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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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On 2/24/2021 at 3:29 PM, coasterbill said:

Is it me or did they cut down a ton more trees?

I wonder, could the removal be for safety? The speed that the train has as it comes back over the mountain; if a branch fell, that could be disasters for the riders. I know other coasters fly through trees, but I wonder if Dollywood wanted to open it up for safety or accessibility. It does seem odd, since Dollywood strives for conservation and replanting of trees. The park said this back in 2009

Quote

"The abundance of trees in and around the park also allows Dollywood to enhance its sustainability efforts.... [T]he park uses a 6 or 7 to 1 rule, meaning "If you have a tree that dies or has to be removed, we replace it with 6 or 7 trees somewhere on the property.""

So, just from Lightning Rod hillside that's a lot of trees to replant. 

Or maybe the bees from Wild Eagle moved to those woods so they cut it down 😂

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Yeah not to be that guy but I'd be curious to know where all the tree replacements are for the ones they cleared for Wildwood Grove and the Lightning Rod upgrade... Seems to be a bit of a stretch. They got a lot of planting to do.

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Timesavers are digital this year on your phone. You can get a paper at the office it says.  Cheaper options appears to be 8 rides with no restrictions.

Lightning Rod is still missing from the web page (and thus, from TimeSaver) currently. 

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1 hour ago, sdcfan88 said:

Yeah not to be that guy but I'd be curious to know where all the tree replacements are for the ones they cleared for Wildwood Grove and the Lightning Rod upgrade... Seems to be a bit of a stretch. They got a lot of planting to do.

Naw. They'll probably buy grown trees from an already established nursery that does this for parks like them and Disney.

Or, probably like Disney, they'll grow the trees in a nursery like setting, them self. Problem solved!

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On 2/26/2021 at 6:53 AM, Jdprince45 said:

Boy there is A LOT. to unpack here. Lightning Rod -SOUNDS- awesome now. That RMC roar is something even on video, I can't imagine in person. Looks like it hauls up that launch hill again like it used too... also I notice the lead car is back on once more (the original car I think). They're halfway done retracking the original track on Thunderhead with South American Ipe, or Ironwood.  RMC apparently is also working on Blazing Fury as well which I did not know.... they're retracking that as well. Mystery Mine retracking is continuing after that trestle part... Sounds like they aren't going to be able to open it on opening day though. "Reprofiling" it, apparently...  They've completely demolished one of the store buildings around one of the larger outdoor seating areas, I'm not sure exactly where... It looks a lot more open though without it. They've moved the blacksmith shop, and the gentleman behind the glass blowing part of the store has retired. They're still gonna sell some of his glassworks, but his actual work area will no longer exist. I believe they've moved the blacksmith area into where the pottery area used to be.... They've repainted and put a new roof on the church there. New seating area being added for the Hickory House BBQ area. A LOT of work going on in Craftsman Valley.  The building that once housed the southern gospel museum is getting a facelift as well...

Looks like they went and focused a lot of money into revamping the park a bit this year, particularly that Craftsman Valley area.  Just from that video, I can't remember them every doing this much work to the park. Can't wait to see it.

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1 hour ago, thrillseeker4552 said:

Nice to hear about all the improvements going on at the park. I am interested to see what happens with Mystery Mine. I have never ridden it, but retracking/reprofiling a steel coaster is always interesting and a bit unusual.

The first half of Mystery Mine needs to some work in terms of reprofiling. The second half is a very good coaster. 

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5 hours ago, SSL said:

Lightning Rod -SOUNDS- awesome now. That RMC roar is something even on video, I can't imagine in person.

Yeah noticed that too. Almost sounds B&M-ish if that's a term. lol

At the same time the more I look into it, the more I feel the same as coasterbill regarding the interest in the Mystery Mine project a few posts back. It will be interesting to see if they rework the interior theming and even the finale segment too.

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Well I'm committed. Either late April or mid May I'll finally be going. I know caveat: anything can happen in a year like this. But in general, are weekdays in mid May usually crowded? Just torn between making this a solo trip or tacking it onto my larger southern road trip, only difference would be late April 24-30ish vs like May 18-20ish 

 

Also never been to the area. If there are any recs/tips for stuff to do in Knoxville, Gatlinburg, or hiking I am all ears. I know the Smoky Mnt Park is not far. 

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Yes! So glad it'll be open (and running consistently!) for when I finally go. 
I am not holding any hope they will restore the launch to its original speed, (they removed some of the LIMs right?) but still will be eagerly awaiting to hear how it's riding in its new steel form! Still torn if I wanna make this part of a big ol may road trip or go solo in April, $ will likely determine. 
 

On 2/28/2021 at 5:27 PM, teacherkim said:

We MIGHT be in the area May 16th -18th. If you like to hike then definitely stay in Gatlinburg, still a short drive into Pigeon Forge and near several trailheads for hiking.

Thanks! I do love hiking and I hear the mountains are just superb in that area. 

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Lightning Rod is opening with the park (3/12 passholder preview day, 3/13 for general public)
Go ahead and make reservations now if you have season passes. Seems to be filling up
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From what I'm seeing elsewhere, the launch will actually be powered down slightly, but the speed should feel roughly the same as before due to less friction with the I-Box track.

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Oof....I hope! I already feel bad (and comments always drive this home lol) I've not gotten to experience the original form and after the launch changes the first half was noticeable slower (still great, and the second half supposedly felt unchanged) so I hope the speed is unchanged. Would hate for the ride to be neutered....but yeah I heard similar speculation now that it'll be smoother it should help the speed throughout. 

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Also let's not forget, with all this talk of LR and Mystery Mine work, isn't RMC also retracking Blazing Fury?
Now THIS is a the cred I am really interested in! The baddest RMC on the block now, cant wait XD 

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54 minutes ago, JJLehto said:

Also let's not forget, with all this talk of LR and Mystery Mine work, isn't RMC also retracking Blazing Fury?
Now THIS is a the cred I am really interested in! The baddest RMC on the block now, cant wait XD 

They could technically be RMC'ing an RMC here as well.  They did work on the final drops a few years back.  I'm going to guess they are doing the bridge section this time.

They have been testing LR a good bit.  It'll be ready unless something crazy happens.

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Also let's not forget, with all this talk of LR and Mystery Mine work, isn't RMC also retracking Blazing Fury?
Now THIS is a the cred I am really interested in! The baddest RMC on the block now, cant wait XD 
This is ONLY bc the original track is very similar to IBOX. RMC did the drop area several years ago, before LR.

This will be nothing special
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3 hours ago, dstephe9 said:

This is ONLY bc the original track is very similar to IBOX. RMC did the drop area several years ago, before LR.

This will be nothing special

Oh thanks for clarifying... I see my totally serious statement about Blazing Fury being an RMC now is actually incorrect....

  • Haha 2
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