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

Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 791: Big Bear Mountain family coaster announced for 2023!

Recommended Posts

River Blast is being built by ProSlide, and its not the first model ever made, so it should operate as reliably as the other ProSlide water coasters do, Wildebeast at Holiday World is one example. Divertical, is made by Intamin, so the Dollywood water coaster will be nothing like Divertical in any way. If anything, River Blast will share more similarities with Mountain Slidewinder than it would Divertical.

 

While it won't be nearly as bad as Buzzsaw Falls or the downtime on a new Intamin, it's not rare for a boat to valley on one of the ProSlide HydroMagnetic Rockets. It's not a big deal as they can usually get the ride back up in about 10 minutes, but it won't have zero downtime like most water slides. You've got a lot of new fangled technology to blame for that.

 

Either way, it'll be an awesome addition and one I'm sure people will wait hours for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Wild Eagle won the Golden Ticket for best new ride?

I mean, I know Dollywood hosted the Golden Ticket and everything... but really? It was fun and everything, but it wasn't even the best wingrider of 2012, let alone ride...

Edited by Apollo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, I always knew they were biased and everything, but now the parks are just bribing them to win awards...

Haha, it was probably always this bad though and I was just completely oblivious before now...

 

Oh well, I still love Dollywood with all my heart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Yeah, I've never been more unimpressed with the lists of winners, even as an outspoken fan of many of the rides. A lot of them just don't deserve to be that high. I used to enjoy looking at the results, so I'm not sure if they're even that much "worse" this year, or if it's just 'cause I've been on most of them now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing you need to realize about the Golden Tickets is that they are an INDUSTRY award, not a fan award. While fans would choose a list of top coasters based on the ride experience, GT voters are encouraged to look at all aspects of the ride including things like placement in the park, throughput, maintenance, impact on the park, reaction from the guests to the ride, impact on the industry, etc etc etc.

 

So while I'm sure that having Dollywood hosting the GTs this year did have an effect on voting to some degree, the fact remains that the ride looks fantastic in that park, the GP loves the hell out of it, the ride experience is perfectly suited for that park and its target market (they really don't gun for the hardcore thrill seekers, after all), and it was a huge investment for a park that size that paid off in a big way.

Dollywood was mentioned in pretty much every news market when this thing opened and the reviews were almost all positive. By contrast, the opening of the other wing riders barely got a mention outside the local markets and in the big picture, didn't dramatically change those parks in the same way that WE changed Dollywood.

 

Taking all the industry factors into effect helps explain how the steel coaster list varies so much from Mitch Hawker's list. That fully HALF of the list is B&M coasters shows how much is weighed on stuff like maintenance, popularity with GP, throughput, etc. Yes, B&Ms have become basically forceless over the years, but they still look fantastic, the GP freaking LOVES them, they don't make a big dent in the upkeep budget, and those high-capacity trains make lines move.

 

I-305's issues and the subsequent need to reprofile it so early in its life probably knocked it off the list.

 

The one shocker is NTG being so far down the list. Perhaps some industry folks are hating on it because they're afraid it may be the beginning of the end for the traditional woodie. I don't see that being a problem, though, since the woodie has survived every single coaster innovation for more than 100 years and they're still getting built.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one shocker is NTAG being so far down the list. Perhaps some industry folks are hating on it because they're afraid it may be the beginning of the end for the traditional woodie. I don't see that being a problem, though, since the woodie has survived every single coaster innovation for more than 100 years and they're still getting built.

 

I feel like you're right here. We may not see many bigger wooden coasters (e.g. TGGs) built just because the Rocky Mountain style coasters seem to run and ride better, but there are plenty of small parks looking for a ride in that $3-6 million dollar range. You simply can't get the same thrill from a steel coaster at that price as you can from a new GCI.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Exactly. While I love El Toro and Voyage, and the order of those two at the top of my list can vary depending on how well Voyage is running that year, there aren't many parks who can afford the cost and maintenance expense of a coaster on that scale.

Parks that CAN afford it are usually big chains who aren't exactly well known for their big woodie TLC (cough, Mean Streak, cough, Rattler, cough, TxGiant).

 

I'm going to predict here that the era of the Big Traditional Woodie is over and that hybrids and plug-n-play models will go to those parks who would've built a big woodie in years past. Nothing wrong with that!

