The 3 Big Mistakes I Made When Visiting Pigeon Forge

The 3 Big Mistakes I Made When Visiting Pigeon Forge

Regardless of whether or not you’ve visited Pigeon Forge once, or a hundred times, you’ve probably made at least one of these common mistakes

You wouldn’t expect someone who has been in Pigeon Forge for over 35 years to make blunders. But I still do. You become complacent and forgetful. In other words, reader, you get cocky. And the next thing you know, you’re caught in traffic or with a two-hour wait at a restaurant, thinking, David Byrne-style, “How did I get here?” You got there by not learning from others or yourself.

Pigeon Forge – one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world – requires a certain level of forethought and a certain level of planning. It requires the ability to learn from the mistakes of the past – both those committed by you and others. 

1. I forgot to check the calendar

Let me create a scenario for you. We’re going down the strip.Traffic is heavy, but this is a busy time of year. We come around the turn, approaching the main drag with brake lights as far as the eye can see. Trying to be positive, you direct the family’s attention to a cool old automobile. “Look at that one,” you say. Then you see another. Then one more.

Then everything slows down as the chilly realization seeps into your brain. Like a gangster in a Scorsese movie who learns too late he’s about to get whacked. It’s Rod Run weekend. The world’s busiest weekend.

“OH, NO! I would rather endure a full-body waxing than drive Pigeon Forge on a Rod Run weekend. But it’s too late. Like the end of the Sopranos or something.

PS: Another related honorary mentionable mistake goes that time we planned a whole Dollywood day only to show up and the park was closed. Again, always check the calendar.

2. I assumed I didn’t need dinner reservations

Allow me to create another scene. It’s July 4th weekend. My son, who has several food sensitivities and is a picky eater, is turning eleven. We’re at Pigeon Forge. Do I call around to his favorite restaurants to check for reservations? Nah. We’ll leave a little early to avoid the crowds.

Was everything fine? It wasn’t. Fortunately, we were able to get into Harpoon Harry’s at the last minute. Is a seafood restaurant the greatest birthday option for a picky eater with numerous allergies? It isn’t. Harpoon Harry’s, on the other hand, went above and beyond to make the customer feel like a king, thus everything turned out well.

3. I forget to price things out

Sometimes I forget how pricey things have become. Hey, let’s head to the arcade. We can play mini-golf, ride go-carts, and have some food. Then you arrive on-site and the cash register in your head begins to ring up the prices, reminding you that you did not take out a second mortgage before leaving the house today. You are now too preoccupied with the old wallet to relax and enjoy time with your family.

Ultimately, the mistakes I tend to make stem from the same stream. Hubris. It’s a lack of planning. I know Pigeon Forge like the back of my hand. I know the shortcuts. Of course, I know the places off the beaten path. Will I decide to set out for Pigeon Forge on a whim? Just to see what’s going on? Reader, I will. And sometimes everything turns out just fine. But when it goes wrong – and sometimes it goes dreadfully wrong – the mistake I made all goes back to a lack of planning.


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