Waterpark

15 best Soaky Mountain Waterpark rides ranked, your complete guide

Soaky Mountain Waterpark is one of the new attractions in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

And even though it only recently opened in 2020, they are still bringing us new attractions and improved guest experiences throughout the park with each new season.

When you’re planning a summer trip to the Smokies, you may be curious on what exactly Soaky Mountain offers inside the colorful tubes and beyond.

This massive 50-acre attraction boasts a long, impressive list of slides, features and food venues.

So here, let’s take a look at some of the Soaky Mountain Waterpark rides.

Does Soaky Mountain have a lazy river?

Yes! There is a lazy river, known as Black Bear Rapids. It spans 24,000 square feet, but it is not quite so lazy.

It’s considered an adventure river and has waves that bring more excitement than a more traditional lazy river.

Does Soaky Mountain have a wave pool?

Yes! Soaky has many common water park favorites including a wave pool known as the Soaky Surge.

This 35,000-square-foot pool generates waves up to six feet high.

Does Soaky Mountain have a weight limit?

To enter? No. To ride some of the rides? Yes. The max weight limit for most rides will vary. Limitations range from about 250-300 pounds as a max weight to ride some rides.

Some of the attractions have no weight restrictions. These include:

  • Black Bear Rapids (the lazy adventure river)
  • Hang 10essee (a FlowRider surf simulator)
  • Splash and Furious (a head-first mat racer)
  • Holler! (a body slide)
  • Soaky Surge (the wave pool)
  • Coyote Springs (a still water pool)

Some of the above do, however, have height restrictions.

Let’s say you want to maximize your time at Soaky Mountain. Which rides and attractions should you prioritize? Here’s a ranking of some of my favorites:

Still water pool at soaky mountain waterpark
Soaky Mountain also offers a still water pool that is perfect for families (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

15. Coyote Springs

This attraction is a 3,800-square-foot flat-water cabana pool with a sun shelf for relaxing poolside.

I like the fact that Soaky has included a regular pool in its water park. The park is truly accommodating for everyone in the family.

The downside? It’s generally a bit crowded and if I’m going to a water park, I want to ride the rides.

Actually, should this even be in a rides ranked list? Probably not.

There are no height or weight restrictions for this attraction.

Lazy River at Soaky Mountain
Black Bear Rapids is more of an adventure river than a lazy river (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

14. Black Bear Rapids

As previously mentioned, this lazy river is a not-so-lazy adventure packed with wave action. It encompasses over 24,000 square feet.

It’s an impressive-looking lazy river, but I’m ranking it low because I believe that rivers should be lazy. If I want waves, I’ll mosey on over to the wave pool. Still, if adventure rivers are your thing, you might rank this higher on your own list.

This ride has no height or weight restrictions, but weak swimmers should consider the large waves.

Hang 10essee at Soaky Mountain
Hang 10essee gets bonus points for its punny name (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

13. Hang 10essee

This one is a double FlowRider to help you find your inner surfer. Or fall while people watch from the nearby bar. While I give this attraction bonus points for its punny name, it gets dinged for originality.

I’ve seen a few of these at other water park attractions. They’re fun, but not entirely unique.

There is no weight restriction, but riders must be over 42” tall.

Soaky Surge wave pool at Soaky Mountain
Soaky Surge is the wave pool at Soaky Mountain (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

12. Soaky Surge

This is a huge 35,000-square-foot wave pool that generates waves up to 6 feet high. No doubt, it’s a popular feature and many folks seem to like it.

Why am I ranking it a bit low? I’m a child from the era of Ogles Waterpark, a concrete slab of an attraction with a wave pool that was quite scary to little 8-year-old me. I guess I have never quite gotten over that fear.

Read Also: What happened to Ogle’s Waterpark? The attraction that took its place

This ride has no height or weight restrictions, but weak swimmers should consider the large waves.

Whoop and Holler at Soaky Mountain
Whoop and Holler at Soaky Mountain are body slides pictured to the left. The four consecutive blue slides make up the mat racer slide, Splash and Furious (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

11. Holler!

Next door to Whoop, this body slide starts out as a gentle descent before a heart-pounding drop “off the face of the earth”.

I think the PR folks are exaggerating a bit on this one. Still, this is one of the more intense rides in the park.

It’s thrilling, but it’s the kind of ride where you will get a face full of water as you slide down the steep incline. It’s definitely for the adrenaline seekers in your group.

Riders should be a minimum of 100 lbs with a minimum height of 48”.

10. Whoop

It seems wrong to mention Whoop after Holler, but if I had to pick, I’d choose Whoop any day, assuming I could get over the intimidating look of the capsule.

