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Erik & Misty's Smoky Mountain Adventures

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Sick of Dollywood photos yet? Too bad, it's Dollywood's National Gospel & Harvest Celebration!


So long from Dollywood's National Gospel & Harvest Celebration.


Dollywood will return in: Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas.


"Aw, do we have to?"


I love this photo, by the way.


"All aboard!"


And now, as promised, we end with a train ride back in time, courtesy of Smisty.


Who wants some horse-ground stick juice?


This ride is weird. Pretty, though.


"Operating" one of the other farm animals?


"Piggy Parade"


Almost all of Dollywood's flat rides reside here as well, including The Waltzing Swinger.


Dollywood's kiddie coaster resides in the Country Fair section of the park. It is themed to talking vegetables.


And this is the Parton Back Porch Theater, where Dolly sticks all of her deadbeat relatives who ask her for money.


This is for October, in the calender that TheRapidsNerd is no doubt currently working on.


Pre-lift theming on this ride includes a fully-functional Ferris Wheel.




Smoky Mountain Rampage also runs in October--though, again, it doesn't have very many riders.


Why do they call it Fall, anyway?


I will run you down like the duo you are!


Just inside Rockin' Roadway's entrance.


Even though there's only one ride in it, I really like this area of the park. I mean, every park has a 50's-themed diner--but how many have a whole 50's-themed section??


I now present you with the worst likeness of Ms. Parton I have ever found at Dollywood.


And we'll just pretend that it's inside Chasing Rainbows (even though it isn't).


Ah, Dollywood's Dolly Parton museum!


There's just one problem: Chasing Rainbows very specifically forbids photography inside. So instead...


Where to now, Misty?


And pretty good food. (Although--and even though we've eaten here many times--we always fathom that it's going to be just a little bit better than it turns out to be.)


It has interesting decor.


Time for lunch. Yes, Dollywood--in addition to all the buffets and giant skillets--does have one proper full-service restaurant.


Should we tell her that it's almost 2010 now? (I guess she's still not over her humiliating loss.)


Dollywood's Liberty store, because flag flag flag flag flag!


The scary part is: I don't think this dude actually works here.


I know I do.


These giant machines make cookies (I think).


But he's not gonna stop me from going in!


This dude makes...that stuff...in front of The Grist Mill.


This shirt is ridiculous. And by "ridiculous," I of course mean "awesome."


A standard guitar/banjo/dulcimer store, just like you can find in any Six Flags or Cedar Fair park.


These little booths (the same ones from Festival of Nations, just with different stuff in them) are set up all through Craftman's Valley, The Village, Rivertown Junction, and Showstreet.


Not many takers, though.


Though River Battle and the Mountain Slidewinder (along with all of Dreamland Forrest) are closed for this event, Daredevil Falls remains opens.


The inside of the Carriage Works.


I'm not sure that all the folks above me were taking this seriously.


The inside of Dollywood's church.


The snuff classy enough for church!


"Weak back or not, Luther, here I come!"


"Fire on the mountain, woe be woe, fire on the mountain, fire in the hole!"


"It was peacful livin’, ‘twas our hometown, ‘til the Baldknobbers came, and they burned it down."


This Blazing Fury ride op is cool because he's wearing a fireman hat. (And also, because he's already posted in this thread two or three times.)


Why, it's Rusty Rankin's vintage downhome Texas/North Carolina cookery thing! (In Tennessee.)


What's this then?


Check me out.


Oh, come on! That's awesome!


Fall is really the best time to photograph the Tennessee Tornado anyway.


I may have given this ride short-shrift in this thread up 'til now, but I aim to correct that.


Queue theming.


Just inside the entrance.


The Tennessee Tornado beckons.


Of course, there's always this up-charge. (Which we still haven't done, by the way.)


With River Battle closed for the season, this already sparse new path becomes downright desolate.


The person on the left is clearly in violation of Mystery Mine's posted rules.


The fall season always presents some interesting photographic opportunities (and challenges).


Mystery Mine looking all mysterious and mine-y.


I do think Dollywood did a good job of working some kid-friendly attractions into what would otherwise be a pretty thrill-ride oriented area.


So this what it's come to: I'm reduced to taking pictures of restrooms.


Timber Tower says, "No, don't look at Thunderhead anymore, look at meeeee! Hey, everybody, check me out! I'm actually working!"


Thunderhead is the consummate GCI, in my view.


Thunderhead's pre-lift helix.


The Dollywood Express passes by the cemetery--which is where we'll be ending this trip report later. (Um, with the train...not dead.)


The long uphill path to Timber Canyon, decorated for Fall.


Okay, now that we've eaten our vegetables, let's go have some fun.


In retrospect, this photo might have worked better if I had been pretending to sing.


According to the short film, The Blackwood Brothers invented the idea of sleeping on a bus. (The bus was also sometimes used for running down duos.)


Ah yes, "the golden age of quartets," when trios and quintets were regularly hunted down and slaughtered like animals in the streets.


This gospel music museum is always here, but what better time of the year to explore it?


A symbol of the growing confusion between the Halloween and Christmas seasons, or just a fun pumpkin tree?


A common sight at Dollywood: long lines...for the shows.




And what could be more harvest-y than tractors?


The Dollywood Information Center is located about 1.5 miles from the park itself, but gives Dollywood a presence on the Parkway.

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You are my hero for your entry in the prayer book. It made me laugh (a lot).


