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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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There is a lot of boo hooing going on here both ways about this. I get why people would be upset about it not opening but be real here you knew it was a possibility of it not opening. It would be nice of Dollywood to offer tickets for a return trip but it is a bit ridiculous to expect it. I am pretty sure I went to Cedar Point for four days in June the year dragster opened and it was down all four days, we didn't receive or expect free tickets back. If you're not happy don't go at all, I am sure Dollywood would be fine without one less pessimist dragging their feet through the park. If the thing opens a week or two late it really is not that big of a deal when it will be up and running for years to come.

 

For me I will keep watching this testing video over and over and wait patiently for a new one.

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While it sucks for the people who planned ahead to go to Dollywood, you STILL will have an amazing time there! If you are a true coaster/amusement park enthusiast then you'd know to wait if you live far away. How often does a prototype ride open on time? I plan on waiting till July-ish to make a trip to Dollywood and even I know there is a possibility it might be closed then.

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Try not to let this end too many of your lives. These things happen and in the grand scheme of things your life could be much, much worse than missing a roller coaster that will be at the park for 20+ more years. This is affecting Dollywood much more than you personally and think about those poor people in PR and GR dealing with this.

 

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 okay to be bummed out, but don't let it ruin you. You'll get on the ride at some point and it will be great.

 

This one is definitely worse, I spent 6 years doing visiting Everland and always took pictures and looked around Eagle's Fortress for the Korean TR's for TPR since it was what people always asked about, knowing I was just a little too late to ride it, before they finally tore it down.

 

For you guys, that coaster you will see but can't ride will have a pretty huge time-frame of many years for you to get another chance of re-visiting before it closes down.

Edited by Garet
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I hadn't planned a trip to Dollywood this weekend, but since Im in Australia, I should ask the park to pay for my airfares, tickets, hotels and I might as well add spending money, cause six weeks ago the thought crossed my mind that maybe I should be there opening weekend. See how farking stupid that sounds when you say it out loud!

 

The world is not ending cause this coaster is not opening, went on a TPR to Texas to ride Texas Giant, some woman got thrown out three weeks before the trip, coaster closed end of story, trip was amazing.

 

 

For those who's life isn't ending this weekend who will be at Dollywood, have a great time.

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I still remember, like Ross mentioned, finding out before the Texas/Mid-America trip that the RMC's were going to be down cause of the woman falling out of the New Texas Giant how much it sucked but knew that my life would not end cause a couple rides were down. It happens.

 

A park doesn't owe you an explanation yet it still gave one. I get people booked hotels/airfare/etc, but at the end of the day you should NEVER expect things to be 100% opening weekend for new OR existing rides. "Buyer beware" is an expression that comes to mind.

 

Dollywood and the area is amazing and anyone still going will have an amazing time!

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Relative to this being a "new technology", why does this ride being wood make any difference in regards to the launching technology? I hardly see how this is new when a few other rides have launches up hills and LSM/LIM's at this point are quite an established technology. Is there something unique about this launch system compared to the dozens of others in existence?

 

It's cool that it's on a wooden coaster and all, but in theory it's really no different than any other ride. Looks like they just ran short on time and need a few more days/weeks to finely tune the system (obviously!).

 

Bummer it’s opening late though… We had planned to be at the park next week (wed-sat) but now that is in limbo… At worst we detour elsewhere and come back later on in the season once it’s up and running. This isn’t a B&M, so I expected the chance of opening on time slim to be honest, lol.

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Relative to this being a "new technology", why does this ride being wood make any difference in regards to the launching technology? I hardly see how this is new when a few other rides have launches up hills and LSM/LIM's at this point are quite an established technology. Is there something unique about this launch system compared to the dozens of others in existence?

 

It's cool that it's on a wooden coaster and all, but in theory it's really no different than any other ride. Looks like they just ran short on time and need a few more days/weeks to finely tune the system (obviously!).

 

Bummer it’s opening late though… We had planned to be at the park next week (wed-sat) but now that is in limbo… At worst we detour elsewhere and come back later on in the season once it’s up and running. This isn’t a B&M, so I expected the chance of opening on time slim to be honest, lol.

They probably didn't go with a High Quality Dell desktop for the Launch Computer. lol

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Since customer service has come up...

 

Of all the parks I've been to I've seen the best customer service at Dollywood... even edging out Universal, Disney, SeaWorld and Knoebels (which are all ridiculously great). On our first visit a few years ago we were on the last train of the night on Wild Eagle in December at park close and we had the train to ourselves because apparently boring people don't like riding coasters when it's 38 degrees. We were over by Tennessee Tornado when a ride op showed up who thought we left a souvenir cup in the bin and ran down the stairs, down the ramp and around the photo building to see if it was ours. It wasn't but he gave it to us and said "Okay, well free cup then. Thanks for coming to Dollywood".

