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Everything posted by rebelrailroad

  1. News is reporting that the chain was a "themed decoration"
  2. From the Dollywood Junkies Facebook group, this apparently is the latest from the persons mother in law. The park apparently was shut down between Mystery and the Emporium after the accident. Pictures of the dangling chain are on that group page. UPDATE she has some brain bleed they are keeping her to do ct scan every 6 hours also her arm is badly burnt from chain and her ribs they had to put staples in her head please continue to pray for her that all will be ok
  3. Facebook chatter is saying that a chain has broken on Mystery Mine and hit guests on the sidewalk underneath.
  4. I rode in the front row last night. All I can say is "wow." Love the open feeling. I hope they leave the hoods off. Ride op mentioned a manufacturer's recall....
  5. Looks like Dollywood may be getting rid of "Next Day Free" https://www.pigeonforgetnguide.com/blog/news/dollywood-ends-arrive-after-3-get-next-day-free/
  6. Yep, same experience with Barnstormer. There is one older man in particular who acts like he hates his job and all the guests who are there. No smiles, no chatting, just grumbling, barking orders, and slamming restraints.
  7. From all the comments on Dollywood's Facebook page the first weekend of their Halloween lights was a disaster. Thousands of people wedged in to the canyon area, fights breaking out, people jumping fences to get out of the chaos, etc. Sad start to this event....
  8. I don't think Timber Tower even had this much downtime in its first two seasons. Dollywood ended up in a lawsuit against Huss after repeated downtime (and of course the media frenzy of watching ladder trucks retrieve stranded riders for a few hours).
  9. Dollywood needs to go back to its roots just a bit. It is losing its southern charm that the previous management instilled. The country music throughout the park, actual craftsmen in craftsman valley, staff that have some southern charm, better food options, new big shows (fire on the mountain, paradise road, shakonohey), etc. You can go to downtown Gatlinburg stores and find more southern charm for free. You can find some rides, anakeesta opening up, chairlift, shows, music, moonshine, ober, and even coasters. Lightning Rod backfired on them by not operating despite all the hype. People who visited the park over the past year and a half just for lightning rod have largely been left frustrated. Add this to the fact that Dollywood has essentially abandoned their social media responsibilities is also discouraging. Their lack of communication on social media should serve as a textbook example of how not to operate. They can only ride the coattails of previous management employees like Barbara Joines and Ken Bell so many years ago. I'm sure the folks at Herschend Family Entertainment will realize this soon enough. In the meantime, I'm rooting for them and look forward to seeing them revamp a bit. They have tremendous potential but are stumbling a bit right now.
  10. Great video! This is better than any video I've seen the park put out. Dollywood marketing should be cutting you a check as we speak for the use of this video!
  11. For examples of Dollywood's lack of social media presence just go to their Facebook page and read the reviews where people give a star rating. How many do you see where the park responds? Dollywood encourages you to reuse season passes year after year. You are not required to get a new one every year. I finally had to get a new one last year because mine was so old it didn't even have a bar code to scan with their new system. Dollywood is indeed a great park but for folks who have been going there for 10-15+ years will notice the difference. This is why the bar is so high for the old-timers because we have experienced the difference. They have some hosts who still try to deliver those special guest experiences but not like the old days. They even used to have survey folks walking the park and would ask you key questions about your experiences. Nope not any longer. Not even an email survey in recent years.
  12. I'm a longtime Dollywood fan who has visited several times per year for the past 18 years. I've witnessed the customer service levels decrease annually and spiraled down under the Craig Ross regime. They no longer respond to Facebook complaints (or compliments) and their TripAdvisor responses are typically canned reponses. I assume this is largely due to growing pains and their lack of staffing dedicated strictly to customer interactions on social media. I've said it before here, the Dollywood of today does not provide the same level of customer service that the park was once known for (and likely never will under the current leadership). I love Dollywood, it is a special place for my family. My daughter has rode every ride there all the way back to when she was 3 years old and began riding the Convoy trucks, the old kids cars that went around in a circle, the old log flume, even timber tower, and now she rides Lightning Rod (when it operates). Yes, we can recite all the lines from Blazing Fury. Part of what has brought us back year after year was some of those early customer service interactions (Tinker the talking Christmas Tree). These are all "memories worth repeating." Sadly, the new Dollywood just doesn't compare to the old one. Our "memories worth repeating" are becoming fewer and fewer. It is less about the overall experience and more about luring folks in with a new ride. Look at Craig Ross' previous parks and you'll see what Dollywood is turning in to. We are diehard fans and love the park but I agree with everything that dstephen has said.
