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Photo TR: From Florida To Dollywood


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Like many of you, I've been wanting to go to Dollywood all summer to ride Lightning Rod. The first thing I'll say about this preceding sentence is that Dollywood doesn't need Lightning Rod. It's kind of like winning the lottery on your birthday. Winning the lottery is a great plus, but you would have had a great birthday without it anyway. Get it? No, I'm rambling for no reason.

 

Well, since Dollywood announced that Lightning Rod was out of technical rehearsal the weekend prior, I switched my schedule around and managed to free up Saturday through Tuesday afternoon, in order to visit Six Flags over Georgia, Carowinds, and Dollywood. And they had to be in that order, because Six Flags and Carowinds were both open Sat/Sun and Dollywood was open Fri/Mon as well. Plus the idea of visiting Dollywood on a Monday in early September sounded like a great idea, and boy did that idea pay dividends.

 

However, unfortunately I'm going to have to start off on a sort of negative note. I'm actually against doing this, being more of an optimistic guy myself who can overlook most situations that cause some people to grumble. But this experience was grumble-worthy.

 

Six Flags over Georgia is a very nice park. Really, it is. It's got some nice hills, some pretty wooded areas, and a list of coasters and rides to boast about. I last visited here during the Mark Shapiro "let's fix Six Flags" era and walked away thinking that this is one of the best Six Flags parks. Oh boy, have things gone downhill here.

 

I got to the park at about 4 PM on Saturday and immediately got a gold Flash Pass. I reserved Georgia Cyclone first as it was nearby, and immediately got buzzed in to go ride. As I walked up the Flash Pass entrance, I noticed that some people going through the Flash Pass entrance did not have Flash Passes at all, but proceeded into the station laughing about it. I also noticed that the employee stationed at the line-split in the station was standing with her back turned to both lines, looking down over the edge of the station, on her cell phone. I waited over a minute, then when she finally turned around, waved to her, and she scanned my flash pass. Next, as I waited for front row, I couldn't help but notice that there were no bags on the other side of the platform, so I was concerned that I missed a sign somewhere telling me to put my bag into a locker. I waited until the front platform attendant wasn't doing anything safety-related and I asked him, "Can I leave my bag on the side or do I need a locker?", and his reply was, "I don't care, leave it on the side or just bring it with you".

 

Fast forward to a few stacking trains later, I put my bag on the other side of the platform, only to have the other-side platform attendant come tell me, very rudely, that I had to get a locker and would have to wait in line again. Now, I totally get it that the park has this policy, but there were no signs near or in the Flash Pass entrance about this and I was able to pass by two employees who didn't inform me of this policy. Well, this was unfortunate and had to be a fluke of the Georgia Cyclone crew, maybe that's where they send the newbies. Right?

 

Next, I go to Georgia Scorcher, where I visibly can see the lockers, so I put my bag in one. I go through the Flash Pass entrance to find that the line-splitter at the station here is having a conversation with what appears to be some of his friends, and not only does he totally ignore me, but an entire train goes out with multiple empty rows because he didn't bother sending anyone to them. The crew in the station didn't care, either. They were too busy having their own conversations, with the restraint-checkers standing by the operating booth talking to the operating attendants, meanwhile the gates have been left open for over a minute.

 

Same story when I go to Goliath next. Word has gotten out that Flash Pass entrances are a free-for-all, so more people are going up the stairs without them, without an attendant in sight. Again, the employees in the station are way more interested in having conversations with each other and taking their sweet time between emptying a train, opening gates, and checking restraints.

 

I could go on and on, but this was all I saw all day. Line jumping in the stand-by lines, people going through Flash Pass entrances without consequence, etc. The operations here totally suck. There is a glaring failure of management here, because these employees do whatever they want without fear of consequence. To see such consistent behaviors across the entire park at nearly all attractions means that this has got to have been going on for a long time. I left thinking that I wish I had just made this a Carowinds and Dollywood weekend and not gone to Six Flags at all.

