PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WJHL) — As Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove continues to grow, park officials announced an upcoming rollercoaster that will take the entire family on a minute-and-a-half journey featuring views of the mystical land hidden in the Smoky Mountains.
Named Big Bear Mountain, the 3,990-foot orange coaster is slated to launch in the spring of 2023 for park-goers of all ages. Guests must be at least 39 inches to join in on the adventure. The ride will reach speeds of 48 mph and elevations of 66 feet high, seating up to 20 guests per train in rows of two.
Dollywood Dreamer in Chief Dolly Parton appeared at the park on Friday to announce the upcoming addition to Dollywood’s latest themed area. The ride’s titular character Big Bear is a legend in Wildwood Grove, and boarders will join a ranger in a mission to discover the secrets of the elusive creature.
“As the story goes, there’s this huge bear that’s been roaming these hills for years and going around Wildwood Grove…” Parton said during the press conference. “For the first time next year, you can go on a group of adventures searching for Big Bear with your fellow ranger Ned Oakley.”
Throughout the exploration, guests can enjoy audio elements such as announcements from Ned and onboard music as the coaster takes them on a voyage through the mysterious forest.
Big Bear Mountain will mark Wildwood Grove’s newest attraction, joining others such as Hidden Hollow, Treetop Tower, Great Tree Swing and Frog & Fireflies. The Grove opened to guests in 2019, and park officials at the time said the expansion cost more to build than did the entire park when it opened.
Guests can register for the 2023 Season Pass Pre-Sale until Sept. 30. Those who register can purchase the pass beginning Oct. 17 at its lowest price with access to an exclusive event for Big Bear Mountain this upcoming spring.