This capsule-drop will plummet you out from a capsule floor to a runout finish below.

It looks quite a bit more scary than its Holler counterpart, but it’s not quite as steep, making it a little smoother.

Riders need to weigh between 100-300 pounds and have a minimum height of 48”.

Snake den at Soaky Mountain Waterpark
The Snake’s Den at Soaky Mountain Waterpark features a series of one or two-person float rides. From left to right include the Timber Rattler’s Rage, American Racer’s Rush, Coppermouth Coils and Copperhead Clash (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

9. Copperhead Clash (Snake’s Den)

Now we get into some float rides, which are some of my favorites. Copperhead Clash is a slide with double tubes and a side-by-side racing section. Translucent lighting effects add to this one or two-person tube ride.

It’s smooth and fun, the perfect ride for those getting their feet wet on water slides.

Riders must be at least 42” tall with a companion of over 48” tall. Max weight is 250 pounds with a max boat weight of 400 pounds.

8. American Racer’s Rush (Snake’s Den)

Similar to Copperhead Clash, this American-inspired thrill ride is a dedication to Old Glory. You’ll see stars and stripes on your journey down the mountain before you end up with a “fireworks” finish.

Riders must be at least 42” tall with a companion of over 48” tall. Max weight is 250 pounds with a max boat weight of 400 pounds.

Snake's den slides
Another view of the Snake’s Den at Soaky Mountain Waterpark (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

7. Cottonmouth Coils (Snake’s Den)

This is one of the smoothest rides in this section and is a ton of fun. It’s an enclosed tube slide with translucent lighting effects and three turns. Brave it alone or with a partner.

To ride, you must be at least 42” tall with a companion of over 48” tall. Max weight is 250 pounds with a max boat weight of 400 pounds.

6. Timber Rattler’s Rage (Snake’s Den)

This is the most thrilling ride in the “snakes” section of the park. This one is a slow and go ride where a one or two-person tube slide sends you on a journey through three distinct Tornado funnel sections, where you’ll slosh back and forth between the walls.

And probably end up backwards.

You must be at least 42” tall with a companion of over 48” tall to ride. Max weight is 250 pounds with a max boat weight of 400 pounds.

Mats for Splash and Furious at Soaky
Splash and Furious is a head-first mat racer ride (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

5. Splash & Furious

I have to admit, I didn’t ride this one during my first two visits to the park. I was afraid.

As you can probably tell by my ranking order, I generally prefer the comfort of a large float. On this ride, all that stands between your body and the ride tubes is a thin mat.

However, it’s so smooth and you can actually enjoy the ride without being splashed in the face constantly (which was my fear).

When I finally rode it, I loved it so much that I did it three times in a row. The line also moves really fast.

This ride is a four-lane, head-first mat racer that lets you compete side-by-side with your neighbors. Translucent light effects will shine through as you make your way down to the checkerboard finish line.

Riders must be 42” tall to ride.

Blue Mayhem and Rainbow Revenge at Soaky Mountain
Blue Mountain Mayhem (left) and Rainbow Revenge (right) are raft rides that can fit up to five people (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

4. Blue Mountain Mayhem

This five-person raft ride features two massive, gravity-challenging walls and is guaranteed to give you that “weightless” kind of feeling.

It’s so smooth, and since uses a large raft float, you get the added bonus of not having to carry your slide up a series of stairs.

Win, win.

Riders must be over 48” tall. The max individual weight is 250 pounds. The boat weight must be between 150-700 pounds.

3. Rainbow Revenge

This state-of-the-art waterslide uses translucent lighting technology that twists and bends the light as you splash down in a five-person raft ride. The ride also includes three saucer turns.

To me, this is one of the smoothest rides in the park and I could ride it all day long.

Riders must be over 42” tall with supervision. The max individual weight is 275 pounds. The boat weight must be between 150-800 pounds.

Avalaunch water coaster
Avalaunch is a thrilling water coaster ride that is one of the first of its kind (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

2. Avalaunch Watercoaster

Until this year, the Avalaunch Watercoaster was the star of the show at Soaky Mountain.

This first-of-its kind ride combines a RocketBLAST® water coaster with four FlyingSAUCER® high-speed turns and a massive sweeping TornadoWAVE finish.

What does all that mean? This watercoaster is exactly like what it sounds. Instead of a traditional float ride where you only go down and around a mountain, this coaster will have you going up, down and back up again. It’s full of twists and turns and is a thrilling, heart-pumping ride that you will definitely remember.

It also splashes you in the face quite a bit. But it’s worth it.

