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Robert Niles

Dollywood opens its Firechaser Express roller coaster

Published: March 21, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Dollywood opened its new Firechaser Express family coaster today, with a ceremony featuring Dolly Parton. Take a look:

Firechaser Express is a Gerstlauer dual-launch family coaster travels forward then backward on a 2,427-foot track. The switch from front to back takes place in a special effects scene that simulates an exploding shed of fireworks. Because, of course, it ain't a theme park ride unless something goes terribly wrong.

We weren't able to get a correspondent out to Pigeon Forge for today's event (email us if you'd like to cover Dollywood for us in the future!), but here's a POV video from one of the bloggers who was there:

Planning a visit to Dollywood this year? Be sure to rate and review Firechaser Express on Theme Park Insider!

Replies (9)

Published: March 21, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Going tomorrow morning bright and early. Wish I could have gone today but I had to work. Will definitely write a full review of the ride and what I thought of it.
James Rao

Published: March 21, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Dollywood's newest coaster looks like a very solid and lengthy ride. Families will certainly enjoy experiencing Firechaser Express together. I just wish the park wasn't so far away (12 hrs) cause I would love to visit more often (I sure enjoyed my visit back when Wild Eagle first opened a couple years ago). Maybe my next trip to Orlando I will try to swing by Pigeon Forge along the way!
Json Son

Published: March 22, 2014 at 4:22 AM

I love the length and interactive elements. This is perfect.
Gabriel Schroll

Published: March 22, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Definitely looks like a winner! Looks very smooth, and has enough to it to where it's not going to be boring.

I'm so used to rides like Big Thunder Mountain and Expedition Everest that I feel like this ride is lacking a mountain or some other kind of grand faux landscaping. But the ride itself looks excellent.

I'm only ...7 or 8 hours away so I'd love to check it out at least once this season.

Rob Pastor

Published: March 22, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Now that sure looks fun. The thrill of a real coaster with the explosion theming effect to turn the coaster into a backwards run looks great. And for anyone that's ever driven through an old coal patch town, it sure looks authentic. Bravo to Dollywood for combining a thrill coaster with good theme instead of a parking lot view.

Published: March 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Sounds like a cross between the refurbished version of Disneyland's BTMR and the upcoming Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride. How original.
David Brown

Published: March 23, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Has the anonymous poster above even looked at the video footage of Firechaser? I can't see how it's in any way like either the Seven Dwarves Coaster or BTMR... To me this is another awesome coaster from Dollywood showing real originality, creating great value for money and best of all introducing families to a coaster with some really quite big drops and airtime. Good one, Dollywood, I say! :)
Jordan Driver

Published: March 23, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Really enjoyed the ride it is just what the park needed because blazing fury is on its death bed. Line was horrendous but had to expect that
Robert Niles

Published: March 23, 2014 at 4:49 PM

You know, I hadn't thought of this as a thematic replacement for Blazing Fury, but that does make sense.

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