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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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1 hour ago, grsupercity said:

Now I am bummed. Mystery Mine was closed on my trip in 2017 (funny though that I actually snagged a ride on lightning Rod) so I was never experience the original section 

Looks like my missed opportunities thread could have some new visitors.

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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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Oof....yeah yet another ride I'm getting too after its been neutered. I mean its Mystery Mine soooooo not that big a deal but it sounds like this was one of the best parts. Well guess I wont know what I'm missing but shame the ride is going to be even lamer now XD 

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My reaction... WTF!? I agree with the others it was one of my favorite rides at the park, now it looks like its gonna have a neutered and shorter ride experience.

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12 hours ago, DBru said:

Dollywood just posted these photos of Mystery Mine.

43FAA038-3B70-4E30-B0CF-B497FDE61AB6.thumb.jpeg.7b2cb30e39671ff04e96e27a45b41e8c.jpeg8682C787-F088-4831-9FDF-1E815DC72E3B.thumb.jpeg.5e98a8c33d8b650a524f2a37cc5f1ea0.jpeg

I’m honestly shocked. They’ve removed my favorite part of the ride (insane drop off the trestle). This would be like Great Adventure removing El Toro’s Rolling Thunder hill or Cedar Point removing Maverick’s Stengel dive.

Hopefully the change comes with a retrofit of lap bars to the trains...but that’s not sounding likely.

Little late to the conversation. But has anyone else noticed that part of the Horseshoe is still there? Also, we have yet to see pictures of the other half of the outside section. There could be work done over there that we cant see. I'm sure we will get a million pictures come Friday.

As for the trains, Pete implied that MM will be using the same trains as last year.

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My guess for Mystery Mine's changes are to make the ride more reliable and smooth. Dollywood is being smart taking a break from prioritizing additions over improvements.

On 3/8/2021 at 8:49 PM, bert425 said:

six flags in Texas are, I believe, $27. ($25 if you pre-buy online)

(but most passes and memberships include parking these days)

It's definitely a good strategy to sell more season passes and memberships.

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Hmmm some of yall may have been right about the launch being slowed own farther. Disclaimer: Its one POV and its March so I know it's not perfect, but there is POV out of the redone Lightning Rod. It DOES look really slow over the top, like it seems to barely crest. Also seems real slow in the wave turn. I'm kinda nervous the first half is gunna be neutered. People have already said the 1st half was never quite the same after they slowed the launch originally so :(

OR its an empty train on new track in March so it may be deceptive esp since POVs are never perfect at conveying feel lol And I know some claimed it'll be as fast over most of it/even quicker second half due to the new smoothness. But still.....I know its supposed to be wild from drop to end, if it feels a little underwhelming I'll know its a neutered ride. I'd be doubly bummed since I had everything ready to go last year..... Hope Im wrong and it wont be subdued!

 

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Just saw the Mystery Mine retrack... 🤮🤮🤮

Could be maintenance, could be the GP. Could be the drop, could be the turn. We'll probably never find out.

All I know is, however choppy and strange the first half already was... it just got worse.

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53 minutes ago, IanKgtr said:

Just saw the Mystery Mine retrack... 🤮🤮🤮

Could be maintenance, could be the GP. Could be the drop, could be the turn. We'll probably never find out.

All I know is, however choppy and strange the first half already was... it just got worse.

It's not done yet. They are still waiting on parts. I loved it the way it was, but some people found it too jerky, so they are trying to fix those rough spots. I'll be there tomorrow for season pass holder preview day and I'll take a look because Mystery Mine won't be running, but we can still walk underneath the track and take some photos.

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1 hour ago, JJLehto said:

Hmmm some of yall may have been right about the launch being slowed own farther. Disclaimer: Its one POV and its March so I know it's not perfect, but there is POV out of the redone Lightning Rod. It DOES look really slow over the top, like it seems to barely crest. Also seems real slow in the wave turn. I'm kinda nervous the first half is gunna be neutered. People have already said the 1st half was never quite the same after they slowed the launch originally so :(

OR its an empty train on new track in March so it may be deceptive esp since POVs are never perfect at conveying feel lol And I know some claimed it'll be as fast over most of it/even quicker second half due to the new smoothness. But still.....I know its supposed to be wild from drop to end, if it feels a little underwhelming I'll know its a neutered ride. I'd be doubly bummed since I had everything ready to go last year..... Hope Im wrong and it wont be subdued!

 

I watched the video too and it looks exactly the same speed to me. I think watching the video and actually riding it will be key here. I'll report back tomorrow night after riding it.

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I made a side-by-side comparison of the new POV with a previous one filmed in the same position by the same team.

http://www.youtubemultiplier.com/604a8689ebd50-lightning-rod-comparison.php

New on the left, old on the right.

