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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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Do you guys remember TTD's constant downtime for its first two seasons? That coasters reliability was disastrous, not unlike Lightning Rod. But over time the park figured out how to get it working most of the time. That's what will happen with Lightning Rod. I highly doubt they're getting a new launch system, and I KNOW they're not getting a chain lift...

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Do you guys remember TTD's constant downtime for its first two seasons? That coasters reliability was disastrous, not unlike Lightning Rod. But over time the park figured out how to get it working most of the time. That's what will happen with Lightning Rod. I highly doubt they're getting a new launch system, and I KNOW they're not getting a chain lift...

 

+1, even though my previous posts slightly object.

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I can definitely see the launch being torn out and replaced with another LSM setup from a more tried-and-true company. I don't see them using a hydraulic/weight/cable launch... that would require a lot of re-engineering. Clearly it's possible to have an up-hill LSM launch that's not down everyday.. just look at Maverick.

 

It's not going to get torn down, Dollywood's not done pouring money into it yet. Timber Tower was a fun, but insignificant flat ride. Lightning Rod is the world's fastest wood coaster, and a 20 million dollar investment. I'm sure a law suit is stirring, probably between the company who built the launch and Dollywood. I really don't think most of this is RMC's fault.. Velocity did the braking and launching.. which are TWO things this thing seems to always have problems with.

 

Velocity did the brakes but not the brake fins which have been the issue. As for the launch, it has been operating at 99% since opening day this year. RMC is at fault here for the brake fins and sensing as well as issues with the trains.

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Guess what's closed? You guessed it, Lightning Rod! I don't see this thing opening for at least a month at this point, good luck to all traveling from abroad...

Guess its a no go for this weekend....... still going though.

 

 

people already calling for the SOB treatment

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In case anybody else is interested, I was curious about Lightning Rod's status over time and the wait times for other rides leading up to my trip in a couple weeks so I wrote a quick little app that pulls the wait times every 15 minutes and stores them. Pretty simple but thought maybe a couple of you would be interested in this - http://dw.jonstoddart.com/

Wow, very interesting thing you pulled together! It's shocking to see how much the ride's been down compared to being open, and when it was open on the 17th it's an immediate 45 minute wait before dropping off the charts again! Other than that, out of its recorded 8 days the park's been open, it's been pretty much completely closed for 7 of them (they tried on the 22nd).

 

Shouldn't they just announce it closed online just to cement it in and not get people's hopes up too much?

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All LR injuries are due to folks being stupid and not securing their phones.. so yeah I agree let's burn it like SOB because people keep getting hurt.. lol JK

 

LR and SOB are two different issues.. SOB had some serious injuries that started it's downfall.. LR just does that work

 

Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk

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All parties involved in the construction and operations of Lightning Rod are doing all they can to get it running more reliable. Dollywood has all options on the table and working through them to get to the source of the problems. RMC has been at the park multiple times this season trying to get to the bottom of this. Dollywood had things running pretty well for the the first month and a half and then the problems started popping up. They haven't gotten to a point to have enough up time to really get a feel for what it needs to keep it up. The multiple sensors on the track seem to be having problems with catching all of the fins on the train. That causes a fault that shuts it down. Not trying to be a Fanboy for Dollywood, but I guarantee you if they could they would be running it. Everyday they try, but can't open if the computer gets a fault of any kind then they must track it down and figure out how to fix it. They can leave one day thinking things are good and the next morning it won't go. They know this is frustrating to the public just as much as it is to them. Best thing we can do is pray for lightning Rod to come to it senses and work like it was designed to do. Amen!!! Giving Dollywood grief is not going to speed up the opening and only hurts the chances of us getting more record breaking rides in the future. I've had the opportunity to ride it probably 50 times over the past 2 seasons and I can say it is a world class coaster. If you are coming from a great distance and this is the only reason for your visit please wait till it get more reliable if possible.

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... people already calling for the SOB treatment...

 

Who has Lightning Rod sent to the hospital??

 

no I'm just saying people on the Thread already talking about tearing it down.

Edited by lbeeler
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I can definitely see the launch being torn out and replaced with another LSM setup from a more tried-and-true company. I don't see them using a hydraulic/weight/cable launch... that would require a lot of re-engineering. Clearly it's possible to have an up-hill LSM launch that's not down everyday.. just look at Maverick.

 

It's not going to get torn down, Dollywood's not done pouring money into it yet. Timber Tower was a fun, but insignificant flat ride. Lightning Rod is the world's fastest wood coaster, and a 20 million dollar investment. I'm sure a law suit is stirring, probably between the company who built the launch and Dollywood. I really don't think most of this is RMC's fault.. Velocity did the braking and launching.. which are TWO things this thing seems to always have problems with.

 

Velocity did the brakes but not the brake fins which have been the issue. As for the launch, it has been operating at 99% since opening day this year. RMC is at fault here for the brake fins and sensing as well as issues with the trains.

 

Which set of brakes are you referring to? I know that braking fins were retrofitted onto the trains for DYNA-brakes that were added to the launch track in the event of a rollback. That said, the final brake run does NOT use these fins, they are only used in a rollback situation. The actual brake run uses a similar setup to the launch, which has been confirmed to be made by Velocity in the initial interview before LR was even built.

