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Dollywood Discussion Thread

p. 734 - Lightning Rod closed for remainder of 2020 season

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There was a time in my life when I would have cared what Lightning Rod was made of.  So refreshing to give precisely zero effs. I just want to go to Dollywood and not worry about it being open! 

Yeah, the difference to the rider between I-Box track and the current track is really minimal. The only major difference would be that the ride would actually be open when you wanted to ride it and wh

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^That's the issue. They don't want to eliminate the bees. They are trying to find an environmentally friendly solution to keep them from hanging out at the top of the lift. That's why they have the steeple tops on Lightning Rod. They are trying something new to hopefully get rid of the bee issue without getting rid of the bees themselves.

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^ You would think in this day and age that it would be easy enough to bring in a proper extermimation crew and eliminate the bee issue, I can't fathom why it is still a problem.

 

 

You would also think in this day and age people would have learned and fully understand how important bees are and exterminating them is the exact wrong thing to do.

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Plus Dollywood does anything that they can to try and protect the wildlife/scenery of The Great Smoky Mountains, including bee's.

Speaking of that structure on top of LR, I watched a full reveal of the train and construction tour video and I listened to questions asked. Pete answered many, he said that the structure would be covered by a roof, whether it's tin or shingle he did not know yet. Also, if this method works to keep away bee's that they would be added to the other coasters with problems (Wild Eagle, Thunderhead) which kinda makes me on the fence with it. I'm fine for it with thunderhead I guess, but for Wild Eagle? I think that disrupts the overall look of that coaster and feel of flying into the "sky". Not into a roofed structure lol. Anyway, Pete also did say that LR WOULD go into the false drop at 45mph and roll on into the next with full speed down the drop. Also heard in there that with the seatbelt, it's a flexible type of seatbelt although when it's locked it's a sealed deal.

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My last visit was back in the middle of November so bee's were not an issue.

However I've been so a lot of parks with major bee issues (Apollo's Chariot at BGW, Skyrush or Wildcat at HP, ect ect) and somehow I've never been stung, I wish they weren't there though. I'm interested to see if this roof on lightning rod works. However in this particular case I can't see the bee's being much of a problem either way as you will be flying past at 45 miles per hour instead of creeping past at 5 or 6 miles per hour. Guess we'll see!

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^ You would think in this day and age that it would be easy enough to bring in a proper extermimation crew and eliminate the bee issue, I can't fathom why it is still a problem.

 

 

You would also think in this day and age people would have learned and fully understand how important bees are and exterminating them is the exact wrong thing to do.

 

You would think in this day and age people would have seen Bee Movie, the greatest movie of all time.

tumblr_nkeymjQtON1tdo3rqo1_1280.thumb.jpg.b7cfc310def8f05e16ae4cb86dc22872.jpg

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I wish the park would just put signs up informing guests of the bees, suggesting times when the bees are generally less of a problem and still run the coasters for people that don't care (the vast majority of people). Batman the Dak Knight at SFNE has a ton of bees on the lift for example but it would be a cold day in hell before they ever closed a ride because of bees.

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I think the issue here is location.. Bees are much worse at Dollywood than any other park I have seen.. Last year, someone was stung on Thunderhead several times when I was there.. They closed it after that and left it closed until later in the evening..

 

In this sue happy nation they can put all the signs up they want but people will still hold it against Dollywood if they are stung.

 

How six flags gets away with it IDK, buy at SFOG I have seen bees on their coasters but I have never seen them as bad as Dollywood.. Not sure if they treat for them at six flags or not.

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They are worse on Thunderhead because bee's for some reason are attracted to any kind of treated timber. So I can assume they're going to be the same on Lightning Rod. Plus Lightning Rod is a bit higher up than Thunderhead. One of my trips down in 2014, a woman was stung on the lift of Wild Eagle while I was getting ready to get onto the next train. I had already made the full trip around and into the break run when they shut the ride down for a few hours. Same day some got stung on Thunderhead. Take it that day was somewhere in the mid 90's and the pollen count was awful (when is it not in Tennessee). Kentucky and Tennessee are two states I know of for high pollen counts and bad swarms of bee's.

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I can tell you as someone who is very allergic to bees I have no issue riding the ride regardless of them being there. The chances of getting stung are pretty small and I choose not to live my life in fear. If i get stung its off to the hospital I go but oo well. I don't think Dollywood should shut down rides because of it but hopefully they can find a goo way to draw them away from the structure. Hopefully the roofing on Lightning Rod works.

