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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 796 - Ride closing 10/30 to remove launch and install chain lift!

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^Oh Yeah, a local "Superstition" themed show or attraction could be really cool.


I'd love to see Dollywood do some version of a spooky "Ghost Train" with their existing train ride which is by far one of the best around. Riding that thing at night is creepy enough alone, throw in some a new "show" on top of the hill and some decorations and it could be a lot of spooky not scary fun!

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Dollywood has sent us their official press release and video regarding their announcements for the 2013 season!


Fresh off a fourth consecutive Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows, Dollywood announces new shows, festival headliners, a fireworks finale and summer-long celebration that span the 2013 season (http://www.DollywoodNewin2013.com).


"Of course I'm really proud of our four Golden Ticket Awards for Best Shows," Dolly Parton said. "Who wouldn't be? But I truly want to celebrate and share this great honor with our guests all season long in 2013 with all kinds of new entertainment and incredible shows from the stage all the way into the sky!"


Festival of Nations


From the coast of China, Dollywood welcomes for the first time Cirque Shanghai, the festival’s headliner. Cirque Shanghai boasts a cast of world-class acrobats who delight audiences with dramatic tumbling, juggling, balancing acts, hoop diving along with a variety of amazing feats. Cirque Shanghai celebrates the ancient traditions of the Far East amid the monthlong Festival of Nations (March 23-April 22) in which 20 countries are represented. Guests also are invited to Mystic India where professional dancers, vibrant costumes and the dynamic music of Bollywood cinema combine in an explosion of colors and energy in this breathtaking show that fuses fast-paced dance, theater and visual effects.


Festival of Nations encompasses multicultural music, dance, food and art from all corners of the world, including:

  • Poland’s premiere glass harp duo;
  • Australia’s Swoon, an aerial ballet act atop 15-foot flexible sway poles;
  • Ecuador’s melodious Atahualpa
  • the a capella Zambian Vocal Group
  • China’s amazing “rolla bolla” balance board performer
  • Germany’s vibrantly costumed Zebra Stelzentheatre stilt act
  • Uganda’s heartwarming children's choirs, Ugandan Thunder and Suubi Tribe, each performing week-long engagements;
  • Mexico’s all-female Mariachi Divas;
  • United Kingdom’s interactive roving puppetry characters;
  • France’s unique hang drum and folk music performers;
  • a traditional Scottish bagpiper.

The festive international flair spills into Dollywood's many restaurants with the new Passport to Food. For an additional fee, Guests are invited to take a 'round the world culinary tour of signature specialty dishes from a variety of countries. Also on tap is a daily One World Celebration that invites park guests to join dozens of visiting international performers attired in their native costumes for a festive afternoon celebration of world harmony and friendship, complete with music, dance and audience participation.


The Great American Country Show


Country music takes the spotlight as Dollywood presents an all-new Great American Country Show in DP's Celebrity Theatre May 10-Oct. 26. GACTV and Dollywood join forces to present today's most popular country music live on stage. GAC's leading on-air personalities appear in the show via video presentations. Each 40-minute show, performed by six singers and backed by a six-piece band, also features a special appearance by one of country music's legendary performers.


The Great American Summer


Beginning June 22, Dollywood celebrates The Great American Summer with six weeks of extended park operating hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Each day begins with a live performance of the national anthem sung during a flag raising ceremony. At night, a daily fireworks extravaganza entitled Dolly's Nights of Many Colors paints the evening sky with an explosive, colorful display synchronized to music. The Great American Summer continues through Aug. 4.


Smoky Mountain Christmas


Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas festival opens Nov. 9 with the new headliner show Dollywood’s Christmas Carol. Based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the three spirits of Christmas visit stodgy Ebenezer Scrooge in this inspiring story of redemption told through song and story. The original musical adaptation entertains audiences with a 15-member cast, fully orchestrated musical tracks, Victorian scenery and period costuming. Dollywood’s Christmas Carol joins the five-time Golden Ticket Award-winning Best Christmas Event's entertainment lineup. The festival continues through Jan. 4, 2014.


In 2012, Dollywood opened Wild Eagle, the first wing coaster in the U.S. The 3,127-foot steel coaster won the amusement industry’s Golden Ticket Award for best new ride. In 2013, Dollywood’s Splash Country debuts RiverRush, the first water coaster in Tennessee. RiverRush blends all of the climbs, twists and turns of a traditional land coaster with a splash of water. Set to race through the trees four stories in the air, RiverRush opens in May 2013. For more information, visit RiverRush2013.com.