 

That guy was amazing. In our other visits to the park we saw things like the Blazing Fury crew opening a bunch of employee gates to make it easier for a 100 year old woman to get into the train. Then they declared her the "Fire Captain" for the train and made a big deal about it so the whole station was cheering and then they opened up a bunch more restricted gates so she wouldn't have to walk up the ramp. We've also experienced over-the-top friendly employees at Tennessee Tornado and Thunderhead and Season Pass Processing.

 

The people that work at this park are world class.

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Relative to this being a "new technology", why does this ride being wood make any difference in regards to the launching technology? I hardly see how this is new when a few other rides have launches up hills and LSM/LIM's at this point are quite an established technology. Is there something unique about this launch system compared to the dozens of others in existence?

 

It's cool that it's on a wooden coaster and all, but in theory it's really no different than any other ride. Looks like they just ran short on time and need a few more days/weeks to finely tune the system (obviously!).

 

Bummer it’s opening late though… We had planned to be at the park next week (wed-sat) but now that is in limbo… At worst we detour elsewhere and come back later on in the season once it’s up and running. This isn’t a B&M, so I expected the chance of opening on time slim to be honest, lol.

 

I have a feeling it's less that it's new technology and moe that the three companies involved (RMC, Velocity Magnetics, and IOE) don't all have tons of experience working together on launching coasters.

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While I understand disappointment over Lightning Rod not opening, especially for those with travel plans, there was / is no guarantee even if testing was finished that it would've stayed open this weekend with the rain and possible snow showers (can't believe I just typed that word in March) on Saturday and Sunday. I'll admit though, I've no idea what temperature woodies need to be at to run, especially with a launch, nor how much "bad weather testing" they need to be safely up & running.

 

Here's what I personally am going to enjoy on Season Pass holder day!

 

1) Thunderhead, Thunderhead, Thunderhead!! Hoping for lots of disappointed pass holders who will pass on Friday due to LR not being opened, so I can re-ride over and over and over and ... you get the picture.

 

2) Festival of Nations, my favorite of the Dollywood festivals each year! If you haven't seen "Mother Africa" during the Festival of Nations, you are missing an amazing show!

 

3) Wild Eagle, TN Tornado, and Mystery Mine

 

4) Lumberjack Pizza (I'm gluten free, and this is some of my favorite gf pizza anywhere!)

 

5) Sunny spring-like weather before the rainy weekend

 

5) Festival of Nations, my favorite of the Dollywood festivals each year! If you haven't seen "Mother Africa" during the Festival of Nations, you are missing an amazing show!

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Yeah, I'm not gonna argue anymore..Trying to have a conversation with coaster fanboys is like trying to discuss politics with a Trump supporter. It's just not worth it.

Wow, this is true. Even more true when you try to have a conversation with a "coaster know-it-all" (aka that one annoying person)... They state the most random thing, you correct them, they say their little sibling told them, you show them proof, then they give a great big F*** YOU. #relatable

 

I've enjoyed coverage on grown men/women crying over a late ride!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APxndget9l4

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^I hope the new opening date is announced as soon as they are sure it will be ready. I canceled my time off work this Friday for preview day, but now I want to take off next Thursday since Dolly will be there, but knowing Lightning Rod will be running would really make it worth the time off and 4 hour drive!

 

*waits impatiently for word on the ride opening*

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^I hope the new opening date is announced as soon as they are sure it will be ready. I canceled my time off work this Friday for preview day, but now I want to take off next Thursday since Dolly will be there, but knowing Lightning Rod will be running would really make it worth the time off and 4 hour drive!

 

*waits impatiently for word on the ride opening*

 

Dollywood is more than worth the time off and the 4 hour drive. Now that Lightening Rod is not going to be open, I want to go as I won't be tempted to mess up my coaster count with RMC. Alas, funds prevent me from going this time. (Unplanned emergency Florida trip last week)

 

I have a lot of friends going this weekend and would love to be there with them.

 

Like i said before. GO. Enjoy the amazing park. Lightening Rod will be there next time.

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^I hope the new opening date is announced as soon as they are sure it will be ready. I canceled my time off work this Friday for preview day, but now I want to take off next Thursday since Dolly will be there, but knowing Lightning Rod will be running would really make it worth the time off and 4 hour drive!

