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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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That location looks perfect, I would hope they would have some kind of exclusive park access for resort guests, preferably halfway up the hill to Thunderhead Wild Eagle .

 

If and when they build a resort I know where I'll be staying my next trip to the Great Smokey Mountains.

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I can haz trip report?

 

So when I was in Mexico, our last day there we needed to wake up at 5 am to get to Tulum (it was a cab, a ferry, a shuttle, and a one-hour bus ride there...yikes!) so I had an alarm set to 5 am. The next day (when we left) I seem to have forgotten to turn that alarm off. My phone was in my computer bag out in the foyer of our villa where my crazy ginger sister was sleeping. So it woke up a ginger. At 5 in the morning. She then picked up my bag full of heavy electronics and threw it into my bedroom violently before slamming the door, waking me up. I got out my phone to turn it off after pleading with my sister to spare my life and I was glad I did so. I pulled it out and turned the screen on to see the following text from an old high school friend:

 

Hey dude my parents wanna know if you want to join us in gatlinburg, tn for a week? You dont have to, bc knwin my dad he might make you drive. And i know my parents are gonna want alone time. They did say I could go to kings island with you sometime!

 

That's my life in a nutshell, one trip ends, I start planning for another.

 

So while we were down there a few weeks ago we hit up Dollywood. It was Patricia's (my friend that invited me) first time on a large-scale roller coaster and while she was terrified, she insisted on getting on them because she wanted to ride with her enthusiast friend.

 

This is what happened that day. (cue Epicmealtime tone)

 

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In the PARKING LOT!!!!!!!!

 

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The infamous "Jarrett the six year old" alter ego I take on whenever we're near a park we're visiting.

 

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Patricia's first large scale roller coaster was Wild Eagle. Even though I'm much bigger than her, she wanted to try the test seat since it was her first big coaster and ever since the NTG incident she was paranoid about not fitting and flying out when we went. Look like she was fine!

 

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From the stairs in the station I got to see some of how Firechaser Express is coming together. Not much visible work, but I'm sure that'll change. I have footage of construction, but that'll have to wait until later.

 

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This is how it ended. I told the ride op that was inspecting our restraints that it was her first coaster and he told her that it wasn't the scariest ride at the park. Well I wouldn't have wanted to see her on the scariest ride at the park! If I had a nickle for every time she threatened my life on Wild Eagle, I'd be opening my own park!

 

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They did add this Golden Ticket plaque above the train in the station since I was there last year. I like it, it looks great up there.

 

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Exit through the gift shop! If you look at the shirts under the eagle's left eye and notice the blue one that says "Dollywood" on it with the yellow sticker, I bought that one.

 

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After Wild Eagle, Patricia wanted to spend a bit of time on solid ground. We achieved this by hitting up Craftsman's Valley and shopping for a bit.

 

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The carriage shop was cool. 3,000 bucks for something from a theme park, though? Hey, it's better than lunch at Kings Island!

 

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Both of us looking for a new ride!

 

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I'm gonna pop some tags! Only got twenty dollars in mah pocket!

 

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Look what we saw afterwards! I could have spent HOURS in there! Video on that coming soon too.

 

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Didn't know this Thunder Express car was down in that cave until now.

 

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After that we ran down to the train to find that it was not operating that day (BOO!!!! ) so Trish and I decided to credit whore Sideshow Spin. The laterals were a tad powerful for a kiddie coaster but I'm glad I now have 73 credits. I also credit whored a small Dragon Wagon at this really ghetto "park" (by "park" I mean a few traveling flats plopped down in an old parking lot) the day before, so I got two creds this trip! (Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go update my cred count here. )

 

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Goat on a carousel? WIN!!! Actually, I just took this picture because I really like goats (specifically pygmy goats) and I was happy to see one on a carousel.

 

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This shop with the water wheel was pretty.

 

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Look who else decided to visit the park today!

 

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These ducklings with their mom by the fountain were so cute!

 

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Alright, solid ground time over, off to Thunderhead!

 

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Thunderhead was our next ride. Patricia and her dad rode with me. Her dad only rode once but Patricia and I rode again because I wanted to let her ride in the front where it isn't as rough. She seemed much more comfortable on this one (I even saw her put her arms up and smile) but she flashed metal fingers to the on-ride camera (that gesture where you make a fist and extend your index and little fingers) at such an angle that it looked like she flipped the camera off! It was SO funny!