  13. If you look at the interactive maps from Sevier County you can see how close the fire actually was to the park. From their maps the fire was dangerously close to the country fair train loop.
  14. My kids are 11 and 14 now but have went to Dollywood every Christmas sonce they were born. My kids have always liked Twas the Night Before Christmas & Christmas in the Smokies. Also, Comedy Barn out on the Parkway has always been a favorite for my kids.
  15. Not ride related but wanted to say how impressed I was to see Dollywood's trams carrying passengers at the Leconte Center for Dolly's concert on Tuesday. It is odd seeing the park's trams out and about on main roads and dodging cars and people. It was bound to be a stressful night for the tram operators as they were operating on unfamiliar roads along with other vehicles and pedestrians. Those long trams were trying to swing tight corners but they pulled it off.
  16. We waited in line during the closure. Nothing visible happened for about 30 minutes. Then a guy in a black shirt showed up and ran a couple empties while on the radio with someone. A few minutes later I saw a maintenance guy walking beside the track near one of the last hills. He was scaling down the bank in a really steep section. Once he got down to the access road, he closed the access gate and a couple empties were sent out. They then sent one out with one Dollywood staff member in both the front and last row. Once they made it back the ride then reopened. We were on the first train that went out with two rows still closed off. My daughter caught a ladies cell phone who was one row up from us. She had it in her back pocket and it still flew out. It is a great ride but annoying with all the downtime and closed rows.
  17. Standing in line for Lightning Rod. They were running two trains with some rows closed. Now the dreaded message just came across "Lightning Rod needs a tune up, not sure how long this will take." Geez, why is this thing always broke!!!
  18. 5k Friday night was fun. There was nearly 2000 folks participating. Park was crazy crowded yesterday with praking at Splash. Rode Mystery Mine which seems to be running smoother than ever. Was on Barnstormer when ride ops shut down due to a cell phone. When will people learn to not bring them out. We didnt stay too long as the park was so full there wasnt much to do without long waits. Honestly, the Christmas lights seemed less this year. I was disappointed to see the Grist Mill totally dark, not one Christmas light. My wife waited in line one hour for cinnamon bread. Well worth it though. Apparently they are trying to get more ovens. Every 10 minutes they send two trays of bread to the lower level and upstairs gets one. This cant keep up with the lines. I know there aren't many show folks here, but they did a great job with Christmas in the Smokies! That show has been an annual tradition for us for nearly 20 years.
  19. I finally found a hotel room in Sevierville after hours of calling and searching. Nearly every hotel is full. If you go to TripAdvisor and put in Fri&Sat you will see page after page of no vacancies. The hotels are full all the way out to Interstate 40. I normally stick to TripAdvisor's Top 10 but there is literally no availability in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. I'm running the 5k Friday night at the park and seeing Dolly in concert on Tuesday. It also looks like a UT game Saturday in Knoxville. Does a game in Knoxville normally fill up PF/Gatlinburg?
  20. Does anyone know why Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg hotels are all full this weekend? I've been visiting for nearly 20 years during every season and I've never had a difficult time making reservations until this year. If the hotels are any indication, Dollywood could be packed this weekend. Nearly every hotel is full for Friday and Saturday night. As a frequent visitor I've never seen this before.
  21. Now they have added two operating days in December. December 6 & 13. Maybe we'll have a reliable coaster by then!
  22. I agree on the Lumberjack Pizza. My last experience with this pizza was during Christmas last year and it was served cold. It was so cold the cheese was even discolored/hard like it had been in a refrigerator. I pointed out to the host that it was pitiful that they would even serve such a thing. She was very defensive, so live and learn. Now I just buy cinnamon bread instead. Can't go wrong with that! The new Chicken sandwich food truck is also really good too (so far).
  23. Sounds vaguely familiar to the Timber Tower fiasco. Up, down, up, down, girl scouts stuck for hours with a Fire Dept rescue that made for big news headlines, up, down, a lawsuit against Huss, ride removed, picnic tables put in its place, and now a stage! Hoping it doesn't come to that! Dollywood doesn't need this again!
  24. Yep it looks like it just went back up. The queue was filling again.
  25. Just had lunch at Red's across from LR and never saw it running. Maybe just temporarily down...
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