Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, lies a thrilling family-friendly activity known as the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.
As one of the most popular attractions in the area, this alpine coaster offers visitors an unforgettable experience that will keep them wanting to come back for more.
The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster opened in 2013, making it the first mountain coaster to be built in the Smoky Mountains.
This is quite a title to hold as there are now nine mountain and alpine coasters in the 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 Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster including insider tips and advice, so keep reading to find out more.
- How Long is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
- How Fast is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
- What is an Alpine Coaster?
- Operating Hours
- Rider Requirements
- Location and Directions
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Long is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is just over one mile long (approx. 1,646 meters), making it the longest alpine coaster in Pigeon Forge and the second longest in the United States.
It offers riders an exhilarating experience with multiple 360-degree loops, twists and turns as it winds its way down the mountain.
Total ride time (including the cable-pulled ascent) is approximately 7-8 minutes.
From top to bottom, the ride time is about 90 seconds.
Riders can travel alone or with a partner and have complete control of their speed while enjoying the amazing views of Pigeon Forge.
This alpine coaster operates in rain, snow and sunshine.
Removable rain shields are installed during wet conditions.
How Fast is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster can reach a maximum speed of 27 mp/h (43 km/h).
As a safety feature, this alpine coaster is fitted with centrifugal brakes and ultramodern eddy current brakes at the valley station.
There is an automatic braking system that prevents the carts from going over the maximum speed.
In addition, this alpine coaster is fitted with a manual brake that lets riders control the speed of their descent.
If 25 mp/h (40 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 an Alpine 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.
Smoky Mountain Alpine 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 Smoky Mountain Alpine 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!
It is worth noting that this alpine coaster also runs at night.
The entire course has 300,000 led lights installed along the track, making a nighttime ride a unique experience.
Below is a video of the Smoky Mountain Alpin Coaster at night.
This video is of the full ride experience including the ascent to the top – if you’re just interested in the downhill part skip to 5:20.
How Much Does the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster Cost?
At the time of writing, the cost to ride the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coasters was as follows:
|Adult – single rider||$18.00|
|Adult – single rider with military ID||$16.00|
|Children 7-12 (must be at least 56″ (142cm) to ride alone)||$14.00|
|Children 3-6 (must be at least 38″ (96cm) to ride with an adult)||$6.00|
Group discounts are available. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster Coupon
You can sometimes get discounted tickets on Groupon.
If you’re thinking of doing the ride then check to see if a discounted ticket is available and save yourself a few bucks.
Smoky Mountain Coaster Operating Hours
The operating hours for this alpine coaster are as follows:
|Monday – Thursday||10:00 am – 10:00 pm|
|Friday – Saturday||10:00 am – 11:00 pm|
|Sunday||10:00 am – 10:00 pm|
The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is an incredibly popular ride. Wait times can be as long as 40+ minutes during peak hours.
We recommend going early in the day to avoid the long queues.
The key height and age restrictions to participate in this ride are listed below:
- Children must be at least 3 years old and 38″ (96cm) tall.
- The minimum height for single riders is 56″ (142cm).
- If there are two people riding together, the minimum height for the passenger is 38″ (96cm) and the person driving the cart must be at least 56″ (142cm) and 16 years or older.
- The maximum height for riders is 84″(213cm).
- The maximum weight per cart is 375 lbs (170kg) in dry conditions and 330 lbs (150kg) in wet conditions.
Smoky Mountain Coaster Location and Directions
You can find the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Address: 520 Whitewater Way, New Braunfels, TX 78132
Directions to the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster can be found on the map below:
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is over one mile long (approx. 1,646m), making it the longest alpine coaster in Pigeon Forge.
How long is the wait at Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is an incredibly popular ride. Wait times can be as long as 40+ minutes during peak hours (11 am – 2 pm).
We recommend going early in the day or later in the afternoon to avoid the long queues.
How long does the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster last?
Total ride time (including the cable-pulled ascent to the start) is about 7-8 minutes. The downhill section lasts about 90 seconds.
What is the weight limit on Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
Who owns the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster?
It is owned by the husband and wife team of Jessica Seitz and Josef Gombert.
Originally from Germany, the couple visited the Smoky Mountains in 2011 and fell in love with the area. It offered the perfect site for them to build this alpine coaster.
When was the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster built?
Construction began in January 2013 and the ride first opened to the public in August 2013.
The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster was constructed by Wiegand Sports GmbH, the inventor of the alpine coaster and leading manufacturer with over 270 installations worldwide.
Is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster safe?
As long as you follow the rules, the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is a safe family-friendly ride.
As with all rides of this nature, it is important that riders follow the rules to ensure their safety. This means adhering to the weight and height restrictions and wearing the safety belt at all times.
Modern alpine coasters include a number of key safety features that ensure passengers have a safe and enjoyable ride.
These features include safety belts, manual and automated braking and distance control.