Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to facilitate our review. All opinions are strictly our own. This place was awesome!
The family and I took a trip last week to our favorite place on Earth… Gatlinburg, Tennessee and while there we visited the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster! We took the entire family! I usually get to our reaction at the end of a post but I just have to say that it was so much fun! There were 8 of us in total, ranging in ages from 5 to over 50. And all 8 of us loved it!
I wasn’t in the picture. I’m behind the camera! :0)
The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster takes you on a mile ride in the Smoky Mountains. On the ride up, you sit back and let the coaster’s pulley system pull you to the top. This goes kind of slow so you can take in the mountain scenery. Or look for bears along the way. Don’t worry, you’re safe! Being alone, in the coaster car, on a mountain is breathtaking and so peaceful. Til you get to the top that is. Then it’s a hootin’ and hollerin’ good time! :D
(videos of our coaster rides below)
Oh, speaking if safety, the staff takes a ride on the coaster each morning they open to make sure everything is in tip top shape for the day!
Once you get to the top, by what I call the “watch tower”, the pulley belt stops and you are in full control. When you see the “Watch tower” go ahead and push your brake forward so you don’t come to a complete stop at the end of the pulley. Once you get there, your car will start moving quickly.
You can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour if you choose to go full out. If you’re not a speed demon, unlike our 5 year old, then you can choose to hold your brake and go slower, just don’t come to a complete stop or someone could accidentally bump you. You want to keep about an 80 foot distance between you and the rider in front of you. Don’t worry, though, because the staff is watching over you and if they see you are getting too close they will come over a loud speaker and alert you to slow down or speed up. Whichever the case may be.
2 of our kids (5 and 8) had to ride with adults but everyone else could choose to ride single or double (up to 350 pounds in a car). There are safety harnesses and lap belts for each rider in the car. It’s easy to hold your brake forward and the cars are actually really comfortable. You sit back, with your legs out in front of you so your in the perfect position for taking the mountain coaster curves. Our 11 year old rode it by herself and she thought it was awesome. She didn’t have any trouble with the brake at all.
Clay wore a head cam and in the first video, in the daytime, he rode by himself. You can see how pretty the scenery is along the track. You can see all the signs that tell you to keep it at 80 ft and when to slow down because you’re nearing the end. You may also see a flash in the video. This is where they take your photo. You can view and purchase your photo at the end of the ride on your way out.
In my photo with our daughter, we chose to make goofy/scared faces.
In Clay’s photo with our 5 year old, they were both too focused on flying down the mountain! VROOM! VROOM!
They also have some really cool Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster merchandise available for purchase. I think the next time we go I’m going to get a hoodie. And there will definitely be a next time! I loved it!
Here is a video of our daytime ride:
In fact, we ALL loved it so much that we decided to go back after dark and ride it at night. And we loved it at night so much that we rode it TWICE! They have lights on parts of the track to light it up. Parts of the track are dark and I have to say, there is something totally awesome (and freaky) about riding down a dark mountain in a coaster car at night!
Speaking of “freaky”. For Halloween, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster will be hosting a “Track Of Terror” event. The track will be decorated up for Halloween. It’s going to be spooky and amazing. I really wish we were able to go to Gatlinburg for Halloween because the “Track Of Terror” would be on the top of our list of attractions. If I could make it down there just for the weekend, I’d go just for that!
Here are photos of the coaster ride at night. We also have a video below.
Ok, in this second video, Clay is riding with our 5 year old daughter who, apparently, has a need for speed! She kept yelling at him to make the car go faster! It was hilarious. Check out the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster at night!
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster Admission:
1 Rider $14.32
Must be at least 54”
1 person per coaster car
2 Riders $24.16
2 people in same coaster car
So, if you’re looking for a fun and affordable FAMILY attraction in the Smoky Mountains, we highly recommend the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster. Have you been?
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