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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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Anyone know what's going on with the small construction area to the left of Red's Diner?

 

close to Red's? Could be a new outdoor seating area for people eating there.

Ya, it's directly beside it. There were some roof frames behind the fence. Could be just a covered patio for more tables, Red's will most likely be busy next year.

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You're really overstating the comparative hassle and fatigue-factor of a two-hour flight, and understating the hassle and fatigue-factor of driving 10+ hours out of and back to the NYC area.

 

Yeah, that's your opinion. I take 5-6 road trips a year. I know perfectly well what's involved in a 10 hour drive, even to and from the NYC area. I compare a 10 hour drive to my 12 hour shift at work and the drive is much easier. He's 25 years old. He'll be fine.

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^ I agree I am laying down in my cabin right now and drove down here I live in upstate New York and make the drive down to Pigeon Forge every November, it is quite a haul but not unreasonable. I make it being the only driver,in a car without cruise control. Just take your time and make a few short stop, it really has become part of the experience now for my wife and I. We chat, listen to music and just generally have a great time. Once you arrive in pigeon forge you will forget how much you just drove. Can't wait to go to the park again tomorrow!

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You're really overstating the comparative hassle and fatigue-factor of a two-hour flight, and understating the hassle and fatigue-factor of driving 10+ hours out of and back to the NYC area.

 

Yeah, that's your opinion. I take 5-6 road trips a year. I know perfectly well what's involved in a 10 hour drive, even to and from the NYC area. I compare a 10 hour drive to my 12 hour shift at work and the drive is much easier. He's 25 years old. He'll be fine.

 

This...

 

We drive to Dollywood from about an hour North of NYC every year. We usually leave from work on a Friday... get a hotel, get a good nights sleep of 7 hours or so and then get to the park by the time they open the next day. It's no big deal at all. I love driving, we only fly when we have to because it's such a massive pain in the ass.

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I don't mind making the drive at all either, but I will admit that the 320-or-so mile leg of Interstate 81 down the western border of Virginia is exceptionally boring.

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So guys, due to the amazing-looking Lightning Rod, I am thinking about planning a trip to Dollywood in 2016. I have some questions that I would greatly appreciate being helped out with...

 

-Coming from Newark Airport in Nj, what would be the closest airport to fly into?

 

-What are the benefits to staying at Dreammore resort (discounts/proximity/etc...)? For someone on a relatively tight budget, is it still a worthy investment? If not, are there any good hotels within 5-10 miles from the park that you guys strongly reccomend?

 

-What parks are comparable to Dollywood in terms of size and amount of attractions to see and do? Some points of reference that I have been to...SFGAdv, CpP, SFNE, Dorney, KD, Hershey.

 

-Knowing Lightning Rod is still a question mark, what are crowds and lines usually like in April and early-mid May? How were the lines for Thunderhead and Wild Eagle during their inaugeral seasons?

 

-Considering the early spring crowds, will Dollywood require 2 or 3 days to fully experience, including multiple laps on each major coaster?

 

-Are there any parks within an hour that are definitely worth hitting up?

 

-Overall, is a first-time visit to Dollywood worth the extra expenses to visit than 2 mini-trips to already-visoted closer parks like SFNE, or a trip to a once-visited park like CP? I know this is subjective, but I'd like to hear people's thoughts.

 

 

Thanks in advance for the feedback!!!

 

 

1) Knoxville or Tri Cities

 

2) You get a free shuttle and a timesaver. I would personally stay off property because there are plenty of nice, cheap hotels in the Pigeon Forge area. I recommend the Pigeon River Inn which is about 10 minutes from the gate.

 

3) Dollywood is about 1/2 the size of Hershey but a little larger than Carowinds in terms of size. Dollywood has about 1/2 the attractions Hershey does.

 

4) Early spring crowds are manageable, but then again crowds are relatively unpredictable at Dollywood. I think if you go on a weekday you should be fine.

