Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. is getting a major new roller coaster, and attendees at Orlando’s big IAAPA convention have been given a first-look at the attraction’s sleek ride vehicle.
Manufactured by Vekoma, the coaster’s trains are designed to look like four-wheel-drive SUVs, in keeping with the story in which adventurers (riders), along with their guide, Ned Oakley, are on an expedition to find the legendary “Big Bear” that has been lurking in the hills outside of Wildwood Grove.
Each train will seat up to 20 guests, and will have working headlights and taillights, plus onboard audio, which is a first for a Dollywood attraction. The coaster’s length – 3,990 feet, or just over ¾ mile – is also a first, making it the park’s longest roller coaster.
Thrill seekers can look forward to a ride that includes three separate launches, multiple airtime hills, high-speed carousel turns, tunnels, a dramatic pass behind a waterfall, and speeds up to 48 miles per hour.
“Big Bear Mountain is just that—big,” said Eugene Naughton, president of Dollywood Parks & Resorts. “This ride is going to be a game changer for us at Dollywood for several reasons, including the fact it’s the largest coaster we’ve ever built and our first ride with on-board audio, so we wanted to unveil the ride vehicles with our partners at Vekoma on the show floor at IAAPA. We’re excited about what Big Bear Mountain means for Dollywood, and we wanted to share this really special moment with the industry. Things are going to get big at Dollywood in 2023, and we hope everyone will come share in the fun.”
With a height requirement of 39” (3’ 2”), Big Bear Mountain is scheduled to open at Dollywood in spring, 2023.
For more information visit Dollywood.com.