Riders must be over 42” tall with a companion over 48” tall. The max individual weight is 280 pounds. Boat weight (for two people) must be between 150-400 pounds.

The Edge Water coaster
The Edge is the newest ride at Soaky Mountain Waterpark (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

1. The Edge

And finally, we reach The Edge. The Edge is the newest feature at Soaky Mountain, opening just last month.

Was it worth the wait? Yes, reader, it was.

This ride, which spans two football fields in length, is probably my favorite in the park now because it has the perfect mix of being thrilling yet smooth.

While the initial drop is very intense (more so than it looks from a distance), it manages not to splash you in the face constantly like some other thrilling water rides.

The coaster’s AquaLucent rings offer a sense of sci-fi speed and an appearance of acceleration.

Two imposing Boomerango walls offer a feeling of extreme Gs and as they fall down from “The Edge”. These two parallel walls are a nice finishing touch, giving riders a sense of weightlessness.

It’s definitely one of my new favorite thrill rides.

It’s also a racer ride, so you can see which of the two competitors is the winner at the bottom. Spoiler alert: It’s usually whichever boat weighs more.

Riders must be 42” tall to ride. The max individual weight is 300 pounds. The boat weight (for two people) must be between 110-450 pounds.

Boomer's bay for kids at Soaky Mountain
Boomer’s Bay has several play areas and slides for the littlest ones in the family (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

What does Soaky Mountain have for kids?

Soaky Mountain is great for families and I think put in a lot of effort to make toddlers and children feel included.

My favorite feature is that they have pint-sized versions of the adult rides so the kids can feel included. These are Mini Mayhem and Lil Rattlers, which are completely adorable.

Read Also: Soaky Mountain vs Splash Country: Which water park is better?

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the kid sections and rides:

The Hive for kids at Soaky Mountain water park
The Hive is another play area at Soaky Mountain for kids (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

The Hive is the ultimate kids’ play zone sure to keep pint-size people buzzing.

Kids will enjoy multiple water play features including a water dump, twisting body slides and a swirling body bowl slide.

Boomer’s Bay features small versions of the big kids rides including a mini-tornado, a squirt-sized wall ride and two twisting slides with awesome translucent lift effects and plenty of others to keep your cubs happy.

Lil Rattlers and Mini Mayhem at Soaky Mountain
Soaky Mountain offers smaller versions of its big rides for children, including Lil Rattlers (left) and Mini Mayhem (right) (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Mini Mayhem is a pint-sized version of Blue Mountain Mayhem built just for your littles.

Lil Rattlers are tube slides for the little thrill seekers who still want to conquer the mountain until they are ready to take on the big kid slides.

Slippery Salamanders is a double-lane inflatable water obstacle course will keep adventurers of all ages busy for hours while testing their agility.

Does Soaky Mountain have food?

A day at the water park can work up an appetite.

Soaky Mountain has embraced the popularity of food trucks and offers two unique dining options, the Tacolicious Taco Truck and a Philly Up! cheesesteak truck. The Philly Up! truck is a double-decker with seating available at the top.

Additionally, the park features quick-service food stations like the Bee Good Cafe, Summit Snacks and Base Camp Bistro.

For sweet treats, they offer a Yukon Yogurt shop with frozen yogurt and sorbet with a variety of toppings and the Soaky Shake Shoppe with punny and over-the-top ice cream shakes and treats that rival places like The Yard or Crazy Mason.

They also have the Candy Cabin for more sweet snacks.

And adult beverages at Overlook Bar and Wipe Out Bar, along with delicious appetizers, can be purchased as well.

Food and drink are not permitted in either park. But Soaky Mountain does allow sealed water bottles, and there are plenty of great food and drink selections available at each park for an extra charge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Food and drinks are not permitted in either park. But Soaky Mountain does allow sealed water bottles, and there are plenty of great food and drink selections available at each park for an extra charge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

How much is Soaky Mountain?

Daily tickets are $47.99 and seniors and guests under 42” tall are $39.99. Prices are subject to change.

Generally, you can save on parking (an extra charge) by buying online in advance.

Soaky Mountain also regularly offers specials throughout the summer. If you’re looking for a discount on a daily admission ticket, be sure to check out their website for current offers.

Soaky Mountain Waterpark is a sister park to Wilderness Resorts. The park is located at 175 Gists Creek Road in Sevierville, TN.

What is your favorite ride at Soaky Mountain? Let us know in the comments below.

Soaky Mountain vs Splash Country: Which water park is better?

Let’s admit it, there are a ton of attractions in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville competing for your vacation dollar nowadays. Thus, the competition can be quite fierce.

