Showing posts with label gatlinburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gatlinburg. Show all posts


Ober Gatlinburg Ski Mountain Coaster

When in Gatlinburg, you must take time to visit Ober Gatlinburgs Ski Mountain Coaster. You can access Ober via Ski Mountain Road with your car (Parking at the top is $5 dollars for all day) or you can take the Sky Tram ($15 per person) located on the Parkway.

The coaster is of course settled along the mountain. It is an easy walk to the ticket booth. The cost per ride is $15 dollars. Three rides (Same rider) is $36 dollars.

Cash and credit cards are accepted as payment.

Once paid, we walked through a small souvenir and snack shop and up the steps to the coaster. The lines were not long at all.

When it was our turn, we got into the sleds, strapped in, and waited for instructions from the employee working there. Instructions were printed on the walls on the side and in front. The employee simply reiterated the rules.

When given the signal, you press down on both handles of your sled and away you go.
Tip; On the trek up the mountain, you do not have to hold the handles down. Your sled is attached to a cable that pulls you to the top of the mountain.

The sled course winds slowly upward to the top, it takes about 5 minutes or so to get there. As the sled reaches the pinnacle a sign informs you to press both handles all the way down to allow the sled to go.

And wow do you go. The sled is attached to a steel rail system, and it cannot come detached from the rail. Seconds after you push the handles the hills become steep and the sled zooms around wicked turns and vicious curves. The coaster does have hills, but more like humps as it propels itself down the mountain slope.

I swear it feels like you are going 60 miles per hour but I think it is only 30 miler per hour or so.

At the end of the ride a sign informs you to slow down by lifting the handles slightly and you coast into the station. You unstrap and step out.

As you exit, you can purchase a picture taken of you during the coaster ride. Its $15 dollars but other sizes and packages are available.

Total ride time about 7 minutes. Total thrill time just under two minutes.

I rate this at 4.5-5 instead of 5-5 because of the cost. It like the hill, is steep. It would be nice if Ober could somehow incorporate this ride with the rest of the amusement area to make it more affordable. Ober offers an all day ride pass for the Chair lift, Alpine Sled, mirror maze, Blue Typhoon, and the other rides and attractions but you must pay seperately for the Ski Coaster.



Gatlinburg Sky Lift

The Parkway in Gatlinburg has many attractions to choose from. I highly recommend the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. Tickets are $15 per person but here is a tip: If you buy an all day pass, it is only $20 dollars. This option allows you to see the top of the mountain in the day time and also at night when the lights are on.

The ride is a standard ski lift set up. You step onto the platform, (There are feet painted to show you where to stand.) The carousel slowly brings your lift chair around and the attendant raises the bar and you step on and sit down. You then lower the bar and you are on your way. (They will also stop the chairlift momentarily to allow people that need more time to get in their chair.)

The ride is mostly smooth with just a tad of swaying up and down. The view is spectacular and the ride very relaxing. Just befor you reach the top there is an opportunity to have your picture taken. (Cost is $11 for small photo but cost goes up with the package deals they present to you)

At the top you raise the bar on the chair and step to the right when the attendant tells you. There is a little shop where your sky lift picture is posted for you to view before buying plus soft drinks and ice cream and assorted snacls and trinkets.

The view is outstanding as you look down upon the city and out to the great Smoky Mountains. Plenty of photo ops available.

The ride down is as simple as the ride up.
Again, I highly recommend buying the all day pass. You will want to ride it many times.

***The 2016 arson fires damaged a portion of the Gatlinburg Sky Lift but most was not lost. I am sure plans are in place to rebuild the attraction in the very near future. 



Flapjacks Pancakes - Gatlinburg

In Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge there are more than enough restaurants to eat breakfast at. Problem is, they are busy all the time. Flapjacks on the Parkway was no exception but they had a good system that kept customers happy.

On our way to Pigeon Forge, we stopped at Flapjacks for breakfast. The parking lot was crowded but the restaurant was large, much larger than the Flapjacks in the heart of Gatlinburg.

