Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by u4icmusic

  1. We went to the Fall Harvest Festival yesterday with all the tickets from my new Diamond Season Pass for 2022. We used the one free Preferred Parking pass that came with the season pass. This was the first time we've parked there and although it is somewhat closer to the entrance, we would never pay $25 extra for parking there. The hill on the way back to your car at night is steep. Parking in regular parking lots and walking or taking the trams is easy and what we will do going forward. When I went to the ticket window, the host asked me if I wanted to use the photo from my 2021 season pass, I said yes and the entire process took about 2 minutes, which was fast. You pick up your bring-a-friend key tag at the Timesaver window. Since we got there later in the day, we were the only ones at the Timesaver window and getting the key tag took less than 10 seconds. Here is the kicker though. Also included in the 2022 Diamond Pass is a drink cup with free refills from now and through 2022. Because I had this as a new perk, we left our 2021 drink mug at home. When I went to several different restaurants in the park to pick up my new 2022 refillable cup, none of them had the new cups in stock and all the hosts told me that they don't know when they are getting them in. Therefore, we had to buy drinks all day, which as we all know, is not cheap. Lightning Rod, Scrambler and Barnstormer were all still down. Barnstormer has a sign that says they are closed due to staffing issues and the Scrambler sign says the ride is closed due to routine maintenance, which nobody believes. The Scrambler rides have been around for decades and part are available for them if needed. So I call bull crap on the routine maintenance sign. Lightning Rod just said "closed for the day," with no explanation. You can hear rumblings from people in line for other rides how upset they were that Lightning Rod was still not working. Many food places were closed and the lines for the ones that were open were extremely long, longer than we would wait for food, so we ate Italian after we left the park. The line for cinnamon bread wrapped around the pond and looked like it never moved. Dogs & Taters, one of the few food options open had over an hour wait to get served. The printed show schedule that we picked up at the main gates showed a show at 3 pm at the Dreamsong Theater. We got there at 2:30 pm because shows can fill up quickly, only to find a "Theater Closed for the Day" sign posted. The host out front told me that a cast member was sick. Do you mean to tell me that the live shows don't have stand-ins in case a cast member gets sick? I'm there for the rides, but my guest likes shows, so the only show we wanted to see yesterday was canceled. Just another way Dollywood shows it doesn't care about its guests in the least bit. Other than the drink cup issue and our major disappointment in the live show being canceled, it was a fine day. Perfect mid-70's weather, All other rides were open and running when we went on them and there was excitement in the air to see the Luminights event when it got dark out. I was at Dollywood just 3 days prior with a large group of friends, so I had already seen the Luminights show and it was nearly identical to last years display. They moved a few things, but I didn't notice anything new, except for maybe the sunflower pumpkins in Wildwood Grove, as I don't recall seeing those before, but they could have been there last year, as I'm not sure. As usual, Dollywood did a good job, but they need to add new displays each year, otherwise it's not fun to see over and over again. They could also expand the Luminights to other areas of the park that are totally dark and devoid of decoration. I would also like to see one are that is more dark and devilish and maybe one area that is a scare zone for guests that want more from a Halloween attraction. Bottom line, if you've seen the Luminights displays before, then there is no need to see them again this year, unless you have a season pass. One of the ride hosts on Tennessee Tornado said most staff was opening and closing each day the park was open and that they were exhausted. That is pretty much a 12 hour shift every day and dealing with guests can sometimes be a drain, so I feel sad for the park hosts. My final thought is that Dollywood MUST up their pay to get their staffing levels up so guests don't have the poor experiences they've been having all year. Dollywood can build housing onsite, but that still won't help filling positions if they don't increase their pay like Cedar Fair parks have done. Part-time employees at Cedar Fair parks start at $20 an hour. Dollywood starts employees out at $14 an hour. You can get $14 an hour just about anywhere now. I've also noticed the quality of the people working at Dollywood has gone way down. They are not as friendly or helpful as they used to be, most likely because they are exhausted and overworked and probably not well-trained. They also have to keep problem employees because they are so short-staffed, so it is overall a really bad situation at Dollywood and at many retail and restaurant locations nationwide. People are not going to work for low wages when they can walk down the street and make more money. Even $1 an hour makes a difference in a paycheck. I think if Dollywood raised their wages from $14 to $20 an hour then most, if not all of these issues would go away. Having more staff would bring in way more revenue because many guests, myself included, won't wait in line 90 minutes for a hot dog or cinnamon bread. So, we did have a fantastic time, but there were many issues, so we tried to overlook the negatives and enjoy the positives, keeping in mind Dollywood is still so short on staff. I will use my new Diamond season pass extensively for the rest of this year and next year. One final, final thought. Dollywood is requiring all non covid vaccinated guests to wear face coverings and that is not happening. They should check for vaccine cards at the gates and issue vaccinated guests a wrist band, showing that they don't have to wear face coverings. Right now, half the guests are not vaccinated and they are NOT wearing masks. Dollywood is being negligent with the health of their hosts and guests by not following their own guidelines.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I don't find anything wrong with that. Why waste an empty seat?