We’ve written about several of these head-to-head battles in Sevier County before – including The Peddler vs Alamo, Anakeesta vs Ober Gatlinburg, Pirates Voyage vs Dolly’s Stampede and Lumberjack Feud vs Hatfield and McCoy. Just to name a few.

But today, we want to compare two of Sevier County’s most popular summertime attractions: Dollywood’s Splash Country and Soaky Mountain – the area’s two largest outdoor water parks.

First, we break down several key factors including rides, slides, shade, cabanas, food and drink and affordability.

Then, we will answer a few of the internet’s most frequently asked questions about the two attractions.

Finally, we will declare a winner.

Splash Country is Dollywood's sister park (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country is Dollywood’s sister park (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Splash Country vs Soaky Mountain: A comparison

1. Who owns the two parks?

Let’s begin with the topic of ownership and overall operations.

Dollywood’s Splash Country, like Dollywood itself, is operated by Herschend Family Entertainment in partnership with Dolly Parton.

Soaky Mountain is owned and operated by Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks (who also own and operate Wilderness at the Smokies).

The winner in this category: Splash Country. All hail the queen.

Soaky Mountain is the newer of the two parks having just opened in 2020 (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain is the newer of the two parks having just opened in 2020 (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

2. Which park is newer?

Next, let’s take a look at which is newer.

Splash Country is the older of the two parks. In fact, it originally opened in 2001. In other words, Soaky Mountain is considerably newer having just opened in 2020.

While, in our humble opinion, both parks are doing a great job of keeping things looking up to date, Soaky Mountain’s newness is noticeable. Everything is just a little newer, a little brighter, and a bit more modern than its Splash Country counterpart.

And as a relatively new waterpark, semantics also feel a bit more well thought out at Soaky Mountain.

For instance, one of our biggest complaints about Splash Country is the scorching hot floorboards that surround the lines and the dismount areas. They actually keep signs posted throughout the park warning riders to keep their shoes and sandals on until they are ready to board.

Soaky Mountain simply used heat-resistant materials that don’t get quite as hot in the sun on their ride queues. One can easily stand barefoot while waiting to ride the Avalaunch Watercoaster without a care for their bare little tootsies.

The winner in this category: Soaky Mountain.

Soaky Mountain has more slides and attractions than Splash Country, but its variety of attractions is what really makes them special (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain has more slides and attractions than Splash Country. But it’s the variety of attractions that really makes them special (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

3. Which has more water slides?

Now, let’s talk about slides and rides.

While Soaky Mountain is bigger – coming in at 50 acres vs Splash Country’s 35-acre blueprint – the two are actually quite similar in the rides department.

At the time of this writing, Splash Country has four float slides (two family-style), a water coaster, three body slides, three water mat slides, two children’s play areas, a regular pool, a wave pool and a lazy river.

It is also important to note that some attractions at Splash Country and Soaky Mountain have multiple tubes listed under the same attraction. But for the sake of simplicity, we will just count multi-tube attractions as one.

Not to be outdone, Soaky Mountain, at the time of this writing, has six float slides (two family-style), two watercoasters*, one boogie board surf simulator, two children’s play areas, one wave pool, one not-so-lazy river, a water obstacle course – Slippery Salamanders – and one regular pool.

And also for bonus points, one of the children’s play areas at Soaky – Boomer’s Bay – features pint-sized smaller versions of some of the adult slides including Mini Mayhem and Lil Rattlers. Our staff thinks this is a very nice touch. In particular, it’s a great way to make the whole family feel included.

However, again, for the sake of simplicity, we aren’t adding those mini slides to the slide count as they are really just a small part of the kid’s play area.

Soaky Mountain also has multiple tubes listed as the same attraction, so to keep things fair, we will count those as one just as we did for Splash Country.

*Soaky Mountain’s latest water coaster, The Edge, is still under construction and is set to debut in summer 2022.

Attractions at Splash Country vs Soaky Mountain
Attraction TypeSplash CountrySoaky Mountain
Float Slides46
Mat Slides32
Surf Simulator01
Body Slides32
Water Coasters12
Kid’s Play Areas22
Wave Pools11
Lazy Rivers**11
Wave Pools11
Normal Pools11
Obstacle Course01
Attractions at Splash Country vs Soaky Mountain

In total, Splash Country has 17 separate attractions. Soaky Mountain has 20.

And finally, Soaky Mountain also boasts a better variety of unique water attractions.

The winner in this category: Soaky Mountain.

Avalaunch is Soaky's original water coaster (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)
Avalaunch is Soaky’s original water coaster (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

4. Which has better slides and rides?

This one is a bit of a toss-up as we think slide preference is really very subjective.

