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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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10 minutes ago, Comeagain? said:

That's not really true. Topper Track is lasting just fine on many rides, and is significantly easier to work with (and under) which does save on maintenance time and cost. That's what it was originally intended for, and it does that very well. Tremors is still running the original Topper Track in its most intense sections and it's still going strong. 

Yeah with trains that are twice as light compared to RMC trains lol

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19 hours ago, sdcfan88 said:

I do know for a fact that Outlaw Run uses steel wheels on the topper track, however they have had the same wear issues and poor aging with the track as Lightning Rod with the infamous "potholes". There was some retracking already observed being done on Outlaw Run earlier this year with the coaster being down for a few days and I believe the same was done last year below the first drop. I suspect the trains might get switched to urethane wheels if not a complete track conversion in the coming years depending on how Lightning Rod fares afterward with its conversion.

Outlaw Run might be stuck the way it is. Maybe RMC will figure out a workaround for all I know, but I imagine the increased friction going from steel to urethane would prevent it from running the course as intended. 

Unless... they do something truly groundbreaking and add a midcourse launch to Outlaw Run to reclaim the record of world's first/fastest/only topper track wooden polyurethane wheel coaster once the enthusiasts of the world collectively decide Lightning Rod is now steel! obviously joking

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On 11/22/2020 at 8:54 AM, FeelTheFORCE said:

I couldn't care less what this track is made of.  I'm just excited that I can finally plan a future trip and experience this coaster without having to worry about whether it'll be operating or not.

I'm not trying to be negative, but I wouldn't jump the gun just yet.

On 11/23/2020 at 8:55 PM, DBru said:

It’s kind of crazy to see how big of a failure the topper track has turned out to be. 

Did I miss something? I wasn't under the impression topper track would never to be replaced/retracked. El Toro is a prefab wood coaster and it still receives regular retracking.

RMC may have pushed the envelope a little too far with Lightning Rod. It's nothing most other roller coaster manufacturers haven't done.

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I remember a couple of years ago watching an interview with someone involved with RMC (Don't remember if it was Fred, Alan, or another employee) but I seem to remember them mentioning they were really pushing the I-Box designs over the Topper Track designs. I wonder if they have discovered the topper track isn't holding up over time as well as they thought it would?

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13 hours ago, CoasterGuy06 said:

I remember a couple of years ago watching an interview with someone involved with RMC (Don't remember if it was Fred, Alan, or another employee) but I seem to remember them mentioning they were really pushing the I-Box designs over the Topper Track designs. I wonder if they have discovered the topper track isn't holding up over time as well as they thought it would?

I remember hearing that exact same thing. It may have been an interview someone conducted at IAPPA.

there is also a pretty informative video by ElToroRyan about topper track/prefab on  El Toro and how its expensive but doesnt hold up much different than normal wood track.

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On 11/23/2020 at 5:01 AM, xVicesAndVirtues said:

I don't really care what we call it, I think it's pretty hard to mess up the awesome layout that is Lightning Rod, unless you maybe threw a 90s boomerang train on the rails or something.

That being said, I do wish more of the layout was staying wood but I understand their decision at the same time. While I'm sure the airtime and 99% of the ride experience will still be one of the very best in the entire world, there is an undeniable feel to the way the trains run wild on that wood track that I think adds to the "oh-sh*t" factor of the ride. We just went to Silver Dollar City last weekend and I hadn't rode Outlaw Run since it was new and somehow I forgot that it's one of the best coasters out there. It was running totally insane and it had airtime I don't even remember it having years ago.

I do have a question for one of the people who know every minute detail and aspect of these rides- does Lightning Rod run "soft" urethane or nylon wheels and does Outlaw Run run on steel wheels? I have absolutely zero knowledge of engineering but it sounded and felt like the wheels on Outlaw Run are steel, another detail I didn't remember about that ride.

I'm not sure what you mean that "you wish more of the layout was staying wood." None of it is wood. It's all topper track, which is steel. Only the structure is wood and it will still be wood with the new I-Box sections they are putting in to replace damaged areas.

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On 11/23/2020 at 1:25 AM, sdcfan88 said:

I am gonna assume it has to do with budgeting. Dollywood and RMC negotiated this for awhile. Likely they agreed to have RMC foot the bill for this overhaul and Dollywood would then have the option to pay for the rest out of pocket down the road if they wanted the conversion fully done.

The Southeast ACE group was informed that Dollywood was paying for the repairs and track updates. Did you read otherwise?

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Just got back from Dollywood. I left early because it was so crowded and after waiting 40 minutes to buy a Coke, I had had enough. Also, Dollywood also more than doubled the price of their fudge since two weeks ago. You used to be able to buy 6 pieces of fudge and get two free. It came out to about $20 for 8 pieces of fudge and $16 with a gold card. Now the fudge is all pre-packaged in plastic containers with 2 pieces for $10.99. That same 8 pieces of fudge will now cost you $43.96 plus tax without a gold card or $35.37 with a gold card PLUS tax.. Dollywood no longer cares about the guest experience and is only looking out for the almighty dollar. Dollywood should be ashamed of themselves. Even the employees were upset with this change. I'll never buy fudge there again at those prices.

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1 hour ago, u4icmusic said:

The Southeast ACE group was informed that Dollywood was paying for the repairs and track updates. Did you read otherwise?

I see your sources are well-verified and dependable.

 

27 minutes ago, boldikus said:

Karen.gif.4dfec067add0edaf57df992e263953bd.gif

 

Baaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha, they can't even multiquote properly so it's even more apt.

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1 hour ago, u4icmusic said:

I'm not sure what you mean that "you wish more of the layout was staying wood." None of it is wood. It's all topper track, which is steel. Only the structure is wood and it will still be wood with the new I-Box sections they are putting in to replace damaged areas.

