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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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Yeah, that doesn't sound good. Hopefully it opens up today for you. Fingers crossed...

You worked your magic because it opened a few mins ago. We waited out front while they tested for over an hour and then were on the 3rd train row 7! WOW!!!! The overbanks are insane with airtime that defies understanding and the quad down is glorious. Got the Time Saver unlimited now so we can basically marathon it (and Mystery Mine lol which we loved) all day.

 

 

Glad to hear luck was on your side today. Looking forward to a review. I hope you get a night ride this evening.

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Just one train from what I saw. The crowds were pretty light overall. I am staying at Dreammore Resort so with the complimentary timesaver I didn't have to wait more than five minutes for any ride.

 

On a related note has anyone that stayed at Dreammore tried the pizza and/or the dinner buffet they have? The wife and I are considering trying them the next couple days and wondering if they are worth the money.

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I'd never forget the Cinnamon bread, Bill! We tried twice last night (Sun PM) to get it. Waited 20 mins in a massive line around 7:30pm and they ran out before we got close. It'd be 22 mins (seriously?!) til the next batch was ready so we went back at 9:30pm and they were like "oh yeah no we sold out a while back. But we have cookies!" Between getting close to the station in line for LR only to have it go down for the night and then being denied cinnamon bread twice it was a rough start to our trip lol. Today was much better!

 

FYI this is quite long, or it seems long at least on my notepad! I'll try to add pics in but no promises that it works since I'm on mobile and half asleep. We arrived at opening today (Mon) and headed straight for LR. They were testing and occasionally ratcheting restraints (cue flashbacks to the Maverick breakdown with Nrthwnd and Bert back in June) so we waited it out in a line at the entrance. At 11am it opened and we were on the 3rd train of the day, row 7. WOW!!!!! Absolutely insane!

 

In the few short minutes we had been riding, the queue line already jumped to 45 mins so without hesitation we got the Unlimited Time Savers. Proceeded to walk right back around and into the station 5 more times in a row skipping the at one point hour+ line and trying out various seats. I think we liked row 7 the best, interestingly. I prefer the left side and SO prefers the right so it works perfectly.

 

On ride #2 we were in row 12. On the brake run SO says to me "my back really got slammed at the bottom of the first drop, what was up with that? It was smooth as glass on our first ride!" Yes, sadly, the bump at the bottom of the first hill is real and OUCH did we get nailed on it a few times today. The closer to the front of the train the better it was, however neither of us noticed it on row 7. My SO loves coasters but thinks it's embarrassing that I go on forums so bad no idea about the hotly debated bump. It absolutely seemed to get worse as the day went on.

 

Let's start with the launch. Holy crap does that thing fly!! It feels like rocket boosters and I loved every second of it. 47mph is crazy fast. The way the ride whips over and thru the hills completely sideways is wild and the airtime on those moments defies all possible understanding. The quad down is incredible and I'm sure half the park could hear me cackling with laughter during it. I just couldn't stop smiling and cheering!

 

Unfortunately after 8 total rides on this beast today, including our last one just moments before the fireworks went off, we are both a bit beat up. My left upper thigh area has some nasty marks from the seatbelt (thanks to the multiple left wave/overbank insanity) and my left shin has a huge goose egg on it, I guess from how I had my leg positioned and hitting the restraint. I barely even touched the seat on any of my rides so it's not surprising I'm a little battered. A true airtime machine indeed!!! I thought the seats and restraints were quite comfortable so no complaints on my end. It's not anywhere near as violent as Skyrush but slightly more crazy regarding its elements than El Toro. It's very short and is over before you know it. I'm ok with that though. What a great ride! Can't wait to go back for more laps on it tomorrow, and also to see the bubble show which wasn't playing today.

 

To the user who asked - They only ever ran 1 train on LR today and I'm so freaking thankful they didn't mess around trying to get another one running. There were a lot of walks of shame, only one was actually close while the other people were not going to fit in a million years yet they still insisted on trying. One skinny lady in the train ahead of us belted herself in no problem but then sat there, leaving her lap at up. They did the spiel about how you have to do your own bar blah blah blah and the ops came by to check hers. She motions to them to put it down. They tell her she has to do it and she says "it's ok, you can just do it" and back and forth it went. Eventually she pulled her own bar down but stupid things like that waste time.

