Dolly Parton opens Big Bear Mountain roller coaster at Dollywood

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Dolly Parton dressed up as a glamorous bear to hold the grand opening for Big Bear Mountain roller coaster on Friday. It is the largest single-attraction investment in the history of Dollywood and is an expansion of Wildwood Grove.

Read more from WBIR/Knoxville.

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I'm in that area next week, and am going to try to get a lap or two on this. This is my first visit to their spring festival as well, and I'm looking forward to it.

Last edited by Brian Noble,
Jeff's avatar

I haven't been there since that whole midway opened. Shooting for next year, hopefully.

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It's well done, very cute without being twee. The family suspended is surprisingly fun, but often has a long wait. I haven't tried the flyers so don't know how they are run. The lighting effects on The Tree are very cool, and it's a good place to catch the fireworks at night.

I’m leaving Wednesday to drive down, snag some of the new stuff at Pigeon Forge (I love those mountain coasters), then go to Dollywood Thursday. This time of the season is generally a good time to go- hours are short but crowds are small. The last time I went was when Wildwood Grove opened and I could’ve spent the day on the suspended coaster. It was a consistent walk on. I’m counting on Big Bear to be easy to get- I think it’s position on a dead end path will keep the riders who show up from hanging around there so much. Well, except those pesky enthusiasts.
And the rest of the park should be relaxed- the flower and food festival is taking place. Well, I don’t know about the food on a weekday, I’ll have to check, but the decor will be lovely as always.
Dolly looked so cute as a glamorous bear. She’s my personal hero. And I can’t wait to ride the new ride, it looks awesome.

Jeff I would strongly consider moving up to early November if you like Christmas, the park is amazing that time of year, 5+million lights, amazing Christmas shows, usually decent weather (50s-60s) and the crew that goes that time of year, especially on weekdays, is not there for the coasters, walk ons everywhere. You’ll need to show up for shows at least 15 min before curtain if you want a seat.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

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Too cold, have a kid in school.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Vater's avatar


The last time I went was when Wildwood Grove opened and I could’ve spent the day on the suspended coaster. It was a consistent walk on

Aside from Lightning Rod which didn't open until a couple hours before park close, the jr. suspended coaster was the longest wait of the day. One train ops isn't ideal even for a short layout (does it even have a second train?). I saw the construction for Big Bear Mountain and I suspect that area is going to be a lot more crowded than it was when I was there.

In other news, Dolly is going to be releasing what looks to be an epic rock and roll album called Rockstar full of cover songs that all feature the artists she's covering. She just released the first single (an original) last week, and while it's a little on the cheesy side, it's not terrible, and I can't ignore the fact that this 77 year old country star can still sell a song. I've never been a country music or Dolly fan, and will likely not even listen to this album (not a cover song fan), but have always had mad respect for her career and philanthropy.

The track and artist list is pretty impressive though.

I think there are only two blocks, so only one train. Could be wrong about that though.

Jeff's avatar

Wow, when you're Dolly Parton, you work with whomever your want on whatever song your want.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Dolly is like the next Betty White.

It's just become the thing to like her.

(I guess we collectively have something for cool old broads that are good at what they do and who can still handle themselves after so long in the game.)

Brian Noble:

I think there are only two blocks, so only one train. Could be wrong about that though.

Considering the park is pretty much year-round, it's possible they have two for maintenance cycles.

They might. But if there are only two blocks, you can't have them both on the track.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, a block zone is a section of ride that only one train may occupy. At the end of a block zone is a method to stop a train in case the block zone ahead is still occupied. This is the safety system that prevent roller coaster trains from colliding with one another.

Lord Gonchar:

(I guess we collectively have something for cool old broads that are good at what they do and who can still handle themselves after so long in the game.)

I'm no fan of Martha Stewart as a personality, but the 81 Stewart on the cover of the Swimsuit Edition? I've got to give it to her. (Well, not literally, but you know what I mean). We should all look that good at 81.

Jeff's avatar

Padma Lakshmi is also in there at 52. I love her. There's something weird about it all, because swimsuit issues seem kinda dumb and last century, but I guess less so if it involves the opposite of barely legal models.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Thanks for Coastersplainin.
There’s only one train. It comes directly into the station for its final brake which is a speedy little thrill in itself. The original, identical ride is at Fårup Sommerland in Denmark. I rode Dolly’s ride many times and came off wishing every park had one, one train or not. But I didn’t have to wait so that may make all the difference.
And speaking of Dolly, if that human being carries even a single flaw none of us will ever know about it. She’s genuine, humble, self aware, and kind. Not to mention talented. She’s one of the most prolific singer songwriters ever with over 100 million worldwide sales. She’s philanthropic- her Imagination Library supplies over 2 million free books each month to children around the world. She supplies scholarships to students in her county and women’s health programs for the underserved. She donated 1 million dollars to help develop the Covid vaccine. She speaks about inclusivity wherever she goes and means every word. Imagine a Tennessean who loves drag queens.
If you ever get a chance to see her perform please don’t miss it. You’ve heard “I laughed…I cried?” That was the case at the Dolly concert.
And yes- it seems everyone was clamoring for a spot on her “I’ll show Y’all” rock album. Because who wouldn’t? I also heard that original track and all I could do was smile. The whole thing promises to be DollyX, doesn’t it?
Btw, that ^ was me, Dollysplainin for those of you who are unfamiliar. Thanks! I’ll be at DW on Thursday and I’ll be sure to report.

Both Martha and Padma got their start as fashion models. Now one cooks and the other one just judges. We were wondering after the last Top Chef episode if Padma has ever unpacked her knives.

I've ridden Dragonflier numerous times, RCMAC. It is a great kids ride. I did not claim to know if a second train truly exists. I said "it's possible" they have two, in order to swap them out as one receives routine maintenance, especially considering the parks operating schedule. You completely missed the sarcastic El Toro Ryan reference.

And I'm a Tennessean who loves drag queens. We're not a monolith, so please don't treat us as such.

RRR > Tennessee > Florida?

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