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Dollywood Discussion Thread

p. 766 - HeartSong resort announced!

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I was informed that Saturday was the busiest day Dollywood has had so far this season. I was there from opening to close and it was a madhouse. All the paths were pretty hard to maneuver through due to the crowds. I was also informed from staff that this was the reason for most of the technical issues the rides were having that day. The ride cycles were heavily increased due to the crowds and some of the workers there said the rides wasn't prepared. I don't know how much of that was true, but that's what I was told from workers that were at the rides that were broken down. I can understand that being a problem but who knows...I just hope Dollywood is able to correct the issue. I was disappointed that I didn't get to ride Firechaser Express...It was down every time I passed by it. There was a lot of issues with other rides but I at least got a ride on them while they were operating. I'm sure Dollywood has had busier days so they know how to do it, I just guess it was early in the season and this was their first hiccup. All in all though, I had a great time. I got to ride LR for the first time and it is my top 5 now. By far the best RMC I've rode so far. The only ones I haven't rode yet are Medusa, Cyclone, Outlaw and the one in Sweden...So, I'll see again when I ride those...But for now, LR is the best RMC imo.

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Did I call this or what? Anyway, I did better side-by-side comparison for you.

Luckily any day now Lightning Rod is probably due to launch a wheel into a mountain or spontaneously combust or something so we can stop talking about covid...

^Lets be real...if you really wanna follow those guidelines you wouldn’t even be going to amusement parks. 

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Can't really tell if that guy in the video really enjoyed the ride or not.

 

When Dollywood shared the video to their own facebook page, I noticed a lot of complaining in the comments. I gotta admit, it's interesting seeing how a lot of the general public really dislike the coaster. I noticed a lot of the comments were dealing with "roughness" and some mentioned how they were "in pain" after riding. Others were of course throwing fits about it being closed all the time. Some of the "roughness" comments seemed obvious that they were likely getting roughness mixed up with intensity (unless you rode the ride back when the pothole existed). Not that any of this really matters, but still a little interesting seeing the other opinions.

 

Anyways, I look forward to getting on Drop Line in a few weeks! (considering it really opens on the 5th)

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I was informed that Saturday was the busiest day Dollywood has had so far this season. I was there from opening to close and it was a madhouse. All the paths were pretty hard to maneuver through due to the crowds. I was also informed from staff that this was the reason for most of the technical issues the rides were having that day. The ride cycles were heavily increased due to the crowds and some of the workers there said the rides wasn't prepared. I don't know how much of that was true, but that's what I was told from workers that were at the rides that were broken down. I can understand that being a problem but who knows...I just hope Dollywood is able to correct the issue. I was disappointed that I didn't get to ride Firechaser Express...It was down every time I passed by it. There was a lot of issues with other rides but I at least got a ride on them while they were operating. I'm sure Dollywood has had busier days so they know how to do it, I just guess it was early in the season and this was their first hiccup. All in all though, I had a great time. I got to ride LR for the first time and it is my top 5 now. By far the best RMC I've rode so far. The only ones I haven't rode yet are Medusa, Cyclone, Outlaw and the one in Sweden...So, I'll see again when I ride those...But for now, LR is the best RMC imo.

Did you happen to get a number of people in attendance? Another good way to judge is by how much of the parking was in the Splash Country lot. Last season Dollywood had a few days with attendance slightly over 35,000 people.. that's roughly the same as a slow day at Disney and if you have been to Disney on a slow day, that's a lot of people.. Parking was all the way into Splash Country on those days

 

BTW those were record days for the entire history of Dollywood last year. I was there on one of those days and most rides had no issues. The issues on those days had to do with Dollywood planning for less than 15000 on the day I was there so operations were close to the bottom. They were horrible that say

 

 

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^LOL to all the people saying it needs a shoulder harness because they got lifted out of their seat too much. If they think that then they not ever need set foot on another ride...EVER.

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^LOL to all the people saying it needs a shoulder harness because they got lifted out of their seat too much. If they think that then they not ever need set foot on another ride...EVER.

 

Exactly. Heck, there was even another comment where someone said they hope Dollywood sues RMC for the coaster being closed all the time. People are just beyond stupid these days.

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I was also informed from staff that this was the reason for most of the technical issues the rides were having that day. The ride cycles were heavily increased due to the crowds and some of the workers there said the rides wasn't prepared.

 

The amount of cycles per hour shouldn't increase at all on busier days and they most likely don't unless operators only choose to hustle when the park is busy for some reason. The only ride where this might actually be an issue is on Tornado if they decided to actually run 2 trains for a change since I've personally never seen that ride run more than one.

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LR was up and down very frequently yesterday. They would load a train and then request everyone step back inside the gates just before dispatching... this happened twice to me, and I witnessed it a third time. It was rare to get through an hour without it going down. It's definitely operating more consistently than last year, but I don't think they're quite to the finish line yet.. all of these little hiccups are starting to come out of the woodwork. I'm still keeping a fairly positive outlook on it, the profound negativity from some people (especially enthusiasts from other circles of the inter-webs) annoys me.. Don't get me wrong, I get it... but it's still a great ride either way.

