America’s first wing coaster, Wild Eagle is a groundbreaker and a must-ride.  I had ridden in wing seats (Skyrush) and other off-the-track seats (Griffon) but a coaster on which all of the seats are off the track was a novelty.   Even the loading area was different, as this is the first coaster I’ve ridden on which the train is loaded from opposite sites of the platform.  (As you enter the station, a park employee directs you to go up the steps either right or left.)

 Because of the coaster’s design, I expected to feel a heightened sense of vulnerability and did.   The 210-foot lift hill was somewhat daunting, giving rise to anticipation of what would happen on the other side.   What happens on the other side is a 135-foot drop remarkable for the sense it gives of free-floating, with nothing but air beneath the rider.  The train then goes into a 110-foot vertical loop.  If I felt a heightened sense of vulnerability, I also felt a heightened sense of freedom.  There are four inversions in all, including the vertical loop, zero g-roll, Immelmann loop and corkscrew – and all of them were awesome.  Travelling through these inversions on a wing coaster was like soaring through the air.   Wild indeed!   I also thought that the airtime was good, especially toward the end of the ride.  Unfortunately, it was difficult to get a good photograph of Wild Eagle, as it’s built on a mountain or hill or whatever they call it, and the track in its entirety is not visible from the ground.  Anyway, Wild Eagle proved to be quite a treat.  4  out of 5 stars.  For more information about rides at Dollywood, visit www.dollywood.com/

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