New one seems a lot slower over the top and first drop, and generally through the layout? Obviously some of that is gonna be because it's new and cold, but it's still a fair difference to make up! The old video is 30 seconds shorter, and some of that will be fluff like station and credits faff, but it's still big gap?

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^ I'm sorry, but the launch up the lift hill looks EXACTLY the same.

it's slower cresting the hill because of an empty train (and the cold).

I see no difference in the launch speed.

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^ I'm sorry, but the launch up the lift hill looks EXACTLY the same.
...
I see no difference in the launch speed.


Agree. I think it's the temperature.
I stopped and resynced in a few spots. It'd stay in sync for a while then the current would get a bit behind. But it seemed to take a bit, not a stead shifts like it was slower overall.

Particularly I got them in sync coming out of the turn from the station, before the launch and they seemed to crest the hill together.
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On 3/9/2021 at 5:53 PM, michaellynn4 said:

I somehow totally missed this. Was that horseshoe element that bad maintenance-wise? I enjoyed it when I rode it, can't imagine it was reprofiled due to complaints.

I'm not so sure it was a maintenance issue, but they supposedly received a lot of complaints about that section being too rough and jerky. I loved it, but I guess others did not. I'm hoping there was more added to it that we don't see in those two photos, otherwise it will be shorter and not extended like the park rep had stated.

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Considering Lightning Rod was running at 0 mph for a large amount of its life, I don't care if it's 1-2 mph slower if it means the ride is open more often.  That being said, this POV was probably taken in the worst possible conditions (empty train, not warmed up, cold day) and it's still hauling by the end. 

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54 minutes ago, Dar said:

I made a side-by-side comparison of the new POV with a previous one filmed in the same position by the same team.

http://www.youtubemultiplier.com/604a8689ebd50-lightning-rod-comparison.php

New on the left, old on the right.

New one seems a lot slower over the top and first drop, and generally through the layout? Obviously some of that is gonna be because it's new and cold, but it's still a fair difference to make up! The old video is 30 seconds shorter, and some of that will be fluff like station and credits faff, but it's still big gap?

 

15 minutes ago, Canobie Coaster said:

Considering Lightning Rod was running at 0 mph for a large amount of its life, I don't care if it's 1-2 mph slower if it means the ride is open more often.  That being said, this POV was probably taken in the worst possible conditions (empty train, not warmed up, cold day) and it's still hauling by the end. 

If you look at the side-by-side videos, the lift does appear to be slower over the first crest, but if you time both of them pulling out of the gate and stop them both at the same spot on the last brake run, it's only a few seconds difference that I don't think any riders will notice. They just want the ride to be running and not closed all the time. I know last season, I went to Lightning Rod many, many times only to find it closed.

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I expected the "1-2 mph slower is better than moving at 0" / "slower and reliable > unreliable" type of comment was coming so: 1 I dont care. I just dont, tis my venting :) 2 its annoying when that type of comment comes from people who've ridden...like yeah, easy for you to say lol Like, ya gotta at least give us that one. "pfffft quit whining this is better than it not running" from someone whos ridden something multiple times to the person who's never experienced it. Not here necessarily IDK who has, but I've gotten that from others and for other rides in the past and sorry, its not real helpful lol 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway I did acknowledge it could be time of year and empty train. I shall await rider reviews. But yeah aint apologizing. Its valid to be concerned it may run slower only been trying to ride this for years and I cant help big daddy rona thwarted last time. I guess it's my eyes. Even in that side by side...it looks slower. BUT I had my vent, not gunna sweat it now. We shall see. Long as people say the ride feels unchanged that's all that matters. 


 

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3 minutes ago, JJLehto said:

I expected the "1-2 mph slower is better than moving at 0" / "slower and reliable > unreliable" type of comment was coming so: 1 I dont care. I just dont, tis my venting :) 2 its annoying when that type of comment comes from people who've ridden...like yeah, easy for you to say lol Like, ya gotta at least give us that one. "pfffft quit whining this is better than it not running" from someone whos ridden something multiple times to the person who's never experienced it. Not here necessarily IDK who has, but I've gotten that from others and for other rides and sorry, its not real helpful lol 

I haven't ridden it and I completely disagree with your second point here. I made my only trip to Dollywood a few years back and would have very happily ridden it running slower than normal, instead of not riding it at all. These changes are finally making me consider a trip back to the park as long as it helps the reliability. Coasterbill's side-by-side more accurately describes my 2+ days at the park than the other side-by-side.

That said, sure the ride is running slower in the new video but this isn't even a remotely fair comparison. Look at any video of any roller coaster running an empty train in the cold next to a full train in warm weather and there's going to be a difference. If you were going to try to compare a POV, at least do it with something comparable like a POV taken before the ride ever opened with topper track. But still, just don't because it's pointless.

