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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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You're afraid that long lines are becoming a thing at Dollywood?? If anything you should be GLAD that the park is developing long lines. That means that the park is busy, which is good for business. Long lines (typically) mean more guest in the park, which means more money for the park, which means the park can then use some of the money for newer additions.

 

I get tired of the view that there's much commonality between what's best for the park and best for the guests. I know for a fact it's not. Too many new attractions that are too effective at bringing in people equals a park that makes me feel better I can't afford to go there. The guests' interest is to get some improvements and the park somehow stay in business while looking like they're going out of business. Or in my case, get all the business on Saturday when I know better than to go (actually I have to go to work Saturdays and am off Mondays!). I know it sounds cruel, but tell me I'm not right.

 

Think of In N Out. They've got it figured out, and it's really not all that complicated. Amusement parks have had a template, and an opportunity to provide that kind of service to guests for decades, but instead they've decided to go the cheap route, and people are waiting 3/4 of an hour for food.

 

Seriously, having people to take the money seems to me to be one of the most fundamental rules of business. And I will NOT wait (in line) even 15 minutes for food I know is overpriced .. and that's talking about Wendy's, amusement parks are worse.

 

I do have some sympathy for parks overall on staffing though, as they basically have to guess what they'll be needing. And we all know when it's going to be the most crowded -- whenever our first impulse was to go (probably gave away too much info there).

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Then there's this debacle with Velocity Magnetics when there are several other manufacturers of LSM launch systems that have already been proven.
There is only one Company that is responsible for every LSM/LIM Launch System on any Coaster, InTraSys GmbH. http://www.intrasys-gmbh.com/

 

I'm thinking they are going to have to go with the Prolim LSM Drives and perhaps set them up like Wicked or Blue Fire. The Velocity Magnetics LSM Drives looked a lot like the InTraSys GmbH Drives that are used by Intamin, so perhaps they will go that route.

 

It really is too bad that Velocity Magnetics couldn't make it work, as it would have been nice to have seen some good quality American product taking on those from overseas.

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Welp, so much for LR being open when I visit next week. Oh well.

 

I'll be there on Monday and Tuesday. Guess what? I'll still have a blast. When I planned this March trip (having a schoolteacher as a partner limits when you can vacation), I knew the risks going into it. When LR does eventually open up, all it does is give me another excuse to get back down to the park later this year!

 

Here's to more future Dollywood trips!

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See Dollywoods downside is that they still have

 

1.) A lot of people who buy tickets at the park

 

2.) Majority of the people who come stay off site

 

So they can't plan accordingly like Disney can.. We can't blaim Dollywood for this.. They really have no good way for trying to determine how many people will be there.

 

But a pretty day like Wednesday was, I feel they should have planned for more than 7,000 people.. Times are changing and Dollywood has had this issue two times very recently now.. Maybe they need to look at how they make their estimates.. Maybe there is no good way to do it.. Disney does it well BUT most of their customers stay on property making Disney look like geniuses at attendance estimations haha

 

Anyways today I think they had planned for 20,000 because all rides had most trains running and there really was no wait on anything..

 

 

Either way today was a GREAT day and everyone was very very friendly!!

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See Dollywoods downside is that they still have

 

1.) A lot of people who buy tickets at the park

 

2.) Majority of the people who come stay off site

 

So they can't plan accordingly like Disney can.. We can't blaim Dollywood for this.. They really have no good way for trying to determine how many people will be there.

 

But a pretty day like Wednesday was, I feel they should have planned for more than 7,000 people.. Times are changing and Dollywood has had this issue two times very recently now.. Maybe they need to look at how they make their estimates.. Maybe there is no good way to do it.. Disney does it well BUT most of their customers stay on property making Disney look like geniuses at attendance estimations haha

 

Anyways today I think they had planned for 20,000 because all rides had most trains running and there really was no wait on anything..

 

 

Either way today was a GREAT day and everyone was very very friendly!!

Most parks have Projections of what guest numbers will be, and that's based on a wide range of Factors, including what attendance was on that date, day of the week, etc. going back 10 years or more. The only hard numbers are group sales for that day. A park never wants to be caught in a situation where they are off projection by 10,000 guests. It must have been a "perfect storm" that happened. Work in this industry long enough and you learn sometimes shit happens, and if you are caught it it, just roll with it.

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See Dollywoods downside is that they still have

 

1.) A lot of people who buy tickets at the park

 

2.) Majority of the people who come stay off site

 

So they can't plan accordingly like Disney can.. We can't blaim Dollywood for this.. They really have no good way for trying to determine how many people will be there.

 

But a pretty day like Wednesday was, I feel they should have planned for more than 7,000 people.. Times are changing and Dollywood has had this issue two times very recently now.. Maybe they need to look at how they make their estimates.. Maybe there is no good way to do it.. Disney does it well BUT most of their customers stay on property making Disney look like geniuses at attendance estimations haha

 

Anyways today I think they had planned for 20,000 because all rides had most trains running and there really was no wait on anything..

 

 

Either way today was a GREAT day and everyone was very very friendly!!

 

It's not just a Dollywood phenomenon. SDC constantly has this issue. It's most noticeable during Christmas and BBQ Festival

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Oh yeah, I know it's not just Dollywood.. That's what I am saying, it's hard to predict.. Only people that can do it and be close is Disney but that's only because of how many guests they have staying on-site and purchased tickets way on advance..

 

Like you guys said though 10,000 is a lot but spring break, great weather, it just made for a busy day haha..Wednesday is normally their slow day

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Dollywood employs over 3500 people... This would equate to roughly 3 tenths of 1 percent...

