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P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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The only somewhat recent coaster less reliable than Lightning Rod all time: https://rcdb.com/3457.htm

 

Bold prediction: By the end of 2017, Mystic Timbers will have more riders in one year than Lightning Rod will have in two years. Seems like a lot of people compare LR to TTD in regards to downtime. The difference is that TTD seems to operate at least part of every day. I can't remember the last time TTD was down all day multiple days in a row.

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Probably the last time a cable snapped?

 

It's really hard seeing how awesome Lightning Rod is and knowing I likely won't be riding it this trip, but I think the park's decision to close it to get it running more reliably is the right one in the long run.

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Seems like a lot of people compare LR to TTD in regards to downtime. The difference is that TTD seems to operate at least part of every day. I can't remember the last time TTD was down all day multiple days in a row.

 

To be clear, it is referenced to TTD in terms of the first couple years of operations. There were some major hiccups with TTD, but honestly at this point I think TTD was operating a lot more, and it was never down this much. You still had a chance of riding it on most days, whereas the only chance of riding LR was late last year.

 

Vertigo is really starting to be a closer comparison.

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It's definitely annoying but it's a very good incentive to return once they actually get it running reliably. After how well it ran the first month this year, I figured I'd be safe to book my flight after failing to get on it last year. Guess Lightning Rod tricked me into a trip this year.

 

I am thankfully the park has listed it as CD instead of the dog and pony show they did last year with rehearsals since this has allowed me to ignore the giant lawn ornament overlooking the fried chicken cart and focus on other rides. Though seeing it test all day Thursday was a real sausage-tease.

 

Also as an aside Dolly's Splash Country is a really nice water park. RiverRush may not be as long as Holiday World's water coasters, but I think it's better. 3 drops give air crazier than the shed drop on Wildebeast.

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Seems like a lot of people compare LR to TTD in regards to downtime. The difference is that TTD seems to operate at least part of every day. I can't remember the last time TTD was down all day multiple days in a row.

 

To be clear, it is referenced to TTD in terms of the first couple years of operations. There were some major hiccups with TTD, but honestly at this point I think TTD was operating a lot more, and it was never down this much. You still had a chance of riding it on most days, whereas the only chance of riding LR was late last year.

 

Vertigo is really starting to be a closer comparison.

 

Vertigo only operated maybe a month total in the three years it was at Walibi Belgium. If LR doesn't become more reliable soon, I see major changes coming either this offseason or the next offseason.

 

Side note: I feel that Lightning Rod should have been ineligible for Best New Ride for 2016. I thought Valravn or Storm Chaser was going to win that award.

 

Lesson for all theme parks: Don't name your new ride Vertigo or anything with the word "Rod" or "Rods" in it as it will be cursed mechanically. Signed, Cedar Point, Walibi Belgium, Dollywood, and Disneyland

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To be clear, it is referenced to TTD in terms of the first couple years of operations. There were some major hiccups with TTD, but honestly at this point I think TTD was operating a lot more, and it was never down this much. You still had a chance of riding it on most days, whereas the only chance of riding LR was late last year.

 

Vertigo is really starting to be a closer comparison.

 

You're comparing a ride that has been open for 13+ seasons to a ride that has been open 1.5. That's a pretty uneven comparison.

 

And let's not forget the park actually shut down TTD in July for the rest of the season the year it opened. So the first year of TTD, you literally had zero chance of riding it 2/3 of the season.

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And let's not forget the park actually shut down TTD in July for the rest of the season the year it opened. So the first year of TTD, you literally had zero chance of riding it 2/3 of the season.

I'm sorta, kinda wishing Dollywood would simply do the same to Lightning Rod (with an announcement, of course). Still unfortunate for people to keep going to the park and then complain about it not being open.

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And let's not forget the park actually shut down TTD in July for the rest of the season the year it opened. So the first year of TTD, you literally had zero chance of riding it 2/3 of the season.

I remember riding TTD in August of its first season (less than a week after the big power outage), so maybe it didn't close for the season until late August or around Labor Day (then again, CP's season ends two months earlier than Dollywood's)

I'm sorta, kinda wishing Dollywood would simply do the same to Lightning Rod (with an announcement, of course). Still unfortunate for people to keep going to the park and then complain about it not being open.

Then Goliath (SFGAm) would have its record for fastest wooden coaster back for now! (SFGAm's website still says it's the fastest wooden coaster in the world [is Six Flags throwing shade at Dollywood?])

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I remember riding TTD in August of its first season (less than a week after the big power outage), so maybe it didn't close for the season until late August or around Labor Day (then again, CP's season ends two months earlier than Dollywood's)

 

You're right, it was 2004. It closed I believe the second-ish week of July.

