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

TR: SFKK & Dollywood (5-13-07)


Recommended Posts

Today was Day Two of my somewhat sad-and-pathetic trip through Kentuckianassee. Today, I was certainly blessed with fine weather (high 70s with low humidity) and no traffic--which were both crucial to executing my ambitious itinerary today. I hit SFKK at opening to snag a few more rides on the coasters I liked, and then make it to Dollywood for their 'after 3 free' promotion. I ended up having one of my most exciting but tiring park days in a while.

 

SIX FLAGS KENTUCKY KINGDOM

 

Got there a bit before opening, fearing big crowds, but by the time the gates opened up, there were only a few dozen people waiting to get in the park. I knew this was a very good sign. My plan was to spend an hour in the park before heading off to Pigeon Forge. It was a great hour. In that time, I got four rides on Thunder Run, three on Chang, five or six on Greezed Lightnin' (all on the train alone!), and a couple drops on the Intamin tower. I was pleased to see that all of the rides were open and ready at 11am. Again, employees were great. I think now that the SF parks have seemed to make great strides changing their way of doing business in a lot of positive ways, some investment in aesthetics would REALLY go a long way. While parking, I noticed what looked to be the remnant of an old gateway of some sort. It was badly-painted concrete topped with razor wire. A taste of Fantazy Land in KY. Some attention to these eyesores would do wonders for this park, that is already fighting against its natural, geographical drawbacks. I then took the 4+ hour drive to...

 

DOLLYWOOD

 

First, holy crap, I should've researched Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg more exhaustively. This is *such* a cool place, especially Gatlinburg. It's just on the classy side of tacky, and it's got such a neat Nordic feel to it. I got into Dollywood tonight as part of the 'after 3, in free' deal they have with the purchase of a one-day pass, similar to the promotion I've used to great effect at Hersheypark.

 

Dollywood is a gem of a park, and I haven't fully explored it yet. I cannot wait to get in there with my camera tomorrow. I would find it hard to believe that this park takes a bad picture. What I like best about the park is that it's theme is applied so subtly, yet immersively, that in my opinion, it comes off as a more genuine, authentic attempt at the turn-of-the-century theme that Disney goes for in Frontierland. It's immaculately kept, efficiently run, and the employees are the absolute friendliest I've encountered. And it's not the often-robotic stabs at customer service that I've seen at other parks... everything comes off as laid back, sincere, and truly grateful that you're a guest in their park. I just loved it.

 

With the limited time in the park on what seemed to be a reasonably crowded Sunday, I decided to go with the Q2Q Lo-Q system. Simply put, it's the most logical and effective use of these pager systems I've seen, and an absolute steal at ten dollars and change. With it, I was able to get in ten coaster rides and a bunch of the other attractions.

 

Thunderhead is easily a top-tier coaster for me. I liked it a whole lot, even after my first ride. I got five rides all over the train, and it just did not disappoint. The trackwork on this ride is superb. It's just a flawlessly engineered ride that never feels over-engineered. So many good moments, including a stellar first-drop. The drop is deceiving because the setting makes the entire ride look more diminutive than it is, so the speed and air on the drop came as a huge shock to me. And, my God, those MF trains just love the ride's vertical/lateral combinations of forces. Like Voyage, there's no signature moment for me, but it's infinitely more re-rideable. And the crew here was *so* great! They kept beating the train on the course in preparing for dispatch, and the panel operator kept announcing proudly "We beat the train!," as if she actually took pride in making interval. I liked that. In fact, I really appreciated the maturity of the ride ops, in general. There were no teens running rides that I could see, and the difference stands out like a quasar in comparison to other chain parks.

 

Tennessee Tornado was an unexpected surprise. I actually really like Arrow coasters, despite their roughness, and this was no exception (even though it's decently smooth). As many have mentioned, this is a touch on the short side, but I think the fact that I had that very feeling was a testament to the quality of what's actually there. The huge loops are nice and forceful, and they've got this funky swervy tracking in the inversions that I really dig. I was actually shocked by the forceful pop heading into the final brakes. Solid, solid short-length steel looper. And, man, the setting is so great!

