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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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Couple quick questions for a visit we’re planning the weekend of May 5-6. My girlfriend and I are bringing two friends for bring a buddy days. Any details I need to know about using them? Specifically:

 

1. They can’t use early entry with us on Saturday, right?

2. I read they can’t upgrade to a season pass with a discount. Same logic for paying the difference for a two day ticket?

 

Also, has anyone seen anything around about the after 3 promotion? And as far as which day to go, I know they’re open two hours more on Saturday but do ya’ll think it better to go on Sunday crowd wise even still?

 

Thanks!

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Couple quick questions for a visit we’re planning the weekend of May 5-6. My girlfriend and I are bringing two friends for bring a buddy days. Any details I need to know about using them? Specifically:

 

1. They can’t use early entry with us on Saturday, right?

2. I read they can’t upgrade to a season pass with a discount. Same logic for paying the difference for a two day ticket?

 

Also, has anyone seen anything around about the after 3 promotion? And as far as which day to go, I know they’re open two hours more on Saturday but do ya’ll think it better to go on Sunday crowd wise even still?

 

Thanks!

 

About a month ago, I remember folks here mentioning that Dollywood got ride of the night-before-offer for day-tickets. I can't confirm, but there's no harm in calling guest services.

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Couple quick questions for a visit we’re planning the weekend of May 5-6. My girlfriend and I are bringing two friends for bring a buddy days. Any details I need to know about using them? Specifically:

 

1. They can’t use early entry with us on Saturday, right?

2. I read they can’t upgrade to a season pass with a discount. Same logic for paying the difference for a two day ticket?

 

Also, has anyone seen anything around about the after 3 promotion? And as far as which day to go, I know they’re open two hours more on Saturday but do ya’ll think it better to go on Sunday crowd wise even still?

 

Thanks!

I know #2 is true, that they cannot get a discount on season passes. #1 not sure of, I would check with the guest services people on that one.

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Couple quick questions for a visit we’re planning the weekend of May 5-6. My girlfriend and I are bringing two friends for bring a buddy days. Any details I need to know about using them? Specifically:

 

1. They can’t use early entry with us on Saturday, right?

2. I read they can’t upgrade to a season pass with a discount. Same logic for paying the difference for a two day ticket?

 

Also, has anyone seen anything around about the after 3 promotion? And as far as which day to go, I know they’re open two hours more on Saturday but do ya’ll think it better to go on Sunday crowd wise even still?

 

Thanks!

 

Just a word of advice. Seems like everyone goes to Dollywood on Saturdays in May to use their bring-a friend pass. Its pretty busy. I personally avoid Saturdays there. You would be better off ,if possible, to go on a Sunday/ Monday.

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I've heard an abnormally larger amount of complaints about Dollywood in the past week regarding crowd size and Dollywood's inability to handle them...so I went today to see for myself. Wow...they weren't kiddin'.

 

I've been to the park every year since its young Silver Dollar City Days and I've never heard so many frustrated guests. The ticket booth was about an hour wait...at noon. The shortest line for food I saw was about 30 min...and that was just for Crepes in Market Square. I waited 20+min to get cotton candy for my kids. If you wanted a restaurant, it was probably a 2 hour experience. Numerous food vendors were out of food by halfway through the day. Lightning Rod, Thunderhead, and Mystery Mine were all down at various times...etc etc. At one point, FIRECHASER was a 3 hour wait.

 

Fortunately I've been enough to make the most of it and I have a discounted admission, but if I had never been and paid full price for my family.....wow. And those are the people I heard....to the point I heard a lady loudly exclaim "I'm about to show my @$$!"....for a funnel cake.

 

If Dollywood wants to expand...GREAT....if they want to "give the mouse a run for his money"....GREAT....but they have GOT to figure out how to handle large crowds. The reviews showing up on their facebook page this week echo a lot of what I saw and heard in person today. I just hope their execs are paying attention and working on solutions, because this is NOT what I thought they meant by "season of showstoppers."

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I've heard an abnormally larger amount of complaints about Dollywood in the past week regarding crowd size and Dollywood's inability to handle them...so I went today to see for myself. Wow...they weren't kiddin'.

