I’ve lived in East Tennessee for most of my life. I have fond memories of spending my weekends and summers roaming around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, soaking in all the fun things these Smoky Mountain towns offer. I’ve tried almost every attraction at least once. Except that is, Earthquake the Ride. But a couple of weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to finally check that box. After all, I thought, how bad could it be?
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What is Earthquake the Ride in Gatlinburg, TN?
Earthquake the Ride is a
tourist trap theme park-style thrill ride located in downtown Gatlinburg, TN. The attraction promises to offer a “sensory overload” of “gut-wrenching high-tech special effects” and simulate the feel of a real earthquake.
What is it like to ride Earthquake the Ride?
Excited to try this Gatlinburg-strip staple for the first time, we purchased our tickets and got in line behind some creepy mismatched mannequins with missing appendages. When it was our turn, a ride attendant motioned us onto a prop subway train. And we were greeted by a few rows of movie-theater-like chairs with seat belts. We, alongside the other guests, took our seats, buckled in, and secured our belongings. Bags are permitted on the ride, however, you have to hold them in your lap. The ride began with an “oncoming train” on the tracks – represented by a bright light al la Dollywood’s Blazing Fury.
“Station control – we have a train on our track and it’s coming at us” you hear the pre-recorded conductor yell over the intercom.
That’s when the floor beneath our feet began to move back and forth along the track on a tilt as we, for some reason, lurched closer to the oncoming train. Then, the strobe lights kick in and the ceiling “collapses”. After that, I’m not entirely sure what happened to the train because the next thing I knew I was surrounded by a mind-bending random assortment of props including but not limited to, a flood of water, a giant animatronic gorilla, a gaggle of alligators and a handful of rats. There were also some sirens involved at some point.
As far as the earthquake simulation is concerned, I must admit I’ve never personally experienced a quake in real life. But for obvious reasons, I’m fairly certain Earthquake the Ride’s simulation lacks authenticity. The entire ride lasts roughly four minutes.
Editor’s Note: If you’ve been involved in an Earthquake where a gorilla and a runaway train were involved, feel free to comment below.
Is it that bad?
Yes, it really is that bad. Some might even call it a big waste of money. But it’s also the kind of bad that almost makes it good. Like the kind of bad that maybe, if you pre-gamed at Ole Smoky or Tennessee Hemp Care beforehand you’d find the whole thing hilarious. Honestly, I was stone-cold sober and I kind of found it to be hilarious. But not so hilarious that I was willing to forgive the $14.99 price of admission. I mean, if I wanted something to laugh at, Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is just a few miles away for a similar price tag. And it at least offers a full 4-minutes of dilapidated disappointment with dinosaurs.
How much is Earthquake The Ride?
At the time of this writing, an admission ticket for Earthquake The Ride is $14.99 for adults and $10.99 for children. For comparison, you could spend an entire day at Anakeesta for $22.99-$34.99 per person … just sayin’.
Where is Earthquake the Ride?
Have you ridden Earthquake the Ride? Do you agree with our review? Let us know in the comments below.