Dollywood's newest roller coaster to be featured on 'American Pickers'

Contributed To The Press • May 6, 2014 at 4:49 PM

PIGEON FORGE — Dollywood officials knew the task of finding period pieces for the 1940s-themed FireChaser Express would be a challenge, so they looked for a little assistance from a team with years of experience in locating antique treasures — the crew from History Channel's hit series, American Pickers.

After receiving a wish list from ride designers, American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz set out on a journey to find fun and rare items to include in the unique theming of FireChaser Express. Results of their hard work can be seen during the Dollywood episode premiere on Wednesday, May 7, at 9 p.m.

A tribute to firefighters who kept the Smoky Mountains safe in the early 1940s, FireChaser Express allows riders to blast off in a haphazard race to save the Smokies — and Crazy Charlie Cherriebaum’s Gas & Fireworks Emporium — from fire.

Wolfe and Fritz scoured the countryside looking for a few key pieces of vintage petroliana to decorate Crazy Charlie’s roadside gas station.

After finding the perfect items to complement Crazy Charlie’s, Wolfe and Fritz sent the artifacts to Dollywood for the FireChaser Express creative team to incorporate into the ride’s design. Prior to the grand opening of FireChaser Express in March, two more of American Pickers’ stars, Danielle Colby-Cushman and Lauren Wray, visited the ride site to see how the items were utilized.

While at Dollywood, Colby-Cushman and Wray were able to show the items to a special person who happened to be in the park that day — Dolly Parton. Huge fans of Parton, both pickers were delighted with the opportunity to meet the legendary country music star. Parton, who has an affinity for antique collecting, also is featured in the episode.

FireChaser Express is the nation’s first dual-launch, forward and backward, family coaster. With a 39-inch minimum height requirement, even the smallest recruits can join their family in the adventure to save the Smokies from Crazy Charlie and his mythical Big Bertha rocket.

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