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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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New area is starting to look cool actually, gotta ride drop line and Thunderhead tho.

 

I’m actually very excited to find out along with everyone else what’s happening with this area

 

I sure am hoping they announce soon. It seems if a whole new area will be ready for next year they would have to start construction in the very near future. I am just so excited! I would be cool with just one attraction announcement at a time over many weeks. If I remember correctly didn't they do many teases on Mystery Mine which at the time was their most expensive addition.

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New area is starting to look cool actually, gotta ride drop line and Thunderhead tho.

 

I’m actually very excited to find out along with everyone else what’s happening with this area

 

I sure am hoping they announce soon. It seems if a whole new area will be ready for next year they would have to start construction in the very near future. I am just so excited! I would be cool with just one attraction announcement at a time over many weeks. If I remember correctly didn't they do many teases on Mystery Mine ? At the time it was their most expensive addition.

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New area is starting to look cool actually, gotta ride drop line and Thunderhead tho.

 

I’m actually very excited to find out along with everyone else what’s happening with this area

 

I sure am hoping they announce soon. It seems if a whole new area will be ready for next year they would have to start construction in the very near future. I am just so excited! I would be cool with just one attraction announcement at a time over many weeks. If I remember correctly didn't they do many teases on Mystery Mine ? At the time it was their most expensive addition.

 

It’s really cool for me because this is the first year I’ve worked where there will be something new. I’m surprised on how quite it’s been kept.

 

Obviously I wouldn’t even be saying anything if I knew anything. And that’s how I want to keep it, I don’t want to know anything until it’s annouced.

 

To be honest I was under the impression it was going to be a parking lot or some maintenance building until all the trees and mountains disappeared lol

All they said is to tell guests it was the biggest investment for Dollywood ever and that’s all they I’ve heard about it.

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Well, the park changed the Lightning Rod closure info, now it says: "NOTICE: Lightning Rod is closed for repair. We apologize for any inconvenience." instead of "closed for maintenance".

Wonder what exactly went wrong...

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Well, the park changed the Lightning Rod closure info, now it says: "NOTICE: Lightning Rod is closed for repair. We apologize for any inconvenience." instead of "closed for maintenance".

Wonder what exactly went wrong...

Possibly fixing the pothole and the bottom of the drop. Like I said when I went on Father’s Day weekend it jolted me bad haha. I’ve felt it before lightly and ignored it but this time it was where it distracted you from the whole ride experience and you were concerned on what just happened. That’s the only kind of repairs I can think of them doing. Launch was running fine, as were sensors. Kids kept wanting to hang on the gates (which I don’t understand l).

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In all honesty, it's never ran well in the heat and this is the first time this season we have had 90+ temps consistently.. it was 97 when I was there earlier this week. I could see the heat playing a major role in the downtime

 

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I remember it was down one weekend I was there last summer and it was one of the hottest of the year. It reopened a few days later. Temperature could very well be an issue, but considering that ride has closed on days at room temperature, I wouldn't rule anything out.

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I'm not going to the park this year so don't have a big stake or interest in following the always hanging overhead Lightning Rod drama, but as I've said before, I just wish the park would be more honest and open with what's happening and when they think it will be up or down. It's not fair to guests who travel and make plans to be so day to day, changing descriptions slightly, etc.

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Yea lightning Rod for some reason has never handled heat well. Last July I went with family and it got up to like 93. It was closed and didn’t open til oddly 7pm. Not sure if extreme heat messes with the system or what. Isn’t there a sign that says “Lightning Rod may not operate in extreme heat”?

On the 4th, here in the south, it honestly felt like I was going to catch on fire. Temperatures were unbearable. It was 98 here in Kentucky with heat indexes of 110, and it’s always hotter in Tennessee. I checked the app and Mystery Mine was CD, Wild Eagle was CD, LR was CD, as was TT. Only one that didn’t open back up was LR.

