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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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If Dollywood has 100 more acres to develop, they should open another gated park. They keep mentioning how they want to compete with Disney...It would only make sense to create another park behind Dollywood. I do think Dollywood needs to expand Thunderhead Gap...And if this new 5 acre expansion could create a new alternative pathway to the front of the park, that would be a good thing.

 

As mentioned by others before me, I do not think that Dollywood has the amount of visitors needed for another gated park. On the other hand, I'm curious that if this idea was even feasible what the overall theming of the second park would be.

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PortAventura is another park that recently comes to mind that struggled with a second gate. They went from a full day admission to an upcharge price by the end of last year. With the quality of Dollywood, it'd take a tremendous amount of capital to build a park with the same theming and enough rides to last a full day.

 

That's why I'm perfectly content with another quality land being added to the park. Kvasten and Freedom Flyer are solid family coasters and this looks like it has a better drop before all the twists.

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So this is pretty much what we are looking at correct? With the red being the 2019 area including the entrance to the area, and the green being possible 2020 coaster expansion? Plenty room remaining there after this expansion. Plus I don’t see anywhere else for them to go at the moment except on into this current loop. I don’t see them going into the other loop either at all, or for a long time.

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The Wonder Wheel isn’t on the website anymore. Seems like they have gotten rid of it.

I wonder why they would remove it? I can't think of much else that could fit in that ride spot, but I hate to see it go.

Because it looks like it could fall apart any minute and it was closed a lot this past season.. I tend to visit a lot, mostly on slow days I'll admit that, but over half those slow days it was closed

 

But not being listed doesn't mean they got rid of it.. could just be a glitch, Dollywoods site has glitches like that from time to time

 

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The Wonder Wheel isn’t on the website anymore. Seems like they have gotten rid of it.

I wonder why they would remove it? I can't think of much else that could fit in that ride spot, but I hate to see it go.

Because it looks like it could fall apart any minute and it was closed a lot this past season.. I tend to visit a lot, mostly on slow days I'll admit that, but over half those slow days it was closed

 

But not being listed doesn't mean they got rid of it.. could just be a glitch, Dollywoods site has glitches like that from time to time

 

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The ride is in great shape and resembles the classic county fair image perfectly. That would really suck to see it go since it's pretty much the centerpiece of that whole area.

Eli Wheels are awesome, if they did remove it I hope its not getting scrapped.

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A new pair job might make it look better but there is a reason people say it looks scary on here and other locals

 

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That's just the way it looks...It's an Eli Ferris Wheel, they all look like that. Like every ride at Dollywood it's inspected and maintained properly. Wonder Wheel is a perfectly safe attraction.

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That's just the way it looks...It's an Eli Ferris Wheel, they all look like that.

 

Same for most traveling fair rides. They never looked exceptionally safe but were always fun.

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I'm sorry but I have to...am I the only one who thinks it's a little crazy that a park based in the wooded hills of Tennessee removed literally every scrap of vegetation from that gigantic area?

 

The difference already between everything that has been built since Thunderhead up to TN Tornado on that side and the older half of the park...it's jarring. Do they have to remove all of the natural beauty?

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Not to be that guy but I really would hate to see SDC and DW pull a Six Flags and jump on the importing cloned coasters bandwagon if that really is a cookie cutter Vekoma coaster model being proposed. I thought they would be above that sort of thing. It would detract from the uniqueness of their parks.

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A new pair job might make it look better but there is a reason people say it looks scary on here and other locals

 

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That's just the way it looks...It's an Eli Ferris Wheel, they all look like that. Like every ride at Dollywood it's inspected and maintained properly. Wonder Wheel is a perfectly safe attraction.

Oh I'm not saying it was unsafe. I know it was safe

 

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Not to be that guy but I really would hate to see SDC and DW pull a Six Flags and jump on the importing cloned coasters bandwagon if that really is a cookie cutter Vekoma coaster model being proposed. I thought they would be above that sort of thing. It would detract from the uniqueness of their parks.
Exactly what I said! But everyone here disagreed lol.. I really hope if it is a clone it's a one off and they go back to building custom designed coasters, even if they just change the layout of a standard coaster.

 

But heck, half the same people jump all over six flags for the same thing, maybe because it's just six flags...

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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Not to be that guy but I really would hate to see SDC and DW pull a Six Flags and jump on the importing cloned coasters bandwagon if that really is a cookie cutter Vekoma coaster model being proposed. I thought they would be above that sort of thing. It would detract from the uniqueness of their parks.

