give children and adults with special needs a chance to enjoy the exhibit with limited stimulation. The music volume at the attraction is lowered, any loud exhibits or demonstrations are non-operational, and the inversion tunnel is stopped.Wonderworks
The Smoky Mountains’ favorite theme park offers guests with ASD a special calming room for when they might be feeling over stimulated. The calming room at Dollywood features a number of sensory items designed to help kids relax and recharge during a day at the park. Here you’ll find weighted blankets, fiber optic strands and a teepee, all designed to make kids feel comfortable. The calming room is open during normal park operating hours.
Pigeon Forge is a great vacation destination for those traveling with ASD or other special needs. Make your trip even more fun by planning ahead and making the most of your family’s Smoky Mountain vacation. Plan your visit, browse lodging, and more things to do right here on the site.