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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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Luckily, from what I have heard, Universal is testing a new system with NFC bands like Disney but much more advanced

 

Well it's not the technical/technological aspects I dislike.

 

Is that Universal FL or CA?

 

My understanding is that Disney FL is the only one with the FP+ system that uses NFC bands/cards. The other locations still use paper tickets printed at the ride.

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I'll try to find the article about Universal.. it popped up in my Google Now news feed earlier this year.. my understanding is the testing is going on at one of their waterparks currently

 

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Found an article, it's going to be used at the new universal waterpark in FL..

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/theme-park-rangers-blog/os-et-universal-volcano-bay-taputapu-20170209-story.html

 

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/03/11/2-reasons-disney-world-fears-volcano-bay-1-reason.aspx

 

The bands look to work like a Q-Bot system that alerts riders it's their time to ride.. I'd imagine you can Google taputapu bands (their name) and find more info

 

These aren't bands you keep (they have a screen) but one of the articles I read said that universal plans to get the cost down and implement this in all their parks after the testing phase.. I can't find that article at the moment.. that same article said they planned to implement these with an app as well sometime during the testing phase.. the app would be more useful in the themepark as at the waterparks people don't carry phones

 

 

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With the new pull tabs could two people use tabs from one band at the same time? If so that might be a good option on not so busy days if only FCE, LR and WE had lines that you would need to skip.

I assume you could, I didn't check the pricing, but in the past i thought Dollywood allowed you to include several people without much of a fee, if any fee at all.. Dollywood isn't like six flags where it's $35 for one person, $60 for two and so on.. So not really sure how much you would save with only one ba d

 

 

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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DW was always a per person fee, but what persons wasn't really controlled. You paid for 2 people, it could in theory be any two; the person with the bot and another. And it was $35/person.

 

The bot had a belt clip and could easily be passed around.

 

Not sure, but i don't think the new bands can​ be taken on and off repeatedly. And you have to be wearing the band when they remove the tab.

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Wow I didn't know DWs was that expensive.. I never paid for Dollywoods and only used it once when a friend had it.. people talk about the great deal it is but at $35/person, that's no different than the six flags over GA cost (the price with a season pass anyways, heck I have had random coupons for buy one person get one free at sfog) they didn't control the people either.. the bot just said 2 or 3 or how many ever were on it

 

I guess I have a different opinion of what a good deal is haha!

 

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Wow I didn't know DWs was that expensive.. I never paid for Dollywoods and only used it once when a friend had it.. people talk about the great deal it is but at $35/person, that's no different than the six flags over GA cost (the price with a season pass anyways) they didn't control the people either.. the bot just said 2 or 3 or how many ever were on it

 

I believe the Gold pass discount was taken off the $35 (and I may be a bit off on the price). But I did look into it once, and decided it wasn't worth it with 3 or 4 people. With 2 on a really busy day it might have been worth it for the coasters. But it was never busy enough after that for me to try it.

 

I did find a few old posts, like this from 2007 http://www.themeparkinsider.com/news/response.cfm?ID=3574

Where it was $10 for one and $5 for additional people.

 

I found another (https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g55270-d103537-r156828997-Dollywood-Pigeon_Forge_Tennessee.html)

that said it had gone up to $20/person by 2013 (around the time I first looked into it), and I think it was $35pp last season. And in previous years it was the full 20% Gold pass discount, but I think only $5 off this year.

 

Just another one of the DW things that has increased greatly in recent years.

Oh and the new season pass prices, regular pass $108 vs/ $103 last week. So they have increased twice since Nov.

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

 

And Super Gold is up to $209 now.

So another $5 on top of the $4 increase in Jan.

 

That $108 price will probably last through Jan again.