 

There was also some serious screaming from the LR ops (not from Al though today, surprisingly. Maybe he got spoken to?) at kids shaking the heck out of the queue gates. Why they don't have big signs on the gates saying DO NOT TOUCH and bright red paint on the ground 18" behind each gate I don't know. It'd save the ops from having to repeat themselves no less than three times each cycle, that's for sure. Maybe they'd only have to tell people once per dispatch instead LOL. Is it common sense not to do that crap? Of course! But this is America and we can't have nice things and shaking the gates apparently messes up the ride sensors so unfortunately it's an issue. I'm constantly amazed by the parents just standing there oblivious to their children smacking gates and pounding or climbing on them, on any ride. It's even worse on LR where they clearly tell you every 90 seconds it to not touch the freaking gate. Someone this evening got kindly told to please put their permanent marker away and to not mark up property such as signs or rails in the queue that isn't theirs. Seriously people???

 

Switching rides, the Wild Eagle statue is extremely impressive in person! We also rode (in no particular order) Barnstormer, Slidewinder, Blazing Fury 2x, Mystery Mine 2x, FCE, Wild Eagle 2x, TN Tornado, Thunderhead, the train which was excellent, saw the wild bird show, ate cinnamon bread and had an icee, saw the fireworks, and probably something else I'm missing. We took a break for a couple hours in the middle of the day to go back to the cabin so I could take my dog on a walk so my notes are a bit jumbled. Tomorrow is the Ripley's aquarium followed by Hillbilly golf, then DW in the evening.

 

Now onto the pics:

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We made it!

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This sign concerned a lot of people who stood there reading it and then debated whether it was safe to ride, clogging up the ride entrance in the process.

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Queue line and station are well themed

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Grab bars to help pull the restraint down and/or hold onto if you're a-scurred.

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Pic of a pic of our ride photo. My SO was pretending to be driving since we were in row 1, LOL

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Klondike Katie was the name of our train

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She smokes like a chimney (apologies for the blur)

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But does a great job taking us into the woods!

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Nom nom nommmmm

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Fun fact: raccoons are my favorite animal. Later in the evening we saw a gorgeous skunk walking around near this sign.

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Ducks and turtles! Lots of them, and big ones too.

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This dude was enjoying the beautiful weather... and French fries people were throwing down there.

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For Coasterbill

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Love this giant eagle! The end.

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Hey, I have that exact same shirt your SO was wearing!! Nice pics, by the way.

Thanks! I got that shirt for SO in green and my brother in red as a surprise for Christmas. They both wear them all the time and get a ton of compliments on them. It was funny though yesterday because SO is pretty shy so when people would say "hey nice shirt!" he'd at first be like (5 pt font) "errrr uhhh thanks" but by the end of the day he was enthusiastic in his replies to complete strangers which was great to see. Anything to bring that guy out of his shell I support 100% haha.

 

I wrote some other stuff that I forgot to include in my TR from yesterday but the site ate it when I went to post so I'll retype another time.

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Great report!

 

Apologies if this has been discussed, but what exactly is the reasoning behind the ops not assisting with putting restraints down on Lightning Rod? And do they at least pull on them to make sure they are locked before dispatch? And the park does help with this at other rides? And at RMC's at other parks they assist you, at least they did on Wicked Cyclone... What's the deal with this?

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The park doesn't help with any rides anymore (they used to) and last season it was a mix if they would help or not.. this season, them helping us pretty much a no-go.. With that being said, no Official reason was ever given but some ride ops have personally said it is to protect them mainly from hurting guest while trying to push down the bars

 

Sent from my MHA-L29 using Tapatalk

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Great report! Apologies if this has been discussed, but what exactly is the reasoning behind the ops not assisting with putting restraints down on Lightning Rod? And do they at least pull on them to make sure they are locked before dispatch? And the park does help with this at other rides? And at RMC's at other parks they assist you, at least they did on Wicked Cyclone... What's the deal with this?

 

 

Thanks Bert and others for the comments! I'm so relieved LR was eventually up and running on Monday after a bad end to its Sunday, and it having A Case of the Mondays. I hope they can continue to keep it operating consistently and improve operations so everyone else who makes the trek to the park can enjoy it!

 

I didn't make it to the park today because we spend too much time at the aquarium and walking the main Gatlinburg strip. Eventually ate at Mellow Mushroom Pizza which was super with a massive upstairs and it was very clean inside. Other adventures today included Hillbilly golf (excellent!) and visiting The Island which was nice enough but different. Not quite what I expected I guess.

