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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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The last 5 times i've been to the park [ 2 last September, once last October Opening Weekend and Good Friday] LR has been open every time, now it's has breakdowns throughout each visit, but between those 5 visits I've managed to score about 25 rides all together. There's no doubt LR has had it's fair share of issues, but it's reliability isn't as bad as I think some people have made it out to be.

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The last 5 times i've been to the park [ 2 last September, once last October Opening Weekend and Good Friday] LR has been open every time, now it's has breakdowns throughout each visit, but between those 5 visits I've managed to score about 25 rides all together. There's no doubt LR has had it's fair share of issues, but it's reliability isn't as bad as I think some people have made it out to be.

 

GP don't really hate on it as bad as some of us can, I know it's a massive PITA, but I think it more than makes up for it.

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^ Yet, I feel that a lot of the general public are still talking down on the coaster more so than we may think. A good example is found in the facebook comments on a latest WBIR article talking about the coaster being down more than open. The article interviewed Pete Owens, which he stated that the coaster is running more consistently than last year, which we pretty much knew already. At the same time, I do feel like a lot of others are making the ride's issues sound worse than they really are, and this was mentioned earlier in a previous post.

 

I just hope that the park can get these issues worked out sooner than later. Lightning Rod is an incredible coaster, and it will just be even better once its reliability is up.

 

After all, this is Dollywood. Having Lightning Rod closed on any visit of mine won't stop me from having a blast at the park!

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I know for a fact Dollywood is pouring a lot of money in to getting LR up to the 98% mark they strive for with all of their rides. I am Not sure though how much longer they can continue to do this with out someone getting a notice to court. It cost them money and man hours everyday it not open. I pray and hope they get this worked out sooner then later. It is a awesome ride!

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I know for a fact Dollywood is pouring a lot of money in to getting LR up to the 98% mark they strive for with all of their rides. I am Not sure though how much longer they can continue to do this with out someone getting a notice to court. It cost them money and man hours everyday it not open. I pray and hope they get this worked out sooner then later. It is a awesome ride!

I'm sure they really are. Let's just hope that Dollywood doesn't end up in a lawsuit with RMC (like what happened to Timber Tower with HUSS) but I highly doubt it, unless something major happens. With so many pissed off people from the GP, who knows what could happen, but it will be stupid to speculate on that part. Both rides were completely different from each other and each had their own set of issues. In reality, we shouldn't even compare Lightning Rod to Timber Tower.

Edited by Jccoasterfan
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If you get a chance go to the WBIR-TV Facebook page and check out the factcheck story they did on LR never being open. The story says it's only been closed 6 out of 47 days and people on Facebook are not buying it. The post below from the comments section was kinda funny! Enjoy

IMG_1241.thumb.PNG.3fbc288cb4000a7868760f8d2cb91e55.PNG

IMG_1242.thumb.PNG.51df5f4fd9ca0b4384d81cdc10e00e55.PNG

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That's an interesting post in regards to the issues plaguing the ride.

 

I've been curious on who fits the bill for all this continued maintenance as I work for a custom industrial machine engineering/manufacturing firm that, while completely unrelated to coasters, uses a similar work flow. For example, we recently had a customer that contracted us to build a machine that presses railroad wheels onto railroad axles. After plans were approved and everything put together and tested, we moved it to their plant for final assembly and experienced problems. This has been going on now for several months where when the line goes down, we have to send techs to get it back up. After a certain amount of downtime, we are the ones that have to eat the cost. It's all due to some engineering oversights and unexpected real world conditions. Sounds like that's the deal with LR.

 

Because of all the issues with the ride our visit in two weeks has been changed to Holiday World, with the plans to go to Dollywood after it's stabilized, hopefully next summer. I know that Dollywood is an amazing park and LR isn't the only thing there, but it's the main attraction we wanted to do and with having only a 4-5 hour window to be at the park, we'd rather just not risk frustration.

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Pete is probably citing the FULL days it was down, it's not uncommon for it to open and then close 5 hours before the park.

 

I am not going to give that FB comment much attention, I'm sure all maintenance people are under strict NDAs with HFE that prevent them from disclosing as many details as that. I've never heard of a ride having water pumped through the track... I'm not even sure how that would work, even though LR is launched, I doubt it experiences very different forces than the other RMC toppers after it's crested the lift hill..

 

The trains use the same setup for launching and braking, so I highly doubt they are going to re-engineer the trains for a non-LSM launch.

 

I do see them abandoning Velocity's LSM technology, however.

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As much as I hate to admit it, I think LR has once again fallen into the unreliable category. It's going on 4-5 days since it's been open... this is how it was acting back in late 2016. "TC" for half the day until they finally just admit it's not going to open.

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I understand it's an incredibly complex machine and they would have it 100 percent if they could but it's really frustrating for someone who lives 17 hours away and will only visit there once a decade. Was going to head down to Dollywood last year but "cancelled" when LR was never open (yes I know it's an all time park without it but still). Was planning to go sometime this summer. Now I'm really questioning it again.

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I'll go ahead and join in the cancel club.

 

We too were going to go last season, but cancelled due to LR issues. No biggie, we rescheduled for this year. Now I'm wondering if we are going to even get to experience it this year.

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Does anyone know if these closings are mostly related to the launched lift or just general mechanical problems with the ride overall?

 

Just curious if they have ever came out and said why it is down so frequently or if anyone that works there knows.

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Various people say various things

 

Pete Himself said the launch was fine this winter.. he said most of the issues had to do with the trains themselves and that Dollywood planned to rewire and work on them during the off season

 

We have also heard others say the launch works fine but we have had some say it doesn't..

 

From general observations from a lot of folks, it looks like the ride "trips" something causing a failure to launch or even leave the station..

 

Again though, no one official has said anything other than what Pete said at the coaster event this winter.. with that being said, we have had others from the park say things that dispute what Pete says

 

Pete is the parks media guy who post on these forums from time to time

 

Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk

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^ Interesting.

 

I wondered that about the "trip" during launch because the ride undoubtedly has tons of limit/proximity switches (like TTD and KK). If just one of those switches doesn't properly function or even gets a small piece of debris on it, it's going to throw a fault and shut down.

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Well Dollywood closes in 45 minutes and guess what just finally opened not too long ago.. Yup. LR currently has a 45 minute wait.

 

I'll be at the park next Saturday and I'm really looking forward to Drop Line! Hoping for a lap or two on LR but it won't mess up my trip if it ends up being closed. Fingers crossed though.

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