FIRST 52 WILD EAGLE RIDES SELL OUT IN LESS THAN 12 HOURS

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.—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 ebay.com 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. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com.

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Media: Contact Dollywood Public Relations Manager Pete Owens at 865-428-9486, 865-755-7972 or by email at powens@dollywood.com for B-roll, photography and more information. Check the Dollywood Press Room at http://www.dollywood.com/dollywood-q10214-c1-Press_Room.aspx for updates and new images