 

Bill, your wisdom please:

 

Agreed. The ride just isn't "unique and special" if someone could simply hop on a transatlantic flight and travel thousands of miles to f*cking Denmark and ride the same family coaster. Dollywood needs to "add uniqueness". They need to build something special like Whistle Punk chaser.

Seriously, that particular variant of coaster does not exist anywhere in North America. Freedom Flyer, maybe, but who the heck is cross-shopping a vacation to Dollywood and an evening at Fun Spot?!?

 

Unless it is developed on a completely flat parcel of land, a cloned coaster is still fairly custom and still has to go through all the same design stages as a "true" custom coaster, apart from developing the center line. Add to it the obviously high standard of theming that Dollywood always holds itself to, and the fact that it is being built along side a completely new themed land, and I really don't see an issue here. Also, neither of the flagship Herschend parks has done a suspended / inverted coaster before.

 

Also also, no typical Dollywood guest will even realize or care that the same ride type exists in Denmark, Turkey, or China. While Lightning Rod is (apparently) one of the best coasters in the entire world and they hired Rocky Mountain specifically for that purpose, our demographic is not and will likely never be Dollywood's target, especially now that they're becoming a destination resort.

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Personally, I think the massive technical issues they've had with their last custom coaster is a big reason they would be looking to build something that is already proven and reliable. Adding a new expansion and having (what is likely) the feature ride be down frequently would bruise their reputation even harder....and that's not something they can financially afford....especially after this season of not adding any new rides.

 

The expansion will sell itself in 2019...they'll need the big "one more thing" in a following season to keep attendance growing.

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To comment on a few things...

 

The Wonder Wheel isn’t on the website anymore. Seems like they have gotten rid of it.

 

In no way does removing that janky looking ferris wheel mean they plan on replacing it but it would be amazing to see a large modern ferris wheel in this new expansion area on top of the mountain. Drop line and Wild Eagle provide stunning views of the mountains, but given this park's demographic it's a shame that you're pretty much out of luck if you want to take in those views but don't want to ride a white knuckle thrill ride. If they were to add a modern ferris wheel on top of that mountain it would immediately become one of the most popular rides in the park and it would be popular during all seasons.

 

I'm sorry but I have to...am I the only one who thinks it's a little crazy that a park based in the wooded hills of Tennessee removed literally every scrap of vegetation from that gigantic area?

 

The difference already between everything that has been built since Thunderhead up to TN Tornado on that side and the older half of the park...it's jarring. Do they have to remove all of the natural beauty?

 

I agree. Wilderness Pass is ugly as sh*t compared to the rest of the park and the fact that there aren't any trees back there is one of the main reasons why. They'll build this new area and plant new trees but they'll take decades to mature. I won't judge this new area until seeing it but I wish they would have kept as many trees as possible. They add a ton of atmosphere, especially during Smoky Mountain Christmas if they decorate a few of them top to bottom like they do up front.

 

I have faith that this new area will be awesome but I had the same thought about the trees. Then again... I thought Firechaser Express would be hideous and I happily ate crow on that one so I'll reserve judgement.

 

Seriously, that particular variant of coaster does not exist anywhere in North America. Freedom Flyer, maybe, but who the heck is cross-shopping a vacation to Dollywood and an evening at Fun Spot?!?

 

Unless it is developed on a completely flat parcel of land, a cloned coaster is still fairly custom and still has to go through all the same design stages as a "true" custom coaster, apart from developing the center line. Add to it the obviously high standard of theming that Dollywood always holds itself to, and the fact that it is being built along side a completely new themed land, and I really don't see an issue here. Also, neither of the flagship Herschend parks has done a suspended / inverted coaster before.

 

Also also, no typical Dollywood guest will even realize or care that the same ride type exists in Denmark, Turkey, or China. While Lightning Rod is (apparently) one of the best coasters in the entire world and they hired Rocky Mountain specifically for that purpose, our demographic is not and will likely never be Dollywood's target, especially now that they're becoming a destination resort.

 

This... all of this.

 

Personally, I think the massive technical issues they've had with their last custom coaster is a big reason they would be looking to build something that is already proven and reliable. Adding a new expansion and having (what is likely) the feature ride be down frequently would bruise their reputation even harder....and that's not something they can financially afford....especially after this season of not adding any new rides.

 

The expansion will sell itself in 2019...they'll need the big "one more thing" in a following season to keep attendance growing.

 

What the hell are you talking about?

 

The park has a "bruised reputation" now? They can't "financially afford" a ride with a delayed opening? Is this park on death's door? Did you get lost on the way to the SeaWorld San Diego thread?

