Dollywood is getting a new multi-launch family coaster in spring 2023.
Called Big Bear Mountain, the $25 million, 66-foot-tall coaster will be built by Vekoma, the Dutch company behind Disney’s recent roller coasters. According to a park press release, the coaster will cover 3,990 feet, making it the longest coaster at Dollywood, wrapping up the edge of the park’s Wildwood Grove section that debuted in 2019.
In a first for Dollywood, the coaster trains will feature onboard audio. The three separate launches will hit a top speed of 48 miles per hour, but the coaster won’t have any inversions and will offer a family-friendly 39-inch height requirement.
“You know that I’m not going to get on that,” Dolly Parton said at a Friday event announcing the new coaster. “Y’all know me better than that, but I’m going to be happy to hear about all your big tall tales, once you get back,” she said.
The coaster will be the 10th at Dollywood, and its first since 2019’s Dragonflier, which is also located in Wildwood Grove.
Dollywood has been dropping hints about the coaster’s story in recent months with a marketing campaign about sightings of a legendary bear in the Smoky Mountain forests. Here’s how the park’s press release described it:
While no one has ever seen him, telltale signs regularly appear in the hills surrounding the Grove. Dollywood guests are invited to join Wildwood Grove’s resident wilderness explorer, Ned Oakley, on an adventure to find Big Bear. From his base camp—located just a stone’s throw from the Grove’s Hidden Hollow—Oakley takes adventurers for the rides of their lives in his specially-outfitted, “four-wheel drive SUVs.”
No exact opening date has been announced beyond spring 2023. If history is any guide, the park’s last two coasters each opened in mid-May.