What It’s Really Like To Ride the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride

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)

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and a partner of other affiliate programs including Booking.com, CJ and Tripster, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases via links found in this article.

You’ve seen it while driving down the Parkway. It’s too large and too cheesy lookin’ to miss.

Perhaps you’ve taken the bait. Or maybe you’re too high-brow to even consider it. 

Regardless, we all know about it. It’s practically a landmark of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. 

That’s right, we’re talking about the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride.

Is the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride an area icon? Or is it nothing more than a tourist trap?

Read Also: Is the Paula Deen Restaurant in Pigeon Forge Worth It?


Area Deals and Discounts

Subscribe to our newsletter and we will instantly deliver the best area discounts to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!

What is the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride?

For the uninitiated or perhaps just oblivious, let’s 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.

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 you queue up for this attraction, it’s hard not to know exactly what you’re in for.

I only saw a single employee on-site during the course of our visit. He both worked the ticket booth and waved guests on and off the ride.

Also, in the queue, there’s 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.


Overall, the queue was fairly short and the wait time was minimal. We were able to board in just under 10 minutes

Overall, 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 in a forgivable way. I would say that it’s no more jerky than the Blazing Fury at the Dollywood theme park, but it’s 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.

Read Also: Blazing Fury’s Sister Coaster Will Burn for the Last Time in 2023

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)

Is the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride scary for toddlers?

It could be. You know your child better than I do. Most adults will find the ride to be fairly uneventful. But for a skittish little one, the effects and darkness could be scary.

Do you get wet on the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride?

No, you will not get wet on Jurassic Jungle Boat 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.

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)

How long is the Jurassic Boat Ride?

The total ride time is exactly 10 minutes long.

How much is the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride?

General admission for 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.

Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride accepts Discover, Mastercard and Visa. They do not accept American Express, at least as of our last visit. Also, you must buy your tickets on-site. There is no online option.

triceratops on jungle boat ride in pigeon forge
Some families love this ride, but many others think it’s overpriced for what it is (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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

Now that you’re up to speed, 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.

And finally, on my last visit, I noticed that the phone doesn’t 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. 

I don’t think I’m alone in that experience either, as several Google reviews have mentioned the same complaint.

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.

We happily quote Blazing Fury’s cheesy lines and scream, “Fire in the hole!” upon take off. 

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.

Finally, I would say that you know exactly what you’re in for the second you pull into the parking lot at Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride. 

It’s not an attraction that’s pretending to be something it’s not. You can tell that things will be a bit outdated before you hand over your credit card at the ticket booth.

A tourist trap, to me, is something that pretends to be something it’s not to take your money. 

Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is loud and proud about what it is, without pretense.

So for some, it’s worth every penny. For others, it’s a major disappointment.

Since we here at TheSmokies.com are on the fence, we’d really like to hear from YOU, fellow Smokies lovers.

What do YOU think about Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? Let us know in the comments below.

View the story version of this article here.

Things to do

Best theme parks in the Smokies
Best Shows and Theaters in the smokies
Best attractions in the Smokies
Best tours in the Smokies
Best mini golf in the Smokies
Best ATV and side by side rentals in the Smokies
Best go karts in the Smokies
Best ziplining in the Smokies
Best zoos and farms in the Smokies
Best rafting in the Smokies

11 Best Places To Stay Near Dollywood From a Local

12 Amazing Large Group Cabins in Pigeon Forge With Tips From a Local

Photo of author


Morgan Overholt

Morgan is the founder Morgan Media LLC, a graphic design agency and the co-founder of TheSmokies.com LLC – a media company that specializes in regional travel sites.

30 thoughts on “What It’s Really Like To Ride the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride”

  1. Way out dated and needs to be refurbished bad and way overly priced. Total tourist trap.

  2. Years ago, we paid over 100.00 for our whole family to ride this. It was a disappointment for sure!

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

  13. I have went in this ride, not worth the money, Felt it was just a tourist trap

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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!!

  19. 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!!!

  20. 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

  21. 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 .

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

Leave a Comment