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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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Looking at that photo, I don't believe so.. but it very well could be.. I am thinking it's right before that spot though.. when everything is going quickly, it's hard to tell where it happens ha-ha but yes it is right before that area I believe

 

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I rode in the third to last row a few weeks ago and could not believe how hard that jolt at the bottom of the first drop was - considering it was hardly noticeable in row two. The ride is incredible, but the jolt honestly took away from the ride experience overall (as in it felt like the seat popped me in the back and I spent a good portion of the rest of the ride thinking about how bad that "pothole" was).

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^^So it seems like it's still train problems maybe?

 

Actually its the track, if you find a good picture of the first drop. You can see that the radius in the transition from the drop to the flat is not perfect. There's a slight flat spot where you feel the bump. I have taken over 10 laps on LR and I have a good idea where that bump is by now...lol

I was asking about the breakdowns, but yeah, jerkiness or potholes are always in the track.

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Looks like the price increased again at least on gold? Gold pass $152 (last year it cost me $144)

 

Looks like regular pass stayed the same.. $99 and I paid $99 for it last season

 

Also a online payment fee of $4 now maybe they started that last year, I can't remember though

 

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Looks like Dollywood is reporting Lightning Rod is closed on a banner on their website. Is it safe to assume that they would only post this in a banner if it was down for more than just an hour or two? We had plans to go this coming weekend but may have to change those anyway for another reason but I would be really bummed if we ended up going and LR was closed. Also, I assume this has to do with the reported pot hole on the first drop?

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Looks like Dollywood is reporting Lightning Rod is closed on a banner on their website. Is it safe to assume that they would only post this in a banner if it was down for more than just an hour or two? We had plans to go this coming weekend but may have to change those anyway for another reason but I would be really bummed if we ended up going and LR was closed. Also, I assume this has to do with the reported pot hole on the first drop?

 

Not even really close... LR has been down for I think a couple weeks now. Reports are that it's been down due to computer issues I believe.

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Looks like the price increased again at least on gold? Gold pass $152 (last year it cost me $144)

 

Looks like regular pass stayed the same.. $99 and I paid $99 for it last season

 

Also a online payment fee of $4 now maybe they started that last year, I can't remember though

 

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That only applies if you're using the payment plan. If you pay for it all at the same time, there isn't a fee.

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Not even really close... LR has been down for I think a couple weeks now. Reports are that it's been down due to computer issues I believe.

 

Ouch! Thanks - I have not been following that closely. Their banner says Oct31 so I made the assumption this was something new. Sad this coast has been having so many issues.

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Looks like the price increased again at least on gold? Gold pass $152 (last year it cost me $144)

 

Looks like regular pass stayed the same.. $99 and I paid $99 for it last season

 

Also a online payment fee of $4 now maybe they started that last year, I can't remember though

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

Hmm, I had 5 passes last year, so there was a discount for 4+ ($5 off each same this year)

$90 for park pass ($95 for 1-3)

$137 for super pass ($142)

$182 for super gold pass ($187)

 

That was in early Nov using the renewal link the sent via email.

 

Gold pass was $42 extra over the regular pass,

which would been $142 (or $147)

 

DW pass to Super Pass was $47 more.

 

It was the first time I did payments, but there was a $2 per pass setup fee.

 

Are you saying some other fee for paying online v/s in person at the booth or over the phone?

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Not even really close... LR has been down for I think a couple weeks now. Reports are that it's been down due to computer issues I believe.

 

Ouch! Thanks - I have not been following that closely. Their banner says Oct31 so I made the assumption this was something new. Sad this coast has been having so many issues.

 

Ah gotcha. I can see if you weren't following too closely you might think that. I noticed in the summer that the date on those messages corresponds with what date it is. It has nothing to do with when the ride went down.

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I noticed in the summer that the date on those messages corresponds with what date it is. It has nothing to do with when the ride went down.

 

It means the message is current. If you ever say it was a past date then you wouldn't know that it was still current as opposed to a message that they forgot to remove.

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Not even really close... LR has been down for I think a couple weeks now. Reports are that it's been down due to computer issues I believe.

 

Coasters don't go down for two weeks for "computer issues" especially with no signs of life - that's almost certainly a sign of larger problems (hardware, train, structure, etc.)

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Not even really close... LR has been down for I think a couple weeks now. Reports are that it's been down due to computer issues I believe.

 

Coasters don't go down for two weeks for "computer issues" especially with no signs of life - that's almost certainly a sign of larger problems (hardware, train, structure, etc.)

 

I'm just saying what I remember reading on here. I should've also mentioned that the trains seemingly have been an issue.

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Not even really close... LR has been down for I think a couple weeks now. Reports are that it's been down due to computer issues I believe.

 

Coasters don't go down for two weeks for "computer issues" especially with no signs of life - that's almost certainly a sign of larger problems (hardware, train, structure, etc.)

Not if they have to reprogram software.. That could take a lot of time.. Also, sensors and all of that could take time to repair and are all related to computer issues but could also be considered hardware issues..

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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Looks like the price increased again at least on gold? Gold pass $152 (last year it cost me $144)

 

Looks like regular pass stayed the same.. $99 and I paid $99 for it last season

 

Also a online payment fee of $4 now maybe they started that last year, I can't remember though

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

Hmm, I had 5 passes last year, so there was a discount for 4+ ($5 off each same this year)

$90 for park pass ($95 for 1-3)

$137 for super pass ($142)

$182 for super gold pass ($187)

 

That was in early Nov using the renewal link the sent via email.

