Ober Gatlinburg Trip Report

Note: This park is included only because it has an Alpine Slide.

Location: Gatlinburg, TN

Date: 7/12/94

Crowd: Near empty

Weather: It's cool up on the mountain.

Admission: Free admission*

* If you drive up their access road (very steep and windy (hairpin) turns)

Admission for less daring: $6.00 (for two $3.00 cable car rides on their Aerial Tram to get from the street up to the park up on the mountain)

Description: Not so much as an amusement park, as a activity center.


Alpine Slide:

Description: An Alpine Slide is a simulated bobsled run down a slick concrete trough that runs from a high point in the mountain back down to the park. You ride it on a plastic? 1 person sled, and you have a brake lever in order to slow down in the curves and helixes. I included this because it bears a striking resemblance in concept to the Russian Mountains, the forerunner of the Rollercoaster.

The Ride: First you give your 3 'activity tokens' to the chairlift operator (yes the one that operates the chairlift to the scenic overlook), and tell him you want the Alpine Slide. He will place your tokens in a separate ticket can and radio ahead. About 3/4 of the way up the chairlift (after passing an on-ride photo on the chairlift!) you will come to a wooden platform and an operator. He asks you if you're there to ride the Alpine Slide, if so he tells you to open the safety bar and jump out of the chair onto the wooden platform (ouch!) You then have to get out of the way before your chair passes over your head. You then go down a short walk, through a turnstile, to the loading area, where you pick up a sled from the rack, and carry it over to the top of the slide, where an attendant gives you riding instructions (i.e. when and how to use the brake) and allows for proper spacing between riders. You then slide down the trough at high speed around curves and helixes, remembering to control your speed, as their are no up-stops and you might go off--track, if you're not careful, a few minutes later you are at the bottom where another attendant collects your sled.

Opinion: Fun ride, but overpriced ($6 to get there, plus $3 a ride, comes out to $9 for the first ride and $3 for every ride thereafter) I would do it again.

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