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Dollywood Discussion Thread

p. 751 - Lightning Rod expected to reopen with the park!

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Just FYI, I think it needs to be a bit warmer for FCE and MM to open. This is likely why you saw everything else open today besides them. I have seen FCE closed due to cold weather before everything else also. Wild Eagle will continue to run once opened until the ride gets "underspeeds." I have seen it operate well below the 36 degree mark. This is just standard cold temperature operating procedure at Dollywood.

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You mean because now it might feel like it's... rolling and... coasting and... open?

There was a time in my life when I would have cared what Lightning Rod was made of.  So refreshing to give precisely zero effs. I just want to go to Dollywood and not worry about it being open! 

Yeah, the difference to the rider between I-Box track and the current track is really minimal. The only major difference would be that the ride would actually be open when you wanted to ride it and wh

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Are those relatively new policies? In the past I'd have sworn they all opened at 40 degrees and Wild Eagle would close when the other coasters did. Right now though it's 30 degrees and according the app it's still running. That's Great Adventure territory.

 

If that's the case then they should take it down to 1 train when it gets cold. A full train probably wouldn't ever get underspeed if it's been running all day but it's awesome capacity could shoot it in the foot if they start sending out empty ones.

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Actually I have seen Wild Eagle run well below 36 as well, I posted several post back that it's always the last to close or seems like it is.. I actually rode it once last year and it was the only coaster still open.. This was in response to someone saying B&Ms are the first to close so they assumed wild eagle would close first haha

 

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Well a group of coaster enthusiasts came to ride yesterday, got on the first train and the train pulled out and started to launch up the hill only for the train to barely start up then roll back down. Now that's coming straight from one of the guys vlogs on YouTube, plus there's an IG photo of them getting taken off. You can see the looks of shock on their faces or that may be disappointment.

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Bill... ever think of becoming a meteorologist? lol. Your calculations and weather research is impressive!

 

Is there really that big a difference between 39.9 degrees and 40.0 degrees?

 

.1! Also, never become a ride op... you'd be letting the parents with their 36" kids on the 48" height requirement rides because the parents said they were close enough. :-P

 

You keep comparing all the parks to Great Adventure which is the weather anomaly of the coaster world, but even they got von rolled in 60mph gusts. If you ever open your own park let me know... you'd keep the skyride running in a hurricane and you know it... just to show Six Flags who's boss.

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I am admittedly a bit of a weather dork. It's one of my many talents.

 

Also, we're on the way to Pigeon Forge now. We don't have high hopes for Lightning Rod but it would be a nice early Chriatmas present.

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Late post, but I wanted to share some of our pics from last Saturday.

 

Overall, we had a very pleasant time at the park. The park was beautiful, not *too* cold that day, not very crowded, longest we waited was about 20 minutes for FCE and MM, nothing was down except the obvious, and we enjoyed the Christmas decorations and lights.

 

Oh...I told D we needed to get cinnamon bread, that TPR told us to. He was like, "I like cinnamon rolls." I said you can get some of those too, but we have to get cinnamon BREAD. I talked him into it, we waited in a hella long line with me saying, "Trust TPR, this will be worth it." And oh... it was WELL worth the wait, and Darien thought so too! I know I'll be getting more every time we visit the park, and we have a season pass now, so hopefully that'll be plenty more times next year!

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Butterflies!

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Heading to go check the status of you know what, and view the decorations on the way!

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"Come here often?"

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So many things to see!

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Cold, but content

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I decided to take pictures of every wheel I saw

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Another wheel!

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Wheel in a tree!

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Wheel?? This coaster was one of the best Arrow's I've ever been on! I was pleasantly surprised with how forceful this was!

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CAW CAW!!

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I am a wild eagle, so majestic!

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Charlie needs to get his s**t together!

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Look at that eagle, so majestic!

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Turned out it was a pretty boring ride, at least in the 2nd half!

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Does D look ready to blaze with fury?

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WHAT IS SANTA DOING??

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Lady, I hate to break it to you, but that fireman might have ulterior motives for helping you down the ladder...

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OOOOO so mysterious!

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My first real Euro-Fighter, and we both really enjoyed this coaster! The theming and indoor portion really added to the effect, and riding at night in the back row was awesome! You can't see the second drop at all!

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Rawkin likes to eat some good wood!

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Obligatory tree selfie

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Thunderhead blew us away!

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Our favorite coaster since we couldn't ride....you know what. Probably my new favorite GCI!

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Move along people, there's nothing to see here!

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We're here waiting for one of the best food experiences of our lives and all I can focus on is that red tree! Seriously, who strings lights on every branch and every twig of a tree?

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Every light is perfectly strung

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Seriously, these lights were impressively straight! Unlike your mom...

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Look at how beautiful Dollywood is!

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Barely made it into It's a Wonderful Life but it was so worth the wait!

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"You want the moon? I'll throw a lasso on it."

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Money money money money!

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DON'T JUMP!!

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Scrubbing the stage clean, or dancing?

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Even the trees put on a show!

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I didn't get a picture of the tree playing tetris, but that was cool too

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Even Mystery Mine got turnt at night!

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Amuurrrica!!

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Dollywood getting me into the Christmas spirit since 2016

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Seriously, those trees are what got me

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Who wraps every twig with lights?

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Literally, EVERY twig! Super impressive!

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This was in Pigeon Forge on the way to our hotel room. I've never been to this city, but someone please tell me WTF is up with it?? It was one of the craziest places I've ever see! Little kid Las Vegas, that's the best way to describe it!

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I'm headed to Dollywood tomorrow with the family. We planned on Sat but it's going to be rainy so we opted for Friday instead. Really hoping Lightening Rod pulls through for us!! If not, still going to be a blast as always.