And I absolutely loved the colors in the pictures of the Tennessee Tornado, especially the one of the train climbing the lift. You're right, the fall really is a great time to photograph that ride. Those are some phenomenal shots.



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^ This update gave me a lot of trouble, and it started with just getting the photos! On most of my visits in October, it was rainy and the leaves hadn't really done much yet--so the majority of the photos you see are from the mornings of Wednesday, October 28 and Friday, October 30 (which were both special trips just to get better photos).


Misty's black & white train photos and a handful of others were taken a bit earlier in the year.


Oh, and Misty will be glad to hear that about the pumpkin tree photo. It's one that she took.


/The B-camera wins again.

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^ Huh. Well, it was open every time I visited in October. Maybe it was just down...?


Wow, you went to the park that many times just to get good looking photos? That is dedication. It worked though, the pictures were all beautiful.




But it wasn't so bad, having to go back to Dollywood a couple of extra times....

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BTW, are you guys going to be at Coasterfest on the 21st?


Probably not, unfortunately. We both usually work on the weekends, and we're already taking the 14th off for Misty's birthday.


And, not to be crass or anything--but while meeting other coaster nerds is always fun, ERT at Dollywood is sort of wasted on us.

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Considering you live, what, down the street? You could walk to the park if you wanted to?


I'm surprised that the two of you go only a few times a year. I had a friend of mine who lived across the freeway from SFoG and he was there almost every day of the season. Employees thought he worked there and was always on break.


I don't want to think what his ride count was for one year... something like 70 times on Acrophobia in a single day should give you some idea of what it looked like!



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^ No, we go more than that. We've been to Dollywood, probably, 20-25 times this year (so far). For whatever reason, we tend to only go a couple of times during the Christmas season, but we're going to try to go more this year.


I think I might have mentioned this earlier, but Dollywood really grew on me this year as being a good "home park."

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Located pretty much in the center of Pigeon Forge--and, indeed, older than the city itself--is The Old Mill.


So, we started at one restaurant and we end at another. Because that’s the way we roll here at The Old Mill.


Tell me this doesn't look good.


Smisty eagerly awaiting her food.


You can eat on the back porch, if you like. A bit cold at the moment, though.


Out front, a 13-year old girl sings songs of heartbreak and yearning.


Is it dinner time yet? Because I like the Pottery House Café even better than The Old Mill Restaurant.


I believe I shall try some Peanut Butter Oreo.


Wait, there’s ice cream here, too??


Okay, which is worse? The toy that invites people to throw things at your head, or the block of wood that teaches how to tie your shoes backwards?


They might like Ugly Dolls even more than Dave does.


And now for the toy store!


There is nothing I can type here that could top that.


What might happen if you buy a snickers cup, take it home, and try to cut it in half.


It listens to Rush Limbaugh.


Smisty buying chocolate-covered peanut brittle for some lucky boy.


The Candy Kitchen makes their own stuff. (Or, at least, some of it.)


Candy or toys?


What a $4,000 table might look like. (Lazy Susan not included.)


One of the potters doing her thing. And, interestingly, one of Dollywood’s glassblowers there shopping.


The inside. And yes, it’s all made here. Don’t believe me?


Pigeon River Pottery is pretty much the anchor store of the Old Mill shops.


This tree is awesome. But photographing it sucks because of all the power lines. Hopefully, Pigeon Forge will follow Gatlinburg’s suit soon and bury them all.


Misty had pork chops.


I had that banana thing in the background.


You can't take me anywhere.


And it’s multilevel, to take advantage of the river view.


The main restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Wait, "corn cob"? So, like, the leftover part of the corn that hillbillies wipe their butts with??


Unsurprisingly, the tour exits you into the Old Mill Gift Shop, where you can find this inspiring sign.


The grindstone. Unfortunately, this is no longer powered by the water wheel. (Although, that is used to power the chutes now.)


Your tour guide.


And, for a mere $3.00, you can tour it! (Or, you could just keep reading.)


The Old Mill district consists of various shops, two restaurants, and, of course, an actual working mill.


In the center of this photo (between the wheel and the road), once stood an iron forge that the city draws part of its name from. The other part comes from the Pigeon River (also pictured, kind of), which itself was named for the passenger pigeons that once flocked to its shores. So, basically, the city is named after two things that haven’t been around for over 80 years.

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This thread is brilliant. Now that I appear to be safely on the IntimidaTour, I'll be watching any and all of your Dollywood posts - it looks like an awesome park. I really hope we get to see at least some of the rest of Pigeon Forge, too - either way, I hope to be able to go one day and experience a lot of the things I've seen in this thread - I love Americana and sketchy attractions.

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Ok first off good job on still getting a two Dollywood plugs into a post about the Old Mill with both the worker and brochures!


Okay, which is worse? The toy that invites people to throw things at your head, or the block of wood that teaches how to tie your shoes backwards?

Neither. What's worse is parents actually buy them!

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My parents and my wife and I went up to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg this past spring. We ate at the Old Mill at night on a full moon. The food was incredible, and the view was gorgeous.


The Old Mill complex is easily the best place in the two towns to eat. I even prefer it over Pancake Pantry. Of course, that's like debating who's best in a tie game... they're both great places to eat!



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Why, I can make a hat or a brooch or a pterodactyl...


There's a sale at Penney's!


Glad everyone enjoyed the Old Mill update. I always worry when it's restaurant-y like that (as opposed to mini-golf or something). But I try to only do ones that have some attraction aspect to them.


I'm probably going to do some Christmas lights updates next. But I promise I'll get back to the good stuff soon!

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