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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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Naa, two trains don't help it much. It stacks like crazy
That's some the fault of the ride ops, but even more the riders.


I remember a few trains that unloaded, loaded, and dispatched smoothly. But certainly wasn't the norm. Seems there's always a couple that don't get the plan and slow things down.


And of course the ride is so short you'll always hit the brake run before the next train is loaded. But I think with smooth ops/riders they could get 50% more throughput than single train.

Back in the 1st or 2nd year Pete Owens gave the expected riders per hour but I don't remember the number.
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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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2 hours ago, dstephe9 said:
3 hours ago, JJLehto said:
Or not go when it's spring break! Now that it (I assume) will be running 2 trains I think all will be fine going forward. 
If not well yeah thats what TimeSaver is for! 

Naa, two trains don't help it much. It stacks like crazy

lol this ride is cursed. 

Well, I'll hope for the best, but if things seem jammed, can TimeSavers be bought day of?

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1 hour ago, TEDodd said:

That's some the fault of the ride ops, but even more the riders.


I remember a few trains that unloaded, loaded, and dispatched smoothly. But certainly wasn't the norm seems there's always a couple that don't get the plan and slow things down.


And of course the rude to e is so short you'll always hit the brake run before the next train I'd loaded. But I think with smooth opaque/riders they could get 50% more throughput than single train.

Back in the 1st or 2nd year Pete Owens gave the expected riders per hour but I don't remember the number.

I can't count how many times I've sat in the scorching sun outside of the station because someone boarding refused to accept that they couldn't fit in the seat. Everyone should be entitled to a 30-second shot clock. After that, time to pack it up.

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lol this ride is cursed. 


Just the nature of a short ride. It's listed as 3 minutes, but we know it's shorter from dispatch to brake run.

I just don't see a train rolling in, unloading, reloading and being ready for dispatch when the previous train hits the brake run.

But they could dispatch with only a 30 second wait if they didn't spend forever trying to get bars latched and dealing with loose articles late in the process. How hard is it to have everything ready before the entry gates open?

Well, I'll hope for the best, but if things seem jammed, can TimeSavers be bought day of?
They've been selling out onlIne. I think they save some for in park sale, but they probably go fast.
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16 hours ago, JJLehto said:

Or not go when it's spring break! Now that it (I assume) will be running 2 trains I think all will be fine going forward. 

If not well yeah thats what TimeSaver is for! 

It doesn't matter if it is spring break or not. They were not even at capacity, which is reduced because of COVID. Expect longer lines when the park goes full capacity again when the restrictions are lifted. The park wasn't busy, but everyone wanted to ride Lightning Rod for sure.

 

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3 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

It doesn't matter if it is spring break or not. They were not even at capacity, which is reduced because of COVID. Expect longer lines when the park goes full capacity again when the restrictions are lifted. The park wasn't busy, but everyone wanted to ride Lightning Rod for sure.

 

Nah it deff matters lol I mean its spring break. You're local so its whatever but coming from a distance all about planning the best ya can :)
Eh I've asked every year about the time of year I am planning and I've never gotten anything but "It will be quiet and if not totally quiet the TimeSaver will allow easy marathoning" I aint concerned. Limited capacity also means slower ops, full capacity means more crowd but ya know its not limited, so it all balances out. All will be fine, if its busy thats what TimeSaver is for. 

Speaking of, so can you buy TimeSaver day of? Would hate to get one before and its unnecessary but not sure if they're usually available day of. 

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30 minutes ago, JJLehto said:



Speaking of, so can you buy TimeSaver day of? Would hate to get one before and its unnecessary but not sure if they're usually available day of. 

Normally you can.  But, they have sold out many times so far this year days ahead of time.  Slower time of year, probably safe except maybe Saturday.

 

 

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Has anyone had luck buying Timesavers at the park? I tried buying one online but they are sold out for my date.

