10 Facts About the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

June 17, 2019

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If you have ever been to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, your eyes will be drawn to our property immediately as you drive down the parkway – all thanks to our Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. Standing as the centerpiece of The Island in Pigeon Forge, the Wheel serves as one of the top attractions in the East Tennessee area, providing guests of all ages with unparalleled views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Whether you purchase a day and night combo, an unlimited rides pass or a ticket for a single ride, every experience is unique as you look out of the gondola. During the day, you can see the tops of the mountains, and, at night, our Island Show Fountain gives a colorful performance. Don’t forget you can also get a sneak peak of the rooftop pool and bar at the Margaritaville Island Hotel!


The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is an icon here at The Island, and we thought we would take some time to share unique facts with you about our star attraction:

  1. The Wheel is 200 feet tall, which is equivalent to approximately 20 stories.
  2. It is made up of 42 all-glass gondolas – 41 are white, and one is black (VIP gondola).
  3. Each gondola is climate-controlled, which means a warm ride in the winter and a cool one in the summer!
  4. Each gondola seats up to 6 guests, except for our VIP gondola, which seats 4 in all-leather bucket seats with a glass bottom to see out of.
  5. The Wheel seats up to 340 people at one time.
  6. The gondolas are handicap-accessible.
  7. There are over one million LED lights on the Wheel.
  8. You can see the Wheel from the peak of Clingman’s Dome in the Smoky Mountains at night.
  9. It is turned by four 200-horse power motors and can go up to 12 ½ mph.
  10. The Wheel took only 8 days to build.

Pigeon Forge vacation is incomplete without a trip to The Island, and we can’t think of a better way to see all that our city and property has to offer than by riding the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel! Looking for more information? Check out our website!