Family enjoying an amusement park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

What Are the Best Amusement Parks In and Around Gatlinburg?

People from all over the world visit Gatlinburg, one of America’s favorite family vacation spots! They come to experience the natural wonder of the Smoky Mountains and spend time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But, Gatlinburg has so much more to offer travelers! 

When traveling to Gatlinburg, you want to make sure that you see the best that the town has to offer. There’s great shopping and fantastic restaurants…but there are also some really great amusement parks – and no vacation is truly complete without a visit to one! 

Gatlinburg and the surrounding area has so many amusement parks that it’ll be tough to choose just one to go to. You could even describe Gatlinburg as amusement park heaven! Let’s take a look at the many different amusement parks and theme parks in and around Gatlinburg

Download our Ultimate Bucket List of Attractions in Gatlinburg to discover all the BEST things to do!


The word “Anakeesta” originally comes from a Cherokee word that roughly means “place of high ground” when translated into English. 

Download our Ultimate Bucket List of Attractions in Gatlinburg to discover all the BEST things to do!

In 2014, Bob and Karen Bentz and their family purchased 55 acres of forested mountain land from the Phi Beta fraternity. It was on this land that they developed a family-oriented amusement park where visitors can enjoy family fun while taking in the natural scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains

In addition to attractions like the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster, Dueling Ziplines, and the Anavista Tower, Anakeesta also has a multitude of dining and shopping opportunities. There’s lots of fun for everyone!

Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is a combined amusement park and ski area, and has been one of Gatlinburg’s most prominent fun spots since it first opened in 1962. Even though it’s well known for winter fun, Ober Gatlinburg isn’t just for skiing and snowboarding – you’ll find fun during all four seasons!

The Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park includes activities like the alpine slide, indoor ice skating, mini golf, a rock climbing wall, bumper cars, and water rides (summer only) during warm weather months. 

You can get there from the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway, located just off the Parkway in Downtown Gatlinburg


Dollywood Theme Park is located just a few miles down the road from Gatlinburg in nearby Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The theme park is the hub of an amusement destination that also includes a sister water park, Dollywood’s Splash Country, and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. 

Dollywood is the most popular ticketed attraction in Tennessee, and is considered one of the best theme parks in the United States. It features 8 roller coasters and other thrill rides divided among its 11 themed areas. The whole park has a charming Southern Appalachian flair and is home to over 25 food vendors (so there’s a taste for everyone)! 

Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park

Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park is where you’ll find North America’s first alpine coaster, the aptly named Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster. Take a coaster ride down Rowdy Bear Mountain, hitting speeds of up to 35 miles per hour while you twist and turn through the woods!

While you’re there, you can also take a ride on the Mountain Glider, a single rail air coaster that makes you feel as if you’re flying through the treetops. And while you’re at it, why not try out the 30-foot-tall climbing wall?

Soaky Mountain Waterpark

Located in nearby Sevierville, Soaky Mountain Waterpark is the perfect place to cool down during the hot days of summer in the Smoky Mountains. The park has every kind of water attraction you can think of: slides, a wave pool, an adventure river, and a new water coaster coming later in 2022!

Soaky Mountain Waterpark even has areas specifically designed for younger children, going so far as to have a kiddie-sized version of Blue Mountain Mayhem, one of their most popular slides. 

After all that time in the pool, you’re sure to have worked up quite an appetite. Soaky Mountain offers snacks of every kind, and they even have their own taco truck!

The Track

Up for a race? At The Track, there are go-kart tracks for almost every age and skill level, so don’t sweat it if you’ve never ridden before! Besides go-karts, you’ll also find mini golf, an arcade with over 50 games to play, blaster boats, and bumper cars

The Track also has an entire area dedicated to the youngest members of the family, with rides like the Rio Grande Train, Noah’s Lark, and Red Baron Planes. 

The Island in Pigeon Forge

For almost a decade, The Island in Pigeon Forge has been a great place for fun in the Gatlinburg area. The Island offers free admission, so you only pay for what you want to do while you’re there. Of course, you can take advantage of their Unlimited Rides Pass, which gives holders 48 hours of unlimited rides for one convenient price – and there’s a lot of rides at The Island

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is The Island’s ferris wheel, giving riders the most amazing views of the surrounding mountains. There’s also The Flying Horse Carousel, SkyFly, and the Island Mirror Maze, just to name a few. The Island also has an array of shops and boutiques, and two hotels within the grounds of the park!

Gear Up For a Great Time

Gatlinburg is loaded to the brim with amusement park options for the whole family, and it’s a great way to spend a day (or two!). 

For even more fun adventures in and around Gatlinburg, remember to take a look at Relax Gatlinburg, your one stop shop for everything that’s going on! It’s your resource for information about local restaurants, festivals, accommodations and more!