PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. -- About 2.5 million come to Pigeon Forge to visit Dollywood every year. They have some of the best roller coasters in the country...but getting your coaster fix doesn't end within the park's borders.
I'm talking about Pigeon Forge's Alpine Coasters. What is an Alpine Coaster? It's kind of like a bobsled. You get in your own personal car on a track that takes you up to the top of the mountain. YOU control the speed with two handles on the side of the car. Want to go all out? Push those handles down, man. Getting a little too scared? Pull up!
It's that kind of control that is driving more and more families to these attractions. I went to ride a few of them yesterday.
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster | 867 Wears Valley Rd, Pigeon Forge | (865) 365-5000 | smokymountainalpinecoaster.com | $15 adults, $12 children 7-12, $5 children 3-6
Billed as the first and longest Alpine Coaster in Pigeon Forge, the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is indeed a ton of fun. The entire ride takes about 7-8 minutes. Most of that is on the giant lift hill that slowly takes you up the side of the mountain. That's the most relaxing part of the ride, where you get to take in some great views - before you hit the top and fly down at speeds just over 30mph.
I rode the coaster LIVE on Facebook. Check out the results....
They also offer a really neat night ride experience. They've got more than 300,000 LED lights throughout the coaster track. Take a look at what that's like....
The Coaster at Goats on the Roof | 1341 Wears Valley Rd, Pigeon Forge | (865) 366-7337 | thecoastertn.com | Adults $15, $12 children 7-12, $5 children 3-6
One of the area's newest Alpine Coasters, this spot has one truly unique feature. If the name didn't give it away, there are GOATS on the ROOF of the gift shop. You can even buy some food and use this really fun bicycle to lift it up there. There's also a gift shop, ice cream, and oh yeah, an Alpine Coaster.
I took at ride on this one LIVE on Facebook. Sorry for the shakiness and technical difficulties, but it gives you an idea of what the ride is like.
There are a few more Alpine Coasters in the Pigeon Forge area that I wasn't able to hit - the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, which also has a night-ride feature:
And there's Ober Gatlinburg's Ski Mountain Coaster.
Do you have a favorite Alpine Coaster in Pigeon Forge or elsewhere? Let me know about it! Find my social networks here and don't forget to follow "Coastin' the Country" for all of my roller coaster adventures.