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That's A OK. You are free to disagree but unlike the internet's usual response I shan't counter or argue, bc you can feel that way and its ok. Just like how I can have mine : D 

I will say, I saw another discussion about this and someone did bring up RMC's are temperamental, which is fair, and apparently this video was recorded very early and it was 40 degrees. So that would certainly explain it. This person said they've seen El Toro test in similar conditions and it looks slow as hell, crawling even. SO that helps a lot. I also appreciated they didnt say Im blind/dumb/crazy (ok ok I may be dumb and crazy but me eyes deff work!). Not like it took away from my overall excitement. Hear nothing but rave things about this place so I'm quite ready to finally make it. 

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I have no horse in this, I'm probably never going to get over to ride it, I just thought it was an interesting comparison!

I originally tried it with the first POVs with the original front car and it was a massive difference in speed, so that would have been even less fair 😛

If you line up the big drops, the old one gains speed faster and hits the brakes before the new one reaches the bottom of the big final turn, so it's going to be fun watching it regain that speed as it warms up!

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29 minutes ago, Dar said:

I have no horse in this, I'm probably never going to get over to ride it, I just thought it was an interesting comparison!

I originally tried it with the first POVs with the original front car and it was a massive difference in speed, so that would have been even less fair 😛

If you line up the big drops, the old one gains speed faster and hits the brakes before the new one reaches the bottom of the big final turn, so it's going to be fun watching it regain that speed as it warms up!

Appreciate the effort! And yeah I mean people, don't tell me my eyes don't work, its clearly slower. Now sometimes my brain doesn't work XD I didn't think about oh right its been brutal cold lately, it may have been morning, nor did I consider slight differences in perspective can look very different. 

Ah dont say that! For making the video: If you ever get to the states I'll pay for your Dollywood ticket! 

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I really can't stress enough how people have been saying since half-way through the first season that the ride has been slowed down, the launch is slower and whatever else. I'm not saying that people should be happy with a diminished ride experience and suck it up so it operates, I'm saying that it's **probably** not diminished and the "I rode it when it was better" crowd is lying to themselves so they feel cool for being one of the six people to successfully ride it when it first opened.

I have no doubt that the day the ride opens and the train is half empty for social distancing and it's cold and crappy out these people will be blowing up the internet talking about how much better it used to be but let's wait and see if that's actually even true. I'm optimistic that it won't be.

PS: everyone also complained about a pothole endlessly that won't exist any more, so maybe it will actually be better!

Now Mystery Mine? That's a different story. lol

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26 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

I really can't stress enough how people have been saying since half-way through the first season that the ride has been slowed down, the launch is slower and whatever else. I'm not saying that people should be happy with a diminished ride experience and suck it up so it operates, I'm saying that it's **probably** not diminished and the "I rode it when it was better" crowd is lying to themselves so they feel cool for being one of the six people to successfully ride it when it first opened.

Everyone also complained about a pothole endlessly that won't exist any more, so maybe it will actually be better!

Now Mystery Mine? That's a different story. lol

Oh yeah I know the launch was slowed down years ago, but that never seemed to be a problem everyone always said it hauled ass and noticed no difference sans a less airtimey first hill but the ride was unchanged. If any did gripe that was too much "neutrering" yeah that was deff online ego stroking lol

Nah I was worried it may have been slowed even more so this offseason, to the point where it would be noticeable. But yeah probably not. 

EDIT: Someone nerdier than me actually crunched the numbers. Eyes do deceive. The latest video, despite it being a cold morning empty train, is at worst 2 seconds slower and by the end actually was a second faster. Go figure. So yeah its certainly slower through that first half but 1-2 seconds isnt much. Should deff be unchanged/unnoticeable at full speed. I broke this open so here's my apology. 

lol Mystery Mine. You are one of the few people who seem to like it but even that, I can't experience its full glory XD 

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If operating Kraken (SWO) taught me anything, it's that run times vary GREATLY depending on weather/weight/etc. There is a timer for every cycle that showed on the screen and it always shocked me how big of a variance there was from a cold morning to a sunny afternoon. A 2 second difference in the videos you saw doesnt mean anything. Just as any other coaster I'd assume you'll see a much wider variance than two seconds even during the same day for the exact same ride so comparing the two isn't really a fair comparison if it's only 2 seconds because I'm sure you can find two POVs on the old lightning rod or two POVs on the new lightning rod and see the same variance.

All of that being said, looking forward to trying this again! reallyhappy_b.gif.5fc766159aa9b89994f6caded7fb9ea4.gif

As someone else said, visibly I've seen el toro crawl through the layout on a windy day (and subsequently valley near the end of the ride, lol) which is unheard of to most people.

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Yup I apologize for opening the can of worms. It just looks so sluggish, I can't believe its only 2-3 seconds slower but eyes deceive, numbers don't. That deff can be made up from temp and weight alone. I just sweat it seemed so much worse than that but there ya go. Just hoping late May will be enough for it to get fully warmed up! 
Wow El Toro valleying?? That really is unimaginable. 

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