 

Finally, Mystery Mine... As a themed attraction, it's really top-notch. As a coaster, I felt pretty 'meh' about it. The first half (with the exception of the first vertical (past-vertical?) drop felt really sluggish. The second half, of course, has a fantastic few hundred feet of track in the ride's finale after the second lift. I had an inner and outer seat for my two rides, and I definitely liked both for different reasons. I'm really glad I stayed away from the spoilers on this one! Also, considering the eight-seat trains, this ride does a more-than-adequate job with throughput.

 

Other than that, I hit Blazing Fury (loved it), Daredevil Falls (liked it), and their Zamperla Disk-O (loved it). Can't wait to have a full day there tomorrow, and grab some pictures of a park that just blew me away on nearly every level. Despite the low attraction count in comparison to the size of the place, I felt Dollywood has a completeness of experience that some bigger parks lack. Just in the short time I was there, Dollywood rocketed itself in the top echelon of parks I've visited, and is clearly the class of this area of the country. Now, I'm wracking my brain to figure out how the hell I'm going to get out to Branson this summer to try Herschend's other big showpark. Not a bad problem to have to figure out, if you ask me.

 

Jarrad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Awesome Trip Report! I am heading to SFKK this summer since it is so close, and I am really happy to hear such great reviews about the rides and staffing! Dollywood is such a beautful park! I agree with you how Thunderhead's first drop is such a surprise for air and smoothness. I think that Dollywood -is- the most friendly park too! I love the south!

 

-Zach "Carowinds, Dollywood, WDW <333 Yup!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the TR.

 

Question: The arrive after 3 promo, do you have to buy your ticket THERE after three? I have already purchased my tickets, and I am wondering if I can take advantage?

 

Thanks

Patrick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^It's basically if you arrive after 3 p.m. you pay the full price ticket but you get the next day for free. Basically you pay full for 3 till close then you enjoy the next day free. So it's like getting several extra hours for no additional cost.

 

Great trip report glad to here you had a good time and hope you have a good time on your next visit. Can't wait to see the photos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I totally agree with you guys: Dollywood is INCREDIBLE! I have yet to find more friendly staff anywhere and they really are happy you are there. Even Disney could learn a few things from that park. That says so much. I think they are truly proud of "their" park. I think Six Flags needs to give THEIR staff something to be proud of and then I think the customer service would improve a bit. You have to be truly proud of your product in order to be motivated to sell it and want to improve customer relations. Also, I think the older staff set a great example for the younger members of the crew. Instead of just the older members being in supervisory positions, they are actually working right alongside the younger members. I think that helps a lot. But also the fact that more mature people would even want to be in those positions says a lot about the park.

 

Nick "just my two cents" C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^It's basically if you arrive after 3 p.m. you pay the full price ticket but you get the next day for free. Basically you pay full for 3 till close then you enjoy the next day free. So it's like getting several extra hours for no additional cost.

 

Sorry if I am not quite understanding. I purchased some tickets off of ebay to save a few bucks. I can do the after 3 promo?

 

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry if I am not quite understanding. I purchased some tickets off of ebay to save a few bucks. I can do the after 3 promo?

Thanks.

 

i dont think so.im pretty sure its valid only on tickets purchase at the park after 3 pm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^It's basically if you arrive after 3 p.m. you pay the full price ticket but you get the next day for free. Basically you pay full for 3 till close then you enjoy the next day free. So it's like getting several extra hours for no additional cost.

 

Sorry if I am not quite understanding. I purchased some tickets off of ebay to save a few bucks. I can do the after 3 promo?

 

Thanks.

 

Actually, I think you might be able to. I bought tickets from the Dollywood website, and it worked. When the computers scan the tickets, if you're entering after three it will only allow you to use that ticket the very next day. If in doubt, call the park. Everyone I talked to there was beyond friendly.

 

--Jarrad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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