 

Went over to Smoky Mtn Alpine Coaster for a much talked about night ride with the rainbow chaser lights thru half the course. Unfortunately on the very last part of the multiple lifts up the hill right when they tell you to push forward on the bars, a massive cicada slammed into the front of my crotch. It was at least 2" long if not more. I went to swipe it away but due to the way the seats and foot rests are it fell and got stuck flapping and fluttering around between my crotch/butt and the seat during the whole freaking downhill part LOL. When I got up at the end the poor thing was exhausted but flew off. Got a milkshake at Mad Dog's Creamery on the way home and tomorrow is LR and CB (cinnamon bread) day before we head up to Carowinds on Thursday.

 

 

Boldikus - thinking about it now, the only time an op helped me was on Wild Eagle when I couldn't quite reach the restraint to begin pulling it down. The op pushed it about 1" down and stood there while I reached up and pulled it the rest of the way. There aren't a lot of seat belts on rides there (which makes the often brutal dispatch times even more bizarre) but the few times I had flipper fingers and couldn't get the darn thing to click in on WE, the ride op was less than enthused to assist me. I would genuinely like to know why these policies are in place because it really makes things difficult/frustrating for both ride ops and guests. I find the hands-off approach also contributes significantly to the ops not paying attention during dispatches because they just stand around waiting for riders to hopefully get themselves settled correctly so they totally space out.

 

On all rides they lift or push up ever so slightly on your restraint and off you go. Definitely NO firm push/pull like I'm used to. On Barnstormer (smaller SkyHawk) the one ride the op really hesitated to push my restraint down which was weird because at CP if you touch the restraint they freak out. I asked her to push it tight and she barely used 2 fingers. The next time I rode it a guy was doing restraints and did it the CP way - hands up and he'll push them down. I much prefer that way and he was zipping thru the restraints doing a great job.

 

I was asked on one LR ride to push my bar down a bit more and keep my feet flat on the floor while doing so. I had my heels lifted up approximately 4cm due to the way I fit in the super deep seat, but other than that they really do a sad job of checking the restraints. Except for that one request when I was able to shove it down a fraction of an inch more to satisfy her, honestly I think I could have had the bar a full 3" off my thighs on every single other ride on every coaster and they wouldn't have said a word to me. They don't tug on the seat belt ends either on LR or the other rides where you share a belt like Thunderhead. Stapling sure ain't a thing in the south, y'all.

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Went over to Smoky Mtn Alpine Coaster for a much talked about night ride with the rainbow chaser lights thru half the course. Unfortunately on the very last part of the multiple lifts up the hill right when they tell you to push forward on the bars, a massive cicada slammed into the front of my crotch. It was at least 2" long if not more. I went to swipe it away but due to the way the seats and foot rests are it fell and got stuck flapping and fluttering around between my crotch/butt and the seat during the whole freaking downhill part LOL. When I got up at the end the poor thing was exhausted but flew off. Got a milkshake at Mad Dog's Creamery on the way home and tomorrow is LR and CB (cinnamon bread) day before we head up to Carowinds on Thursday.

That is hilarious. What is up with Tennessee wildlife? If it's not snakes, it's cicadas (Cicadae? Cicadi?).

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Went over to Smoky Mtn Alpine Coaster for a much talked about night ride with the rainbow chaser lights thru half the course. Unfortunately on the very last part of the multiple lifts up the hill right when they tell you to push forward on the bars, a massive cicada slammed into the front of my crotch. It was at least 2" long if not more. I went to swipe it away but due to the way the seats and foot rests are it fell and got stuck flapping and fluttering around between my crotch/butt and the seat during the whole freaking downhill part LOL. When I got up at the end the poor thing was exhausted but flew off. Got a milkshake at Mad Dog's Creamery on the way home and tomorrow is LR and CB (cinnamon bread) day before we head up to Carowinds on Thursday.

That is hilarious. What is up with Tennessee wildlife? If it's not snakes, it's cicadas (Cicadae? Cicadi?).

 

You'd think a rattlesnake fell in your lap with how loud they are and how hard they hit you flying at full speed. They're pretty bad in the midwest this year....I believe we're approaching the massive 17 year swarm. If you don't know what I'm talking about look it up, I'm not kidding

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I remember the year the 13 year swarm and the 17 year swarm coincided here in St Louis. You literally could not hear someone standing right next to you over the noise. Got pelted with them trying to mow the yard under a big tree. Thankfully it was before the days of youtube so my leaping about and frantically trying to disentangle a dozen or so cicadas from my hair was not immortalized for eternity. And the periodic swarms are demonic looking things with red eyes.