 

I know that they are better than this. Six Flags over Georgia is a very nice park. There's a good mix of family and thrill rides, there's some real theming, and it's a little more unique in terms of attractions and layout. As I said, a couple years back this was one of the best Six Flags parks to me. A change in management is due. Anyway, the photos come now.

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Driving up I-285, you get some really cool views of planes departing and landing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport, which is massive. The highway also has an underpass that goes under one of the runways, which is awesome to see. Unfortunately, there were no planes on it when I went under.

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Remember where you parked, The Flash is taking none of your sh*t today.

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Really nice entrance plaza with Goliath soaring by every 15 minutes or so when they decide to send a train.

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In case you got amnesia, this is Six Flags over Georgia.

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Six Flags went very "Cedar Fair" with Goliath's station and it looks really nice with the high-arching ceiling.

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Goliath going up it's lift

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View from the other side of Goliath. It's decent as far as B&M hypers go, with a few small pops of floater air on the return trip hills

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I waited about 2-3 minutes to try to get a train, then I gave up.

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Six Flags over Georgia probably has the nicest "Gotham City" area of any of the Six Flags parks. Other than Six Flags America, of course ;)

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The Joker, best record-breaking looping coaster ever.

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Cool Gotham buildings and steel theming. I'm not sure if the "old steel" look is intentional or because they don't care enough to paint it, but it works.

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Mindbender and it's class of coasters is kind of like nice wine. You could easily load up on the Oak Leaf and get white girl wasted, but sometimes it's nice to sip and enjoy.

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Some nice loops pulling even nicer G-forces.

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Mindbender is like "Hey creek, remember the last time you left me under 20 feet of water?"

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Oh, I found where Six Flags over Georgia's operations went. Down drain #5.

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Batman the Ride twistyness.

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Mindbender swooping turn with some Gotham City columns. I'm going to go "glass-half-full" here and say it's theming and not paint budget cuts. More to come from SFoG.

Edited by xVicesAndVirtues
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The rest of the Six Flags photos.

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Holy crap they managed to send out a train on Daredevil Dive! Call NBC!!!

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Perfectly clear, blue skies that day. I could have been outside enjoying myself but I was stuck at Six Flags. Such is adult life.

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Monster Mansion is still a pretty popular attraction. I asked the attendant permission to take photos inside and he green-lit me. Hopefully he knew what he was doing in allowing this.

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"Oh, I'm so glad you've came! I clogged my toilet and now the entire first floor is flooded!"

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Some chairs

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"Dear, can we take your boat to Disney World so I can be in a dark ride there? I was born to be more than a Six Flags dark ride girl"

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Typical acid-trippy dark ride stuff.

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The kiddie coaster in Superfriends got re-themed and re-painted since my last visit. It has nice theming and goes around the entire area.

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Some of the aforementioned beauty of Six Flags over Georgia. Nice waterfall feature and a scenic car ride along this hill. Why can't Six Flags care about their park?

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The all-new Hurricane Harbor looked nice and fresh.

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Maybe it's the alcohol talking, but dare I say that Blue Hawk was the highlight of this trip to SFoG? The new trains made for a very pleasant experience, despite some still-jarring directional change moments. It felt kind of "Rock 'N' Rollercoaster" with the new trains, sans launch.

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Sun is setting and the park is getting lit up. I remember someone mentioned in the RMC thread somewhere that Georgia Cyclone is beyond repair and should just be RMC'd. I don't think this person has ever ridden a good "Cyclone Clone", such as Viper at Six Flags Great America. Not to call you out or anything.

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The nice structure at the end of the Main Street area with fountains, all lit up at night. This is honestly such a beautiful Six Flags park.

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More of the Main Street area as everyone heads through the flood gates at the end of the night.

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And a pass by Frank Underwood's hometown to end the TR on a positive note. #Underwood2016

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I agree with pretty much every part of your review (except I think Goliath is the best B&M hyper and the airtime is significantly better than the rest). SFOG is definitely the nicest of all their parks I've been to (I've been to most but not all) and the ride collection is top notch, but the ops are dreadful.

