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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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We've all been there. We've missed credits, we've been at a park before a coaster opened or seen it testing or seen it right after it closed to the public.

 

It's OK, you can say it. Expedition GeForce.

 

Luckily I scored one backseat ride before it died.

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I hope they confirm if the new opening day is Thursday, March 24th, the same day as Dolly's visit.

 

I need to reschedule my time off work and if it will be open that day along with Dolly being there, I will definitely go! I just need confirmation on that new date.

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I think it is a pretty bold move of RMC to take the blame on themselves. I highly respect them for that.

 

Seeing my home park open an Intamin Log Flume a year after what was promoted I can understand how travelers and locals feel. Still, this is a really honest press release and no "due to conditions we could not control", blabla. Delays happen and even from a distance, I think the way Dollywood deals with that is perfect.I hope I can make it there soon

Edited by DaveDowning
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at least Guy is still alive...

 

 

If you call the cold, empty, cavernous black pit that is my tortured heart, alive. Then yes! I MAY still be alive.

 

But forever changed!

 

(recesses into the shadows)

 

Hisssssssssssssssssssssssss!

 

My precious! MY PRECIOUS!

 

 

You are too funny, Guy!!!

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. Delays happen and even from a distance, I think the way Dollywood deals with that is perfect.

 

You think it's "perfect" to wait until three days before opening to announce something that's been pretty apparent to anyone watching for a couple weeks?

 

While we all conceded that there was a *possibility* that the ride might make it, all signs pointed toward a slight delay. No testing videos, no reports of endless cycling, not even a second train on the track until yesterday. I have no doubt that they all wanted, hoped and wished that this thing could be up by Friday but that was always the long shot and they should never have planned media days on Thursday, a "grand opening" countdown to the ride on the weekend and even a coaster club event with Lightning Rod ERT on Saturday. That's just crazy for any new ride let alone a prototype trying to open in mid March! (And yes this is a prototype. It's velocity magnets first launch)

 

There's been almost no sign of serious testing. Meanwhile Dollywood got on the news YESTERDAY trying to drum up opening day business by talking about the new ride. Pretty convenient to cancel with under 72 hours to go before pass holder day. I'm sure it's not just a coincidence that the cancellation refund policy at their fancy new resort is 72 hours in advance.

 

No, the "perfect" thing to do would be to set a Grand Opening and media day in mid April and allow for a little bit of buffer. If the ride soft opens, great! That's a bonus perk. Say "lightning rod, coming later this spring" on the news instead of getting the GP excited. They don't follow the construction like us and they wouldn't have any reason to expect it to be closed based on what the park put forth.

 

Pretty shameful. I can't think of a time when a park was so sloppy about handling the delay of a major attraction.

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She's complete and she's beautiful!!!!! Testing should happen any day now.

EDIT: Sory I meant to merge the two posts together but somehow I double posted. Ugh

Let´s hope Dollywood can pull a miracle. It was supposed to be testing almost a month ago, so they are far behind schedule. And with it being technology RMC has never encountered before, I suspect it will open late. But who knows...

I told you guys weeks ago. BUT NOW MY PROPHETIC WORDS OF WISDOM REIGN TRUE IN THE LAND OF DOLLY!

 

Just kidding. But for real, this sucks. Honestly this is a marketing disaster from Dollywood. I'd expect better from them. It's not the end of the world to open a ride late, but to tell guests only 3 days before opening that it won't be running is downright apocalypse. Especially since their on-side hotel will be giving you a $90 cancellation fee for deciding that the mere sight of Lightning Rod isn't worth $100's of dollars to you. Maybe I missed the part where they would refund those who booked early, but if not, this is kinda upsetting. You're just telling guests that trusting the park=losing money. That's a bad stance to make from a PR perspective.

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Jeez, just skimmed the Dollywood Facebook page, I feel so sorry for those in PR and Guest Relations, as well as all their front line people over this weekend... Not a fun scenario for the park and staff

 

Positive side, it's still a great park and there will be Cinnamon bread to enjoy

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I'd rather have them take the time to get it right vs trying to open it early to please the same people who would sue if something were to go wrong.

