While Not The Strongest Wing Coaster, Wild Eagle At Dollywood Still Soars High
I’ve done three of the four wing coasters in the USA (not including Skyrush at Hersheypark). And while Wild Eagle at Dollywood isn’t a bad coaster, it just doesn’t compare to Gatekeeper or X-flight. Still, that doesn’t mean you should avoid Wild Eagle.
Dollywood can lay claim to Wild Eagle as being the first wing coaster in the USA. That alone should give theme park enthusiasts reason to ride. Of course, given that it was the original, many things are different from this wing coaster and the current ones at other American parks.
For starters, there is no dive drop at the beginning of the coaster. This element has become synonymous with wing coasters. Gatekeeper and X-Flight both start off the lift hill and go straight into the dive drop, so it was a tad disappointing when Wild Eagle didn’t do the same.
The other pressing issue with Wild Eagle is its lack of near-miss elements. Gatekeeper features two giant keyholes, and X-Flight has a few near miss elements themed to a plane hangar. This can be attributed to Wild Eagle being the original wing coaster in the USA, so those features might have been left out for the American crowd. It’s puzzling though, as X-Flight was announced first.
I’ll say this much though, while other wing coasters have these near miss elements, Wild Eagle is very scenic. It takes you on a ride through the mountains. That doesn’t make this any more intense than the aforementioned coasters, it just offers a unique feel most can’t replicate.
Wild Eagle isn’t the normal wing coaster. It’s the oldest and the original, so it’s going to be a tad different. Yet, despite all of this, the coaster still holds up well to its competition. The back row is much more intense than the front. However, it’s a very scenic coaster. If you can, try to ride both spots to get the most out of it.
Not as thrilling as X-Flight or Gatekeeper, Wild Eagle is still an awesome ride. I really enjoyed this coaster. I think very highly of it. It’s just unfortunate that I need to compare it to the other wing coasters, because it’s truly a fantastic ride.[DanielTwitter]