 

I could share SO many ridiculous experiences I've had with them not chaining off a ride and then telling me I can't ride because it is closed, closing off a ride early, one train throughout the park with two hour lines, Cyclone's consistently awful crew, the barely working Superman that used to run three trains and a dual station, etc etc etc. If this park could fix their employees by making them do their jobs and be friendly, it would be an amazing park all around.

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Thanks for all the comments, guys!

 

 

Carowinds was up next. Everything I said about Six Flags from the day before was the opposite at Carowinds. This was also my first visit in several years, and where I found it to be sort of bland and soul-less on my last visit, I was impressed by the changes that have been made now.

 

The last time I went was in 2010, Intimidator's inaugural year. Since then, they've seen a brand-new entrance plaza, the addition of Fury 325, the removal of Thunder Road, and the expansion of their waterpark. But they've also added all sorts of nice little touches like flower beds here and there, landscaping, etc, that really make the park shine. This park was 100% Cedar Fair on their A-game. Employees were friendly and operations were mostly strong, especially at the more popular attractions. The Fury 325 crew was really busting their butts getting trains out, with a digital board at the back of the station listing dispatches per hour, which the operator would use to shout-out their efficiency and keep the crew moving.

 

Fury 325 was the only attraction I saw that has the mandatory-lockers policy, but it was enforced evenly and fairly, with the entrance greeter stopping everyone and informing them. Re-ride policy of walking back through the queue was enforced by the operators. In a nutshell, this was a complete 180 from the also-corporate park I visited the day prior. What a difference 250 miles can make. Now, pictures.

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Upon arrival, you'll see that the parking lot at Carowinds is still Intimidating...

 

...did you think I meant because of Intimidator? No! There are trucks with confederate flags, bumper stickers saying Trump is going to "Make America Great Again" everywhere, and people 100% decked out in camo. I wore the only pair of camo shorts I own here so I could blend in with the locals. I hear they have big guns, and I wasn't in the mood to be shot today.

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Oooh what do we have here? Cool sideways airtime, as I'd find out shortly.

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Fury interacting with the entrance area was great! People stopping to take photos with passing trains, etc. This coaster goes like 1,000mph!

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New sign, new coaster. I really love the new entrance plaza here.

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Finally getting to ride this one after opting not to wait in a 2-hour line on my last visit, which was on an Easter Sunday in 2008 or 2009.

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Carowinds was in full-swing of getting their haunt attractions up. They're scattered nicely throughout the park and a lot of them looked pretty neat.

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First up and close to the entrance, Intimidator! I'll be honest and say that if you put a blindfold on me and had me tell you which B&M hyper I was on, I wouldn't be able to guess. They're one of few coaster types that are "if you've ridden one, you've ridden them all", but they're still fun and full of some nice speed. Just don't go into it expecting the power of an Intamin hyper here.

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Ghost of Dale Earnhardt says to start your f*cking engine right now or you'll go to the NASCAR circle of hell.

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A nice tribute to the man outside the Intimidator entrance/exit, complete with a #3 stock car.

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You know Cedar Fair is starting to take it seriously when they add a Starbucks.

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A nice shaded area, now complete with ghoul-y thingys on top to haunt your children's nightmares.

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Let's talk about Fury for just a second. As a whole, I was totally impressed by it because I went in expecting just another B&M hyper. It has a seriously good drop in the back seat, some nutso sideways airtime coming off the turnaround element, and some really speedy turns. If you sit in front, you sometimes catch some actual ejector airtime on the first bunny hill on the return trip. But it also has some kind of ho-hum moments, such as the big, swooping helix. But as a whole, I think it's a huge step in the right direction for B&M in adding some intensity into their coasters, and easily the best project they've built in years.

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I never paid much attention when it was being built, so I never realized that Fury is themed to a pissed off wasp. I was never too afraid of bees growing up in New York, but in Florida a couple of these can easily make you their b*tch and leave you running for your life.

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Some sky, some Drop Tower, and Hurler sign.

