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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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One other thing you have to remember, the tourist industry is very seasonal here.. a lot of the smaller businesses won't be able to survive another weak season.. a lot barley made it through this winter. They are looking at Dollywood to bring in the tourism

 

And yes business owners that go to tourism meetings in the area say that Dollywood was significantly down this season

 

Heck, there's even local rumors that the GSMP might have to start charging due to some things mentioned on the government level. That won't be good for the area and I'm sure local businesses are worried. It made the news and the state is trying to help find money to prevent it

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.knoxnews.com/amp/367238002

 

With that being said, the Smokies did have record attendance.. but a lot of sightseeing due to the fires, the eclipse, and stuff like that. It didn't really help the area, people were in and out

 

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Okay. I don't really see what that has to do with anything but that's a shame for them.

 

I don't see what that has to do with the post I commented on that was implying that the park (allegedly, though quite possibly) had an attendance drop and that it had something to do with their reputation or lack of recent additions. If the area had a down year I'm sure the fires are the main reason why. They do over 11 million visitors a year at the national park so they're the biggest draw in the area by far and it would make sense that attendance would be way down if thousands of acres were lost to fire. None of that has anything to do with Dollywood having a "bruised reputation", though. That's the part of the post that I found absolutely insane

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I don't think any SANE person will go to Dollywood and be disappointed that they installed a "cloned" coaster. If the only gripe anyone has about this expansion is a cloned coaster than the folks at Dollywood is doing something right. I don't know about you all but when I first saw that family invert I was VERY interested in riding it but figured I would never as I don't see myself traveling overseas in a long time. Guess what, it looks like I don't have to wait! SO to those who are complaining about it being a cloned coaster . . . get real! Know what else is a cloned coaster, Mega-lites.

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^ I made my visit in the middle of August last year (peak tourist season) and Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge was absolutely swarming with tourism.
The area did very well middle of August but mainly because of the eclipse. The week before and after the eclipse was a strong week for the area, actually stronger than it has been for years but it was a short burst. A lot of folks planned vacations around the eclipse.

 

Now I'll admit I don't go to City meetings anymore (when I worked for the Boy Scouts I would go for other reasons all the time) and a lot of the local businesses look up to Dollywood and then blame Dollywood for a lot.. more than they should, I agree.. Sounds like ASE still goes to these meetings so the bruised rep he is speaking of might be from them vs public view of the park.

 

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Okay. I don't really see what that has to do with anything but that's a shame for them.

 

I don't see what that has to do with the post I commented on that was implying that the park (allegedly, though quite possibly) had an attendance drop and that it had something to do with their reputation or lack of recent additions. If the area had a down year I'm sure the fires are the main reason why. They do over 11 million visitors a year at the national park so they're the biggest draw in the area by far and it would make sense that attendance would be way down if thousands of acres were lost to fire. None of that has anything to do with Dollywood having a "bruised reputation", though. That's the part of the post that I found absolutely insane [emoji38]

Smokies actually had record attendance. People just didn't visit Dollywood or stay in the area.

 

 

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Pigeon Forge was up in revenue last year.....Gatlinburg was down.

 

I guess I should clarify the whole "bruised reputation" comment as I'm not saying it is ONLY because of Lightning Rod's issues nor am I saying it's because they aren't adding new rides this year.

 

Here are some of the negative sentiment issues they're facing that have nothing to do with rides:

- Dixie being removed from Dixie Stampede and people blaming Dolly personally for it and then stating they won't visit any attraction with her name on it. Sounds crazy, I know, but a large part of the area's target demographic is passionate about their beliefs.

- Dolly removed from annual Dolly parade and replaced with Cal Ripken Jr....she was a large attendance draw during that first week of May.

- The removal of "Arrive after 3, next day free"

- Price increases

- Parking increase ($15 to park this year)

- etc

 

But here's why all of these things are important...there are more options of things to do in Pigeon Forge than there ever has been. Dollywood has more competition for visitor dollars than they ever have, so it's not taking a lot for "normal" visitors to decide to go to other attractions & shows to spend their vacation money. This was evident more than ever in 2017....again, which is why they offered more deals last year than ever.

