Anakeesta vs. Ober Mountain: Which is better? This is one of the most common questions we receive. But as with most things in life, the answer is subjective, so it is not always simple. Let’s take a look at the differences between Anakeesta and Ober Mountain in Tennessee.
Anakeesta vs. Ober: The similarities
Let’s start with the basics. Why are these two attractions often compared to one another? Well, for starters they are both located on top of a mountain in the heart of the Smokies in downtown Gatlinburg TN. Both Anakeesta and Ober are family attractions. Both of them offer mountain coasters, fun things to do for kids, aerial views of the city, as well as shopping and dining opportunities. Okay, so how are they different?
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Anakeesta vs. Ober: Getting up the mountain
One of the noticeable differences between Anakeesta and Ober Mountain is getting up the mountain. It is required that you purchase admission ($34.99 for adults at the time of this writing) to get up the mountain to see Anakeesta. You can usually find discount tickets on Tripster that make the trip even more affordable. Most guests will ride in an open chairlift, but an enclosed chondola is also available. Those who have a fear of heights typically prefer the Ridge Rambler (a big truck).
At Ober Mountain, while you may purchase an Aerial Tramway ticket to get to your destination ($29 for adults at the time of this writing), it is possible to drive yourself up the mountain as well. Parking costs about $15. (You can sometimes save a couple of extra bucks on the aerial tram using Tripster). It’s also important to note that this drive might be dicey in bad weather conditions. In the winter, make sure you have a 4-wheel drive or chains on your tires. Don’t take any chances.
Both rides up the mountain offer beautiful views of the mountains. Of course, if you’re chasing views, you may want to take a look at the famous SkyBridge at Gatlinburg SkyPark as well.
Anakeesta vs. Ober: Which one is more expensive?
At the time of this writing, general admission tickets for Anakeesta are $35.99 for adults, $27.99 for seniors and $22.99 for kids (ages 4-11). But again, you can usually save a couple of bucks per ticket when you book through Tripster. Children 3 and under are free. Your admission includes unlimited access to:
- Chondola (or Ridge Rambler) rides
- Treetop Skywalk
- Treehouse Village Adventure
- Vista Gardens
- AnaVista Tower
- Shopping and dining opportunities
Ober Mountain is a bit more “à la carte”. Each ride has a cost associated with it. Some are included with a wristband add-on. Prices per attraction can be found on the website. Some of the offered attractions include:
- Alpine slide
- Amaze’N Maze
- Chair swings
- Rock wall
- Ice bumper cars
- Ice skating
- Mini golf
- Scenic chairlift
- Ski mountain coaster
- Scenic chairlift
- Rock climbing wall
- Wildlife encounter
To me, Anakeesta’s pricing system is a little clearer. Specifically, you pay the admission, you gain access to most things in the park. If you want to ride the Rail Runner or try the Dueling Ziplines, you’ll pay a little more. Ober Mountain’s pricing system can be a bit more of a pick-your-own-adventure experience. Some people certainly prefer this. Therefore, it depends on what your preference is.
Anakeesta vs. Ober: Which one is better for kids?
I see this question a lot as well, but I’d say that it depends on your kids. For instance, I’ve heard a lot of folks with young kids say they prefer taking their kids to Ober. Ober offers a wider range of activities. Anakeesta, on the other hand, is a more modern park that has more to offer for the adults while the children can play. At Anakeesta, kids can explore the treehouses, challenge courses and splash pads while the parents relax with an adult beverage and take in the views. As one friend (and parent) told me, the best way to enjoy Anakeesta is to just chill out. The bottom line is, each individual will have their preferences.
The biggest differences between Anakeesta and Ober Mountain
Anakeesta is a lot newer than Ober Mountain. Anakeesta opened in 2017, and they continue to expand and build upon their mountain experience. Ober opened in 1962 as Ober Gatlinburg. So it can feel a bit more outdated when compared to Anakeesta. It may also depend on which season you’re planning your visit. That said, Ober is under new management, so guests can expect updates and changes in the future.
Another noticeable difference between the two is the winter activities. If you’re set on seeing snow, you may want to visit Ober. They offer snow tubing and ice skating in the winter months. Notably, they are the only destination where you can ski and snowboard in the whole state of Tennessee. But, Anakeesta offers stunning winter decorations during the holiday season.
What’s YOUR opinion on the differences between Anakeesta vs Ober Mountain? Let us know in the comments.