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Hurler was ok. Some kids went and took the front, so I decided to subject myself to back row and prepared for the worst. It seems they've done a good job of keeping it mostly smooth, without some of the deadly jackhammering I found in the turns on the one at KD a few years back.

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Corkscrews over the path. I really disliked the random color scheme of this coaster, it was really ugly. Other than that, it was your run-of-the-mill Arrow looper. The trains had almost zero padding compared to what most of them include nowadays, but luckily this one was pretty smooth.

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Horrible color choices here.

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Leaving the orange track, into the loop.

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The wild mouse had no line so I went on it. The trims were on very lightly, so it really flew around some of the hairpins.

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I know I said in the coaster credits thread that I ride Boomerangs, but I didn't go on this one. I had a headache, probably from dehydration of it being 95 and humid, so I chose not to risk making it any worse. More Carowinds to come.

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^Totally worth it. Plus, if you're located in Cincinatti as your profile says, you can easily hit Dollywood and then cross over.

 

The next set of photos:

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Oh crap.

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Banner announcing the upcoming "County Fair" section for 2017

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You could walk through some of the (I think) soon-to-be scare zones, such as this grave yard, which is located on top of the hill before the entrance area to Afterburn

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Woah, woah. Carowinds employees, you may not approve of your CEO, but do you really need to resort to death threats?

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Station area shot of Top Gu...err Afterburn

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Afterburn is one of those B&M Inverts that nobody really ever mentions, but it's an extremely good one. It packs that "old-school B&M invert" punch that the more modern ones tend to be missing.

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Going through the vertical loop

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And out of the immelman. The first half of Afterburn is very similar to that of Montu, with the drop, loop, immelman, zero-g, batwing elements, only taken in slightly different directions.

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This corkscrew is NUTS. It snaps so hard in the middle that on my first ride, I slammed my ear into the restraint hard. I was more careful on subsequent rides to pull the other direction. Really great forces on here. It is a little short, though.

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Yeah, we see you Intimidator.

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The crowds at Carowinds were pretty much the same as they were at Six Flags the day before, but due to quick operations, the lines at Carowinds all looked like this. They were running everything at full capacity with 2-3 trains.

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Throwback to the time B&M did a few hypers with the funky staggered seating. It doesn't really add much to the forces, but the isolated feeling and openness on the outside seats is cool.

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I don't really get why Intimidator even needed an MCBR. As you can see, it just does a (slow) helix afterwards then hits the brakes.

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More cool Haunt stuff up, this area looked nicely themed.

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Had to give Vortex some love, but came away thinking it might benefit from a floorless conversion. The head-banging was definitely there on this one.

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One of the nice, new buildings in the new entrance plaza.

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The entire area really gives off a pleasant first/last impression.

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Carowinds - Now with more ways to split your body parts across the Carolinas! ...and where the Carolinas come together!

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One last view of "The Element" on the way out. As you can see, people really love watching it zoom by.

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Through the glass as the train goes by at 1,000mph again.

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Artsy-ish shot of "The Element" and the awesome sideways airtime moment.

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Being someone who appreciates good food, especially good southern BBQ, I did some searches the night before and decided that the best place to try out was Mac's Speed Shop. It's located about 3 miles from Carowinds, about a 7-9 minute drive depending on if you're stuck behind the North Carolinian going 20 under the speed limit or the one just doing 10 under.

 

It did not disappoint! Great pulled pork, smoked mac 'n' cheese, and sweet-flavored cole slaw. They also had a great selection of beers and complimentary hush puppies before your food comes out! I'd highly recommend! Next up, Dollywood!

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Alright, now the next part of the trip report was the whole purpose of planning this trip.

 

Dollywood is pretty much perfect as far as theme parks go. They have a gorgeous setting, all of their coasters are good, they put time and effort into small things like landscaping and theming, and best of all is the food and their service.

