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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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Thanks so much! I haven't checked it in awhile I wasn't sure if it was really working lol. I see the tree is coming along. I just found a new video showing how the tunnels going into Wildwood Grove are now looking like trees. I thought that would happen soon. I knew those concrete tunnels didn't look like a fallen log but now they are getting there!

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Here's 2 pics I took this afternoon. Spent a couple hours there doing all the coasters a few times and getting my steps in for the day. Place was empty and everything was a walk on. Nice couple hours before heading home. There were a few cranes working on the tree today. Still saw branches laying out back in the gravel lot behind it. They are going to be working their butts off to finish.



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Yeah, if your'e going during the week and are very ambitious, in one day, you can do the coasters, the train, a flat or two, a bit of shopping, and see a show or two.


If you want to DO IT ALL and see most all the shows, shop hard, ride the coasters multiple times and just bask in Dollywood, two days is better. Tough to say what is perfect for your family. You can just as easily spend one day at Dollywood and spend another exploring the Mountains (Cades Coves, Clingmans Dome, Alum Cave Trail and Roaring Fork Motor Trail are the best four things in the mountains IMO), exploring Gatlinburg (Sugarlands Distillery, quirky shops, Crockett's Breakfast Camp, and Hillbilly Golf), and exploring Pigeon Forge (The Island, Old Mill and Pottery House restaurants, outlet shopping, go karts, etc). These are all fun things that I still love doing visit after visit.


Ticket wise, it is $74 for one day and $94 for two days for adults and a bit cheaper for 9 and under. You can always do a two day ticket and take it much easier and enter later or leave earlier.


TL:DR: The park is definitely tough to do in one day (especially with Wildwood Grove being a thing), but you can accomplish a lot there depending on whether you go during the week or on the weekend, what kind of park guests you are, and what your interests are.

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Well after spending a few days at Carowinds, climbing up a few mountain peaks, and enjoying the small town of Hot Springs, I headed towards SMNP and my first chance to visit Dollywood. We spent Thursday night in Cherokee, NC, hitting up the casino and planned on a leisurely drive on Friday through the Smoky Mountains up to the Pigeon Forge area where our cabin was. Not so fast my friend. Friday the area got about 3.5" of rain, and US-441 (the only road through the park) was closed due to flooding and high winds, so we had to detour east around the whole park. Once on I-40, we were greeted with a 20 mile traffic jam since a recent landslide reduced the freeway into 1 lane each way. So what was supposed to be a 1 hour drive turned into 4 hours, effectively killing a good part of the day. We got to our cabin and pretty much called it a day. We left in the evening to go ride the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster in the drizzle after dark. That was a lot of fun, and a re-ride is $8, which I took advantage of.


Saturday we did Gatlinburg, it was a good time albeit a bit touristy. The aquarium is quite nice. Sunday was Easter, a lot of things were closed, but the road into the National Park was open so we went to Clingman's Dome where we found a good quantity of snow. Seriously I drive all the way from Cleveland to drive up into the mountains so I can find snow. I'm an idiot.


Monday was finally on to Dollywood. I had originally thought of doing 2 days, but with the extended detour and the fact that my girlfriend is not as gung-ho about rollercoasters as I am, we decided that 1 day would be enough and I was fine with that.

First thing to say: TIME SAVER! Do it. $50 dollars for the unlimited Time Saver? Are you freaking kidding me? Fast Lane plus at CP is 2-3 times that. Holy cow it's a no brainer. Secondly, I love the themeing of this place. Seeing as how I am usually at Cedar Point, where their idea of themeing is "Hey we fixed the effects in the Maverick launch tunnel after years of neglect!", it was nice to experience. The setting in the hills is fun and a lot of the rides interact with the terrain really well, which I'll rave about plenty as this goes on.


The park was plenty busy, but with Time Saver it really didn't matter to me. I don't really care about the shows, but they certainly seem to have a lot of them. Of course when I arrived at park opening I looked to see if Lightning Rod was open. It was not. It wouldn't make or break the trip, I mean I had a great time, got a year older, climbed some mountains, visited 2 new parks, spent some quality time with my girlfriend, so one coaster being closed isn't going to rui- OMG PLEASE LET THIS THING OPEN DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!


Fortunately around noon they started cycling trains on LR so I jumped in line, and shortly thereafter it opened for business. I got about 12 rides on it in all, so I'd say that's a pretty good day.


Overall, I enjoyed my experience at the park, although I'm glad I only did 1 day. Apparently I'm not as mature as I thought and my coaster nerdom is still strong, I was able to knock out the rides I wanted pretty easily and was satisfied with that. (TIME SAVER! Remember these words!).


Dollywood Express- A 2-8-2 Mikado? Holy crap! Maybe the coolest train ride I've taken in a park to this point. It runs on a schedule every hour (I assume on days they run 2 trains it's every 30 minutes) so it's not like other parks where you just get in line and wait for the next train. Check the schedule and get there 15 minutes before it departs. A very fun and scenic ride, and gave a good view of Wildwood Grove. They still have a lot of work to get done as far as they finishing touches, but it looks like it will be an awesome addition to the park.


