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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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2021 sounds like a great year to return to the park! By then, I assume lots of other new attractions just on the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg strip will be there (as shown by the last 5 years) and with a new Hyper (as it's sounding), that'll make that area one of the top in the country, especially for thrill seekers!

Wait... A busy strip filled with graphic tee shirt shops, carnival rides, bungee jumping, tattoo shops, free moonshine tasting, cookie cutter tourist attractions, go karts, and a nearby hyper coaster make it one of the top areas in the country? Runner up: The Wisconsin Dells. It was a close call, since they both have a Ripley's Believe it or Not.

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Perhaps you all are right, but please forgive me for feeling like a gigantic monster of a roller coaster would seem to be just a little out of place in a land of butterflies and happy frogs.

 

I forgive you. But seriously though, aside from Mountain Slidewinder’s plot of land and the extra Wildwood Grove clearing, where would a new major Dollywood coaster go?

 

My guess? The country Fair/Owen's Farm area is very much due for a renovation. In fact, Wildwood Grove very much has everything that.. well... the country fair area already has... So it wouldn't surprise me if they go and completely shut down that area and turn it into something new.

 

Edit: The lone exception being of course, the station for the Dollywood Express... But you could very easily put that into Wildwood Grove as well with that long straight of track they have going up the side by Dragonflier.

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You are speculating they will close down County Fair? That would seem quite irresponsible given that, until this expansion, I would argue they had a shortage of flat rides. Pretty much every flat ride ride except for a couple was in that area. I don't see them shutting it down, really. There are quite a few rides there. While I don't feel that County Fair is perfect and it does feel slightly out of place, it serves an obvious purpose for the park and is still plenty nice.

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Agreed. I think that Country Fair is the only theme park land that has successfully pulled off a "carnival" theme without feeling hokey. (EDIT: Thinking about it, Storybook Circus is on that level too)

 

As for the train station, I feel like steam and soot are the absolute last things that guests want in their faces while they're walking through Wildwood Grove.

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Agreed. I think that Country Fair is the only theme park land that has successfully pulled off a "carnival" theme without feeling hokey. (EDIT: Thinking about it, Storybook Circus is on that level too)

 

As for the train station, I feel like steam and soot are the absolute last things that guests want in their faces while they're walking through Wildwood Grove.

I'd argue this land pulls of the carnival theme pretty well.

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I was trying to plan a Spring Break trip and noticed that Anakeesta has opened Rail Runner.

https://www.anakeesta.com/rail-runner/

 

Surprised it was not mentioned in this thread.

 

So has anyone ridden it yet? How's it compare with the other mountain coasters?

(I've ridden them all except Ober's)

 

$22 just to get in at Anakeesta has been a turn off considering what they include (mostly shopping like Ober) and the extra $13 for Rail Runner makes it rather pricey compared to the others (even with half price re-rides).

 

At least Ober has more to offer (depending on time of year).

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For those that may have missed it, Dollywood just slipped into a blog post that a Wildwood Grove won’t open until May....

 

No slip. May has been the target opening for months.

 

From November

I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much, Pete recently said they are aiming for a May opening.
I've seen it mentioned other places too.

 

 

Pete said May on Feb 23 at Winter Warm Up and it was bit a surprise to anyone.

Edited by TEDodd
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Yea it was always slated for May, as you can see from today on the cam they still have a long way to go. The majority of the work is landscaping, the tree needs to be put in place (I heard it was delayed) and Wildwood Creek needs finished. The buildings have went up faster than anything, it just seems to be getting all the trees, rocks, paths into place.

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For those that may have missed it, Dollywood just slipped into a blog post that a Wildwood Grove won’t open until May....

 

No slip. May has been the target opening for months.

 

From November

I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much, Pete recently said they are aiming for a May opening.
I've seen it mentioned other places too.

 

 

Pete said May in Feb 23 at Winter Warm Up and it was bit a surprise to anyone.

 

Right, but this is the first time (that I know of) that they’ve put it on any of their “public” marketing material.

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I took some time off of work to celebrate my 40th birthday (big deal), and decided to take a little road trip south. We'll hitting up Carowinds on Tuesday 4/16 and then heading over to Smoky Mountain NP area on Wednesday the 17th. I definitely want to hit up Dollywood as I've never been to the park, but I also want to do some hiking/sightseeing, and doing some Gatlinburg activities as well. I have a few questions I hope some of you more experienced folks can help with.