 

Sometimes I have moments where I feel like I'm getting sick of theme parks to some extent. I know that this sentence is akin to blasphemy on here, but sometimes it's just such a hassle. Waiting in never-ending lines at Six Flags even though I have a gold QBot, having to pass through better security than the President gets just to get into Universal, then having the metal detector wand shoved up my a$$ just to ride Dragons because I have a belt on, having to pay for lockers or face a stampede to get a free one, the list goes on. In case you're ever feeling this way, you're in need of a good ol' trip to Dollywood to walk yourself back from the edge.

 

The employees at Dollywood say hi to you. They ask you how your day is going. They take your bags for you as you're getting on rides and place them on the side. They hustle. They'll hold a train for you if they just cleared the station and you're walking into it. None of these things by themselves are that big of a deal. But the sum of all the parts is a great experience, and therefore one of the best places to visit. Just from this trip alone, it'll be a long time before I go back to Six Flags over Georgia. I'll probably go back to Carowinds again in a few years, when their next big whatever is built. But if someone asked me if I wanted to go to Dollywood on my next free weekend, I'd be more than happy to go and keep going.

 

I know that there are some industry folks on here from time to time. Please, send your people on a field trip to Dollywood. I'm sure you can find a way to write it off as "Research and Development".

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Can you old people get out of the way? I'm trying to get a picture of the Dollywood sign.

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Well, good to know that nothing has changed in this corner of the park since my last visit. Dolly's tour bus is still parked there, what a relief.

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Oh, something was added to this corner of the park after all. Something that was making me practically jizz my pants at this point...the top of this dude's head!

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Unfortunately at that exact moment at about 11:15 AM, Lightning Rod was having some issues and cycling empty. Dreams crushed, I waited a few minutes before deciding to come back shortly thereafter.

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It was so busy that day. The first Monday in September that wasn't Labor Day. Cha-ching.

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I like doing this thing where I say "Let's talk about ___"...

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...so, let's talk about Thunderhead. Some of you b*tchers and moaners had me very, very concerned that one of my favorite wooden coasters had somehow become god-awfully Gwazi rough. Hand it to the wrecking ball, RMC it, barbecue it with that guy's TPR shirt.

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So, I faithfully boarded back row, bracing myself for Hades 360, back-row Voyage on a bad day, or budget-cut classic Six Flags woodie with it's balls cut off with trims and not one board replaced since Six Flags bought the place.

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Nice scenery they have here. Oh wait, I was telling you something.

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THUNDERHEAD IS NOT ROUGH. WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!? There are a few slightly-jarring turns at the very end of the ride, but it's literally still my favorite GCI woodie. Fun drop, good floater air, cool twisty turns everywhere, a station fly-through, and a really nice, long layout. Honestly, Prowler and Renegade are both "rougher" than Thunderhead and they are both younger than it by 5 and 3 years, respectively. If you can't handle Thunderhead, you can't handle the majority of coasters, even steel ones that aren't Silver Bullet smooth. Want Silver Bullet smooth? Enjoy your boring coasters.

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Got a nice shot of Mystery Mine's dive loop and still-smooth-since-2004 Thunderhead from MM's exit ramp.

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Wild Eagle still being wild at the top of it's mountain. Bless it. (as the southerners would say...but I don't really get what it means, I feel like it's secretly an insult. Like "oh, you didn't wear pink on Wednesday, bless you")

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...you're not the ropes course.

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Again, massive crowds today.

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So, since the last time I visited (during Wild Eagle's first year), the ropes course area was replaced by one of the best true family coasters out there, Firechaser Express! This is the perfect kind of "first coaster" for kids or those who are nervous about coasters. No scary drops, just some cool light launches, turns, and up-high views. I totally loved the "fireworks room" effect before the backwards blast. Not a very thrilling coaster, but really fun for everybody.

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Tennessee Tornado makes me really wish Arrow was still around. This coaster totally kicks a$$ and the drop is nuts, especially if you sit in the back and get whipped around the turn before really flying down that drop. Perfectly smooth, too! But I don't know, ask the Thunderhead-is-rough people! They'll probably prescribe a removal, RMC conversion, or Silver Bullet replacement because it's just too rough for their ointment-smeared a$$es.

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I'll leave this first bit with a view of one of the food menus, in case you were hungry. More Dollywood coming up.

