Dollywood Reveals New FireChaser Express Roller Coaster
It is said that no one ever forgets their first roller coaster…well, Dollywood will soon be the place where numerous children will ride their first roller coaster when the new family-friendly FireChaser Express opens March 22, 2014. It will have a height requirement of just 39 inches making giving young ones a chance to ride their first “big coaster”!
In 2012, Dollywood debuted the nation’s first winged roller coaster with the Wild Eagle and it has been the park’s most popular ride since it launched. In 2013, Dollywood opened RiverRush, which is one of the world’s few water coasters at their Splash Country water park. Dollywood will be releasing another “first” in 2014 as the FireChaser Express will be the nation’s very first dual-launch dual-direction roller coaster! What does that mean exactly? We explain it and even show you below!
Riding the FireChaser Express
The FireChaser Express ride vehicles are themed after the firefighting trains used to battle wildfires deep in the rugged landscape of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1940s. Riders will board the trains on a thrilling journey to save the Smokies from potential fire hazards.
It will travel forward and then backward on a winding 2,427-foot track. When the fire alarm goes off, the FireChaser Express launches forward from zero to 16 mph in just 1.1 second. A 79-foot lift then propels FireChaser Express through a “trick track” section where the passenger trains twist from side to side careening through fire towers and the mountainside amid crashed rockets, a destroyed fireworks storage shed, fallen telephone poles with “rocket darts” and other charred remnants that litter the coaster’s path with two helices and six “airtime” moments!
As the journey ends, riders travel through the fireworks testing area where they encounter the mythical “Big Bertha” skyrocket and a lightning hit at Crazy Charlie’s Gas & Fireworks Emporium. As FireChaser Express races to extinguish the blaze, the coaster encounters a fireworks explosion, catapulting the train into a backward launch and a reverse ride from zero to 20 mph in two seconds sending FireChaser Express back to the station traveling in the opposite direction! It’s definitely going to be a popular ride at Dollywood and a fantastic “first coaster” for children to remember for the rest of their lives.
The FireChaser Express roller coaster will feature three 14-passenger trains with an hourly capacity of 750 riders. The FireChaser Express height requirement is just 39″ meaning children as young as 4 will be able to enjoy this fantastic new roller coaster at Dollywood!
The FireChaser Express will be located where Adventure Mountain was once located in the area near the popular Wild Eagle roller coaster. It is designed by Gerstlauer, which is the same company that designed the award-winning Mystery Mine coaster at Dollywood which debuted in 2007.
Video of Riding on the FireChaser Express
We could describe the ride in words all day long, but seeing it definitely gives you an idea of how great this ride will be! Take a look at the video below to see what riding the FireChaser Express is like from numerous seats and angles!
FireChaser Express Photos
On November 19, 2013 Dollywood unveiled the lead engine for the FireChaser Express live for the first time! Below are photos directly from the unveiling to see what the FireChaser Express passenger cars will look like.
The photo below was taken on February 13 just after a snowfall hit the Smoky Mountains.
The photos below were posted at the end of February…getting close to opening!
We’ll be updating this article with more photos and info as Dollywood gets closer to launching the FireChaser Express roller coaster on March 22, 2014. Be sure to like, share, tweet, and pin this article to share this exciting new roller coaster at Dollywood with your friends!