Dollywood, 2023

OhioStater's avatar

Call the number if you're curious. Yes, it works.

August 5th, 11:00 AM it gets revealed. The fabulous Dolly herself will be there to help announce the biggest ride investment in the park's history.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

Vater's avatar

We were in the park all day yesterday and I saw these signs everywhere. Shows you how observant I am, I never even read them, just assumed it was part of the decor.

Jeff's avatar

New The Orville simulator attraction.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Rumor is they are B&M'ing Wild Eagle... hence the Bear.

Not sure how reliable it is, but allegedly blueprints have been leaked for the 2023 coaster. I saw this over on KICentral. Someone also linked to a video (No Limits) guess that it may be for a family launched coaster.

When have leaked blueprints on a fan site ever steered the community wrong

LostKause's avatar

Those leaked blueprints are all over the internet. I think they are authentic. All the No-Limits and Planet Coaster videos showing interpretations of the ride according to that top-down layout, not so much.


OhioStater's avatar

Big Bear Mountain.

Looks like a very solid, fun addition to the park. Covers a lot of ground.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

eightdotthree's avatar

Big Bear Mountain will be the longest coaster at Dollywood, taking guests of all ages on an unforgettable family-friendly expedition in search of the Big Bear.

The bear should be pretty easy to find with the amount of deforesting they did. 😉


Vater's avatar

I was hoping this wasn't going to be a ride that would make me regret not waiting until next year to visit. It isn't.

Looks fun, but absolutely not something I'd change vacation plans for.

Looks like fun. But ‘family coaster’ tag is going to turn die hard thrills people off.

Vater's avatar

And for Dollywood, one of the finest examples of a family amusement park, that's ok. I'd go as far as to say it's ideal.

Agreed, great choice for Dollywood. There are so many parks that would benefit from a "mid-level thrills" family coaster like this with broad appeal. I love coasters that have a good beginning, middle and end - so I applaud them for the length as well as fun tunnels along the way.

Eightdotthree referenced the deforesting - is that a common complaint about the new area? I haven't been to Dollywood since it opened but based on the photos it does seem out of step with the rest of the park. One of the best assets parks like Dollywood have are mature trees (and the glorious shade they provide). Don't rag on me for pre-judging, but I can't help but think this coaster (any coaster, really) would benefit immensely from cruising through the woods. A shame it was clear-cut to ease construction.

eightdotthree's avatar

Jetsetter:

Eightdotthree referenced the deforesting - is that a common complaint about the new area?

It used to be a pretty familiar complaint about parks on Coasterbuzz... so much so that "Charmland" became a thing.


Tommytheduck's avatar

Orient Express said:

"Looks like fun. But ‘family coaster’ tag is going to turn die hard thrills people off."

If only they had a big B + M, a launched RMC, vertical drop Gerstlauer, or a GCI to satisfy the thrill seekers.

Last edited by Tommytheduck,
LostKause's avatar

The leaked blueprints all over the internet were right. No one really knew how tall or fast the ride was going to be though.

Even as a "family coaster," it looks kind of boring. I suppose the park saw a need for a ride like that though. The rock work tunnel with the water feature looks nice, I guess.

And this is coming from a guy who likes family coasters.

How in the world is that a bigger investment than Lightning Rod or Wild Eagle?


I feel this ride is an emergency band-aid, due to the low capacity at both FireChaser Express and Dragonflier. Dragonflier is an amazing ride, but its single train and the model they selected does not allow an easy retrofit to two trains. FireChaser has smaller trains and the station that requires to be backed up in don't allow the operators to get capacity as good as demand is for the ride.

Vekoma will offer a reliable, smooth and fun experience for Big Bear Mountain that the families will love, but I hope there is more theming than what was shown. The cave with the waterfall and splash looks fun though and the jumpcut at the end of the video is where I hope you actually see the bear.

Last edited by Absimilliard,

Absimilliard:

I feel this ride is an emergency band-aid, due to the low capacity at both FireChaser Express and Dragonflier.

While it will definitely help offset the capacity issues of those two rides, I don't feel like it's an emergency band-aid. I doubt we'll really ever know the details, but I imagine this was all part of the Wildwood Grove larger plan, which opened pre-covid in 2019. They got a package deal with Vekoma. It certainly could've gotten moved back a few years, however.

There's been a lot of the standard overreacting criticism, and fanboy praise since it was announced today. I agree that the park has plenty of major thrills for coaster enthusiasts, but its focus has always been growing and rounding out its family experience.

We easily forget that Dollywood is incredibly unique. The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is the most visited national park year after year. Dollywood's attendance numbers are greatly influenced by this, and by the nature of that, they will continue to focus on families. They don't need to build a specifically unique attraction (i.e. Intamin Motorbike or Mack Xtreme Spinning) to get people through the gates.

Tommytheduck:

If only they had a big B + M, a launched RMC, vertical drop Gerstlauer, or a GCI to satisfy the thrill seekers

One of the first comments I saw on twitter was:

Feels like a strange choice for a park who already lacks thrills

It's like these people have never even looked at the lineup. Heck, there's even a rideable Arrow looper.

Last edited by Brian Noble,
eightdotthree's avatar

I could be wrong but I think their “biggest investment” claim is for the entire multi-year project.

My two cents about the ride itself is that it looks like a Cheetah Hunt which is a really fun ride.


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