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They probably don't want it catching on fire like it did that one time

 

Side note: We're working on adding one or two parks to our short Thanksgiving road trip. I didn't realize it at first, but Dollywood is a similar distance from my getaway from a few of the other parks I was considering. It looks like they're doing their Christmas event through all of Thanksgiving week (lol) which I've heard is phenomenal in its own right, but I can't find consistent information on what parts of the park will be open and what rides will be open. Main focus would be food, shows and Lightning Rod, and it looks like Friday after Thanksgiving is gonna be our park day. If anyone has experience with the Christmas event, crowds, what rides are open and if they have specific temperature limits, that'd be really good to know in deciding what park to tack on to our Thanksgiving getaway! thanks in advance

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Thanksgiving here is iffy.. it could very well be in the 60s and if so the weekend of Thanksgiving might have 30,000+ people at the park (it did a few years ago).. on the other side, it might be freezing! Most coasters open when it reaches right above 40 and will remain open until it gets down about 35 - 38. Wild Eagle is the exception and will run until it gets "under speed".. meaning it is normally the last coaster to close.

 

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^ Lightning Rod was actually the last to open at Smoky Mountain Christmas. It looked like it needed the temperature to hit 42 to open when I was there.

 

Lightning Rod, Wild Eagle, Thunderhead, Mystery Mine, and Firechaser Express all have disclaimers about running in hot temperatures.

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How reliable is the Pigeon Forge forecast about a week out? If I were to do that trip I'd have to check around a week prior to the visit to decide what park I was hitting.

The calendar says that Dollywood will be open 11AM-9PM on the Friday directly after Thanksgiving, which should include the warmest parts of the day. Even getting a single ride in on LR and eating some cinnamon bread would probably make the trip worth it, considering we got predictably burned on our 2016 trip (who didn't?).

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How reliable is the Pigeon Forge forecast about a week out? If I were to do that trip I'd have to check around a week prior to the visit to decide what park I was hitting.

The calendar says that Dollywood will be open 11AM-9PM on the Friday directly after Thanksgiving, which should include the warmest parts of the day. Even getting a single ride in on LR and eating some cinnamon bread would probably make the trip worth it, considering we got predictably burned on our 2016 trip (who didn't?).

The forecast in the smokies can honestly change by the hour. More so in the summer time than the fall. For example it can say “Sunny and 90’s” all week long. The day of your trip the forecast changes to rain all week. Then once you get there only a couple days of rain with small chances. We usually go to the park and play it by the hour. Meaning if it’s a quick weekend trip down we’ll go down Friday evening, watch the forecast all night. If rain is in the forecast and includes lightning (and doesn’t change) we’ll change to Sunday if it looks better.

So regarding thanksgiving your main concern will be rain, snow possibilities, and cold temps. I’d honestly just watch it every single day because it’ll change. Look at a 14 day forecast as well. Another example is below. Those days I have circled will more than likely change. I don’t look for tomorrow to change so I wouldn’t go tomorrow if I was anyone. It’ll be a wet, stormy day.

795BB03E-2DB1-49DC-B8F3-5FBBE5A30613.thumb.jpeg.4752e66117869896e4417b0d1bebe51c.jpeg

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^ Lightning Rod was actually the last to open at Smoky Mountain Christmas. It looked like it needed the temperature to hit 42 to open when I was there.

 

Lightning Rod, Wild Eagle, Thunderhead, Mystery Mine, and Firechaser Express all have disclaimers about running in hot temperatures.

Lightening Rod will actually run colder than most coasters though. I have been there when it and wild eagle were the only two left running. I guess when it gets going, it's fine even during colder temps

 

Tennessee Tornado is normally the first to close during the winter.. Most coasters though, do end up opening until late December.. you might have a day or two where they never open but normally they will open in Nov and early December

 

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Side note: We're working on adding one or two parks to our short Thanksgiving road trip. I didn't realize it at first, but Dollywood is a similar distance from my getaway from a few of the other parks I was considering... If anyone has experience with the Christmas event, crowds, what rides are open and if they have specific temperature limits, that'd be really good to know in deciding what park to tack on to our Thanksgiving getaway! thanks in advance

 

I was there over Christmas week last year and it was crazy cold at times but as soon as temps hit 40 deg everything outdoors started running except for the water rides. Going for the shows and more importantly the lights themselves is truly worth it! I have been to many, many different Christmas events and theirs was just beautiful. We got Timesaver Unlimited passes the one day and another day we walked on everything without the passes. Hope this helps!

