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Dollywood Discussion Thread

P. 771: Onsite employee housing under construction at Dollywood

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but Dolly's selling the park to her partners and wants nothing to do it anymore.

the dippin dots guy told a facilities/cleaning guy, who told the clerk at the stand selling the airbrushed t-shirts - and someone overheard while walking by on the way to buy Cinnamon Bread.

so this CAN'T be true !!!

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Well that resort looks fantastic, it has a very "Disney's Wilderness Lodge" feel to it, which is a good thing! 

 

Ya know, I've never really thought about it but for as comparable as Silver Dollar City and Dollywood area (similar size and style parks, in similar vacation destination areas) it's kind of strange that Dollywood is working on their second resort in addition to the cabins they offer, but Silver Dollar City doesn't have any lodging options other than a camp ground with a few cabins. I wonder why they're willing to invest so much into resort offerings in Pigeon Forge and not in Branson?

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I think Dollywood averages about a million more visitors per year.  (~30% more)

Maybe the paid parking helps build resorts?

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Djwadeknox said:

I think we will see a new Dark Ride for 2022 that goes along with the nature theme. Back in 2019 they sent a survey out with one of the choices being a firefly dark ride. See screenshot below for details from the survey. I think 2023 is the next coaster opportunity. Great way to get folks to book a resort stay to ride the new world-class coaster.  This is just my opinion and I have no inside information from anyone at the park except for the dippin dots guy. 😆 

D7C19541-0B45-4BF4-9261-2135783C0A51.jpeg

The park president actually says at the end of the announcement video for the resort that there will be a "record breaking new attraction" in 2023. Sooo coaster? But that could mean a lot of things.

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5 hours ago, Djwadeknox said:

I think we will see a new Dark Ride for 2022 that goes along with the nature theme. Back in 2019 they sent a survey out with one of the choices being a firefly dark ride. See screenshot below for details from the survey. I think 2023 is the next coaster opportunity. Great way to get folks to book a resort stay to ride the new world-class coaster.  This is just my opinion and I have no inside information from anyone at the park except for the dippin dots guy. 😆

If I ran a park that operated for 9 1/2 months out of the year in a place where it snows and I was adding another hotel but a lot of the draw is already indoor shows I would just go on an indoor-ride-building-binge and then go year-round like BGW.

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5 hours ago, Hilltopper39 said:

Well that resort looks fantastic, it has a very "Disney's Wilderness Lodge" feel to it, which is a good thing! 

 

Ya know, I've never really thought about it but for as comparable as Silver Dollar City and Dollywood area (similar size and style parks, in similar vacation destination areas) it's kind of strange that Dollywood is working on their second resort in addition to the cabins they offer, but Silver Dollar City doesn't have any lodging options other than a camp ground with a few cabins. I wonder why they're willing to invest so much into resort offerings in Pigeon Forge and not in Branson?

Simple. More people go to Pigeon Forge than Branson. More people live within a reasonable drive of Pigeon Forge than Branson. Spend the money where you can make the money.

 

Very happy about the new resort. Dream More is a fantastic hotel, and I'm sure the quality on this one will be similar. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to start packing....

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Pretty neat to see Dollywood expanding by half a billion dollars over the next 10 years... I was worried with the pandemic that it would be hindered, but it seems like they're ready to continue on... I don't think the dark ride idea is a bad idea for 2022, but I feel like if they were going to do something for next year, we'd have already heard it... Likely another expansion to wildwood grove if it does happen...

That 2023 record breaking attraction has my attention for sure though. I wonder just what they might have up their sleeves, but I have a sneaking suspicion if it's a coaster, I know where it is gonna go already. That area around the Mountain slidewinder which we know has been pretty much abandoned for a while now seems the most likely spot for a BIG. coaster. It would absolutely dominate the front of the park, standing tall over the big amphitheater area near the entrance of the park. Especially if you have the entrance for it back near Barnstormer. There's a lot of space up there... lot of terrain too... Course I could also be completely talking out my you know what here, either way, I'm excited to see what they have planned.