We walked in and we were greeted by the hostess asking how many. We answered two. She said it would be about 10-15 minutes. No problem at all.

In less than 10 minutes our name was called and we were seated. Our waitress appeared and asked for our drinks and promptly returned with them.

I order the Wonderland Egg Breakfast for $9.49. It consisted of three eggs, with bacon, sausage, home fries, and two good sized pancakes.

In less than ten minutes our breakfast was served. And it was good. Real Good. My eggs well cooked as well as the bacon and sausage. The home fries were very tasty and the pancakes, or flapjacks, were delicious.

Great service, great food, great value.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 5 out of 5 shots and recommends Flapjacks for breakfast. 



Dicks Last Resort - Gatlinburg

We stopped for lunch on a busy day in Gatlinburg. We had eaten at Dicks Last Resort before so we knew the atmosphere going in. It was such a nice day we asked to be seated outside. Our waiter said, "I don't care, sit wherever you want." It had begun.

In short order our waiter returned and asked what we wanted. We aksed for cokes and we ordered our meals. He wroye it down and then threw half a dozen straws on our table and said, "Here, I'll be back. Maybe!" He did return with our drinks and sized us up and informed us he'd be right back again.

While we were waiting for our lunch our waiter came back with several large white sheets of paper. he proceeded to write something on each and folded them into the signature "Dick Hats." He placed mine on my head and one on my wife's head. He sneered at us, chuckled, and left. (Check the photos below for our dick hats)

Our lunch was brought out and our waiter placed, or well, sort of tossed our lunch on the table. He said, "There you go!"

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fries. The burger was well cooked, the bun fresh and not soggy, the cheese melted and the bacon cooked and not chewy. The fries were there, not many, but they were adequate. The burger however tasted very good.

Our waiter came back to check on us several times to check on us and throw out a few one liners at us as he refilled our cokes and checked if everything was OK. It was.

All in all, we got off easy. Lunch must be really tame for the time we went in the evening, it was rowdy as all H.E. double hockey sticks.

I recommend Dicks Last Resort, but only if you have a good sense of humor. It was a fun time had by all.



Timberwood Grill -The Island

Patty and I went to "The Island" located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for the day. At lunch we were starving. We spotted the Timberwood Grill and quickly agreed upon lunch.

Let me say the service was fantastic, the waitress friendly and efficient. Our order was taken and our drinks brought to our table. We opted for outside on this pleasantly warm October day.

In short order, our lunch was brought out. The bacon cheeseburger was fantastic. Again, fantastic. It tasted amazing. Was well cooked. Bun fresh and good. Bacon plenty and crisp. Cheese melted.

Cost was very cheap. about $12 dollars without tip.

I highly recommend Timberwood Grill at the Island.



Ben And Jerrys Ice Cream - Gatlinburg

This first November week in Gatlinburg has been very warm. Hence, the need for ice cream. Ben abd Jerrys is right on the Parkway and was just a short walk from the convention center.

I walked in and ordered two scoops of mint chocolate chip in a cup. At first I thought the employee was making a mistake as he scooped out my ice cream. It looked like vanilla ice cream. I told him I thought mint chocolate chip was green. He smiled and said that Ben abs Jerrys do not add any artificial coloring to their ice cream and I was getting the flavor I ordered.

He handed me the cup and I went to the cashier. The cost for two scoops was $5.46 with tax. I tossed the 54 cents into the tip jar and made my way to a bench on the parkway.

I must say, the ice cream was delicious. And frozen, not mushy like some other retailers hand out. The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 4 out 5 shots with a one shot deduction for the price.



Ripleys Haunted Adventure 2016 - Gatlinburg

Ripley's Haunted Adventure is located on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.It is a very popular haunt during the month of October. I visited this haunt several times before but never in the month of October. Until this year.

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the month of October, at 6PM sharp, Ripley's has their own version of a zombie crawl. A horde of monsters appear and parade down the Parkway ending up in front of the Haunted Adventure. The monsters interact with the people on the street. After about 20 minutes, the monsters filter into the haunt and add to the excitement and fright.

