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FireChaser Express Set to Blast Off at Dollywood

FireChaser Express, the dual-launch coaster from German-based Gerstlauer, is set to debut at Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on March 22, 2014.

While waiting in the queue, riders will be called into service as volunteer firefighters in a tribute to the crews that battled wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The coaster is themed to look like the fire-fighting trains used to traverse the rugged landscape of the Smokies in the 1940s.

After a bell signaling a five-alarm blaze, FireChaser Express launches out of a fire house-themed station at a modest 16 mph. Following a figure-eight helix, the train ascends a 79-foot lift hill before dropping into a side-to-side "trick track" section and over six zero-gravity airtime hills, reaching a top speed of 35 mph.

During the half-mile journey, the coaster races under fire towers and through a fireworks testing area littered with crashed rockets and the charred remains of a storage shed.

The chief concern of the firefighting recruits: Crazy Charlie's Gas and Fireworks Emporium, a fireworks store and gas station run by a pyromaniac who calls in false alarms to the local fire station on a daily basis.

After the coaster slows to a halt inside Crazy Charlie's, the building fills with fog and flame effects. Riders will blast backward out of the "exploding" fireworks factory at 20 mph along a terrain-hugging track before returning to the station.

FireChaser Express replaces Adventure Mountain, which was billed as the world's largest ropes course when it opened in 2010 in the Wilderness Pass area of Dollywood.

 

Art: Dollywood. View full-sized image.
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