The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel in Pigeon Forge, TN

131 The Island DrivePigeon Forge, TN 37863
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Overview

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.

View my photos

Description

from The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
Towering 200 feet-tall, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel sits at the foothills of the most visited national park in the United States – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the centerpiece to The Island in Pigeon Forge, it stands as one of the tallest attractions in the Southeast.

The Wheel features unparalleled views from its 42 all-glass gondolas. Each gondola is climate controlled, and can typically seat up to 6 adults or a combination of adults and children up to 8 total passengers. 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! Pull up a rocking chair and enjoy the beautiful Island Show Fountain or check out retail shops, restaurants and eateries, rides and games, live music, attractions, and more! Whether you came for a wedding, your honeymoon, or just a family vacation, visit us in Pigeon Forge. We're just down the road from Gatlinburg and open 10 a.m. daily year-round.

Tripster Customer Reviews

42 Reviews
Daniel McCraven
CHESTER, SC
7 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great view on the Top"
December 2019
Somewhat expensive for a short ride but the views are great, worth doing it once. Depending on the time you go it can be very busy. Loved the view at night, everything was so beautiful.
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Tip: Must get tickets from a location nearby, can be confusing on where to go.

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Maranda Mitchell
Guin, AL
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Vacation"
December 2019
The wheel was a great ride at the top you get a beautiful view. I took lots of pictures. The moonshine tasting was a lot of fun. I would recommend both places. We will be back for a visit soon.
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Amanda Jordan
Lucasville, OH
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great time"
August 2019
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
TROY, OH
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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TripAdvisor Reviews
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ThomasBecky
Ray City, Georgia
"Atop the Smokies"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed June 27, 2020 NEW
My grandchildren and myself thurly enjoyed the wheel, so much we rode it several times. It’s amazing how beautiful the mountains and surrounding areas are from a view atop the Smokies. All cabins were closed in and air conditioning. Was a very relaxing ride and view
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saucybellum
Charlotte, North Carolina
"Meh"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed June 26, 2020 NEW
I think if you aren’t staying in a cabin with amazing views, you may be more impressed, but for the amount of money it costs, it’s not really worth it to see construction sites from high up. I did appreciate that it was an air conditioned one, though.
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NashvilleMama
"Ok"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed June 14, 2020 NEW
I don't know if it's because of Covid, but they were so slow getting us on. There were just a few people in front of us, but we waited FOREVER. We went around a couple times and it is very pretty, but it's expensive. I wouldn't do it again.
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EmmyNoel
"VIP/ Thank you!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2020
We were waiting in line and started talking to the attendants who were super nice. They asked us about our trip and we told them how we had just gotten married in the Smokies a couple days ago, how my now husband proposed on the the Smoky Mountain Wheel and how much we love it there. After a few minutes If talking the black VIP car stops in front of us and they tell us to get in. Michelle had upgraded us to the VIP car for free so we could celebrate!! She and everyone else were so sweet, it really made our night. Thanks again Michelle!
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Donnaklo
Greensboro, North Carolina
"Would not recommend."
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed May 18, 2020
Stood in line for a long time with three small children. Wheel stopped moving for 5 minutes. Asked the people working there why? Said they didn't know "might have something to do with the fact that we have to keep starting and stopping the wheel to do the sterilizing". They were spraying chemicals into the ride (enclosed space). We left without riding after paying alot of $ to ride. Not safe at this time to ride this wheel.
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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.