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Wild Eagle still being wild at the top of it's mountain. Bless it. (as the southerners would say...but I don't really get what it means, I feel like it's secretly an insult. Like "oh, you didn't wear pink on Wednesday, bless you")

 

You have the right idea here, but the actual "insult" is "Bless your heart."

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Just went to the park the other day after a decade, terrified same as you that Thunderhead, the ride I remember so fondly, was as rough as everybody says it is. Oh my gosh, I was so relieved! Was it a tad bumpy in spots? Sure. Did it rumble slightly as it charged its way around its spectacular course? A bit, maybe. Did that teency bit of vibration detract at all from how brilliant this ride is?? No way no how.

 

I love this thing, and agree with you completely. Still my favorite GCI after all these years. Great report!!! Looking forward to the rest.

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Wild Eagle still being wild at the top of it's mountain. Bless it. (as the southerners would say...but I don't really get what it means, I feel like it's secretly an insult. Like "oh, you didn't wear pink on Wednesday, bless you")

 

You have the right idea here, but the actual "insult" is "Bless your heart."

Yes, but not as often said to people as about them, as in "Bless his heart, but he just can't find sh*t in a pile of cow pies."

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Now, for partie deux of Dollywood.

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I continued making my way from Wilderness Pass to Craftsman's Valley, where as you can see, the place was still totally slammed.

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This section of the TR will be food-sign heavy, so brace yourselves. "Country Cookin' At It's Best" pretty much sums up Dollywood.

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Some of you guys would send a left nut to Dollywood in order to receive a loaf of cinnamon bread in return. I've had it before and it's GREAT, but it was extremely hot that day and eating heavy sweet, sugary foods tends to make me feel slowed-down a bit, so sadly I skipped on it.

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The grist mill with it's water wheel. The theming touches at Dollywood are all gorgeous.

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Pack-on-the-pounds buffet! Because the South!

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...then, all of the sudden, I heard that they were looking for volunteers to participate in speed trials of their new prototype hot rod racer, Lightning Rod. Needless to say, I immediately obliged.

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The chalkboard summing up what it takes to run a totally bada$$ hot rod. Being a pretty big car enthusiast myself, this pretty much put two of my favorite things together. There are even exhaust headers as a prop in the queue!

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The view out the back windows of the station. I know that I'm the type of person that likes to hear a good review, especially of a new coaster that's proven to be evasive for some.

 

Lightning Rod totally rocks. It's an extremely fast-paced ride. The only other time I can think of a "launched lift hill" being done is with Hulk, but this is totally different. Whereas Hulk kind of launches, coasts up the rest of the hill, then inverts, Lightning Rod hauls the entire way up, which is really invigorating and intense. Then you get airtime. Followed by a very strong first drop, especially in back row. The over-banked turns are funky like on Outlaw Run, then as everyone speculated since the layout was announced, the quadruple-down totally rules. You take the last over-banked turn at speed then hit the brakes going extremely fast, too. I'd say the only way it could be better would be if there was an extra hill or two to make it longer, but it's an amazing ride and you should seriously go ride it.

 

How would I rank it? This is a really, really tough one for me, because I only got to ride it once. I'd say it's either almost as good, as good, or slightly better than El Toro, which is my favorite wood coaster out there. For now, I'd call it a tie. Which means that El Toro, Lightning Rod, and Expedition GeForce are all in a #1 tie orgy for my favorite coaster. Not bad company at all.

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A look at the station and the nicely-painted trains. I personally like the Gerstlauer trains on Iron Rattler more than the other RMC trains, since with the RMC trains you get a little bit of that Morgan hyper tub effect of sitting really low in them. But honestly, when you're riding an RMC, you don't give a crap about that.

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Why did I only ride once, you ask? Well, sadly, after I got one ride in back row, I went around and *just* as I was about to get on again, they called maintenance in for an issue. About 3 minutes later, they cleared the station, then about 2 hours later, announced that it would not open again for the rest of the day.