 

I've been to the park every year since its young Silver Dollar City Days and I've never heard so many frustrated guests. The ticket booth was about an hour wait...at noon. The shortest line for food I saw was about 30 min...and that was just for Crepes in Market Square. I waited 20+min to get cotton candy for my kids. If you wanted a restaurant, it was probably a 2 hour experience. Numerous food vendors were out of food by halfway through the day. Lightning Rod, Thunderhead, and Mystery Mine were all down at various times...etc etc. At one point, FIRECHASER was a 3 hour wait.

 

Fortunately I've been enough to make the most of it and I have a discounted admission, but if I had never been and paid full price for my family.....wow. And those are the people I heard....to the point I heard a lady loudly exclaim "I'm about to show my @$$!"....for a funnel cake.

 

If Dollywood wants to expand...GREAT....if they want to "give the mouse a run for his money"....GREAT....but they have GOT to figure out how to handle large crowds. The reviews showing up on their facebook page this week echo a lot of what I saw and heard in person today. I just hope their execs are paying attention and working on solutions, because this is NOT what I thought they meant by "season of showstoppers."

And the sad thing is, the crowds have been worse.. they just aren't doing a good job managing them.. it's sad, I was hoping the day I was there was just a bad day for Dollywood.. I guess not..

 

I had to ask for help parking bc the lot was full and was just told to drive around.. I suggested they open the splash country lot and they said "there 20 empty spaces here somewhere"

 

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I've heard an abnormally larger amount of complaints about Dollywood in the past week regarding crowd size and Dollywood's inability to handle them...so I went today to see for myself. Wow...they weren't kiddin'.

 

I've been to the park every year since its young Silver Dollar City Days and I've never heard so many frustrated guests. The ticket booth was about an hour wait...at noon. The shortest line for food I saw was about 30 min...and that was just for Crepes in Market Square. I waited 20+min to get cotton candy for my kids. If you wanted a restaurant, it was probably a 2 hour experience. Numerous food vendors were out of food by halfway through the day. Lightning Rod, Thunderhead, and Mystery Mine were all down at various times...etc etc. At one point, FIRECHASER was a 3 hour wait.

 

Fortunately I've been enough to make the most of it and I have a discounted admission, but if I had never been and paid full price for my family.....wow. And those are the people I heard....to the point I heard a lady loudly exclaim "I'm about to show my @$$!"....for a funnel cake.

 

If Dollywood wants to expand...GREAT....if they want to "give the mouse a run for his money"....GREAT....but they have GOT to figure out how to handle large crowds. The reviews showing up on their facebook page this week echo a lot of what I saw and heard in person today. I just hope their execs are paying attention and working on solutions, because this is NOT what I thought they meant by "season of showstoppers."

Wow I haven't been in years but always watch the new developments since I'm a huge Dolly and Dollywood fan. I am sure they are working on this issue. Hopefully having 5 more acres next year will give more room for everyone to spread out lol. From all I've seen the clearing is way more than 5 acres so I bet it will be developed faster especially if this problem persists. I plan on going again in 2020 I have had so many remodeling projects going I haven't had the time or money to go in several years. Boy it will be different when I get back. They have come such a long way!

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I've heard an abnormally larger amount of complaints about Dollywood in the past week regarding crowd size and Dollywood's inability to handle them...so I went today to see for myself. Wow...they weren't kiddin'.

 

I've been to the park every year since its young Silver Dollar City Days and I've never heard so many frustrated guests. The ticket booth was about an hour wait...at noon. The shortest line for food I saw was about 30 min...and that was just for Crepes in Market Square. I waited 20+min to get cotton candy for my kids. If you wanted a restaurant, it was probably a 2 hour experience. Numerous food vendors were out of food by halfway through the day. Lightning Rod, Thunderhead, and Mystery Mine were all down at various times...etc etc. At one point, FIRECHASER was a 3 hour wait.

 

Fortunately I've been enough to make the most of it and I have a discounted admission, but if I had never been and paid full price for my family.....wow. And those are the people I heard....to the point I heard a lady loudly exclaim "I'm about to show my @$$!"....for a funnel cake.

 

If Dollywood wants to expand...GREAT....if they want to "give the mouse a run for his money"....GREAT....but they have GOT to figure out how to handle large crowds. The reviews showing up on their facebook page this week echo a lot of what I saw and heard in person today. I just hope their execs are paying attention and working on solutions, because this is NOT what I thought they meant by "season of showstoppers."

Another comment, how many ticket windows were open? Last Saturday only half were (at the old ticket area).. none of the windows at the old season pass area were open and that caused the waits..