 

So, yes, I think the expansion is a great ticket seller for next year (even with a clone, because most visitors won't care or even notice). Visitor sentiment is currently very positive about the expansion, which is a great sign for both Dollywood as well as the entire area.

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Pigeon Forge was up in revenue last year.....Gatlinburg was down.

 

I guess I should clarify the whole "bruised reputation" comment as I'm not saying it is ONLY because of Lightning Rod's issues nor am I saying it's because they aren't adding new rides this year.

 

Here are some of the negative sentiment issues they're facing that have nothing to do with rides:

- Dixie being removed from Dixie Stampede and people blaming Dolly personally for it and then stating they won't visit any attraction with her name on it. Sounds crazy, I know, but a large part of the area's target demographic is passionate about their beliefs.

- Dolly removed from annual Dolly parade and replaced with Cal Ripken Jr....she was a large attendance draw during that first week of May.

- The removal of "Arrive after 3, next day free"

- Price increases

- Parking increase ($15 to park this year)

- etc

 

But here's why all of these things are important...there are more options of things to do in Pigeon Forge than there ever has been. Dollywood has more competition for visitor dollars than they ever have, so it's not taking a lot for "normal" visitors to decide to go to other attractions & shows to spend their vacation money. This was evident more than ever in 2017....again, which is why they offered more deals last year than ever.

 

So, yes, I think the expansion is a great ticket seller for next year (even with a clone, because most visitors won't care or even notice). Visitor sentiment is currently very positive about the expansion, which is a great sign for both Dollywood as well as the entire area.

And Gatlinburg is were I visit so yeah those are the business owners I know and spoke with. I actually don't do much in Pigeon Forge anymore aside from Dollywood.. also explains why Ripley's was more proactive in trying to help the area.. Ripley's is still being proactive by redoing believe it or not.

 

And yes I agree, I hear stuff about Dixie being removed from stampede all the time.. some folks say it's because Dolly wants her name on everything.. some folks are mad because they think they are trying to do away with the word Dixie and all those trucks driving around with rebel flags.. eitherway, it's not a positive topic right now but will hopefully blow over

 

A topic on competition, the new snow park in Pigeon Forge is opening soon (maybe already open) with another one possibly planned.. another reason why I think this new area should be snow themed and maybe the indoor play area will be a snow park!

 

Stuff not as expensive looking if it's an all in one experience..

 

"Oh when can visit Dollywood one day and have a snow park, coasters, good food, shows and more for $75! Day two we can visit the indoor snow park off the strip, go see a $5 movie, see a show, and and do indoor skydiving for $75/person for all activities total for the day" and so on

 

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Just something to throw in, Just seen an advert for the 2018 season on TV. For the Christmas season, the music venue where River Battle was becomes the new Glacier Ridge. With the huge tree, snow fans/ blowing snow, etc. If you can catch it you’ll see. They’re running two at the moment that I’ve seen so far. So Glacier Ridge is not the name/theme of the new area.

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Just something to throw in, Just seen an advert for the 2018 season on TV. For the Christmas season, the music venue where River Battle was becomes the new Glacier Ridge. With the huge tree, snow fans/ blowing snow, etc. If you can catch it you’ll see. They’re running two at the moment that I’ve seen so far. So Glacier Ridge is not the name/theme of the new area.

 

 

Correct. They plan on changing the theme of that “festival” area each season. But as far as I know, Glacier Ridge is the only name they have filed for trademark and no other seasons have been given theme names. Not claiming anything...just an observation.

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And just a day or so before the city planning meeting they filed for a trademarked sign or image for "Glacier Ridge".. now that sign or image might be just for the Christmas season but the logo they trademarked looks very similar to Dollywoods other newer "Area Signs"

 

Again, just a guess.. they can easily make the area another theme. The only other reason I personally have for the themeing of that area is recent surveys that did mention a winter area theme or snow theme.. again, they could of converted that theme to a show area theme but it is a good conversation peice.. a themepark rumors site (I can't remember the site but it's posted here somewhere) said they heard cabins going in the new area and another said ski resort theme. (Cabins and ski resort goes together so does snow and winter)

 

Again, nothing official, just bits and pieces of rumors, surveys, and recent trademark filings!

