1. Wild Eagle
Wild Eagle was the first wing coaster in the United States. That means riders are seated on the sides–or the “wings”–of the track instead of on top of it, so there’s nothing above or below you as you ride this coaster. Wild Eagle is the tallest roller coaster at Dollywood. The ride begins with an ascent up a 210-foot lift hill, then sends riders down a 135-foot drop. This roller coaster hits speeds up to 61 miles per hour as it drops, banks, loops, rolls, and corkscrews along the track. Though it’s one of the biggest roller coasters at Dollywood, Wild Eagle is also one of the smoothest, so you’ll enjoy soaring on its wings over and over again.
2. Mystery Mine
Mystery Mine is a thrilling roller coaster at Dollywood that’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll climb into a mine car and make your way through the mine shaft indoors as well as into the outdoor air. This is not a very fast roller coaster. Instead, the thrills come from the coaster’s sharp turns, twists, 90-degree inclines and drops, upside-down hang time, and other surprising features. Each car operates separately instead of in a train, so every rider can get that front-row feeling and see what’s coming next. Don’t let the intimidating exterior and warnings of danger deter you. It’s a fun, unusual roller coaster that’s unlike anything else at this theme park.
A classic roller coaster at Dollywood is Thunderhead. This wooden roller coaster was one of Dollywood’s first coasters. While it’s not the tallest or the fastest coaster, it’s definitely a wild ride. Riders are pulled up to the top of the lift hill slowly, which means you can enjoy views of the theme park all around you. When you reach the top, you drop down a 100-foot drop and then twist and turn your way along the wooden track. Thunderhead crosses over and under itself 32 times and flies through the top of the boarding station, making it a truly unique experience. Just be aware that because it’s a wooden coaster, this ride is not as smooth as some of the others on this list.
4. Big Bear Mountain
The newest addition to Dollywood is Big Bear Mountain. This roller coaster is the longest coaster at Dollywood, with 3,990 feet of track that circle all along the entire length of the Wildwood Grove section of the park. Big Bear Mountain isn’t the tallest or the fastest coaster at Dollywood, at only 66 feet tall at the highest track elevation with a maximum speed of 48 miles per hour. However, it is the only one that has three separate launches to speed riders along the track. You’ll get to experience multiple airtime hills and high-speed carousel turns, plus you’ll make your way through a tunnel and even behind a waterfall! So, even though this is considered a family ride, it’s still a thrilling roller coaster at Dollywood.
5. Lightning Rod
Lightning Rod is a fan-favorite roller coaster at Dollywood, with coaster enthusiasts traveling from around the world to ride this top-ten best roller coaster in the country. Lightning Rod is a hybrid wooden and steel coaster with cutting-edge aerodynamics. This ride is designed to look and feel like a hot rod car that’s built for speed, and speed is exactly what you get. This roller coaster has a 165-foot drop and reaches top speeds of 73 miles per hour, making it one of the most thrilling rides at Dollywood. You’ll experience twists, turns, banks, and airtime hills that make it feel like you’ll fly right off the track at any moment. All of this combines to make Lightning Rod one of the best roller coasters at the park.
Stay Close to the Action
Are you planning on spending one or more days at Dollywood during your Smoky Mountain vacation? Make sure you stay close by so you can experience all that the theme park has to offer. Cut down on drive time so you can get there early and stay late to spend as much time at the park as possible. Find out how you can save yourself time and money by staying at our Pigeon Forge hotel close to Dollywood.