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WILD EAGLE


soars over Dollywood


Dollywood, Pigeon Forge,


Tennessee, has launched the $20 million Wild Eagle, the first Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) Wing Coaster in the US and one of only four in the world. The new ride represents the largest single capital investment in the 26-year history of Dolly Parton’s park. Judging from the crowds waiting to ride, it was a wise nvestment, says Paul Ruben





Dollywood,” says Dolly herself. “From everything folks are telling me, Wild Eagle is somethin’ else, and I hope folks from around the world come to Dollywood to earn their wings. Or as I like to say, be an eagle not a chicken!” Wild Eagle is a fitting theme for this coaster, since Dollywood is home to Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, an outdoor aviary maintained by the American Eagle Foundation (AEF). The ride’s name celebrates the bald eagle, a raptor whose population has increased in recent years due largely to the efforts of the AEF.


W


ild Eagle was a long time in the makin’ but truly worth every minute as that incredible bird took flight over


“It is a completely different kind of ride,” explains Dollywood vice-president and general manager Craig Ross, “and that is why we selected it. We identified the property on which it would be built before we selected the ride system. When B&M came to us with something unique for North America that could effectively be themed to an eagle, we were sold.” Wild Eagle’s floorless design allows riders to experience the sensation of flight. Each train accommodates 28 passengers, sat four abreast in a forward-facing position with two riders on the “wings” either side of the coaster’s track – with nothing but air above or below.


B&M Wing Coaster


Dollywood vice-president and general manager Craig Ross


JUNE 2012 35


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