As the ultimate celebration of the natural world, Wildwood Grove pays homage to many of the animals you might come across in the Smoky Mountains. The mockingbird, in particular, is a sight to behold — and it’s on full display in one of Wildwood Grove’s most enjoyable rides.
The Mad Mockingbird allows visitors to gain the perspective of a feathered friend while soaring through the air. Each car resembles a beautiful mockingbird. The attention to detail that went into this ride’s design is evident as soon as you approach your car. The mockingbirds are depicted in several colors, but all are stunning. Sit in your favorite with a friend or on your own. Tandem riding is best suited to groups of kids or adults with their children.
The mockingbird cars are attached from above, in swing fashion. They rotate around a carousel, with riders able to control the ‘head’ of each car via small curved handlebars. The ride is swift, but relatively gentle, although, like real mockingbirds, the cars can achieve an impressive height. The concept may seem familiar to any riders who have encountered the Larson Flying Scooter, which offers a fresh take on the flying swing amusement park tradition. This particular ride does not depart significantly from the classic Larson Flying Scooter approach, although the mockingbird cars may feel a bit snappier at times than cars on similar rides.
If you’re not too focused on the sheer thrill of the ride, take a moment to examine the view. You’ll spot multiple roller coasters nearby, as well as several Wildwood Grove landmarks — including the iconic Wildwood Tree. In the distance, you’ll observe the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
After just over a minute of high-flying excitement, the ride begins to slow down as the birds return to the ground. The Mad Mockingbird actually lasts longer than many other carousel-themed rides at Dollywood, so it’s worth checking out if you want a high ride time to wait ratio. As you exit the ride, you’ll be eager to take wing once more — and with relatively short waits, you just might jump back into line.
The Mad Mockingbird is more intense than it looks. Children who fear heights should either avoid this ride or enter accompanied by a parent. Nervous riders should avoid adjusting the bird’s ‘head’ and try to remain as stable as possible.
If you’d like to watch a loved one on the ride, stand by the short decorative fence located opposite the Dragonflier. There, you can snap quick pictures of friends or family members waiting to take off, and later, videos of them in motion.