These are the best Pigeon Forge amusement parks, according to a local
There’s so much to do and see in the Great Smoky Mountains. With numerous attractions and entertainment options fighting for your vacation dollars, it can be hard to choose just one. If you’ve found this list, you’ve likely at least narrowed down your search to amusement parks and theme parks. So, let’s rank them. Here are, in my opinion, are the top amusement parks and theme parks in the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg areas.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Subscribe to our newsletter for area news, coupons and discounts
10. The Island at Pigeon Forge
We’re playing a little loose with the “amusement park” term here. The Island is more of a shopping and entertainment complex. However, it does have a selection of rides including the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. It also has an attraction within the complex called the SkyFly, which is a similar experience to Soarin’ at EPCOT in Orlando. There are also a handful of standalone rides, which include Island Farm’N for the smaller members of the family as well as thrill rides for the more adventurous vacationers. Essentially, it has something for the whole family. And best of all, the area has no entrance fee and free parking. The Island is located at 131 Island Drive in Pigeon Forge.
9. Outdoor Gravity Park
If you’re looking for a unique experience, consider a visit to the Outdoor Gravity Park to try some zorbing. What is zorbing? It’s basically when you get into a large, clear ball and roll downhill. I find it to be a similar experience as riding a water ride at a waterpark, except you can do it all year long. Plus, Outdoor Gravity Park claims to be the only zorbing park in the whole United States. Tickets are $20 online, $25 at the door. Pro-tip: You can sometimes find a deal on Groupon. Set aside at least 30 minutes for this experience, more if you plan on multiple “rolls”.
8. Ober Mountain
Ober Mountain, formerly known as Ober Gatlinburg, is an amusement park, and bike/ski area located in the mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. But locals often simply refer to it as “Ober”. While Ober is Tennessee’s only ski/bike and snowboard destination (ski in the winter, bike in the spring/summer), the attraction also features an Aerial Tramway, a mountain coaster, ice bumper cars, a chairlift, a wildlife encounter, shopping and more. While it’s most popular in the winter season, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors occupied all year long. Get a discount with Tripster on the Aerial Tramway when you book ahead of time online. Or skip the aerial tram altogether and just drive up to the top of the mountain. But do note, parking is usually $10 (but still cheaper than the tram). It is otherwise free to explore Ober Mountain but activities and food are sold separately. Ober is located at 1001 Parkway Suite 2 in Gatlinburg.
7. Skyland Ranch
This attraction is one of the newest in the area. Skyland Ranch is a mountaintop entertainment venue that is accessible by a scenic chairlift. At the top, you’ll see miniature animal petting areas (we personally love the miniature bull), an outdoor event space area, live entertainment, retail shops, and dining experiences. Finally, there’s also a mountain coaster, a 1.25-mile ride where riders control their own speed as they journey down the mountain. There are also seasonal offerings like the snow tubing and safari hayrides (basically a petting zoo on wheels). Allow at least two hours to see everything this attraction has to offer. Skyland Ranch is located at 1620 Parkway in Sevierville. General admission, which includes access to the chairlift but not the mountain coaster, is $21.99 for adults, and $12.99 for kids 3-9. Access to the mountain coaster is sold either a la carte ($9-$18) or as part of an upgraded combo pass ($22-$38).
6. Gatlinburg SkyPark
Gatlinburg SkyPark is an attraction that is best known for being the home of the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, the SkyBridge. However, there’s more to do at this attraction than just walking the iconic bridge. The park also has a SkyLift chair lift, a SkyDeck viewing area and a SkyTrail with an observation tower. While there aren’t a ton of dining opportunities at this park, you can get a variety of snacks and quick meals at the SkyDeck, such as pizza, hot dogs and beers. If you’re looking for a park with rides, this probably isn’t for you. But if you want a Smoky Mountain experience with great views, look no further. There are a variety of ticket options available for this attraction but general admission usually avereages at about $13 for kids and $27 for adults. Military and senior discounts are available. We generally think a single-entry ticket is more than enough for this particular attraction. It’s one of those “been there done that” type attractions. Give yourself at least two hours to really soak up this attraction. SkyPark is located at 765 Parkway in Gatlinburg.
5. Wilderness at the Smokies Resort and Waterpark
Wilderness at the Smokies is a resort and family adventure center with two outdoor waterparks as well as Tennessee’s largest indoor waterpark. The lodge also has a gaming center with a ropes course, arcade, laser tag and mini golf. With expansions on the way, this resort and waterpark will soon have a rooftop pool with a glass edge. Check Groupon for discounts for your stay. The resort is located at 1424 Old Knoxville Hwy in Sevierville.
Anakeesta is an outdoor adventure spot located in the treetops of Gatlinburg. The park features a treetop skywalk, a mountain coaster, play areas for kids, shopping and dining opportunities. For those who want an extra adventure, the park offers ziplining, a mountain coaster and gem mining for an extra charge. Anakeesta is also where you will find the Astra Lumina night walk experience, featuring lighting, projection and sound. It is the first of its kind in the United States. At the time of this writing, general admission tickets for Anakeesta are $34.99 for adults, $27.99 for seniors and $22.99 for kids (ages 4-11). Kids 3 and under are free. Note, special activities such as ziplining, coasters and Asta Lumina are not included in general admission and are sold separately. Allow at least half a day for this attraction. Before you go, check Tripster for discounts. Anakeesta is located at 576 Parkway in Gatlinburg.
3. Dollywood’s Splash Country
Dollywood’s Splash Country is the water park to the Dollywood theme park, backed by the Dolly Parton name. It has 35 acres of slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. The park has a total of 17 separate attractions and a handful of rentable cabanas for those seeking an upgraded experience. Allow a full day for this attraction. Check Tripster for discounts on multi-day passes. Splash Country is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd in Pigeon Forge. Note: This seasonal attraction is generally closed Oct-May. Allow a full day at this amusement park when you go.
2. Soaky Mountain Waterpark
Soaky Mountain Waterpark is a brand new (opened in 2020), 50-acre waterpark nestled in the Smoky Mountains. It has something for everyone, including 20 rides and slides and also play areas for the little ones. Overall, this is a mountain-modern park with food trucks, bars, slides with light effects and a first-of-its-kind watercoaster. Note: This seasonal attraction is generally closed Oct-May. Plan on a full day at this attraction. It’s not a small park. Soaky Mountain is located right across the street from Wilderness, it’s at 175 Gists Creek Rd in Sevierville.
Dollywood is a theme park located in the Smoky Mountains, owned by Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment. It’s the most iconic and well-known park in the Pigeon Forge area. If you’re looking for a theme park that can rival the likes of Disney, this is it. It has stellar roller coasters like the Wild Eagle, Lightning Rod and Mystery Mine. It’s well known for its live entertainment and award-winning seasonal festivals. From fantastic rides to music and shows, there are several things that make Dollywood special. Book your tickets ahead of time with Tripster. We recomend spending at least 1-2 full days to get the full Dollywood experience. And don’t leave ’til you’ve sampled the cinnamon bread. The Dollywood theme park is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd in Pigeon Forge.
Have you been to any of these attractions near Pigeon Forge? Let us know in the comments below.