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Does anyone know why the park is closed every Tuesday/Thursday of this month after August 15th? Put a bit of a wrench in my plans since I was going to try to go the 17th then start the drive home that night. I'm planning a cedar point / kings island / dollywood trip, might just extend it a day and go on the 18th and check out the other stuff in Pigeon Forge the 17th or go to splash country since that's open on the 17th. Kentucky Kingdom is closed the 16/17/18 as well so that's not an option either lol

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Went over to Smoky Mtn Alpine Coaster for a much talked about night ride with the rainbow chaser lights thru half the course. Unfortunately on the very last part of the multiple lifts up the hill right when they tell you to push forward on the bars, a massive cicada slammed into the front of my crotch. It was at least 2" long if not more. I went to swipe it away but due to the way the seats and foot rests are it fell and got stuck flapping and fluttering around between my crotch/butt and the seat during the whole freaking downhill part LOL. When I got up at the end the poor thing was exhausted but flew off. Got a milkshake at Mad Dog's Creamery on the way home and tomorrow is LR and CB (cinnamon bread) day before we head up to Carowinds on Thursday.

That is hilarious. What is up with Tennessee wildlife? If it's not snakes, it's cicadas (Cicadae? Cicadi?).

 

You'd think a rattlesnake fell in your lap with how loud they are and how hard they hit you flying at full speed. They're pretty bad in the midwest this year....I believe we're approaching the massive 17 year swarm. If you don't know what I'm talking about look it up, I'm not kidding

I did just look it up. We don't have those all the way out here on the western edge of the Midwest, but I do remember driving somewhere on a family vacation when I was a kid and those things were so loud they were drowning out conversation in the car at highway speeds. Don't remember if that was the year we went to Chicago or Pensacola, so it was either rural Illinois or Mississippi.

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Does anyone know why the park is closed every Tuesday/Thursday of this month after August 15th? Put a bit of a wrench in my plans since I was going to try to go the 17th then start the drive home that night. I'm planning a cedar point / kings island / dollywood trip, might just extend it a day and go on the 18th and check out the other stuff in Pigeon Forge the 17th or go to splash country since that's open on the 17th. Kentucky Kingdom is closed the 16/17/18 as well so that's not an option either lol

I wish I knew. Those random closed days definitely threw a wrench in my summer trip plans as well. I finally figured out a schedule that allows me to hit both Dollywood and Kentucky Kingdom on weekdays, but I'm not going to be able to include Holiday World thanks to them closing weekday operation as of August 9th. I leave on the 11th.

 

My best guess is it has something to do with local school schedules, but I don't really know as I'm not a local.

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I remember the year the 13 year swarm and the 17 year swarm coincided here in St Louis. You literally could not hear someone standing right next to you over the noise. Got pelted with them trying to mow the yard under a big tree. Thankfully it was before the days of youtube so my leaping about and frantically trying to disentangle a dozen or so cicadas from my hair was not immortalized for eternity. And the periodic swarms are demonic looking things with red eyes.

 

I moved to Missouri a few years ago and the first time I discovered a cicada, it was while taking out the garbage and I inadvertently kicked one sitting on the ground. The noise is just indescribable. It startled me so badly I swear I was channeling Michael Jackson with the moves I was making, holding two garbage bags no less.

 

I can't even imagine one striking one mid-ride, they are pretty big and very solid.

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Does anyone know why the park is closed every Tuesday/Thursday of this month after August 15th? Put a bit of a wrench in my plans since I was going to try to go the 17th then start the drive home that night. I'm planning a cedar point / kings island / dollywood trip, might just extend it a day and go on the 18th and check out the other stuff in Pigeon Forge the 17th or go to splash country since that's open on the 17th. Kentucky Kingdom is closed the 16/17/18 as well so that's not an option either lol

I wish I knew. Those random closed days definitely threw a wrench in my summer trip plans as well. I finally figured out a schedule that allows me to hit both Dollywood and Kentucky Kingdom on weekdays, but I'm not going to be able to include Holiday World thanks to them closing weekday operation as of August 9th. I leave on the 11th.

 

My best guess is it has something to do with local school schedules, but I don't really know as I'm not a local.

 

What days will you be in Dollywood? Im going to be there on the 13th and 14th of August.

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