 

Just got my super passes! Got a bonus at work today so figured I'd go ahead and buy.. doesn't look they they will be getting any cheaper.. one super and one super gold over $424.. ouch! Oh well, we used our Splash Country visits almost more than Dollywood last season.

 

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Yea it does make for good convo and I’m really glad I caught the advert to see the Glacier Ridge art. It looks like a really nice festival area. I seen somewhere on a YouTube video that someone had a theory of Dollywood taking a play on SDC’s inventor/time travel theme? Anyone? One thing that makes me think this is possible is, the coaster could go along with any theme, the building is obviously a play area for kids, but the swinging ship? To me, that is just out of theme for Dollywood. I’m not the only one to think this, it’s been mentioned. Just seems thrown in there at random. ANYWAY, remember the sign under the old Inventors Mansion? “It All Started Here....” Could that be tying back to this new area? Yes I’m just piecing together random ideas but let’s layout this. Dollywood is a theme park based around the life/upbringing in the Smokies in the 1800’s/early 1900’s primarily. With that said you have this:

1. Timber Canyon- Logging/Mining Area

2. Wilderness Pass- Random Wilderness Area?

3. Craftsman’s Valley- Logging/Woodwork/Crafts Area

4. Jukebox Junction- 50’s/60’s

5. Rivertown- What the name says- Smoky Mountain River Rampage

6. Country Fair- Fair/Kids section

7. Owens Farm- Farming

8. Showstreet- Main area/Moden with tribute to Dolly

So... with it basically around logging/mining/woods/Dolly, how wood random snow/resort fit?

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Yea it does make for good convo and I’m really glad I caught the advert to see the Glacier Ridge art. It looks like a really nice festival area. I seen somewhere on a YouTube video that someone had a theory of Dollywood taking a play on SDC’s inventor/time travel theme? Anyone? One thing that makes me think this is possible is, the coaster could go along with any theme, the building is obviously a play area for kids, but the swinging ship? To me, that is just out of theme for Dollywood. I’m not the only one to think this, it’s been mentioned. Just seems thrown in there at random. ANYWAY, remember the sign under the old Inventors Mansion? “It All Started Here....” Could that be tying back to this new area? Yes I’m just piecing together random ideas but let’s layout this. Dollywood is a theme park based around the life/upbringing in the Smokies in the 1800’s/early 1900’s primarily. With that said you have this:

1. Timber Canyon- Logging/Mining Area

2. Wilderness Pass- Random Wilderness Area?

3. Craftsman’s Valley- Logging/Woodwork/Crafts Area

4. Jukebox Junction- 50’s/60’s

5. Rivertown- What the name says- Smoky Mountain River Rampage

6. Country Fair- Fair/Kids section

7. Owens Farm- Farming

8. Showstreet- Main area/Moden with tribute to Dolly

So... with it basically around logging/mining/woods/Dolly, how wood random snow/resort fit?

Ski resort fits perfectly in the mountains, although a more modern theme. Dollywood might be trying to modernize their themes. Snow fits perfectly in the mountains in general though. Plus the Dollywood company was already planning a snowpark and another waterpark. Dollywood is built around a town and the themes are becoming more wilderness as the park progesses up the mountain. That's how I see it anyways. Market, fair, craftmans valley, the higher up you go it turns from a city/town into wilderness.. just like going into the mountains.. snow is high in the mountains.. the park is going higher up. Although the park will probably go higher in the future.

 

The commercial could aslo be why they just copyrighted the artwork as well! I haven't seen the commercial yet.

 

Other themes I personally see

 

1.) Fireman's Theme (mentioned in the same survey as snow theme) - SDC has a similar theme. A lot of folks think this will fit very well because of the recent fires.

 

2.) Carnival/Circus (mentioned in the same survey as snow and fireman's) - pony rides go great with this theme and rumor has it the new area will provide pony rides! Swinging ships also go great with that theme, as do smaller coasters.. all part of that area if the blueprints are accurate. (The more I think about it, is this the theme? It fits the blueprints!)

