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This is the Cheesiest Attraction in Pigeon Forge, According to a Local

jungle boat ride attraction in pigeon forge with mannequin in front

Jurassic Boat Ride is an indoor dark ride attraction located on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Pictured here, a slightly creepy mannequin stands outside the attraction (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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Smoky Mountain native gives an honest review of Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride

Growing up around the Smoky Mountains, I often saw it while riding down the Parkway. It’s too large and too cheesy lookin’ to miss. Yes, my friends, today I’m talking about the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride. Is it an area icon? Or is it nothing more than a tourist trap?

RELATED VIDEO: Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride: Is it a Tourist Trap?

For the uninitiated or perhaps just oblivious, I’ll quickly explain what this attraction is. Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is a standalone ridable indoor attraction located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It features a “boat ride” through a dark warehouse jungle filled with pre-historic animatronics dinosaurs. The boat, while surrounded by shallow water, does not actually float as one might suspect. Instead, it’s led by a track. It has animatronics that, after years of use, are admittedly showing their age.

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mannequins at jungle boat ride in pigeon forge
The mannequins out front were a bit mismatched (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

My experience on the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride

From the moment I arrived at this attraction, I only saw one employee on-site during the course of our visit. He both worked the ticket booth and waved guests on and off the ride. In the queue, I saw an assortment of mismatched mannequins. Some of them were missing limbs. At first, I wondered if it was on purpose for effect. But after taking a suspicious amount of photographs of one of the detached limbs, the lone employee came over to remove the limb and tuck the now-armless sleeve into the mannequin’s pocket to be a bit less obvious. Spoilsport.

Overall, the queue was fairly short and the wait time was minimal. I was able to board in just under 10 minutes. The best way to describe the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is to imagine Disney World’s “It’s a Small World”. Except, this ride has far less funding, more dinos and is missing the annoying music. It’s also three times darker. The “boat” is mildly jerky, but I would say that it’s no more jerky than the Blazing Fury at Dollywood just much slower. And I can’t mention this enough … this ride is DARK. As in, perhaps the darkest ride I’ve ever been on.

In fact, you spend the vast majority of your time on the ride barely being able to see a thing. Every few seconds a spotlight shines on a featured animatronic dinosaur who performs its obligatory shaky movement and maybe lets out a roar. You hear some sound effects until the scene goes dark again and you move on.

t rex in red lighting on jungle boat ride in pigeon forge
The ride could be potentially scary for some toddlers (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What to expect on the ride: Pricing, ride length and more

If you’re riding this with your family, I would note that this ride could be scary for toddlers. But you know your child better than I do. That being said, I think most adults will find the ride to be fairly uneventful. Also, you will not get wet on the ride. Not even a light sprinkle. In fact, I had kind of hoped there would be a light sprinkle or mist since the ride was a bit humid. The total ride time is exactly 10 minutes long.

I think the ride is a little expensive for what it is. In my experience, general admission for the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride in Pigeon Forge runs at $18.99 per adult, $13.99 for children ages 5-11 and $6.99 for children ages 3-4. Pricing is subject to change. Also, you must buy your tickets on-site.

raptor on jungle boat ride with red lighting
The ride features about ten minutes worth of scenes like this one (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Is the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride a tourist trap or a beloved icon?

Now it’s time for the great debate. Is Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride simply a tourist trap or a beloved Smoky Mountain icon? I think the answer depends on your personality. And I could see it going both ways.

dinosaur on the jungle boat ride in pigeon forge surrounded by darkness
The ride is very dark with lighting effects to illuminate the animatronics (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Pro tourist trap arguments

Those who would put this attraction in the category of a tourist trap would argue that it’s overpriced, outdated and poorly maintained. After all, you’re paying nearly $20 per adult for 10 minutes of “entertainment”. Compare that to other popular area attractions that can offer a day-long experience. Soaky Mountain, for instance, is under $50 for general admission for an entire day’s worth of entertainment. Tourist trap opponents might also argue that it’s outdated. As one hilarious Google reviewer put it:

“This ride transports you back in time … to the 1960s to be specific.”

It may be worth noting, that at the time of this writing, Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is rocking a 3.0-star review on Google. On my last visit, I noticed that the phone didn’t even seem to actually work. To be clear, it rings. But no one ever seems to answer the call. In fact, I tried calling the attraction using the phone number listed on their website to no avail. Upon arrival, I happened to notice a landline phone sitting next to the ticket agent. Curious, I decided to call the number one more time while standing beside their ticket booth. And the phone never rang.

jungle boat ride queue
The boat ride has been a staple along the Parkway for years (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

Pro beloved icon arguments

I could also argue that Jurassic Jungle Ride is the stuff that pop culture icons are made of. It’s the Sharknado of rides. Who are we, as a culture, to lift up Dollywood’s Blazing Fury, which is from a similar era with similarly dated animatronics, as a beloved piece of Dollywood history only to turn around and make fun of Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride? Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride has been around for years. It’s part of Parkway history.