Do you prefer float slides? Soaky Mountain is going to be your jam.

Or perhaps you prefer high-intensity body slides or a good head-first mat racing challenge. If so, you’re better off at Splash Country.

If you have little kids, we recommend Soaky Mountain for their mini slides.

But if you like lazy rivers that are actually lazy, you’ll prefer Splash.

Or if waves are more your thing, you’re going to love Soaky Surge – Soaky Mountain’s gigantic 35,000 square foot wave pool.

So for this category, we are just going to go with the overall staff opinion on which is better.

Winner for this category: Soaky Mountain. By a hair.

Splash Country has a true lazy river, whereas Soaky Mountain's is more of an thrill ride (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country has a true lazy river, whereas Soaky Mountain’s is more of a thrill ride (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

5. Which has a better lazy river?

Again, this is going to come down to personal preference. However, I cannot stress enough that the “lazy” rivers at Soaky Mountain and Splash Country couldn’t be any more different.

Splash Country’s lazy river is everything you’d expect out of a traditional lazy river attraction. Surely, no explanation is needed.

Conversely, as Soaky Mountain clearly states in all of their marketing materials – their river is not a lazy river.

In fact, their river attraction is more like rapids. Thus the name, Black Bear Rapids.

It starts just like any normal lazy river might. Riders grab a float and begin their peaceful journey down a cool, calm mountain stream via tube. That’s when all heck breaks loose.

Specifically, every few minutes, a wave machine produces a monster wave that creates a massive ripple effect that spans nearly the entire length of the 24,000 square foot ride.

Of course, it’s fun. But it’s definitely not lazy.

We kinda wish that Soaky Mountain had followed Universal’s Volcano Bay suit by having two rivers – one lazy and one not. So again, we are just going to go with our personal preference on this one.

Winner in this category: Splash Country. We prefer to be lazy.

Soaky Mountain recently added more shaded areas to their park (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain recently added more shaded areas to their park (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

6. Which park has more shade?

We think you will find this one to be a bit surprising.

Soaky Mountain has more shade. In fact, there is no comparison.

Certainly, Soaky Mountain, on the surface, looks like a concrete jungle. Especially compared to Splash Country’s lush mountain landscape.

But this is just one of those things that Soaky does best – they focus on the guest experience. And it shows.

At Soaky, there are giant-sized umbrellas covering almost every lounger. And also, there are loads of shaded areas to relax and enjoy.

Splash Country only has a couple of shaded pavilions – mostly near the kid splash pad area – and when those are full your only option is upgrading to a private cabana. Boo.

Winner in this category: Soaky Mountain. By a landslide (mountain joke).

Splash Country's deluxe cabanas are nothing short of bougie (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country’s deluxe cabanas are nothing short of bougie (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. Which park has better cabanas?

Here, we wanted to automatically deduct points from Splash Country because they make us feel forced to upgrade to cabanas for shade on a sunny day due to their lack of shaded rest areas.

But we will strive to be impartial here.

Soaky Mountain has two main cabana-style options. Each comes at an extra cost to admission.

Soaky Mountain's clamshell cabanas provide simple shade (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain’s clamshell cabanas provide simple shade (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain Clamshell Cabanas

The first option is the Clamshell Cabana. Clamshell Cabanas are nothing special. Additionally, in our humble opinion, mostly a waste of money. They are nothing more than little pop-up tents that fit over two loungers with a small table in between.

The biggest benefit to renting these loungers is the host drink service that’s included. These loungers start at $50 per day, but we more often see them run between $75-$99. Yikes.

Soaky Mountain's Tents include food and beverage service (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain’s Tents include food and beverage service (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain Tents

The second option at Soaky Mountain is the Soaky Tent, which comes in three sizes with seating for 8-16 guests. The smaller tents start at $129.99 per day. The largest tents start at $169.99 per day. But just a warning, we frequently see both going for nearly double those introductory prices during peak season.

Each tent is equipped with:

  • comfortable seating
  • a table and chairs
  • food and drink host service (cost of food and drink not included)
  • a ceiling fan
  • power outlets

If you have a lot of people in your group and are planning on spending the entire day at the amusement park, we think these tent cabanas at Soaky Mountain are absolutely worth every penny.

Soaky Mountain Cabana Comparison
Soaky Mountain Cabana TypeClamshell LoungerTent Cabanas
Drink ServiceYesYes
Food ServiceYes
Secure StorageYes
Ceiling FanYes
Power OutletsYesYes
Dining TableYes
Cost$50+$129+
Soaky Mountain Cabana Features

After you’ve been pressured into buying a cabana for lack of shaded options at Splash Country, you’ll be glad to know that there are three primary options from which you can choose.

