PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Dollywood opened its newest and longest roller coaster to the public on Friday morning.
Dolly Parton herself was at Dollywood to celebrate the opening of Big Bear Mountain in Wildwood Grove. After speaking and counting down the time until the first riders took off, Dolly sang her own song about Big Bear to end the ceremony.
The grand opening began at 10:30 a.m., and News Channel 11 streamed the event live. You can watch the full ceremony with Dolly in the video above.
On Thursday, Dollywood gave News Channel 11 an early ride and sneak preview of the roller coaster. Running nearly 4,000 feet, Big Bear Mountain also features Dollywood’s first onboard audio system.
“We thought a great theme would be for people on the ride to hear the bear coming after you,” Dolly said. “You can hear him clawing, you can hear him roaring and all that. So we’re trying to catch Big Bear.”
Some of the first people to ride the family-friendly coaster said they had a blast.
“It was amazing,” said Jessica Keaver. “It was fast and I love how it thrusts you out several different times. It was really fun. We have been here since 7:30 waiting.”
Other riders told News Channel 11 that the coaster is smooth and longer than most people might expect.