PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WJHL) — As Dollywood gears up for the 2023 season, the park has a few new additions that will be finalized after the season commences.
One of these additions is a new roller coaster called the Big Bear Mountain.
The coaster is almost 4,000 feet long, making it the longest roller coaster at the park, Dollywood officials said.
The coaster is placed in the more kid-focused part of the park, but it’s a ride for all ages.
“So this here is just going to be another addition for getting in from the tween, teenage all the way up to an adult,” said Vice President of Maintenance and Construction Barry Stiltner.
With features like the lowered height restriction and onboard audio that tells the story of Ned the ranger’s search for a black bear, Dollywood leadership feels like this roller coaster helps them stand out from other amusement parks.
“They are putting up, of course, the tallest, fastest, which of course only attracts to a lot smaller group so this here will be more of a family-oriented ride,” said Stiltner.
The HeartSong Lodge and Resort‘s framework is up and nearing completion. Dollywood officials believe HeartSong gives Dollywood a more well-rounded resort experience.
“Speaking of Dolly’s perspective, when you’re at DreamMore Resort it’s more about, it’s like you’re entering her house,” said regional Director of Marketing Brian Angello. “Whereas HeartSong is the place where she comes to recharge her batteries here in the Smokies.”
HeartSong Lodge and Resort will double as a resort and a convention center with two ballrooms. The largest ballroom can hold up to 700 people.
There are also 23 different types of rooms at the resorts. Rooms have murals that have both a day and a night design. These murals differ depending on your stay.
“2023 is going to be a jam-packed season of lots of things happening here in Dollywood, so the icing on the cake after an incredible season is going to be the opening of Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge and Resort,” said Angello.
Both additions will not be completed by the season’s opening. The Big Bear Mountain roller coaster is about 75% complete. Dollywood employees say Dolly herself will announce the coaster’s grand opening in a few weeks.
The HeartSong Lodge and Resort is expected to be complete by the fall of 2023.