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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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It will run, up the hill.

It will run, yes it will.

It will run, in sleet and rain.

It will run, on preview day.

It will run, and we will scream.

It will run, just like a dream.

First ride finished, my mind relieved,

all this I know, cause I Believed.

 

Yes, I believed, from beginning till end.

I Believed in Dolly, and those dudes at Herschend.

Never once did I falter, never once not held true.

So to all those naysayers, "Suck it! Nanny Nanny Boo Boo!"

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At this point even if the ride is open for opening day I would NOT want to ride. It is a new ride system and a new coaster on a awkward terrain. I'll let others be test subjects. Moreover I believe that Dollywood is responsible enough to NOT open a ride after only a week of testing just to say they did not missed a deadline. Hopefully guest safety matter more than meeting their self imposed deadline.

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I've always been impressed with Dollywood opening dates for their new rides. I just don't know why all other parks can't follow the same pattern as dollywood. It seems so efficient. Even if dollywood doesn't get this ride opened the first week , I'm confident they will get it opened sooner than later.

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I guess it will open when it opens.

 

Dollywood will do everything they can to get it running for the public on opening day, but they won't cut corners to do so. To avoid the ride after it's been testing for "only" a week is silly, Dollywood aren't going to let people on it if they're not satisfied it's safe, even if it means their exceptional reputation for having rides open on time takes a knock.... which it won't, because people have very short term memories.

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How about some bad news? Some weather models that are *VERY FAR AHEAD AND ONLY A SLIGHT POSSIBILITY* are showing possible wintry temps falling across Kentucky and Tennesse during the opening week for Dollywood, otherwise known as Spring Break. But if Lightning Rod is open then it might still be worth it.

 

I Believe, it will go.

I Believe it, in the snow.

I Believe in Dolly, yes I can.

I Believe it will open on time, Sam I am.

 

It's just a matter of time now until Guy sings a Dollywood version of I Believe from Book of Mormon. Possibly dueting with Dolly herself.

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I'm heading down to Pigeon Forge for the night, and most of the day tomorrow. I would drive out to Dollywood but I fear I would get attacked by the team "NO PHOTOS NO PHOTOS, SHE DOESNT WANT TO BE SEEN YET" haha which I just want to see it with my own eyes. So I may try and take the road where those old apartments are and take a peek, not sure yet though.

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I'm heading down to Pigeon Forge for the night, and most of the day tomorrow. I would drive out to Dollywood but I fear I would get attacked by the team "NO PHOTOS NO PHOTOS, SHE DOESNT WANT TO BE SEEN YET" haha which I just want to see it with my own eyes. So I may try and take the road where those old apartments are and take a peek, not sure yet though.

 

Please do!

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I also want to drive out to Locust Ridge to see the actual homeplace (Yes I know you can't go on the land) but in all my 21 years of going to Pigeon Forge, my family and I have never traveled out that road. I know you turn opposite of the old Dollywood entrance, but that's as far as I know. Haha Anyone ever done it?

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I also want to drive out to Locust Ridge to see the actual homeplace (Yes I know you can't go on the land) but in all my 21 years of going to Pigeon Forge, my family and I have never traveled out that road. I know you turn opposite of the old Dollywood entrance, but that's as far as I know. Haha Anyone ever done it?

I don't remember where I saw it, but there is an article online where Bill Owens told the directions to the old Parton homeplace.

Edit: here it is, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-09-07/travel/8603060993_1_creek-bridge-miles-louis-owens

It is from 1986, though.

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I also want to drive out to Locust Ridge to see the actual homeplace (Yes I know you can't go on the land) but in all my 21 years of going to Pigeon Forge, my family and I have never traveled out that road. I know you turn opposite of the old Dollywood entrance, but that's as far as I know. Haha Anyone ever done it?

 

Here are the Google Maps directions. You can even see the house using street view. Those directions provided by the link in the post above mine are outdated as the Locust Ridge Rd has been extended and paved since way back when. Using these directions, the house will be on the right.

 

Directions To Dolly's Real Childhood Home on Locust Ridge Rd

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Just got settled in the hotel after eating and walking around town. So it was extremely hard to find a hotel because there's apparently this huge cheer competition going on, spring break coming in, and the girl at the front desk said people are starting to come in for Dollywood's grand opening. She was like "Have you heard what's over at the park?" I was like "Yea, Lightning Rod, a pretty big deal in the coaster world." She was like "Oh no, you have no idea, have you seen the thing moving yet? " then just smirked. So just stepping into town and the hype is big.

 

Oh and thanks so much for the directions, I will be sure to put them to good use tomorrow!

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How crowded is season passholder preview day usually?

 

How much will Lightning Rod impact that?

 

This will be the 5th year I've gone for opening weekend and season pass holder day. Each year a new coaster has opened the weekend has been far busier than the none ride opening years. Even still most the coasters have had short lines to even walk on waits opening weekend except which ever the new ride is. Like wild eagle and fire chaser both stayed well over an hour wait most of pass holder day and Saturday the years they opened, Sunday drops pretty drastically in crowds thanks to it being church day. The other thing with opening weekend is to remember a lot of people come to see the shows and of course Dolly who's in the park just Friday and Saturday.

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And the older crowds could care less about the coaster, they just want to see Dolly! Haha Well today's weather is in the low 70's with some rain so hopefully they'll try some testing in the rain. I'll try to update you guys with anything I see it any, and if I do see any movement, I will be sure to go by the parks wishes even though I'm not an employee.

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So I visited Locust Ridge, the park, and then looked at Lightning Rod from the apartments on the hill and all I can say is WOW. Here's what I noticed. So, we pull in the old Dolywood exit and as you approach the coaster the first thing you'll notice even from outside the park is the newly renovated area. Things are everywhere and the colors are bright! Another thing is the ENORMOUS non inverting half loop. My Dad actually said "is that a weird loop or a turn because I literally can't tell what it's doing". It's banked more than 90 degrees all the way up that it looks like it does in invert. The quad down was hard for me to see except for the last turn, because of the way it hugs the terrain so much.

Now the part you're probably wondering about, was the ride testing? Yes. Did I see it make full circuit? No. But that's because when we pulled up the first time it was rolling through the brakes. Then they stopped it there, and all the worker's focus was on me. Second time I heard the coaster, but when I ran to the ridge I could just hear it. I'm guessing it was going down the quad down.

Another thing, they are working day and night because they have construction lights up the hill that the launch is on, at the top of the hill, around the bottom of the area (station) and in the ravine.

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Dollywood is posting a countdown on their facebook page... but still not answering questions about whether the ride will be open! What do you guyys think??

 

I'm thinking Dollywood is making no guarantees because the testing process is cutting it super close to Opening Day. By saying nothing, they are not confirming or denying Opening Day or any specific date the coaster will be ready.

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It seems to me, that DW does not want anyone to see the coaster in action until its official opening/ribbon cutting. I think that is actually really cool! It brings some excitement back to new additions since the prevalence of the internet and social media. Much respect to DW for doing that!

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