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5 hours ago, I306 said:

Has anyone had luck buying Timesavers at the park? I tried buying one online but they are sold out for my date.

They only sell a limited quantity for each day. If they are sold out online, then they will also be sold out at the park. When you try to buy online it will show how many are remaining for that particular day. If the number remaining is high, then you might be able to buy one at the park. However, I've seen them have 75 available and check two days later and they are have all been sold. Buy as soon as you can. With reduced hours and being closed two days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is a huge demand to get into the park, especially from season pass holders. I believe there won't be any slow or less crowded days this season unless it is a very rainy day.

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18 minutes ago, u4icmusic said:

They only sell a limited quantity for each day. If they are sold out online, then they will also be sold out at the park. When you try to buy online it will show how many are remaining for that particular day. If the number remaining is high, then you might be able to buy one at the park. However, I've seen them have 75 available and check two days later and they are have all been sold. Buy as soon as you can. With reduced hours and being closed two days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is a huge demand to get into the park, especially from season pass holders. I believe there won't be any slow or less crowded days this season unless it is a very rainy day.

Someone in one of the Dollywood groups on Facebook said they called the park and were told that the Timesaver reservation facility inside the park is allocated 100 each day. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

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Quick note: They only sell 125/day right now.  Sold out until April 11th.  Normally they do 500.  I've also heard they have them at the park but I was lead to believe it was much lower than 100 and you need to there at open and go straight there.  Good luck.

 

 

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Just bought one at the park. But I was there a little after 9, so not sure how fast they will go.

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Good to know thanks all. And oh I'll be there at (and before) gate opening. But I always do that. Would be a pretty terrible enthusiast otherwise haha 

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19 hours ago, I306 said:

Someone in one of the Dollywood groups on Facebook said they called the park and were told that the Timesaver reservation facility inside the park is allocated 100 each day. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

When calling the park 5 times, you might get 5 different answers from 5 different Dollywood phone reps. You cannot believe everything they tell you because they don't always have the correct answers, which is unfortunate. At least you can check on the website and see how many are available for pre-order. I've never seen them sold out online then checked at the park to see if they get any additional inside the park, but I will check the next time I go, as I always get there an hour early.

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Did you not see he bought one today?  They were sold out online.  So they def have them at the park but you need to be early on that type of day.

 

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3 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

When calling the park 5 times, you might get 5 different answers from 5 different Dollywood phone reps. You cannot believe everything they tell you because they don't always have the correct answers, which is unfortunate. At least you can check on the website and see how many are available for pre-order. I've never seen them sold out online then checked at the park to see if they get any additional inside the park, but I will check the next time I go, as I always get there an hour early.

Yeah I ended up getting one. I should have asked the guy there how many they typically have on hand each day. They’d know better than customer service. But it makes sense that they’d have at least some at the park to account for no-shows.

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You ended up having a good day I306?  Seems like weather was off and on all day.  Hopefully you got a bunch done in the park and had some Lighting Rod rain rides.

 

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10 hours ago, tndank said:

You ended up having a good day I306?  Seems like weather was off and on all day.  Hopefully you got a bunch done in the park and had some Lighting Rod rain rides.

 

I'm in Knoxville, and it rained a lot of the day yesterday and very hard at times and there was some (not a lot) lightning, so hopefully the rides stayed open most of the day and the crowds were probably small due to the rain. I've gone to the park later in the day after heavy rains have stopped and been there with just a handful of people. Works every time, but you have to watch the weather and hope it is accurate. Don't want to drive there if it is going to start raining again.

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20 hours ago, tndank said:

You ended up having a good day I306?  Seems like weather was off and on all day.  Hopefully you got a bunch done in the park and had some Lighting Rod rain rides.

 

Eh, it was alright. The rides were up and down due to the weather. I did get my first-ever Lightning Rod rollback which was a fitting way to end the day. Seems like it still doesn't play well with the rain.

Speaking of which, it doesn't look like it had a good day today: https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/ride.php?ride=Lightning Rod&day=2021-03-28

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Was in the park yesterday...