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^^I like the "spooky train" idea, too. They already have some creepy looking buildings up there, and there's pleny of room for scareactors.


They wouldn't even need make-up either. After a night standing near that train they'd be so covered in coal dust they'd be invisible from 3 feet away.

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Last year I was told by operators that

-Coasters open when the temperature is above 40 degrees

-Coasters close when the temperature drops below 36 degrees

-Flats (or at least the Screamin' Swing) close when the temperature is below 32 degrees.


All rides should be open except the water rides, and Adventure Mountain closes at dusk. I went twice last year, and could get plenty of rides in and then switch to shows when it got chillier and the coasters closed. You should have a blast!


Thanks for this! This is gonna be my first time ever at Dollywood, so I'm hoping nothing gets shut down before I get a chance to ride, haha.

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I have a four day/three night vacation package I have to cash in on by the end of the year, and I am trying to decide the best time to go to Dollywood. I want to make sure I go when at least Wild Eagle and Thunderhead stand the best chance of being open, and trying to determine when that would be. I am thinking mid-late November, but also considering around Dec. 10th. It would be awesome to have some idea of an extended forecast to know what temps will be like!

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I wonder if Dollywood has ever considered doing a Halloween event? I know it doesn't fit the audience of the park all that well, but I would imagine that if they did one it would attract decent crowds. I can only imagine how awesome that park would be after dark with a little bit of the "Haunt" atmosphere built into it.


I was thinking about this over the weekend. I just don't see why Dollywood would do a Halloween event at this time. Why? Because they don't need to.


Halloween events are a very successful way for parks to expand their operating season and bring in heavy crowds when the parks might otherwise be light or the park would be closed. Since Dollywood already has a proven way to bring in crowds at this time, a Halloween event is not necessary. I agree it would be cool but don't see it happening.

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I think a haunt event in Timber Canyon/Wilderness Pass would be an amazing way to bring in more visitors. Yes the other side of the park has the Gospel and Harvest celebration but on the side I mentioned it doesn't. Not to mention aside from River Battle and Adventure Mt. most of the attractions in that area are geared towards the right age group.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg is supposed to be jumping on the "Food & Wine" bandwagon, too. They "sort of" announced this at their Passholder Appreciation Weekend, which took place while I was away, but they haven't firmed up their plans yet.


Dollywood should do very well with this kind of event--their food offerings are already great.

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I was thinking about this over the weekend. I just don't see why Dollywood would do a Halloween event at this time. Why? Because they don't need to.


Halloween events are a very successful way for parks to expand their operating season and bring in heavy crowds when the parks might otherwise be light or the park would be closed. Since Dollywood already has a proven way to bring in crowds at this time, a Halloween event is not necessary. I agree it would be cool but don't see it happening.


Yeah, I agree with you they probably don't "need" an event since they still draw a decent crowd this time of year, but if they did operate a "haunted train" attraction along with one or two traditional walk through haunts and maybe a scare zone, then market it as a "halloween event", and it brought in an even larger crowd than normal this time of year wouldn't it be worth it? I would think that the audience for a park Halloween event is different than the crowd Dollywood currently draws for their Southern Harvest and Gospel Celebration, so there is potentially a large market of customers out there that are currently spending money to get their Halloween fix elsewhere. I agree with you that they don't really need it, but if it is a way to draw a larger crowd and make even more money than I would think it would be worth considering.


Logistically the park is almost ideal for operating the two events simultaneously, they could have the Gospel and Harvest Festival isolated to Craftsman's Valley and the front of the Park, and set up the "haunt" mazes and scare zones in Timber Canyon near Thunderhead. I would think that the majority of thrill seeking "haunt crowd" would have very little interest in the Harvest celebration to begin with and vice versa. Two or three haunts, along with night rides on Thunderhead, Mystery Mine, Tennessee Tornado and Wild Eagle, plus all of the normal Dollywood awesomeness would make an event that I would certainly go out of my way to attend.


It will probably never happen, but the potential is fun to think about. Anyways, back on track for 2013, I didn't notice anything in the announcement but will there be no replacement for Timber Tower next season or has the replacement just not been announced yet?

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You know the more I think about it, the reason Dollywood doesn't do a Halloween event might just be that the type of crowds that Halloween events attract are crowds that Dollywood just doesn't want. As a family friendly resort, gory gruesome scary haunted houses don't exactly fit into the type of environment that Dollywood is trying to create. Might be one of the same reasons Holiday World doesn't do a Halloween event.

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  • 3 weeks later...



OK, calm it down, Kyle. Phew!