 

There was one other theme in the survey but I can't remember

 

3.) I can see the time traveling theme working well

 

4.) A modern theme of some sort.. again, maybe the park wants to modernize a little!That side of the park is already more modern than the other side.. a modern theme will fit well over there. Disney has modern/future themes as well as old themes and it works well.. I can see Dollywood wanting to do a future theme

 

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Not sure if anyone has posted or noticed this or not but looks like they are open everyday in December! Aside from Christmas and Christmas Eve.. normally, early December, they are closed at least once a week.. sometimes twice.

 

They are also open an entire week later, assuming the weather holds out! They will be open until Jan 5th. Why not make it Jan 6th and be open the entire weekend though lol

 

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Wow, going through Jan. 5th is interesting. I wonder who is in Pigeon Forge around then? Late family Christmas parties? I'll be interested to see how that works out.

 

SDC was open for NYE last year for the first time, but it was 20 degrees with possible winter precipitation, so they had a turnout of around 100 people...

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Wow, going through Jan. 5th is interesting. I wonder who is in Pigeon Forge around then? Late family Christmas parties? I'll be interested to see how that works out.

 

SDC was open for NYE last year for the first time, but it was 20 degrees with possible winter precipitation, so they had a turnout of around 100 people...

Probably the same reason they attempted to extend the schedule last year

 

1.) Area schools are still out, at least half the week.

 

2.) A lot of folks visiting the area for the New Years, still in town

 

Dollywood attempted a few midnights last season and one new years Eve a few years ago.. didn't work out for them either lol.

 

It's actually pretty busy in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge the week after the 1st

 

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Maybe possibly heading to Dollywood at the end of this month. I've never been there but there's a family gathering/vacation that we're taking the week before Easter in Tenn (like 15 minutes from the park).

Out of curiosity how is the park for a younger kid. Trying to get my wife and 2 year old daughter to enjoy amusement parks also.

Main thing I'm hoping is that Lightning Rod will be open.

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1.) Fireman's Theme (mentioned in the same survey as snow theme) - SDC has a similar theme. A lot of folks think this will fit very well because of the recent fires.

But . . . Firechaser Express.

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Exactly, it was just a theme mentioned in the survey, after fire chaser was built. But fireman's landing at SDC is essentially the same type of area.. indoor play area, fair type rides, and so on.

 

I don't see it being fire themed though.. they might eventually continue to expand the area down the service road and I can see a fire themed area around the back of firechaser express at some point, but not at the current clearing

 

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They can do as many firefighter themed areas as they want to. SDC has three: on the square, around Fire in the Hole, and Fireman's Landing. There is a lot of goodwill for civic heroes: police, firefighters, EMTs, military, etc. Any sort of deference the park makes to those people is very well received.

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They can do as many firefighter themed areas as they want to. SDC has three: om the square, around Fire in the Hole, and Fireman's Landing. There is a lot of goodwill for civic heroes: police, firefighters, EMTs, military, etc. Any sort of deference the park makes to those people is very well received.
Good point.. Dollywood already has two fire themed rides.. nothing wrong with a fire themed area.

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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i'd personally love to see a steampunk mining type theme. build a giant gear with special effects that you walk through mimicking a portal, and have the entire land be themed around a steampunk mining town set in 2051. enjoy a acrobatics show, theme the swinging ship to some sort of grinding gears, and theme the rollercoaster to steampunk aviation. that would be fantastic

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my personal prediction is a carnival area (which i'm not a fan of)

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I'm personally not a fan of a potential carnival area either.. we already have a fair but the more I look into it, the more it looks like it might be a carnival.. survey, the ride types, pony rides, yup, screams carnival to me.

 

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Well it seems as tho the guys at RCDB have the same ideas we have. Also dang they went right in on that news reporter lol.

 

Also HFE has worked with Vekoma in the past.

at Wild Adventures in Georgia there is a SLC, Boomerang AND a Suspended Family Coaster but its the smaller model.

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