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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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I love Thunderhead, I know some people feel it's just a generic GCI but that one always seemed better than the rest of them to me for whatever reason.

 

It's got a decent layout with some length to it and some interesting twists, but it doesn't ride like the GCII's I knew and love. At least not when I rode it back in June. If it was as smooth as Ozark Wildcat was, I'm sure I would have loved it. Honestly I wouldn't even bother with it now though if I were to make it back to the park this year. They've let it fall into being a "blah" coaster.

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They've let it fall into being a "blah" coaster.

 

How many times have you ridden it? It isn't a rough coaster and rode just like my other dozens of rides over a period of several years back in May. You might have just ridden it at a bad time.

 

I'm not saying it is my absolute favorite ride in the world, but Dollywood has kept Thunderhead running consistently and in no way have they neglected it like you are implying.

Edited by ernierocker
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Rode Thunderhead today and my wife and I thought it was great. The layout was intense but designed well enough that the intensity didn't put my body through any great trauma from transitioning too quickly. As for rough in a tracking sense, the ride rode extremely well, though better in the middle than the very back. One of my favorite woodies.

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I love Thunderhead, it's in my top 10 (#7). When I rode it in 2012 night ERT on the New Hotness trip, I couldn't get enough! I love the floater air and great pacing, but I have a feeling that Dollywood will soon have a wooden coaster that will BLOW Thunderhead out of the water...

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They've let it fall into being a "blah" coaster.

 

How many times have you ridden it? It isn't a rough coaster and rode just like my other dozens of rides over a period of several years back in May. You might have just ridden it at a bad time.

 

I'm not saying it is my absolute favorite ride in the world, but Dollywood has kept Thunderhead running consistently and in no way have they neglected it like you are implying.

 

Yeah, I'll give it another shot next year, but I rode it quite a few times over two days and it was just simply rattly and uncomfortable for me. I like wood coasters with a classic feel, but in this case it mostly just felt like it's due for some work. I'm not trying to dog the park or anything, but we all know how GCII's typically are. They are balls out amazing when they open but start to decline pretty quick when the track starts to wear out. Thunderhead is 11 years old now, right? I remember when people were fawning over it as one of the best rides in the U.S. I wonder how far off the next major re-tracking for it will be.

 

Could just be me though. Seems like I'm getting more sensitive these days. I used to enjoy Mean Streak

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They've let it fall into being a "blah" coaster.

 

How many times have you ridden it? It isn't a rough coaster and rode just like my other dozens of rides over a period of several years back in May. You might have just ridden it at a bad time.

 

I'm not saying it is my absolute favorite ride in the world, but Dollywood has kept Thunderhead running consistently and in no way have they neglected it like you are implying.

 

Yeah, I'll give it another shot next year, but I rode it quite a few times over two days and it was just simply rattly and uncomfortable for me. I like wood coasters with a classic feel, but in this case it mostly just felt like it's due for some work. I'm not trying to dog the park or anything, but we all know how GCII's typically are. They are balls out amazing when they open but start to decline pretty quick when the track starts to wear out. Thunderhead is 11 years old now, right? I remember when people were fawning over it as one of the best rides in the U.S. I wonder how far off the next major re-tracking for it will be.

 

Could just be me though. Seems like I'm getting more sensitive these days. I used to enjoy Mean Streak

there are wooden coasters that are still in operation that were built in the 60's and 70's. " someone let me know what the oldest running woodie is? " i highly doubt that Thunderhead is past it's prime at 11 years. " what if it ends up getting RMC'ed? good lord, the possibilities".

Edited by mordecai-75
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I've always considered myself to be an odd wooden coaster ranker (love Rebel Yell, Racer, Blue Streak ), but yes Thunderhead has always been in my top wooden coasters. It's actually my favorite coaster in the park! Something about the out of control feeling the ride gives, while still being a very comfortable ride is what makes this ride worth visiting Dollywood alone...

 

And the cinnamon bread.

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They've let it fall into being a "blah" coaster.

 

How many times have you ridden it? It isn't a rough coaster and rode just like my other dozens of rides over a period of several years back in May. You might have just ridden it at a bad time.

 

I'm not saying it is my absolute favorite ride in the world, but Dollywood has kept Thunderhead running consistently and in no way have they neglected it like you are implying.

 

Yeah, I'll give it another shot next year, but I rode it quite a few times over two days and it was just simply rattly and uncomfortable for me. I like wood coasters with a classic feel, but in this case it mostly just felt like it's due for some work. I'm not trying to dog the park or anything, but we all know how GCII's typically are. They are balls out amazing when they open but start to decline pretty quick when the track starts to wear out. Thunderhead is 11 years old now, right? I remember when people were fawning over it as one of the best rides in the U.S. I wonder how far off the next major re-tracking for it will be.

