PIGEON FORGE — Dollywood is preparing for a barn raising, quickly followed by the arrival of their newest attraction in 2011 — the Barnstormer. The $5.5 million giant swing will be situated in a barnyard-themed area which will also include play area for younger guests.
The Barnstormer pays homage to the daring aerialists and stunt pilots of the 1920s and is designed to give its riders an idea of what being a passenger in one of the planes would be like.
“I remember my daddy and granddaddy talking about the old barnstormers that used to do all kinds of crazy stunts above the fields where they’d work crops,” Dolly Parton said. “My new Barnstormer ride offers folks those same breathtaking moments, high in the sky above Dollywood. And I’ve recreated a critter-themed barnyard that reminds me of growing up on the farm here in the Smoky Mountains!”
The ride features two pendulum arms with seating for 32 riders. Seated back to back, riders travel progressively higher on each swing of the Barnstormer’s massive arms, reaching a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour and 230 degrees of rotation. At its peak, the Barnstormer reaches 81 feet in the air, taking riders high above the barn’s rooftop and the area’s treetops.
The one-acre project will be located in the area currently occupied by Dreamland Forrest and adjacent to the Mountain Slidewinder, one of park’s most popular rides which opened in 1987. The Barnstormer will rest amid a traditional red barn on the Owens Farm, a nod to Parton’s family’s rural upbringing.
While the Barnstormer fills the air above the barn, children’s play areas dot the landscape around the barn. With a fun, barnyard theme, children can enjoy a 22-foot by 16-foot bi-plane play area as well as a pig pen water play area.
The Barnstormer has a ride capacity of 450 passengers per hour, and a 45-inch minimum height requirement. It also includes a custom-designed ADA seat.
The new area opens in March 2011 to usher in Dollywood’s 26th operating season.
The number one ticketed attraction in Tennessee, Dollywood is an award-winning 150-acre family adventure park located in Pigeon Forge near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Open nine months a year (late March to early January), Dollywood hosts four of the South’s largest festivals and offers more than 40 rides and attractions, including Thunderhead, twice named the world’s No. 1 wooden coaster, and Mystery Mine coaster, Theme Park Insider’s 2007 Best New Attraction. In addition to the 2009 Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows, Dollywood is the recipient of 15 Big E Awards in recognition of the park’s live entertainment which features country, bluegrass, gospel and Appalachian music. The Golden Tickets’ 2007 Publisher’s Pick for best theme park, Dollywood also is a two-time winner of the Golden Ticket Award for Best Christmas Event. In addition, a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region demonstrate daily.
For more information, visit http://www.dollywood.com
Read more: The Mountain Press - Dollywood abuzz about new ride