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Vertigo is really starting to be a closer comparison.

You're comparing a ride that has been open for 13+ seasons to a ride that has been open 1.5. That's a pretty uneven comparison.

The Vertigo they are talking about this: Vertigo @ Walabi Belgium

Not the Vekoma inverted boomerang

Walibi_Belgium_-_Vertigo_1.JPG

 

Pretty sure they are referring to TTD.

 

That ride was a monstrosity. Really.

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I remember riding TTD in August of its first season (less than a week after the big power outage), so maybe it didn't close for the season until late August or around Labor Day (then again, CP's season ends two months earlier than Dollywood's)

 

You're right, it was 2004. It closed I believe the second-ish week of July.

 

 

Are you sure? I don't ever remember the Park throwing in the towel on Dragster and closing it early for the season. It did close The second week of July for a cable fray but it reopened a few days later. I'm honestly about 99% sure we rode it in August of 2004. You might be right but I don't see anything backing that up and going from memory (which is admittedly not the most reliable of sources... lol) I don't remember this at all.

 

PS: This isn't directed at all but it's hilarious reading the comments from 2004 about how the park should close the ride for the season and hire Premier to redo the launch system. Basically switch out "Lightning Rod" for "Top Thrill Dragster" and the armchair engineer enthusiast comments are exactly the same

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Vertigo is really starting to be a closer comparison.

You're comparing a ride that has been open for 13+ seasons to a ride that has been open 1.5. That's a pretty uneven comparison.

The Vertigo they are talking about this: Vertigo @ Walabi Belgium

Not the Vekoma inverted boomerang

Walibi_Belgium_-_Vertigo_1.JPG

 

Pretty sure they are referring to TTD.

 

That ride was a monstrosity. Really.

 

I was lucky enough to ride it in 2007. I remember that it was very impressive to see this coaster high up in the air, dominating the park's skyline. It was kind of scary how the track rocked from side to side, though. But it was fun, and really felt like flying. While the coaster itself was nothing too spectacular and it was not the prettiest ride out there, at least is was unique.

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Tennessee Tornado is awesome. And Thunderhead is not rough at all. Daredevil Falls is one of the best log flumes I've been on, and we went on it 3 times. Overall we really enjoyed our time at Dollywood. It's a great park and the cinnamon bread lives up to all the hype.

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^ I rode it all over the train (10 times in all) and not once did I find myself thinking it was rough by the end. It pulls you through the turns quickly but I didn't find it rough or bumpy, but it was a lot of fun. I did hear people in rows around me sometimes saying it's rough and pointing to how much smoother Wild Eagle is. I'm not sure if I ended up preferring the front or back, it was great in both places. I also loved the misters on top of the lift hill!

 

It was disappointing to not have Lightning Rod open while we were there for a few days. In fact, today when it was listed as closed for the day, I was really bummed for a little bit that I for sure wouldn't get to ride it this year. But after heading up the hill and riding Tennessee Tornado a couple times I was mostly over it and ended up having a fun day before I fly home tonight.

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For those of you who haven't ridden LR before, when it does open which will hopefully be soon because I'm going in July sometime, if you hit up Lightning Rod first just a heads up. If you go straight to TT after it's going to feel like something on the WE level. Because I done just that back in November and I always thought TT was the most wild ride in the park, no I was wrong. Lightning Rod is the most definite IMO.

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^ And that description of Lightning Rod's intensity is exactly why I'll make a return trip when it runs more consistently. All of Arrow's loops tend to pack a punch. The difference with Tornado, is Tornado's are smooth.

 

Thunderhead in the back is still pretty good. But I'll take a smoother and equally as wild ride over a rougher one.

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I remember riding TTD in August of its first season (less than a week after the big power outage), so maybe it didn't close for the season until late August or around Labor Day (then again, CP's season ends two months earlier than Dollywood's)

 

You're right, it was 2004. It closed I believe the second-ish week of July.

 

 

Are you sure? I don't ever remember the Park throwing in the towel on Dragster and closing it early for the season. It did close The second week of July for a cable fray but it reopened a few days later. I'm honestly about 99% sure we rode it in August of 2004. You might be right but I don't see anything backing that up and going from memory (which is admittedly not the most reliable of sources... lol) I don't remember this at all.

 

PS: This isn't directed at all but it's hilarious reading the comments from 2004 about how the park should close the ride for the season and hire Premier to redo the launch system. Basically switch out "Lightning Rod" for "Top Thrill Dragster" and the armchair engineer enthusiast comments are exactly the same

 

You are correct CoasterBill. The only time I've ever been to CP was Labor Day Weekend of 2004, and TTD was operating.

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