 

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After that she wanted to ride Mystery Mine. After having the wits scared out of her on Eagle and Thunderhead, I told her she wasn't going to like a rough, intense Eurofighter with a 90+ degree drop and prolonged hang time on the dive loop. She just said "I'll live" and queued with me. I told her numerous times she wouldn't like it and she didn't listen...

 

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Probably should have listened to the enthusiast she was with! Despite the fact that I specifically told her she'd hate it, she spent the whole ride yelling about how much she was going to kill me and eat my children...even though I TOLD her not to ride it! When we got off, we went down the exit staircase and saw her parents at the photo booth in the gift shop laughing hysterically. Her mom turned around and yelled "We already bought the photo!" And now we have this.

 

Mystery Mine was our last ride of that day. The next day we did Dixie Stampede (which was fun) but the day after I went to the park since everybody else was tired and was resting around the cabin.

 

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Well that morning we got up and found this brown recluse spider on the cabin window. A tad terrifying since they're so poisonous, so I evaded him by going to Dollywood!

 

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I got there and got on Thunderhead and then Wild Eagle...and then photographed Firechaser Express's lot for a bit.

 

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It was hard to photograph it with all the bushes behind the fence.

 

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That red bulldozer really went to work. I saw it moving all day.

 

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A lot of Adventure Mountain still stands but I saw pieces of it sitting in that lot from Thunderhead's drop.

 

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Looks like somebody's been to a Cedar Fair park...

 

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The longest I waited for anything was Tennessee Tornado. I only rode it once but it was INTENSE. A lot more positive Gs than I remember! I got slammed into my seat on that iron butterfly really hard! And a lot smoother too!

 

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Blazing Fury was next, with an almost equally long wait since the stupid thing only runs one train (Seriously? Should be able to run at least two!) but I did have a nerd moment when I got happy seeing this poster that still showed the Silver Dollar City name from way back when.

 

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I took this picture for my dad because it's his pet peeve when people think our harlequin Great Dane puppy is a dalmatian (or even worse, when they don't know what that kind of dog is called and just say "firehouse dog...-_-) but onto the ride. It needs some love. They took out the splash sometime between 2008 and 2012, but this time I noticed that they shone a blue plane of light in the area to make it look like you landed in water...and it was honestly worse than just lighting the old splashdown area. The solution I think could fix this aging dark coaster? Zierer. Get Zierer to redo the actual ride system with Force coaster hardware (Huracan, Legoland dragon thing, ect.) and replace the final drop and brakes with a Verbolten/Polar Xplorer-esque VD element and enable it to run two or three trains, possibly themed to look like old school fire engines. One thing I hope they don't ever change, though, are the scenes on the ride. The outdated effects and creepy animatronics are so campy that the ride wouldn't be complete without them, and the scene where you climb the hill across from the covered bridge, on the other hand, is my favorite scene on a dark ride ever because it looks so realistic. I'm not saying this needs to be done now, but when this classic ride starts to become a money pit for the park, Zierer might be able to save it from the chopping block.

 

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Ate lunch at this buffet. Great food and it's pretty reasonably priced.

 

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Four eagles in one shot!

 

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If Firechaser Express was closer to Blazing Fury it could almost be a mini area...stupid Tennessee Tornado!

 

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Wild Eagle after lunch? Heck yes!

 

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Eagle in the mist...

 

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Rode Mystery Mine afterwards for some reason.

 

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Walked to the train afterwards to be greeted by a huge crowd blocking up the path.

 

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Well this is why! Dolly was there to film something short in the Tennessee Mountain Home!

 

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And this stupid post got in the way of the picture I wanted!

 

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Alright, time for my thoughts on Firechaser Express. I think it'll be a Mack family LSM coaster that combines Manta's tame nature with Projekt Helix's terrain layout. I think it will have a slightly cartoon-ish forest fire theme (think Smoky the Bear) with colorful buildings. I think the train will be themed to a new vehicle used for fighting wildfires and these Adventure Mountain towers will be rethemed to look like fire towers.

 

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Well all the Dolly commotion made Wild Eagle a walk on, even though I never got on the train!

 

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Like this shot for some reason...

 

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This brake run support just won the internet. NEVER seen one supported like this before...

 

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If you want good food, go to the grist mill! Their cinnamon bread is to die for! I got some for Patricia's family and some for mine!

