PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Call it new, call it unique, call it a return to the fun, pre-pandemic ways that Dollywood promoted the next season. But just call the phone number 865-868-0168.
On Aug. 5, the park will announce a major attraction. The park told media that the company’s newest attraction “roars into the park in 2023” and marks “the largest single attraction investment in the history of Dollywood.” It is the next step in the $500 million expansion announced in 2021 that includes the new HeartSong Lodge and Resort.
Astute fans may have noticed this Easter egg at the park. The phone number above is printed on the bottom of this sign on display at Dollywood.
So News Channel 11’s sister station WATE 6 called the number. Ned Oakley of Wildwood Grove answered.
“This is Ned Oakley. I set up this hotline to gather tips about an especially big bear. I’m guessing you’ve got some information since you called this number,” says a man’s voice upon answering.
The voice then says he’s been hearing stories about “this bear roaming these hills and hollers for years,” and that he intends to prove “Big Bear is real and lives right here in Wildwood Grove.”
Excursions to go searching for Big Bear are planned, starting next spring.
“Maybe you wanna come help me look,” he says. “If you’ve seen Big Bear, have some information or better yet some evidence related to his whereabouts, see me at the Adventure Outpost Base Camp in Wildwood Grove.”
That’s where the call ends.
Information about the new attraction will be released Friday, Aug. 5.