What’s NEW at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg? SO MUCH.


After full days of playing in Pigeon Forge, it’s time to make your way down the road to the sister city of Gatlinburg! Once you are on the downtown Parkway, you are sure to see the big signs with a Cherokee word you may not recognize – it’s the magical mountaintop attraction of Anakeesta! As Gatlinburg’s most recent addition, it has not stopped the creators of Anakeesta from continuously dreaming and adding to their young concept where the Smoky Mountains meets fairytale.

But what should you expect from this unique experience and what expenses can you anticipate? We are here to help with insights into Gatlinburg’s mountaintop dreamland of Anakeesta…

  1. Getting to the Mountaintop
    No need to scale the mountain, located at stoplight #5 along the Parkway in Gatlinburg, the Chondola Base Station serves as your air-ferry into the magical mountaintop attraction. Here, guests can purchase their Anakeesta admission tickets which includes ALL of the following:

    Chondola Ride
    Tree Canopy Walk
    Treehouse Village Playground
    Memorial Forest Walk
    Vista Gardens Walk
    Firefly Village boasting the most breathtaking views of Gatlinburg and Mt. LeConte!

    Opt to take the open-air, 4-person chair lift or the closed, 6-person chondola. Both are relaxing ride as the excitement builds with your growing views of Gatlinburg and the breathtaking mountain landscapes.

    Extra Tip!
    Want to make some lunch back in your fully loaded kitchen in your cabin or visit some other Gatlinburg attractions like the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or the Gatlinburg Mysterious Mansion? Your admission extends as many Chondola rides as you please! Come and go the same day as much as you’d like, while those who purchase their tickets after 5 p.m. can come back the next day – FREE!

  2. What Is THE NEWEST Attraction?
    While Anakeesta was only constructed and opened in 2016, they are continuously adding to their dream village! Their newest enhancement brings the U.S.’s first Brandauer coaster, the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster.

    The Brandauer model of thrill ride differs from the double-rail Alpine coasters you are sure to have seen throughout the Smoky Mountain area with the use of a monorail system that is able to sit lower to the ground and glide along in single and double cars at speeds up 25 miles per hour! North America only saw this European coaster for the first time in 2016 in British Colombia, and now, we have the country’s very first at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

    The Rail Runner is set to open this fall of 2018! Riders will fly downhill for 1,600 feet, twisting and gliding around curves before turning back to scale the mountain for one of the most scenic ends to any roller coaster you have ever been on. Solo or tandem with a little one, the car has a break system the rider can control for the best possible ride to fit the rider’s taste for speed. Ticket prices are not set just yet, but definitely keep an eye out for this incredible ride this fall.

  3. Shop, Play, Eat, and Unwind
    While you are waiting for the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster to post its grand opening, hit up these other fun family activities with the kids that are included in your admission to Anakeesta and breathtaking, awesome “hikes” the whole family can make:

    Tree Canopy Walk
    16 swinging bridges suspended 40’ to 60’ above the forest floor make up one of the coolest tours in the Smokies. Each bridge is connected to an observation deck supported by the trees of the forests where you can watch the wildlife of the Smoky Mountains flutter and climb from limb to limb or watch them scour for food below-keep an eye out for the Smokies’ mascot, the black bear!

    Treehouse Village Playground
    This one is geared towards your younger adventurers in the group, and they are sure to love it! The whimsical treehouse village is filled with bridges, obstacle courses, and fun facts for them to learn, play, and explore.

    Vista Gardens
    Like something out of a fairytale, this beautiful mountaintop garden leads you through lush flowers, along babbling streams and little waterfalls, to a pergola where you can forget about absolutely anything else in the world while gazing across miles of mountains and gorgeous forestry.

    Memorial Forest Walk
    In honor of those first responders, those who lost businesses, and the strength of the people of Tennessee, the forest trail and informative signs stand as a reminder of the circle of life and hope for new growth following the devastating Gatlinburg Fires that burned almost 18,000 acres.

    Firefly Village
    Shop and dine in this lovely Alpine-inspired village where there is something for everyone! Find the perfect souvenir in one of the numerous charming shops or grab some lunch at the mouthwatering Smokehouse BBQ and Beer Truck. Share incredible views and great drinks while sipping at the Cliff Top Bar & Grill with friends before gathering around the large fire pit to unwind in the rocking chairs as the sun drops in the sky.

    While these next attractions cost a little extra, they pack a whole lot of fun:

    Dueling Ziplines
    Race your friends on 3 side-by-side ziplines or simply enjoy the ride as you fly through the treetops on 2,600’ of gliding and two 50+ foot suspended drops! Children as young as 7 can join the fun, and those 12 and under simply need accompanying adults.

    Want another 30-45 minutes of thrills? Zip again for only $14.99!

    Gem Mining
    For only $5.95, kids can sift through the sand using their very own sluice in the waters flowing along the wood trough to discover precious gems-and maybe even gold!

After shopping, eating, and playing until your heart is more than content in Anakeesta, return to your Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Cabin for an incredibly restful night of sleep after unwinding with a soothing soak in the bubbly outdoor hot tub, indoor jetted tub, or with a dip in an indoor pool. Find all the possible amenities to enjoy by perusing our extensive listings of budget-friendly, luxury, 1-bedroom, or large group cabins nestled among the pines of the Great Smoky Mountains!