Big Bear Mountain Roller Coaster Set to Open in Dollywood Spring 2023 | New


Dolly Parton today announced the newest addition to Dollywood Parks & Resorts, the $25 million Big Bear Mountain, a nearly 4,000 foot long roller coaster that allows guests to embark on an unforgettable expedition through through the Smokies in search of the elusive “Big Bear”. Big Bear Mountain, which at 3,990 feet becomes the longest roller coaster in Pigeon Forge Park, Tennessee, marks the expansion of Dollywood’s newest area, Wildwood Grove.

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Dollywood’s Big Bear Mountain, slated to open in 2023, becomes the longest roller coaster in the park. This overview of the Wildwood Grove section of the park gives a glimpse of the massive structure of the attraction. (Photo: BusinessWire)

The massive structure of Big Bear Mountain embraces six acres of rolling topography that hugs the border of Wildwood Grove, with runners traversing the wilderness before rising above the forest in search of the legendary bear. With a top speed of 48 mph, Big Bear Mountain takes guests through three separate launches, multiple airtime hills, high-speed turns and tunnels, including a pass behind a waterfall.

In addition to becoming Dollywood’s longest roller coaster, Big Bear Mountain also marks the park’s first attraction to feature a built-in sound system. The audio system provides auditory sensations matching the dynamic movements of the ride as guests boldly approach Big Bear. The minimum height requirement for Big Bear Mountain is 39 inches, allowing even younger adventurers to come for the ride.

“The Smokies are all about adventure and exploration,” said Dolly Parton. “I’m thrilled that our guests can go on their own trip to the Smokies to see if they can find this Big Bear! Whether he’s there or not, I’m sure they’ll find lots of memories in the process of road they will keep forever.

According to legend, Big Bear is a huge black bear that has roamed Wildwood Grove for as long as anyone can remember. Although no one has ever seen it, 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 its base camp, located a stone’s throw from Grove’s Hidden Hollow, Oakley takes adventurers on the rides of a lifetime in its specially equipped “four-wheel-drive SUVs.”

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“Big Bear Mountain is an exciting ride that will be a real game-changer for us,” said Eugene Naughton, president of the Dollywood Company. “Not only is it the largest coaster we’ve built, but it includes features, like on-board audio, that are new to our company. Big Bear Mountain is also expanding Wildwood Grove’s footprint and is another monumental step in the ongoing investment plan that Dolly and I announced in June 2021. It keeps me busy. Now that we’ve announced Big Bear Mountain, I’m going to start working on the next projects she has prepared for me!

With an expected spring 2023 opening date, daring adventurers won’t have to wait long to join Ned Oakley in his search for Big Bear on Big Bear Mountain. Guests ready to join in the excitement can pre-register for a 2023 Dollywood Season Pass by visiting from August 5 through September 5. 30. Those who register during this time receive the guaranteed lowest price on passes, as well as access to an exclusive hiking event for Big Bear Mountain in the spring of 2023. Pre-registrants can purchase passes – switch to the 2023 season from October 17.

In 2022, Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. After the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration ends this weekend, thousands of pumpkins will light up this fall as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (September 23-October 29). The season wraps up with the world’s most popular theme park Christmas event, Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (November 5 – January 1, 2023).

For more information on Big Bear Mountain, please visit


About Dollywood Parks & Resorts: A highly awarded and widely recognized leader in the entertainment industry, The Dollywood Company includes the 160-acre Dollywood Theme Park; Dollywood’s 35-acre Splash Country; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. Currently under construction, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort is scheduled for completion in 2023. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the winner of the 2010 Applause Award, the theme park industry’s highest honor; winner of 45 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 28 Brass Ring Awards for live entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was named in 2022 by Tripadvisor as the best theme park in the country. It was also recognized as one of America’s top three theme parks by USA today Many times. Dollywood is open from mid-March to early January and features rides and attractions, shows, and authentic artisans from the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the travel channel and Tripadvisor as one of the finest water parks in the country, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, a favorite of USA today voters and Tripadvisor reviews, offers guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities adjacent to Dollywood Theme Park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, visit Days and hours of operation vary.

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CONTACT: Media contacts:

Pete Owens: Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 [email protected]

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or [email protected]

Ellen Liston: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 [email protected]

Amber Davis: Digital Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 [email protected]

Jennifer Webb: Publicist, (865) 428-9602, (865) 323-7584 or [email protected]

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at



SOURCE: Dollywood Parks & Resorts

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

PUBLISHED: 08/05/2022 12:05 PM / DISK: 08/05/2022 12:06 PM

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