Moonshine Mountain Coaster Review: A Thrilling Ride Like No Other




Moonshine Mountain Coaster Review: A Thrilling Ride Like No Other


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Located in the heart of the picturesque Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Moonshine Mountain Coaster promises an exhilarating and memorable experience. Renamed from the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster under new ownership since 2021, this unique roller coaster offers riders an unforgettable journey through breathtaking mountain scenery.

Moonshine Mountain Coaster

Purpose and Key Features

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster isn’t your average amusement park ride. The purpose of this exhilarating roller coaster is to provide a unique, interactive experience that blends high-thrill entertainment with the breathtaking beauty of Gatlinburg’s natural landscape. Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, the coaster offers a dual experience – a scenic exploration and an adrenaline-pumping adventure.

One of the key features that sets the Moonshine Mountain Coaster apart from traditional amusement park rides is the control it gives to the riders. Unlike typical roller coasters where you’re merely a passenger, here you become an active participant in the adventure. Each sled on the Moonshine Mountain Coaster is equipped with a braking system that lets riders control their own speed throughout the ride. This means you can choose to fly down the mountainside at the coaster’s maximum speed of 30mph, or take a more leisurely descent to soak in the gorgeous scenery around you.

Another significant feature is its accessibility and appeal to all age groups. The Moonshine Mountain Coaster extends its adventurous invitation to kids as young as three years old, making it a family-friendly attraction. Of course, safety measures are in place to ensure the security of the younger ones, making the ride enjoyable for everyone.

Perhaps the most mesmerizing feature of the Moonshine Mountain Coaster is its night rides. As the sun sets, the coaster and its surroundings transform into a spectacular light show, turning the ride into a magical journey through a lit-up mountain landscape. The twinkling lights enhance the thrill of the coaster ride, making the experience truly unforgettable.

In conclusion, the Moonshine Mountain Coaster brings together the thrill of a roller coaster, the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, and the joy of an immersive, hands-on experience. It’s not just a ride, but a journey that you can tailor to your own preferences, making it a unique attraction in Gatlinburg.

How to Get to Moonshine Mountain Coaster

Moonshine Mountain Coaster is conveniently located in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Here’s all the information you’ll need to get there.

Moonshine Mountain Coaster,
306 Parkway,
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Depending on your starting location, you can use the following general directions:

  • From Downtown Gatlinburg: Head southeast on the Parkway. The destination will be on your right.
  • From Pigeon Forge: Take US-321 South (Parkway). Continue on US-321 S to Gatlinburg. The destination will be on your left.

If you’re using a GPS or an online map, just enter the address above for precise directions.

To get in touch with the attraction for any queries or specific information, you can reach them at this phone number:


Remember to always check the local traffic and weather conditions before you start your journey. Enjoy your visit to the Moonshine Mountain Coaster!

Design and Quality

Moonshine Mountain Coaster is a marvel of design and engineering quality that’s made it a top-tier attraction in Gatlinburg. The coaster is a testament to seamless amalgamation of thrilling adventure and serene nature appreciation.

Innovative Design

The design of the coaster is such that it blends into the surrounding natural environment. The coaster’s course is ingeniously carved into the side of a mountain, providing an authentic mountain coaster experience. The track is specifically designed with twists, dips, and turns that maximize the thrill of the ride while also showcasing the beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery.

The design also includes a unique feature that gives the rider control over their own speed. This introduces a personalized element to the ride, allowing it to cater to thrill-seekers and those who prefer a slower, scenic ride alike. The sled-like carts equipped with two handles further enhance this individual control aspect, making it an exciting and unique experience compared to traditional roller coasters.

High-Quality Construction

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster isn’t just about thrilling design; it’s also built with safety and durability in mind. High-quality materials are used in the construction of the coaster, ensuring its robustness and ability to withstand the elements. Each sled is meticulously crafted, providing comfort while also ensuring safety with the inclusion of robust safety belts and an easy-to-use braking system.

The new owners, since late 2021, have been very proactive in maintaining the quality of the coaster. They’ve made substantial upgrades to the coaster, ensuring it is equipped with the manufacturer’s latest (2022) safety technology. This speaks volumes about the quality assurance process that the coaster goes through on a regular basis, ensuring a safe and smooth ride every time.

The quality doesn’t end at the ride itself. The light show that takes place at sunset is a testament to the attraction’s commitment to providing an unforgettable experience. The use of vibrant and exciting colors illuminating the mountain and the coaster track adds a magical touch to the ride, transforming it into a dazzling spectacle after sunset.

In conclusion, Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers a combination of brilliant design and high-quality construction, creating a top-notch experience that is both thrilling and visually stunning. The design integrates the ride into the natural surroundings and the quality ensures a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable ride for everyone.

Key Features and Functionality

Moonshine Mountain Coaster is jam-packed with features that elevate the rider experience from a typical roller coaster ride to a unique adventure. Let’s take a closer look at some of its key features and functionality:

Personal Speed Control

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Moonshine Mountain Coaster is the personal speed control system. Unlike traditional roller coasters where everyone travels at the same speed, here riders have full control over their own pace. This is made possible by sled-like carts equipped with two handle brakes. This way, thrill-seekers can go as fast as they like, reaching speeds of up to 30 mph, while those who want a more leisurely, scenic ride can slow things down to fully take in the stunning Smoky Mountain views.