  5. If you are a single rider, then yes. Dollywood doesn't want any empty seats on LR because the lines are so long and the load times are slow. That is of course when the ride is running, which is hasn't been lately.
  6. Not sure what you are talking about. Dollywood admission does not include Splash Country. Even if it did, Splash Country is closed for the season. Dollywood also got rid of most if not all their Covid-19 protocols. There are no temperature checks or screening questions. Masks are no longer required and there is no social distancing inside the park, not that there ever was. I make reservations every time I go, but the gate hosts never ask for them. They seem to be at full capacity again too.
  7. If you want to get on faster, just use the single rider line. It works wonders for getting on quickly.
  8. It doesn't. The second train is held back and doesn't even enter the loading area until the other train is over the first hill. I find that post suspect and it is not showing up on any local news outlets which normally happens when there is a park accident of significance. Show us the video of the crash so we can see what happened.
  9. I disagree. There are many people, myself included, that go to Dollywood for the rides and especially the roller coasters. Why would any park spend spend 22 millions dollars on a coaster, which is what Lightning Rod cost to build and not have it run daily from open to close. That amount doesn't include what Dollywood paid RMC for the partial retrack either. No park, theme or otherwise would spend that kind of money for a ride that only worked on occasion. How do you know it hasn't affected their attendance. The last two times I went it was DEAD, and many people were out if front of Lightning Rod complaining to ride hosts that it was down again. Nobody said it should change your opinion of the park, but it is a huge draw coaster. Lines being 2 plus hours long negates your theory that people don't go to Dollywood for the rides, because they do and if you read all the blogs, people are very upset that Lightning Rod is down as much as it is. When you are paying $90 plus $25 to park your car, then we all should expect all the rides to be in good operating condition most of the time. The downtime on Lightning Rod is a huge black eye on Dollywood. Most guests don't even know what RMC is and that they built the coaster, they just want to ride it. Most of the times I've been there it has been down. It's been down more times than running and I go about 3 times a month all year long. I know many people that have changed their plans to go to Dollywood when Lightning Rod is down for maintenance or repairs. Theme parks also have thrill rides, so your comment about it not being a thrill park is beyond ridiculous. As a matter of fact, the Dollywood website calls Lightning Rod a "Thrill Ride." Can you believe that? A thrill ride in a theme park. I'm shocked. https://www.dollywood.com/themepark/Rides/LightningRod
  10. I've never heard of any roller coaster having a "safety chain." Anti-rollback dogs prevent the train cars from rolling back if the chain breaks. They're also responsible for that "clack-clack-clack" sound you hear as a coaster train ascends the lift hill. TEDodd is correct that Lightning Rod does not have these as they are only found on coasters with a chain lift, as far as I am aware. Typically when they have a rollback, they can brake the trains going backwards before it reaches the station. This may have been operator error.
  11. I don't believe it is a staffing issue. The last time I was there, the ride was closed all day, even though the sign out front said "temporarily closed." You could see all the ride hosts just standing around, so I think it is a maintenance issue. Dollywood is supposed to retrack the remaining topper track to Ibox track over the winter, so maybe that will help with down time. At this point they need to do something as Lighting Rod is a huge black eye for Dollywood and such a fun coaster when it is working.
  12. Dollywood Season Pass 2022 renewals starting on October 18th, with upgraded season pass options with up to 6 bring-a-friend passes, plus one 2021 Christmas bring-a-friend pass. They are also bringing back the discount bring-a-friend key tag. Let's see if we get a better deal than the crap one we got last year.
  13. That's the issue for me. Why post a sign outside and have ride hosts standing there saying the ride is temporarily closed. That's why I kept checking the Dollywood app and walking by to see what "temporarily" actually meant. I think it is just a PR decision for guests and should be handled differently by Dollywood.
  14. I spent the day at Dollywood yesterday and I have to say I've never seen it as dead as it was. There were no lines for any rides all day long. It was funny to look up at the monitors on each ride showing zero wait times for all the rides in the park. Except for Lightening Rod, which was, as usual, not running. The sign in front of the ride said temporarily closed, but I didn't see it open before I left which was a major disappointment. I think at this time Dollywood either needs to sue RMC, completely rebuild the coaster or just tear it down and start from scratch. Dollywood has to be mad about the constant down time and it is a big black eye for RMC. Does Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point have the same issue with down time? Probably not with its standard lift. Other than that. all the other rides were running well, food lines were non-existent and the parking lot was only partially filled into the C area. It was very humid, but still a great day at the park. There were also a bunch of new employees that I haven't seen before, which is typical for fall when students go back to school.
