19 Mar 2020
The tourist industry is always moving forward looking to provide visitors with the latest and greatest in amusements. Lately here in Gatlinburg we’ve seen a downhill trend! Now normally that is a bad thing but for us it is an exciting time and something that we think you will love too! What is responsible for it you might ask?
Gatlinburg has seen this downward trend happen with the addition of several Alpine Coasters. What is an Alpine Coaster and how is it different from a regular coaster? According to Wikipedia an Alpine Coaster is:” a gravity driven amusement ride with bobsled- like cars on tracks installed on a mountain’. Since the ride operates using the principle of gravity it is much more eco-friendly than its traditional counterpoint. These coasters use a lift system to pull the cars up a mountainside and then the rider controls the speed of the car using a hand braking system on the way down. They typically have numerous dips and spirals and give a thrilling ride through some beautiful scenery. Another way they differ is that they can operate all year round, rain or shine, snow or sun, day or night. They are also nearly silent during their operation except for the cheerful noise of the riders. Almost any age can ride except for the very young under 3 and some coasters will have height restrictions.
There are currently 3 coasters in operation in Gatlinburg.
The first coaster was built in Gatlinburg is the “Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster” located on the main parkway at Traffic light #2. This coaster runs 3,280 feet and has a top speed of 35 miles per hour. Parking is available at the venue. They have single and double coasters with a minimum age of 3 years old (if riding with an adult). The manufacturer of this coaster is Weigand.
The second coaster is located at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. This coaster is offered in conjunction with Aquatic Development Group and is the highest alpine coaster in the state of Tennessee. Its’ track runs for 3,750 feet with a top speed of 25 miles per hour. ADG claims to have safer sleds since the backs on them are higher, the hand brake levers are shorter (keeping them closer to the coaster, thus protecting your hand) and a top rated seat belt restraint system.
The newest coaster is Anakeesta's Rail Runner - the only single rail coaster in America! These coasters ride lower to the ground, while also giving the rider complete control of the speed.
We hope you will come to the mountains and experience the thrill of these new attractions for the whole family!