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I'm pretty sure in the revealment video I heard Pete say that the wheels on these trains were Urethane wheels, to make for a more smooth/swift ride experience.

 

I think the steel wheels on Outlaw Run have been pretty tough on the track and I think RMC was even suggesting adding the poly wheels to OR, but SDC didn't wish to. I'm guessing this means we'll never see any more RMCs with steel wheels, but as long as they design for it (knowing they'll have a lot higher coefficient of friction) then it probably won't be noticeable with riders.

 

I'm assuming that polyurethane wheels on wood track lose a lot more speed than polyurethane wheels on a totally steel track, just because the wood is going to be softer and eat some more of the speed than the steel. I think we've seen that a lot in the wood coasters with polyurethane wheels like Goliath or El Toro where their speed noticeably drops off by the ending.

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What time of the year are the bees typically out and creating "havoc?" I'm heading there Easter weekend and the week after...is this something that I should worry about at this time of year?

 

Also, I was looking at some other leisure activities in the area and am thinking about doing a zip line, horse back riding, hiking, and possible white water rafting. Climb Works and Adventure Zip Lines look interesting... do any of you have a preference between those two, should we do another company...and what company to use for the other stuff? I would also take some recommendations for a hiking trail in the Smokies.

 

Lastly, because my friends and I will be down in the area for Easter, we are also looking for a large protestant church to go to on Easter morning. Any ideas?

 

Thanks!

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I'm pretty sure in the revealment video I heard Pete say that the wheels on these trains were Urethane wheels, to make for a more smooth/swift ride experience.

 

I think the steel wheels on Outlaw Run have been pretty tough on the track and I think RMC was even suggesting adding the poly wheels to OR, but SDC didn't wish to. I'm guessing this means we'll never see any more RMCs with steel wheels, but as long as they design for it (knowing they'll have a lot higher coefficient of friction) then it probably won't be noticeable with riders.

 

I'm assuming that polyurethane wheels on wood track lose a lot more speed than polyurethane wheels on a totally steel track, just because the wood is going to be softer and eat some more of the speed than the steel. I think we've seen that a lot in the wood coasters with polyurethane wheels like Goliath or El Toro where their speed noticeably drops off by the ending.

 

But remember that RMC wood coasters ride on all steel track, so I would assume that wouldn't be an issue.

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I think the steel wheels on Outlaw Run have been pretty tough on the track and I think RMC was even suggesting adding the poly wheels to OR, but SDC didn't wish to.

 

Outlaw Run would never complete it's course using poly wheels.

 

Exactly because of this:

 

All coasters ride on steel track. The speed is lost with the plastic wheels. Steel wheels have extremely low friction with steel track.
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^ I'm no engineer but all that really looks like is rust.

 

Is there actually any truth to the steel wheels tearing up the track? This is the first I've heard of it and I'm trying to figure it out. The top steel beam on the topper track replaces the top two layers of traditional track. It's pumped full of concrete so it will remain solid and is then covered by the steel running plate (which is what is rusted in the picture). If anything SDC might have to replace the steel running plate, but I'm having a hard time imagining they need to replace all of the track. OR isn't the first coaster to use steel wheels on topper track. There are a number of existing roller coasters out there that have had portions of their track replaced with topper track that use steel wheels. That track also probably takes more of a beating from fixed axle cars that those coasters use.

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What time of the year are the bees typically out and creating "havoc?" I'm heading there Easter weekend and the week after...is this something that I should worry about at this time of year?

 

Also, I was looking at some other leisure activities in the area and am thinking about doing a zip line, horse back riding, hiking, and possible white water rafting. Climb Works and Adventure Zip Lines look interesting... do any of you have a preference between those two, should we do another company...and what company to use for the other stuff? I would also take some recommendations for a hiking trail in the Smokies.

 

Lastly, because my friends and I will be down in the area for Easter, we are also looking for a large protestant church to go to on Easter morning. Any ideas?

 

Thanks!

 

Semi unrelated but I'll be there Easter Weekend (from Friday the 25th to Monday the 28th) maybe I'll see ya there.

 

Also this shot is from 2013 and the track already looked like that. Would it really need retracking so fast? I wish I had better pictures to look at to actually compare it from opening day to now as well as the wear and tear on the other RMCs. However if it was wearing down that fast I doubt Hershand would double down on their investment with RMC and make Lightning Rod

 

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Haha guys I was joking with the rust look on the track. I'd assume that's just normal wear and whethering. If that were the case, Tennessee Tornado would've needed to be fixed a LONG time ago.

You failed sarcasm class in high school, didn't you?

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