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Dollywood Discussion Thread

p. 734 - Lightning Rod closed for remainder of 2020 season

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Even if you break projects down into their component parts (eg, on Lightning Rod, the launch), there are so many contractors involved in the supply chain who will probably all be blaming each other and doing everything they can to not foot the bill.

Unfortunate but from what I understand that sort of thing isn't uncommon. I'm not sure how much Dollywood is in the hole in terms of repair costs for Lightning Rod, but they shouldn't be as all of the necessary parts and work should be warrantied (ex. Rocky Mountain's 5-year warranty on the track system). The loss of business as a result of Lightning Rod's somewhat sporadic operation is probably a lot harder to prove.

 

Calling it now, Lightning Rod is the new Son Of Beast.

I'll take "unreliable systems and controls" over "destroying its own super-cheap structure with every cycle" any day of the week.

Edited by A.J.
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Shenanigans! Dollywood is a theme park. Do you realize how many people go to Dollywood for the shows? Or the Eagle habitat? Or the soot train? Or just to take it all in? Or the freaking cinnamon

If anyone likes park magnets. Dollywood has one that will be a collectors item. See photo for details. 🥸

That's not really a fair assessment at a place like Dollywood. A large amount of people go there for the rides, yes, but they drive a lot of business for their non-ride offerings such as their shows,

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Cool inside info on Veterans/Dollywood Ln and Middle Creek Rd, dsteph9 and TEDodd. Thanks for chiming in regarding that! We have stayed at a cabin about a mile down from the Middle Creek entrance there and I wondered where exactly it would take you if you turned in there. It says something about DW Service Entrance and figured it was something for employees so they wouldn't have to deal with the occasionally awful traffic on Veterans.

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Thing about the employee entrance is, it used to be the old main entrance to Dollywood before they rerouted everything ( I think was a few years after splash country) but I remember going through that entrance as a kid with its shaded/tunnel like feel and trying to see beyond the fences as I heard the train and screams from river rampage. Ahhh...memories haha

I’ve actually been back that way to watch Lightning Rod myself. You can get some good photo op moments back there.

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I remember going through that entrance as a kid with its shaded/tunnel like feel and trying to see beyond the fences as I heard the train and screams from river rampage.

 

I recall that from the late 80's too.

 

I think Veterans was just 2 lanes back then.

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Yes I remember one of my earliest visits way back in the 80's and it just seemed it took forever to get to Dollywood and it was in the middle of nowhere. My how things have changed lol

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I’ve actually been back that way to watch Lightning Rod myself. You can get some good photo op moments back there.[/quote

I can't imagine that as the old entrance! I expected that there would be a gate or something in there so normal folks couldn't get back too far. Sounds like I could go back there a ways though for some good ride views?

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I know the pot hole is at the bottom of the drop, but is that also right where spot where there's the opening for the road to pass underneath the coaster?
The road passes under the area before the launch starts up the hill.

Aerial photos on maps show it well.

 

I don't remember anything under it at the bottom of the big drop. The track there goes under the track that goes to the triple (quad?) down.

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I expected that there would be a gate or something in there so normal folks couldn't get back too far.

 

Again, aerial map views show it all well.

 

As I said, the HR and training offices are back there. So is the clinic (was an urgent care clinic plus occupational health).

 

It's also the route the trolley takes (avoiding the parking lot booths and Veterans traffic)

 

So far they haven't had problems to need a gate.

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Lined up outside the front gate awaiting my wristband for today's big announcement. I tried to drive over to the employee lot but didn't have the guts to pass the authorized personnel only sign. However L-rod's station lights are on and I swear I'm hearing it cycle every so often. Though I can't see anything from where I am in line. There may be hope!!

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Dollywood has updated their logo on dollywood.com in the past week from "Great Smoky Mountains, TN" to "Parks & Resorts". Could this be a clue on something bigger than Wildwood Grove being announced today???? I've heard of 2 other things, but neither of which I a) feel confident about nor b) want to spoil if they DO announce them. Looking forward to the official reveal!