We bought our tickets earlier in the day to avoid the long line to buy in the evening. When puchasing the tickets, you will be given many ticket options. The packages all include the Aquarium plus the other Ripley attractions in the city. If you are planning on staying for several days and want to sample the Ripleys attraction, buying the package is a good idea. We opted for the $1 off per person coupon we found in one of the many coupons books throughout the Parkway.

There were about 100 people in line when we got to Ripleys right before 6pm. We filmed the monster parade as the Ripley monsters walked up the street and interwacted with the crowd of people that had gathered.

After a short wait, less than twenty minutes, it was now our time to step into the rickety old cage that takes it's paying customers (Victims) to the top of the haunt. It is a very effective prop. Very loud, old, looks unsafe, and has a hint of danger to it. We met a crazy man at the top. I was informed that my camera must be turned off at this point. I obliged.

The haunt is a self guided tour. We were in a group of six people. I was the lead, my wife Patty behind me, the others behind her. We were instructed to put our hand on the persons back in front of us. A few seconds later we began our march through the haunt.

I will say the haunt is much larger than what it looks like from the outside. There were many rooms inside to navigate through. The props and graphics were above average and the actors were well trained and effective. This haunt was all about misdirection.

After about 30 minutes, we found our way out. We stepped into the elevator and.... I won't spoil it for you.

One thing I didn't like about this haunt. Outside while we were waiting in line, a woman was selling fiber optic lights to help you see in the haunt. She said it was absolutely necessary to see inside the haunt for it was pitch black inside. The lights, (Which were throw away quality) cost five dollars. I noticed that if you bought the lights at the ticket box office, they were only $2 dollars. Whip a rip off. I declined to buy the light. The woman selling them told me I would be sorry.

I was not. At no time did I ever need the fiber optic light. DO NOT BUY THE LIGHT! IT IS A RIP OFF. The rest of the haunted adventure was very entertaining and enjoyable. It was actually fun. We recommend it in the month of October.

Happy Halloween



Mysterious Mansion Of Gatlinburg

Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg, Tennessee located on River road. Upon the approach, the entire area was doused with an eerie purple light illuminating the house. Haunted music was being piped in just loud enough to add ambiance. This haunt looked very promising.

We walked up the porch steps and were greeted by a standard fare monster, (Hired help in a mask) and proceeded to walk in to the foyer. The haunt looked well built, not a cheesy slap em together type haunt. The props on the outside, the hearst wagon and the walls were painted and molded to look like a real mansion.

Our first shock was the price of admission. (Jusk kidding!) Fourteen dollars a person.
Tip: There are countless coupon books in Gatlinburg. There is a dollar off coupon for Mysterious mansion.

Upon paying, the cashier, dressed in classic Goth, asked if we knew the history of the house. We said we didn’t and he was delighted and continued his story. The history was in 1903 a family that lived there went berserk and they killed each other inside the house. Since then, the family has been haunting the house moving furniture, flickering the lights, and the standard possession type haunt. He laid it on thick as several people were listening very intently. he then told our group to proceed through the door on his right and wait for the caregiver.

As we prepared to enter the “Starting” room, the library, one young man, age around 10, didn’t want any part of the haunted house. His parents kept goading him to go in. He was actually frozen in the hallway, he couldn’t move forward or backward. He just stared into the darkness for several minutes. Finally, the parents promised him that nothing would happen to him, and then his father took and hand and through the door to the library we went.

Minutes later, it was our turn and we walked into the library room. Of course it was darkly lit, or lit darkly, whatever, and the curator appeared dressed in some sort of zombie type make up. He was very good at what he does. He explained the rules of the house in a very spooky manner. He made sure everyone in the group understood and then announced our journey was to begin and pointed to the fireplace and told us all to push. We pushed and soon found ourselves in the maze.

We slowly navigated our way through the halls feeling for the doors to get through.