 

Exactly. Yes, the delay is unfortunate, but a launched coaster of this type is, indeed, unique, and it's not shocking that RMC and the park want to get it running properly. Which is worse--delaying the opening or dealing with the fallout of opening a ride prematurely and seeing it break down constantly?

 

Positive side, it's still a great park and there will be Cinnamon bread to enjoy

 

This is also true.

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. Delays happen and even from a distance, I think the way Dollywood deals with that is perfect.

 

You think it's "perfect" to wait until three days before opening to announce something that's been pretty apparent to anyone watching for a couple weeks?

 

While we all conceded that there was a *possibility* that the ride might make it, all signs pointed toward a slight delay. No testing videos, no reports of endless cycling, not even a second train on the track until yesterday. I have no doubt that they all wanted, hoped and wished that this thing could be up by Friday but that was always the long shot and they should never have planned media days on Thursday, a "grand opening" countdown to the ride on the weekend and even a coaster club event with Lightning Rod ERT on Saturday. That's just crazy for any new ride let alone a prototype trying to open in mid March! (And yes this is a prototype. It's velocity magnets first launch)

 

There's been almost no sign of serious testing. Meanwhile Dollywood got on the news YESTERDAY trying to drum up opening day business by talking about the new ride. Pretty convenient to cancel with under 72 hours to go before pass holder day. I'm sure it's not just a coincidence that the cancellation refund policy at their fancy new resort is 72 hours in advance.

 

No, the "perfect" thing to do would be to set a Grand Opening and media day in mid April and allow for a little bit of buffer. If the ride soft opens, great! That's a bonus perk. Say "lightning rod, coming later this spring" on the news instead of getting the GP excited. They don't follow the construction like us and they wouldn't have any reason to expect it to be closed based on what the park put forth.

 

Pretty shameful. I can't think of a time when a park was so sloppy about handling the delay of a major attraction.

Shameful? Sloppy??? Words I would never have imagine being used to describe dollywood! As much as you and others may want to deny it. This is a prototype coaster. New technology being used. Forget the fact that this is a unique situation that has never happen at dollywood I feel that you are really taking your criticism to an all time low whenn the park has one of the best track record of opening day debuts for new attractions

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To the people who say that the opening (or not opening) of a coaster is not something that should impact our lives deeply, let me remind you why we all ride coasters: We ride coasters and travel to amusement parks to take a break from our shitty daily lives.

 

 

I'm upset not only because I'll be flying from Brazil just to -apparently- ride only kiddie coasters in Pigeon Forge, but also due to all the season pass/foreign credit card drama and everything that followed. Lately I've been having so many bad experiences with US parks (and some coaster people, from park employees to coaster fans) that traveling to the US is no longer fun.

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. Delays happen and even from a distance, I think the way Dollywood deals with that is perfect.

 

You think it's "perfect" to wait until three days before opening to announce something that's been pretty apparent to anyone watching for a couple weeks?

 

While we all conceded that there was a *possibility* that the ride might make it, all signs pointed toward a slight delay. No testing videos, no reports of endless cycling, not even a second train on the track until yesterday. I have no doubt that they all wanted, hoped and wished that this thing could be up by Friday but that was always the long shot and they should never have planned media days on Thursday, a "grand opening" countdown to the ride on the weekend and even a coaster club event with Lightning Rod ERT on Saturday. That's just crazy for any new ride let alone a prototype trying to open in mid March! (And yes this is a prototype. It's velocity magnets first launch)

 

There's been almost no sign of serious testing. Meanwhile Dollywood got on the news YESTERDAY trying to drum up opening day business by talking about the new ride. Pretty convenient to cancel with under 72 hours to go before pass holder day. I'm sure it's not just a coincidence that the cancellation refund policy at their fancy new resort is 72 hours in advance.

 

No, the "perfect" thing to do would be to set a Grand Opening and media day in mid April and allow for a little bit of buffer. If the ride soft opens, great! That's a bonus perk. Say "lightning rod, coming later this spring" on the news instead of getting the GP excited. They don't follow the construction like us and they wouldn't have any reason to expect it to be closed based on what the park put forth.