 

SHUT DOWN THE PARK WE AIN'T GOT NO ONE WORKING HERE TODAY!!!

 

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I really wonder why Dollywood chose to go with Velocity Magnetics knowing they had never made a launch before.

 

There are first for everything.. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Given the youth of RMC they were probably looking to give a younger and probably cheaper company a chance and it backfired. In the end Dollywood will have an amazing year and RMC is a company that is really turning heads in the industry. The only people that are essentially screwed because of this whole ordeal is Velocity. This was a big opportunity for them and they blew it, big time. Hopefully someone gives them a chance again down the road if they decide to try this again.

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And I thought the Boat conversation in the Cedar Point thread was bad. Some of you make it out like the world is ending.

 

No. Not ending. But it's very inconvenient that LR is still not open. This is totally "#firstworldprobs" but now I'll have to make another stop at DW either coming or going to Florida later on this summer. I'm currently in Pigeon Forge and while I had a great day with my family at the park today - the only reason we chose TN for Spring Break this year was LR (we're all teachers). I guess I put too much faith in HFEC and RMC to have it open after the success they had with Outlaw Run.

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Having to make an extra trip to Dollywood is never a bad thing.

 

Yes and No. It'll be an extra day gone from home though so it's more of a logistics complaint than anything.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like Dollywood -- but you have to remember I'm spoiled by having the (IMHO) superior SDC in my backyard, so DW doesn't have the allure to me as much as it might to others.

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Just gonna quote this one more time...

 

When are we gonna learn it's not a good idea to make plans to go to a not so close park opening weekends and subsequent weekends after for new rides? If attached all possible, at least wait until it's up and running regardless if the park has a good track record.

THIS!!! THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS!!!!!!

 

Agreed on the "even if the park has a good track record" comment. Look, here's a ProTip for you - No one is going to gain any bonus points by being one of the "first" to ride something. So if the park in question requires a flight or significant car ride, taking time off work, etc, etc.... we strongly recommend waiting until the ride is open, has had a chance to break in (it's usually better then anyway) as it will greater guarantee you will get to ride that coaster that is part of your goal going to the park.

 

I plan on being there in July. I'm assuming the ride would have had plenty of time to warm itself up by then!

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Was at Dollywood today... Beautiful day up until the last two hours or so when rain moved in. Park was dead! Walkon for all the coasters. The African show was really wonderful, especially if you dig Cirque du Soleil type shows. Highly recommended.

 

For one thing, Thunderhead is just atrocious anymore. The park seriously needs to dump some money to get it fully re-tracked. Not just sectional track work. It is nearly as bad or worse than the Son of Beast rides I had prior to all the modifications. It's downright brutal, and I have high tolerance for tougher wood coasters.

 

Sad, because it used to be a top woodie for me. Really needs some TLC.

 

Dolly was supposed to be in the parade today at the park, but cancelled last minute I guess (scared it would rain perhaps?$. The "parade" ended up being a few groups of performers, lasting about 30 seconds or so. Everybody looked at each other with "wtf" faces lol

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For one thing, Thunderhead is just atrocious anymore. The park seriously needs to dump some money to get it fully re-tracked. Not just sectional track work. It is nearly as bad or worse than the Son of Beast rides I had prior to all the modifications. It's downright brutal, and I have high tolerance for tougher wood coasters.

 

Pretty bold statement, sir.

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I freaking love Thunderhead! I have never once found it to be overbearingly rough. Sure it jostles you a bit, but that coaster is still non-stop fun. It's not too intense, but it rides really fast and and takes the elements at a rapid pace. In my opinion it's the best GCI I've ridden.

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First off, I truly wish RMC and Dollywood the best of luck in getting LR up and running as quickly as they can.

 

And I certainly get what Robb is saying (and quoting several times ), but the notion that you're foolish for planning a long trip there without waiting until the ride officially opens seems a bit much. I'd love to have that luxury, but I know for us that's just not how it works. My wife has VERY limited vacation, so we need to plan in advance somewhat....we chose Dollywood as our vacation spot for this year, partially due to LR. We picked a holiday weekend (Memorial Day) to give us more time there. I gave as much "buffer" as I could. It may be open....but we realize there's now a chance that LR will be sitting idle.

 

We've never been there, so we will certainly have a BLAST regardless!! But I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be a little disappointed if LR sits closed when for us it could be many years before we return. I'm still VERY excited to visit Dollywood, but I also can sympathize with those who are bummed that the new RMC hotness might not be ready for their trip. I don't think it makes them necessarily whiny enthusiasts or bad planners.

 

Anyway, here's wishing everyone good luck with trips there in April, May, and beyond! May you get to enjoy zooming through the woods on this awesome looking new RMC beast!!

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Am I the only one that is starting to question the reputation of RMC? When Goliath at SFGAm was nearly a month late, people chalked that up to it being Six Flags, but this is at Dollywood. RMC was really late getting the track and bent work completed which didn't leave much time for testing before the original opening. Then there's this debacle with Velocity Magnetics when there are several other manufacturers of LSM launch systems that have already been proven. Does anyone know if this was RMC or Herschend's decision to work with Velocity? When B&M decided to make a launch coaster, they partnered with a reputable company to get it right.

 

Regardless, this coaster doesn't look like it will be open for a long time. I'm betting with the change in LSM manufactures, there will need to be alterations to the trains... All in all, this has not been a good look for RMC.

 

Nobody said it is easy being at the forefront of the industry. Ultimately RMC takes the fall, but I doubt Dollywood was telling them no when they said "hey, we're going to use this vendor and save some cash on our bid."

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