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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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They only had two trains running today. I don't see now running three trains will increase capacity. They can only load a train and then launch it before the next train can enter the station. The ride isn't long enough for a third train to be on the course and not stack. They would have to double the load times they were producing today for three trains to work.

Edited by ernierocker
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So got back from a day at the park and it seems like they have a real solid winner for families on their hand. The line was at about an hour and half most the day and when we got in line at 5 pm it still was a full que and took an hour. All the kids and parents coming off we're smiling none stop and the group of friends I was with coaster and none coaster fans all felt it was a fun ride. Simply put It's just a ride that will make you smile.

Edited by SuperShawn
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Yesterday, Theme Park Review was invited out to Dollywood to take part in the media day for the opening of their 7th coaster, FireChaser Express.

 

Like I said earlier, FireChaser Express is the perfect roller coaster for families with kids. This was already obvious by the enormous line that had developed shortly after the park opened. (see the photos below!) Dollywood did a wonderful job as usual making the ride area look fantastic.

 

Onto the photos and video(s)!

 

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They were already allowing VIP guests to ride the ride before the media event started, so it was a great opportunity to snap some photos of the ride in action.

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We are here for the opening of FireChaser Express. What could that 7 stand for, hmmm???

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Poor Wild Eagle remembering how all of this was for it, two years ago.

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The centerpiece of the ride plaza is this vintage Fire Truck.

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I love how much you see of the ride as you enter the queue of the ride.

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Here you can see some of the landscaping Dollywood used for the hillside underneath the ride. They did a fantastic job!

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This sweeping curve meets you directly after the initial launch from the station.

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More natural theming. As Robb put it, these are the tears of all the Adventure Mountain fans. ;-)

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A little train detail for ya!

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The entire plaza was full of media members and VIP guests. Dollywood sure packs them in for these things.

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Official FireChaser Express Fluffy,

Official FireChaser Express Fluffy, Fluffy Bunnies with Goo!

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And how about some lift chain motor action!

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It was a nice touch, for these real-life Firemen to get one of the first rides on FireChaser Express with their children and family.

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Not surprisingly the queue lines will be well-themed as is par for the course with Dollywood rides.

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Gerstlauer makes some nice, looking trains, don't they?

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More of the ride as it sprawl out over the hillside.

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Could this sign be foreshadowing something?

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If you want to ride, you better do what this sign says!

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Like I said, Dollywood really packs in the plaza for these ride openings!

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Craig Ross, General Manager of the Dollywood company, started off the event by welcoming everyone and then proceeded to introduce the one-and-only...

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Dolly Parton!

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Dolly sang a song and gave some brief info about the ride, as well as talked a little about the DreamMore Resort.

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And then these local area Firemen helped officially open the ride!

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First official launch of FireChaser Express!

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And there were fireworks! I wonder if you will see any on the ride???

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First official riders climbing the lift hill!

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And immediately everyone started queuing up for the ride. Let's go ride!

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There is plenty of things to look at as you wait for the ride.

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More foreshadowing???

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And we've made it to the ride station!

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More of the brand new ride station.

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It didn't take long for the line to fill up!

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And it didn't take long for the line to spill out of the queue line!

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Did I mention the ride looks fantastic???

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They did a good job of using part of the Adventure Mountain for the ride theming.

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This may or may not have more airtime than Millennium Force. :-)

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Holy crap, the line really did spill out of the queue fast!

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At 11:00 it had reached the River Battle sign!

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More of the ride from Wilderness Pass.

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You navigate this turn right after the initial station launch.

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The way the ride sprawls over the area, you would think it was longer than it really is!

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The ride station where you launch into your ride, as well as finish your return, backwards journey.

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Here is the show building, where the reverse launch is located.

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Something goes terribly wrong in here!

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More remnants of Adventure Mountain.

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The final turn into the brake run, taken in reverse!

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The backwards portion of the ride can mostly be seen in this photo.

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Awww, poor Blazing Fury is sad it is no longer the only ride themed to Fire.

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Walking towards lunch we found a new addition to the park map!

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Speaking of lunch, it wouldn't be a media day without some awesome food!

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Fun fact, Firefighters love Chinese Food!

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At lunch, I got my official FireChaser badge.

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When we were leaving the park, I had to check out the new path that was recently opened up between Country Fair and Rivertown Junction.

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This used to be a backstage area for park employees which they recently opened up as a public pathway.

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And you get some awesome views of Smoky Mountain River Rampage!

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Couldn't see the ride from this perspective before!

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That's all! I leave you with this.

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Oh, and this too.

Edited by robbalvey
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Definitely some nice work on the entrance plaza and station theming. It's good to see parks put more effort into "family" coasters to make them more entertaining.

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Do you know what are those black things around the track ?

 

Those are just racks where Dolly hangs her spare wigs.

 

Or maybe they're something boring like sensors for the blocks brakes

Edited by nannerdw
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There are a few during the course actually.

 

Where else are they? Looking through my photos I only see them there.

 

They could be there to provide shade or to catch falling objects (or maybe grease from the track and trains).

 

Yeah, those are the catch nets or whatever they are officially called. He is referring to the structure that is physically attached to both sides of the track in the center of where the train is in that photo.

 

 

Or maybe they're something boring like sensors for the blocks brakes

 

That was my guess, but I know nothing when it comes to these things.

Edited by ernierocker
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Firechaser is a lot more fun than many rides in the same genre, and about as perfect a starter coaster as can be. It goes backwards and looks tall up in the hill, but if you can get the wimp in your group past that they'll have fun for sure.

 

Other than that, its the fifth or sixth best coaster at dollywood, so not a ton

to say.

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Still seems like a perfect fit for the park! I'll take the "Pandemonium" comparisons as a compliment--gives me a good idea of what thrill level to expect. I love all the theming details; reminds me of road trips through wildfire country.

 

The "black thing" reminded me of a reach envelope tester even though that wouldn't make sense at this point.

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