Dolly Parton Announces Massive New Rollercoaster Coming to Dollywood

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Jacob Biba for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Next year, Dollywood is getting a new family-friendly rollercoaster. Big Bear Mountain is a massive ride that will be fun for parents and kids alike. The Dolly Parton-owned theme park announce its newest addition on social media last week. You can check out the first-look animation of the new ride in the video below.

So, just how big is Big Bear Mountain? According to Dollywood’s tweet, it covers a whopping six acres. That comes out to 3,990 feet of track. Additionally, the ride features three launches along the way, according to Knoxville News-Sentinel. Riders will also experience several “airtime hills” and high-speed carousel turns. Riders on Big Bear Mountain will also go through tunnels and behind waterfalls. The two-minute ride’s top speed is 48 mph and it will be 66 feet at its highest point.

Dollywood president Eugene Naughton spoke a little about the new ride. “If you’re going to be the No. 1 family attraction in the United States, your product needs to be family-friendly. So, within this ride called Big Bear Mountain, I like to call it comfortable fun.” However, it’s going to be more than a fun ride. Naughton said that the coaster will also expand their storytelling within the park.

Big Bear Mountain is the first ride in Dollywood to feature onboard audio. You’ll hear music and narration from Ned Oakley the fictional caretaker of Benjamin Bear, the mascot of Wildwood Grove in Dollywood.

All of that combined will make Big Bear Mountain a thrilling time for riders of all ages. Pete Owens, VP of marketing and public relations for Dollywood also spoke about the ride. “I would say arguably, and with all humility, I believe that attraction will be up for best new attraction in 2023 and will be known as one of the best of its kind in the world,” he said.

Parton on Dollywood’s New Ride

First and foremost, Dolly Parton said she wouldn’t be riding Dollywood’s newest ride. “You know I’m not gonna get on that. If I get on that thing, you’ll find one of my wigs in the top of a tree or the top of Clingmans Dome or something. But it looks like fun.”

She went on to talk about the spirit of Dollywood’s new addition. “The Smokies are all about adventure and going exploring. I’m excited our guests will be able to head out on their own trip into the Smokies to see if they can find that Big Bear! Whether he’s out there or not, I’m sure they’ll find a lot of memories along the way that they’ll keep forever.” Building memories in the mountains is what Dolly’s park is all about.

Big Bear Mountain comes to Dollywood in the spring of 2023.