 

Could just be me though. Seems like I'm getting more sensitive these days. I used to enjoy Mean Streak

there are wooden coasters that are still in operation that were built in the 60's and 70's. " someone let me know what the oldest running woodie is? " i highly doubt that Thunderhead is past it's prime at 11 years. " what if it ends up getting RMC'ed? good lord, the possibilities".

to answer my own question, it seems like ( leap the dips ) is the oldest running woodie. " sounds like a pitiful ride from what i've just read about it." But it was built in 1902! that is mind-blowingly amazing! " wow ". makes me wanna go to Altoona, PA, just to ride that thing.

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They've let it fall into being a "blah" coaster.

 

How many times have you ridden it? It isn't a rough coaster and rode just like my other dozens of rides over a period of several years back in May. You might have just ridden it at a bad time.

 

I'm not saying it is my absolute favorite ride in the world, but Dollywood has kept Thunderhead running consistently and in no way have they neglected it like you are implying.

 

Yeah, I'll give it another shot next year, but I rode it quite a few times over two days and it was just simply rattly and uncomfortable for me. I like wood coasters with a classic feel, but in this case it mostly just felt like it's due for some work. I'm not trying to dog the park or anything, but we all know how GCII's typically are. They are balls out amazing when they open but start to decline pretty quick when the track starts to wear out. Thunderhead is 11 years old now, right? I remember when people were fawning over it as one of the best rides in the U.S. I wonder how far off the next major re-tracking for it will be.

 

Could just be me though. Seems like I'm getting more sensitive these days. I used to enjoy Mean Streak

there are wooden coasters that are still in operation that were built in the 60's and 70's. " someone let me know what the oldest running woodie is? " i highly doubt that Thunderhead is past it's prime at 11 years. " what if it ends up getting RMC'ed? good lord, the possibilities".

to answer my own question, it seems like ( leap the dips ) is the oldest running woodie. " sounds like a pitiful ride from what i've just read about it." But it was built in 1902! that is mind-blowingly amazing! " wow ". makes me wanna go to Altoona, PA, just to ride that thing.

...and you're using quotation marks why?

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Thunderhead is one of my favs too. I never really thought it rode rough especailly taking into consideration all of the elements it passes through so quickly. Me riding it so often, I know how to prepare myself for the next element... however it's been some years since I rode it, so I can't really judge the current condition. I don't see the folks over at Dollywood letting it get too bad though.

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I wouldn't say GCI's coasters all age quickly. It mostly depends on the park and their maintenance upkeep. Lightning Racer at Hershey is a 15 years old and rides pretty well. But then there is Wildcat across the pathway. All depends on how it is kept in my opinion.

 

Seriously can't wait to see what the park has in store for next year. Could be just about anything imaginable with the supposed manufacturer at the helm

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Thunderhead was running great until they removed the fountain.

 

Almost every coaster gets a little more shakey and rough with age. I do think that is magnified with woodies. Thunderhead has become considerably more rough over the years, but it is no way a bad ride. Compared to other woodies, it's still super smooth.

 

This brings up a concern that I have: RMC hasn't really passed the test of time at this point. What if they age poorly? I don't think that'll be the case, especially with I-box. Just something that's been on my mind...

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[question ote=mordecai-75]
They've let it fall into being a "blah" coaster.

 

How many times have you ridden it? It isn't a rough coaster and rode just like my other dozens of rides over a period of several years back in May. You might have just ridden it at a bad time.

 

I'm not saying it is my absolute favorite ride in the world, but Dollywood has kept Thunderhead running consistently and in no way have they neglected it like you are implying.

 

Yeah, I'll give it another shot next year, but I rode it quite a few times over two days and it was just simply rattly and uncomfortable for me. I like wood coasters with a classic feel, but in this case it mostly just felt like it's due for some work. I'm not trying to dog the park or anything, but we all know how GCII's typically are. They are balls out amazing when they open but start to decline pretty quick when the track starts to wear out. Thunderhead is 11 years old now, right? I remember when people were fawning over it as one of the best rides in the U.S. I wonder how far off the next major re-tracking for it will be.

 

Could just be me though. Seems like I'm getting more sensitive these days. I used to enjoy Mean Streak

there are wooden coasters that are still in operation that were built in the 60's and 70's. " someone let me know what the oldest running woodie is? " i highly doubt that Thunderhead is past it's prime at 11 years. " what if it ends up getting RMC'ed? good lord, the possibilities".

to answer my own question, it seems like ( leap the dips ) is the oldest running woodie. " sounds like a pitiful ride from what i've just read about it." But it was built in 1902! that is mind-blowingly amazing! " wow ". makes me wanna go to Altoona, PA, just to ride that thing.

...and you're using quotation marks why?

Just the way i right, "odd question".

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Thanks for the photos!

 

That looks like support wood. When RMC builds new coasters with topper track, they prefabricate the track in sections.

 

Looks like the station will be elevated with the gift shop exit underneath? It also looks like it will be parallel to the pathway, indicating a turn out of the station before any launch or whatever. At least from my initial browsing of those photos.

 

That hill is going to explode with activity soon... not only will the footers tear it up, but they'll have to do a lot of erosion control.

IMG_2312.jpg.b4c765974d138d4ac692c55f8100e02f.jpg

topper track segments

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