 

In addition, the traditional wood coaster will remain alive and well with smaller (around 100ft and under) models that provide big-ride thrills on a smaller-ride budget. Hell, Raven is STILL making top 10 lists, Cornball is a blast, Wooden Warrior breathed life into a stale park (and put it back on the map), and Boardwalk Bullet's success and popularity basically paved the way for the Galveston Pleasure Pier to be built.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ I think we are seeing a trend of the hybrids, but I have a feeling down the road that traditional woodies will come back "in vogue" again. They just really started to get a bad rap for a while with poorly maintained and rough rides. People have come to expect things to be "perfect" and woodies never are! While enthusiasts find that to be part of their charm, I think that the GP gets frustrated with a ride that could be having a bad day because of weather.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to predict here that the era of the Big Traditional Woodie is over and that hybrids and plug-n-play models will go to those parks who would've built a big woodie in years past. Nothing wrong with that!

 

In addition, the traditional wood coaster will remain alive and well with smaller (around 100ft and under) models that provide big-ride thrills on a smaller-ride budget. Hell, Raven is STILL making top 10 lists, Cornball is a blast, Wooden Warrior breathed life into a stale park (and put it back on the map), and Boardwalk Bullet's success and popularity basically paved the way for the Galveston Pleasure Pier to be built.

 

I agree. I feel that this era ended with SoB and everyone realized that shorter, more compact, and more "twister" style wooden coasters are the way to go.

 

What, no Thunderhead or Wodan on that list?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WELP.

 

Weeks of browsing these forums, and a trip to Dollywood yesterday, have led to the necessity of me signing up for this here site and such. So howdy y'all, from a hotel room in Gatlinburg!

 

So yes, Dollywood. September 10, 2012, from the opening at 10am until 5:15pm, and only left then because the other members of the ol' party were tired and sore from walking. This trip was the most awesome thing to ever happen in the history of ever. By my tally, I rode Mystery Mine 7 times, Thunderhead 5 times, Wild Eagle 4 times, Tennessee Tornado about 7 times, Blazing Fury twice, and Barnstormer 4 times. This included a front-seat ride on Wild Eagle, with just four people in line for this seat, and absolutely NO WAIT for ANY other ride all day. I rode most of these coasters 2-3 times in a row. When the family finally dragged me out of the park, I had just ridden Thunderhead on three straight ride cycles , by running around quickly to the entrance after exiting. And the trains were still only less than half full! The op held the trains for a minute to see if anyone else was entering the line because there were so many empty seats. I got front seat twice in a row then back seat the last time, no wait. I only saw a full train ONCE all day, on Mystery Mine, and once that car filled up, there was no line behind it. Seriously, everything was total walk-on. Many of the ride ops started to recognise me because I went on the rides over and over, often with fewer than 10-20% of the train filled.

 

The atmosphere in the park was mesmerising, the scenery was breathtaking, the food was great, the staff were VERY pleasant, the eagles were awesome, and the coasters were out of this world. I haven't been to Dollywood since the mid-90s, when I was no more than 7 or 8, so everything was new for me. My coaster experience is limited to SFOG, Waterville USA, and Dollywood, so my opinions can't account for the hundreds of other coasters through the country that the COOL people get to ride every year, but for little ole me, the coasters in Dollywood were incredible.

 

MYSTERY MINE: First Gerstlauer I've ridden, but oh what a ride it was. Such a compact ride with an AMAZING punch. The drops are zippy and amazing, and the vertical lift is absolute nirvana. Reminiscent of a wild mouse with a serious case of ADD and also on steroids. The theming and special effects must be seen to be believed. No spoiling the ending but holy wow, what an EXPERIENCE! Seating is assigned but if given the choice get the furthest right seat on the front row. Probably my favorite coaster at the moment, but that could change at any given moment as I re-live all these rides in my head!

THUNDERHEAD: Might beat out Georgia Cyclone for my favorite woodie. Actually, yes, it does. Relatively smooth for a woodie, but yes, oh yes, you KNOW you're on a wooden coaster. Though the layout is full of high banked turns, there's a ton of airtime, and there are plenty of headchoppers. Once the ride leaves the lift, everything is a blur till the brake section! Get either the front for the view or the back for even more delicious negative G action.

WILD EAGLE: My main reason for being so excited about coming to Dollywood. This is one unique coaster! Great views from the lift, but not for long, as the train rockets down the first hill. Classic B&M smoothness, and amazing aerial acrobatics, the experience was absolutely AMAZING all the way through. Each side offers a distinctly different experience as you're angled differently in the inversions and turns, so if possible go back until you get front row on both sides for the full experience! If lines are short, the back is also awesome; won't get nearly as great of a view but there's something to be said for the extra airtime and watching the front of the train soar into that first loop in front of you. Wild Eagle was the only coaster that had any appreciable line at any point throughout the day, but that was absolutely expected, as it's new and the main draw.

