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Posts posted by megan

  1. For a park that makes suchcc be a big deal about their food, they really need to get that part figured out. At this point I’m thrilled I didn’t do passes to DW next season. Way too many negatives. Here’s to hoping next season is a rebuild and reset, or I’m a little scared for what things look like going forward. They have burned through so much season pass good will this year that they really need to find their footing fast. 

  2. After having now seen the Winterfest Wonderland Parade 3x at Kings Island (no reservations needed thank you very much) Dollywood really needs to get the parade back next year. It adds a kinetic energy that fireworks just don’t have. I guess staffing the parade is an issue since they can barely get the food places open, but it does help the overall energy of the park. 

  3. 5 hours ago, TEDodd said:

    Checking really seemed to restart in October.

    But 2 weeks out I had no issue reserving Wed, Fri, and Sat the week of Thanksgiving. Finding a place to stay with dogs was harder.


    Earlier this week someone complained so I looked and only the weekend of the 18th was full. Every other day left in Dec was green.


    Right. There’s perception and reality in social media land, but when you have a free bring a friend incentive that ends in the 19th that was used to sell passes, they should’ve expected that weekend to “sell out”. If you wanted to go that weekend to use those incentives, then the fact that later weekends are available is pretty much moot. 

  4. 31 minutes ago, u4icmusic said:

    Because Dollywood's pay is crap. There are so many employers in the area starting people out at higher wages, like Cedar Fair parks are. They realized quickly that they had to up their wages to keep the park staffed. Dollywood is doing nothing to entice workers to the park. The employees they have left are being worked to death. Dollywood doesn't realize or care that this is a negative for guests at the park. Nobody wants to wait 90 minutes for a hot dog, but that is what is happening at Dollywood this season.

    That’s why we didn’t do season passes on our “every other year” plan. We live in Cincinnati and alternate with KI, but this year we are skipping Dollywood until they get their act together. And I love all these people saying “Dolly needs to know what’s going on” LOL Like she cares about the day to day running of the business venture she’s a part owner of! 

    • Like 1
  5. 10 hours ago, Hilltopper39 said:

    We've got tickets for a few weeks from now and I kinda freaked out a bit when I read the post about the reservations, but daily tickets have a reservation  already included. I'm a bit out of the loop but haven't reservations been required for a while now? Maybe they haven't been checking or enforcing them or something but seems like every time I've gone to the website over the past several months there's been a disclaimer about reservations being required. 

    I think thats the issue - Its on the website, but they've not been checking - even telling people they "suggest" but don't require, then overnight earlier this week they became "mandatory" again right as they have bee pushing season pass sales - now people that bought to "take advantage of Smokey Mtn Christmas this year".... can't because so many days are already sold out. I just think this park needs to get a handle on a lot of things as they keep growing and chasing a bigger and bigger slice of the tourism pie.

    • Like 1
  6. DW is getting called out a lit right now by passholders for their seemingly “sudden” switch to making reservations required again. They really need to get their operations under control going into next “normal” year or they are going to further erode their “good guys” image. They seem like they have struggled this year to have a consistent operating message. 

    • Like 2
  7. 26 minutes ago, A.J. said:

    I think the "small Gem" idea stems from the fact that pretty much every amusement park in North America is dwarfed by Disney and Universal's parks.

    I think the Disney / Universal market is out of reach for them, the general public will come from all over the world to go to those places. I feel like Dollywood and Silver Dollar City are attempting to stake their claim on their domestic markets, much like higher-end theme parks in continental Europe. I think they want to capture people who would normally come to the Smokies or the Ozarks for another reason and keep them in their resort bubbles for as long as possible.

    Agree with the domestic slant, but I think they are looking to convince people to come to Dollywood first (SDC not as much) with a (soon to be) slate of 4-5 hotels, cabins, campground, water park, dry park, dinner shows (why they don’t provide shuttle service to on site guests to those is beyond me). Not just coming for another reason, then stay on a DW, but making that the main focus of the trip. 

  8. 13 hours ago, JJLehto said:

    Wow that is quite an expansion! On top of a park that's already blown up a good bit, and yeah on top of the pandemic. THAT is impressive/dedication. They need to watch out, at this rate it may lose its beloved "smaller gem" status among enthusiasts and become "corporate" XD XD XD 

    But nah good stuff, I already want to go back and IF they had some time of record breaking coaster for 2023 pencil me in already! 

    I think “small gem” ship sailed a year or so ago. It’s still a unique product, but they definitely have their eyes on a bigger prize these days. 

    • Like 2
  9. 22 hours ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

    No, it's not all they do, and that used to be better understood than it is now. HFE is an entertainment company. Their reason for existing is to entertain. They make a profit by entertaining so they can stay in the business of entertaining. Profit serves the mission of their business. It is not itself the mission of their business. Don't get that twisted.

    They are in the BUSINESS of entertainment. They still are a business with a P&L sheet and responsibly to investors. Their reason for existing is NOT to entertain, it is to run a successful and profitable entertainment business. 

    • Like 2
  10. 57 minutes ago, u4icmusic said:

    Does your son and your teen that loves Dolly go to Dollywood to listen to the Kingdom Heirs? My only thought was that other music choices would bring in other people that may not have visited before because of the artists they regularly book at Dollywood. It's my opinion, which I have a right to have.

