Wild Eagle to Soar Over Dollywood in 2012 | New Wing Roller Coaster
Tonight Dollywood announced the details of their highly anticipated 2012 rollercoaster at the Boomsday celebration in Knoxville, TN. Wild Eagle will be a $20 million Bolliger & Mabillard wing coaster. Riders will be seated in four across trains with seats positioned outside of the track, instead of above or below it. According to Dollywood, Wild Eagle will be the first of its kind in the United States.
After boarding the wide eagle-themed trains, Wild Eagle will begin with a 210-foot tall lift hill where guests will likely be treated to an amazing view of the park’s beautiful mountainous surroundings. Next, riders will dive 135 feet and then face four inversions including: large vertical loop, zero-g roll, inclined immelmann, and a giant flat spin.
Wild Eagle joins the Golden Ticket Award-winning wooden coaster Thunderhead and the popular, heavily-themed Mystery Mine roller coaster among other rides.
My Take on Dollywood’s Wild Eagle
Dollywood’s a beautiful theme park with a strong lineup of rides and roller coasters. In the past, I’m sure that it’s been a bit overlooked, but maybe with Wild Eagle the park will attract new guests. If Thunderhead was Dollywood’s signature ride, I’d have to think Wild Eagle will supplant it. As popular as it and Mystery Mine have been over the years, a twenty-story steel behemoth that looks completely unique (to the majority of the public) will likely the park’s main attraction. I’m very excited to see another custom B&M roller coaster of any kind. Nearly all of the roller coaster’s that they design are: smooth and comfortable, feature large trains that make lines move fast, and they seldom break down. I couldn’t be happier that Wild Eagle is being built only 4 hours away. Pigeon Forge here I come!
Let the Comparisons Begin! – X-Flight vs. Wild Eagle: Round 0 – “Who’s First?”
With an opening day in March 2012 (if I’m doing the math for the countdown calculator right March 5th), I’m assuming that Dollywood’s confident that they’ll open Wild Eagle before next year’s other U.S. wing coaster Six Flags Great America’s X-Flight. When you consider that construction has been underway at Dollywood for quite some time while Six Flags has mentioned “Spring 2012” as X-Flights time frame, it’s probably highly likely the park really will boast the first wing coaster in America. This is probably great for marketing the rides, but to me it doesn’t matter which ride is first. What matters is the ride, theming, atmosphere, etc. It’s early, but I may give Wild Eagle the edge based on first impression alone. As I’ve said before I’m a sucker for terrain coasters and atmosphere can really make a ride for me.