 

Pretty shameful. I can't think of a time when a park was so sloppy about handling the delay of a major attraction.

 

This is seriously one of the worst and stupidest posts I've ever read on our forums. In fact, I'm giving the poster a 1 month ban for being an idiot, and hopefully in that time he'll learn a bit more about the amusement park industry and be more respectful with his words.

 

Now that I've got that out of my way, let me explain something....

 

I *GUARANTEE* you the park was doing everything they possibly could up until the last minute they had to get the ride ready and hope it could be open to the public for opening day. Absolutely NO PARK IN THE WORLD wants to open a ride late or have to say it's delayed.

 

But having said that, the park still owes you NOTHING. Can the park operate just fine without Lightning Rod open? Absolutely. They have done so for many years. And the majority of the guests, while slightly disappointed will still have an amazing day at the park. Why? Because it's an amazing park!

 

They will get the ride open when the ride is READY. And that's exactly what they should be doing. There was nothing wrong, shameful, or sloppy about what the park did. In fact, I applaud them for working around the clock as hard as they can to get the ride open and I'll be more than happy to ride it when I can.

 

Your post is exactly why some "enthusiasts" are an embarrassment and why we ban people like you from our forums. Quite simply, we don't want people here who cannot understand or appreciate the work that goes into running a park, which includes opening a new ride, because it's a hell of a lot of work and most people here wouldn't last at your typical theme park job.

 

/end rant

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To the people who say that the opening (or not opening) of a coaster is not something that should impact our lives deeply, let me remind you why we all ride coasters: We ride coasters and travel to amusement parks to take a break from our shitty daily lives.

 

 

I'm upset not only because I'll be flying from Brazil just to -apparently- ride only kiddie coasters in Pigeon Forge, but also due to all the season pass/foreign credit card drama and everything that followed. Lately I've been having so many bad experiences with US parks (and some coaster people, from park employees to coaster fans) that traveling to the US is no longer fun.

I'm not part of that we as my life is faaaaarrr from shifty lol. That could be the reason why a lot of enthusiasts are a-holes. Anyway . . . if you consider the coasters at dollywood kiddie then I feel the trip is a waste even if lightning rod was ready.

 

I hope this is a lesson learn to everyone. As its been said everytime this happens , stop trying to be first and start being smart. The coaster will still be there after the first day so no need to rush.

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I knew when the park workers themselves were doubting the opening due to it not running enough full cycles I knew they realisticly wouldnt make opening. We were going to go to opening to ride but now we are planning late April/May for our first ride. But I'm fine with that, as long as the coaster is safe and runs like it's supposed to. I'm blown away by the actual speed on this thing though! It literally flies over the false drop and drop, then even faster through the wave turn. My mouth dropped when I seen it going into the quad down but the video was over

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I already have all the other credits at Dollywood, except for Firechaser Express and the kiddie coasters around Pigeon Forge. And to be honest, there's nothing so extraordinary about that park that would make someone fly 6000 miles just to hang out there. Without Lightning Rod, Dollywood is just an OK park with terrible, TERRIBLE customer services.

 

Also, as I said, if the not opening of Lightning Rod was the only issue with this trip, It wouldn't be so bad. This trip to Dollywood was a nightmare since my first attempt to purchase a season pass online.

 

 

Edit: I wasn't trying to be the first to ride the coaster by the way. It's just a matter of logistics. All the other parks are not open yet, so it makes more sense to visit Dollywood and the surrounding parks now, and visit the parks with shorter operating days in the summer, specially considering that I can take one international trip every 3-4 months.

Edited by Mrenata
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To the people who say that the opening (or not opening) of a coaster is not something that should impact our lives deeply, let me remind you why we all ride coasters: We ride coasters and travel to amusement parks to take a break from our shitty daily lives.

 

 

I'm upset not only because I'll be flying from Brazil just to -apparently- ride only kiddie coasters in Pigeon Forge, but also due to all the season pass/foreign credit card drama and everything that followed. Lately I've been having so many bad experiences with US parks (and some coaster people, from park employees to coaster fans) that traveling to the US is no longer fun.

