The 3 Best and Worst Reviewed Attractions in Pigeon Forge (2024)

storefronts for jurassic jungle boat ride and smoky mountain canopy tours

According to Google Reviews, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is one of the highest rated attractions in Pigeon Forge, while Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is among the worst (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

We analyzed over 200 local Google business listings to come up with this list of the best, and worst, reviewed attractions in Pigeon Forge

I have lived in the area for more than 30 years and first visited almost 40 years ago. So I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the best and worst attractions in Pigeon Forge. But when it comes to science, feelings don’t matter, it’s just cold hard data. Even when that cold hard data is based on other people’s feelings. So, what I think is unimportant for this exercise, and in my marriage. It’s what the people think that matters. We broke it down scientifically and identified the best and worst attractions in Pigeon Forge. 

In a shocking but scientifically sound result, we’ve identified the best and worst attractions in Pigeon Forge as decided by the people who take the time to review things on Google. The results are shocking with a UTV rental place, an escape game and a zip line beating out Pigeon Forge icons like Dollywood, The Island and the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. 

Our Methodology

Are these results scientific? Yes. 100 percent. I’m pretty confident that Copernicus used Google search results early in his career and we ALL know Pythagoras loved a good Google query. 

Seriously, we tried to make this as fair as possible when factoring in the opinions of the masses. Specifically, we used a tool called Outscraper, which provides API access to Google products to create a query that analyzed every local business with a Pigeon Forge address. We then excluded results with closed businesses, fewer than five total reviews – to make it fair – and excluded individual rides included with normal admission to a larger attraction like Wild Eagle at Dollywood. Our study analyzed over 200 local Google business listings. Data was taken in January of 2024.

We took the top and bottom 3 from the list – first ranked by overall average rating then sorted by number of total reviews. And we identified the best and worst-reviewed attractions in Pigeon Forge.  

Just for reference, The Island – with over 52,000 reviews and a rating of 4.7 – and Dollywood – with over 47,000 at a 4.6 average – had by far had more reviews than any other Pigeon Forge attractions.

The 3 Best

American UTV Rentals Vehicle and Sign
American UTV Rentals has excellent reviews (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

1. American UTV Rentals: (166 5-star reviews)


Located at 3120 Parkway, American UTV Rentals does pretty much what the name implies. The company rents a variety of street legal, powerful and top-of-the-line UTVs – think like really nice dune buggy-looking things. They come in a variety of brands and styles and offer four-seater and six-seater varieties. Also, there are a variety of recommended trips for you to take for your rental – complete with an approximate time range.  

The Cades Cove rental – for instance – comes with a recommended four-hour time frame. Rentals range from two to 12 hours. You will meet a UTV rental representative at the location you choose for booking, park your car for free and then return to that spot at the allotted time. 

Drivers must be 25 or older and your insurance covers the rental. Rentals range in price from $140 to $450. Importantly, these are not for off-roading or interstate driving. Price, staffing and experience all seem to rate highly across the reviews. 

Inside the Escape Game at The Island
Inside The Escape Game which boasts a 4.9 average review (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. The Escape Game (4,335 reviews at 4.9)  


Located among The Island’s shops, restaurants and attractions, The Escape Game offers four escape rooms for various skill levels. The themes are Prison Break, The Heist, Gold Rush and Classified. Open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to midnight, The Escape Game scenarios come with player limits ranging from six to eight players and difficulties ranging from 7 out of 10 to 9 out of 10. Contact the events team for larger parties or events. The games are $40 per person. Also, if you have a smaller group and don’t want to play with strangers, you should book all the available slots. Reviews seem favorable among people who do a lot of Escape Room action.

Smoky Mountain Ziplines Signage
Smoky Mountain Ziplines came in with a 4.9 out of 1208 reviews (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

3. Smoky Mountain Ziplines (1208 reviews at 4.9)


Located on Mill Creek Road, Smoky Mountain Ziplines, offers a 7-line canopy tour – zipping along the treetops dangling from a steel wire. It offers a thrilling experience and spectacular views as you zip along as high as 150 over the ground. The trip takes about two hours. The regular season rate is $110 for adults 18-64 and $105 for anyone under 18. The off-season rate is $100 for anyone 8 to 64. Prices do change seasonally. There is currently a $15 discount if you book online but it’s unclear how long that promotion will last. The staff members are a huge hit among reviewers.