Proper mask usage is probably hovering around 25% across guests and employees. 

Physical distancing non-existent. Might as well take the markers up from the ground. 

Employee enforcement of either isn't a thing. 

 

If you're even a little worried about COVID, which I gather noone living in this area is, then avoid at all costs. 

 

We got to the park around 3pm and it was a rather nice day. The rain must have scared people away. Walked onto everything, except Lightning Rod, which was closed up until 30 minutes before the park closed. We got in line, and watched it roll back. I just assume that I will never ride this ride. 

I'm actually in line for rope drop right now, so here's hoping. I don't see it testing, so I imagine it's down for the day. 

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I guess I’m aloof, but I felt that mask compliance was well over 50%. And I was surprised by the number of employees I saw reminding guests to wear them correctly. I’m very covid-conscious (a lifelong germaphobe) and never felt that uncomfortable aside from a few spots in queues where physical distancing was nonexistent. But I can at least control the space between me and the party ahead of me. Leading by example. Thankfully, the storms thinned out the crowds so it was never too bad. And Timesaver definitely helped prevent spending too much time waiting in line close to others. Plus, I think it’s widely agreed upon that the risk of outdoor covid transmission is incredibly low, so even moderate crowds don’t concern me that much. And the park is large enough that it’s fairly easy to steer clear of any bottlenecks.

Pigeon Forge, on the other hand, was a total clusterfuck. I went straight from the park to my hotel. I felt like I was driving through the covid convention.

I feel for the park and the ongoing issues with LR. The one good thing I guess is that the money they spent on the new track will ensure that the coaster is here for the long-haul. Hopefully they’ll be able to get it working reliably — with both trains. As much as I love it, an hour is the longest I can wait.

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^&^^ Thank you both for your reports.  I really hope Lightning Rod can get somewhat reliable, I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous after this long and after taking it down for over half a year. 

I really hope that we can get the Covid thing under control because the reports I keep hearing from everyone about Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg make me want to stay away.  I was pleasantly surprised while in Texas as we only ran into two places in a week that were scary no masks as if Covid didn't exist.  Sounds like Tennessee would be worse. 

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16 minutes ago, SharkTums said:

^&^^ Thank you both for your reports.  I really hope Lightning Rod can get somewhat reliable, I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous after this long and after taking it down for over half a year. 

I really hope that we can get the Covid thing under control because the reports I keep hearing from everyone about Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg make me want to stay away.  I was pleasantly surprised while in Texas as we only ran into two places in a week that were scary no masks as if Covid didn't exist.  Sounds like Tennessee would be worse. 

What’s most concerning about PF and Gatlinburg is that the visitor demographic tends to skew older to the more vulnerable populations. I told myself that all the seniors I saw were probably already vaccinated, but that’s unlikely given the number of people in the state and surrounding areas who aren’t taking it.

The day is still young, but it appears LR is already struggling.

https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/ride.php?ride=Lightning Rod&day=2021-03-29

Sigh.

 

 

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Yeah, I mean I get it...these are not exactly simple toys and it is still kinda early, kinks will always need some time to iron out (and I'm assuming they will be in a month and half from now) but it IS a little odd that after the huge retracking it's running....not terribly consistently and with just 1 train.

I guess this is where I wish I knew the engineering aspects....like I have no doubt there are understandable reasons, but to a pleb like me it is like "what's the issue?" "How can there be issues running 2 trains its all RMC, whats the problem?" "I thought the problem was track deterioration, with that resolved why are the trains acting up?/Whats going on?" if anyone knows feel free to let me know! (If don't wanna make it a public thing esp as they tend to draw random debates feel free to PM me) 

EDIT: On another note. Even some of the not usual grumblers were a bit grumbly about the MM changes. Well, looks like they added trims to the already neutered part? (Note: No idea if active, didn't take photo etc but gotta share)
 

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