 

5) I'd say about a day and 1/2. Do the after 3pm next day free deal and you should be able to experience everything (don't forget the shows).

 

6) The Great Smokey Mountain National Park (wrong type of park, I know) is less than an hour away and definitely worth a visit if you have the time. I would recommend a ride around Cades Cove.

 

7) Dollywood is definitely worth the extra money!

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You're really overstating the comparative hassle and fatigue-factor of a two-hour flight, and understating the hassle and fatigue-factor of driving 10+ hours out of and back to the NYC area.

 

Yeah, that's your opinion. I take 5-6 road trips a year. I know perfectly well what's involved in a 10 hour drive, even to and from the NYC area. I compare a 10 hour drive to my 12 hour shift at work and the drive is much easier. He's 25 years old. He'll be fine.

 

I say Millennium Force, others say i305, and at the end of the day we toast to enjoying coasters. Look, I didn't mean to incite a defense of your driving record or transportation preferences. I won't edit that post, but please understand that I'm not trying to invalidate your thoughts. You had a thoughtful post, and finding savings to put toward the cabin was real good advice. Driving can be a viable option, & if it's all the same to him and he saves money, he should do it! But I don't want to see flying get discouraged from consideration by a concert of subsequent posts that promote driving by way of contempt for airports and flying.

 

In truth, I've had about the same ratio of good drives to good flights. It's a toss-up, and I hope Nitro considers both because airports aren't always nightmares just because that narrative gets propagated. If he finds good flight rates and does some calculations, he might get a great deal to put toward the cabin. Personally*, I love taking a good book, having some small talk on a plane, and then being in Carowinds fresh while my extended family is still back at a rest stop in West Virginia.

 

* Opinion alert

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Gonna be hard to get out there with my schedule next year, but I'm seriously considering finding a way. After getting almost 20 laps on Twisted Colossus October 2nd (the park was dead, even at night X2 was virtually a walk on) I kinda get what these RMC coasters are about and these 2016 additions look outright amazing. The ride already looks spectacular.

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You're really overstating the comparative hassle and fatigue-factor of a two-hour flight, and understating the hassle and fatigue-factor of driving 10+ hours out of and back to the NYC area.

 

Yeah, that's your opinion. I take 5-6 road trips a year. I know perfectly well what's involved in a 10 hour drive, even to and from the NYC area. I compare a 10 hour drive to my 12 hour shift at work and the drive is much easier. He's 25 years old. He'll be fine.

 

I say Millennium Force, others say i305, and at the end of the day we toast to enjoying coasters. Look, I didn't mean to incite a defense of your driving record or transportation preferences. I won't edit that post, but please understand that I'm not trying to invalidate your thoughts. You had a thoughtful post, and finding savings to put toward the cabin was real good advice. Driving can be a viable option, & if it's all the same to him and he saves money, he should do it! But I don't want to see flying get discouraged from consideration by a concert of subsequent posts that promote driving by way of contempt for airports and flying.

 

In truth, I've had about the same ratio of good drives to good flights. It's a toss-up, and I hope Nitro considers both because airports aren't always nightmares just because that narrative gets propagated. If he finds good flight rates and does some calculations, he might get a great deal to put toward the cabin. Personally*, I love taking a good book, having some small talk on a plane, and then being in Carowinds fresh while my extended family is still back at a rest stop in West Virginia.

 

* Opinion alert

 

k thanks

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Sorry if I'm breaking current discussion but I just wanted to say that I was in Branson this past weekend and finally got to ride Outlaw run... OMG, I CAN NOT WAIT FOR LIGHTNING ROD TO OPEN!!!!.... I can only imagine that if Outlaw Run was that good what Lightning Rod will be like...

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First off, you are going to have a blast. I cannot overstate how awesome of an event Smoky Mountain Christmas is. The lights are truly stunning, pictures do not do it justice, I have went to the park the past 4 days and would go again today if they were open!