TENNESSEE TORNADO: Boy oh boy, the big red loop visible from the Wild Eagle's loading area connects to one doozy of a coaster! As a weather dork I found the theming to be VERY amusing, but the walk to the loading platform is a chore. No one was in line, but you still have to walk up and up and up and up and around to get there. Awesome speed, awesome inversions, but a very rough ride; still better than I had expected, but you'll start to get sore if you ride it over and over and over. Front seat has great leg room and seems to be a bit smoother, but the back seat has more airtime. Also scrambles the brain with positive g's and rattling. Keep your head FIRMLY pressed into the headrest to survive. Also, every once in a while the ride ops barely activate the brake run and the train comes into the station at high speed; THAT is an awesome little ending, as long as they're running one train haha.

BLAZING FURY: Barely considered a 'coaster, built by the park's own crew before the park became Dollywood. Neat indoor ride. The effects are dated and you have no idea what's going on, but it's quite amusing nonetheless and provides a great way to cool off or rest after eating! Three little drops in the dark make the 20mph top speed seem like much more. The water splash at the end is no longer there; consequently, no getting wet and a faster ending. Seating doesn't matter.

 

Sooo to anyone considering coming to Dollywood in the next few weeks, check their opening dates and hours and GET UP HERE NOW. Expect zero lines, with a 3-4 cycle wait at MOST early in the day (if you don't mind settling for a middle seat and come on a Monday or some other early-week day, you might not ever wait, but don't take my word for it) but with temperatures only marginally conducive for the park's great water rides. Check the forecast too, rain would be unpleasant. The coasters are all open and all awesome. Though the Tornado started trying to beat me to death by ride #6 (Tip: Beware of back seat, great on the first half - especially the long drop during which you're practically standing up - but then a brain-scrambler on second half. Still MUCH smoother than I imagined, a pleasant experience from an aging Arrow!) and one will hate the very concept of elbows after coming off Mystery Mine (Also, try to get the RIGHT side of the car, thanks to a sudden turn that'll smash your head into the restraints near the beginning). Mystery Mine is probably my favorite anyway though due to its jaw-dropping theming. And Wild Eagle is just as smooth and awesome as Goliath at SFOG, though with so much more twisting and turning jaw dropping action! Those trees look so much closer than they are. I recommend all of the coasters as many times as is feasible, then cooling off on the indoor Blazing Fury after lunch.

tl;dr, utterly awesome trip.

 

fanboying>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I went to Dollywood on Wednesday, the 19th, and an absolutely INCREDIBLE day!!! I have never been to DW before so I was very excited. There were NO lines whatsoever. NONE. The only time we waited all day was about a 3-train wait for the front row of Wild Eagle. Every other row (or ride) did not have a wait.

 

Wild Eagle: We rode 9 times. Front left, back left, back right, and lots of middle rows. The front and back seat of the left side are absolutely incredible and deliver very well. What a fantastic ride. Overhyped, but still great. Loved the station a lot. It closed a little bit during the day, I'm guessing mechanical reasons, but other than that, we marathon'd it several times throughout the day. After you exit, you could just go right back through the queue house and back up the stairs instead of all the way outside, through the gift shop, then back through the main entrance!

 

Tennessee Tornado: Never once did we see a full train when we walked by. Several times, we were the only ones on the ride. Very smooth, VERY forceful, and so much fun! I grayed out on the second loop once. Front seat was great, back seat had great airtime, and we loved how the first couple of cars had video cameras to record you throughout the ride.

 

Mystery Mine: Most messed-up, WTF coaster ever! Lots of fun, but was definitely saying "Wow, this is so odd" throughout most of the course. The fire effects at the top of the last drop scared me the first time and I was definitely not expecting it! The theming was incredible on MM (and any ride at DW for that matter).

 

Thunderhead: A little bumpy, but just how a wooden coaster should be. So many "pops" of airtime throughout the entire course. Great pacing, loved all the surprises, what a fantastic ride!

 

Blazing Fury: Uhhh... Yeah.

 

Adventure Mountain: Absolutely LOVED that this ropes course was free. I can imagine it's a capacity nightmare though during the busy season. They only had 1 out of the 3 courses available, but it was dead enough that's all they needed. It was a very, very fun attraction!

 

Dollywood has the absolute friendliest staff of any park that I've ever been to. Granted, their staff is a few generations older than me. Everyone was very kind, helpful, energetic, and seemed excited. We didn't go see Miss Lillian BUT as we were riding The Dollywood Express, she came running out to start jumping up and waving at us as we went by! All of the theming throughout the park was fantastic, the food was amazing, it's such a great park and there is truly something for everyone! Also, the park was packed... With people just there to see the shows.

 

Did I mention there were NO waits?!?!

2080141870_IMG_7823-Copy.JPG.0c16b4e7de391570be1772e1a8b05e38.JPG

Taken from Wild Eagle's station. I wish I had the train in the center of the loop!