The 3 Worst

Twisted Vessel Art Galley in Pigeon Forge
The Twisted Vessel is quite diligent about enforcing parking rules (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

1. Twisted Vessel Gallery (93 reviews at 2.6)


Located at 3335 Old Mill Street between the Smoky Mountain Cat House Gift Shop and The Old Mill Pottery House Café, Twisted Vessel is not an art gallery dedicated to Viking-themed Dee Snider fan fiction. It’s a contemporary art gallery featuring various art and artists in various mediums.

So why, you might ask, is an art gallery rated the worst attraction in Pigeon Forge (according to Google Reviews)? The art for sale seems quite beautiful. It seems many of the negative reviews revolve around diligence in policing the parking situation.

In fairness, many of the complaints involve people who were parking in the art gallery spots but not going to the art gallery. The owner replied to one of them, someone who said they wanted to get a coffee before perusing the store.  

“As we only have five parking spaces, we can only allow people who are actually in our store or The Micro-garden Store to stay parked there. As we have several signs stating that the parking is for our customers only, it does not include parking for the coffee house. Sorry for the inconvenience of having you move your car, but we like for our customers to have a place for shopping with us.”

Some Dinosaurs Inside the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride
The Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is just ..bad (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride (3,091 reviews at 3.0)


The Jungle Boat Ride is a throwback to the days of Pigeon Forge attractions when the cheesy badness of it all was part of the point. But as the great philosopher Huey Lewis once opined, “Sometimes, bad is bad.” Located at 2806 Parkway, the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is as implied, a dark jungle boat ride through a variety of scenes designed to put the rider in mind of a trip through time to the time of dinosaurs. It’s bad. Very bad. The whole thing is rundown. 

The dinosaurs are underwhelming. The animatronics would be out-of-date at a ShowBiz Pizza. The sets are boring. The $20 per person ride lasts about six minutes unless something breaks down. Though honestly, I might be angrier if it lasted longer. One reviewer said they had a 14-minute ride. If I wasn’t afraid of that water, I might have stepped out and waded around at that point.  

It would be kind of ironically fun if the price point was a bit more reasonable. $7 a piece? Hahaha, this ride is bad. $20 each? I’m fighting someone when I get out of this boat. 

Most of the positive reviews revolve around small children enjoying themselves but, if we’re being honest, if the Twisted Vessel owner had a better parking situation THIS would be the unquestioned worst attraction in town. 

Sky Tykes on The Island in Pigeon Forge With a Rules Sign
There may be confusion in the reviews as to whether they apply to the adult ropes course rather than Sky Tykes (photo by Bill Burris’TheSmokies.com)

3. Sky Tykes Ropes at the Island (3.8 and 18 reviews)


What we have here, clearly, is a failure to communicate. I was kind of amazed that the Sky Tykes located at 131 Island Drive landed in this position in our very scientific research methodology. And then I started reading the reviews which quickly revealed a flaw in the system.

Sky Tykes is a tiny ropes course for littles 48” inches and under to explore while older kids and adults have fun at The Island Ropes Course. Most of the negative reviews I saw for Sky Tykes were squarely aimed at the larger course. Adding to the confusion? Google does not appear to have a review section for the larger course but shows a picture of the larger course on its review page for Sky Tykes.

Dang it, Google!

With this in mind, Sky Tykes costs $6 per kid, looks a little like something you’d see at a playground in an upscale neighborhood, and has plenty of room for parents to guide their kids – who are harnessed – through the process. The larger course, the Sky Trail Explorer Ropes Course – is a three-story adventure experience with 30 elements, two zip lines and a simulated free fall which can be booked separately for $6. Anyone over 42 inches tall can tackle the course. But if you’re under 48 inches, you need adult supervision. That experience costs $17 … the Sky Trail not the adult supervision. Also, most of the negative reviews for the larger course seem to revolve around staffing issues. 

Determining the best and worst of anything is certainly a subjective process dependent on a variety of factors. Pooling the various reviews from Google is as good a method as any to determine a consensus. But as with any system, there will be flaws. The best we can do is share our experiences and our thoughts and let you, ultimately, make the decisions. Did your family enjoy the Jurassic Jungle Ride? Then that’s all that matters. 

Are you planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains? Be sure to check out our coupons page for area promos.

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Disclosure: We have used and experienced all the products and activities recommended on The Smokies. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products and experiences featured.