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We're heading back on Monday morning to get some last minute use out of the season passes. Staying at Dreammore to get the timesavers. Got my fingers crossed for Lighting Rod as we've gotten to ride it all three previous trips this year! We'll have one first timer with us that really wants to ride.

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We're at the park now. I just wanted to jump on real quick and mention that the people who are acting like Thunderhead is running rough this year are complete pussies.

 

Also, Mystery Mine is still awesome and Lightning Rod is still a train wreck dumpster fire. Maintenance is literally standing on the track shrugging their shoulders every 5 seconds and most likely questioning their life choices.

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We're at the park now. I just wanted to jump on real quick and mention that the people who are acting like Thunderhead is running rough this year are complete pussies.

 

Also, Mystery Mine is still awesome and Lightning Rod is still a train wreck dumpster fire. Maintenance is literally standing on the track shrugging their shoulders every 5 seconds and most likely questioning their life choices.

Yep, rode Thunderhead yesterday, such an amazing coaster. Also it may of not been the launch before, but I'm almost certain the problem with lightning rod now is the launch.

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We're at the park now. I just wanted to jump on real quick and mention that the people who are acting like Thunderhead is running rough this year are complete pussies.

 

Also, Mystery Mine is still awesome and Lightning Rod is still a train wreck dumpster fire. Maintenance is literally standing on the track shrugging their shoulders every 5 seconds and most likely questioning their life choices.

Yep, rode Thunderhead yesterday, such an amazing coaster. Also it may of not been the launch before, but I'm almost certain the problem with lightning rod now is the launch.

I mean, it still might not be the launch hardware itself.. all reports from people who saw it try and launch the other day said it very slowly started going up the hill and then stopped, like, like nothing was trying to pull it up the hill.. One report said it only went a few feet up.. I didn't see any of this myself but it's not like it launched halfway up the lift and just didn't have enough power to get to the top, according to the reports I have read.. it's like it started launching and something stopped it like lack of power, a safety sensor, programming not telling the coaster to launch..

 

Yeah it's obvious that the downtime is due to the coaster not launching but nothing is saying that the launch hardware is to blame. There's nothing saying that this being a wood coaster is causing the issue, from the sounds of it, whatever is causing the issue would probably be causing it on a steel coaster to..

 

There was an article written talking about how much power that launch takes (I can't remember the location I read it, but it was posted here somewhere) maybe the coaster isn't getting the power it needs to power the launch?

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

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Would changing the launch to a regular chain lift hill solve the problems that LR is having? Would it slow the ride's overall speed enough to be noticeable? Thoughts?

I'm confident it could still complete the course if it was a speedy lift hill. The experience, though, would change for sure. The two humps at the top of the launch hill both give airtime, and that would be lost.

 

For a first time experience to the park, I also probably would not have been let down by Dollywood if LR wasn't running. This is a kicka** park on its own, and would be made better once the drop tower is put in.

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There was an article written talking about how much power that launch takes (I can't remember the location I read it, but it was posted here somewhere) maybe the coaster isn't getting the power it needs to power the launch?

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

 

Was this it? (shameless plug)

 

To address these issues, it appears Lightning Rod may be using a newly patented ultra-capacitor based launch system to store energy supplied from a more affordable electrical service and release it during the launch. These “super” or ultra-capacitors may receive less than 250 amps of power from a power grid in a continuous connection during operation in order to charge. The capacitors charge at 200 amps for 30 seconds or more between launches and then discharge at 6,000 amps in a few seconds to launch the hot rods up the mountainside. Unlike a flywheel generator, this new system may not require a separate or remote facility to be housed in as the capacitors could be located in a cabinet directly next to the LSM drive system or in the main LSM control room.
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Would changing the launch to a regular chain lift hill solve the problems that LR is having? Would it slow the ride's overall speed enough to be noticeable? Thoughts?

I'm confident it could still complete the course if it was a speedy lift hill. The experience, though, would change for sure. The two humps at the top of the launch hill both give airtime, and that would be lost.

 

For a first time experience to the park, I also probably would not have been let down by Dollywood if LR wasn't running. This is a kicka** park on its own, and would be made better once the drop tower is put in.

Exactly. For the ones wanting them to convert to a fast lift, here are your airtime points on this coaster: first drop directly after the launch, the second drop and it lifts you and throws you forward, wave turn has the sideways air, as does the outside banked top hat, twist n shout, quad down, airtime hill, the top of non inverted half loop. Now all of the airtime moments aren't just pops, you're literally sustained in the air and being pulled out. Especially on the quad down. Putting the lift in I'm sure would reduce speed which would reduce air. The ones majorly effected would be the first two. Plus in general, it's just a fun feeling to go launch up a mountain.

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The launch on the hill isn't even engaging so wonder if it's not getting power? I'm still leaning towards sensors and software.. I mean, it's not like the launch just isn't powerful enough, the upper launch just isn't going at all and the train gets stopped before it reaches it. I'm guessing Something thinks it's not safe to go and shuts it down?

 

So what's that thing that is popping on the bottom of the hill? Brakes popping up? Looks like the lower launch works and brakes stop it right as it gets on the hill

 

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Sure sounds like a relay opening, cutting off the launch. Possibly triggering anti-roll back brakes too.

 

And that would jive with a sensor issue. It detects something wrong and kills power to the launch.

 

I wouldn't call it a roll back either. That generally refers to not having enough power to top the hill (like on catapults, where it clears the launch mechanism but doesn't top the first hill). But here the power is cut before it even starts up the hill. It just doesn't slam on the brakes when the power is cut. So it rolls up the hill little.

 

Not even half the train is on the hill. It hasn't even gone through the LSMs.

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