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P. 791: Big Bear Mountain family coaster announced for 2023!

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DW is getting called out a lit right now by passholders for their seemingly “sudden” switch to making reservations required again. They really need to get their operations under control going into next “normal” year or they are going to further erode their “good guys” image. They seem like they have struggled this year to have a consistent operating message. 

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On 12/6/2021 at 5:03 PM, tndank said:

It's running. It's just goes down now and again like every other coaster. Last month and most of this season have been fine.

It has not been running fine this season. It is mostly down and when it is open the lines are horrendous because they are only using one train. I was there yesterday and it was down right after it opened for the day, which was already short because the park didn't open until 2 pm. I was lucky to be walking by when it reopened at 4 pm and got in two rides. The first ride, we barely made it over the first hill, while the second time we shot over the first hill much faster. It seems to me the speed going over the first hill should be the same every time. I was asked at the parking booth if I had a reservation, but not at the gate.

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On 12/7/2021 at 3:40 PM, Rai Fox said:

Which is even stranger when you consider that Lightning Rod was designed by the same person as the Arrow across the park...

When I think of coasters that haul ass back into the station and definitely don't take 100 years to get there, I think of Tennessee Tornado.

22 minutes ago, megan said:

DW is getting called out a lit right now by passholders for their seemingly “sudden” switch to making reservations required again. They really need to get their operations under control going into next “normal” year or they are going to further erode their “good guys” image. They seem like they have struggled this year to have a consistent operating message. 

It seems like they struggle more and more every year with operating a theme park well, but you can say that for a lot of companies right now.

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46 minutes ago, megan said:

DW is getting called out a lit right now by passholders for their seemingly “sudden” switch to making reservations required again. They really need to get their operations under control going into next “normal” year or they are going to further erode their “good guys” image. They seem like they have struggled this year to have a consistent operating message. 

We've got tickets for a few weeks from now and I kinda freaked out a bit when I read the post about the reservations, but daily tickets have a reservation  already included. I'm a bit out of the loop but haven't reservations been required for a while now? Maybe they haven't been checking or enforcing them or something but seems like every time I've gone to the website over the past several months there's been a disclaimer about reservations being required. 

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1 hour ago, u4icmusic said:

It has not been running fine this season. It is mostly down and when it is open the lines are horrendous because they are only using one train. I was there yesterday and it was down right after it opened for the day, which was already short because the park didn't open until 2 pm. I was lucky to be walking by when it reopened at 4 pm and got in two rides. The first ride, we barely made it over the first hill, while the second time we shot over the first hill much faster. It seems to me the speed going over the first hill should be the same every time. I was asked at the parking booth if I had a reservation, but not at the gate.

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10 hours ago, coasterbill said:

It seems like they struggle more and more every year with operating a theme park well, but you can say that for a lot of companies right now.

Not sure why Kings Island can run on no reservations this year and pull off a reservation-free Christmas event and Dollywood is struggling with guest experience so much.

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10 hours ago, Hilltopper39 said:

We've got tickets for a few weeks from now and I kinda freaked out a bit when I read the post about the reservations, but daily tickets have a reservation  already included. I'm a bit out of the loop but haven't reservations been required for a while now? Maybe they haven't been checking or enforcing them or something but seems like every time I've gone to the website over the past several months there's been a disclaimer about reservations being required. 

I think thats the issue - Its on the website, but they've not been checking - even telling people they "suggest" but don't require, then overnight earlier this week they became "mandatory" again right as they have bee pushing season pass sales - now people that bought to "take advantage of Smokey Mtn Christmas this year".... can't because so many days are already sold out. I just think this park needs to get a handle on a lot of things as they keep growing and chasing a bigger and bigger slice of the tourism pie.

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3 hours ago, megan said:

Not sure why Kings Island can run on no reservations this year and pull off a reservation-free Christmas event and Dollywood is struggling with guest experience so much.

