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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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A few weeks ago during winter break we took a trip to Pigeon Forge. I finally got around to doing a review/tr on Dollywood. This should be no surprise, but it's one of the best parks I've ever been to! We went on the 28th and 29th, and went around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg on the 27th and 30th. The weather was pretty good, and I got on all the rides I wanted to get to multiple times. (I already figured that Lighting Rod would be closed months ago). The park was beautifully themed and it had a great atmosphere. It's able to be a well-themed, modern park while still having a classic small park-type feel at the same time. And of course, the lights and decorations for Christmas made that even better.

 

We stayed at the Dream More Resort, and it's an excellent place to stay. It looks great, the restaurant inside it has awesome breakfasts, the rooms are good, and it's actually not as expensive as you'd expect. It was about $240 a night, which is an awesome deal for what you get. There's also the trolley to and from the park, as well as complimentary Time-Saver q-bots, which were absolutely life-saving because of how crowded it was.

 

The operations in the park were outstanding. The workers were nice, and the dispatches for Firechaser Express were almost all under 1 minute each! The other crews sent out trains in well under 2 minutes most of the time.

 

The food was also amazing. We had the cinnamon bread, which was outstanding as expected, the skillet sausage sandwiches were great, and Miss Lillian's had really good chicken, different kinds of pork, and I enjoyed their loaded mashed potatoes, and that's coming from someone who is against extensive potato mutilation. I still think Knoebels and Epcot have better food, but Dollywood is up there for sure. Now onto the important part: the rides!

 

Thunderhead: This was my favorite coaster in the park by far. The pace is incredible and quick all the way through, the twistiness was great, the turns had lots of lateral forces, and there were plenty moments of strong airtime. It's also really smooth, and the setting is also pretty. Thunderhead crushes the other GCIs I've been on, and now I know why they get praised so much, and how they can be on the same level as a Gravity Group coaster, or some of the top CCI and PTC coasters. It's my number 6 wood now. Fantastic coaster! I liked the front the best because a lot of the airtime hills mainly go upwards, but not really back down.

 

Tennessee Tornado: I got on it 4 times. It's an awesome ride, and my second-favorite in the park. It's incredibly forceful the whole way through, and the pacing is relentless. I love how the loops are shaped so awkwardly and it's kind of sketchy-feeling, even by Arrow standards, but it's still actually very smooth. The drop is also wonderful since it has some nice sustained floater air in the back, and the tunnel is fun. It's a short ride, but it really uses every second to crush you with forces. The terrain interaction also makes it feel even faster.

 

Dizzy Disk: Disk-O ride. I rode it twice.

 

Barnstormer: This is my new favorite Screamin' Swing, and those are some of my favorite flat rides! It's short like the others, but the airtime and acceleration is awesome. The excellent theming is what makes this one stand out, and it's great how much attention to detail Dollywood puts into the theming of the park! I rode it 5 times.

 

Firechaser Express: This was a huge hit for everyone in my family. The theme is excellent, especially the fireworks building! The layout is tame, but it's a lot of fun. There's even a little bit of light floaty air on some of the drops, as well as unexpected laterals. I always thought the custom Gerstlauer bobsled mouse coasters in Europe looked cool, and this like a bigger version of what I'd imagine those are like. The launches are also a nice touch. I rode it 4 times, and I think I like the coaster better in the front than the back, but here it doesn't make much of a difference.

 

Blazing Fury: Most people consider this a roller coaster, but I do not count it as a credit. This is because it's almost completely powered, not just because it's more like a dark ride. But I consider it a pure dark ride, despite the small drops. But anyway, this is a really nice weird old-style dark ride! It also had the Christmas lights still inside it. The first drop actually has a little airtime near the front of the train, and the scenes seemed to all be working well. I rode it 3 times.

