Dolly Parton’s Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based theme park, Dollywood, is about to get a little bit bigger.
The singer recently revealed plans to open a new roller coaster called Big Bear Mountain, which — at 3,990 feet long — will be the park’s longest coaster to date. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the $25 million ride is the “largest single attraction investment” in the park’s history, and will include “three separate launches, multiple airtime hills, high-speed carousel turns, and tunnels, including a pass behind a waterfall.” It’ll also be the first ride in the park to feature on-board audio.
With orange track and coaster cars that resemble outdoorsy SUVs, as well as guide audio from Ned Oakley — the fictional caretaker of Wildwood Grove’s Benjamin Bear — the new ride will tell a compelling story to adventurers who climb aboard. Big Bear Mountain’s premise is a journey to find Big Bear, a legendary black bear who roams the Smokies, but has never been seen in person. To find Big Bear, park-goers will go through an exciting series of twists and turns, getting up to a speed of 48 mph and a maximum elevation of 66 feet.
The Sentinel reports that at a Friday (Aug. 5) media event announcing the new ride, Parton replied to a question about whether she’d be taking a spin on Big Bear Mountain with her trademark sense of humor.
“You know I’m not gonna get on that,” the country legend said. “If I get on that thing you’ll find one my wigs in the top of a tree or the top of Clingman’s Dome or something. But it does look like fun.”
Dollywood president Eugene Naughton described Big Bear Mountain as “comfortable fun,” explaining that while the new ride may be the longest coaster in the park, it’s still got a focus on family entertainment. Guests 39 inches and taller can ride, making it an inclusive choice for those attending the park with kids.
The park is eying a spring 2023 opening date for Big Bear Mountain. Dollywood’s Twitter page revealed an animated first look at the ride on Friday.
See Dolly Parton’s Longtime Nashville Home
Dolly Parton and Carl Dean owned this 4,795 square-foot residence in Nashville from 1980 until 1996. While it’s not the lavish mansion one might expect one of the biggest country stars of all time to have lived in, it’s a beautiful home that’s also a one-of-a-kind piece of country music history.
Built in 1941. the house features four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and the wooded, 2.4-acre property also features a detached storage building. Amenities in the stucco home also include an eat-in kitchen, carport, covered porch and patio, deck, a master bedroom with a walk-in closet, a great room large enough for plenty of games and entertainment and dual heating and cooling units.
See Pictures of Dolly Parton, Through the Years
Dolly Parton was a striking young woman in 1965 and little has changed except for her age. See pictures of the country music legend through the years in this gallery.