 

1) Alpine Coaster - Really want to do one of these, so I'd like some suggestions on the best in the area. I won't mind doing 2, since I'm pretty sure my girlfriend will want to go to Goats on the Roof because... well, goats.

 

2) We enjoy staying in cabins, so we're looking for something for 2 people in the area for a few nights. Usually the type with a hot tub on the back patio. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know there a roughly a billion in the area. I also see that Dollywood has some as well. Is there any special benefit to the Dollywood Cabins? (i.e early entry or something like that)

 

3) Am I absolutely insane planning 1 day for Dollywood? I have never been so I might try to squeeze 2 (or 1 and a half) days in, but I also want to do some of the other things in the area. I want to be home on that Sunday for Easter, so if I stay another day I would either have to drive through the night or maybe drive halfway, get a cheap motel room, and drive the rest on Sunday.

 

4) Can you please predict with .00000001% accuracy if Lightning Rod will be running on the day I go? I'm kidding, I hope it is running, but we shall see.

 

Thanks.

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^ Never been, but from all that I've read here at TPR....two days would be better for a Dollywood visit, IMhO.

If you're doing the park for the coasters and thrill rides only, well then probably one day would be enough.

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Happy birthday! If you're going to do one day at Dollywood, budget for a Time Saver Pass. There's a lot to do. We actually spent 3 days there when we went a couple of years ago.

 

Goats on the Roof and Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster are both great, and right down the road from each other. You won't be disappointed.

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I've been on Ober, Gatlinburg Mountain, Rowdy Bear, Goats on the Roof, and Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. SMAC is the longest, and IMO best. Lighting package is awesome at night too. Still can't believe this area already has 4 1/2 new credits since I last visited in Dec 17.

 

More than 1 Day at Dollywood is recommended. They have like 40 rides. They also have sit down restaurants, at least 5 shows running at any time, and it's large to walk around. 1 day is squeezing it in. Be sure to park at Patriot Park off the main drag of Pigeon Forge and take the Dolly Trolley into the park, you will save a bunch on parking and not really lose on time because the shuttles are frequent and go directly to the gate entrance.

 

I thought that it would be touristy for some reason, but last trip we did the Cades Cove Loop and Abrams Falls Trail. I've basically done the whole GSMNP throughout my childhood except that spot, and it ended up being probably my favorite place in the park. Alum Cave trail also matches its hype.

 

One other experience you MUST have in Pigeon Forge is family-style home cooked dining. The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant or the Old Mill both do this, Paula Deen's is another. Unlimited side refills, way too much food, for around $20 a person. Absolutely wonderful.

 

Have fun!

Edited by BlahBlahson
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^ I wholeheartedly agree with you! Everything at Dollywood is top-notch relative to what kind of attraction it is, and should be experienced at least once.

 

And yes, the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster is the closest one, I believe only 5 minutes down Veterans Parkway from Dollywood

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For those that may have missed it, Dollywood just slipped into a blog post that a Wildwood Grove won’t open until May....

 

No slip. May has been the target opening for months.

 

Right, but this is the first time (that I know of) that they’ve put it on any of their “public” marketing material.

 

I wouldn't exactly call those blog posts "marketing" material.

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2) We enjoy staying in cabins, so we're looking for something for 2 people in the area for a few nights. Usually the type with a hot tub on the back patio. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know there a roughly a billion in the area. I also see that Dollywood has some as well. Is there any special benefit to the Dollywood Cabins? (i.e early entry or something like that)

 

https://www.dollywood.com/PigeonForge/Included-With-Your-Cabin-Stay

 

I believe the "with tickets" suff is if you buy tickets as part of the reservation.

 

DW cabins are pricey compared to most in the area. You have to decide if the extras are worth the higher price. (As a gold pass holder they aren't)

 

If you decide on 2 days, I'd suggest passes. Make one gold, the parking and discounts pay for it pretty quick.

 

The gold discount for FastPass matches the cabin stay discount, covers parking, and pass get early access too.

 

 

As for cabins, I've rented through Aunt Bugs a few times. More recently I've used VRBO instead. Better pricing. Really worth looking around.

 

I really liked the convenience of the ones down McCarter Hollow Rd past the DW entrance. Not the greatest views (still nice), but the location made up for it.

 

Sadly most of the close places I stayed in the past are no longer listed the same way. They change companies and names and I can't find them anymore.

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From my experience it probably won't but just hope for the best and it might actually be running.

 

Based on the end of last year and comments from Pete at Winter Warm Up, I expect it to be up opening weekend and running consistently.

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