Riding The Big Bear Mountain Roller Coaster At Dollywood


Riding The Big Bear Mountain Roller Coaster At DollywoodDollywood has announced some big news recently! The park just launched its newest roller coaster last week, and it’s the longest track (at nearly 4,000 feet) of any coaster in the park! Being hailed as a “family” ride, Big Bear Mountain is nestled in the back corner of Wildwood Grove. Its bright orange track loops around most of that area of the park, tunneling under walkways and even sliding through a waterfall. 

My little family had the chance to try out the ride on opening day, and here are all of the things you need to know:

  1. You’ll need time to walk to it. We chose to ride Big Bear Mountain first thing in the morning. We knew that on a Saturday (and on opening day, especially), the lines would likely get really long, and my two little guys aren’t fans of waiting. Big Bear Mountain is definitely a hike from the main entrance, but the quickest way to get there is to go left through Timber Canyon instead of going right to the umbrella sky. It’s also a good idea to arrive to the park early. On most days, the park officially opens at 10am, but parkgoers are still permitted to enter Dollywood and walk through the park as early as 9:30am (though most attractions will not be operating until 10am). Getting there early will allow you to be there when the rope drops to be one of the first in line.
  2. Don’t miss the theming! Big Bear Mountain is based on a cute backstory about a legendary bear that lives in the woods behind Wildwood Grove. Each time he has been spotted, exaggerations of his size and stature get more and more outlandish, with some locals claiming that he’s 20 feet tall! He has also been blamed for acts of vandalism and theft around the Grove, and Ned Oakley (Benjamin Bear’s caretaker) has finally had enough! He has decided to launch an investigation to determine whether the legends are true. Riders who “join the search” for Big Bear will get an up-close look at the Adventure Outpost where Ned works, and they will even have the chance to see his desk covered in maps, notes, and detailed drawings of the alleged bear. You can also hear the sound of the elusive Big Bear growling at different locations around Wildwood Grove.
  3. Bring the whole family. The minimum height requirement to ride Big Bear Mountain is 39 inches tall, meaning that even the littlest adventurers can give it a try! Don’t forget to visit the Ride Height Measuring Center near the Emporium at the front entrance to get color-coded wristbands for your children before venturing deep into the park. This gives your kids speedier entrance to the rides and avoids making them pause to get measured at each individual attraction. This coaster does NOT go upside-down and doesn’t include any major drops (staying relatively low to the ground for the duration of the ride, made to mimic a Jeep ride through the woods), but it DOES have speed! My nine-year-old loved the adrenaline rush that he got from riding the twists and turns of Big Bear Mountain, but my six-year-old was definitely hesitant to try a second ride. Every kid is different, and you are probably the best judge of whether your children are brave enough to ride Big Bear Mountain. It may be helpful to watch a YouTube video of the ride the night before your trip to Dollywood so that you and your child can decide together. 

Have you had a chance to try Big Bear Mountain yet? Drop a comment below and let us know what you thought of the ride!


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