However, I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy and I consider myself VERY lucky for getting my one ride in. Dollywood has been working hard all year to get this coaster open and it was apparent that they worked hard that day to get it to open in the first place, then to re-open again. Just gives me another great reason to get back to Dollywood ASAP.

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Oh f*ck it's the Intamin cable! That thing looks ready to shard my face or cut off my legs any second.

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Just nice scenery all around at Dollywood. Not a cloud in the sky that day meant that the sun was pretty harsh, but at least it was beautiful out.

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Yassss look at those wieners.

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Sadly, the train was also not running that day. I got to ride it on my last visit and it's a legit coal-burning steam engine, plus you get really nice views of the mountains and forest on it.

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Silver Dollar...am I back in Missouri again?

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Bar-B-Q corner and the nice lady that made me promise that I'd come back. Extremely friendly, genuine people work here.

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In case you need to confess your sins of rollercoaster fornication, there's a place to do that at Dollywood.

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...but they even say "Fire In the Hole!" at the end.

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I went back to the nice lady, who happily made me this nice pulled pork sandwich with baked beans and fried potatoes. I promise I eat WAY more than pulled pork, but you wouldn't know it from my trip reports. One final look at Dollywood coming soon.

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Love this report...any report showing coasters, food menus and food are my favorites.

 

Glad that you were able to get on LR before it broke down and also glad to hear that Thunderhead still kicks some major butt! Definitely my favorite coaster when we visited several years ago (they were still building Wild Eagle).

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Now for the third and final set of Dollywood photos. Thanks again for all the comments, guys! I so badly want to re-ride Lightning Rod that I'm trying to find time to go back again, perhaps before the end of the year or in the spring time.

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From where I was eating my aforementioned pork sandwich and baked beans, I had a bird's eye view of the back of the Chicken Lady! She's a huge hit with the kids and another big win for the family-friendly atmosphere here. That dad is like "uhh I hope I don't have to stand up too soon...I'll just take a video for later"

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At some point, I took another stroll down toward Lightning Rod, which was when I was told it would be closed the rest of the day.

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Proof that Dollywood reads TPR. They painted this after reading the Dollywood-Or-Bust guy's thread! ;)

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Twelve pound pie for those who need a scooter to haul their fat a$$es around the park!

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I'm pleased to report that Thunderhead still hadn't developed unnecessary roughness by the end of that afternoon.

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Some funky Mystery Mine theming. It's a great overall experience with the mine theming, indoor/outdoor parts, and effects. But the coaster part stops a little too frequently for me. Also, some defensive riding is required due to the OTSRs. I'd really like to see some of the Gerstlauer Eurofighters get lap bar conversions.

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Since removing the ropes course, Dollywood has apparently added this awesome looking zip line experience. This is on top of my list of things to do next time I'm here with a friend or a group. This trip was a solo one due to it being planned last-minute.

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"Wild Eagle, Wild Eagle, Wild Eagle" theme song will drive you mad.

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Firechaser with just a few people in the back of the train. This was the sight all day, it was perfect.

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Wild Eagle ready to peck the sh*t out of you if you break the rules here.

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It's kind of odd how the Wing Coaster track just "sits on the floor" in the station, since we're used to the track being recessed on non-wing coasters. I was thinking about it at this very moment, so I took a picture. Now you'll think about it every time you see it, too. You're welcome.

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The first time you go to Dollywood, the entrance for Tennessee Tornado can be a little tricky to find. After that, you'll never have trouble finding it again due to the fact that it's one of the most re-rideable Arrow coasters out there. I must have rode it 10-15 times that day.

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I asked the line attendant what level of wetness this flume ride causes and received an answer of "sometimes not at all, sometimes soaked". "Sometimes soaked" is enough for me to walk away, as I dislike being wet.

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Excellent theming executed so simply, but so well. Who needs this to be the Joker's B*tch Poison Ivy Superman Threesome Coaster Swing when you can just stick half a barn on each side and call it a day? 100% better than stupid cardboard cut outs.

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And I'll leave you all with your obsession to drool over. Have a nice day!

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