Dollywood announces Wild Eagle roller coaster

Posted Sunday, September 4, 2011 9:30 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Dollywood’s 2012 season will be a historic one as the Tennessee-based theme park introduces the new $20 million Wild Eagle steel wing coaster, the first of its kind in the U.S.

Experiencing the freedom of flight, the new coaster’s innovative floorless design positions riders seated four abreast in a forward-facing position, with two riders actually seated on the “wings” along either side of the coaster’s track with nothing but air above and below them.

“After the honor of the 2010 Applause Award, we knew that all eyes were on us at Dollywood to see what we’d do next,” Dolly Parton said. “Wild Eagle celebrates not only the majestic bald eagle but also my beautiful Smoky Mountains which folks will get a bird’s eye view of as they soar high above Dollywood. I’m just thrilled that Dollywood’s Wild Eagle is the only place in the entire country where folks can get their feathers ruffled on a coaster like this!”

Perched on the park’s highest peak, Wild Eagle rises 21 stories into the sky. Taking off from the Wilderness Pass area, riders experience the sensation of flight as the coaster’s massive track swoops and soars along a journey that measures 3,127 feet. Wild Eagle reaches a top speed of 61 miles per hour and maneuvers four inversions including a giant loop, a “zero-G” roll, and a giant flat spin.

Wild Eagle’s nearly two-and-a-half minute journey includes a plummeting 135-foot first drop. Located 210 feet above the coaster’s loading station, the ride provides spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains terrain below. Each coaster train consists of seven cars which carry four passengers for a total of 28 people per train. Each vehicle features an imposing bald eagle with piercing eyes and broad wings outstretched for flight.

Wild Eagle is the largest single capital investment in Dollywood’s 26-year history. The park’s development team is collaborating with Switzerland-based Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), the world’s premier coaster manufacturer. Pioneers in ride technology, B&M has built 11 of the 20 highest-ranking steel coasters in the world, according to Amusement Today magazine.

The ride’s name celebrates the bald eagle, a raptor whose population has increased in recent years due largely to the efforts of the American Eagle Foundation (AEF). Headquartered at Dollywood for 20 years, the AEF is home to Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, a 1.5-million-cubic-foot natural outdoor aviary with the largest presentation of non-releasable bald eagles. Dollywood is one of the AEF’s largest benefactors, supporting the not-for-profit organization’s work to preserve and protect birds of prey.

Dollywood Wild Eagle

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 3:13 PM

In a standard sit down coaster during an inversion such as a zero-g or barrel roll the passengers stay in the center while the track rotates around them. On the wing riders it appears to be the opposite: the track stays in the center while the passengers rotate around the outside of the track.


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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 3:34 PM
Vater's avatar

Sure hope someone figures out this all important detail soon. I need to know if I'm going to rotate around the track or if the track will rotate around me before I ride this thing.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 3:37 PM
Jeff's avatar

Come on, really? What else are we going to talk about, the color?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 4:04 PM
James Whitmore's avatar

Speaking of the color... The facts sheet says tan columns with blue track, while one of the renderings shows the colors reversed. ;)


jameswhitmore.net

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 5:04 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Oh the humanity! ;)


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 8:32 PM
LostKause's avatar

I like blue. It is my favorite color, and my birthstone.

;)


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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 9:08 PM
Vater's avatar

Jeff said:
Come on, really? What else are we going to talk about, the color?

Point taken. I just had flashbacks of the debates about putting sit down trains on B&M stand-up coasters and how it "isn't possible" because of the whole heartline thing.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 10:58 PM
LostKause's avatar

I would like to once again proudly claim that it was I who started the rumor of Mantis trading the stand-up trains for floorless trains in the year 2001 while working at a coaster enthusiast event. It is my biggest claim to roller coaster fame! ;)


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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 11:03 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

LostKause said:
I like blue. It is my favorite color, and my birthstone.

;)

What is this "blue" gemstone you speak of, Krause? I've never heard of it. :)


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, September 8, 2011 1:08 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

My favorite completely made-up rumor was the Shock/Wave rumor (I think authored by Moosh, but I'm not sure) in which GAm's old Arrow looper was going to be split into two different pieces and sent to two different parks.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, September 9, 2011 1:48 AM
LostKause's avatar

I think that WAS Moosh's doing. That was a really great rumor that really took off. Haha...


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Sunday, September 11, 2011 1:10 AM
Revolutionary-24's avatar

I'm still waiting for that inverted wooden coaster.

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