Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood (Courtesy of Dollywood)
Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood (Courtesy of Dollywood)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WGHP) — Legendary country music star Dolly Parton personally announced the latest attraction coming to Dollywood Parks and Resort.

Big Bear Mountain will be the park’s longest rollercoaster at 3,990 feet long, covering six acres of Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove. The ride tops out at 48 mph and includes three launches, as well as hills, carousel turns, tunnels and a pass behind a waterfall. All in all, the ride cost the park $25 million to build.

“Big Bear Mountain is an exciting ride that really is going to be a game changer for us,” Dollywood Company President Eugene Naughton said in a news release. “Not only is it the largest coaster we’ve built, but it includes features—like on-board audio—that are new for our company. Big Bear Mountain also expands the footprint of Wildwood Grove and serves as another monumental step in the ongoing investment plan Dolly and I announced in June 2021. She’s keeping me busy. Now that we’ve announced Big Bear Mountain, I’ll start working on the next projects she has lined up for me!”

Wildwood Grove overview with Big Bear Mountain (Courtesy of Dollywood)
Wildwood Grove overview with Big Bear Mountain (Courtesy of Dollywood)

The park says the ride “allows guests to embark on an unforgettable expedition through the Smokies in search of the elusive ‘Big Bear.'” Dollywood says legend tells of a massive black bear who has been roaming through Wildwood Grove for as long as anyone can remember, and riders are invited to join wilderness explorer Ned Oakley on an expedition in “four-wheel drive SUVs.”

“The Smokies are all about adventure and going exploring,” Parton said. “I’m excited our guests will be able to head out on their own trip into the Smokies to see if they can find that Big Bear. Whether he’s out there or not, I’m sure they’ll find a lot of memories along the way that they’ll keep forever.” 

Dollywood expects to open Big Bear Mountain in spring 2023. Those who pre-register for a 2023 season pass will get access to an exclusive ride event for Big Bear Mountain in spring 2023. Guests can pre-register by visiting Dollywood.com/2023SP from Aug. 5 to Sept. 30, and pre-registrants will be able to buy their passes beginning Oct. 17.