What it's like to ride Paula Deen's new zipline roller coaster in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Maggie Jones, Knoxville News Sentinel

PIGEON FORGE – Pigeon Forge visitors can now experience the thrills of a zipline and roller coaster on a new attraction from Paula Deen.

Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee held the grand opening for its new zipline roller coaster, the Flying Ox, on Thursday afternoon.

The around $2 million Flying Ox is a cable to rail zipline roller coaster and the first of its kind, according to Josh Mayberry, vice president of marketing for Lumberjack Feud.

It starts out at 80 feet in the air and using roller coaster rail and zipline cable, gives visitors a 1,000-foot-long ride while hooked into a zipline harness.

The Flying Ox, along with the other Adventure Park attractions, are a way for guests try out some of the feats they see in the lumberjack show, according to Deen.

" ... The show in itself was very entertaining, but you know, people like to participate. They like to have things that they can get on or get off or just participate and be there," said Deen.

"So ... these kids are going to love it, and the fact that we're the only place in the whole world that's got it. To me, that blows my mind. Out of all the theme parks everywhere, we have it here in Pigeon Forge."

Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud teamed up with CLIMB Works to make the Flying Ox. Construction began in January 2018, and work on it finished in two weeks ago, according to Mayberry.

What's it like to ride the Flying Ox?

Before you try out the Flying Ox, you have to sign a waiver and get outfitted in a harness and helmet for the ride. Then, you climb up stairs to the top of the Lumberjack Feud's 80-foot observation tower. 

At the top, you're fastened into the ride with your harness and start out on one of the roller coaster rail portions. The start of the ride sends you spinning through a few corkscrew turns. 

The Flying Ox goes 15 miles per hour, according to a press release, and you also swing from left to right for most of the experience. If you cross your legs, you can limit some of the swinging movement and keep yourself steadier throughout the ride.

When you hit the zipline cable portion of the ride, you slow down and have chance to take in the sights for a few seconds. Then it's back to roller coaster rails and some more twisty turns. 

Near the end, you swing from side to side the most as the ride drops closer and closer to the ground and ends. The ride lasts about 40 to 50 seconds.

The Flying Ox's speed isn't too intense, and it provides a smooth ride. So if you're not a thrill seeker, this could still be an enjoyable experience for you. 

Other Adventure Park attractions

Kassandra Hazard of Wears Valley tries the Boom Run at Paula Deen's Lumber Jack Feud Show & Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.

The Adventure Park includes other attractions for guests where they can test out their lumberjack prowess.

Timber Tower: The 80-foot tower also has two free-fall experiences. While in a harness, you can jump off two sides of the tower: the side facing the Lumberjack Feud building or the side facing the Parkway. Guests can also choose between a slower or faster drop.

Logger sports: Take on lumberjack challenges including Boom Run and Log Run while in a harness. On the Boom Run, guests can try and cross a narrow log that sits in the water. The Log Roll features a spinning log in the water where guests have to try and keep their balance. 

High Woodsmen Challenge: Guests can take on a lumberjack-themed ropes course with obstacles. It includes two levels. The lower level features netting below, and on the upper level, you have to wear a harness.

Deen's Adventure Park will add two new experiences: a cross cut saw attraction and a spring board chop attraction, to the Adventure Park in the future. 

The cross cut saw will feature two people standing across from each other and using a saw to cut back and forth through a log. The spring board chop will involve guests wedging boards into a tall log, where they will stick, and using the boards to climb up the log

The new attractions do not have an estimated opening date yet, according to Mayberry.

Deen has the Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park and her Family Kitchen restaurant in Pigeon Forge. She said she brought her businesses to East Tennessee because of her family's love of the mountains.

"The mountains have always meant a lot to my family," said Deen. "When my children were growing up, if we had any extra money, this is where we would want to come to. Not the beach but the mountains, and we all just fell in love with it ..."

Lumberjack Feud, Adventure Park tickets

Paula Deen speaks about her new zipline roller coaster the Flying Ox at Paula Deen's Lumber Jack Feud Show & Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.

Tickets to the Lumberjack Feud show and the Adventure Park are sold separately, according to the attraction's website. 

The show costs $29.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages 4-11. Admission to the Adventure Park costs $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for ages 5-12.

Guests must be 5 years old or older, wear close-toe shoes and weigh under 270 pounds to participate at the Adventure Park. For the Flying Ox, guests must weigh between 50-250 pounds, according to the release.

Ages 5-7 must be accompanied by someone age 18 or older. Children ages 8-11 must be accompanied by someone age 12 or older, according to the attraction's website.

You can buy tickets in advance online at lumberjackfeud.com or at the Lumberjack Feud box office.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Paula Deen unveils zipline roller coaster in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee