One of my favorite things about the theme park season is all of the speculation for the next theme park season’s roller coasters. Sure I enjoy trying out this year’s latest and greatest, but there’s just something exciting about the unknown and Dollywood’s 2012 roller coaster is a perfect example.
I’d seen notes from ScreamScape about some land clearing for a while, but I hadn’t come across anything that had said “roller coaster” until recently. If you’ve been following this closer feel free to fill me in on the latest in the comments section.
In true coaster enthusiast detective fashion coaster fan SmarterThanNot encountered a truck hauling, you know the typical payload, B&M track(!). She asked the truck driver where he was headed. He said he was taking the track to Dollywood.
From reading through the message boards on ThemeParkReview, more dark blue track and tan colored supports have been spotted at Dollywood. So, at this point it appears to be clear that Dollywood is not only getting a roller coaster, but a B&M roller coaster.
The park has dropped a few hints via an interview last month. In a ThrillNetwork article, Dollywood’s Pete Owens confirms that the park will announce the name of the 2012 ride at the Knoxville Boomsday event on September 4th. More specifically he shared that the name will be announced: “in the sky over Knoxville.” He also stated that the ride will be a: “first for the United States” and “one element should set a world record.” Aside from these nuggets we also have the teaser message on a wall surrounding the construction area that reads: “The Sky Is Not the Limit.”
Could Dollywood Be Getting a B&M Wing Walker Coaster?
With these hints, signs would appear to point to a B&M wing coaster or wing walker like Gardaland’s 2011 ride, Raptor. Clearly, we’ve seen B&M’s other designs in the U.S. already. But just in case, Mr. Owens meant an element of the ride would be the first in the U.S. this could be some other type of B&M coaster. If we find out that Dollywood’s new roller coaster will be a terrain hyper (like Apollo’s Chariot) then it will probably be my pick for most anticipated 2012 coaster. Of course, we still don’t know exactly what Hersheypark’s getting, but I’m a sucker for terrain coasters and Dollywood’s only about 4 hours away from me.
UPDATE – Dollywood has announced Wild Eagle for 2012. As the rumors suggested, it will be a wing coaster. Wild Eagle will the park’s largest single ride investment with a price tag of $20 million. Read more: Dollywood’s Wild Eagle Wing Roller Coaster to Soar in 2012