If Lightning Rod truly was an out-and-out steel roller coaster, would it have experienced all of these problems in the first place? 🤔

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57 minutes ago, dankeykang said:

If Lightning Rod truly was an out-and-out steel roller coaster, would it have experienced all of these problems in the first place? 🤔

No, it would have not. RMC and Dollywood took a risk on a first-of-its-kind coaster with the Lightning Rod. The risk didn't pay off how Dollywood wanted it to. It's been mostly nothing buy bad press since it opened, I'm upsetting the park as much as its guests. When the Lighting Rod is running, which was very rare this season, it's a phenomenal hybrid coaster. If you want a wooden coaster at Dollywood, it needs to be the Thunderhead, which does not have the Topper Track.

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Coaster should still be on 5 year warranty. However, while RMC might have to do necessary retrack, Dollywood wants to avoid the problem soon recurring. That's probably kind of simple to calculate the extra cost of, except it can't switch between track types constantly, so who pays for the I-box bits between the parts that would be retracked?

 

The idea of Topper being able to be called wood is seductive. Maybe RMC originally hoped to move up gradually, but then I-Box took off.

 

Looking again at the cross sections, Topper is hybrid track. The use of a single steel box for both top and upstops emphasizes the steel. However it would relatively flexible without the wood, plus surely sounds a lot different. I-Box is wood-styled steel track, or flat running surfaced steel track, for hybrid or steel coasters. 

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15 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

Dollywood no longer cares about the guest experience and is only looking out for the almighty dollar.

I guess you didn't notice the almighty dollar is in short supply for 2020. Survival means paying a bit more. Be happy they're open.

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11 hours ago, bill_s said:

Coaster should still be on 5 year warranty. However, while RMC might have to do necessary retrack, Dollywood wants to avoid the problem soon recurring. That's probably kind of simple to calculate the extra cost of, except it can't switch between track types constantly, so who pays for the I-box bits between the parts that would be retracked?

 

The idea of Topper being able to be called wood is seductive. Maybe RMC originally hoped to move up gradually, but then I-Box took off.

 

Looking again at the cross sections, Topper is hybrid track. The use of a single steel box for both top and upstops emphasizes the steel. However it would relatively flexible without the wood, plus surely sounds a lot different. I-Box is wood-styled steel track, or flat running surfaced steel track, for hybrid or steel coasters. 

tomwhat.gif.ea6c7cbc89ae9036f96fcac0214ed78c.gif

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1 hour ago, coasterbill said:

It’s what now?

I don't understand what was unclear about either statement.

RMC could retrack every pothole with Topper and should due to warranty. But they can't Ibox every pothole only.

Topper track is currently called wood.  That has it's own appeal, a matter of expectations and records, beyond how it may or may not ride. 

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3 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I guess you didn't notice the almighty dollar is in short supply for 2020. Survival means paying a bit more. Be happy they're open.

^ this is an excellent point, and goes hand in hand with something I would be remiss not to point out to u4icmusic :

of COURSE they now have the fudge pre-packaged.    

Less hands touching it, and having "fresh" fudge exposed to the air - during a pandemic with an AIRBORNE pandemic - would *appear* to some guests, like it's being unsafe (whether it would be considered unsafe or not).

yet it's taken as "doesn't care about the guest experience". . .   FFS - even having never been to the park, and not knowing the exact reasoning?  I GET it.

Same reason Six Flags has gone cashless in several parks, and is really pushing the mobile ordering.

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19 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

Just got back from Dollywood. I left early because it was so crowded and after waiting 40 minutes to buy a Coke, I had had enough. Also, Dollywood also more than doubled the price of their fudge since two weeks ago. You used to be able to buy 6 pieces of fudge and get two free. It came out to about $20 for 8 pieces of fudge and $16 with a gold card. Now the fudge is all pre-packaged in plastic containers with 2 pieces for $10.99. That same 8 pieces of fudge will now cost you $43.96 plus tax without a gold card or $35.37 with a gold card PLUS tax.. Dollywood no longer cares about the guest experience and is only looking out for the almighty dollar. Dollywood should be ashamed of themselves. Even the employees were upset with this change. I'll never buy fudge there again at those prices.

Oh the horrors!!! A business trying to make money during a horrible year with mounting losses. It’s fudge. But it. Don’t. But I doubt the price of fudge means they have thrown the entire guest experience out the window. 

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We rode the train last night & can confirm the wood homestead structures (farmhouse, outhouse, wood shed) have all been removed from the upper train loop.  There is some speculation that this may be for future expansion, but aren’t the next expansions supposed to be going behind the current Wildwood Grove area?  Perhaps they were removed for fire safety concerns, due to their close proximity to the fireworks launch pads?  It’s sad to see even more original theming continue to  disappear!  ☹️

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12 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I guess you didn't notice the almighty dollar is in short supply for 2020. Survival means paying a bit more. Be happy they're open.

My thoughts exactly!

 

They should be glad the park is able to be open, and they should be glad they have the ability to visit. 

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No, it would have not. RMC and Dollywood took a risk on a first-of-its-kind coaster with the Lightning Rod.


The first of it's kind launch wasn't the problem. The fastest wooden coaster and the extreme elements are.

When the Lighting Rod is running ... it's a phenomenal hybrid coaster. If you want a wooden coaster at Dollywood, it needs to be the Thunderhead, which does not have the Topper Track.


Yet there's a steel plate on top of the wood. The whole length of Thunderhead.

LR was never called hybrid until you chimed in after the rumors of it getting some I-box track.

Now magically all the wooden coasters with topper track are reclassified as hybrid?


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