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Everything posted by tntornadox

  1. The Dollywood Company has released its wildfire relief efforts: At 300 homes, this would be worth $1.8 Million. What a wonderful gesture! The loving and giving of Dollywood and all of its people has never ceased to amaze me. They are also accepting relief donations on their website, where you can also see the video message from Dolly. Source: wate.com/2016/11/30/dollywood-foundation-to-give-1000-per-month-to-gatlinburg-wildfire-families/ Donation Link: The Dollywood Foundation
  2. Yes. Sorry to say, the week after Christmas is typically Dollywood's busiest of of the entire season.
  3. Dollywood's other coasters don't have trims. Wild Eagle had a couple opening year but neither are used any longer, so I don't think this should be a major concern.
  4. I don't like them using that terminology either (and I wonder where it came from), the intent of my post was to say that repeated bad behavior can be very frustrating and the company should be strictly enforcing safety rules.
  5. ^ This. This a thousand times over. DW and HFEC are very strict on safety rules and whenever you make a general announcement, no one pays attention. So then you ask someone to put their camera away before the train leaves they generally do... then they pull it out on the lift hill, so you announce for them to put it away again, then they do. Then they pull it out again mid-way through the ride. Times that situation by 30 times a day considering everything has to be caught on video by everyone nowadays and you too would be frustrated by it. Then when a guest DOES lose something, it's your fault they did too. You can't win as a ride op in regard to loose articles. You're 'rude' if you don't let them take something then are 'rude' if they lose it and can't shut down to go look for it. Never mind the fact that your loose article could become a flying projectile and seriously hurt someone. Copyright infringement has never been a term i've used in regard to this situation, I just yell at them for breaking rules and disobeying instructions given by a ride attendant (which in essence is breaking two ride safety rules).
  6. I'd hit up Firechaser Express and Mystery Mine as soon as you can, as their capacities are lower. Hence, their lines often move slower. The other coasters can handle a crowd very well.
  7. As long as its a scannable ticket with a barcode, it'll work. The current promotion is after 3, next day free, you're right that the time changes for Christmas time but the park doesn't open until 2 during many days that time of the year.
  8. Yes. Any ticket scanned for entry after 3PM is valid the next operating day.
  9. While you're right about the reduction in parking spaces, it is countered with the addition of the large G&H (Preferred) Lots on the hill that will be used as overflow when needed. Overall parking capacity has went up this year, even though it doesn't look like it.
  10. The parking situation you described isn't new to this year. The parking attendants are only in the lots during the morning rush, after that, they prefer guests to park in whatever the farthest lot is and sign it with the "parking" signs pointing in. Not only does this save folks time from looking for a spot but the trams serve the furthest lot first and will pick up on the way back in only if they have room available. I always recommend parking at the furthest lot if you come in later in the day for this reason- it saves a lot of frustration. And what you saw on FCE is only temporary, everything should be back to normal by morning.
  11. The crossing gates are to cut down on the need for humans to stand out there directing traffic, sometimes at night, which can be dangerous as people don't like to stop sometimes!
  12. The Gatlinburg Golf Course (public) is located on the other side of Dollywood off Dollywood Lane, so there is that option!
  13. Dollywood will be debuting a new music festival event for its 30th Anniversary season next year, one that the park hopes will grow for years to come: Link: Dollywood Press Release Dollywood has had festivals centered around bluegrass and gospel music for years now, but this is the park's first real foray into the world of contemporary Christian music.
  14. While the lines haven't been as long as they were last year, I would expect it to be the longest line in the park, so your action plan would likely work. As for food stock, I wouldn't worry about that. Anything left over will simply be sent over to Dollywood.
  15. I would go into it expecting it to be quite crowded, being a holiday coupled with the last day of the season. Now, the weather forecast may change that if its bad (I haven't looked yet, this far out it wouldn't be reliable anyway). Everything should be in tip-top shape and operations should be flowing just fine simply because it is a holiday and the park should be fully staffed. Splash Country actually has a pretty good variety of food for a water park when compared to when it first opened. Admittedly, the selection isn't as good as Dollywood, but that's to be expected. Burgers/Fries/Chicken/Pizza/Salads/Wraps can be found at Campsite Grill and Miss Mamies (same large building in the middle of the park), Tacos and taco salads can be found at High Country (by the wave pool), Funnel sticks can be found by the main lockers, corn dogs and hot dogs can be found at Dogs n' Taters (by RiverRush) and hot dogs/nachos/BBQ sandwiches can be found at one of the other stands by the wave pool (the name escapes me). The park also has several Dippin' Dots stands (since DW switched back to them this season), as I said, pretty good selection for a water park!
