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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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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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"Lightning strikes twice" means that they'll open it next year and the up/down will start again and not talking about the rides themselves.

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Based on how the most recent issues have all seemed track related, I'm guessing this will be an I-box. However, the Lightning Strikes Twice part suggests there will be some sort of marketable feature in this. Retracking the ride alone probably doesn't make it more marketable, but for me, I just want to see the ride run reliably because I think it's the best ride in the world when it does.

 

Have you ridden Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point? It's by far the best coaster I've ever ridden.

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I wonder if this is more substantial than trackwork or general maintenance. The fact that they said "receiving an upgrade" and "lightning strikes twice in 2021" seems like it is something more. I could see them give it RMC's second-gen trains that perhaps work better at such high speeds and sustained forces, as well as potentially installing I-box track on the high G sections. Who knows!

 

I highly doubt they will change anything about the launch/lift though.

I don't think you can add I-box sections. The entire track would have to be replaced because I don't think you can go between the two types of tracks.

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I’ll wait and see what they actually do but if they end up having to re-track the entire coaster after four years of existence and like... 2.5 cumulative years of wear and tear since it’s always closed that’s pretty much unprecedented, isn’t it?

 

We all love RMC but that would be stunningly bad engineering from a modern coaster manufacturer. Then again, Steel Vengeance spent 2 years opening late and having tons of issues while people worked on the structure in a lift multiple times a week so I guess structural problems are on brand.

 

I love RMC but if I were a park looking at one of their rides as an investment that would be mildly concerning.

 

Personally I’d be really surprised if the ride were actually THAT f*cked up and if it is... woah.

Edited by coasterbill
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^A full re-track would surprise me for the same reason, but who knows I guess.

 

If RMC determines their trains can run on both types of track simultaneously I think we could see I-box replacing the highest stress areas first with more sections added in subsequent seasons if needed. I really have no idea, but I'm excited to see whatever this ends up being.

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My speculation has been the launch, and high stress areas are going to be replaced with I-Box. As far as I know the dimensions of the track are the same. So it’s really just down to how they are connected together and frankly that does not seem that difficult. GCI just did something similar to White Lightning. Retracting the entire coaster seems unnecessary, but I have no idea how often maintenance is having to work on the track and structure. It also depends on how much of the track needs upgraded. The lightning strikes twice makes me suspicious of just how much work is planned, it gives me this feeling it’s going to be a lot more then I originally thought, or I am trying to read too much into a simple sign.

 

I believe we will see the original front to the train return as well, I would think the removal will no longer be needed once it has been fixed.

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I just hope for more uptime. I haven't visited since 2014 and I've had the chance to visit many times since then, but I couldn't bring myself to risk spending a lot of time and money to get to a park that's kinda tough to get to and the star attraction could be down for a whole 3 day visit.

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"Lightning Strikes Twice in 2021"

 

Clearly they are adding a second launch to spice up the lackluster second half of this ride.

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They're building a second Lightning Rod, beside the first one!

 

Turning it into a racing coaster!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, take this as a serious suggestion, ha ha.

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They're building a second Lightning Rod, beside the first one!

 

Turning it into a racing coaster!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, take this as a serious suggestion, ha ha.

 

Build a second one. That way when one brakes down there is always another one to ride

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My speculation has been the launch, and high stress areas are going to be replaced with I-Box. As far as I know the dimensions of the track are the same. So it’s really just down to how they are connected together and frankly that does not seem that difficult. GCI just did something similar to White Lightning. Retracting the entire coaster seems unnecessary, but I have no idea how often maintenance is having to work on the track and structure. It also depends on how much of the track needs upgraded. The lightning strikes twice makes me suspicious of just how much work is planned, it gives me this feeling it’s going to be a lot more then I originally thought, or I am trying to read too much into a simple sign.

 

I believe we will see the original front to the train return as well, I would think the removal will no longer be needed once it has been fixed.

It appears to me that the topper track system used for the Lightning Rod cannot handle the stress, speeds, and force caused by the trains. There should be no reason to have to re-track a coaster after only a few years of use. Something is up and we don't have the full story at this point.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone been to the park during Harvest Fest? Seems like they’ve hit capacity multiple weekdays already. It seems awfully surprising given reports of low, low crowds during the summer. Guess fall break and it being a popular event?

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^We have friends of friends that were there this weekend and left due to crowds and minimal masks and social distancing. 

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From Dollymania.net:

"Gospel Hall Of Fame Leaving Dollywood
The Southern Gospel Music Association announced Monday on Facebook that its SGMA Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood will be closing after 21 years at that location due to the park choosing not to renew the lease on its building. The park has not indicated what may be going into the building in its place, but SGMA President Arthur Rice thanked Dolly, Dollywood and her partners, the Herschends, "for giving us a home for 21 years. We could not have done it without you." 

