How can you tell by that blurry conceptual photo if it is going to be a launched coaster? It's still in concept phase and at this point, may or may not happen as pictured, or may not happen at all. Dollywood is also expected to rework all their parking lots, so maybe that is why so many trees are being cut down, to make room for new and closer parking. Nothing is carved in stone at this time and plans do change due to attendance and budget restraints. I'm fine with another launched coaster, as long as it works. Dollywood doesn't have a spinning coaster yet like their sister park, so it could also be that. I expect it to be a family coaster, keeping with the Wildwood Grove theme. By the way, there is a ton of Wildwood Grove merchandise on clearance for half off on the way out, but they will not add your gold card discount too, which is a shame.
I agree with you, but I still go every two weeks or so. Lighting Rod is the biggest issue they are facing now, along with so many food stands closed and long lines and inferior food at the ones that are open. I didn't enjoy my ice cold chicken fingers and fries on Sunday. It's gotten to the point that I will just eat when I leave the park. Lines for refills on drink cups can also be long. The Scrambler and Barnstormer are both still closed due to staffing issues, which is ridiculous since they both can be ran with minimal staffing. They are milking the staffing issue to death. Pay more and you will get more employees. The guests are suffering big time.
I did get a new Dollywood flyer in the mail yesterday. You can add Splash Country to the Gold Pass for $55 plus tax, if you don't want to splurge on the Platinum season pass.
Also on Sunday, two SUV's were fighting for the same handicapped parking spot and they smashed into each other and knocked out a piece of the PVC fencing, causing the tram to let all people off at Lot B and walk to the gates for a few hours until the repairs were completed.