  16. The Gatlinburg Transit Center is located on the side of Ripley's Aquarium along the street. You'll notice the awnings, benches and such. All trolley lines in town converge here. The trolley system is very reliable as long as there isn't a huge amount of traffic, which obviously affects them too. During the later evening, I don't foresee there being many people taking the Pink Line, as its only busy during the early morning hours. If I recall correctly, the trolley runs only once an hour to Dollywood, so be prepared for that. I believe its on the :15 every hour, but you may want to check with the driver to confirm and plan around that, as I've see people sit and wait an hour for the Gatlinburg trolley because they didn't know when it ran, which wouldn't be fun. Crowds should be light to moderate. I always caution people to go see how long lines are before purchasing a q-bot, as it may not be necessary. The Q2Q people will tell you if lines are long if you ask, but DW ride lines are nothing compared to most other parks with 15-30 minutes being the average.
  17. I just returned from KI yesterday and stayed at the Red Roof Inn Cincinnati North-Mason. Great location (just one exit down from KI) with renovated rooms, breakfast and free wi-fi for $59 a night. It doesn't look as pretty as some of the newer hotels on the outside, but the inside and rooms are refreshed. I was pleasantly surprised.
  18. Apart from the lack of banking, what's up with the abnormally long stretch of straight track back into the station? It looks amateurish even for RCT2 (unless they shock the world with four train operations).
  19. Bear in mind, in years past this issue has only affected Thunderhead and Wild Eagle. Thunderhead has misters atop its lift to help alleviate the issue, but sometimes it gets so bad even that doesn't help. Sound piece of advice here, though. Be sure to get your rides in early in the morning on those two coasters, particularly if it's going to be hot. Typically, it isn't as big an issue during the Summer, but come August and September it will be a daily occurrence, most likely. As for Mystery Mine's flame, it has been an issue this season thus far. While it now works most of the time, there are times when it doesn't. They are aware of the issue and are trying to get that effect fixed but its tough to do when you have to order custom parts and have already begun daily operation (which makes it very difficult to do in-depth work on anything). But rest assured, Dollywood isn't one of those parks that lets effects stop working, a permanent fix is being worked on.
  20. Firechaser can accommodate most riders. It's more forgiving than Mystery Mine, in my opinion. But if in doubt, there is a test seat at the queue entrance. TIP: If anyone is tall or wants a more roomy seat, sit in the front row, as it has more space than any other due to the lead 'train' coach. Plus, on this ride, it doesn't matter if you sit in the front or back, as it becomes the other for almost half the ride!
  21. Tornado received some work this winter including new wheels. I noticed it is running smoother than it has in a long time and they did install new trim brakes. They are doing their job very well and really do slow the trains down quite a bit and likely will until they wear in a little more. I can't speak to the rides being down yesterday, but if they were testing that late into the day, there must have been some maintenance going on. The past few weeks have been very weird at the park as we aren't very busy by the numbers but the coasters are slammed like a Summer weekend, so the parking lot has been deceiving lately. Unfortunately, it's tough to project how crowd levels will be this time of year considering every school district plans their spring breaks at different times. Last week was Alabama and this week is Georgia. I would expect the crowds to come back to normal during the week within the next week or two!
  22. It won't anymore. Country Fair is receiving a lot of refreshing this year, I have the paint on my hands to prove it! Some of the signs could use some rehab, admittedly. But it has fresh paint! And considering how colorful the area is, that's big! I see that Showstreet Palace is getting a face lift, too. Hopefully Celebrity Theater gets the same treatment-- the sides of the building look rough. Do you know which other areas are getting some love? The front facade of the Palace is being replaced, the street overhangs in Jukebox Junction (alongside Pines) are getting replaced, the siding on half of the Rockin' Roadway building that hadn't yet been replaced is being done this year. Roofs have been replaced on the Nature Shop (alongside Rivertown lake), Grist Mill and Miss Lillians. I believe that's about it for heavy construction on existing structures. A lot of everything else is receiving an annual refresh of paint. Blazing Fury has had some work done (scene refurbishment and such) which is a good thing because most of the guests thought it was closing. I mean, how could you have two fire department themed rides in the same park without one closing, right? I don't know the extent of what was done to it, however.
  23. It won't anymore. Country Fair is receiving a lot of refreshing this year, I have the paint on my hands to prove it! Some of the signs could use some rehab, admittedly. But it has fresh paint! And considering how colorful the area is, that's big!
  24. I'll never forget my first visit to Disney. A friend of mine who used to be a CM put it best at one of the rides: "they aren't here to be your best friend, their only concern is capacity" and boy was she right. I greatly missed the personal touch that I feel we often deliver at Dollywood. I think the employees at Herschend parks are great, but I think it is wrong to say the ones at Disney don't care about their guests. Of course one of their concerns is capacity, because they need to get the rides moving swiftly in order not to create a huge line. But they also want the guests to feel welcome, and the employees at both Herschend and Disney do a great job at that. I wasn't calling out the entire organization by any stretch of the imagination! There are great, welcoming employees at Disney, for sure. My point was the ride attendants in general don't even speak to guests aside from giving instruction, as their primary concern is operation and capacity. Nothing wrong with that given their crowds, but it was different than what I was used to in my experiences.
  25. I'll never forget my first visit to Disney. A friend of mine who used to be a CM put it best at one of the rides: "they aren't here to be your best friend, their only concern is capacity" and boy was she right. I greatly missed the personal touch that I feel we often deliver at Dollywood.
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