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Press release


On Saturday 9th September, the Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards were announced at Dollywood and marked the 25th anniversary of the “Oscars of the Amusement Industry”! The host park, Dollywood, welcomed industry colleagues from park operators to vendors to suppliers and various service providers. “We are very proud to host our colleagues in the amusement industry at Dollywood Parks and Resorts. True hospitality is what we strive for every day, and it will be special hosting the Best of the Best,” said Eugene Naughton, Dollywood Parks and Resorts president.

The expansion of Wildwood Grove saw the addition of Big Bear Mountain, an enormous family roller coaster supplied by Vekoma. The triple-launch roller coaster is the longest in the park’s arsenal of 10. Attendees of the Golden Ticket Awards got to enjoy it firsthand.


Family Launch Coaster ‘Big Bear Mountain’ at Dollywood has been awarded with the Golden Ticket Award for ‘Best Family Coaster’ 2023! This new category is recognizing the surging importance of family rides and shining a spotlight on roller coasters that deliver thrills to a wide demographic.

“Big Bear Mountain is a thrilling ride, but with its 39-inch height requirement, it directly appeals to families with younger kids,” said Wes Ramey, public relations, Dollywood. “The reviews so far tell us that we’ve got a hit on our hands. I have two young kids myself who have ridden it over and over, and they have deemed it their favorite ride in the park. With Big Bear Mountain’s immersive theming, it really is easy for kids — and even adults — to imagine they’re going out on the search for Big Bear.”

This was the second time Dollywood turned to Vekoma for a family coaster. Both are in the Wildwood Grove section. “It was important to reach this wide demographic because at our heart, we look for attractions and experiences that allow the family unit to enjoy time together,” said Ramey. “For many kids, this may be their first ‘real’ roller coaster; think of the memories Big Bear Mountain will provide them when they think back to that first roller coaster experience. We’re proud that for many kids, Dollywood is where that memory will take place. Vekoma did an amazing job offering a ride everyone will enjoy for their own special reasons.” Dollywood received another 4 Golden Ticket Awards for Best Park, Best Guest Experience, Best Kids’ Area and Best Christmas Event.

Congratulations to the Dollywood team and all other winners of the Golden Ticket Awards 2023!


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