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Dollywood Raises $37,000 For Eagle Rehabilitiation With Wild Eagle Ride Auction

Pigeon Forge, TN, USA (March 6, 2012) /BUSINESS WIRE/ — The first 52 rides on Dollywood’s highly anticipated $20 million Wild Eagle wing coaster sold out in less than 12 hours on Monday, March 5, on and generated $37,000 in proceeds benefiting the not-for-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF).

Auction winners will attend Dollywood’s Wild Eagle VIP grand opening event, hosted by Dolly Parton, on Friday, March 23, the park’s annual Sneak Preview day for season passholders. Winning bidders receive:

  • a seat on Wild Eagle’s inaugural flight;
  • a meet and greet with Parton on the coaster’s load platform;
  • a photograph with the entertainment legend which she will autograph;
  • an invitation to attend the park’s VIP event.

Winning bidders’ seat assignments will be determined by the order of purchase. The auction began at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern) on March 5 and concluded at 12:51 a.m. (Eastern) on March 6.

Headquartered at Dollywood, the AEF rehabilitates and breeds birds of prey under permits from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Dollywood is home to Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, a 30,000-square-foot aviary which is maintained by the AEF and houses the country’s largest presentation of non-releasable bald eagles.

Wild Eagle’s innovative floorless design allows riders to experience the sensation of flight. Riders are seated four abreast in a forward-facing position, with two riders seated on the “wings” along either side of the coaster’s track with nothing but air above and below them.

Perched on the park’s highest peak, Wild Eagle rises 21 stories into the sky. Taking off from the Wilderness Pass area, riders travel the coaster’s massive 3,127-foot track as it dives, drops, twists and turns. Traversing the mountainous terrain, Wild Eagle reaches a top speed of 61 miles per hour and maneuvers four inversions including a giant loop, a “zero-G” roll, and a giant flat spin.

Wild Eagle’s nearly two-and-a-half minute journey includes a plummeting 135-foot first drop. Located 210 feet above the coaster’s loading station, the ride provides spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains terrain below. Each coaster train consists of seven cars which carry four passengers for a total of 28 people per train. Each vehicle features an imposing bald eagle with piercing eyes and broad wings outstretched for flight.


Based in the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park which operates nine months a year (late March through December) and offers more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. A family-friendly vacation destination, Dollywood also includes the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country, voted America’s “Must-See Waterpark.” Dollywood offers all-inclusive vacation planning with a variety of overnight lodging options.
Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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