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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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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...

WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO GO TO THIS PARK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

 

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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How were the lines for the coasters? I am going Thurs-Sat next week for the first time and was unsure if I should get a qbot on Saturday or not.

 

Get the Q-Bot. It's only $15 and it will save the day. While the lines weren't stupid, I'd put them at 45 minutes to an hour per ride yesterday. Also, the Q-Bot will get you priority seating to the shows provided you reserve your showtimes right away when you get the Q-Bot. We waited on reserving our show which is why we were only able to see one. The standby lines for every show are horrific.

 

Edit - Make sure you reserve the Q-Bot online a few days prior, as well. They tend to sell out before the park even opens.

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Edit - Make sure you reserve the Q-Bot online a few days prior, as well. They tend to sell out before the park even opens.

 

Unless something has changed, Q-Bots are first-come, first-serve. You can't reserve one in advance, unfortunately.

 

The latest website update allows you to tack on a few extra things online such as parking, Q2Q and Wheelchair rentals.

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Words can't describe how much I enjoy Dollywood. I have never had a bad experience there - the setting, the rides, the shows and THE FOOD!! I am very excited about extended park hours next year! I've always wanted a full night ride on Thunderhead. On the Deep South Tour we got late afternoon and into the early evening rides (ERT) and it was more and more insane as the evening wore on.

 

Can't wait!

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Full on night rides on Thunderhead are insane and even better if it is a chilly night. I have had several night rides on it and 2 years ago was there for an event in Novemeber and it was about 50 degrees out and the thing was balls out insane. By far the best night rides I have had on any coaster ever!

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I'm going for the first time this weekend and am really excited, especially when it gets dark...what is Dollywood not usually open after nightfall?

 

In the summer it gets dark late here, like around 9 or 9:30 and Dollywood typically closes around 6, 7 or 8p in the summer, so night rides are more difficult to get. But, for 2013 they'll have planned six weeks (i think?) of night time hours for summer.

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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!

Fully agreed. Even with a basic knowledge of the ride (I think I've even seen backstage photos), I still was caught off guard by a few surprises. I also try to keep quiet about them just in case other people are in the same boat I was.

 

Glad you had a good time! Then again, it may well be impossible to go wrong with Dollywood.

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  • 4 weeks later...

http://www.screamscape.com/html/dollywood.htm#2014

 

Interesting developments are afoot for Dollywood that will affect the park for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Screamscape has confirmed with Pete Owens at the park that two large attractions will not be return for the 2013 season. According to our exclusive letter from Pete…

 

“On the heels of five Golden Ticket Awards, including Best Shows and Best New Attraction, Dollywood announces an exciting new addition for 2013 and plans for a new major family attraction in 2014. Imagination Cinema will become a 500-seat venue for a new Dolly family show. Plans for 2014 are under way for a one-of-a-kind attraction on the Adventure Mountain site.

 

“When your business grows, it is important to evaluate and improve the experiences you provide to your guests,” Craig Ross, Dollywood President said. “For 2013, we’re excited about Dolly’s new family show and its new venue. Our guests will start to see construction activity for the new 2014 attraction as soon as the park opens next season Family are going to be thrilled and excited about the new additions. They’ll be like nothing you’ve seen before.”

 

"Imagination Cinema and Adventure Mountain will not reopen for the 2013 season to accommodate preparations for the new 2013 and 2014 additions. ”

 

So while I’m not surprised at all to see an outdated style sim-theater like the Imagination Cinema closed for good, I do have to admit I am very curious and somewhat confused about the closing of Adventure Mountain. Adventure Mountain, a huge large-scale themed multi-lane ropes course attraction, included for free to all guests by the way, is perhaps one of the most unique theme park attractions I’ve ever seen anywhere. On top of that, it also seemed to be extremely popular with the guests during my visits to the park. With a unique hillside location and custom themeing, I’m very curious how the park will follow up such a unique one-of-a-kind attraction… with a new one-of-a-kind attraction experience.

 

More on this as I try to dig deeper… but there has been some speculation for years about now this area of the park may evolve over the years, linked to the removal of all the trees from the upper circle of the Dollywood Express, which is located just above the hillside for Adventure Mountain. There have been a number of people waiting to see if Dollywood would expand the park to this upper section of the mountain, adding a second train station up there as well to turn the Dollywood Express more into a form of transportation instead of just a round-trip ride.

 

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I seriously wonder why they're taking out Adventure Mountain. Was it just unpopular? Maybe it was super high-maintenance?

 

It's a real shame, Adventure Mountain is probably my second-biggest motivation to take a trip to Dollywood, the first being Thunderhead.

 

Occupy Adventure Mountain?

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I'm assuming its the regular maintenance required as everytime I go to Dollywood it has a line even on the slow days. It really is a shame because as like AJ said it and Thunderhead were also my main reasons for returning so often.

 

No loss at all with the simulator. I rode it for my first time this year and didn't care for it one bit.

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^^I'm wondering more if Adventure Mountain will simply be closed during the 2013 season, not removed, as if the work required for the 2014 encroaches too closely on the attraction to keep it open during construction. It'd be a shame to see this go away after only a few seasons, especially considering how beautifully themed the entire structure is.

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^^ I hope you could be right that it can possibly close if Construction is near the site of Adventure Mountain.

 

Adventure Mountain would of only been open for 2 seasons because it only opened in 2010. I was at Dollywood in the Summer of 2010 for two days and both days when we were there the queue was packed.

 

My family and I just started talking about going back to TN for vacation this upcoming summer about a week ago and my sister said, "Maybe we can go to Dollywood and do that Rope Course."

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