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Dollywood roller coaster: Fly like an eagle

I’ve been reading about the new Wild Eagle coaster at Dollywood and I have to admit: It’s seducing me.

The wing coaster was the first of its kind in the U.S. when it opened in March at Dolly Parton’s theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., although another has opened since then at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill.

Look at the photo above and you’ll see why Dollywood calls it the Wild Eagle: the “body” of the eagle rides atop the track, but the seats are on the “wings,” which are atop … nothing. It reminds me of SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, where the riders in the outside seats are over nothing, but the new wing coaster takes it a step or three further.

I may be forced to detour through eastern Tennessee on my road trip to Asheville, N.C., this fall.

Photo credit: Dollywood