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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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3 hours ago, PKI Jizzman said:

I'm 5 hours away, and if I drove down there, paid full price for admission, and it didn't open all day I'd be pissed. I mean is there really a way to find out if it's running then day of other than seeing people post on socials about it? Or is that site posted above dead accurate? Smokey Mountains are cool but hotel room cost is gonna add up if you're just down there literally waiting for the day that it's actually operational. 

I mean yeah, that's the problem lol it was ridiculous, and very annoying to plan for (which for me was basically what you say, watching forums and seeing when it was running generally well, plan a trip and hope) its why Im glad that will no longer be the case. 

 

And yeah tndank I know this ride is a meme by this point but all jokes aside not too worried. Any change is gunna have some kinks to work out, and I generally avoid open of season for this reason. I've had bad experiences at parks in the past not being "up to speed"/well functioning like right at opening, I like to give em at least a couple of weeks. 

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This by no way means the launch system failed. Someone described it as starting out fine and then felt like it slammed on the breaks.

That sounds more like a failsafe sensor not letting it complete the launch. It's like one of the maintenance guys told me one time, this ride has no other place to "stop" so if it needs to fail, it will stop at the point of launch.

I believe this gives the launch a bad rap

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16 hours ago, southpuddle said:

Nothing like cutting down a wild grove of trees to create a land themed to a wild grove of trees 🙃

The implication is that the land will be around for long enough that all the foliage will eventually grow back in.

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8 hours ago, JJLehto said:

I mean yeah, that's the problem lol it was ridiculous, and very annoying to plan for (which for me was basically what you say, watching forums and seeing when it was running generally well, plan a trip and hope) its why Im glad that will no longer be the case. 

 

And yeah tndank I know this ride is a meme by this point but all jokes aside not too worried. Any change is gunna have some kinks to work out, and I generally avoid open of season for this reason. I've had bad experiences at parks in the past not being "up to speed"/well functioning like right at opening, I like to give em at least a couple of weeks. 

This is not a new coaster. The retracking to 2/3's I-Box track should not have affected the launch in any way. These kinks should have been worked out during testing over the last few weeks. I'm sure this is embarrassing for Dollywood after they paid so much money to have it retracked. I'd be really pissed at RMC at this point if I was Dollywood and would consider a lawsuit.

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Maybe nitpicking, but I'm pretty sure that RMC didn't have anything to do with the launch and that it was all Velocity Magnetics out of PA who are responsible for that.  I could be wrong.

Maybe they could bring Intamin in to convert it to a high-speed cable lift like El Toro?

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^I was thinking something more along the lines of donkeys to pull it up the side of the hill. That way there's NO debate it has been slowed down. It would fit the theme of the park perfectly!

image.png.dfeeaa389fdbddc96b0968f78ae04136.png

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3 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

This is not a new coaster. The retracking to 2/3's I-Box track should not have affected the launch in any way. These kinks should have been worked out during testing over the last few weeks. I'm sure this is embarrassing for Dollywood after they paid so much money to have it retracked. I'd be really pissed at RMC at this point if I was Dollywood and would consider a lawsuit.

I mean....this happens. It is what it is, and that seems a little....much? Esp since as you say the changes should have 0 impact on the launch then why would you thus consider a lawsuit? Unless its for a general "You gave us this problematic ride!" but I mean....no one wants to be Six Flags lol Did Cedar Fair sue Intamin for TTD? And talk about the quickest way to totally wreck your sterling reputation with the coaster community....sue the most beloved manufacturer of our time lol 

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On 3/14/2021 at 3:00 AM, Djwadeknox said:

Rollback video from yesterday.

https://youtu.be/IiU2E5dNcDs

Oh boy, Same ol Same ol. Lightning Rod closed down. 🙃 🙄 If they want to stop spending money on refurbing it and have true reliability, they should have admitted it was a failed experiment and just dump the launch system from the equation and have RMC make the main hill taller and add a chain lift while they were in there doing the other modifications and be done with it. They could get away with doing a 200ft drop with that terrain. Unfortunately if this is ongoing, this is not gonna help the ride or the parks image in any way.

 

EDIT: In case I get flamed I was being somewhat facetious in my statement as indicated by the emojis. Lol

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On 3/13/2021 at 9:08 PM, tndank said:

Give it a week or two.  When it's running every day without major problem, take a shot and come down.

 

For a second there, I thought you quoted a post from 06/13/2016.

