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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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2 hours ago, TEDodd said:




 

 


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



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?

 

 

the Thunderhead does not use Topper Track. It uses a thin metal plate on top of the wooden structure. The topper track is tubular and identical in size to the I-Box track, that's why RMC can re-track only portions of the Lightning Rod and the trains will run seamlessly because both tracks are the same size. Lighting Rod was always a hybrid coaster. RMC and Dollywood had a marketing scheme and most people fell for it. True wooden coasters do not use topper track.

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There was a time in my life when I would have cared what Lightning Rod was made of.  So refreshing to give precisely zero effs. I just want to go to Dollywood and not worry about it being open! 

Yeah, the difference to the rider between I-Box track and the current track is really minimal. The only major difference would be that the ride would actually be open when you wanted to ride it and wh

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

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20 hours ago, bert425 said:

^ 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.

You are not taking into account the many guests I saw picking up the fudge, flipping it over to see the label to identify what type of fudge it was, then put it back on the table after seeing the $10.99 price on the sign, which spreads even more germs. It this was COVID related, they would have done this when they reopened, not just before they are getting ready to close for the season.

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21 hours ago, bill_s said:

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. 

Topper track is tubular steel. It is not wood, except for the structure. Lightning Rod has be re-tracked with new Topper Track in rough spots. It didn't work, so RMC is replacing close to 50% of the Topper Track with I-Box track only in the high-impact or rough areas. They can I-Box every pothole and that is exactly what they are doing..

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In regards to the complaints that raising the price on fudge = "not caring about the guest experience"... taken in a vacuum, I would tend to agree with those that are rightfully calling out the original poster for ignoring the reality of the world which we're in right now. We are in the middle of a pandemic and a lot of places are fighting to survive. If that means increased prices for the time being, so be it.

That being said, there have been a number of complaints about park overcrowding, poor and mixed communication, and lack of responses to inquiries. Personally, I've been attempting to reach out to Dollywood for the past two weeks to inquire about my unused 2020 multi-park season passes and haven't received a single response to any of my e-mails. Having heard horror stories about people trying to reach them via Facebook or telephone doesn't fill me with a ton of confidence, either. I'm sure they're trying to do the best they can given the current situation, but it's tough for everyone right now. So seeing things like this, regardless of how ridiculous it seems on the face of it all, definitely impacts the public perception of how they're operating under these circumstances.

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On 11/29/2020 at 6:40 AM, u4icmusic said:

the Thunderhead does not use Topper Track. It uses a thin metal plate on top of the wooden structure. The topper track is tubular and identical in size to the I-Box track, that's why RMC can re-track only portions of the Lightning Rod and the trains will run seamlessly because both tracks are the same size. Lighting Rod was always a hybrid coaster. RMC and Dollywood had a marketing scheme and most people fell for it. True wooden coasters do not use topper track.

Ah, so you are the one person in the world that gets to define what a wood coaster is!

While I'm fine with all of the RMCs being classified as hybrids, is is a true statement that topper track and I-box rides feel quite different from each other. Topper track definitely feels more like a woodie vs. a perfectly smooth steel I-box.

But at the end of the day, like Bill said, who cares?!? The track could be made out of anything as long as it is fun. 

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On 11/29/2020 at 5:33 AM, TEDodd said:




 

 


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



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?

 

 

Exactly! The thin tell plate on the Thunderhead is totally different from the Topper Track used on the Lightning Rod, which is tubular and the same size as the I-Box track. That's why RMC can switch back and forth between the two types of tracks and you won't even know it is happening because they are basically the same track. One is supported by wooden planks and the other is supported by a steel base, even on wooden hybrid coasters like The Iron Gwazi or Steel Vengeance, both hybrid wooden coasters. There are a lot us that feel the same way about the Lightning Rod. It's been a hybrid coaster since it opened and Dollywood marketing made you believe it was a wooden coaster. If it was, it would have the same steel plates as the LIghtning Rod, which it never had and never will. I think we can all agree that we want the ride running smoother and running all the time. All the down time has really hurt Dollywood's reputation. 

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Aw sweet jesus forgetting all of the other stupid crap you're arguing about, would you PLEASE for the love of god stop putting "the" in front of the ride names.  It's Lightning Rod and Thunderhead. You're not even consistent with its use -

Quote

...even on wooden hybrid coasters like The Iron Gwazi or Steel Vengeance, both hybrid wooden coasters

That quote alone raises yet more questions about your grammatical ineptitude. 

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FYI: Those who renewed your season pass for next year that have the free mug, ask them to upgrade to the mug that includes free refills. They didn't offer it, but I asked, and they sold me the red mug, free refills all year this and next, for $15. It's normally $30!

You might not have the same results as me, but I simply asked and they were like sure!




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7 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

There are a lot us that feel the same way about the Lightning Rod. It's been a hybrid coaster since it opened and Dollywood marketing made you believe it was a wooden coaster. 

You guys should start a petition for our entertainment.

