Wild Eagle

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Wild Eagle
Wild Eagle Partial Layout.jpg
Part of Wild Eagle's layout
Dollywood
Park section Wilderness Pass
Coordinates 35°47′41″N 83°31′48″W / 35.794675°N 83.530127°W / 35.794675; -83.530127Coordinates: 35°47′41″N 83°31′48″W / 35.794675°N 83.530127°W / 35.794675; -83.530127
Status Operating
Soft opening date March 23, 2012 (2012-03-23)
Opening date March 24, 2012 (2012-03-24)
Cost $20,000,000
($20.5 million in 2014 dollars[1])
General statistics
Type Steel – Wing Coaster
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Model Wing Coaster
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 210 ft (64 m)
Drop 135 ft (41 m)
Length 3,127 ft (953 m)
Speed 61 mph (98 km/h)
Inversions 4
Duration 2:22
Height restriction 50–78 in (127–198 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 28 riders per train.
Virtual queue
Q2Q available
Must transfer from wheelchair
Wild Eagle at RCDB
Pictures of Wild Eagle at RCDB

Wild Eagle is a steel Wing Coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard at the Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It is the first of its kind in the United States and opened to the media on March 23, 2012 before opening to the public on March 24, 2012. The roller coaster reaches a height of 210 feet (64 m) and reaches speeds of 61 miles per hour (98 km/h). In September 2012, the ride was voted as the best new ride of 2012 in Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards.

History[edit]

Speculation of Wild Eagle began in March 2011 when plans to discuss Dollywood's 2012 attraction were submitted to the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission.[2] On March 24, 2011, those plans were approved and though city officials could not tell exactly what the plans were, some believed it looked to be a roller coaster.[3] On September 4, 2011, Wild Eagle was officially announced to the public as the first wing coaster to open in the United States.[4][5] On October 7, 2011, the lift hill was completed, and by the end of October 2011, the track layout was complete.[6][7] On February 28, 2012, Dollywood unveiled a steel sculpture of an eagle with a wing span of 42 feet (13 m) and a total weight of 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) that would be placed near the entrance of the ride.[8] The ride soft opened to the media on March 23, 2012, before officially opening to the public on March 24, 2012.[9]

Experience[edit]

After departing from the station, the train makes a left turn leading into the 210-foot (64 m) chain lift hill. Once at the top, the train drops 135-foot (41 m), reaching a top speed of 61 miles per hour (98 km/h). The train enters a 110-foot (34 m) vertical loop followed by a slight left then a zero-gravity roll where riders experience the feeling of weightlessness. Upon exiting the roll, the train immediately enters an immelmann loop. The train then goes through a trim brake, before entering a corkscrew, then a camelback hill which is a common way of achieving air-time on roller coasters. The train then makes a sharp left turn before making a sharp right turn which leads into the brake run. The train then makes a left turn into another set of brakes before entering the station where the next riders board the train.[10][11] One cycle of the ride lasts about 2 minutes and 22 seconds.[10]

Trains[edit]

One of Wild Eagle's train's entering the brake run.

Wild Eagle operates with two open-air steel and fiberglass trains, each with seven cars which have four seats each, with two on each side of the track for a total of 28 riders per train.[12][10] Riders are restrained by flexible over-the-shoulder restraints and interlocking seat belts. Also, because the seats are on the side of the track, a cantilevered steel arm is used to support the wings.[13] The front of each of the seven train cars is shaped to resemble an eagle with outstretched wings adding to the theme of the ride.

Track[edit]

The steel track is 3,127 feet (953 m) in length and the height of the lift is approximately 210 feet (64 m).[10] The track is painted blue and the supports are painted tan. Both friction and magnetic brakes are used on the roller coaster to control the trains speed.[11]

Reception[edit]

Joel Bullock from The Coaster Critic gave Wild Eagle a nine out of ten for its unique experience. He also stated that, "It’s smooth, has some fun inversions, and is meant to be a wide-reaching crowd pleaser and it fully delivered" but mentions that the restraints can become uncomfortable from time to time.[14]

In Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards, the roller coaster was voted as the best new attraction for 2012 and 15th best roller steel roller coaster in the world.[15] In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, the ride placed 87th.[16]

Golden Ticket Awards: Best New Ride For 2012
Year 2012
Ranking
1[15]
Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2012 2013
Ranking 15[15] 24[17]
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster
Year 2012
Ranking
87[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Hodges, Derek (March 21, 2011). "Dollywood on planners’ agenda; shrouded in secrecy, but 2012 park addition to be discussed Tuesday". The Mountain Press. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ Hodges, Derek (March 24, 2011). "Planners OK 2012 addition for Dollywood". The Mountain Press. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dollywood Unleashes $20 million Wild Eagle Steel Coaster in March 2012" (Press release). Dollywood. September 4, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ Hodges, Derek (September 4, 2011). "Dollywood goes huge in 2012 addition". The Mountain Press. Retrieved September 5, 2011. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Wild Eagle's Lift Hill is Complete". Dollywood (Facebook). October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Track Complete on America’s First Wing Coaster; Dollywood Releases Wild Eagle Virtual Ride Animation" (Press release). BusinessWire. November 2, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Dollywood unveils giant eagle sculpture". WBIR.com. February 28, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Crowds huge and ride leaves them wanting more as Wild Eagle takes flight". The Mountain Press. March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Wild Eagle  (Dollywood)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Wild Eagle POV Dollywood REAL Roller Coaster Footage! Front Seat Ride! New 2012 Wing Rider". YouTube. March 23, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  12. ^ "$20 Million Wild Eagle Takes Flight at Dollywood; First Wing Coaster in the U.S. Soars to Rave Reviews" (Press release). Reuters. March 27, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  13. ^ Dyer, Nicole (April 16, 2013). "Wing and A Scare". Popular Science. Retrieved July 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ Bullock, Joel (August 29, 2012). "Wild Eagle @ Dollywood". The Coaster Critic. Retrieved July 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Best Steel Roller Coaster Poll 12 year results table". BestRollerCoasterPoll.com. Retrieved July 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]