AceShowbiz - Dolly Parton is launching a new rollercoaster at Dollywood. The 76-year-old country icon opened the amusement park in her native Tennessee back in 1986 and announced on Friday, August 5, that a brand new ride called The Big Bear Mountain will be launching in 2023 at a reported cost of $25 million.
Alongside a video teaser of the new ride, the Dollywood company tweeted, "Join Ned Oakley in Spring 2023 on our largest family adventure yet: Big Bear Mountain. This multi-launch coaster contains 3,990 ft. of track, expanding Wildwood Grove with a six-acre ride. Prepare for things to get BIG by watching our exclusive first look at ride animation."
According to a press release, the Big Bear Mountain ride will feature "three separate launches, multiple airtime hills, high-speed carousel turns, and tunnels, including a pass behind a waterfall" and the "Jolene" hitmaker took to social media herself to express her "excitement" that fans will be able to travel the Smoky Mountains themselves via the ride while referencing her 1994 song "Smoky Mountain Memories."
She tweeted, "The Smokies are all about adventure and going exploring. 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."
Meanwhile, Dollywood president Eugene Naughton explained that the ride was "family-friendly" and described it as being "comfortable fun."
He told Knoxville News Sentinel, "If you're going to be the No. 1 family attraction in the United States, your product needs to be family-friendly. So, within this ride called Big Bear Mountain, I like to call it comfortable fun." The Big Bear Mountain roller coaster is officially set to open in Spring 2023.