SkyFly: Steampunk Experience at Pigeon Forge

This past fall we had the chance to stay in Gatlinburg for a week and kick back for a bit. The area was tranquil, full of glorious colors and a dreamscape of scenery. One unexpected attraction we found was a little place called SkyFly: Soar America.

Credit: Andrew Beck

When looking for attractions online we came across this place. The reviews were mixed, many people complained that it was $25 for a 5 min ride.

Well I can say it was 5 min well spent!

So what makes SkyFly special? If I could sum it up in one word it’d be atmosphere. If I had two words I’d add humor.

Specifically SkyFly goes all out on the Steampunk aesthetic. An aesthetic I regretfully feel is sorely underrepresented these days.

Credit: “Todd” on Google Maps

The 5 minute ride is true. The actual show is 5 minutes in a simulated steam powered airship as you travel across all the US to see places like Yellowstone, Niagra Falls, Maui, Mount Rushmore, The Grand Canyon and more.

SkyFly really works hard to make the journey to the theater worth your time though. Employees are in costume and as you travel through the maze like hallways you are escorted by your guides, a mad scientist and his clever daughter who are working to board you onto the airship.

This duo is presented on TV screens cleverly disguised as picture frames (something I’d like to do to my own TV if I could get the motivation). They have a goofy sense of humor and don’t take themselves too seriously.

My pictures didn’t turn out too well

Below are a few photos I found on Google Maps that were better than mine.

Credit: Dawn Wilbert
Credit: Peter Palermo

As you reach the end of the line you are taken to a room that ascends to the skydome.

Credit: Danh “Sujieun” Dang

They use the TVs to make it appear as if you are travel up where you are eventually greeted by the aerodome.

This is the best photo I could find of the aerodome

The 3D Theater experience is indeed compelling. The seats move as you fly through the country. I don’t want to ruin too much but I will say that you really feel like you are flying. The story is finished as you walk out of the theater.

I really appreciate all the work they put into the sets, atmosphere, story, and overall experience. The employees we interacted with stayed in character and were enthusiastic about working there.

If you find yourself in the area I recommend trying this out, I’ve not seen anything like it elsewhere and I feel like it’s well worth the money.

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