 

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The reviews showing up on their facebook page this week echo a lot of what I saw and heard in person today. I just hope their execs are paying attention and working on solutions, because this is NOT what I thought they meant by "season of showstoppers."

 

Their Facebook page is a cesspool of b*tching and always has been.

 

First everyone complains that they raise prices too much, then in the next breath they complain that there are too many people going to the parks. They want them to lower prices and at the same time magically reduce crowd sizes even though the exact opposite thing would happen if they did that. People just like to bitch no matter what the park does.

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It's not about reducing the crowds it's about handling them.. opening only 25% (half the old window area and that was it) of the available ticket windows isn't a solution.. parking attendants saying "there's 25 slots in there somewhere" isn't a solution. Running out of food and saying it will be 45 minutes isn't a solution..

 

Having half the trams in sight, visibly parked but no drivers, and the tram line backed to the ticket windows isn't a solution.. these are the issues I saw in person last Saturday. These are the issues on their Facebook.. these are the issues I was hoping only a one time issue but sounds like ACE is hearing about the issues locally and saw them in person again himself. On my visit, only the ride ops were handled well and nothing else.

 

I have been there when parking was at splash and every was handled better. It looks like lack of employees or cost savings to me.

 

You have to remember, the first impression means alot and when parking was so effed up last Saturday people were leaving asking for their money back.. a simple solution would be open the splash lot or the preferred lot that was almost empty.. long ticket window waits, just open up more windows! Call in staff if need be, move staff around.. there were plenty of overstaffed places when I was there Saturday. Get people to the front and make a good first impression and folks will probably be happier all day

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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That about sums up all Facebook comments sections in general. I couldn't believe the amount of complaining I saw for both Kings Dominion and Carowinds when TT and Fury 325 were announced. The KD people were calling TT a "rehashed Hurler" and going on about how they want a "NEW coaster." I saw one lady on Carowinds say "another huge coaster that parents can't ride with their little kids! SHAME ON YOU CAROWINDS!" I've never really perused Dollywoods Facebook comments imagine they're similar levels of terrible. Social media just confirms to me how terrible most humans can be when they use their voice.

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Simply put, last Saturday Dollywood was being ran like Six Flags.. that might be their intentions to save money but if they want to be like the Mouse they are going to have to do a better job, even if it cost money..

 

I was hoping they just miss judged crowd's but they can't use that excud forever. Disney has a shift sight were folks can take sifts on days it's busier than expected.. Dollywood needs a solution as well.

 

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At least hide the empty trams at Splash Country if your not using that lot or those trams.. folks in line saying "I can't believe they have empty trams all over the place with long lines"

 

Again, they are creating a negative image locally and to folks travelling. They are driving guest away. (Folks turning around asking for refunds) You guys defend everything the park does but you aren't here, you don't see this stuff in person.. I posted about it last week.. Another local person, one who is heavily involved in the tourism industry locally is posting about it.. this is a major problem they are experiencing.. a problem that looks like poor management, if it isn't a lack of staff. Allow the overtime (employees say they aren't allowed overtime but would like it).. simple fix!

 

The park can start hiring earlier.. their first job fairs shouldn't be three weeks before the park opens.. Dollywood opens up two weeks before spring breaks are in full swing, two weeks before I am sure some of their busiest weeks of the year.. there is no excuse not to be fully staffed by then, it creates these negative impressions of the park.

 

 

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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Mines just feedback for the park, if they listen.. just responding saying they are listening goes a very long way.

 

And while I do agree, Facebook isnt the best place for reviews, not all companies get bad reviews on Facebook.. I work for a very young retail company, I'm newely hired here, but been here for 5 months now.. we are one of the most successful retail companies in malls right now and or Facebook has nearly 5 star reviews.. over 3 thousand of them. Our overall rating is a 4.8

 

Our values are

1.) Love on the guest from the time they enter the store

2.) Love on the associates

 

That's all we do and it shows.. so yes while Facebook is a cesspool of reviews, first impressions I'm sure will fix it. Open more ticket windows and have more parking available and I wouldn't of been in a bad mood the entire visit last Saturday

 

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Dollywood opens up two weeks before spring breaks are in full swing, two weeks before I am sure some of their busiest weeks of the year.. there is no excuse not to be fully staffed by then, it creates these negative impressions of the park.

