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Dollywood Discussion Thread

p. 751 - Lightning Rod expected to reopen with the park!

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Lol c'mon now, it was more reliable than that lol.  I was able to ride it several times over the years and I only made one trip a year to the park.

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Did I call this or what? Anyway, I did better side-by-side comparison for you.

Luckily any day now Lightning Rod is probably due to launch a wheel into a mountain or spontaneously combust or something so we can stop talking about covid...

^Lets be real...if you really wanna follow those guidelines you wouldn’t even be going to amusement parks. 

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Have a look, I think the data is pretty self explanatory. 


Still many of us rode multiple times on multiple visits. I know one trip I got 4 rides including 2 after dark.

And another trip 3 times, with one after park close.

Honestly, enough that I've lost count, and didn't even try to count.
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14 hours ago, dankeykang said:

https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/ride.php?ride=Lightning+Rod&day=2021-01-27

Have a look, I think the data is pretty self explanatory.  That site doesn't include the year it opened, but a quick web search tells us that 2016 wasn't so great either...

image.thumb.png.659270597a34a2c9f6e7ad4b3eb35108.png 

What is this proving other than I was able to experience a coaster, that had 38% downtime in 2016, multiple times and as recent as 2019?  That data doesn't mean a damn thing bro lol.

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17 hours ago, DBru said:

Lightning Rod and Outlaw Run rode much differently than any of the 8 I-Box RMC's I've ridden. After the first couple seasons, those 2 felt like wooden coasters. I have no doubt the 10 people who got to ride Lightning Rod more than once will feel a difference when it reopens.

People. Does it really need to be said that DBru was being facetious? Of course many many people rode LR many many times. Calm down. 

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On 1/27/2021 at 8:05 PM, dankeykang said:

https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/ride.php?ride=Lightning+Rod&day=2021-01-27

Have a look, I think the data is pretty self explanatory.  That site doesn't include the year it opened, but a quick web search tells us that 2016 wasn't so great either...

image.thumb.png.659270597a34a2c9f6e7ad4b3eb35108.png 

Aside from all that, it was pretty reliable...

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On 1/27/2021 at 10:59 AM, TEDodd said:


 

 


Note they are closed Tue and Thu in May and only open 10-6 Mon, Wed, and Fri.

But given that, yes usually pretty dead during the week in March, April, and May (other that the week of local spring break, Apr 5-9 this year). Weather affects that though. If it warm early it might pick up.

And of course restrictions due to the current virus will affect that too. If things change by May, there could be a surge of pent up demand. But I'm not holding my breath on that.

 

Yeah slower ops negating the lack of crowds was another reason I held off last year, it hit bad at Hershey but that was also July. I'd imagine an offseason weekday like that would be a safe bet. Hell I actually have 2 weeks in mid April off. I see the park IS open April as well. Seems kinda crazy to me that early but looks like its generally decent weather then?? Interesting... I may try to sneak to Dollywood solo while I can, wait to see what other rides open when before I plan bigger trips

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I see the park IS open April as well. Seems kinda crazy to me that early but looks like its generally decent weather then??


I've gone in March and April. Weather is a toss up. It could be in the 70s and clear, or snow. One year I went in late March and it was nice all week, then snowed the next week, enough to close the park (and Newfoundland Gap to the south).

And I've been there when it was below 40 and still had a blast. Ear muffs help ;)

My only concern with May is they might loosen the restrictions (I know, not likely) and a surge in the crowds.
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March and April are both good times to visit. Just keep in mind

1.) Pretty weekends in March and April are actually some of the busiest days of the year for the park. Before Covid, they had several record breaking days in years past. Talking , 30+ thousand.