Edited by STDog
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Season passes have gone way up over the years. With the new prices we are talking almost 25% in the last 4 years. When you look at it that way, it's a lot. For me it was over $400 for 2 super passes this year.. one was gold but still. Just a few years ago, the regular pass (not super and not gold) was only a little over $80.. $84 in 2014 to be exact. (Found the receipt in my email, purchased mid March 2014 so this is likely after a price increase already)

 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'll get my money's worth out of these passes but the concerns over price that some folks have, I see it as a true concern.. heck, people even post on the Dollywood Facebook that they might as well go to Disney rather than buying Dollywood season passes.. my last trip to Disney for two, tickets cost around $400 total for 4 days in the parks with parkhopper. That's only $200/each! I got a good deal but still. (this was the price for tickets in a package from Disney plus 17 off each ticket everyday with my Disney Credit Card with a code that came in my email).. I still find the Dollywood passes a decent value, but the concerns some folks have over price is a good one. I know other parks are increasing in price as well (aside from six flags and I have paid the $4.50/month membership for like 4 years now) but you have to be careful not to price yourself out of the market by pricing high enough to make folks consider spending their money on other vacation ideas vs season tickets at Dollywood

 

Sounds like Dollywoods timesaver system was a good deal, and still is a decent deal, but it has greatly increased in prices it looks like.. At $35/person, I don't think it's an outstanding deal but a decent one for those who don't travel to the park often.

 

Seems like SFOG flash pass is $45/person this season (same as last I believe) but they usually have $10/off person coupons attached to the season pass making theirs a decent deal as well.. I usually buy it at SFOG.

 

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The timesaver was $30 per person last year and $25 per person in 2015. My family would occasionally get one for 2 people if we were there on a really busy day. My daughter loves river rampage and if my neice was with us she wanted to ride firechaser a bunch.

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So plans have changed, and I will most likely be at the park for a hlaf day on April 5th, and a full day on the 6th. This will be my first time at the park and I will be sure to hit every coaster (or try to) and does anyone know if schools will still be in session? also what order to hit the coasters, and a good cheap place to eat, and buy souvenirs.

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also what order to hit the coasters, and a good cheap place to eat, and buy souvenirs.

 

What are you looking for on the coaster order? Worst to best? Best order to get them all in quick?

 

LR will be the longest line, but after it everything else may feel less than, especially the first few after.

 

All the inside food places at DW are good at a decent price. Aunt Grannie's, Mrs. Lillian's, Ham & Beans, and the new Front Porch.

In park souvineers are all the same prices.

 

Out in town there's a ton of choices.

Lots of cheap souvineers too, buy more Smoky Mountain/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg stuff.

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Now, don't get me wrong, I'll get my money's worth out of these passes but the concerns over price that some folks have, I see it as a true concern.. heck, people even post on the Dollywood Facebook that they might as well go to Disney rather than buying Dollywood season passes.

 

Through work I can get discount Disney tickets, Nothing like what you mentioned though. Closer to $400 per person for 4 day hopper.

 

But I can visit the Smokies 3-4 times for a week each cheaper than I can do Disney for just one week.

 

And I can do a lot more in the Mountains too. For free.

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Now, don't get me wrong, I'll get my money's worth out of these passes but the concerns over price that some folks have, I see it as a true concern.. heck, people even post on the Dollywood Facebook that they might as well go to Disney rather than buying Dollywood season passes.

 

Through work I can get discount Disney tickets, Nothing like what you mentioned though. Closer to $400 per person for 4 day hopper.

 

But I can visit the Smokies 3-4 times for a week each cheaper than I can do Disney for just one week.

 

And I can do a lot more in the Mountains too. For free.

Yeah, most of my trips to Dollywood are actually after a hike or something in the Smokies. That's why I am there a lot during the evenings only..

 

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I have a Season Pass, it was a hundred bucks. No complaints from me, it pays for itself in less than 2 visits and if you get it during Smoky Mountain Christmas it's good for the following season. Brit and I get a pass every other year, one of us gets gold for parking and in park purchases and one gets regular. Personally I have zero issues with the cost of their passes.

 

heck, people even post on the Dollywood Facebook that they might as well go to Disney rather than buying Dollywood season passes

 

Yeah, but social media comments are also a great place to find the dumbest people humanity has to offer. One Disney pass which is basically the equivalent of the Dollywood regular pass (plus parking) is $829.64 after tax on their website. My Dollywood pass was 100 bucks.

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I have a Season Pass, it was a hundred bucks.

 

It'd be $108 as of Monday.

 

The point was just a 3 years ago it was $84.

 

That's a 28% increase in 3 years, basically 9% per year.

 

If that trend continues in 2020 it'll be $140, up 65% in 6 yrs.