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Wow that is quite an expansion! On top of a park that's already blown up a good bit, and yeah on top of the pandemic. THAT is impressive/dedication. They need to watch out, at this rate it may lose its beloved "smaller gem" status among enthusiasts and become "corporate" XD XD XD 

But nah good stuff, I already want to go back and IF they had some time of record breaking coaster for 2023 pencil me in already! 

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Hope I can hang on for the next ten years, to see what Dolly and her staff have in store for everybody. 🥰

The new to-be Resort Hotel looks very nice.  And very 'woodsy'.

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11 hours ago, coasterbill said:

If I ran a park that operated for 9 1/2 months out of the year in a place where it snows and I was adding another hotel but a lot of the draw is already indoor shows I would just go on an indoor-ride-building-binge and then go year-round like BGW.

I mean they already operate most of their rides in December anyways. Wouldn't be much of a leap from them to do it now, but a few more indoor rides wouldn't hurt.

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I didn't see the sign for single riders for Lighting Rod, so I waited a long time yesterday morning. I got in line at 9:45. They were only running one train when they opened the ride at 10 am, so it was SLOW going. Then there was a rollback just as I was close to boarding. That took another 30 minutes to fix, then run test trains. The next time I went to ride Lighting Rod is when I happened to see the single rider line. After you walk up the stairs, there is another sign that tells single riders to go into the middle lane, which is also used for Parent Swap riders. It's a bit confusing, but on the third try I got it right. The first time I used the single rider line, I stayed in the Time Saver line, which was not correct and the ride host made me go to the back of the single rider line in the Parent Swap queue, which I did. So, if you go as a single rider, go into the Time Saver line, then go to the middle queue. The sign overhead still says Parent Swap, but the line is really for single riders. They never put a second train on while I was there. It appears the partial retracking didn't help the issues or reliability. The second photo shows the maintenance crew totally dumbfounded  about what caused the rollback. Then a guy reached down and appeared to adjust a sensor and the ride started back up. The same thing happened when I was there two weeks ago at about the same time. It rained off and on most of the day, but the park was fairly empty and all the rides were running, most with no lines. It was a fantastic day to go.

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13 hours ago, JJLehto said:

Wow that is quite an expansion! On top of a park that's already blown up a good bit, and yeah on top of the pandemic. THAT is impressive/dedication. They need to watch out, at this rate it may lose its beloved "smaller gem" status among enthusiasts and become "corporate" XD XD XD 

But nah good stuff, I already want to go back and IF they had some time of record breaking coaster for 2023 pencil me in already! 

I think “small gem” ship sailed a year or so ago. It’s still a unique product, but they definitely have their eyes on a bigger prize these days. 

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On 5/20/2021 at 9:58 AM, TEDodd said:

It'll always be a woodie to me.

It was designed as such and will never compete with tubular steel coasters. Different design paradigms. 

 

As for night rides, it's s whole new beast. When overcast/no moon, the drop is into darkness and no light til the quad down. 

It was designed with Topper Track, which is and was tubular steel. That is how the partial retracking worked put so seamlessly. Both the steel tracks were the same size. The only difference is that the Topper Track had wood underneath it while the I-Box track has steel underneath it. The part the trains ride on are identical, therefore Lightning Rod was never a wooden coaster from day one since it was always on tubular steel track. It was all a marketing gimmick by Dollywood and RMC. Lighting Rod has always been a hybrid steel coaster. It feels exactly the same now as it did before the retrack. The only difference is that it is more durable with the stronger I-Box track because the wood under the Topper Track could not take the impact.

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2 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

It was designed with Topper Track, which is and was tubular steel. 

Well Thunderhead rides on a steel plate on top of the wood stack. Difference between topper is just the steel box replacing the upper layers of wood. Most people don't consider square/rectangular shapes tubes, tubes are circular, like a straw or pipe.

