Dollywood’s New Roller Coaster: Big Bear Mountain!

Dollywood is a Family Favorite Theme Park

Our family became huge fans of Dollywood about six years ago.

We’ve been visiting multiple times a year ever since!

Last week we were invited to a media event to cover the unveiling of Big Bear Mountain!

To say we were impressed, would be an understatement!

As parents of thrill seekers and some non adventurous kids too, my husband and I were super excited that this would be a ride our entire family could agree on!

Why Big Bear Mountain in DOllywood is Great for Kids:

  • It has a safari themed adventure in which you search for the elusive “Big Bear.” The theme itself makes this ride exciting for kids of all ages!
  • There’s on-board audio which adds to the exciting theming.
  • Even though this is a super-long roller coaster (almost 4,000 feet long!), it has no loops. If any kids (I have a few!) in your group are intimidated by loops, or “going upside down”, this roller coaster will be one they won’t want to miss!
  • There’s a little bit of water to make long, hot summer days at a theme park more fun!
  • The top speed of 48 MPH makes tweens and teens enjoy this ride with the younger kids!
  • Airtime hills make this roller coaster feel like a REAL, intense, adventure!
  • High speed carousel turns keep kids and parents entertained.
  • It’s found in the kid section of Dollywood — Wildwood Grove.
  • Dippin’ Dots is close-by if anyone is a little too scared to ride. This is also a good “bribe” for any kids who need encouragement to go on a bear hunt expedition!
  • Minimum height requirement is 39″, which allows some of the smallest youngsters to enjoy this attraction!

What Dolly Parton Says About Big Bear Mountain

“The Smokies are all about adventure and going exploring,” Dolly 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.” 

Who is Big Bear at Dollywood?

According to legend, Big Bear is a massive black bear who has been roaming through Wildwood Grove for as long as anyone can remember.

While no one has ever seen him, 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 his base camp—located just a stone’s throw from the Grove’s Hidden Hollow—Oakley takes adventurers for the rides of their lives in his specially-outfitted, “four-wheel drive SUVs.”

“Big Bear Mountain is an exciting ride that really is going to be a 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 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!”

construction site for Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood

When Will Big Bear Mountain Open At Dollywood?

Opening date is schedule for the spring of 2023,

Visitors who are ready to join the excitement can pre-register for a 2023 Dollywood season pass by visiting from Aug. 5- Sept. 30.

Those who register during this time receive the guaranteed lowest price on passes, as well as access to an exclusive ride event for Big Bear Mountain in spring of 2023. Pre-registrants are able to purchase 2023 season passes beginning Oct. 17.

In 2022, Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next.

For more information about Big Bear Mountain, please visit

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