Okay. I thought I was making a questionable choice going only a week after opening, but that's going to a new level of irresponsibility. Sorry for you mate but that wasnt the wisest decision.

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Dollywood is just an OK park with terrible, TERRIBLE customer services.

 

Also, as I said, if the not opening of Lightning Rod was the only issue with this trip, It wouldn't be so bad. This trip to Dollywood was a nightmare since my first attempt to purchase a season pass online.

 

As someones who works with international customers and deals with a payment system that can and will reject international credit cards, I can tell you it's frustrating for all parties but it 100% does not mean I am nor the people of Dollywood are giving you terrible customer service. I have found with any issue minor or frustrating I have had with bookings and various things with Dollywood their staff have always gone above and beyond to fix the issue or be helpful.

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Well judging by the latest testing video, progress seems to be going well despite the delay.

The way I see it, Dollywood did want the ride to be ready for opening, so they seem to have been working as hard as they can to get the ride ready, and they simply weren't sure how close they were to opening the ride until now.

 

Look at it this way. The flak Dollywood is getting from the delay is a FAR better situation than the ride opening early and an accident happens as a result. Once the ride opens, all the bad publicity will be forgotten.

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Dollywood is just an OK park with terrible, TERRIBLE customer services.

 

Also, as I said, if the not opening of Lightning Rod was the only issue with this trip, It wouldn't be so bad. This trip to Dollywood was a nightmare since my first attempt to purchase a season pass online.

 

As someones who works with international customers and deals with a payment system that can and will reject international credit cards, I can tell you it's frustrating for all parties but it 100% does not mean I am nor the people of Dollywood are giving you terrible customer service. I have found with any issue minor or frustrating I have had with bookings and various things with Dollywood their staff have always gone above and beyond to fix the issue or be helpful.

 

 

- First the website doesn't take foreign credit cards

- Then you decide to call, and there's only a 1-800 number, so you need to add Skype credits in order to make this call

- The woman on the phone doesn't know why all my 5 credit cards were declined - she kept insisting that they do take foreign cards

-They can't process a season pass in 6 easy payments over the phone, nor at the ticket office, Only online.

- You can't message them through their Facebook page

- It takes them 10 days to reply a message sent via their website - which by the way, they still haven't.

 

If that's not terrible customer services, I don't know what is!

 

 

Anyway, my trip to Dollywood is scheduled for March 28th. Let's hope that Lightning Rod is open by then or that at least customer services reply the message I sent them a week ago with a solution to my problem.

Edited by Mrenata
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Dollywood is just an OK park with terrible, TERRIBLE customer services.

 

Also, as I said, if the not opening of Lightning Rod was the only issue with this trip, It wouldn't be so bad. This trip to Dollywood was a nightmare since my first attempt to purchase a season pass online.

 

As someones who works with international customers and deals with a payment system that can and will reject international credit cards, I can tell you it's frustrating for all parties but it 100% does not mean I am nor the people of Dollywood are giving you terrible customer service. I have found with any issue minor or frustrating I have had with bookings and various things with Dollywood their staff have always gone above and beyond to fix the issue or be helpful.

 

Well said, Shawn!

 

While it is unfortunate that the OP has had such bad luck with processing a season pass and getting credit cards declined, this is not the fault of the person at Dollywood working in customer service. I assume that international season pass processing is not something that this park receives inquiries for on any given day (Disney and Universal parks are probably much more attuned to this) so it is probably fairly new to them.

 

Although I am sure that it might be safe to day that this is something that they will most likely work diligently to fix as Dollywood gains more international recognition - especially if they keep installing state of the art coasters like Firechaser Express and LR. This park is not one to slack on customer service, that's for sure!

 

And I cringe at the thought of the absolute crap that must be plastered all over Dollywood's Facebook page right now (I don't and won't do Facebook - just because it makes me want to throw up).

 

Also...I know that this was just posted a few pages back, but......it's still worth sharing again based on a few of the posts that I have read since the recent announcement.

Capture.thumb.JPG.26b9cd7a91a65f0eff302b37650228f2.JPG

Edited by Philrad71
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