Fun Mountain sky lift

Fun Mountain – Gatlinburg’s Lost Theme Park

Abandoned theme parkThis year marks the twentieth anniversary of the closing of an attraction in Gatlinburg that most of you (except maybe those of you local to the area) probably didn’t know existed – Fun Mountain.

Fun Mountain is an abandoned theme park that closed in the year 2000. One thing that is interesting is that it is located right in town. But if you don’t know it’s there and where to look for it, you never see it.

Before the property was a theme park, it was the home of the Mountain View Hotel. The Mountain View Hotel was  founded by Mr. Andy Huff in 1926. Yes, it even predates the Historic Gatlinburg Inn! Huff had opened several saw mills in the area, and as his businesses grew, he would often allow his workers to stay in his home. When it got to the point where he could no longer house that many people, he built the Mountain View hotel so they would have somewhere to stay. Over time, it grew to become a three story, 100 room hotel.

In 1993, the Mountain View Hotel was torn down and Fun Mountain was constructed. One can certainly argue that it was a mistake to tear down such a beautiful and historic building. But nevertheless, the decision was made, so the old hotel was demolished and a company named Reagan Resorts built a theme park in its place.

The theme park was in a great location and had a nice collection of rides and attractions, including:

  • Bear Jam Bumper Cars
  • The Go-Get-Em-Go-Carts
  • The Waterfalls Miniature Golf Course
  • Bump-Em Bumper Boats
  • The Do-Se-Do Scrambler Ride
  • The Million Dollar View Antique Carousel
  • The Ridge Swinger Swing Ride
  • The Mountain Dew Tilt-A-Whirl
  • The Smokies Mountain Electric Train Ride
  • The Cloud Grabber Farris Wheel
  • The Mountain-High Rickey’s Rocket
  • A large arcade

 

And of course the chairlift. In its heyday it was a fantastic place to spend a day. Many wonderful memories were made there.

Abandoned theme parkFrom what we can gather, Fun Mountain had financial difficulties early on. Amusement parks are expensive businesses to operate, requiring many employees and heavy capital expenditures. We don’t know the details of why exactly it was not successful, but it only lasted about seven years, closing its doors in 2000. Most of the rides were eventually sold off, but the skylift seats remain suspended to this day, ghostly reminders of the park’s existence.

We’re not going to go into detail about how to find it. With just a little bit of research it is easy to find. Interestingly, there is no signage on the property that says you are not allowed to be there. But proceed at your own risk. We are not encouraging trespassing.

By the way, if you decide you want to start your own Fun Mountain, the park’s website domain name, funmountain.com, is for sale. If you would like to see the park’s original website, you can view it on the Internet Archive at http://web.archive.org/web/20040216195350/http://www.reaganresorts.com/funmnt.htm.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/tennessee/fun-mountain-tn/

http://williambritten.com/wordpress/gatlinburg/history-of-the-smokies-mountain-view-hotel/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AbandonedThemeParks/photos/?tab=album&album_id=311826678973114

https://www.jackhuffs.com/about-us/history/

http://web.archive.org/web/20040216195350/http://www.reaganresorts.com/funmnt.htm

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