But my point was it was designed with the same criteria used by traditional steel topped wood tracks. That's quite different from how round tubular steel designs (like TT, MM, FCE, and WE) are done. And that's the differentiation to me, not the track material or the support structure. Could it be done with traditional track.

LR could have been built with traditional steel plate on wood, Topper Track, I-Box, or even they new 208 RetraK. Just a matter of longevity. Given what happened to the Topper Track, it would have chewed through traditional wood track really fast.

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7 hours ago, megan said:

I think “small gem” ship sailed a year or so ago. It’s still a unique product, but they definitely have their eyes on a bigger prize these days. 

Which is quite fine with me! Was having a bit of a jab at some enthusiasts is all heh but I agree and don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Quite the opposite, development is good I mean I’ve always heard how wonderful the park it was but since it was not close/convenient I never thought to go until recent years where they have quite a lineup. People chagrin at the idea but idk the same people all bust the chops of parks that are stagnant for years so what can ya do? 

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8 hours ago, megan said:

I think “small gem” ship sailed a year or so ago. It’s still a unique product, but they definitely have their eyes on a bigger prize these days. 

I think the "small Gem" idea stems from the fact that pretty much every amusement park in North America is dwarfed by Disney and Universal's parks.

I think the Disney / Universal market is out of reach for them, the general public will come from all over the world to go to those places. I feel like Dollywood and Silver Dollar City are attempting to stake their claim on their domestic markets, much like higher-end theme parks in continental Europe. I think they want to capture people who would normally come to the Smokies or the Ozarks for another reason and keep them in their resort bubbles for as long as possible.

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26 minutes ago, A.J. said:

I think the "small Gem" idea stems from the fact that pretty much every amusement park in North America is dwarfed by Disney and Universal's parks.

I think the Disney / Universal market is out of reach for them, the general public will come from all over the world to go to those places. I feel like Dollywood and Silver Dollar City are attempting to stake their claim on their domestic markets, much like higher-end theme parks in continental Europe. I think they want to capture people who would normally come to the Smokies or the Ozarks for another reason and keep them in their resort bubbles for as long as possible.

Agree with the domestic slant, but I think they are looking to convince people to come to Dollywood first (SDC not as much) with a (soon to be) slate of 4-5 hotels, cabins, campground, water park, dry park, dinner shows (why they don’t provide shuttle service to on site guests to those is beyond me). Not just coming for another reason, then stay on a DW, but making that the main focus of the trip. 

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Damn. For a minute there, I really thought the steel vs wood argument was going to kick back into action. There's still a chance we can get a mask argument and LR track type argument going at the exact same time, since this thread has been notorious for both. It would be... the perfect storm. Imagine standing in line next to someone wearing an RMC shirt, while they talk shit on all the vaxxed people outdoors not wearing their masks, and tell you you're stupid for not thinking LR is steel.

I'd leave the queue, get in my car, and drive it to another planet.

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Got some Intel from the Dippin' Dots lady today... I think she got a little excited and spilled the beans. 

She pointed at Dragon Flyer and said it will be a bigger version of that in the new expansion area. It will easily be 1000' longer than Wild Eagle . So that would make it at least 4150 ish feet long making it the longest invert coaster. The interesting thing is that it will not have any inversions  but will be a terrain based inverted coaster. My prediction is it will be built by Vekoma.

Also, had a ride op tell me that Lightning Rod will finish getting Ibox this offseason. So everything but the brake run and station will be Ibox.

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I'm heading to Dollywood this Thursday and about to purchase our tickets.  Does TimeSaver Unlimited include every ride at Dollywood?  I didn't see LR listed as an option

 

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Thanks!  I had no clue about Blazing Fury and didn't even ride it on my first trip to Dollywood 2 years ago.  Of course Blazing Fury isn't included on the TimeSaver Unlimited!  LOL. Just my luck.  Hopefully the line for that isn't too long

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