Top 6 Spots to Watch Coasters at Dollywood

Sometimes, watching Dollywood’s roller coasters and other thrill rides is just as fun as riding them. So if you’re hanging back while others in your group ride, there are plenty of places near many of Dollywood’s most thrilling attractions for you to take photos and enjoy the view.

Below are some of my favorite spots:

Thunderhead and Whistle Punk Chaser
Location: Timber Canyon

Let’s start in the Timber Canyon area of the park. The entrance to the Whistle Punk Chaser family coaster offers great views of both the fun-sized coaster and the Thunderhead wood coaster. You’ll get more of an up-close look at Whistle Punk Chaser’s bright orange track (great for photo opportunities!), while Thunderhead’s 10-story-tall lift hill rises into the sky in the background.

Tennessee Tornado Spiro Loop
Location: Craftsman’s Valley

The Plaza at Wilderness Pass
Location: Wilderness Pass

If you love roller coasters, then the all-new Plaza at Wilderness Pass may just be your favorite spot in the park. Rocking chairs, benches, shade structures, a fountain and much more dot the spacious area.

And best of all? You’re surrounded by three of the park’s biggest coasters: Mystery Mine, Wild Eagle and FireChaser Express. So sit back and watch the world coast by.

Lightning Rod at Rockin’ Roadway
Location: Jukebox Junction

Much of Lightning Rod – the world’s fastest and only launched wood coaster – is situated on the other side of a mountain, hidden from view. That’s part of what makes it so fun and intimidating. You aren’t exactly sure what all happens on the other side.

However, the ride’s blazing-fast finale, the “non-inverting half loop,” is easy to see from Jukebox Junction. Just head over to the area near the entrance of Rockin’ Roadway. You can’t miss it. If you can catch them on camera, your riders’ facial expressions (if you capture the moment as the hot-rod train races by) are too funny.

Insider Tip

Even if your photography skills are top-notch, you'll definitely want to buy a copy of your group's on-ride photos. You can purchase them near the exit of most of Dollywood’s roller coasters and thrill rides.

Anywhere Near FireChaser Express
Location: Wilderness Pass

One of the many reasons why I love the forward- and backward-launching FireChaser Express is just how close the action is to the path below. You have multiple vantage points from which you can wave to riders, take photos or just enjoy watching the family-friendly coaster zip up and down.

Drop By Drop Line
Location: Timber Canyon

While not a roller coaster, Drop Line is arguably one of the most entertaining rides to watch at Dollywood. On Drop Line, riders slowly ascend a 230-foot-tall tower, briefly pause at the top to take in some gorgeous views of the Great Smoky Mountains and then plummet toward the ground at 77 mph. It’s one of the few thrill rides that still gives me white knuckles.

Onlookers can gather near the base of the tower, which is surrounded by water and features a beautiful fountain display. The looks on people’s faces as they ascend and descend (rapidly) are priceless. Again, you’ll definitely want to grab the camera for this one.

Even if you’re not a coaster rider, you can still get a kick out of watching Dollywood’s thrilling coasters in action.

By | 2018-07-02T16:39:23+00:00 July 2nd, 2018|Thrill Rides|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Stevenson (Dollywood Insider 2017-2019) was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and now lives in Nashville. He’s a devout roller coaster enthusiast and has been a frequent Dollywood visitor since 2001. That love for roller coasters led him to start Coaster101.com in 2005. Since then, the website has become a trusted source for the latest roller coaster news, educational articles, interviews with amusement industry leaders, and of course, all things Dollywood. The world record-breaking Lightning Rod is near the top of John’s list of favorite coasters, which is impressive considering he’s ridden more than 190 coasters across the United States! However, he’s been known to tout Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread as the park’s star attraction. He looks forward to sharing his passion for Dollywood with the world!
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