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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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I was actually like 5 hours late lol, but this was never mentioned online and I called the park about 8 times to ask what would happen if we didn't come until later and was never called back, was on hold for over an hour then hung up on and my email was responded by a robot didn't even come close to answering this question ha.

 

No option to book anything past 12 is a real buzz kill. We even considered just getting refunds for our passes when we found this out but was told to call for that so we sucked it up and will just go less

 

And yeah that's the killer, it's almost like they don't want local pass holders to come with all the limitations, I agree, most probably come later aside from those week long trips where a pass is less expensive than tickets

 

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You mean like this. . . (pssst, all wooden coasters run on steel rails, well, with the exception of the flying turns)   Also, who would have thought the first RMC coaster to get the RM

Their season pass renewal system is running on the same server as Lightning Rod. 

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

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Does Dollywood still offer admission the evening before with a one day ticket? I think I remember it being after 3 p.m. Is that still a thing. And how would that work with the new reservation system?

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That's a real bummer about not being able to reserve a later time. I don't like that at all.
Same here.

 

Wife and I are here again today (on time this time) and they didn't even check our reservation today lol. Dollywood has always been very inconsistent on their policies, always depends on who you get (it's possible the reservation is now on the pass though, although it says to bring your reservation slip)

 

Also, both trips this week, they haven't been saying anything to guest not wearing mask. I'm happy to say the majority are but they haven't said a word to anyone that I've seen. It's dead today so I've taken mine off when no one's around and host haven't said a word. Just be safe about it

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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LR has been CD (closed for the day) on both of my trips for those curious.

 

Also, I know aunt Granny's is popular on here so PSA, they are family style right now. The website says cafeteria style. Family style is different than cafeteria. As a table you pick two entrees, 4 sides, and two sweets. Still all you can eat within your choices.

 

Cafeteria, in my mind, is buffet where someone serves you. Aunt Granny's isn't that

 

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^Interesting about Lightning Rod...I thought they had gotten past all of the problems? We were actually thinking about heading up to the park but if LR is having issues we may postpone.

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Staff has been at LR both trips so they are working through something but it is closed. Can anyone confirm if it was open on season pass holder day?

 

Staff just said it's down for maintenance both days I asked with no resolution time of when it will be open. They just say "not today"

 

Edit: so now that we are home I figured I'd add more after two visits to the park

 

Mask: Yes mask are required. Signs everywhere say that. Mask really aren't that bad, but they do get hot. I'd say about 80% of people wore mask, about 30% wore them correctly. Most had them on their chin and under their nose. As the day got hotter, especially today, mask started coming off. By the time I left, I'd say only 50% of people wore the.. I'll admit, I even took mine off some, but the park was DEAD and a ghost town for a lot of sections. I did have my mask on when people were around and only took it off when no one was around. I couldn't find any "mask free" areas to rest without a mask. (Supposedly Dollywood has some) I've also seen these posted about in other parks but I had to make my own. Sorry if that offends anyone. As for enforcing mask, it wasn't happening. Those that weren't wearing mask were walking by host, security, even police and nothing was ever said. I've seen people post on Facebook about the park enforcing this, but I've yet to see it in person.

 

Entering the park: you are required to have your temp checked entering the park. I recommend doing this in the parking lot before entering the tram. My wife and I skipped the parking lot check today, and the line to do so around the entrance gate was backed up around noon. Only two police checking temps there. Parking lot check had no one waiting, but we skipped it because we walked in.

 

Reservations: I've had two completely different experiences here. First experience was a slap on the wrist because I was several hours late. Today however, reservation wasn't even checked. They were even allowing people to buy tickets at the ticket window and enter without a reservation! We met one couple who said they heard they couldn't get in without one but thought they would give it a shot. The had no tickets, purchased tickets at the window, and walked right in.. Saturday and Sunday looked booked up so curious if anyone has a different experience then. As of now, season pass holders can only book reservations at 9, 10, 11, or 12 and I was told my first visit, you must check in 30 minutes before and up to 1 hour later. That's why I was late my first visit, I went after work. Like I'd imagine most locals do. Today, we both had the day off due to juneteenth so we were on time

 

Rides: they do make you use hand sanitizer before each ride and on the trams. both visits LR has been CD (closed for the day). Today, Blazing Fury broke down while we were on the train waiting to dispatch, Wild Eagle broke down both times we were in line, and then everything shut down once for thunder. Mystery Mine was always testing, but never saw anyone on it. Needless to say, we never got on a ride today. Bummer, but we got on some during our earlier visit this week

 

Food:. Festival food is great! Online says buffets are cafeteria style, however, we found them to be "family style". Big difference! We greatly enjoyed a lot of the flower and food festival foods though! It was fresh, homemade, and very tasty! A lot of the different punches and lemonades were also amazing!

 

Cleanliness of Park: I'm ashamed to say, all tables say "please wait until a host cleans" but both visits, we never saw a host cleaning. Tables were nasty. Hand washing stations out of soap and paper towls. Never saw anyone cleaning anything in queue lines or other high touch areas. All talk, little action here, at least from what we saw.

 

A lot of stuff closed.. a lot of shops closed.. almost all shows closed. Several restaurants closed.. a lot of smaller rides never opened.

 

Security: Wow, feels like entering a fricken airport! Metal detectors everywhere. Sheriffs department taking temps (if you don't do it in the parking lot) tons of police and security everywhere. I'm not sure if they are expecting riots or what but the security was worse than any park I've visited recently and that includes cedar fair parks and Disney. At least they have plenty of metal detectors! I feel this is really just to spread everyone out but entering right now almost looks like entering the magic kingdom.