 

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It's not exactly an ugly shipping crate building either...

 

Well that's my fun from Dollywood! Here's my music video!

 

 

COMING SOON:

 

*Dolly visits Dollywood video

*Firechaser Express construction video

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I'm surprised everybody's mentioning S&S and Premier but totally ignoring Zierer. They've been doing some great things recently, and something pretty similar to Verbolten (with a less creepy theme and a smaller 'big' drop) would fit the bill. Say the fire burns through the trees around you and causes you to drop, and you've got yourself a themed drop track similar to Verbolten or X-Plorer.

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Honestly, I would be a little disappointed in a Manta (SWSD) type coaster. While I thought it was a solid addition to SeaWorld, it really wasn't anything special. ...Now a Blue Fire type coaster would definitely be a step in the right direction and a Powder Keg type coaster would be a homerun, IMO.

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Well I think the "dual launch" clue could mean either a.) a dual launch roller coaster or b.) two attractions will be "launched." Though I think A is the most likely.

 

Also, I heard somewhere (might have been Coasterforce forums but I'm not sure) that Dollywood sent a rep to Europa Park a while ago. Maybe to ride Blue Fire and see if it's any good?

 

20 hours!

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Random lurker, never post.

 

But I have a thought that could be a good idea, even tho im sure its not a possibility.

 

But since The building of Blazing Fury is near the new site, and the name of the ride is "Firechaser Express," is anyone else hoping for an updated Fury? They could keep the structure of the building and make it like an indoor/outdoor launcher, similar to verboltens concept. This would bring new charm to dollywood, and add on to their family friendly lineup

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Really, really excited to see this thing. I do expect it to be more family-oriented though, I hope most of the enthusiast crowd isn't expecting a thrill coaster. A solid family coaster is so good for the front gate, I don't understand why more parks don't focus on them actually.

 

I don't understand why so many people are wanting to see BF changed though. BF and FITH are some of my favorite amusement rides ever. They come from an age before modern cookie-cutter rides when the designers were being extremely innovative for their time and creating a full experience rather than a set of track gimmicks. All these years later, while they aren't as shiny or innovative anymore they remain unique and fun experiences. I could see some improvements being made, even a new ride system, but anything that destroys the old-school nature of the ride would be a real downer. Just my take on the subject.

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Really, really excited to see this thing. I do expect it to be more family-oriented though, I hope most of the enthusiast crowd isn't expecting a thrill coaster. A solid family coaster is so good for the front gate, I don't understand why more parks don't focus on them actually.

 

I don't understand why so many people are wanting to see BF changed though. BF and FITH are some of my favorite amusement rides ever. They come from an age before modern cookie-cutter rides when the designers were being extremely innovative for their time and creating a full experience rather than a set of track gimmicks. All these years later, while they aren't as shiny or innovative anymore they remain unique and fun experiences. I could see some improvements being made, even a new ride system, but anything that destroys the old-school nature of the ride would be a real downer. Just my take on the subject.

 

 

I concur. BF and FITH are very special rides, and they do not need to be changed, or redone. Keep some history alive and enjoy these two special rides, and hope they are around for years to come!

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^ so...similarly....Florida isn't in the South?

I honestly consider it a different region of the country for cultural reasons. For example, even though California is in the southwest of the country I don't associate it with the southwest for cultural reasons. Parts of it line up with the Tex-Mex culture and aesthetics associated with other Southwestern states (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas) but I've always considered California its own separate region, and I feel like others do the same. In Florida, true, the panhandle does line up with the culture of deep southern states (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, ect.) but I consider the actual peninsula a different part of the country because once you leave the panhandle it gets different. That's just me though. It's well away from the southern amusement industry but it could still count.

 

Maybe we could be looking at a unique element too? I can't think of anything unique that isn't an inversion and is family-friendly but I could (and am hopefully) wrong. Some of these firsts have been slightly insignificant. T-head being the first station fly-through, for example. I bet it's nothing bigger than that.

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It'll be marketed as the First Launcher in the Smokey Mountains. Argument settled. You're welcome.

Was thinking that too. I'm aware Florida is geographically southeast, it just seems like its industry is so cut off that they could almost be discussed separately.

 

Another crazy thought I had; what if this has one of those projection tunnels that Manta has? It could be like you're going through a forest and then all of a sudden the forest catches fire and launches you?

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