 

'Tornado runs two trains pretty much every Saturday if they have enough people to staff it, it actually had a longer wait than Eagle yesterday... which is odd for a Sunday.

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LR was up and down very frequently yesterday. They would load a train and then request everyone step back inside the gates just before dispatching... this happened twice to me, and I witnessed it a third time. It was rare to get through an hour without it going down. It's definitely operating more consistently than last year, but I don't think they're quite to the finish line yet.. all of these little hiccups are starting to come out of the woodwork. I'm still keeping a fairly positive outlook on it, the profound negativity from some people (especially enthusiasts from other circles of the inter-webs) annoys me.. Don't get me wrong, I get it... but it's still a great ride either way.

 

'Tornado runs two trains pretty much every Saturday if they have enough people to staff it, it actually had a longer wait than Eagle yesterday... which is odd for a Sunday.

Rumor has it that a lot of the downtime last year was due to a sensor on the gate shutting the ride down when folks pushed on it.. again, only a rumor that was mentioned several times last year.. nothing was every confirmed but your experience does help back that up..

 

Now this didn't lead to day long downtime but some of the 30 minutes or other short downtime was rumored to be caused by the gates

 

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Oh wait you said step back inside the gates, not from the gates! Haha so your saying they loaded then unloaded?

 

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I was at Dollywood Saturday and got my family of four unlimited timesavers and was only expecting one ride on LR due to what was written on the website, but when I got to the park and got my lanyards, I was informed that it was unlimited on LR and also unlimited on Drop Line too when it opens next week. They said that only the limited timesavers give you one ride on each.

 

Fantastic to hear it is unlimited on LR and DL! And only $10 more than the regular time saver... that's a no brainer and so much cheaper than Fast Lane or Flash Passes that I almost can't even believe it's true. We'll definitely be doing this then when we visit later in the year. Hopefully they figure out the marking system for the lanyard or even get rid of it all together. Thanks for the info!

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LR was up and down very frequently yesterday. They would load a train and then request everyone step back inside the gates just before dispatching... this happened twice to me, and I witnessed it a third time. It was rare to get through an hour without it going down. It's definitely operating more consistently than last year, but I don't think they're quite to the finish line yet.. all of these little hiccups are starting to come out of the woodwork. I'm still keeping a fairly positive outlook on it, the profound negativity from some people (especially enthusiasts from other circles of the inter-webs) annoys me.. Don't get me wrong, I get it... but it's still a great ride either way.

 

'Tornado runs two trains pretty much every Saturday if they have enough people to staff it, it actually had a longer wait than Eagle yesterday... which is odd for a Sunday.

Rumor has it that a lot of the downtime last year was due to a sensor on the gate shutting the ride down when folks pushed on it.. again, only a rumor that was mentioned several times last year.. nothing was every confirmed but your experience does help back that up..

 

Now this didn't lead to day long downtime but some of the 30 minutes or other short downtime was rumored to be caused by the gates

 

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Yes exactly when I went back in November and got my eight runs in each time they would tell guests to not lean or push on the gates that if they did the ride would automatically shut down. I had never seen so many people jump 5ft from a gate before in my life.

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Oh wait you said step back inside the gates, not from the gates! Haha so your saying they loaded then unloaded?

 

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Yeah, they would load a train, get everyone's restraints checked and then they would just tell everyone to step back inside so they could perform maintenance. My guess is the ride is constantly reporting statistics to the PLC system and it gives maintenance warnings to the ops or something, after this happened a 3rd time some maintenance guy came up and started working on the brake run.

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There seems to be a couple of reasons why LRod shuts down that I have noticed recently. When they make people step back inside the gates after they have loaded into the train, its because something didn't trip when the second train hit the brake run. This prevents dispatch of the train in the station. You can hear the brakes reset, and see a fin lower at the bottom of the launch hill once the train passes a certain block on the brake run. Sometimes this doesn't happen causing temporary shutdown. This happened to us the other day, while on the brake run we saw everyone in the station getting from the train back into the line. Once maintenance got to the ride we heard the snapping/resetting of the brakes followed by the dispatch of the train in the station.

 

Saturday it had a couple launch failures as a result of the second train not coming into the station. If you notice when the train in the station is dispatched, before it launches the other train has already made it most of the way into the station. If that 2nd train does not advance - the other train does not launch.

 

I am by no way an engineer or know exactly what is going on with the ride, I merely only posting this for good fun and speculation, but these are the main reasons for temporary shutdowns that I've noticed recently.

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^ I went yesterday and the ride went down near park opening. After a couple of test runs, a maintenance crew member walked out to the brake run and started observing the trains as they passed through. He did this for a handful of test runs before walking back to the station and the ride was back up after the ride crew did their test run.

