The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel in Pigeon Forge, TN

131 The Island DrivePigeon Forge, TN 37863
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A 200-foot observation wheel featuring stunning mountain views, The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is the centerpiece of The Island entertainment district in Pigeon Forge. The wheel stands as one of the tallest attractions in the Southeast, featuring 42 glass-enclosed gondolas with seating for up to 8 people at a time. During the evenings, riders can enjoy a mesmerizing 24,000 LED-light show.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Pigeon Forge Travel Experts
  • Climate controlled.
  • Ride during the day for a better view of the Smokies, and at night to see the city lights.
  • Free parking just off Teaster Lane with tram to The Island.
  • Gondolas seat up to 8.
  • VIP Wheel experience available.
  • Glass-enclosed gondolas.
  • Stunning city and mountain views.
  • 24,000 LED light-show on Wheel.
  • One of the tallest attraction in the East.

Discover More With Us

Insights from Tripster's own team members

Megan Aguilar

Fun experience for all ages with amazing views of Pigeon Forge. Plus, the climate controlled gondola is perfect on a hot day. They are located at The Island, so you can easily access shopping, Margaritaville Island Hotel and Margaritaville Restaurant.

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from The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a must-see attraction in Pigeon Forge. Towering 200 feet-tall, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel sits at the foot of the most visited National Park in the United States.

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel features 42 all glass, climate controlled gondolas. Each Gondola can typically fit 6 adults or a combination of adults and children up to 8. Enjoy scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains during the day, or a spectacular nighttime ride.

Located just off the Pigeon Forge Parkway, The Island in Pigeon Forge is packed with things to do in the Smokies! Pull up a rocking chair and enjoy the beautiful Island Show Fountain or check out our retail shops, restaurants and eateries, rides and games, live music, attractions and much more! Whether you came for a wedding, your honeymoon, or just a family vacation, come visit us in Pigeon Forge. We're just down the road from Gatlinburg and open 10 a.m. daily year round.

Tripster Customer Reviews

40 Reviews
Amanda Jordan
Lucasville, OH
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great time"
August 2019 NEW
We always have amazing time at the wheel st the island it's my favorite place.
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Matt Sousa
New castle , IN
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Family vacation"
July 2019
Great family vacation and glad we had bought tickets already nice place and great views
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Tip: Family vacation

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James Deal
Rocky Mount, VA
7 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"High up"
June 2019
Had children that were afraid of heights so thought night would be better. Not the case. Would have been better for them if it would have kept moving and not stopped every little bit. Was fun for others in our group.
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Tip: Don't ride if afraid of heights cars move a little while at the top.

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Melissa Hogan
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel"
June 2019
The gondolas were very clean and they were air conditioned. Which was great because it was over 90 degrees the day we were there. The staff was friendly. They had water spraying down in the turn styles to help keep you cool while waiting in line.
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Yolanda Benford
Nashville, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Simply Awesome and very pleasing"
March 2019
For the last 10 years I have spent my spring break in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge I had no idea about reserved direct until I stumbled up on it looking for ticket to Ripley's attractions. I stumbled on discount tickets to the wheel on the island of Pigeon Forge they will much cheaper from reserve direct then they were ordering just from the wheel or in person. The prices of reserve direct are so awesome why not get it from them. So when I got to the wheel and went to the ticket booth I showed them my phone and the ticking agent said oh wait a minute your tickets are here on reserve I was like oh I feel so special because they actually had it waiting for me on the day that I said I wanted to come to the wheel and it was wonderful. The wheel was awesome I was scared at first because I do not do Heights but I thoroughly enjoyed myself it was very pleasing and I'm so glad that I reserve my tickets on reserve Direct that I'm on here right now ordering and looking for attractions in Myrtle Beach when I go in May this year thanks for being around Reserve Direct your prices are awesome. Thanks
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Tip: People should know that they do need to shop around for deals but Reserve Direct he's the best deal out there plus you can print your ticket or you can have them look up your ticket on your phone or your ticket may be waiting at your attractions already and that's just simply wonderful

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Harry Baldwin
Richmond, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"New Christmas Tradition!"
December 2018
We went at night and could see all the Christmas lights. It was breathtaking. We loved the climate control environment. Our 3 years old granddaughter kept saying "Awesome". We are going to make this a tradition. The pictures taken there were also wonderful, we bought them all!
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Lucinda Hovanick
Geneva, OH
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fun and beautiful"
November 2018
It was an amazing experience riding the wheel. The views are spectacular you can see so much. It's safe and climate controlled as well. My family had a great ride, the Island has so much to do.
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Tip: Try to buy discount tickets on reserve if you don't you'll pay about $5 more a person.

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Lisa White
1 Review
"Wonderful time"
October 2018
It was my kids first time in Tennessee and the wheel was something they wanted to do... we did ride it and they loved it.
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Tip: amazing... its enclosed and air conditioned

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
"YES - Just do it!!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 14, 2019 NEW
Yes, I still get a little nervous, and as long as they don't stop it with me on the very top, I'm ok. Great views, I ride it everytime we go the The Island.
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El Ejido, Spain
"Great fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 14, 2019 NEW
We did it at night and it was lovely to see the lights show from the fountain and all the lights from the top of the wheel. It is expensive at 14.00 (plus 9.76% tax) so either buy the day/night combo ticket or the day pass to get the most for your money. Another option is to find the 2 dollar off coupons in the coupon books that are everywhere.
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Owens Cross Roads, Alabama
"Having fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 13, 2019 NEW
We went and walked around watched the wheel,shop,and watched children ride on the roller was pretty.watched the water and light show it was pretty.
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Kingsport, Tennessee
"A Must-do In Pigeon Forge"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 11, 2019 NEW
While staying at the Margaritaville Island Inn, we walked over to the attractions on the Island and opted to ride this wheel. We waited until it was dark and three of us had a car to ourselves. The wheel goes around several times and being so large, it takes longer than you might think. The views were incredible. The cars are air conditioned. The price is worth it!
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TripAdvisor user image
"the view is fantastic!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 08, 2019 NEW
what a ride!!!! the view is wonderful, you can see for miles. the little cabins are air conditioned/heated which is great. may get alittle woosey at first but it goes away about halfway thru the 1st round....dont fret. this is something to experiance!
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

How many people can fit inside a Gondola at one time?
Each Gondola can typically fit 6 adults or a combination of adults and children up to 8. There is a weight limit of 1,200 lbs.

Can pregnant women or infants ride?
The ride is a controlled, smooth experience that accommodates all people. While infants ride for free, you still need a ticket for the infant. It is not recommended that pregnant women ride but may choose to on their own accord.

Can I bring my pet on the ride?
Sorry, we like those family members but do not permit animals of any kind.

Can I wait to ride alone in my own Gondola?
Typically, we have many riders patiently waiting for their turn to ride. As a result, occasionally you may be required to ride with other parties to accommodate those patiently waiting to ride.

Do you permit food or drink on the ride?
In an effort to help keep all gondolas clean and safe, we do not allow eating or drinking on the ride.

Do you have wheelchair access?
Yes, we are able to access the Gondolas with a wheelchair. Disabled persons must be able to enter on their own or be with a companion for assistance.

How long is a ride?
Ride times vary but are a minimum of 3 revolutions.

Can I reserve a Gondola for a specific time?
We do not accept reservations. All rides are served on a first come first served basis.

Can I buy a souvenir from my experience on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel?
Yes! No experience is complete without a visit to our Great Smoky Mountain Wheel gift shop located across from the exit. There are a variety of souvenirs and gifts for the memories to continue.