 

Yes the rides are open so long as the temperature is high enough. Don't quote me on this but I believe it needs to be 40 to start the rides and be above 36 to stay open. It was about 42 one night this week and everything stayed open. If the temperature is close Tennese Tornado will be the first ride to close as its highest in elevation . So if it closes get your rides in on the other rides while you can!

 

If you are going to be getting a season pass I recommend one person in your party upgrading to the gold season pass. Parking is free with that and you get 20% off EVERYTHING in the park that is not already on sale, including food.

 

With that said I would recommend getting the Time Saver (qbot) pass on saturday if your going on saturday. The big draw with it is you will not have to wait in line for the shows. The park is always extremely crowded but the rides are not usually that busy especially once night falls. This Saturday was one of the busiest days they had all year and by 7 everything was a walk on. I am not the type of person that is usually into shows but Dollywoods shows are top notch and are worth going to. With the qbot there is no stress, you can select all your shows in the morning and go 10 min before the show starts and get preferred seating right up front. The lines for the shows are HUGE and I would not want to wait for them as you can wait and they could not have enough seats. My favorite shows were Cristmas Carol and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Also with the gold pass the qbot was only 43 bucks for 2 people after tax. I believe it was 25 bucks per person without the pass, well worth it compared to other parks skip the line services.

 

Overall just have a blast, the hospitality at Dollywood is unmatched and they really make you feel at home. I love this park and after going to other parks all year it is very refreshing to go somewhere that 'gets' it and does things the right way everywhere. I was worried when I saw TV screens in the queue lines this year, but did I ever hear obnoxious commercials blasting through them the entire time I was there? NOPE! They just displayed the wait time for your ride as well as the rest of the parks rides! Have fun and if you have any more questions I'll try to help ya out.

 

How could I forget? CINNAMON BREAD! Go to the grist mill and get cinnamon bread, one of the best amusmemt park foods anywhere. Also we eat at Aunt Granny's buffet once a year and it is fantastic food that is reasonably priced. For two people it was 31 dollars with gold pass and they even refil your mug or give you a to go drink to leave with.

 

P.S. I know its been said before but I just wanted to say. Is Firechaser not the best family coaster? The amount of children that I saw that could not have been more than 4-5 years old riding that ride with hands up having the best time ever was awesome. And it is a great ride for me and my wife also, just a perfect ride for what it is.

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First off, you are going to have a blast. I cannot overstate how awesome of an event Smoky Mountain Christmas is.

 

 

Until this year we've always had to go to Dollywood to ride coasters in the winter (which is about a 12 hour drive). Now we can just go to our home park (Great Adventure) so we don't have to go to Dollywood any more for coasters but we're going anyway because Smoky Mountain Christmas is amazing. The lights are amazing, the food is amazing, the rides are amazing and the atmosphere is so awesome and so genuine and immersive that you feel like you're walking through a Christmas card.

 

I believe it needs to be 40 to start the rides and be above 36 to stay open. It was about 42 one night this week and everything stayed open.

 

These numbers are 100% correct. I generally wait until a few days out before we go just in-case but most days the temperatures are well above this. They may or may not close at night, but you can still watch the shows (which are exceptional), eat the food, ride the flats, look at the lights and ride Blazing Fury.

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Riding Barnstormer at night is both a bit terrifying and will give you wind burn this time of year lol but all worth it. About tomorrow, I read on TPR's post about IAAPA that Dollywood will have a hot rod that will be inside the station (que) so that's a plus and will be cool to see as we know Dollywood goes all out with theming. I hope to see the actual train as well along with POV and learning all facts. I read somewhere that the backstory for this coaster is you walk into Johnny Rev's garage to test out his new hot rod prototype , Lightning Rod along with his secret fuel, and the prototype sends you cruising through the hills of the smokies. Whether that's correct or not, tomorrow should tell.

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