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If they want to stop spending money on refurbing it and have true reliability, they should have admitted it was a failed experiment and just dump the launch system from the equation


The launch was aborted, not failed.

The same safety systems that caused the abort would stop a chain lift.

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For real, I'm so glad I found this...... 
https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/ride.php?ride=Lightning+Rod&day=2021-03-15
 

We really don't need to wonder.... just check this. You can go back far as you want, so you can see if it was up/how much it was up every day for weeks/months if ya want. Eliminates any question. I'd just check this in a few weeks. If it looks like it's been running all day every day for a few weeks, then all's good : D 

BTW elsewhere I saw another person confirm that it felt exactly the same as before, and if anything the Quad down feels faster. This person also got to talk to the ride op and they said 1: they HAVE tested LRod with 2016 launch speeds, and it was "life changing" but no idea if they will ever go back to that. "Possibly" but ya know....let's not bank on it. They also mentioned all the trees were removed partly due to access like was discussed but also bad storms over the winter downed/weakened a lot of trees. 

So yeah, I'm pretty stoked. It seems they are running 1 train ops right now but I assume this will end as the season progresses. 


 

 

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I wonder if some of the tree-chopping is to make sure there's a wide enough berth around the park in case they end up with bad wildfires again.

Also, Herschend is well known for its conservation efforts, particularly when it comes to replanting trees. Mary Herschend was very adamant that no trees be harmed, and if they needed to be taken down, then two trees for every one cut down had to be planted somewhere else to make up for it. As such, her son Jack Herschend was raised to cherish trees and in 1992 created the Gift of Green tree farm which grows and donates trees. Also, a funny anecdote: Jack was actually fired by his mother several times because of trees cut down that she felt didn't need to be touched.

Here's an article from 2003 talking about the stats from the program's first ten years:
https://www.ksmu.org/post/gift-green-program-provides-free-trees#stream/0

And here's an article from 2011 talking about how the program was going to be closed, but the Joplin tornado prompted them to keep it open and help plant new trees in the city:
https://www.bransontrilakesnews.com/news_free/article_b4215d94-f137-11e0-b4a6-001cc4c002e0.html

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6 hours ago, TEDodd said:


 

 


The launch was aborted, not failed.

The same safety systems that caused the abort would stop a chain lift.
 

 

Not necessarily. There are other factors involved in a launch that don't exist with a chain lift.

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Not necessarily. There are other factors involved in a launch that don't exist with a chain lift.
Sure, but I suspect 90% of the sensors that cause aborted launches would stay if they changed the start. So there would still be a lot of stoppages due to the sensors.

I hope the Fri/Sat was just tweaking the sensitivity of a few sensors and similar tweaks and Sun are the new normal.

I'd also like them to be more forgiving of an aborted launch and treat it more like other parks do with roll-backs (see TTD/KDK relaunches w/o unloading the train).

Maybe unload, hold those people in a queue, run one or two test trains, then load them back up.

5-10 minute delay. Not shut down for an hour or two. Like the 2.5hr closure today. Why was that not just 5-10 minutes?
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1 hour ago, TEDodd said:

Sure, but I suspect 90% of the sensors that cause aborted launches would stay if they changed the start. So there would still be a lot of stoppages due to the sensors.

I hope the Fri/Sat was just tweaking the sensitivity of a few sensors and similar tweaks and Sun are the new normal.

I'd also like them to be more forgiving of an aborted launch and treat it more like other parks do with roll-backs (see TTD/KDK relaunches w/o unloading the train).

Maybe unload, hold those people in a queue, run one or two test trains, then load them back up.

5-10 minute delay. Not shut down for an hour or two. Like the 2.5hr closure today. Why was that not just 5-10 minutes?

The ride operators never give a reason for the shut down. Not sure if it was the sensors. You would think after 4 or so years that they would have the sensor issues worked out. I'll be going again this Wednesday and I'll check it out. I only got to ride 1 time last Friday before it died again, lol.

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Oh, I also hear that Thunderhead, which was already well regarded, feels as fast and good as ever, so I'm pretty excited about that! LRod excitement aside I am stoked to finally visit here. 

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Such an interesting past 10 years for Dollywood with LR issues, changing MM, the topple tower fail turned into a drop tower, the amazing ropes course then turned into the area for Firechaser, and didn't they remove the splash battle? 

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35 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

I just saw that they cleared a ton of trees around Tennessee Tornado too. Man, I normally love this place but WTF are they doing lately?

I wonder if SDC has been clearing trees around their rides as well?? Like is this a Hershend thing?? Orrr??? 

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