 

Show me any seasonal park in America that's properly staffed on March 31st. The Herschend parks and Busch parks are better than most, but every park has trouble properly staffing the parks early in the season unless they have a year-round operating schedule. This is never going to change. I don't defend everything the park does, but you're complaining about something that impacts every regional park in America that Dollywood actually does a better job with than most. At least all of your rides are open. That's rarely the case this early in the season for Six Flags or Cedar Fair parks.

Edited by coasterbill
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Again, if staffing is an issue they can do small things that could at least help out.. hide unused trams, don't leave them emtpy at the front. Rearrange staffing so you have more than five ticket windows open.. I have never waited one hour to get a ticket at any park I have visited.. Never! Even visited Six Flags on memorial day, Disney on New Year's, and so on. You don't need 3 guys selling bottles at the front if only 5 ticket windows are open.. move those guys to ticket windows, show guest they are your priorities and not making money off empty bottles being sold from wagons that can't even be filled at the wagon!

 

My point, they aren't doing a good job handling these guest and it's leaving locals not wanting to visit the park, making folks leave ask for refunds and so on

 

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A lot of folks at Dollywood I guess. Unless there is a discount online, I buy at ticket windows for parks I don't have passes to.. a lot of parks have processing fees online (I don't believe Dollywood does, at least for passes they don't). Also a lot of people in the area maynot plan to visit Dollywood.. they come for the Mountains and say hey let's visit Dollywood!

 

Here's the thing, and Dollywood should take this to heart and try to improve vs taking them as complaints only.. going through the past week or so of Trip Advisor Reviews, they are about 50% negative with the same complaints

 

1.) Park caught off guard

2.) No parking help (I ran into this and posted it here)

3.) Empty preferred parking (again I saw this and they should of opened that lot)

4.) Long ticket windows (again, folks can buy online but it sounds like most people still don't)(even the ticket center at Disney is backed up but not for hours)

5.) Cold food.. I never ran into this but did get the "sorry we are out and trying to obtain more. It'll be about 45 minutes)

6.) Long lines for rides - Notice I never complained about this.. it's something I expect from parks and I felt Dollywood did a good job handling this.. it was one of the only perks I saw last Saturday)

7.) Long tram lines.. no mention if Dollywood had empty trams visible or not but I'm sure they did just like my visit. And why run the small short trams vs the long ones? My visit, they were.

8.) Disney pricing without the entertainment - This is true, they are only $20 away from a lot of single day promos ran on the Disney Website.. Regional parks are generally much less expensive than Dollywood

 

I can vouch for most of those complaints, I experienced them myself.. My wife and I only stayed two hours and left (nice thing about season tickets)

 

What's the solution!? I'm not sure but here are possible solutions

 

1.) Start your season a few weeks earlier?Six Flags has started doing this and their ops around spring break time are much better than the past. Even if they just open on the weekends..

 

2.) Pay employees more? I applied for an IT job and they offered me $8.50/hour.. I laughed! This was a year round full time job. Similar jobs in the area are $15/hr+.. I'd hate to see what they pay their ops. Maybe pay more than Walmart? (This was two years ago so it might be better, idk)(looking at Glassdoor, it doesn't look like pay has improved)

 

3.) More show times to even out the crowds? Last Saturday most shows only had three showings. With two to three hours between some. Disney runs them every hour, even six flags does.. more show times could even out the crowds.. those theaters hold a lot and were always full

 

4.) Ride ops were good, they were running all trains so I see no solutions there. They were fine my visit

 

5.) If you have limited staff for trams run large trams vs the small trams.. that's a very simple fix and should be a no brainer! The short trams still stop at every lot.. they still wait on the few long trams that are running so they don't seem to save time.

 

6.) Retop the parking lot.. a lot of the parking nightmare I saw was people confused because they never covered up the old lines! They tried to put black tar on them but it didn't last..people parked incorrectly everywhere plus the parking lot looks bad in general

 

7.) Parking attendants actually helping vs standing around.

 

8.) As for food, I'm not sure.. they have tried making improvements here and there to help out food service. I guess I'd suggest maybe more snack buggies like Disney has.. folks getting snacks would cut down on the long food lines. Also, drink only windows

 

9.) Maybe spend a few days at the parks "they want to give a run for their money" see how they run things.. Dollywoods new Disney heavy music playlist (yeah they had a lot of Disney music playing last weekend) won't give Disney a run for their money

 

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