Blazing Fury - After collecting my Time Saver, this was the first coaster I came across. It's a cool ride, focusing on thematics as opposed to a crazy intense ride. Good for families and younger riders, I can think of a certain park up North that could use something like this.


Tennessee Tornado - You been on 1 Arrow looper, you've been on them all right? Nope. Easily the best Arrow Looper I've been on. Normally before riding these I need to make an appointment with my chiropractor, not the case here. Uses the terrain to it's advantage. This is a good coaster. Not good for an Arrow, a good coaster in general. It seems like Ron Toomer oh wow Alan Schilke got the bending system right this time.


Firechaser Express - Another fun family ride. Don't let the "family" part fool you. Although young kids can ride it, this ride is very cool even as an adult. Once again takes full advantage of the terrain to really make the ride pop.


Wild Eagle - I've only been on 1 wing coaster (Gatekeeper), so that's all I have to compare to. I like this ride a lot. Once again, takes advantage of the terrain in a fun way, going up and down hills and whistling through the trees. It seems the forces are stronger than Gatekeeper and it doesn't lose it's speed halfway through. I got several re-rides on this and enjoyed the front and back seats the same. Only thing I think is better on GK is the first drop and the keyhole.


Thunderhead - I'll admit I didn't know much about this ride going in, so it was a pleasant surprise. A good woodie, it seems like they have been doing some retracking on the 2nd hill/turnaround. I thought it was pretty smooth for a wooden coaster (remember for years I had to ride Mean Streak so take that with a grain of salt) and had a lot of the good elements of a GCI. I got several re-rides on this as well.


Mystery Mine - Another coaster I didn't know much about going in, so the actual ride was a total surprise. I actually didn't know it had 2 vertical lifts. A good blend of drops and inversions and themeing and effects. A little jerky in some parts but overall pretty good.


Lightning Rod - Yes, yes, and more yes. I've seen plenty of POVs so I don't know why the launch surprised me, but it did. It really whips you up the mountain. Once again, they took full advantage of the terrain, and it makes for a really unique experience. So much has been written about it that I don't think I need to go into great detail, but wow. Steel Vengeance is the only other RMC I've been on, so while I don't think LR as intense with the forces, I think that is a good thing. I could ride this thing for days. It's one of those rides you wish didn't end.


One small note about Lightning Rod, and Dollywood in general, is that the staff is so freaking nice it hurts. Maybe too nice. I've never seen so many, um, larger folks not being able to ride. And I thought Wicked Twister was bad. I don't want to shame anyone, and don't wish the walk of shame on anybody, but some of these folks were so large they would have trouble fitting in a taxi. It wasn't even close. I don't know how you can nicely encourage folks to try to test seat but damn.


I also want to thank everyone on this forum who posted good advice about visiting this park. Once again, by reading this forum I was able to get some valuable insight before visiting, which helped immensely. (TIME SAVER)


A couple of lousy pics and I'm done.


Easter Sunday. 70 degrees. And yes the cabin I stayed in was called "Moose on the Loose"


1 hour later at Clingman's Dome. 35 degrees. This is what you could see on a clear day.


This is what I actually saw.


Well worth the price of admission.

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Decided, going in early June. It was the best time to squeeze it in. Makes no sense for my CA trip which is already packed to the brim, and not convenient for my NJ trip this summer, Atlanta is a far better layover and I can go to SFoG. SO Dollywood in June!

Stoked to finally go to this highly regarded park, and ofc Lightning Rod.

Are the fast pass unlimiteds available day of or must they be bought online? Just in case crowds are bad, but its a Sunday so I may just get one anyway

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You can buy online or at the park. You can also monitor to see how many are left on the same page where you purchase them online. Risk bad weather buying them too far in advance.


Also, those Time Savers also get you reserved seating at the shows if those interest you. Saves you from having to stand in line for those.

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You can buy online or at the park. You can also monitor to see how many are left on the same page where you purchase them online. Risk bad weather buying them too far in advance.


Also, those Time Savers also get you reserved seating at the shows if those interest you. Saves you from having to stand in line for those.


Oh wow that is really great. I'll deff keep tabs on it and get one if they're running low, otherwise will wait till day of. I reckon it'll be helpful though, I will not have a full day (I know LR night rides are epic but time constraints....) and wanna marathon much as possible. Not really a show person no, but still cool to know. Seems like a quality product.


Im deff stoked to finally go here.

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Has anyone gotten any communication on the Season Pass Early Preview for WWG? The Dollywood facebook page is filled with multiple posts from folks trying to plan time off, hotel etc etc and no one is hearing anything from the park about when this is. The projected opening date is the 11, so Im surprised they've said nothing so far. Also surprised they aren't responding to any of those posts.

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I would love to, but looking at their schedule it seems like the best chance for that would be around Christmas. That might be kind of tough.


The one risk at Christmas is that you could go on a day with cold temperatures and cause the ride to go down. It's worth the risk since you can get 5 hours of night rides on Lightning Rod (as opposed to 1 in peak summer), but you just have to know that could happen going in.

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I ran across a coaster event on June 22 this year. I posted a link and it was blocked. Thought it might not be allowed. I think it's my post count. It includes breakfast, lunch buffet, and evening ERT (on LR assuming it's running). One day event.

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