Alright, guys, yesterday, November 10th, was my first ever visit to Dollywood. It was opening day of Smoky Mountain Christmas, 65-70 degrees, and we knew it was gonna be crowded. My two buds and I reserved a Q-bot the night before to make sure we had a good time.


Let me first get this out of the way. Dollywood and Q-Bots are a match made in heaven. $15 per person flat fee? Thank you very much! Way better than a certain other chain's ridiculous pricing tiers.


OK, back to the report. The place was a zoo. We got there around 10:30 for an 11am opening and the parking lot was already filling up. You know what? Rather than give a play by play, I'll just give my feelings towards the rides and the park. Let's do this -


Wild Eagle - First ride of the day. This would be my second wing rider (1st being Raptor at Gardaland earlier this year) so I knew what to expect. Nothing forceful or thrilling, but just a fun ride. That is exactly what this ride is. It goes up the lift hill, has a pretty nice layout with long, flowing elements and some decent body-choppers with the various tree trunks, and hits the brakes. There's really not much more to be said about it. Don't get me wrong, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was a ton of fun and I loved riding it every time. I think Raptor is the better ride (mainly thanks to the themeing and water elements) but I also want to re-ride this thing when the trees surrounding it are in full bloom. They were all bare branches yesterday. Oh, also, the night ride was really funky because there are absolutely no lights along the course except for the lift hill lights. It was just twisting madness in pitch blackness with random camera flashes.


Mystery Mine - WHAT. THE. HELL. This ride is awesome. The themeing is out of this world, the dark ride portions are extremely fun, and everything following the second lift hill is super-intense. Sure, it bangs you around a little, but if you aren't a wuss, you'll be fine. I don't want to mention a whole lot about the ride in case anyone hasn't ridden it yet, but just know that I loved it, as did everyone else I was with. The ride is full of surprises (even right at the beginning) and is a lot of fun. Also, bonus points if you can spot the Despicable Me Minion before the first lift!


Tenessee Tornado - Closed all day for maintenance. That sucked. One of my most anticipated coasters and I wasn't able to ride. Oh, well. Looks like I have another reason to come back soon, haha.


Blazing Fury - I'm still trying to figure out just what happened in this ride. All I know is there were a lot of old school animatronics, a town on fire, and tons of christmas lights for the holiday event. Oh, and a few small drops. Definitely something different. My buddy told me it was very similar to Black Diamond at Knoebel's, which I have yet to ride.


Thunderhead - WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WHERE DID THIS MONSTER COME FROM?! This beast is one of the greatest rollercoasters on the face of the earth, simply put. It is smooth, it doesn't lose an ounce of speed, and it has more airtime than Phoenix at Knoebel's! Best ride in the park, for sure, and quite possibly GCI's best ride yet! We rode and re-rode this thing in the front and back throughout the day and never had a bad ride. No matter where you sit, you spend the same amount of time out of your seat. This ride is insane. I LOVE it.


Adventure Mountain - Great concept, great execution, great way to waste time at the park. Tracks 2 and 3 were open and we did both of them. More parks should install these things! They're a perfect distraction for everyone and I'm kinda sad I haven't seen more around.


Rest of the park - As I said earlier, the Q-Bots at this park are done extremely well and it saved us from standing in line all day. The place was gorgeously dressed up for the holiday season and once the sun went down it was magical. We only were able to see one show (ice show, everything else was booked solid) and, due to the crowds, we were only able to do Q-Bot rides. I was hugely impressed with the park and will definitely be going back in the near future.


If I had to nitpick, my one problem was their insistence on getting single seats filled rather than capacity. Wild Eagle was stacking the trains all day while they were trying to get people to fill the entire train. I understand the want to fill empty seats, but when it ends up leaving the other train on the brake run for 5 minutes, it's time to re-think your priorities.


I can't wait to go back. Aside from Wild Eagle's capacity issues, this place is excellent.

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Wait a minute. I didn't see a review of the food, and more importantly, Cinnamon Bread! If you didn't have Cinnamon Bread, you didn't visit Dollywood!


Ahh, you are right. Well, for lunch I had a sausage and pepper sandwich from the skillet. It was amazing. Later on I got an apple cinnamon funnel cake which, also, was amazing. I didn't get any cinnamon bread, though, because the line at the Grist Mill (by Barnstormer) was about 30 people deep.

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^More importantly...How was the Jungle Jurassic Boat Ride!?!?!?!?


Truly life changing. It was like a perfect union of Hollywood Tour and Escape From Dinosaur Beach (short-lived Sally dark ride in Wildwood back in the 90s). I feel like a missionary, now, as if I need to spread the joy of that thing, haha.

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