 

So, this is consistent with what you described.

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^ Went last Wednesday and was in line for the second train of the day so right on the platform just before the final stairs up to the station. It was TC and they where working on the brake run cycling the fins probably 20+ times and spraying which I assumed was a lubricant from a can on them when they cycled. Several empty trains where dispatched and then a few with a ride op then it was operational for the rest of the day with 2 trains running.

 

It was my first ride on it and WOW it was crazy. I remember slamming into the brake run asking myself WTF just happened. I must of watched the POV video 50+ times so the launch, false drop and drop into over banked turn I was fresh but the middle part of the coaster was all over the place and I kinda picked up where I was again on the quad down and final over banked turn. I knew enough to get my hands in the air for the pic but to be honest I was holding on for dear life up until then. 10/10 worth the wait!

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^ I went yesterday and the ride went down near park opening. After a couple of test runs, a maintenance crew member walked out to the brake run and started observing the trains as they passed through. He did this for a handful of test runs before walking back to the station and the ride was back up after the ride crew did their test run.

 

So, this is consistent with what you described.

Saw the same back in March. Wasn't obvious then what he was looking at (and my daughter distracted me some). But specifically recall someone going out to the brakes for a few test cycles before the op went for a ride.

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to be honest I was holding on for dear life up until then. 10/10 worth the wait!

 

No holding on...

 

Get the original experience, before they added the sissy bars...

 

I for one will never use them.

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^ Went last Wednesday and was in line for the second train of the day so right on the platform just before the final stairs up to the station. It was TC and they where working on the brake run cycling the fins probably 20+ times and spraying which I assumed was a lubricant from a can on them when they cycled. Several empty trains where dispatched and then a few with a ride op then it was operational for the rest of the day with 2 trains running.

 

Exactly what happened Sunday.

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to be honest I was holding on for dear life up until then. 10/10 worth the wait!

 

No holding on...

 

Get the original experience, before they added the sissy bars...

 

I for one will never use them.

 

They're much more helpful for securing the restraints IMHO, they're useless on the ride!

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Dropline is in technical ride rehearsal and I was able to ride it a couple of times today. Really great drop tower! I love how it spins you all the way to the top, allowing you some great views. You do a full rotation at the top, before the rotation stops and you go up a few more feet.

 

I suppose you could argue that the ride could be a bit higher, but I think the height is fair and doable for young and old alike. Really an excellent addition to the park.

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230 something foot is much higher than most of us expected a drop tower to be for Dollywood.. I was afraid they were going to do one around 100ft and make it a family tower.

 

And I love how Dollywood has "invented" their own term for soft openings.. but if I were them, Technical Ride Rehearsal leaves bad thoughts in my mind and I am sure it does even worse in a lot of GP.. I feel they should just open it and call it open but don't advertise it as being open since it isn't scheduled to have a Grand Opening until this weekend.. That's what six flags and a lot of other parks would do. I have experienced several soft openings at six flags and it's like "oh crap it's open let's try"

 

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230 something foot is much higher than most of us expected a drop tower to be for Dollywood.. I was afraid they were going to do one around 100ft and make it a family tower.

 

And I love how Dollywood has "invented" their own term for soft openings.. but if I were them, Technical Ride Rehearsal leaves bad thoughts in my mind and I am sure it does even worse in a lot of GP.. I feel they should just open it and call it open but don't advertise it as being open since it isn't scheduled to have a Grand Opening until this weekend.. That's what six flags and a lot of other parks would do. I have experienced several soft openings at six flags and it's like "oh crap it's open let's try"

 

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Hopefully Drop Line does really well it's opening year and takes some of the heat off LR's issues last year.

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Dropline is in technical ride rehearsal and I was able to ride it a couple of times today. Really great drop tower! I love how it spins you all the way to the top, allowing you some great views. You do a full rotation at the top, before the rotation stops and you go up a few more feet.

 

I suppose you could argue that the ride could be a bit higher, but I think the height is fair and doable for young and old alike. Really an excellent addition to the park.

 

How's the drop? I thought it was a true free fall but Dollywood's blog says you experience -3.2 Gs.

 

230 something foot is much higher than most of us expected a drop tower to be for Dollywood.. I was afraid they were going to do one around 100ft and make it a family tower.

 

And I love how Dollywood has "invented" their own term for soft openings.. but if I were them, Technical Ride Rehearsal leaves bad thoughts in my mind and I am sure it does even worse in a lot of GP.. I feel they should just open it and call it open but don't advertise it as being open since it isn't scheduled to have a Grand Opening until this weekend.. That's what six flags and a lot of other parks would do. I have experienced several soft openings at six flags and it's like "oh crap it's open let's try"

 

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I don't think Dollywood "invented" the term technical ride rehearsal, unless it was a long time ago. I've seen this used by parks across the country for years.

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