Through the course of the house, we climbed several flights of steps and at one point, were able to walk out onto the balcony and look down onto the public. (Check out the pictures I snapped at the bottom showing the balcony.) Of course, I pulled my shirt over my head and flailed my arms wildly screaming that I couldn’t find my head. I heard a lot of people down below laughing at my silly antics.

I will not disclose the shocks in store when you visit but rest assured, they are very good indeed. However, one thing you must experience is the view from the inside balcony looking down on the first floor. Step out onto the balcony and view the entire haunt from high above. It is a great scene.

The positives: Plenty of entertainment value. We all had fun. It had the feel of a haunted mansion.

The outside exterior screams haunted house. The purple glow was awesome looking, especially from the street. The Gothic steel gates and tiki torches along with the other props completed the experience.

Tip; Make sure you visit the house in October. The haunt is well stacked with additional monsters (Hired help) for the Halloween season. There are not that many monsters (Actors) the other 11 months.

Tip: This haunt can be extreme at some parts. Listen to your small children. If they do not want to go, heed their wishes. The group we were with had two children, both about 10 years old. They were frightened literally out of their wits.

Happy Halloween


Ripleys Haunted Adventure Gatlinburg 2013

Located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Ripleys Haunted Adventure draws huge crowds in the month of October as hordes of the living come to get scared by hordes of the undead. Just inside the entrance to the haunted house is an excellent prop, the Headless Horseman. Great addition to the haunt as people wait in line to enter. 
A unique entrance to the haunt. You pile into a steel cage and the cage slowly rises to the top. From there you are met by a sinister being and directed to the entrance of the haunt.  The haunt itself was very well thought out and put together. There were plenty of "Live" action and actors inside to interact with the group.  You went through as a group, usually 5-7 people per group. It is pitch dark in some area's but it is easy to navigate.   Tip: They will try to sell you a fiber optic light to help you get through the haunt. When you need it the most, you are instructed to turn it off inside the haunt.   One thing missing this year from years past. The "Monster Parade." On Fridays and Saturdays in October, at 6:17 pm, the monsters in all their costumes would meander up the Parkway from the Star Car Museum to Ripleys and interact with the patrons waiting to get in or standing around watching Stumpy scare people walking by. The parade is no more. All in all, well worth the money. 
Ripleys Haunted Adventure
Ripleys Haunted Adventure
Smart Ass Barker
Ripleys On The Parkway
Ripleys Haunted Adventure Gatlinburg
Ripleys Haunted Adventure
Ripleys headless horseman gatlinburg
Ripleys Headless Horseman
Ripleys Combo
Happy Halloween


The Peddler Steakhouse Filet Mignon - Gatlinburg

When in Gatlinburg, you must make time to eat at the The Peddler Steakhouse. Yes, it is always crowded, but the wait is worth it.

Tip #1: To avoid a potential long wait period, simply go into the bar / lounge area and take an open table. Usually there is a table or two open. From there, simply place your dinner order when the waitress comes by.

We took the lounge option and and found a table upstairs. The view is nice, overlooking a small river running beside and under the restaurant.

Peddler Salad Bar
As on cue, the waitress asked if we were here for dinner or just drinks. We choose option dinner and drinks. After we ordered, we headed downstairs to the salad bar. And when I say salad bar, I mean amazing salad bar. As you can see by the pictures, I had of course lettuce as a base, several types of cheese, carrots, celery, hard boiled egg halves, green olives, real chopped bacon, (Not the cheap fake bacon bits from other salad bars) and about another half dozen items piled high on my salad plate. The salad was tremendous.

Peddler Filet Mignon
As if on cue, as soon as we finished our salads, our steaks were delivered. I order the Filet Mignon well done and butterflied and a baked potato. The steak was cooked perfectly and it tasted fantastic. No doubt the best steak in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The baked potato was well cooked and smothered with butter which was perfect.

Peddler Cherry Cheesecake
For dessert, we shared a piece of cheesecake covered with strawberries. It was the perfect topper for a splendid meal.

The Grassy Knoll Institute scores 5 out of 5 shots and recommends The Peddler Steakhouse for dinner.