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Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN is a top family-friendly vacation destination, and many people come for the amazing rides or the best shows and live entertainment. One of the best Dollywood roller coasters is the Wild Eagle! Today we are going to tell you everything you need to know about this ride that was a first of its kind in the United States at Tennessee’s most popular theme park.

the wild eagle at dollywood going upside down
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The Wild Eagle is a fantastic ride at Dollywood. It is Dollywood’s flagship coaster, and it is a thrill seeker’s must-ride! It was America’s first wing coaster and is an amazing unique experience from the wings of an imposing bald eagle!

One of the most unique things about this coaster is that you don’t ride either directly above or below the track. Instead, you ride to the side of the track with the wing coaster ride technology, which gives you the feeling of flying. It’s no wonder this is one of the highest-ranking steel coasters!

Ride Specs

Track length: 3,127 ft.
Drop: 135 ft.
Top Speed: 61 mph
Inversions: 4
Duration: 2.22 Min
Riders per Train: 28, two on each side of seven cars
Min Height: 50 inches
Max Height: 78 inches
Ride Location: Back of the park near the Wilderness Pass area

Ride Experience

You will enter the ride entrance and either be assigned or given a side to go up (this varies based upon the number of riders there). You will then pick a lane to go to and then told when to board.

Once you are fastened and the safety crew gives the green light, you are off. The gates at the front swing open and you take a 90 degree turn to the hill.

You will climb up 21 stories (which the climb is rather steep) and then take a short level at the very top before plunging down a 135-foot drop! Then you will do a series of inversions including loops, corkscrews, zero-gravity turns and more. You will then do a figure-eight-like shape to loop back around to where you started.

You might have to wait for the train in front of you to launch, but it normally is very fast and they can get you in soon.

How Scary is the Wild Eagle at Dollywood?

If you’re not a fan of heights, this is not the ride for you. Its maximum height is 210 feet – the tallest in the park! It’s also a little unnerving at first to ride out on the left or right side of the train instead of right on top or under a track. But, overall, it’s a great thrill ride and once you experience the lift hill and first drop it’s a piece of cake even with elements such as a zero-g roll, giant flat spin, vertical loop and more.

Personal Opinion

  • I think the Wild Eagle is a great ride! It really does give you the sensation of flight on the broad wings of a bald eagle, and you soon forget that your legs are not touching the ground!
  • The seats have a special soft, flexible restraint inside which makes you feel perfectly safe as well as keeping you from jerking around!
  • The height restrictions sometimes can be a pain if you have a young very adventurous kid, as this ride has the strictest minimum height requirement.
  • While the height can scare some off, you are going up a hill halfway which takes care of some height fears.
  • I think it’s awesome that this was the first steel wing coaster in the US.
  • Overall, I think it is a great coaster for thrill seekers and those who just want a bit of fun alike!  

Insider’s Tips

Surprisingly this popular roller coaster often doesn’t have a long wait time, unless the park is super busy, so if you’re wanting to ride it you can often find a 15-30 minute wait (and sometimes even less!). This coaster and the Tennessee Tornado seem to not have as long of a wait. We usually ride the busiest coasters first (Lightning Rod, FireChaser Express and Mystery Mine stay packed), and come around to this ride later. It’s definitely worth a ride!

You get great views of the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains from this coaster, and you’ll be at the park’s highest peak, so if you are able to open your eyes and take it all in you’re in for a treat! (I say that because sometimes I close my eyes on the slow ride up to the first drop!). The view is one of the best parts of the ride, though, so I try to sneak a peek.

The eagle-themed trains are definitely different but it’s a wonderful feeling, and you do feel very secure in the seat. Some rides that go upside down make you feel like you’re going to fall out, but not the Wild Eagle. It’s also a very smooth coaster and doesn’t jerk you around.

Final Thoughts on Dollywood’s Wild Eagle

If you’re a coaster enthusiast, you’re going to love the Wild Eagle. It’s a unique exerience that you won’t soon forget. If you’re really adventurous, try to get the front seat, otherwise stay more toward the middle if possible.

It’s easy to see why this ride is a Golden Ticket Award Winner! You’re going to love it!

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