 

COUGH9 month payment planCOUGH

dollywood-logo.thumb.jpg.4c53fc3df2f5539b846bb65ed3a0041a.jpg

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I know the pot hole is at the bottom of the drop, but is that also right where spot where there's the opening for the road to pass underneath the coaster?
The road passes under the area before the launch starts up the hill.

Aerial photos on maps show it well.

 

I don't remember anything under it at the bottom of the big drop. The track there goes under the track that goes to the triple (quad?) down.

 

I thought I remembered there being a road underneath the bottom of the drop. I went back and watched the TPR POV and attached the following screenshot. It looks like something passes underneath the pothole area.

434821125_LightningRodDrop.thumb.JPG.3b32537729c85440af16dd4d4697312f.JPG

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^I believe there was an access road there during construction, seems like I remember that section of track not being completed until the rest of the layout after the drop and before the return past the drop was completed.

 

Edit: I was wrong, that track from the drop into the wave turn was completed before the rest of the layout but there is a some kind of construction access road there.

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be] Edited by Hilltopper39
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That could have been the cause of the problem. Remember that section of GaleForce that was like...in the middle of the layout that couldn't fit properly?

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Here's Pete Owens' release on the new Wildwood Grove land coming to Dollywood in 2019:

 

Entry-Daytime-e1533224304260.jpg

 

https://blog.dollywood.com/index.php/2018/08/03/dollywoods-new-land-offers-attractions-experiences/

 

Dollywood’s New Land Offers Attractions, Experiences

 

When it comes to Dollywood’s largest expansion – Wildwood Grove – you might expect that I would be most excited about the 11 new experiences or the increased amount of space that the area is going to provide to the families who visit Dollywood every year. I am, however, most excited about the expansion of “heart” that Wildwood Grove will bring to Dollywood in 2019.

 

For many years, Dollywood has been a place where families go to reconnect, to play together and to make memories worth repeating. We’ve been dreaming about this for many years, and now in Wildwood Grove, all of us will get to experience a brand new story that fits well within the vision Dolly created for Dollywood more than 30 years ago. While, Wildwood Grove is a whole new land big enough to be its own property, it is still ALL Dollywood.

 

The entire area is centered on the massive Wildwood Tree, an icon covered in brightly-colored leaves and butterflies that speaks to the heart of Dollywood and to the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. It stands proud over a land built within the imagination of the Great Smoky Mountains. It glistens with the majesty of the forest and glows brightly every night, creating an ever-changing experience day or night.

 

As soon as you pass though the hollow log portal of the new land, you feel the difference. The Wildwood Tree stands over the entire area, its heart song ringing true in the breeze, just as Dolly described it. The entire area is filled with beautiful and distinctive rides and attractions for families to explore. You can imagine yourself riding on the back of a Smoky Mountain black bear, swinging on a giant leaf, or flying suspended from a dragonfly. Most important, Wildwood Grove is a place the entire family can play together. There are indoor and outdoor spaces to play and experience; new friends to meet; and a great new restaurant to refresh and recharge. In short, it is a new adventure and I, for one, cannot wait to take my family on a hike through Wildwood Grove, stand alongside and watch the kaleidoscope of colors dance on the Wildwood Tree. We might even hop on a bear or ride on a dragonfly – together.

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play-ride-bbt.ashx?la=en

Bear, bear, bear on the loose!!!!!

 

For a second, I thought guests might actually be able to ride live bears throughout the area adding a unique experience unlike anything else in the Smoky Mountain area!

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Gorgeous. A little more "fantasy" than I expected, but it's the type of thoughtful addition that HFEC excels at. I love how they combine an interesting layered theme with a bunch of attractions and keep a focus on making the whole package work together as an experience instead of just a bunch of individual rides.

 

The flyers intrigue me as well. I guess HFEC actually bought one of the first new-gen flyers from Larson way back in the CC days, but they haven't bought from them in awhile unless I've missed something. Hopefully they don't get sucked into a super loop package as well.

 

The new relationship with Vekoma may be the most exciting part of all of this, given Vekoma's recent trajectory.

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