All Ages Adventure

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster is designed to be a family-friendly attraction. Young children, as young as 3 years old, can ride the coaster as a passenger with a driver who is at least 16 years old. There’s no age limit for solo drivers, as long as they meet the height requirement of 56″. This makes the coaster an enjoyable experience for families of all shapes and sizes.

Scenic and Night Rides

The coaster isn’t just about thrill – it’s also about appreciating the beautiful scenery of the Smoky Mountains. As you’re taken up the hill, you’ll be greeted with picturesque views of the mountainous landscape. And it doesn’t end there. The coaster offers unique night rides where the track is lit up by an amazing light show, offering a different, magical perspective of the mountain.

Safety First

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster puts safety first. Equipped with the latest safety technology, it has stringent safety guidelines, such as height, age, and weight restrictions to ensure a secure ride. The coaster goes through daily inspections, and also weekly and monthly checks by the mechanical department, as well as an annual inspection by the manufacturer.

Easily Accessible

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster is conveniently located on Parkway, Gatlinburg, making it easily accessible for locals and tourists alike. This location, along with its ample parking spaces, makes it a hassle-free destination for a fun day out.

In essence, the Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers an unparalleled mix of fun, excitement, beauty, and safety, making it a standout attraction in the Gatlinburg area. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, nature lover, or someone in between, this coaster has something unique to offer you.

Comparison with Other Attractions in Gatlinburg

The Gatlinburg area is known for its array of attractions, ranging from adventurous outdoor activities to serene sightseeing spots. Here’s how the Moonshine Mountain Coaster compares with some other notable attractions in the area:


Anakeesta is an outdoor adventure park that also offers breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains, much like the Moonshine Mountain Coaster. However, Anakeesta primarily offers a passive experience, where visitors ride a chairlift to the summit to enjoy the views and walk around the park. In contrast, the Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers a more active and thrilling experience, as riders control their own speed down the mountainside.

Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg, a ski resort and amusement park, offers a variety of recreational activities including skiing, snowboarding, wildlife encounters, and an aerial tramway. While Ober Gatlinburg offers a wide range of activities, it might not be as thrilling for those seeking high-speed excitement like that offered by the Moonshine Mountain Coaster. Moreover, Ober Gatlinburg’s key attractions are more seasonal, whereas the coaster operates year-round.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a top attraction in Gatlinburg, known for its stunning natural beauty, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing opportunities. While the park offers a peaceful escape into nature, it does not provide the adrenaline rush that comes with the Moonshine Mountain Coaster. The coaster combines the thrill of a roller coaster with the natural beauty of the park, providing a unique experience that neither attraction can offer on its own.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium is a great indoor attraction that offers educational and interactive marine exhibits. It’s an excellent choice for a rainy day or for those interested in marine life. However, it doesn’t offer the outdoor thrill and excitement provided by the Moonshine Mountain Coaster.

In summary, while Gatlinburg boasts a range of fantastic attractions, the Moonshine Mountain Coaster sets itself apart with its unique blend of high-speed thrills, natural beauty, and year-round accessibility. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that’s sure to appeal to adventure-seekers and nature lovers alike.

Pros and Cons

  • Interactive control of the ride’s speed
  • Night rides with a spectacular light show
  • Strict adherence to safety protocols
  • Suitable for children as young as 3
  • The ride might feel too short for some thrill-seekers
  • Height, age, and weight restrictions might exclude some potential riders

Why Moonshine Mountain Coaster Is Better

While each attraction in Gatlinburg has its unique features and charm, there are several reasons why the Moonshine Mountain Coaster stands out as a superior choice for a memorable visit. Here’s why:

Thrill Factor

Not many attractions offer the adrenaline-fueled excitement of controlling your own ride down a mountainside at speeds up to 30 mph. The thrill of the Moonshine Mountain Coaster is unique in Gatlinburg, making it an unbeatable option for adventure-seekers.

User-Controlled Experience

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster puts the rider in control, a feature not found in many attractions. Riders can control their speed, making the experience as mild or as thrilling as they wish. This flexibility caters to a wide range of preferences, from those who seek high-speed excitement to those who prefer a leisurely descent to take in the scenic beauty.

All-Age Attraction

Moonshine Mountain Coaster is an all-ages attraction, making it a perfect choice for families. Unlike some attractions that have strict age or height restrictions, the coaster allows children as young as 3 to ride with an adult, and those 16 or older to drive their own sled. This inclusivity makes it a great choice for families of varied ages.

Year-Round Operation

Many attractions in Gatlinburg are seasonal, but the Moonshine Mountain Coaster operates all year, offering a unique experience in every season. The charm of a spring ride, the thrill of a summer night run, the beauty of an autumn descent, and the excitement of a winter adventure make it a must-visit attraction any time of year.

