NASCAR Speedpark in Sevierville

We’d driven by it each and every trip into Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. The kids always ask about it, especially when the dragon peeks his head out of his castle. So last time we were in the Smokies, we decided to stop on the way out of town. We figured we’d try just one thing, then hit the road and head home.

My son was in AWE of all the race cars scattered around the place.

We enjoyed our stop! While we were there, we managed to get our questions answered about the NASCAR Speedpark.

NASCAR Speedpark

  • What is it?

    Well, it’s not just another go-cart place, which is what I kind-of thought. Instead, it’s really more of a racing-themed amusement park. You could easily spend a whole day there. In the park, there are 9 go-cart tracks (some are just for kids), bumper boats, a HUGE arcade, a climbing wall, a few kiddie rides, a kid roller coaster, slot cars, an indoor playground for the kids, some circle-type carnival rides, and two mini-golf courses. (Check out a complete list of rides and activities.)

    Dragon's Lair Mini Golf. Can you see the very tip of the dragon's ear in his castle?

  • How does payment work?

    You can pay two ways. First, for just an individual attraction (one game of golf, one ride, one go-cart track, etc.). The price varies between $3 (for kids) and $9 (for the go-carts). Or you can pay once and ride all day, much like paying to get into Dollywood or the like. That costs $35.99 (you can save a dollar here by buying online). For this price, you can spend all day trying various go-cart tracks, playing mini-golf and going on the circle rides, if your stomach can handle it (mine, sadly, cannot anymore). The park is also often running a discount or two on its homepage. At the time I wrote this, the offer was for “Buy one get one half off unlimited ride wristband.”

  • How many different types of go-cart tracks can there be?

    Well, I wondered the same thing. Now, I have to say that I can’t claim to be a go-cart racing enthusiast. But here’s the variety:

    A hole that would have been really neat -- if the water had been turned on, that is.

    • Smoky Mountains Speedway — A serious type track for those over 5 feet tall (60″). Guests drive a mini version of a Sprint Cup car.
    • The Rookie — A new track with cars that can take passengers (56″).
    • The Competitor — A short track with high banking and side by side racing in Bullet cars (54″).
    • The Intimidator — The toughest course (54″).
    • Slidewayz — A slick track with tough, tight turns and a highly polished surface (54″) with the possibility of passengers (40″).
    • Family 500 — Single and double seat cars.
    • Young Champions — Single and double seat cars.
    • The Qualifier — A beginner track (48″).
    • Baby Bristol — For kids at least 40″.

The only tiny bit of shade we were able to find on the mini-golf course.

After our information-gathering, we decided that this would be something worthwhile to my husband and son, when he’s older. They could spend a day driving the cars and trying to beat their own times. My favorite thing about the park? You pay for what you do. So I could go along all day if I wanted to and watch and not pay anything. Unlike Dollywood, for example, where you have to pay to get in, even if you don’t ride a thing.

Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf

So, the only thing we had time to try on the day we were at the NASCAR Speedpark was the Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf. We’d always been impressed with it from the road. It looked like a lot of fun.

And it didn’t disappoint. We had a great time at the course. My husband won, as usual, so that was a bummer. But the course had some interesting holes and fun designs. And the landscaping was gorgeous! But we were disappointed in a few things, both of which had to do with our timing (spring):

We did appreciate the lovely landscaping around the mini golf course. Even in April!

  • Not enough shade. We were there on what was probably the first really hot day of the year. By noon, when we got back in the car, it was almost 90. And sunny. We were struck by how there was NOTHING to hide under from the sun. My baby nephew was with us, and my mother-in-law ended up taking him back to the table-area to get him out of the sun. There simply wasn’t any shade.
  • Things weren’t going. Now, again, this was probably because we were there so early in the tourist season. But we were disappointed. Since we paid full price for our golf, we expected things to be up and going. But the water wasn’t running (adding to the extreme heat of the experience), which affected the overall look of the place and one of the holes, where you had to hit your ball down a little river (or cement track…). I talked to the manager on duty, who said that the pipes had frozen due to the unseasonably cold winter. They were due to be fixed by Memorial Day (did they make it? Anyone know?). Fair enough, these things happen, but we were there in April! Spring break season! Seems like they would have fixed this before then. Also, the electricity was broken, rendering the fire-breathing, peeking-out dragon stuck in his castle. We never saw him. I certainly understand that maintenance issues can come up. But I think it was unfair of the NASCAR Speedpark not to even mention these problems before taking our money for golf. And this apparently isn’t abnormal. I ran across a personal blog talking about the same experience — check out Erik and Misty’s Smoky Mountain Adventures.

Overall, the mini golf experience seemed to have a lot of potential. And the NASCAR Speedpark looked like a lot of fun. My 5-year-old son just stood and looked. And looked. And drooled a bit. Then looked some more. The guys (and racing gals) in your life will love this spot.

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