Splash Country's Luxury Liners are similar to Soaky Mountain's Clamshells (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country’s Luxury Loungers are similar to Soaky Mountain’s Clamshells (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country Luxury Loungers

First, we have the Luxury Loungers – which are similar to Soaky Mountain’s clamshells.

These are nothing more than little pop-up tents that fit over two lounge chairs with a small lockbox. But unlike Soaky Mountain, they do not include beverage service. They start at $45 per day.

Splash Country's Canopies offer an affordable mid-priced option (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country’s Canopies offer an affordable mid-priced option (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country Canopies

Next up, we have the Canopies. The Canopies resemble mini wooden sheds. Each provides 65 square feet of shade and features two chaise lounge chairs with a lockbox.

These Canopies offer actual privacy vs the loungers but are still rather tiny and do not include drink service. Prices start at $65 per day.

Splash Country Retreats are for Smokies guests who prefer laps of luxury to laps in the pool (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country Retreats are for Smokies guests who prefer laps of luxury to laps in the pool (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Splash Country Retreats

Finally, we have the Retreats. The Splash Country Retreat Cabanas come in two different varieties: A Basic Retreat, and a Deluxe Retreat.

The Basic Retreat features 200 square feet of shaded space and a 100 square foot sun deck. Retreats can house up to 8 people with a maximum occupancy of 10 (you have to pay extra for persons #9 and #10).

Retreats start at $210 per day and again, we think are absolutely worth the price, especially if you have a big family.

All Retreats include a:

  • satellite television
  • ceiling fan
  • dining table and chairs
  • lounge chairs
  • secure storage
  • food and drink service (cost of food and drink not included)

ADA accessible Retreats are also available.

The Deluxe Retreat is just like the Basic Retreat only it also includes:

  • additional seating
  • additional lounge chairs
  • bar counter
  • a refrigerator

Deluxe Retreats start at $325 per day.

Personally, we don’t really see the value for the extra $100. As a result, we would recommend just sticking to the Basic Retreat.

Splash Country Cabanas Comparison
Splash Country Cabana TypeLuxury LoungerCanopyRetreatDeluxe Retreat
Drink Service (Bottled/Dry)YesYes
Food ServiceYesYes
Secure StorageYesYesYesYes
Ceiling FansYesYes
Dining TableYesYes
FridgeYes
TelevisionYesYes
Cost$45+$65+$210+$325+
Splash Country Cabana Features

If we had to pick a winner in this category, overall it’s a tough call. We think Dollywood’s Retreats are more comfortable than the tents.

Splash Country also has more options in this category. Not entirely helpful options, but more options all the same. After all, who is really going to buy the Luxury Lounger over the Canopy?

But then again we also like the fact that all of Soaky’s options feature beverage service which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as y’all know, waiting in lines at waterparks just to get a drink is no fun.

It’s also helpful to add that Soaky has adult beverages too. Splash Country is dry.

However, this category isn’t about who offers better service or better food. This is about who has the better cabanas. And for that, there is, we believe, a clear winner.

Winner in this category: Splash Country.

Food and drink are not permitted in either park. But Soaky Mountain does allow sealed water bottles, and there are plenty of great food and drink selections available at each park for an extra charge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Food and drink are not permitted in either park. But Soaky Mountain does allow sealed water bottles. And there are plenty of great food and drink selections available at each park for an extra charge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

8. Can you bring your own food and drink?

You cannot bring outside food and drink to Soaky Mountain. Nor can you bring outside food and drink to Splash Country.

But you can, however, bring one sealed bottle of water or an empty plastic water bottle (to refill as needed) to Soaky Mountain.

Likewise, you can bring empty water bottles to Splash Country.

And also, both parks provide free tap water in disposable cups to guests.

But never fear, there are plenty of other food and drink options available at each park – for an extra charge.

Winner in this category: Soaky Mountain. Thanks for the bottled water.

We love Splash Country's Beavertails. However, Soaky Mountain has more food options overall (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
We love Splash Country’s Beavertails. However, Soaky Mountain has more food options overall (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

9. Which has better food?

Both parks have solid food options, ya know, for a water park. Long gone are the days when your theme park food was limited to hot dogs and a bag of chips (looking at you Ogle’s Waterpark).

We particularly enjoy the Beavertails at Splash Country, which are fried on location as you order so they are always warm and fresh.

But Soaky, as we said before, also has its fair share of sweet treats (shoutout to the Soaky Shake Shoppe – YUM) including adult beverages and specialty food trucks like Philly Up and the Tacolicious.