And if I am being really honest, Blazing Fury’s mannequins and props are just as cheesy, mismatched and (at times) just as creepy as Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride’s mannequins. Blazing Fury has a few more thrills, but is it fair to say that Blazing Fury is “nostalgic” and has “personality” while Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is criticized as being “outdated” and “worn down”? And while half of their Google reviews are less than kind, half of them have words of praise for the attraction. They say it’s probably great for little kids who don’t mind the dark and love dinosaurs.

So to be honest, I’m on the fence. What do YOU think about the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? Let me know in the comments below. View the story version of this article here.

Have a question or comment about something in this article? Contact our staff here. You may also contact our editorial team at editor@thesmokies.com (preferred) or call 865-505-0648.

31 thoughts on “This is the Cheesiest Attraction in Pigeon Forge, According to a Local”

  1. Mydaughter likes to ride the the Jurasdic jungle everythime we goto pigeon forge. I like the firey blaze ride bettet

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  2. I’m team pro icon.And as mentioned …great ride for dinosaur loving children who don’t mind the dark.

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  3. Tourist traps are fine. This is a scam and a money trap for unsuspecting tourists. You feel robbed after you emerge from the outdated, stale water, 3 minute ride. Save your money. A more reputable tourist trap will give you more bang for your buck.

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  4. It was an ok ride for adults but a better ride for kids. They are the ones it’s really for. Would I go again no,but your there to have a fun day so enjoy it for the little ones.

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  5. I would love it if thev4ide could be updated. Dinosaurs will always be popular among all ages. Why waste a great opportunity?

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  6. Absolute waste of money should of took a note from the kids getting off looking bored worst thing to do in pigeon forge

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  7. Definite tourist trap. Every time we pass by I want to stop and tell people it’s not worth it lol. Looks poor from the outside, and evidently within as well

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  8. Scream a lot while you are on the ride ! We laughed and it made our experience much more fun. Leaving those yet to ride wary of what they had paid for. We love it in a nostalgic sort of way. You forgot to mention the nice hill climb with a dip and bump at the end.

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  9. My grandson absolutely loves we have to ride it Everytime we are in the forge with him but that’s the only time I will ride it but I do agree with the resurgence of dinosaur movies such as Jurassic Park they should spend a little money on refurbishing and it could be a really good ride

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  10. Tourists trap for sure. Paid almost 100.00 for family and very disappointed. Not worth it. Did it twice and never again

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  11. For my dinosaur enthusiastic son .. it is worth it. Do I always think money can be thrown away? No … I would be happier if they at least dropped the price a bit

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  12. It was a trap. Me and my wife paid 44.00 and it was very dark and I could hardly see any animals. I stood in line longer than the ride. Very disappointed

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  13. This place is definitely outdated and isn’t worth the time or cost. There’s other places in PF that is worth what you pay for Jurassic.

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  14. W4e went to pigeon forge July 24th through 27th 2021….we went to this and it was horrible very out dated..very dark…and pretty run down..there was two girls working in the booth to enter
    …everything looked cheesy and dirty I would not recommend this to anyone save your money

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  15. I was there on family vacation in 2014. At the very least it is a boat ride to take your children on as a family. Some will say it is outdated, overpriced, and a short ride. But in the end it is for the kids. Is it any more expensive than Dollywood or the midway rides at the local county fairs? Consider the location you are at in Pigeon Forge, Tn. Everything in the parkway is an amusement park type setting and pricey. If you are on vacation there its about the fun and not the cost. But the whole town is a tourist destination like Dollywood. An Icon of the parkway that needs some updating!!

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  16. It’s a trap! Completely outdated, overpriced for what is offered, nothing to write home about, and we experienced the same lack of customer service/attention. Definitely a location we could have skipped on our trip!!!

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  17. my grandson loves this place, we now live here and pass by it each day
    we take a boat ride a couple times a month. the joy it brings to him is worth it and the folks that own and run it are awesome. we love it

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  18. It isn’t pretending to be Disney world ! It is a cheesy ride but all I see is the memory of my son being so excited to ride this. He was little but I remember him being so happy .

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  19. We ride it everyone we go…kids love it..doesn’t matter if it’s updated ..it’s dinosaurs..

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  20. This is a good ride and the animatronics are way better than anything in Blazing Fury. This is a Mom and Pop attraction. They don’t have a Ripley’s budget.

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  21. Our daughter has loved this ride since she was just a toddler. She is now a teenager and still begs to ride every time we are up this way. Most times we just let her ride by herself now. It’s not worth the money for all of us to ride but she loves the cheesiness of it so why not let her enjoy it when we can. Honestly though, I’ve always been so surprised that it’s managed to stay in business all these years!

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  22. Blazing Fury opened in the late 70s, Jurassic Boat Ride opened in the late 90s or early 2000s, not exactly a similar era.

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