Ultimate Guide to Dollywood Roller Coasters for 2022

Check out all of the Dollywood roller coasters in our Ultimate Guide – from coasters for the littles to the thrill seekers!

Family of four boys in front of Dollywood sign
Our four boys at the Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas 2021

Dollywood, located in Pigeon Forge, is one of the most popular amusement parks in the United States, and my family’s favorite. One of the things it is known for is its thrilling roller coasters, which attract visitors from all over the country.

The park has something for everyone, from smaller roller coasters for children to larger ones for adults, some of which hold records! This guide will provide information about each of Dollywood’s roller coasters so that you can choose the one that is right for you.

Let’s take a look at the rides from smallest – to tallest!

the Whistle Punk Chaser roller coaster before a ride
All our boys in the back of the Whistle Punk Chaser

1. Whistle Punk Chaser

This small roller coaster is perfect for the smallest ones in the family. It is a simple figure-8 coaster in the Timber Canyon area of the park. My youngest sons adore this ride and we visit it every time we go to the park.

Minimum Height to Ride: 36″ but guests under 42″ must ride with someone 16 or older

Ride Drop: 14 feet

Top Speed: 16 mph

Track Length: 262.5 feet

Ride Length: 1 minute (3 times around the track)

Features: This small steel coaster is the perfect one to start off your little one. This is the only coaster in the park for kiddos 36″ up to 39″ when they can ride the Dragonflier or Firechaser Express. It’s a steel figure-8 coaster.

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2. Dragonflier

Found in the Wildwood Grove area of the park, the Dragonflier is the perfect step up from the Whistle Punk Chaser. This steel coaster will have your feet dangling as you sit securely in your own seat. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous for my four-year-old to ride, but he was just as secure in his seat as I was in mine even though he’s so much smaller. This is one coaster in the park our whole family loves to ride (even the ones who aren’t as adventurous!).

Minimum Height to Ride: 39″

Ride Drop: 63 feet

Top Speed: 46 mph

Track Length: 1486 feet

Ride Length: Just under 1 minute

Features: This coaster features suspended cars, an underground tunnel, a great view of Wildwood Grove and a smooth, twisty-turny ride.

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3. Firechaser Express

Be prepared to launch both forward and backward in this ride! It’s not a scary coaster and has a low minimum rider height, making it a family favorite. It’s super popular, so your best bet is to get to the park early and head straight to the back of the park while others are waiting for the large rides in front.

Minimum Height to Ride: 39″

Ride Drop: 72 feet

Top Speed: 35 mph

Track Length: 2427

Ride Length: 2 minutes

Features: This steel coaster launches you out of the station and takes you on some twists and drops before coming into a building filled with explosives that’s about to blow! Then, it launches you backwards for a thrilling ending to the ride.

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4. Blazing Fury

This is the oldest coaster in the park, dating back to 1978. I remember riding this one as a kid and I still love it as much today as I did back then! It’s a pretty easy ride with a couple of drops near the end – perfect for those who aren’t into big coasters but still want a bit of a thrill.

Minimum Height to Ride: 42″

Ride Drop: 22 feet

Top Speed: 31 mph

Track Length: 1520 feet

Ride Length: 2 minutes

Features: There are plenty of easter eggs from the park’s history in this ride! The ride was actually constructed on site and used to feature a splash at the end, which had to be removed due to wear and tear on the cars. This is a pretty mild ride, but you’ll find a few drops. “Fire in the hole!”

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5. Thunderhead

This wooden roller coaster is one of my kids’ favorites and has been part of the park since 2004. This is a huge hit with kids and adults alike and is one that you shouldn’t miss. If you like classic wooden roller coasters, high speeds and a wild thrill ride, you’ll love the Thunderhead.

Minimum Height to Ride: 48″

Ride Drop: 100 feet

Top Speed: 55 mph

Track Length: 3230 feet

Ride Length: 3 minutes

Features: This classic wooden coaster weaves in and out of its wooden track as it races along over 3000 feet of track. The 100 foot drop is a big draw as is the station “fly through” where the cars roar through the station 8 feet above the exit.