2.) Schools visit a lot during this time. I'm sure that won't be very impactful right now

3.) Weather can swing quickly in March and April. Snow one day, extreme heat the next

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Thanks for the tips all! Yes, I have the same concern regarding May, TEDodd, tis why Im thinking April. I had no idea (schedules always shifting these days thanks to rona) I had this bloc of time off! Thanks dstephe9 but fear not, it will be during a weekday! Unless its the only time I that works I try to avoid parks on weekends! That said it seems weather is indeed the biggest worry. Well no worries, I will do the best I can to plan for good weather. Oh also......(in general) does Lightning Rod run that early in the year?

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Oh also......(in general) does Lightning Rod run that early in the year?


All of the coasters are usually open, just like in Nov/Dec, subject to minimum operating temps. But usually not a problem. Only the water rides wait for warmer weather.

LR is an unknown. The retrack work may not be finished. Just have to see what March/April brings.
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I don't think anyone outside of Dollywood really knows when LR will be running again.  I hope it's in March since they started last year. 

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Wouldn't this be no different than a retrack?  I wonder if any electrical aspects of the ride would require changing as well?  If not, I don't see why this couldn't open virtually as soon as the track is replaced, sans testing.

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Wouldn't this be no different than a retrack?  I wonder if any electrical aspects of the ride would require changing as well?  If not, I don't see why this couldn't open virtually as soon as the track is replaced, sans testing.
Right, but when will, it be done?

Weather can be a big driver and is unknown. And when will the new track be manufactured, when delivered, and when installed. Right now that's all unknown.

Transportation of goods is a mess.
Lots of limits on manufacturing and installation that could change at anytime.
Either could be shutdown for 2 weeks if someone tests positive.

Just way to many variables to predict.
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I would think they would have track well underway if not complete seeing that new iBeam track has already been installed.  I think the decision was decided upon a while ago and not sudden where a lot of your unknown would be a factor.  Unfortunately since the park is closed it's hard to gauge how much has been done, let me backtrack, we don't even know how much is being replaced  so that is one of the unknowns.

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That's the thing, on closing day, the track had not been installed yet. A few places had a little installed but by a whole, most had not been . While we have also had a calm winter so far, we have lots of snow in forecast for the next week or so, can slow progress.

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I would think they would have track well underway if not complete seeing that new iBeam track has already been installed.  I think the decision was decided upon a while ago and not sudden where a lot of your unknown would be a factor.


You think they built all the track and shipped it already?

Maybe, but there were no reports of a big pile of track at DW, so I don't think so.

I think it's being built and shipped in many parts. I don't think RMC has space to hold all the track at once and make one big shipment (and all the other project as well). I don't think DW would want to store all the track for months as they install it.

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But, we don't know how much track is being replaced. . .
Something like 2/3. Look back in this thread.
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1 hour ago, jarmor said:

So about 1900ft of track.  They should be able to do that in no time. . .

It is actually 2,160 feet of track that are being replaced, it was announced by the park at an event where they also discussed what sections were being replaced.  It works out that only 2 or 3 elements will continue being topper track and the station.

Although you are correct I would think they can get this done in time for the 2021 season.

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Although you are correct I would think they can get this done in time for the 2021 season.


Normally, sure, but after 2020 and how '21 is going so far? Not so sure, but hoping for the best. I'd like to go in late March and it be open.


Didn't the rep say 57% at the event near the end of the year?  So, that much.


I was close... 57% vs 67%
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16 hours ago, TEDodd said:



 

 


You think they built all the track and shipped it already?

Maybe, but there were no reports of a big pile of track at DW, so I don't think so.

I think it's being built and shipped in many parts. I don't think RMC has space to hold all the track at once and make one big shipment (and all the other project as well). I don't think DW would want to store all the track for months as they install it.
 

 

You do realize how big the employee parking lot is at Dollywood? In the past, anyone could drive up in there and get a nice view of the back parts of Lightning Rod. Sometime in 2020, there is now a security guard at the road to the lot so no general public can go up there. So they could have easily stached all the IBox there and nobody would know. 

Someone posted a construction update video on Youtube showing a majority of the re tracking complete. The current weather is more than likely causing delays but late March seems plausible.

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