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They're not going to put in a standard chain lift, the whole appeal of the ride is the launch. Not to mention, the first drop would have to be totally changed as there wouldn't be enough speed to crest the false drop.

 

I don't know about that.... I've seen some pretty fast freaking lift hills lately.

 

Hell, they could do a cable lift... And BAM!! Problem solved.

 

Also, to any one who is interested... In an email I received from the park yesterday it looks like Dolly wont be back to the park for the rest of the season.

 

At this time we do not foresee Dolly being here again this season.
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They're not going to put in a standard chain lift, the whole appeal of the ride is the launch. Not to mention, the first drop would have to be totally changed as there wouldn't be enough speed to crest the false drop.

 

I don't know about that.... I've seen some pretty fast freaking lift hills lately.

 

Hell, they could do a cable lift... And BAM!! Problem solved.

 

SkyRush and El Toro have fast cable lifts, I wonder how much faster the tech could be speed up. Probably not Lightning Rod fast, but if they increased the hill to match the drop speed, they would end up with a higher, more airtime initial drop and essentially the same ride, maybe even better.

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How different are Intamin's cable lifts and cable accelerators?

 

At the very least, Skyrush is 22mph. Lightning Rod launches to 45 but crests the hill slower since the launch isn't the whole way up (I think).

 

But they won't do a fast cable lift. That's an Intamin creation, and if Intamin were to do something, they would build their own LSM system, I suspect. And if I missed Mack getting into cable lifts, Mack would do their own LSM, too.

 

(But I suspect they'll just work through the issues with their current system. There have been plenty of rumors that the launch isn't the major problem, anyway.)

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Everyone just assumes it's a launch issue due to the rollbacks but if you listen to the videos of Pete or pay attention to DW management when they talk about issues the main things that comes up are trains (Pete said they planned to have RMC rewire the trains during the off season).. and electrical issues such as sensors (again this makes since, if they have to rewire the trains)

 

Even the true rollbacks, I don't think are caused by the system just not having enough power.. but I have never actually seen any of the "true" rollbacks.. I saw several of the failure to launch issues though

 

Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk

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I am on the bandwagon believing the main problem with this ride are indeed the trains, and their inability to trigger the sensor system. Sure there are failed launches, but my inclination is something on the train or some sensor issue causes the launch to shut down. I really feel that if they were to modify this ride we would see different trains before we saw the launch modified or torn out.

 

I would also be interested to see this apparent "roll back" everyone talks about. I've only seen the coaster stop at the launch, or go through the little pre launch it does and roll back like 10 feet to the bottom of the hill. I have not however ever seen it get a majority of the way up the hill and stop. Any videos of this would be greatly appreciated!

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It's definitely happened, all launched coasters roll back at some point. I unfortunately do not have any footage, but I have seen it multiple times. It did make it a good 2-3 quarters up the lift and then started rolling back. I have also seen the failure to launch, and this is not that at all.

 

Perhaps it is the trains indeed, I have witnessed them mess with the underside of it before from the transfer track... it's probably a LOT of things though. I'm sure there are multiple variables that affect it's uptime.

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Im at dollywood today' all the way from the UK, Lightning Rod is of course closed for the day and there is no way i can see it opening up this weekend, however i am having an amazing time and this park is truly beautiful, makes me wish we had something like this back home, Mystery mine was fun, Thunderhead kinda hurt but was fun, Tennessee tornado was so smooth, Wild Eagle didnt had very good operations with stacking up to 5 minutes leading to a 50 minuite wait compared to the advertised 20, vest restraints suck and dig into collar bones, still have drop line and firechaser to do, i love this park!

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Im at dollywood today' all the way from the UK, Lightning Rod is of course closed for the day and there is no way i can see it opening up this weekend, however i am having an amazing time and this park is truly beautiful, makes me wish we had something like this back home, Mystery mine was fun, Thunderhead kinda hurt but was fun, Tennessee tornado was so smooth, Wild Eagle didnt had very good operations with stacking up to 5 minutes leading to a 50 minuite wait compared to the advertised 20, vest restraints suck and dig into collar bones, still have drop line and firechaser to do, i love this park!

 

 

So glad you crossed the pond to come to Dollywood! Praying Lightning Rod is good to you.

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Im at dollywood today' all the way from the UK, Lightning Rod is of course closed for the day and there is no way i can see it opening up this weekend, however i am having an amazing time and this park is truly beautiful, makes me wish we had something like this back home, Mystery mine was fun, Thunderhead kinda hurt but was fun, Tennessee tornado was so smooth, Wild Eagle didnt had very good operations with stacking up to 5 minutes leading to a 50 minuite wait compared to the advertised 20, vest restraints suck and dig into collar bones, still have drop line and firechaser to do, i love this park!

Wild Eagle normally has some of the best operations in the park. I wonder what was up!

 

Also, for those who might not check, DW started listing LR as closed shortly after 8 this morning.. so no go today either

 

Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk

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Later on in the day Eagle had much better operations, with only minimal stacking, tornado opened on 1 train, ten increased to 2 and was station wait all day, then removed a train around 4pm or so, I'm here for today too and Lightning Rod still closed for the day, I guess I'm out of luck, I'll be back again as soon as the reliability is up though!

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