 

This screams of "The park didn't add a new coaster last year, and I'm an enthusiast who doesn't care about anything but coasters so having a coaster with mechanical problems one year followed by a year where they didn't add an adult coaster (even though they added a ton of other stuff) means the park isn't doing well, has a bruised reputation and is in a terrible financial situation to the point where they no longer have any margin for error with a new ride".

 

Forget the fact that just this year they got a kids coaster, a huge drop tower, an unimaginably successful Halloween event that generated crowd levels of biblical proportions to the point where people were waiting 45 minutes just to walk through Wilderness Pass and a 2.5 million dollar Christmas parade. There's no reason to think that the park has a bruised reputation or that they're having financial problems because a few enthusiasts are butthurt that they went to the park to ride Lightning Rod and it was down for mechanical reasons.

Edited by coasterbill
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WVLT reports that Dolly will be in town for the season opening next weekend...I'd be HIGHLY surprised if they announce anything that soon, though, since we're so early in the city approval stages.....plus, Dollywood doesn't typically like to announce plans for the following year while they're still trying to sell season passes for the current year.

 

source: (nothing new in the video that you all don't already know)

http://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/Dollywood-files-plans-for-new-park-attractions-476164413.html

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Tourism for the entire area was way down last year.. this is very well known if you talk to any of the business owners around the area.. at times I couldn't tell it was, but talking to a lot of business owners, they had a huge decline in revenue for whatever reason. Some have told me it was as low as the recession. Was Dollywood the cause of that? Not all of it but it's safe to bet the were for some of it. Most was the fires yes.. Ripley's lowered prices for most of the spring to bring folks in (as low as $5 & $10 for the aquarium) and it helped some in Gatlinburg folks said but not much

 

1.) Increased ticket prices - ended up causing them to run promotions pretty much all the year, at least until luminights (but a local hotel owner told me luminights didn't help them meaning it was probably a lot of locals)

 

2.) Surveys asking if people if they would be more likely to visit the area if LR was up and running (heck how many trips were put off from users on this post). Dollywood does know that was a concern and possible reason for attendance being down.

 

3.) Plus the fires

 

Is Dollywood financially hurting? I doubt it. Would I rather see a custom design of a suspended? 100% would.

 

But there is a great possibility that Dollywood did struggle some last season and a strong possibility they didn't meet their goals or plans. Was attendance down according to plan? Who knows, they never announced.

 

Eitherway, hopefully this new area will revitalize the area! Especially with the negative news of the accident at the Opry show a week or so ago. I was at Hard Rock Cafe last night and folks were saying they weren't going to any shows in the area because of the carbon dioxide accident in a backstage area away from guest at the Opry! I'm just glad national news didn't pick that up!

 

I'm sure this new area, clone rides or not, will help the entire economy here.. As long as Dollywood doesn't get into the habit of clones, I'm i will be fine. I do see what ASE is saying.. another ride that would possibly have a lot of downtime, while it won't bankrupt Dollywood, it could hurt the area even more!

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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What the hell are you talking about?

 

This screams of "The park didn't add a new coaster last year, and I'm an enthusiast who doesn't care about anything but coasters so having a coaster with mechanical problems one year followed by a year where they didn't add an adult coaster (even though they added a ton of other stuff) means the park isn't doing well, has a bruised reputation and is in a terrible financial situation to the point where they no longer have any margin for error with a new ride".

 

HAHA...you couldn't be further off, but I'll cut you some slack since you have no idea what I know or what I do. Let's just say I'm heavily involved with the revenue generated in the area as well as visitor sentiment toward local businesses.

 

Dollywood selling adult tickets for child prices during peak season last year should have been a massive clue to the public...........and based on current sentiment for 2018, I wouldn't be surprised to see a similar deal this summer as well.

 

For the record, I WANT Dolly's businesses to continue to grow....it's the tide that raises all boats in the area.

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Heck, just walk around the area and talk to local business owners.. I have because im in the area a lot.. no need to go-to the meetings ASE does lol. Some owners even blame Dollywood directly for not lowering their prices anymore to help bring folks in.

 

I thought the area looked busy last year but the money wasn't flowing and revenue says it wasn't busy

 

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If the park announced that attendance was down a little because of the fires causing people to delay their trips to the region (since the national park is a major draw) and because Smoky Mountain Christmas was hurt in it's last week or so by unbelievably sh*tty weather then that's one thing. I'm sure it was offset a little by the pumpkin event but it's totally believable.

 

They also raised prices significantly which is always gamble to find a balance between revenue and attendance. It wouldn't shock me... but when you start talking about a drop in attendance (assuming there even was one) being a case of the park having a ""bruised reputation", then you sound insane and you're making an incredible leap.

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