 

Mystery Mine: I loved this one! The dark ride sections really make the ride what it is, and the fire is awesome of course. Lots of people say this ride is rough, but it's fine if you hold your head forwards or to one side. The drops are good, and the finale is thrilling. I tricked my brother and sister who haven't been on a vertical lift or vertical drop coaster ever into going on it, and they actually liked it! My dad also went on even though he doesn't like vertical lifts, and he enjoyed it as well. This is easily my third-favorite ride here. I got to it 3 times.

 

Wild Eagle: This is a pretty tame coaster, but the terrain and how close you go to the trees makes it more thrilling. It's a beautiful and graceful ride, so that's why I really liked it. I think I like the left side more, and of course you have to be in the back. It's not as good as Gatekeeper, but it's close. Again, the great views and location makes this an important ride for the park. The vests also lock much tighter than Gatekeeper's or the ones on the S&S 4D coasters for example, but it's still comfortable enough.

 

The summarized version of this is basically that you have to go to Dollywood!

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Yup that looks like it.. not much about LR except that they are having RMC rewire the trains this off season and that it should help with most of the issues. Guess train sensors are causing most of it?

 

Also, not really sure how I feel about the wasp prevention structure on the top of wild eagle. I'm afraid it will harm the view at the top but I guess more people would like it to be open rather than having a view haha.

 

And what cracks me up is he is talking about night rides and staying open later during "spring breaks" but they are still missing the areas largest Spring Break. He probably meant "fall breaks" because of the October Festivals.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

 

Talking about spring break, I live in Atlanta and was thinking of coming up for a few days in April. Looking at hotels, it looks like a pretty busy time, are the lines ridiculous during the week of April 10-14 which is Atlanta plus a bunch of suburbs spring break. Looks like Knox is earlier, not sure about other districts.

 

Thanks

Most of the district's around here are earlier than April, actually what you could hit in April are school field trips. These make for crowd's almost as bad as local Spring Break crowds would be

 

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Hopefully lumberjack pizza is going to remain the same style pizza! I love that large slice of pizza. It's my number one restaurant there

 

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I have yet to try out Lumberjacks. Typically we're already in the other side of the park when we get hungry for lunch! I will probably try it sometime next season maybe.

 

I saw something that I noticed earlier on Dollywood's website. I wasn't able to post a picture of it, but if you look under "Dining", Backstage is no longer listed. However, It shows a new restaurant coming in 2017 called "Front Porch Cafe". Could this end up replacing Backstage? I just hope their food options don't change then if that's the case.

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I noticed when looking at the rides page on the website that the sideshow kid coaster aka the veggie tales coaster in country fair is NOT listed. I wonder if they are moving it up to Thunderhead or if they are just getting rid of the old one?

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I noticed when looking at the rides page on the website that the sideshow kid coaster aka the veggie tales coaster in country fair is NOT listed. I wonder if they are moving it up to Thunderhead or if they are just getting rid of the old one?

Pete said in his No Coaster Con presentation that Whistle Punk Chaser will be a standard Zamperla kiddie coaster (same model as Howler at Holiday World), so Sideshow Spin won't be relocated.

Edited by SFOGdude25
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I would find hard to believe that Sideshow Spin will be taken out this season because the station was just repainted this past season, however i do think a Country Fair area overhaul is part of their $300,000,000+ expansion plan. So i do see it being sold off or trashed at some point. (That will make me sad as it was my son's first coaster) But i think the direction Dollywood is moving in will bring a major attraction to that area with the revamp. (The area needs it, and it would help with crowd dispersion) As far as the Backstage Resturant makeover, as long as they keep the club sandwich and the pimento cheese appetiser (< this is me licking the jar) i'm good. The thing that made me the most excited about the video when i found it was that Drop Line is gonna be 230ft, that extra 30ft that we didn't know existed will make a huge difference on the spectacular view you'll get from the top. I still didn't think Dollywood was aloud to build that high, (i guess Dolly can get the county board to do whatever she wants when she has mountains that can hide the park from being seen at a distance on her person ), and God bless her for it! The expansion future of Dollywood is looking bigger and better, imo.

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please please PLEASE let there be an overhaul of county fair. It really needs it. Fresh paint, maybe different layout, LEDs, ect...

