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Everything posted by ASE

  1. I'm not there to confirm, but just saw this stating it reopened today: http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/amusement-parks/dollywood-roller-coaster-open
  2. I'm at the park today and noticed they were working on it so I asked the employees at Lightning Rod's entrance… The parts are here and they're currently being replaced. They're "very hopeful" that it will open tomorrow, Wednesday. He said it was a piece in the restraints… Restraints were working TOO well and wouldn't unlock at the end of the ride. So they are having to replace that part on every seat on every train.
  3. "Home & Family" is having a "Dollywood Week" special starting May 30...
  4. Could be The Willis Family....they performed at Dollywood on Sunday and have a TV show. Would be some decent advertising for Dollywood. Dolly is scheduled to be back in town this Friday to cut the ribbon on the new Lumberjack Adventure at 11AM. From a PR standpoint, it'd make sense to have her officially "open" Lightning Rod while in town. At this point, I can't imagine they'd just "open" it one day without a PR opportunity like that. I did hear they were originally shooting to open it when she was in town for the parade, which obviously didn't happen...so my assumption is they held out for her next trip to Pigeon Forge. I'd be REALLY surprised if we make it through the weekend without hearing SOMEthing from Pete and the Dollywood team if it doesn't open...especially with the "season" kicking into full gear after next week.
  5. Fire at Dollywood! I hear Guy is a suspect........ http://wate.com/2016/05/10/small-fire-quickly-put-out-at-dollywood-building/
  6. I'd hold off until Lightning Rod opens if anyone is planning to visit on a weekend. The crowds have been huge, lines have been long, etc...Lightning Rod should help crowd levels & wait times throughout the park once it opens.
  7. I'm hearing they are doing testing with people now...hoping to open this weekend!
  8. Launch vid posted today at https://www.instagram.com/oz_was_yes/
  9. Pretty cool behind the scenes photos posted on instagram today...they've cleaned up a lot of the boxes, parts, junk, etc...getting closer!
  10. Numerous workers are on the lift hill today...glad to see some activity!
  11. Saw this posted on Twitter today...looks like at least 1 RMC person (or at least someone wearing an RMC jacket) doing something on Lightning Rod today. Hopefully progress.
  12. Yes, it was running and had about a 30min wait.
  13. At Dollywood today...picture perfect day...crowds were light this morning. They've done a fantastic job renovating Jukebox Junction. Has a much more fun "vibe" to the area now. ZERO activity on Lightning Rod...haven't seen a single person anywhere near it to work on anything. The new food truck in Jukebox Junction serves up some delicious, fresh fried chicken sandwiches. Highly recommend.
  14. I think it's safe to say they're still a bit short-staffed... https://hfecorp-openhire.silkroad.com/epostings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobsearch&company_id=16687&version=7&byBusinessUnit=NULL&bycountry=0&bystate=0&bylocation=NULL&keywords=&byCat=NULL&proximityCountry=&postalCode=&radiusDistance=&isKilometers=&tosearch=yes&startflag=0
  15. To clear up some confusion about the years of Dolly and Dollywood… Dollywood started as Railroad Road in 1961. It changed to Goldrush Junction in 1966 and then Silver Dollar City in 1977... and finally Dollywood in 1986. As far as 50 years goes… Dolly and her husband Carl Dean will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this May.
  16. Great pics, WildEagle2014! But uh....don't tell me the Rockin' Roadway is shut down already! Hoping they have a MUCH better year this year with it staying up. Also hoping the park has adequate numbers of employees this year as well to keep everything open.
  17. Email I just received from Dollywood PR: Lightning Rod will not be open for Grand Opening weekend. Lightning Rod is an innovative ride featuring new technology never used on a wooden coaster. The ride manufacturer asked for additional time to commission the ride. Progress is being made daily. Please check dollywood.com for future updates. FAQ: 1) Why is it not ready, didn’t you start construction last summer? A) This an innovative ride featuring technology never before used on a wooden coaster. At the ride manufacturer’s request ride commissioning has been extended to ensure the best possible ride experience for our guests this season. 2) Is it safe? A) Yes! Safety is our number one priority at Dollywood and we work hard every day to keep our guests as safe as possible. 3) When do you expect it to open? A) We will open when the ride is fully commissioned and we are comfortable the ride is the best it can be. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot provide a date. 4) When is Dolly visiting? A) Dolly’s schedule is very full this year with a tour, a new album etc. She will, however, be on park March 24. She will also be in Pigeon Forge on Friday, May 6th for the parade on the Parkway.
  18. For what it's worth, I've heard Dolly is scheduled to be there on the 18th for the official opening as she normally does for new rides. Can't imagine they'd do all of that just to have her say, "Look ya'll! Ain't she purdy! Betcha cain't wait to ride it...next month!" (admit it...you just sounded that out like Dolly in your head )
  19. Just received this from Dollywood...hey, it's better than a "sorry folks, Lightning Rod is closed, the moose out front shoulda told ya." So here's to hoping they are on schedule for the opening! "Visit Dollywood on Season Passholder Sneak Preview Day Friday, March 18 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and the first 5,000 Passholders will receive a commemorative Lightning Rod car magnet! As a Passholder, you get to be the first to experience the fun that awaits in the 2016 season — including Dollywood’s wildly-popular Festival of Nations. During this delightfully diverse celebration, get a glimpse into more than two dozen cultures from around the world through entertainment showcases, exotic cuisine and authentic craftsmanship."
  20. Yes...it's the majority of visitors' favorite meal in the park.
  21. April 14-16. You can see the calendar of the biggest events in Pigeon Forge at http://www.pigeonforgetnguide.com/events/pigeon-forge-events-calendar/ . Most area spring breaks are April 1-10, so there will be slightly heavier crowds then as well.
  22. Regarding the feeling that Dollywood is losing its "Southern charm" and "friendliness", this is actually an issue that Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have been struggling with as a whole the past decade or more. The town use to be filled with "locals" working in the businesses and owning them...locals that were raised in the Smokies with a noticeably hospitable and friendly nature...the kind of people who help & give advice without appearing to be inconvenienced or expecting tips. Now, however, the county is filled with people who have moved here from all over the world (literally) and it's a hobo stew of personalities. There is no longer a "consistent" Smoky Mountain experience that helped the area grow in the first place. I'm not saying everyone who has moved to the area are jerks...it's just that personalities, demeanors, accents, etc all go into the "experience" visitors have...and it's a lot different now than it use to be. It's not just a generational issue or problem with Dollywood...there just aren't enough "good" employees to fill all the jobs in the area...and most of the jobs are low-paying, so there's very little incentive to convince "good" people to move to the area. It's a serious problem that is actually a great opportunity for the smart business owners that solve it. It's not a problem that can be swept under a rug by adding a 5 star hotel and fancy new rides. Hopefully Dollywood can figure it out quickly before it gets worse in the area.
  23. Nope...they started this year because of the DreamMore Resort...and uh, Dollywood employees are not happy about it.
  24. Is it close to Red's? Could be a new outdoor seating area for people eating there.
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