 

Sincerely,

The Zach

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^ Don't tell them that. I genuinely think they're that passionate about it they would waste the parks time sending emails to them with their signed petition. And if this thread has taught me anything else (apart from people really care about the ratio of wood:steel) during 2020 is that Dollywood already has an overflowing inbox.

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The topper track is tubular and identical in size to the I-Box track, that's why RMC can re-track only portions of the Lightning Rod and the trains will run seamlessly because both tracks are the same size. Lighting Rod was always a hybrid coaster.


Topper track is the same size as regular wood track like Thunderhead.

They remove the top two layers (2" lumber) and replace it with the steel tube. Underneath it's the same six layers of 2" lumber as traditional wood track. It was designed as a refit. Remove the top layer and install the topper. The whole point of topper is to mimic the dimensions of traditional track.

RMC has even done partial refits. So a few sections of topper and the rest traditional wood track. Cyclone at SFNE was one. Went several years like that before getting I-box.

And I've seen no coaster with topper track called a hybrid until you called LR that. RCDB lists all the rides with topper track as wood, whether built that way or refitted.

And while you claim many always thought it was hybrid, I don't remember any such statements back when LR was being built.

I-box is all steel. All layers of wood are replace by the steel. Still, it's designed to mimic wood track for refitting. Such a good idea GCI is copying it.


Topper track is tubular steel. It is not wood, except for the structure.


75% of the track is wood. A 12" stack of wood with a 4" high steel rectangle bolted in top.



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22 hours ago, TEDodd said:


75% of the track is wood. A 12" stack of wood with a 4" high steel rectangle bolted in top.

I think that makes it more of a wooden coaster than a wooden coaster. Because topper track is one steel rectangle bolted on top, instead of 3 steel rectangles bolted on 3 sides of the wood.

🤔

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There was a time in my life when I would have cared what Lightning Rod was made of.  So refreshing to give precisely zero effs. I just want to go to Dollywood and not worry about it being open! 

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On the topic of guest experience. I am sure under current circumstances it is not as consistent as they would like, most businesses are not if they are even open. That being said after the excellent support in the previously mentioned lost car key debacle at the ACE event, I had another issue completely (once again) of my own making. Apparently it was my weekend to be stupid. In the panic and then subsequent relief of the key, and the fact that we stayed an hour late for ert and went out the resort gate; I totally forgot that I had sent a package to pick up earlier in the day. 🙄

I realized the next day on our way home and called the park. Of course got a machine, left my sad tale and offered to pay to ship or in lieu of that possibility could I get a refund. I did not hear back for about 10 days BUT did eventually get a call from a very nice and obviously harassed supervisor who asked for my address so they could ship it to me at no expense on my part. So......maybe just a little patience. 

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On 11/30/2020 at 3:15 PM, KBrylczyk said:

Aw sweet jesus forgetting all of the other stupid crap you're arguing about, would you PLEASE for the love of god stop putting "the" in front of the ride names.  It's Lightning Rod and Thunderhead. You're not even consistent with its use -

That quote alone raises yet more questions about your grammatical ineptitude. 

The folks on NBC are calling it “The” Lightning Rod. 😂  The video is from testing and watch how fast it crest the first hill... https://youtu.be/ze097Rg7Ldc i hope they can launch it at that speed once the new track is installed.

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giphy.gif?cid=349c9dd7ucy62pxombu18mg5fgdoz9e8y7cec49z39o65nly&rid=giphy.gif

("only I didn't say fudge")

Haven't been in this thread for a month.... and now I wish I had just let that continue and just skipped over the last few weeks.

Can't wait to see the Darien Lake thread debate about THE Predator becoming a steel, hybrid, ibox, Titan, totally tubular, sensually seductive .... whatever you want to call it..... coaster. But that will be for another day. Just someone please private message me when that starts so I can stay far away.

Anyways, anything to keep Lightning Rod more reliable, as others have said, is the most important. How it is classified... well, I'll just call it an RMC and call it a day. It doesn't matter.

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On 12/9/2020 at 5:39 AM, anonymouscactus said:

giphy.gif?cid=349c9dd7ucy62pxombu18mg5fgdoz9e8y7cec49z39o65nly&rid=giphy.gif

("only I didn't say fudge")

Haven't been in this thread for a month.... and now I wish I had just let that continue and just skipped over the last few weeks.

Can't wait to see the Darien Lake thread debate about THE Predator becoming a steel, hybrid, ibox, Titan, totally tubular, sensually seductive .... whatever you want to call it..... coaster. But that will be for another day. Just someone please private message me when that starts so I can stay far away.

Anyways, anything to keep Lightning Rod more reliable, as others have said, is the most important. How it is classified... well, I'll just call it an RMC and call it a day. It doesn't matter.
 

All right, my friend, I'll let you know ;)

 

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I'm here now and the crane is still up and they are working on the retrack. There are large sections of missing topper track that have been removed. Maybe they will get it done in time for the spring opening.

IMG_20201211_133952341.jpg

IMG_20201211_133857266.jpg

IMG_20201211_133843032.jpg

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