Who doesn’t love specialty tacos after a long day in the water?

We also love Soaky’s Base Camp Bistro.

In fact, we almost hate to say it, as we’ve given them so many points already, but we think Soaky Mountain overall has the better food options.

Winner in this category: Soaky Mountain. Cheers!

Soaky Mountain is the more affordable of the two waterparks. Plus, at Soaky, you get to wear your season pass on your wrist (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain is the more affordable of the two waterparks. Plus, at Soaky, you get to wear your season pass on your wrist (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

10. Which is cheaper?

Finally, let’s talk about affordability.

At the time of this writing, daily admission to Splash Country costs $54.95 per adult (ages 10-61). And a 2-day water park ticket runs at $74.95 per adult, and a 3-day water park ticket runs at $84.95.

Multi-park tickets and season passes are also available.

Sometimes you can also save a bit of money by purchasing your Splash Country tickets on Tripster.

Soaky Mountain’s pricing is all over the place because they run so many specials throughout the year. But on average, daily ticket prices run between $39.99-$47.99 per adult.

Check the Soaky Mountain website for current specials.

And of course, season passes are available at both locations. Prices vary seasonally.

As a general rule of thumb, if you plan to go more than twice to either park, a season pass is probably going to be a good idea.

Winner in this category: Again, Soaky Mountain.

oaky Mountain is a seasonal outdoor waterpark that's usually open between May-September each year (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)
Soaky Mountain is a seasonal outdoor waterpark that’s usually open between May-September each year (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Frequently asked questions about Splash Country and Soaky Mountain

1. Is Soaky Mountain indoor?

No, Soaky Mountain is not an indoor water park. However, its sister attraction, Wilderness at the Smokies across the street is partially an indoor water park.

2. Does Soaky Mountain have a lazy river?

Sort of. Soaky Mountain has a river attraction, but it is not lazy. It is actually more of a thrill ride. They call it an adventure river instead of a lazy river.

3. Does Dolly Parton own Splash Country?

Splash Country is owned and operated by Herschend Family Entertainment in partnership with Dolly Parton.

4. Can you do Dollywood and Splash Country in one day?

Anything is possible. However, we would recommend against doing Dollywood and Splash Country in one day. There’s a lot to see and do in each park. Personally, we consider Dollywood to be a 2-day park, and Splash Country a 1-day park.

Trying to cram both parks into a single day isn’t advised.

5. What’s the best ride at Soaky Mountain?

Our favorite rides at Soaky Mountain are Rainbow Revenge, Blue Mountain Mayhem and Avalaunch.

Rainbow Revenge is a five-person raft ride. As is Blue Mountain Mayhem. Avalaunch is a water coaster.

We also suspect we will fall in love with The Edge coaster when it opens later this year.

Honestly, we are just suckers for water coasters and thrill rides in general.

6. What’s the best ride at Splash Country?

Our favorite rides at Splash Country are the Raging River Rapids, RiverRush and the Downbound Float Trip.

Raging River Rapids is one of two family-style rides in the park. RiverRush is Splash Country’s only watercoaster. Furthermore, the Downbound Float Trip is a classic lazy river ride.

Nice and relaxing as God intended.

7. Is the water heated at Splash Country and Soaky Mountain?

The water is not heated at either Splash Country or Soaky Mountain. With nary a hot tub in sight at either location.

Therefore, on a cool day, prepare to freeze your tush off. It’s all part of the Smoky Mountain experience.

In conclusion, we really love both parks. It's hard to choose just one. I mean how can you say no to this cute little beaver face? (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)
In conclusion, we really love both parks. It’s hard to choose just one. I mean how can you say no to this cute little beaver face? (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

Conclusion: Which water park is better?

If we were going off of points alone, Soaky Mountain would be the clear winner here.

Indeed, our staff mostly tends to prefer Soaky to Splash for all of the reasons mentioned above. Specifically, it’s a modern park, with a better variety of rides and food options. It’s also a park that really caters to the guest experience.

However, it is important to note that we also genuinely love Splash Country.

All in all, the parks are very similar, but also very unique.

If you only have one day to dedicate to a water park on your next visit to the Smoky Mountains, consider going to Soaky Mountain. However, if you have two days, go to both. We think your entire family will have a great time either way.

And don’t forget to check Tripster for discounts.

Splash Country is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

Soaky Mountain is located at 175 Gists Creek Road, Sevierville, TN 37876.

Which water park do you prefer? Do you agree with our review? Let us know in the comments below.

Soaky Mountain announces new coaster, expansions for 2022

Soaky Mountain Waterpark officials have just announced that they will be debuting a brand new ride for their 2022 season.

