Dolly’s waterpark takes a plunge with the opening of the new ride, Big Bear Plunge
Big Bear Plunge is Dolly’s waterpark’s new $1.4 million white water rafting experience that takes passengers on a 548-foot-long ride through dark caverns featuring winding bends and steep drops reminiscent of challenging river expeditions. Open 10-foot-wide channel sections send the five-passenger rafts downriver through the tree tops—reaching a peak elevation of 70 feet—before plunging into total darkness in a nine-foot-diameter tunnel that winds through an “S” curve. Accompanied only by the sounds of gushing water and echoing screams, the rafts are then dropped into a 12-foot-diameter tunnel featuring extreme banking, propelling the rafts upward around a seemingly never-ending sweeping curve. Finally, the rafts re-emerge into daylight where they unexpectedly plunge down multi-bump cliff drops into a 21- by 70-foot splash pool.
Carefully situated in the natural terrain of Dollywood’s Splash Country’s 25-acre mountain "hollow," Big Bear Plunge anchors Big Bear Ridge, a new themed area reminiscent of the Smoky Mountain’s turn-of-the-century logging industry. Taking its name from the Smoky Mountains’ popular American Black Bear, Big Bear Plunge will be located adjacent to the Downbound Float Trip—the water park’s lazy river—and the Mountain Waves wave pool.