 

On food- Lumberjacks is my go-to honestly, I love pizza behind chicken fettuccine so obviously a 1 pound piece is literally a dream lol.

 

but drop line with the extra 30? e x q u i s i t e

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Hopefully they are trying to increase capacity at lumberjacks.. it was always very busy and they tried moving the location where you pay and order to the front this year, but I'm not so sure that helped much.. they also had the slices precut this year and I know a lot of folks didn't like that because it didn't seem as fresh as when they used to "cut" it in front of you. Believe me, it was just as fresh haha

 

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...I love pizza behind chicken fettuccine so obviously a 1 pound piece is literally a dream lol. but drop line with the extra 30? e x q u i s i t e

 

Explain, please?

 

Each slice of pizza is supposed to weigh a pound (16 oz).

 

Drop Line is supposed to be 230ft tall instead of the earlier 200ft so an extra 30ft tall that was previously thought.

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So I'm looking for a little advice on visiting Dollywood. My brother and I have been planning a trip to this general area of the country for this upcoming summer, visiting parks from Holiday World to Carowinds and a few in between, including Dollywood. The dates we're looking at are Thursday June 1 through Sunday June 11. We've looked at a number of different ways to do this trip, and what I'm really wondering about Dollywood is what are weekday and weekend crowds like that time of year? How many days can one spend in this park? We mostly only care about the coasters and maybe some of the more interesting non-coaster rides, but since I don't know when I'll get back to this park I don't want to rush my time and I want to get many re-rides on the bigger coasters like Lightning Rod (assuming it's running more reliably this summer), Thunderhead, Wild Eagle (when are wasps commonly a problem?), etc.

 

Any tips on days, how to best get through the park, cool stuff to do/see (other than the shows - those have never really interested either of us at any park), food, lodging, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

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I would suggest spending 2 days. Dollywood is easily a one day park, but if you really want to take your time and see a lot of shows then 2 days is absolutely appropriate.

 

I've only been to the park for Smoky Mountain Christmas so I can't speak to crowd levels or wasp levels. Aside from staying 2 days, the only major tips I have are to eat the cinnamon bread at the grist mill and eat the pit ham at Lillian's.

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^^ Assuming Dollywood will do this again in 2017, in years past they had an enter after 3 pm deal where you get an additional next day included with the one day price of admission. That might be enough time for you. In the past with this deal, I was allowed into the park by 2:30 pm on the first day.

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^^ Assuming Dollywood will do this again in 2017, in years past they had an enter after 3 pm deal where you get an additional next day included with the one day price of admission.

 

The time for that depends on park closing time which depends on the time of year.

 

Generally if you only have a few hours til close on day 1, then you can come back for free.

 

Given his stated goals, and typical operating hours in early June, one full day might be enough.

 

To me the park is a lot more than just coasters and I'd rather have 3 days to enjoy the rest of the park.

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You could also just get a Season Pass if you stay for 2 full days, this generally pays for itself in 2 visits, gives you free parking and gives you discounts on in-park spending.

 

This is what I did last year. Highly recommended. It even helped justify visiting again later on in the season as expenses were lower the second time around.

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I was looking at the season passes, and it said prices will go up after Jan.1. Anyone know how much they will increase?

I believe the prices are already a little higher for the 2017 season passes but don't fall for the prices go up trick..

 

Have to check a few time through the season to see if anything else changes. I've never done so.

 

So, I wrote down the prices back in Dec after this post. Then I just checked them today.

Everything went up $4.

 

2017 Season Passes (Quantities 1-3) (Super Regular) $148 $152

2017 Season Passes (Quantities 1-3) (Super Gold) $200 $204

2017 Season Passes (Quantities 1-3) (Regular) $99 $103

2017 Season Passes (Quantities 1-3) (Gold) $151 $155

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Well overall change for next year's passes is close to a $10 increase now.. stepping it up this way, makes it not as noticeable though which is a good thing.. Just makes me wish I renewed already haha!

 

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