Soaky Mountain is Sevierville’s new landmark 50-acre waterpark. It originally opened in 2020 as part of the Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks family.

And at just two years old, they already have their eyes on expansions and upgrades to the park.

The latest announcement comes in the form of a new high-speed dueling water coaster. The coaster is set to debut in the summer of 2022.

Unlike traditional water slides, water coasters allow riders to travel both downhill and uphill. Water coasters usually are powered by a series of jets and a propulsion system.

This will be Soaky’s second water coaster. Their original, “Avalaunch, debuted in 2020.

The new coaster has been named “The Edge”.

“Our new water coaster, fittingly named, ‘The Edge’ is going to be a showstopper,” said Dave Andrews, general manager of Soaky Mountain Waterpark. “It will be perched on the edge of our waterpark, and span two football fields in length.”

“It’s fusing together WhiteWater’s Master Blaster water coaster with their iconic Boomerango. But, we are not adding just one slide, we are doubling it for a dueling thrill!”

A 70-foot tower will also be built to accommodate the new slides and ride queues.

Double tubes will be located on each side of the tower creating two “lanes” for riders to race.

Soaky Mountain is only two years old, but they are already making new rides and expansions to their park. The new coaster will have a dueling feature for double the fun (rendering courtesy of Soaky Mountain Waterpark)

What we know so far about the ride

Riders will be propelled down a three-story mega-drop that leads to the first valley. Then, they will be blasted uphill into a section featuring a kaleidoscope of colors.

Notably, Soaky Mountain is famous for their use of sunlight-powered color effects on their waterslides and tubes.

“Riders are sure to be mesmerized by the coaster’s AquaLucent rings designed into the tube segments,” adds Andrews.

“The distance between the rings will get closer and closer giving riders an appearance of acceleration.”

A second uphill blast takes riders into another enclosed tube segment. The inside of the tube features colorful, laser-like AquaLucent stripes.

The stripes start longer and then become shorter as the ride progresses. This special effect gives riders a sense of sci-fi speeds as they progress into another turn.

When the riders shoot out of the tube, they will see two imposing Boomerango walls before dropping to the base of the wall, feeling extreme Gs.

As the momentum takes the riders up the parallel walls, they will be able to see their competitor. They will also feel a sense of weightlessness before sliding back down.

Finally, riders go over a zero-G hump to the end of the ride.

The finish line will be stacked with lights and effects to indicate who won and who went over “The Edge”.

“The Boomerango is loved the world over, but our guests will be treated to a very special version of it that has never done before,” said Andrews.

“Our Boomerango walls are being designed to make the riders feel like they are going off the edge of the coaster. It is going to be spectacular.”

The new water coaster “The Edge” will span two football fields in length (rendering courtesy of Soaky Mountain Waterpark)

Also new for 2022 at Soaky Mountain

Finally, Soaky is also expanding the decking in two areas to create more lounging space for guests.

The expansion was inspired by guest recommendations.

The new decking will add 1,000 new seating options to the park.

Additionally, the waterpark is adding large umbrellas to increase shade.

Read Also: Soaky Mountain food menus: A list of snacks, treats

About Soaky Mountain Waterpark

Soaky has many exciting rides. For example, other attractions at Soaky Mountain include: 

  • Avalaunch, a watercoaster with four flying saucer features that create a drop-and-dive sensation and a wave curved wall. 
  • Soaky Surge, a massive, 35,000 square foot wave pool with 6-foot waves. 
  • Black Bear Rapids, a 24,000 square foot adventure river.
  • The Hive, a bee-themed play-and-spray feature with for younger children.
  • Boomers Bay, a kid activity pool area with smaller versions of the adult-size towering slides including Lil’ Rattlers and Mini Mayhem.
  • An Adventure Pool with a water obstacle course.
  • A 3,800 square foot flat-water cabana pool for relaxing poolside.
  • Hang 10essee, a double FlowRider®️ surfing simulator.

Other rides include two five-person raft rides, a tubing tower with five flumes, two high-intensity body slides and a four-lane head-first mat racing challenge.

Read Also: Soaky Mountain Waterpark slides and attractions: Your complete guide

Additionally, some of the slides feature translucent tubes which create a swirling array of light effects. Others are themed in colors like Rainbow’s Revenge and American Racer’s Rush.  

Season passes for 2022 are on sale now at SoakyMountainWaterPark.com

Soaky Mountain is located at 175 Gists Creek Road in Sevierville, Tenn.

Have you been to Soaky Mountain Waterpark? Are you brave enough to ride “The Edge” water coaster in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.