  15. New partnership at Dollywood to improve staffing levels. https://www.facebook.com/KyleGraingerWVLT/videos/998503780983234
  16. Unfortunately I missed the drone and fireworks show for this summer. I went several times while they were doing the show, but I could never stay until it got dark out, usually because it was so dang hot and it wore me out. I was planning on going list last Friday or Saturday night, but on Friday morning I received my second Moderna Covid vaccine and I pretty much felt pretty bad and ended up not going to Dollywood. I've seen the videos of the show on youtube and really would have liked to have seen the show live, but it wasn't in the cards for this year. Hopefully they will bring it back next summer or do another version for Halloween or Christmas.
  17. This was the first week that the new Carnival Mardi Gras ship had paying cruise passengers on it since the Covid shutdown. The video looks fun, but the $15 fee for one time around the track is very steep, especially when the ride only last 15-20 seconds (riders control speed). What are your thoughts?
  18. Carnival is charging $15 for one time around the track, which takes 15 to 20 seconds. That's way overpriced.
  19. Let me tell you what is happening now at Dollywood, most likely because the pay is only $10-$12 an hour. The staff is very young, they are untrained, unfriendly and sometimes downright rude. The two new people working on Drop Line are a prime example of who should NOT be on the Dollywood staff, at least in a position that deals with the public. They are both rude, never smile and act like they don't want to be there. There should be a supervisor walking around and correcting these issues instead of letting these two "kids" make such poor examples of Dollywood employees. Chik Fil-a, right down the street, is staring people out at $15 an hour and Cedar Point is starting people off at $20 an hour without raising any prices other than typical annual price increases we see everywhere. And so what if they have to raise prices. People don't want to wait in line 30 minutes for a drink refill or an hour for a hot dog. Adding 25 cents to the price to get more staff at a restaurant would be worth it to most people. People are not taking low paying jobs anymore when they can go down the street and find one that pays more. Dollywood is raking in the cash and they surely can afford to pay their employees a living wage.
  20. I was there Sunday. There were still several restaurants closed with signs on them that said, "closed due to the current staffing situation." They are also having job fairs over the next two weeks. Their pay is between $10 and $11 per hour. You can get more than that almost anywhere else right now. 2 upcoming job fairs: Wednesday, July 21 | 2 - 6pm at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort & Spa Monday, July 26 | 2 - 6pm at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort & Spa What's also odd is that people that I've seen working there for years are no longer there. I'm sure part of that was people not wanting to work during Covid, especially since a large part of their staff was older. The new staff is much younger now and not as friendly either. We had a blast, but it was so hot out on Sunday that we couldn't stay all day to see the fireworks and drone show, which everyone is raving about.
  21. Dollywood needs to up their pay. Cedar Point upped their pay to $20 an hour. Dollywood needs to do the same. There's nothing worse than a theme park being understaffed. I also find it laughable that people are listening to the Dippin' Dots girl for new coaster information.
  22. I was at Dollywood today. It was more busy than usual. Lightning Rod opened late due to technical problems, but was running with two trains at around noon. The single rider line was SO much faster than the 130 minute wait in the regular line. Wild Eagle is still down. Not sure when they will get it fixed. Lines for food and drinks were BEYOND long. So long that I refused to wait in them and just left the park. Dollywood really needs to step up with their food operations. Other than that, it was a perfect, sunny day and yes, Barnstormer was up and running today too. There was almost nobody wearing masks and I'm pretty sure all those guests were not vaccinated.
  23. I just rode it last week and I also love the ride. It's way too short, but there's never much, if any, of a line for it. The location of the ride is awful. I always ride Barnstormer when I go. I also don't see ride operators shifted to other rides very often when I go. It seems they are trained on a ride and tend to stay working on that ride. I'm hoping they open up that area or make some changes to make it more user-friendly. The Mountain Slidewinder is still sitting there too, so that entire area could and should be reworked with a major facelift.
  24. Don't you find that odd that a ride that can operate with 2 or 3 ride hosts gets closed down? I always thought that ride was in a crappy location. I think rides like that do better in the open where people can see them. If you don't know that ride is there and miss the sign, it is easy to pass up. School is out here, so they should not have an issue finding ride hosts. They may have to up their pay some like other parks have done though. I rode Barnstormer last week, so I was surprised to see it closed.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/