 

Gold pass was $42 extra over the regular pass,

which would been $142 (or $147)

 

DW pass to Super Pass was $47 more.

 

It was the first time I did payments, but there was a $2 per pass setup fee.

 

Are you saying some other fee for paying online v/s in person at the booth or over the phone?

I read it wrong, it's only for the payment plan but eitherway it still went up.. last year's payment plan fee was only $2 lol

 

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Not if they have to reprogram software.. That could take a lot of time.. Also, sensors and all of that could take time to repair and are all related to computer issues but could also be considered hardware issues..

 

 

Typically you do not "repair" sensors. You just replace them. Reprogramming the software can be done in the background. Typically with PLC logic, you write the program on a PC with the software needed (I'm assuming Allen Bradley since its an american Company) then load the program into the module which is saved on an SD card. The original program is still on the PC and can be backed up, then modified.

 

In terms of the sensors, they usually give an "open/closed" signal to the PLC. All the calculating is done using the PLC. For instance, you can set two sensors a set distance apart, use a timer to judge the difference in signal in milliseconds, and use a formula to judge speed. That's just one example.

 

As it has been stated before, the launch system is running "beautifully" so I personally think its another issue other than the logic and sensors.

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I suspect they've tried small changes previously. This may be a wholesale rewrite if some portion. It could be lots of things. It could be some unexpected interaction.

 

I don't know how much of this ride is PLC and how is microprocessor based.

 

It could be far removed from traditional PLC designs.

Edited by STDog
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Sorry to break the discussion here, but has anyone been to Dollywood around thanksgiving time? What are crowds usually like? As I am contemplating going if Lightning Rod comes back up. Thanks!

Been there the week of and weekend after Thanksgiving a few times.

 

Not too bad , but more crowded than in March or early April.

 

Ride lines aren't too bad if it's cooler.

The shows tend to stay busy and the indoor restaurants are crowded. Everything indoors is.

 

But, if the temps stay up, then it's a good crowd everywhere.

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Hello Everyone

 

I would like to provide a few items on Lighting Rod. First, I would like to mention that I work for Dollywoods Maintenance Dept and this account was just created to provide you with a few things about the ride. A lot of this has already been mentioned in the "Rumors" posted on this forum. Take this as you please, I know few of the members here won't believe this post. Keep in mind, the reason you don't see us actively working on the coaster when the park is open is because the coaster itself is fine. There aren't many problems with the track, launch system, or even trains.

 

Another Note: We do not have a estimated time we will reopen the ride. This doesn't mean it will not open again this season, but keep in mind we only have a few operational weeks left if you include the days the park is closed. Our goal is to have Lightening Rod open as soon as possible with 100% up time. The park is closed until Saturday so you never know. We are actively working as I type in hopes of getting Lightening Rod open again.

 

This coaster, and most of it's control unit, is a prototype. It is a new technology. It is a technology that overall is working fine, but does have issues just like any prototype will. We apologize to those who have planned a trip to Dollywood for Lightening Rod, but again, this is the reason we have chosen to list it as closed. From a customer service standpoint, it is better for us to publicly say it is closed than it is for it to be down 75% of the time

 

Few Points I would like to make

 

1.) Lightning Rod is 100% safe when it is running and even when it is closed. The reason it is closed usaully has to do with a customer service standpoint. We would hate for a sensor to cause multiple rollbacks or to even stop the ride completely and empty the Queue line multiple times an hour, and this does and has happened. We also know you all hate it being closed and we are stuck between a rock and a hardplace on this issue. As a park, we actually have fewer complaints filed at guest services, when the ride is closed. We only chose to close the ride if we feel that it's issues will cause a downtime of more than 75%

 

2.) There are no structural issues with the ride. We are aware of what some of you call the "pothole" but this is not causing any structural issues with the ride and we do have plans to correct this issue down the road, but its far down our list. As a maintenance department, we have a list of improvements we plan on every ride. These improvements are in the order of priority, so when we say its far down our list, we don't mean Lighting Rod has a list that is miles longs.

 

3.) Danny is a great person but most ride ops, not even Danny, know about most of the issues with Lighting Rod, or any ride for that matter. They are like you guys, and just hear rumors around the park. Not even all of us in the Maintenance Dept know all of the issues at all times. If you notice at the park, we actually ask the ride ops to leave at times when working on the coaster, or even a lot of other rides for that matter. (I'll buy you a soda this weekend Danny for letting your secret out)

 

4.) The launch is fine and we are having 0 issues with the launch. It's working, and has been working wonderfully

 

5.) Most of the issues we are facing are control issues. Control issues consist of sensors, the control units, PLC, and more. The reason you don't see us actively working on the coaster, is because most of the work is being done behind the scenes. Again, there are no structural issues with the ride so there is no need to work on it at the park.

 

6.) The trains themselves have had a few issues but most are correct aside from a few of the unforeseen maintenance cost that have been higher than expected on consumable parts (Wheels, Lubes, Etc)

 

I would like to apologize for not really providing any great information on the issues we are providing. I have a non disclosure agreement, with the park, and even though this was posted anonymously, there are only a few of us in the park with a full idea of the issues we are facing. The parks PR department has posted in an interview a few months ago that we were facing issues with sensors, we are still facing a lot of these issues.

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It really depends on the weather.. From what I head, it was actually fairly crowded last year on Thanksgiving day but we also had pretty fair weather on Thanksgiving as well.. That weekend, you have to remember, is a big travel weekend.. so it all really depends

 

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