 

Seems a recent trend. I doubt passes were only $50 in 2008, whick is what the would be if they increased 9% each year since then. (And would have been $25 in 2000, again​ if 9% each year since)

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^ Yeah, I have no complaints. They offer a very high quality product. Also, I feel like their prices for items in the park is pretty reasonable for a theme park. I mean, Cinnamon Bread is like 6 bucks, a quality All you Can Eat buffet with a drink is in the $15 range. I never once took issue with Dollywood's pricing. I'll happily pay for a quality product.

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But 28% inflation is a lot for a lot of the local folks around here in this area.. for me it's not an issue but for families on a budget, season pass money is something they can spend on something else for a vacation..

 

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If in the span of 4 years they want to add a tremendous launched, highly themed family coaster, a new kids coaster, a 200 foot drop tower, a new racing slide complex, a 2.5 million dollar Christmas parade, GREAT! Pumpkin LumiNights which sounds awesome and will most likely exceed people's expectations by quite a bit since I assume it will be similar to this and a launched RMC that's arguably the single greatest roller coaster in the entire world then they have every right to raise prices 28% because they're offering a vastly superior product to what they were offering just a few years ago.

 

also what order to hit the coasters, and a good cheap place to eat, and buy souvenirs.

 

What are you looking for on the coaster order? Worst to best? Best order to get them all in quick?

 

LR will be the longest line, but after it everything else may feel less than, especially the first few after.

 

Normally these are important factors to consider, but the answer is clear here... Ride Lightning Rod first, absolutely, 100% Lightning Rod. Until proven otherwise, Lightning Rod is a tremendously unreliable ride. If the ride is open when you get there and ends up breaking down for the rest of the day / trip (highly likely) and you didn't ride it because you were busy getting the other coasters out of the way first, you'll never forgive yourself. Ride Lightning Rod first, then honestly I'd just walk around the loop and ride the coasters in the order you come to them. Firechaser and Mystery Mine get longer lines than the others so strategically I guess I'd say ride in order....

 

Lightning Rod

Firechaser

Mystery Mine

Thunderhead

Wild Eagle

Tornado

 

But in reality that seems a little crazy so I'd just make a right when you go through the gate and ride each coaster you come to in order (starting with Lightning Rod). The park is pretty much a giant loop and that really makes the most sense. As amazing as Lightning Rod is, I don't think it took away from any of the other coasters at all. This isn't a Fury / Intimidator situation. Those rides are all just as great as ever, I think they're all different enough that Lightning Rod really doesn't steal any of their thunder (not even Thunderhead).

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I consider everything Dollywood offers to be at an incredibly good price considering the quality.

 

People on Facebook complain about prices on every Dollywood post. Usually complaining that prices are too high and lines are too long. Well guess what, those directly correlate. You can't have a low entry fee and no crowds.

 

My Gold Super Pass for Dollywood and Splash Country was $200 and I consider that an amazing value.

 

DreamMore Resort is another example of the good prices they have. It's barely more expensive than a decent hotel on the strip.

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DreamMore Resort is another example of the good prices they have. It's barely more expensive than a decent hotel on the strip.

 

I honestly thought the hotels in Pigeon Forge would be way more expensive than they are. We stayed at Comfort Suites (the Comfort Suites chain is my new go-to by the way) on the strip on Saturday night for 99 bucks and literally called them at like 10 PM from Margaritaville. Still, if you factor in the convenience and the included skip-the-line pass, DreamMore is competitive on most nights.

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If in the span of 4 years they want to add ... then they have every right to raise prices 28% because they're offering a vastly superior product to what they were offering just a few years ago.

 

Just a troubling trend regarding the affordability. One would hope the investments i new attractions were calculated based on current pricing an expected visitor growth, not base it on ever increasing ticket prices that negatively impact the locals (even 3-4 hours away) that visit multiple times a year.

 

And I was speaking solely of ticket prices (and the Q-bot which appears to have risen sharply of late too).

 

And even with the increases it's still a great deal.

 

Until proven otherwise, Lightning Rod is a tremendously unreliable ride.

 

I thought it had been pretty good so far.

 

As amazing as Lightning Rod is, I don't think it took away from any of the other coasters at all. This isn't a Fury / Intimidator situation. Those rides are all just as great as ever, I think they're all different enough that Lightning Rod really doesn't steal any of their thunder (not even Thunderhead).

 

Just a consideration. I don't disagree with you sentiment, but some might fell differently.

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