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The calendar says that Dollywood will be open 11AM-9PM on the Friday directly after Thanksgiving, which should include the warmest parts of the day. Even getting a single ride in on LR and eating some cinnamon bread would probably make the trip worth it, considering we got predictably burned on our 2016 trip (who didn't?).

 

I went last Thanksgiving on both Thanksgiving Thursday and Sunday. Everything was open as long as temperatures were over a certain point. On their app if I do recall they have the temps listed for when each ride closes/opens. I would recommend to download the app and keep a close eye on ride openings/closings as they usually are pretty reliable and helpful. I also would say that on the Friday after Thanksgiving is usually pretty packed so I would watch out for that. Otherwise have fun and good luck with the trip.

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This page of the website is new and if it's accurate, it means they are planning to take a page out of the Six Flags playbook and be more aggressive this year.

 

In the past, all coasters opened at 40 degrees (or a few degrees more for Mystery Mine and Firechaser). Now, it looks like all coasters will open once the minimum temperature requirement is met except for Mystery Mine, Firechaser and Whistle Punk Chaser where it still needs to be 40. The shut down temperature used to be 36 but it dropped for a lot of rides, including Tornado which always used to close first.

 

If they stick to this it should be the best Smoky Mountain Christmas ever. Last year they really started to push Wild Eagle on sub freezing nights. This year they dropped the limits for everything. Maybe they've seen what Cedar Fair and Six Flags have been doing and they decided to follow suit.

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Do they usually have TimeSaver available during SMC? If they do, crowds/what day we go shouldn't be a HUGE issue for us because we'll just grab TimeSaver unlimited. We're still deciding between SFOG and Dollywood for that week, might do both depending on what goes on leading up to that time. One of the best Christmas events ever + Lightning Rod is really hard to pass up especially considering we missed LR last time

 

Well I think it's safe to say that Drop Line won't be closing.

 

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Do they usually have TimeSaver available during SMC? If they do, crowds/what day we go shouldn't be a HUGE issue for us because we'll just grab TimeSaver unlimited. We're still deciding between SFOG and Dollywood for that week, might do both depending on what goes on leading up to that time. One of the best Christmas events ever + Lightning Rod is really hard to pass up especially considering we missed LR last time

 

Yes, and I believe you can reserve priority seating at a show with it also which is a big deal since otherwise you generally have to get in line for those up to an hour in advance on busy days in some of the smaller theaters to ensure that you get a seat.

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Do they usually have TimeSaver available during SMC? If they do, crowds/what day we go shouldn't be a HUGE issue for us because we'll just grab TimeSaver unlimited.

 

Yes, and I believe you can reserve priority seating at a show with it also which is a big deal since otherwise you generally have to get in line for those up to an hour in advance on busy days in some of the smaller theaters to ensure that you get a seat.

 

Yes to Timesaver Unlimited being available during SMC and Bill is correct that you can reserve priority seating for the shows, which you should absolutely do because show queues will begin over an hour before the show starts and they absolutely will fill to capacity. You reserve the show times at the Timesaver building when you get them (or you can stop by at any point in the day to reserve) however if you decide to not show up to the show it's no big deal - they will give the seats to someone else in the standby line. Timesaver seats are in a dedicated front section of the theatres. Even in the big theatre having the Timesaver seating is great because you can waltz up 15 mins before the show starts instead of waiting in an absolutely massive (and I mean MASSIVE) show queue line winding around the park in the freezing cold and *hoping* you will get let in.

 

Bill - nice work on finding the minimum operating ride temperatures!!

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They have actually been giving tickets out for shows now so you don't wait in line, if the show is popular.. I have now received a ticket for two shows now. When you come back you just go in the main door and someone takes the ticket

 

Hopefully they will do this for SMC

 

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