This is an interesting development for the prime location adjacent to the main gate area of the park.  According to the dipping dots guy (lol), one rumour suggests that the space will be utilized for administrative offices (hopefully not).  Seems like a disappointing choice when there are other dormant buildings in the park.

I would rather see the park continue to use it as a museum to showcase the park's history from the humble beginnings as Rebel Railroad to present day.  I always thought they could use a place to display memorabilia, including the numerous Golden Ticket Awards they have won throughout the years!

Another thought is, perhaps this is the beginning of a redesign for the main gate area, which is long overdue.  Before Covid, the park was drawing in record numbers of guests in the peak season and the current turnstile plaza could barely handle an efficient entry process for the influx of guests.

Other possible uses could be a new addition for a Food & Entertainment Hall, which has been speculated for some time but the park is challenged to build one because of limited open space in high traffic areas.  It would be nice to see and it would be a great opportunity for them to add a Coffee House!  Also, could a dark ride fit in the space?  Likely not, as that should be going in Wildwood Grove as the next major new attraction (2022?)  But what IF it's going to become a station for a Sky Bucket system to link the front of the park to Wildwood Grove or the upper train loop?  Anything is possible...

 

 

 

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On 10/12/2020 at 5:05 PM, Taylor Finn said:

Has anyone been to the park during Harvest Fest? Seems like they’ve hit capacity multiple weekdays already. It seems awfully surprising given reports of low, low crowds during the summer. Guess fall break and it being a popular event?

It's fall break for many schools around here last week and this week.  And pretty much every park in the country that is open is slammed now days.  

 

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From Dollymania.net:
"Gospel Hall Of Fame Leaving Dollywood
The Southern Gospel Music Association announced Monday on Facebook that its SGMA Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood will be closing after 21 years at that location due to the park choosing not to renew the lease on its building.


Disappointing. Does that mean the Jordanaires will also be leaving soon too?
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Dollywood is at maximum capacity for today and already for tomorrow. Better start making reservations if you want to get in for the Halloween or Christmas nights.

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On 10/14/2020 at 1:42 PM, DollyWould said:

From Dollymania.net:

"Gospel Hall Of Fame Leaving Dollywood
The Southern Gospel Music Association announced Monday on Facebook that its SGMA Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood will be closing after 21 years at that location due to the park choosing not to renew the lease on its building. The park has not indicated what may be going into the building in its place, but SGMA President Arthur Rice thanked Dolly, Dollywood and her partners, the Herschends, "for giving us a home for 21 years. We could not have done it without you." 

This is an interesting development for the prime location adjacent to the main gate area of the park.  According to the dipping dots guy (lol), one rumour suggests that the space will be utilized for administrative offices (hopefully not).  Seems like a disappointing choice when there are other dormant buildings in the park.

I would rather see the park continue to use it as a museum to showcase the park's history from the humble beginnings as Rebel Railroad to present day.  I always thought they could use a place to display memorabilia, including the numerous Golden Ticket Awards they have won throughout the years!

Another thought is, perhaps this is the beginning of a redesign for the main gate area, which is long overdue.  Before Covid, the park was drawing in record numbers of guests in the peak season and the current turnstile plaza could barely handle an efficient entry process for the influx of guests.

Other possible uses could be a new addition for a Food & Entertainment Hall, which has been speculated for some time but the park is challenged to build one because of limited open space in high traffic areas.  It would be nice to see and it would be a great opportunity for them to add a Coffee House!  Also, could a dark ride fit in the space?  Likely not, as that should be going in Wildwood Grove as the next major new attraction (2022?)  But what IF it's going to become a station for a Sky Bucket system to link the front of the park to Wildwood Grove or the upper train loop?  Anything is possible...

No great loss. It would be a great spot for a new Dollywood entrance or a dark ride. Out of all the times I've been to Dollywood, I never wanted to see that museum. In my opinion, most guests want rides, not gospel museums.

 

 

 

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On 10/16/2020 at 4:00 PM, u4icmusic said:

No great loss. It would be a great spot for a new Dollywood entrance or a dark ride. Out of all the times I've been to Dollywood, I never wanted to see that museum. People want rides, not museums.

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, their food, the shopping, and yes, their museums. While I personally never checked out the Gospel Museum, I have checked out the Dolly Museum on previous visits and always left feeling like I could have spent a whole lot more time in there.

The assumption that "people want rides, not museums" is exactly the sort of point of view that I would expect out of the average coaster enthusiast.

 

 

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On 10/16/2020 at 4:00 PM, u4icmusic said:

People want rides, not museums.

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 bread?

I don't usually call out opinions but saying that people go to Dollywood for the rides is really out of touch with what that park and Silver Dollar City are for Herschend and the U.S. theme park scene in general.

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