 

Crowd's: both visits, crowd's have been pitiful. Very low. Parking not really much past B. Like, we are talking street side park levels. Like from those jankey carnivals and what not! Hopefully they pick up. Saturday and Sunday look booked. But for summer level crowd's, it's actually really concerning everything is so dead.. and it's not due to the limiting of crowd's. I believe the parked turned in a capacity of 30,000 - 35,000 to the city so half of that is 15,000ish. Even that's a lot for Dollywood and today I would be surprised if they hit 1000. From the parking lot of say they had less than 500 today! Just a guess though. Curious if this is due to the mask debate? Or something else! People are in the area, just not at Dollywood

 

Let me know if anyone has any questions!

 

 

 

 

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Has LR been closed a lot? I was planning on driving from VA (six and 1/2 hours) next week for my first visit but i'll postpone if LR is being that unreliable. That's one of the main draws for me. It's also concerning about the shows and some other rides being closed.

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I was at the park on Monday for the season passholder preview and Lightning Rod seemed to be running just fine, only closing for a thunderstorm.

 

The real story is the ongoing Thunderhead retracking. Wow. Such an improvement.

 

Eak_XlEXkAcCH_c.thumb.jpeg.d9a7cacba859241d0b4d392ab236c13f.jpeg

 

Overall, I enjoyed the day, but it was definitely a very different visit: https://www.coaster101.com/2020/06/16/changes-youll-see-at-dollywood-in-2020/

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Does Dollywood still offer admission the evening before with a one day ticket? I think I remember it being after 3 p.m. Is that still a thing. And how would that work with the new reservation system?

Silver Dollar City still did this last year when I went, but not sure if they canceled it this year cause of the reservation stuff.

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Crowd's: both visits, crowd's have been pitiful. Very low. Parking not really much past B. Like, we are talking street side park levels. Like from those jankey carnivals and what not! Hopefully they pick up. Saturday and Sunday look booked. But for summer level crowd's, it's actually really concerning everything is so dead.. and it's not due to the limiting of crowd's. I believe the parked turned in a capacity of 30,000 - 35,000 to the city so half of that is 15,000ish. Even that's a lot for Dollywood and today I would be surprised if they hit 1000. From the parking lot of say they had less than 500 today! Just a guess though. Curious if this is due to the mask debate? Or something else! People are in the area, just not at Dollywood

 

That was not our experience on Saturday. I wouldn't have known that capacity was limited had I not known going in. It wasn't packed but midways were pretty busy. Timesaver was a must! Lightning Rod and Mystery Mine were both well over an hour (though a lot of that was probably due to the covid policies).

 

I would recommend anyone look into Timesaver if you're going on a weekend. Mystery Mine is one-party-per-car and every other car is from Timesaver and every other coaster is only loading half the train and stopping frequently for cleaning and cycling them empty to dry them.

 

Wild Eagle is (not-surprisingly) the exception. It's running as normal, loading all seats.

 

We were really impressed with our visit. The Flower and Food festival was really nice and they even had fireworks at park close. I assume they were already paid for but still, I wouldn't have expected either of those things at a capacity-limited park during a pandemic.

 

Oh, and row requests are generally honored despite all of this. We rarely bothered because we didn't want to complicate things for the ride hosts but they let us wait for the front on Lightning Rod a few times.

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Oh, and row requests are generally honored despite all of this. We rarely bothered because we didn't want to complicate things for the ride hosts but they let us wait for the front on Lightning Rod a few times.

 

That's good to hear. Hopefully other parks like Cedar Point will also allow row requests if we're willing to wait.

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I was at the park on Monday for the season passholder preview and Lightning Rod seemed to be running just fine, only closing for a thunderstorm.

 

The real story is the ongoing Thunderhead retracking. Wow. Such an improvement.

 

[attachment=0]Eak_XlEXkAcCH_c.jpeg[/attachment]

 

Overall, I enjoyed the day, but it was definitely a very different visit: https://www.coaster101.com/2020/06/16/changes-youll-see-at-dollywood-in-2020/

 

Did someone say Thunderhead retracking????

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Yeah, there's a big difference once you hit that new track. The first half is pretty jarring but not too bad. We still enjoyed it but that new track was a welcome sight halfway through the ride.

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Ok super dorky showing my age coaster enthusiast thing here but talking about retracking reminded me...

 

Did anyone ever ride Raging Wolf Bobs at whatever the hell Geauga Lake was called the one year where they retracked half of it!? It was hilarious. You were bouncing around, getting thrown from side to side, and then all of a sudden it was glass smooth for the second half!

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Back today! For those who haven't noticed, starting next week they changed the hours and are now closing at 8:00 during the week. They said at the gate that they might lower it even more after the forth

 

Much different experience today, they are enforcing mask a lot more. Still have yet to see a table cleaning and the hand washing stations have been out of water

 

LR is open and running much better crowd today, half of lot C is full. Still a dead day but rides all have waits of 30+ mins aside from wild eagle. More rides running today.

 

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From the Dollywood Junkies Facebook group, this apparently is the latest from the persons mother in law. The park apparently was shut down between Mystery and the Emporium after the accident. Pictures of the dangling chain are on that group page.

 

UPDATE she has some brain bleed they are keeping her to do ct scan every 6 hours also her arm is badly burnt from chain and her ribs they had to put staples in her head please continue to pray for her that all will be ok

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