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6. Mystery Mine

This modern coaster features 8-seater cars in two rows of four and was the first Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter coaster in the United States. On this ride, you take a trip through an abandoned mine. Be aware that you will be jerked around a bit, and also for the 90-degree lifts!

Minimum Height to Ride: 48″

Ride Drop: 85 feet

Top Speed: 44 mph

Track Length: 1811 feet

Ride Length: 3 minutes

Features: This coaster has two really steep drops, several sharp turns, goes upside down and has a 95-degree, 85-foot drop (be sure to watch the video for this one!).

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7. Tennessee Tornado

This coaster replaced Thunder Express in 1999 and is the first coaster that goes upside down that any of my kids would ride. Even though it does have a drop over 100 feet, you’re going down the side of a mountain so it doesn’t feel quite so scary for those afraid of heights, but still provides all the thrills that you’d expect from a thrill ride.

Minimum Height to Ride: 48″

Ride Drop: 128 feet

Top Speed: 63 mph

Track Length: 2682 feet

Ride Length: 1 minute 48 seconds

Features: This thrilling coaster will take you up 163 feet up the side of a mountain before a thrilling 128 foot drop and three inversions.

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8. Lightning Rod

The Lightning Rod coaster has been in operation since 2016 but received all new track for 2021. It’s the world’s fastest and only launched wooden coaster, and the lines for it are always long due to its popularity so get there early.

Minimum Height to Ride: 48″

Ride Drop: 165 feet

Top Speed: 73 mph

Track Length: 3800 feet

Ride Length: 3 minutes 12 seconds

Features: The world fastest and only launched wooden roller coaster, Lightning Rod really thrills! It’s ranked among the top wooden coasters in the world and the second tallest at Dollywood. Hands down my kids’ favorite ride at the park.

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9. Wild Eagle

This ride was the first wing coaster in the United States and you really do feel like you’re flying! You ride beside the track with only air above and below you for the huge drop and multiple inversions.

Minimum Height to Ride: 50″

Ride Drop: 135 feet

Top Speed: 61 mph

Track Length: 3127 feet

Ride Length: 2 minutes

Features: Even though you go upside down four times and experience zero-gravity turns, this ride is incredibly smooth. It’s the tallest coaster in the park at 210′ (just a bit taller than Lightning Rod).

Common Questions about Dollywood Roller Coasters

How many roller coasters are at Dollywood?

There are nine coasters total in the park, from one kiddie coaster all the way up to record-holding thrill rides.

What are the 9 roller coasters at Dollywood?

Our list goes from shortest minimum height to ride to tallest. For the smallest of the bunch, you can ride the Whistle Punk Chaser at only 36″ with an adult. At 39″ you can also add the Dragonflier and the Firechaser Express. At 42″ you can add Blazing Fury and ride the Whistly Punk Chaser without someone 16 or older. At 48″ you open up several new rides with Lightning Rod, Tennessee Tornado, Mystery Mine and the Thunderhead. Finally, you have to be 50″ tall to ride the Wild Eagle.

What is the biggest roller coaster at Dollywood?

The biggest coaster is Lightning Rod. The tallest is the Wild Eagle but the Lighning Rod has a longer track and longer ride time.

Which roller coasters go upside down at Dollywood?

There are several coasters in the park that go upside down. The Tennessee Tornado is one I would recommend if you are just starting out with inversions, then you can ride the other coasters that go upside down: Mystery Mine and Wild Eagle.

What is the oldest roller coaster at Dollywood?

The oldest coaster is Blazing Fury, which was at the park before it even became Dollywood. It was built in 1978 and is still a fan favorite today.

Does Dollywood have a mountain coaster?

There isn’t a mountain coaster in the Dollywood theme park, but just down the road from the park is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. Thisis the longest Alpine Coaster in the United States at more than a mile long, and you control how fast you go.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at Dollywood roller coasters – one of my family’s favorite things to do in the Smokies!

When you’re finished – why not check out one of the best bakeries in the area?