 

*waits impatiently for word on the ride opening*

 

Dollywood is more than worth the time off and the 4 hour drive. Now that Lightening Rod is not going to be open, I want to go as I won't be tempted to mess up my coaster count with RMC. Alas, funds prevent me from going this time. (Unplanned emergency Florida trip last week)

 

I have a lot of friends going this weekend and would love to be there with them.

 

Like i said before. GO. Enjoy the amazing park. Lightening Rod will be there next time.

I have a season pass and will be going a few times this year anyways, but I figure I might as well wait until Lightning Rod opens, especially if I am going to take off work and book at least one night in a hotel.

 

Honestly, I am trying not to visit my nearby parks as much this season, and instead spend more on big trips, but Dollywood is an exception since I love the park, love Dolly, they have great coasters including the new Lightning Rod, and I am an avid hiker and cabin fan. I don't need much of an excuse to go to the Smoky Mountains. Parks like Carowinds, Wild Adventures, and Alabama Splash Adventure may not feel my presence this season though. I will always visit Lake Winnie a few times a year (support classic small parks!) and SFOG is my local park so I go way more than I should.

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So it's a programming issue? That doesn't seem too major. Hopefully they get it sorted out sooner rather than later.

 

I keep seeing these Instagram screen shots - is there any credibility here? With random pictures of the ride being posted and then "super inclusive info", has someone confirmed these people are actually with Dollywood/RMC/etc?

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Since customer service has come up...

 

Of all the parks I've been to I've seen the best customer service at Dollywood... even edging out Universal, Disney, SeaWorld and Knoebels (which are all ridiculously great). On our first visit a few years ago we were on the last train of the night on Wild Eagle in December at park close and we had the train to ourselves because apparently boring people don't like riding coasters when it's 38 degrees. We were over by Tennessee Tornado when a ride op showed up who thought we left a souvenir cup in the bin and ran down the stairs, down the ramp and around the photo building to see if it was ours. It wasn't but he gave it to us and said "Okay, well free cup then. Thanks for coming to Dollywood".

 

That guy was amazing. In our other visits to the park we saw things like the Blazing Fury crew opening a bunch of employee gates to make it easier for a 100 year old woman to get into the train. Then they declared her the "Fire Captain" for the train and made a big deal about it so the whole station was cheering and then they opened up a bunch more restricted gates so she wouldn't have to walk up the ramp. We've also experienced over-the-top friendly employees at Tennessee Tornado and Thunderhead and Season Pass Processing.

 

The people that work at this park are world class.

 

I agree...one of the best parks for customer service that we have visited. A lot of the employees at Dollywood are senior citizens that are very old school, polite and actually, quite fun!

 

I remember the crew on Thunderhead were all over 55 and they were dispatching trains faster than I have ever seen younger crews do it. And they did it all with a smile, had us all laughing...you could tell that they really enjoyed their job and took pride in it!

 

I'd throw in Sea World and Cedar Point into that mix for good customer service too. I've had great customer service experiences at both of these parks over the years, despite reading negative comments about both parks from others on TPR.

Edited by Philrad71
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I do feel bad for everyone who booked trips for this weekend expecting Lightning Rod open. As great of a park Dollywood is, having to watch a dormant coaster the magnitude of LR is a major bummer. HOWEVER, my homepark's new coaster is like 1/4 of the length of LR and vertical construction isn't even done yet. So, it's not the end of the world, and my gut feeling is it will have a grand opening next week.

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So it's a programming issue? That doesn't seem too major. Hopefully they get it sorted out sooner rather than later.

 

I keep seeing these Instagram screen shots - is there any credibility here? With random pictures of the ride being posted and then "super inclusive info", has someone confirmed these people are actually with Dollywood/RMC/etc?

I know that person in particular works inside the park, (what they do specifically I'm not sure) but he has consistantly posted exclusive pictures from the construction that we werent getting anywhere else including some of the theme items. I'd say take anything from these unofficial sources with a grain of salt.

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So it's a programming issue? That doesn't seem too major. Hopefully they get it sorted out sooner rather than later.

 

I keep seeing these Instagram screen shots - is there any credibility here? With random pictures of the ride being posted and then "super inclusive info", has someone confirmed these people are actually with Dollywood/RMC/etc?

 

Danny Robbins started at Dollywood as a ride op on Wild Eagle. He quit Dollywood and went to another company for more pay. After several months of being gone, he returned to Dollywood and now works with a program called, "Helping Hands". Basically its a labor pool for the park for any area that needs help, they request the help and one of the helping hands employees goes and works that ride or merchandise shop or where ever for that day.

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