Attractions are Gatlinburg’s  special variety of fun, so much so that the Attractions Association of Gatlinburg (www.attractions-gatlinburg.com ) was formed to help keep them all straight. New attractions open each year, offering a new variation on the theme of mindless, family-friendly, fun activities.
in Addition to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies , Arrowmont , and Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community , some attractions that stand out from the rest are the world’s largest Amazing Mirror Maze (919 Parkway, 865/436-4415, 9 a.m.–midnight, adults and children 10 and up $9, children 3–9 $7) and Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum (traffic lights Nos. 7 and 8 on the Parkway, 865/436-5096, Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–10 p.m., adults and children 12 and up $15, children 3–11 $8), where you can see some of the strangest and most extreme sights in the world, such as two-headed cows and shrunken heads.
Mysterious Mansion (River Rd., 865/436-7007, daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m., $9) is a classic haunted house, and Motion Ride Movie Theater (Reagan Terrace Mall, 865/430-8985, Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–midnight, $10) shows eight different movies where the seats move in tandem with the on-screen action, making you feel like you’re really in the cab of an 18-wheeler as it descends, without brakes, down the side of a mountain.
Other attractions in Gatlinburg  fall in the category of higher-is-better. The Space Needle (115 Historic Nature Trail, 865/436-4629, daily 9 a.m.–10 p.m., adults $7.25, children 5–12 $3) is more than 400 feet tall and offers 360-degree views of Gatlinburg and the surrounding mountains. As if the view were not enough, there is a high-tech arcade, virtual-reality roller coaster, and mini-golf inside at the base of the needle.
The Gatlinburg Sky Lift (Traffic Light No. 7, 865/436-4307, www.gatlinburgskylift.com , Apr.–Oct. daily 9 a.m.–10 p.m., Nov.–Mar. daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. weather permitting, adults $12, children 3–11 $9) is an old-fashioned attraction, dating back to the 1950s. Take a seat in a chairlift and climb gently up 518 feet, enjoying views of Gatlinburg  and the mountains along the way. This attraction is as near to a timeless pleasure as you’ll find in Gatlinburg.