IMG_7857.JPG.590f80cf9beca91bfe7fe9ccd379c932.JPG

IMG_7862.JPG.1f388f7bdeac59395994b5535ca0df21.JPG

IMG_7863.JPG.ffa7851f6008696f79a63c6fe69aea60.JPG

The fullest train we had seen all day.

IMG_7826.JPG.74f2701665c5f73ab7327499b54842d3.JPG

The only [good] picture I took of Thunderhead.

IMG_7832.JPG.6e601b0871c87103e42552b15b2a17f6.JPG

IMG_7845.JPG.061c21def218f52c6f48b0fd4ba07716.JPG

IMG_7851.JPG.273f155cf4f81eb1e0f4ac0fd16e7f7d.JPG

IMG_7855.thumb.JPG.79fbcab0c24b1ddf59e1082a8edae06a.JPG

My favorite part of Adventure Mountain!

IMG_7836.JPG.dd8d81cbb1da63ea75165f02599f308c.JPG

IMG_7838.thumb.JPG.7d0861e3c0405f4663b288f38a173982.JPG

IMG_7846.thumb.JPG.e8695ef4ce1835e3cf66dfe9bbd63924.JPG

373929811_IMG_7847EDIT.jpg.f99fa2ff4a6b81a95a0a308cb87e4b69.jpg

My attempt at being "artsy" ;)

IMG_7849.JPG.ac5d874c7f4c680750fe97beaae2fbd2.JPG

IMG_7854.JPG.18e72c8c772e1f07337a8502fb4b8b66.JPG

IMG_7852.JPG.e5afffabc870f9ee70479f5cb6b1adf9.JPG

IMG_7873.JPG.8f120bfe305f328e88edcb01924374a1.JPG

Wild Eagle... THROUGH THE TREES!!!

IMG_7881.JPG.b7edbe57ec3e0c4e185fe7f9fa587f8f.JPG

Miss Lillian!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In reading most, if not all the articles about the Nashville waterpark news, i found this little tidbit of info...

 

Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens said the Gaylord-Marriott agreement impacted how Dollywood's deal with Gaylord would work.

 

"It was our view that the result of the vote on Tuesday to change day-to-day operations changed the deal fundamentally than what we had been discussing," Owens said, adding that "Right now, the focus is on East Tennessee."

 

He pointed to Dollywood's recent plans to open in May the state's first water coaster, River Rush, in Splash Country.

 

And preparations are underway to reveal the theme park's 2013 addition in a couple of weeks.

 

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/sep/28/dollywood-drops-nashville-water-park-plans/

 

Last we heard from Dolly, she said the park was going to take a couple of years off from adding any new attractions, and instead focus on upkeep. But i have to wonder if this could be a replacement flat ride for Timber Tower? We should find out soon enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Last we heard from Dolly, she said the park was going to take a couple of years off from adding any new attractions, and instead focus on upkeep. But i have to wonder if this could be a replacement flat ride for Timber Tower? We should find out soon enough.

 

Unless it is a typo and they met 2014, then it does appear that Dollywood has decided to add something to the park side after all. They actually did a decent job making the Timber Tower site blend in, but I would assume that the new attraction will go there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could it be a permanent installation of the Roller Coaster museum? I didn't get to see the one they had in the cave...i'm assuming it has been packed up already. That would be cool, and what, the third "museum" inside Dollywood if that were to happen? I thought i remember reading somewhere that the museum was in search of a permanent exhibit space or spaces, spread around the country.

 

And, you know, the space above the cave was once the Dolly Parton museum, so it may go in there - if this is what they are doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have to get my 3 boys out of the house for 5 days later this week and was thinking of heading to Dollywood and Gatlinburg area in general but many hotels are already sold out. Is this for Leaf Peepers already?

 

Any idea what kind of crowds to expect at Dollywood on Friday > Tuesday?

 

Thanks all!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is Leaf Peepers? Some kind of new tree stalker fetish? Like a furry for foliage. Or a brony for trees?

 

Hah! Basically! Leaf Peepers are the hoards of elderly folks who make their way to the mountains in the fall to "peep the leaves" turning color. I've been through Gatlinburg area during leaf season before long ago and it was madness. Wondering if Dollywood will also be madness during this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The leaves here in Knoxville have already begun to turn color, so it has started in the mountains as well...you can expect the next three or four weeks to be pretty busy because of it. I imagine that will effect Dollywood, on top of the 20% attendance increase they've spoke about before too, due in part to Wild Eagle, so yes, its safe to assume they will be busy. And the Gospel/Harvest Festival kicked off this week, so add that on top of everything else.

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
  • 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/