Thanks to Tennessee native Dolly Parton and her fabulous Dollywood, the state has a large, highly regarded theme park. And adjacent to Dollywood is Tennessee's biggest water park, Splash Country. But the state has several other amusement parks and water parks (including some indoor ones) to explore. They are listed alphabetically.
As a theme park in the mountains, Anakeesta offers a variety of attractions, including a gondola, a tree canopy walk, dueling ziplines, a mountain coaster, and gem mining. There is also a dining and shopping complex, a botanical garden, and a forest walk.
Adrenaline Park is not a traditional amusement park or theme park. It offers two attractions: extreme zip lines and a Skybridge that offers spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains.
Dollywood is a major theme park celebrating country music, Smoky Mountain culture, and Dolly Parton with a lot of fun coasters and rides. It continues to expand with attention-grabbing attractions such as Lightning Rod, the world’s first launched wooden coaster. Considering Dolly's involvement, it should come as no surprise that Dollywood is well known for its great shows. Its food and festivals (including Christmas in the Smokies and Festival of Nations) are two more reasons to visit.
Next door to Dollywood is Splash Country, a full-featured, separate-admission water park. Rides at the outdoor park include the RiverRush water coaster, a family raft ride, speed slides, and an interactive play attraction with dump bucket.
A true destination resort, Dollywood also offers the lovely DreamMore hotel. Guests at the hotel get great extras, including early park admission and line-skipping privileges for the rides.
The four featured attractions at the small park are Go-karts, the Soaring Eagle zipline, the Skyscraper pendulum ride, and the Slingshot reverse-bungee ride. The last two attractions are extreme thrill rides. FunStop also offers an arcade.
A shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, The Island in Pigeon Forge offers a number of rides and attractions, including The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel (a large Ferris wheel), a carousel, carnival games, dancing fountains, and live music. It is located on one of the area’s busy tourist strips that includes dinner theaters, restaurants, shops, and a variety of other attractions. See the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism site for more info.
The small, traditional amusement park is physically located in Georgia on the state line. The park advertises itself as being in Chattanooga, however. Attractions include the Wild Lightnin' steel coaster, the wooden coaster, Cannon Ball, a bunch of spinning rides such as a Paratrooper and a Wave Swinger, and kiddie rides.
The outdoor Soakya Water Park, which is quite small, is included with Lake Winnie admission.
As you might imagine, the NASCAR-themed park offers a number of Go-kart tracks–eight in all. But it also has other attractions, including a family-level coaster, a carousel, bumper cars, bumper boats, a rock-climbing wall, mini-golf, kiddie rides, and spinning rides such as a Tilt-A-Whirl.
In the winter, it's a ski resort. In the warmer weather, it's an “amusement park,” though only in a liberal interpretation of the term. Ride the aerial tramway (the country's largest according to its owners), careen down the Alpine slide, and get wet on the two water coasters.
The medium-sized outdoor water park offers eight water slides, including a mat racing slide, a lazy river, the Cowabunga Beach interactive water play center with a tipping bucket, swimming pools, and a lake beach. In addition to the water park, Nashville Shores offers lake cruises and the Treetop Adventure Park with zip lines, cargo nets, tree swings, suspended bridges, and other challenging activities.
The Resort at Governor's Crossing is a hotel located near Dollywood that offers a small indoor water park as well as some outdoor water park attractions.
Debuting in 2020, Soaky Mountain (great name!) is an outdoor water park. Open seasonally, attractions at the large park include the Avalaunch water coaster, the Blue Mountain Mayhem halfpipe slide, the Whoop body slide with a launch chamber, the Holler speed slide, the Splash and Furious mat racing slide, the Hang 10Esee (another great name!) dual FlowRider surfing ride, the Soaky Surge wave pool, the Black Bear Rapids adventure river, The Hive interactive water play structure, and the Boomer’s Bay area for younger children.
From 1972 to 1997, Opryland was a popular theme park in Nashville. Since it was converted to a shopping mall, there have been no places in the region to ride roller coasters. In late 2018, however, SoundWaves opened at the Gaylord Opryland resort and made water slides and other attractions available at its indoor and outdoor water parks. The parks are open to registered hotel guests with a limited number of day passes available for the general public. Open year round, the music-themed indoor park includes Rapid Remix, a family raft ride, the Crowd Surfer FlowRider surfing attraction, the Down Tempo lazy river, and the Stage Dive body slides. Open seasonally, the outdoor water park includes Beat Drop, a looping water slide, Rock'N Racer, a four-lane, mat-racing slide, and the Tidal Track wave pool.
The featured attraction at the family entertainment centers are their go-kart tracks. The Track also offers SkyFlyer, a thrilling, skydiving-like experience, and kiddie rides such as a carousel, a mini-Ferris wheel, and a train ride. Other features include mini-golf, bumper cars, bumper boats, and an arcade.
The Wetlands is a small, municipal outdoor water park with a few water slides, a lazy river, a pool, a water playground, and sand volleyball.
Located at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa, Wild Bear Falls is a medium-sized indoor water park. Attractions include a lazy river, water slides, and an indoor/outdoor hot tub.
Wilderness at the Smokies is an indoor water park resort that is part of the Wilderness chain. Attractions include the Wild Vortex, a water slide with a launch chamber and a near vertical loop, as well as the Tornado, a funnel ride. The park features a translucent roof that allows sun to shine indoors year round.