Big Bear Mountain | Dolly Parton announces newest roller coaster

Big Bear Mountain is the largest and longest coaster at Dollywood, according to a release.
Big Bear Mountain is the largest and longest coaster at Dollywood, according to a release.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 9:27 AM CDT
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Dolly Parton Announces New Attraction

Dolly Parton and Dollywood officials will announce a new attraction that "roars" into the park in 2023.

Posted by WVLT on Friday, August 5, 2022

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Dolly Parton announced Friday Dollywood’s largest single-attraction investment in the theme park’s history: Big Bear Mountain.

“The Smokies are all about adventure and going exploring,” Dolly Parton said. “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.”

Guests that travel from near and far will get the chance to visit the new Wildwood Grove coaster, which is set to debut in the spring of 2023. Big Bear Mountain is the largest and longest coaster in the park, according to a release from Dollywood.

“Circling Wildwood Grove for nearly two minutes on 3,990 ft. of track, this gigantic coaster is a first of its kind at Dollywood with onboard audio, including music and announcements from Ned Oakley himself,” a spokesperson said.

There will also be 23 different butterfly moments on the coaster, which will be the most on any family coaster in the county, according to a spokesperson.

“Big bear is the single largest attraction that Dolly has made us dream up,” a spokesperson said.

According to a legend, Big Bear is a giant black bear that has been roaming through Wildwood Grove. Although no one ever sees him, signs that he is near have appeared around the area.

As guests board the ride, they are invited to join Wilderness Explorer Ned Oakly on an adventure to find Big Bear, a spokesperson explained.

“Big Bear Mountain is an exciting ride that really is going to be a game changer for us,” said Eugene Naughton, President of the Dollywood Company. “Not only is it the largest coaster we’ve built, but it includes features—like on-board audio—that are new for our company. Big Bear Mountain also expands the footprint of Wildwood Grove and serves as another monumental step in the ongoing investment plan Dolly and I announced in June 2021. She’s keeping me busy. Now that we’ve announced Big Bear Mountain, I’ll start working on the next projects she has lined up for me!”

The project represents part of the $500 million expansion first announced in 2021. WVLT News Sevier County Bureau Chief Kyle Grainger asked Dolly Parton what the new coaster means for the future of Dollywood.

“We don’t know where we are going from here, but hopefully it’s going up, doing more fun things for families,” Parton said.

Learn more or register for season passes here.

With all our Big Bear research from Ned Oakley compiled, we're ready to prove that Big Bear is real. Join us here tomorrow at 11 a.m. to see how BIG this bear really is.

Posted by Dollywood on Thursday, August 4, 2022

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