    Mine don’t, but they love to go for rides, food and the overall experience.  My parents don’t ride rides, but they love to go to the shows, food, shopping and overall experience. Thanks for pointing out that they have successfully established that hard to achieve pinnacle of appealing to different ages and demographics. 

    • Like 5
  11. 49 minutes ago, u4icmusic said:

    Exactly, with 99% of the items for sale made in China that could be purchased for half the price on eBay or Amazon. I've seen items sitting on their shelves for so long they have to be regularly dusted. The only time most of that stuff sells is when it goes on sale or clearance. It's a marketing ploy. Have a craftsman that makes a handmade item when the rest of the merchandise in the store is imported from China. It's all fake. The other "home good" stores sell stuff you can find anywhere else or online for much cheaper. It's gotten worse of the last few years too and Herschend pushes for more and more profit over the guest experience.

    Good shopkeeping and maintenance should dictate that all items are regularly dusted regardless of turn. Thanks for reporting that they are doing a great job keeping the shops clean! 

    • Like 1
  12. 18 hours ago, TEDodd said:

    Typically twice a year. Once in the spring and once at Christmas.

    Not sure what you mean by appealing to an older crowd. Me in my 40s? Or my son in his 20s or my teen who loves Dolly.

    I have a lot more disposable income to spend at DW now than I could have in my 20s. 

    I think he’s trolling for an argument. 

  13. 21 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

    I have to respectfully disagree with you on that. Craftsman's Alley is only one section of the theme park. There are eleven themed areas. Each area could have different music, stages and theaters with different music options. I don't know anybody that goes there for the music and the music typically appeals to the older crowd that doesn't spend any money in the park. Bringing in new music, I think, would bring in new guests. How many times can someone go see the Kingdom Heirs?

    It’s valley, not alley, and different areas of the park already do have different styles of music. I’d suggest you do some research before you “theorize” about someplace you seem to know little about. The “older crowd” spends heavy on food and merchandise, the areas where the profit margin is (unlike rides which generate no ROI directly) so the park will always cater to them. Since you “don’t know anybody that goes there for the music” you and your peer group are clearly not their target demographic. 

    • Like 6
  14. On 5/2/2021 at 8:22 AM, bill_s said:

    Like the case of Busch Gardens, I can't imagine they'd want to change the name unless they had to, even if everything beyond that is debranded. There are some disadvantages though of the association,, not everyone likes country music or Dolly, and she's not becoming more popular.

    Hershend is expanding though, so it could become "Silver Dollar City's Dollywood" or "... a Hershend Park"

    She NOT becoming more popular????? She on probably the biggest awareness high she been in YEARS right now. I could actually see her thinking “I’ve got so many development deals going on right now that the last thing I need to boost my awareness is this” I don’t think that’s the case, but waning “popularity” is NOT the reason. 

    • Like 2
  15. 19 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

    Just got back from Dollywood. I left early because it was so crowded and after waiting 40 minutes to buy a Coke, I had had enough. Also, Dollywood also more than doubled the price of their fudge since two weeks ago. You used to be able to buy 6 pieces of fudge and get two free. It came out to about $20 for 8 pieces of fudge and $16 with a gold card. Now the fudge is all pre-packaged in plastic containers with 2 pieces for $10.99. That same 8 pieces of fudge will now cost you $43.96 plus tax without a gold card or $35.37 with a gold card PLUS tax.. Dollywood no longer cares about the guest experience and is only looking out for the almighty dollar. Dollywood should be ashamed of themselves. Even the employees were upset with this change. I'll never buy fudge there again at those prices.

    Oh the horrors!!! A business trying to make money during a horrible year with mounting losses. It’s fudge. But it. Don’t. But I doubt the price of fudge means they have thrown the entire guest experience out the window. 

  16. I think people are reading WAAAAAAY too much into the “strikes twice” line. I think they are making some necessary modifications to ensure better operations... threw RMC under the bus a bit by clearly stating they are involved (like the GP would really care? Maybe part of the lawsuit settlement), and will reopen AGAIN (strikes twice) with the same ride experience, but with better reliability. I think people are setting themselves up for disappointment with all these wild “two launch” theories. It’s marketing spun guys. Nothing more. 

    • Like 4
  17. Try sending communication directly to Pete Owens in charge of PR. I at least got a “halfway personal not totally form response” last year during the Wildwood Grove “that’s not exactly what we promised” fiasco. Their entire PR team is seriously lacking and has been for a while. Not sure if it’s staffing or ineptitude, but if they want to be the “national destination” they are striving to be, they HAVE to get better at social media responsiveness. Having a successful Facebook feed is not just posting what you want (good about yourself) and ignoring all the negative comments hoping they go away. 

  18. I personally think that’s a bAd idea when the ride system is intended to be supplemented by a themed environment. It results in a sub par experience for the first while, and if “successful” gives little incentive to go back and finish adding the elements later. I can’t see herschend operating this way


    Imagine mystery mine as just a gerstlauer euro fighter plopped there for a few years then “ hey now it’s a mine ride”

    Don’t see it happening. Do it all the way or don’t do it.

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