Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, lies a thrilling family-friendly activity known as the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster.
This one-of-a-kind mountain coaster promises an unforgettable experience for all ages and is just one of many activities that Ripley’s offers in the Gatlinburg area.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this ride, then you have come to the right place!
This guide features everything you need to know about riding the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster including insider tips and advice, so keep reading to find out more.
- Ripley’s Mountain Coaster – What to Expect
- How Long is the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster?
- How Fast is the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster?
- What is a Mountain Coaster?
- Ripley’s Mountain Coaster Video
- Operating Hours
- Rider Requirements
- Location and How to Get There
Ripley’s Mountain Coaster – What to Expect
Originally known as the Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster, ownership of the mountain coaster changed hands in 2022 and it was then renamed the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster.
The track itself has not changed and has a comparable layout and length to the Moonshine Mountain Coaster.
The ride itself starts with a slow cable-pull ascent to the top of the mountain. This takes approximately 2 minutes and it gives you a chance to enjoy the view and watch your fellow riders making their way down the mountain.
As you reach the top the cart is released and gravity takes over!
It takes a little while to get up to speed but when it does you’re in for a thrilling ride with sweeping turns and fast straight sections.
The mountain coaster ends with two 360-degree loops before coming to a final stop at the starting point.
If anything, the track is a bit short and you’ll most certainly wish it went on for a bit longer.
Night rides are also available and we highly recommend you try it out!
The queues are often shorter so you are less likely to get stuck behind a slow rider and the experience feels so much faster at night.
Finally, like most mountain coasters, the best thing about the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is that it is a great option for families.
The carts can accommodate up to two riders, so young kids can ride with adults as long as they meet the minimum age (3 years old) and height requirements (38 inches).
You can find more information about rider requirements below.
How Long is the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster?
The Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is 3,100 feet (945m) in length and offers riders an exhilarating ride with multiple 360-degree loops, twists and turns as it winds its way through the forest and down the mountain.
The total ride time on Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is about 5 minutes.
This includes both the cable-pulled ascent to the top of the mountain and the downhill section to the bottom.
How Fast is the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster?
The Ripley’s Mountain Coaster can reach a maximum speed of 30 mp/h (48 km/h).
There is an automatic braking system that prevents the carts from going over the maximum speed.
In addition, this mountain coaster is fitted with a manual brake that lets riders control the speed of their descent.
If 30 mp/h (48 km/h) is too fast for you, you can slow the ride down to a speed that feels more comfortable.
The brake levers are located on either side of the cart. You pull them back to engage the brakes.
It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it and before you know it you’ll be cruising down the mountain.
What is a Mountain Coaster?
If you’re unfamiliar with mountain coasters (also known as alpine coasters), check out the post we wrote.
Mountain or alpine coasters are gravity-powered roller coasters that use the natural contours of a mountain to provide riders with a thrilling downhill ride experience.
Mountain coasters are a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. However, given the nature of this ride, there are some age and height restrictions that apply.
In addition, mountain coasters are equipped with a manual brake, enabling riders to adjust their descent speed.
This unique feature allows riders to have greater control of their experience.
If things get a bit too fast for your liking you can apply the brake, if you’re more of the daredevil type then you can leave the brake untouched for maximum speed.
And finally, no prior experience or training is necessary. You can just jump in and enjoy the ride.
Ripley’s Mountain Coaster Video
One of the great things about mountain coasters is that many people have filmed their experiences.
These videos give you an opportunity to “experience” the ride before you go on it.
The video below gives you a first-person view of what you can expect from start to finish on the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster.
One thing to be aware of though is that point-of-view videos can be a bit misleading.
The wide-angled lens makes the drops shallower and the ride seems way slower than it is in real life.
They provide a good idea of what the ride looks like but only real-world experience tells you how they feel.
So get out there and try it for yourself!
We mentioned above that you’re also able to ride this mountain coaster at night.
Led lights have been placed along the track making this a pretty incredible experience.
Being surrounded by darkness certainly makes you feel like you are travelling a lot faster than 30 mp/h (48 km/h).
The video below is titled “Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster”, which is what this mountain coaster was called before the ownership changed and it was renamed the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster.
The ride itself has not changed at all.
How Much Does the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster Cost?
At the time of writing, the cost to ride the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster was as follows:
|Two Coaster Rides – One Adult||$24.99|
|Two Coaster Rides – One Child (ages 3 – 9)||$12.99|
|Three Coaster Rides – One Adult||$29.99|
|Three Coaster Rides – One Child (ages 3 – 9)||$14.99|
Note that the tickets above are valid for one guest and cannot be shared.
Each rider receives a wristband valid for individual use.
Combo Pass (Recommended Option)
A popular alternative to purchasing a single-ride ticket on the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is to purchase a Combo Pass.
There are a number of Combo Pass options available with the most popular being the Aquarium + Attraction Pass.
With this pass, you get one Ripley’s Aquarium Day Pass and then your choice of up to 7 other attractions that Ripley’s offers in the area. One of these attractions is the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster.
The attractions available for you to choose from are as follows:
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
- Ripley’s Moving Theater
- Ripley’s Mirror Maze
- Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
- Ripley’s Super Fun Zone (Laser Tag)
- Ripley’s Super Fun Zone (Indoor Mini Golf)
- Ripley’s Mountain Coaster (One ride)
- Ripley’s Super Fun Park (One-hour unlimited rides)
- Old Mac Mini Golf (18 holes)
- Davy Crockett Mini Golf (18 holes)
We recommend purchasing your tickets online in advance on the official Ripley’s website.
Combo and Single Attraction tickets are valid for one year from the date of purchase and reservations are not required.
The Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is open all year round from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm.
If you have the chance we recommend doing one ride during the day and one ride at night for a completely different experience.
Operating hours are weather-permitting and subject to change.
If you’re unsure, we recommend calling in advance to confirm in the mountain coaster is open: (865) 430-7800.
The latest operating hours and information can be found on the official Ripley’s website.
As with any ride of this nature, there are a number of rider requirements that have been put in place for your safety.
We have summarized the key ones for you below:
- To ride solo, guests must be 10 years of age or older and at least 54 inches tall.
- Children ages 3–9 must be at least 38 inches tall to ride and must be accompanied by a companion who is at least 16 years old and 54 inches or taller.
- Weight limits per coaster cart: 375 pounds per cart if the track is dry and 330 pounds per cart if the track is wet.
- You must check in at the ticket booth to retrieve your wristband and sign a waiver before riding.
Location and How to Get There
The Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is located in Gatlinburg Tennessee.
Address: 386 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Directions to the Ripley’s Mountain Coaster can be found on the map below:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the weight limit for Ripley’s Mountain Coaster?
The Ripley’s Mountain Coaster weight limit is 375 lbs (170 kgs) per cart if the track is dry and 330 lbs (150 kgs) per cart if the track is wet.
Before You Go
When it comes to mountain and alpine coasters, Tennessee has some of the best on offer in the USA.
With a total of nine mountain and alpine coasters (and there seems to be a new one added every few years) on offer, you really are spoilt for choice.
So if you live in the area or are planning a visit then make sure you check out our guide to Tennessee’s Alpine and Mountain Coasters.