Night Rides with Light Show

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster’s night rides are an experience in themselves. The mountain lights up with a fantastic light show, making the night rides a breathtaking and unique experience. Most attractions don’t offer such a unique nighttime experience.

Combination of Adventure and Scenic Beauty

Moonshine Mountain Coaster provides a unique blend of thrill and beauty. While enjoying the high-speed ride, riders also get to witness the spectacular beauty of the Smoky Mountains. This combination of adrenaline-pumping adventure and scenic allure makes the coaster a standout among Gatlinburg’s attractions.

In summary, the Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers an unmatched blend of excitement, beauty, and user-controlled adventure, making it a superior choice for visitors seeking a unique and unforgettable Gatlinburg experience.

User Testimonials

When looking at visitor feedback, it’s evident that the Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers a genuinely unique and memorable experience. Let’s take a closer look at what some anonymous guests have said:

  1. One visitor described their ride on the coaster as a “unique experience” and an absolute blast. They highlighted that the coaster was one of the top activities during their vacation in Gatlinburg. The friendly and attentive staff made the experience even more enjoyable, especially with their keen attention to ensuring the kids’ safety.
  2. Another rider shared how they appreciated the control they had over their sled. They loved being able to control the speed, making the ride thrilling yet safe at the same time. The gorgeous views at the top of the coaster were a delightful bonus.
  3. A recent guest expressed their joy at visiting the coaster twice during their trip. They loved the competitive element of being able to check their speed in the ride photos. A staff member named Pete was highlighted for making their experience more enjoyable and entertaining.
  4. A family visiting Gatlinburg chose the coaster as one of the first activities upon their arrival. They had such a blast they decided to revisit before the end of their trip. The family-friendly competition and the ability to track their speed in the ride photos added an extra layer of fun to the overall experience.
  5. One visitor shared how much they appreciated the night ride experience. They found the light show breathtaking and unique, making it one of the most unforgettable parts of their trip.

From these reviews, it’s clear that the Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers an exciting, family-friendly experience that leaves a lasting impression on its guests. The mix of thrilling speeds, scenic views, and exceptional customer service contributes to an overall outstanding experience. Please note that while these reviews were overwhelmingly positive, any attraction can have its off-days. These are not guaranteed experiences but represent the general sentiment from previous guests.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure to adhere to all safety guidelines and instructions from staff.
  • Try to plan your visit during less busy times for a shorter wait.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to ride at night for a unique, illuminated ride.
  • Remember that even though you can control your speed, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Frequently Asked Questions

As with any thrilling attraction, it’s natural for guests to have questions about the experience. Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers about the Moonshine Mountain Coaster:

Is the Moonshine Mountain Coaster safe?

Yes, absolutely. Safety is the top priority at Moonshine Mountain Coaster. The attraction is in close contact with the TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development and official amusement inspectors, ensuring that all safety guidelines are upheld. There are daily inspections of safety devices along the track, and the mechanical department performs weekly and monthly inspections. Additionally, the manufacturer carries out an annual inspection. The coaster is equipped with the manufacturer’s latest safety technology.

Was this Coaster called Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster? Why did the name change?

That’s correct. The coaster was initially known as Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster when it opened in 2014. It was the first Mountain Coaster in Gatlinburg. However, after it was sold in September 2021, the new ownership and management decided to rebrand, rename, and upgrade the coaster with the latest safety technology, becoming the Moonshine Mountain Coaster.

What is the height requirement to ride the Moonshine Mountain Coaster?

To ride the Moonshine Mountain Coaster, there are certain height requirements. The minimum height requirement is 38″ tall (and 3 years old) to ride as a passenger with someone at least 16 years old. For those wanting to drive the sled, you must be at least 56″ tall.

What are the age requirements?

The minimum age to ride the coaster as a passenger is 3 years old (and 38″ tall). The person driving the cart must be at least 16 years old to ride with a passenger or 56″ tall to ride alone. As long as the height requirement of 56″ is met, there is no age requirement to ride alone.

What makes Moonshine Mountain Coaster unique?

What sets the Moonshine Mountain Coaster apart from other attractions is its stunning location in the Smoky Mountains, allowing riders to enjoy a scenic ascent before their thrilling descent. Riders can control their sled’s speed, making the experience as exciting or leisurely as they wish. Additionally, at night, an incredible light show illuminates the mountain, creating a mesmerizing spectacle and a unique riding experience.

Can we take the night ride?

Absolutely! The Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers rides at sunset, during which an amazing light show turns on and lights up almost the entire mountain in breathtaking colors. It’s a fantastic experience that you shouldn’t miss.

Remember, it’s always good to check with the staff if you have any other queries or concerns. They are there to ensure your safety and enjoyment during your visit.

Conclusion: A Unique, Thrilling Experience Awaits

The Moonshine Mountain Coaster offers an unforgettable, thrilling ride with the added bonus of a beautiful setting in the Smoky Mountains. With its unique features and high safety standards, this coaster is a must-visit attraction in Gatlinburg. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a magical night ride, the Moonshine Mountain Coaster promises a unique, memorable experience for riders of almost all ages.


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