Because Dollywood's pay is crap. There are so many employers in the area starting people out at higher wages, like Cedar Fair parks are. They realized quickly that they had to up their wages to keep the park staffed. Dollywood is doing nothing to entice workers to the park. The employees they have left are being worked to death. Dollywood doesn't realize or care that this is a negative for guests at the park. Nobody wants to wait 90 minutes for a hot dog, but that is what is happening at Dollywood this season.

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31 minutes ago, u4icmusic said:

Because Dollywood's pay is crap. There are so many employers in the area starting people out at higher wages, like Cedar Fair parks are. They realized quickly that they had to up their wages to keep the park staffed. Dollywood is doing nothing to entice workers to the park. The employees they have left are being worked to death. Dollywood doesn't realize or care that this is a negative for guests at the park. Nobody wants to wait 90 minutes for a hot dog, but that is what is happening at Dollywood this season.

That’s why we didn’t do season passes on our “every other year” plan. We live in Cincinnati and alternate with KI, but this year we are skipping Dollywood until they get their act together. And I love all these people saying “Dolly needs to know what’s going on” LOL Like she cares about the day to day running of the business venture she’s a part owner of! 

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4 hours ago, megan said:

I think thats the issue - Its on the website, but they've not been checking 

Checking really seemed to restart in October.

But 2 weeks out I had no issue reserving Wed, Fri, and Sat the week of Thanksgiving. Finding a place to stay with dogs was harder.

 

Earlier this week someone complained so I looked and only the weekend of the 18th was full. Every other day left in Dec was green.

 

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5 hours ago, TEDodd said:

Checking really seemed to restart in October.

But 2 weeks out I had no issue reserving Wed, Fri, and Sat the week of Thanksgiving. Finding a place to stay with dogs was harder.

 

Earlier this week someone complained so I looked and only the weekend of the 18th was full. Every other day left in Dec was green.

 

Right. There’s perception and reality in social media land, but when you have a free bring a friend incentive that ends in the 19th that was used to sell passes, they should’ve expected that weekend to “sell out”. If you wanted to go that weekend to use those incentives, then the fact that later weekends are available is pretty much moot. 

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1 hour ago, tndank said:

I think it's a bit crazy how they flipped on reservations, especially considering it's the opposite at SDC. You can make reservations but they don't matter and you will have to wait when they hit cap even with them. 

The whole company seems a bit lost right now. 

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2 hours ago, tndank said:

I think it's a bit crazy how they flipped on reservations, especially considering it's the opposite at SDC. You can make reservations but they don't matter and you will have to wait when they hit cap even with them. 

Well. What's the point of reservations there then?

Capacity caps were always an issue, but seldom (never?) hit before the reduced capacity during this pandemic.
But the whole point of reservations was to get in under the cap and guaranty entry.

 

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Quick Dollywood question before our trip this week, but what's the bag policy for rides? I can't really find anything on the website but can you leave loose articles (bag, jackets, water bottles etc.) in the station or do you have to put everything in a locker before entering the que. Are there any ride that require locker and others that don't? I think this will be our first family park trip without a stroller for the kids (FINALLY, I hate dragging that thing around), so I've kind of forgotten what it's like to go to a park without one lol. 

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After having now seen the Winterfest Wonderland Parade 3x at Kings Island (no reservations needed thank you very much) Dollywood really needs to get the parade back next year. It adds a kinetic energy that fireworks just don’t have. I guess staffing the parade is an issue since they can barely get the food places open, but it does help the overall energy of the park. 

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Visited the park today and had a nice time! Was nice to see Lightning Rod operating and running 2 trains. Sadly, food operations are still struggling.  I feel like this year’s Christmas decor was less than previous seasons, though. Looking forward to 2022 and hopeful for a “normal” season next year. 
 

I did notice some work being done on River Rampage. Maybe it’s getting a much needed refurb? 

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For a park that makes suchcc be a big deal about their food, they really need to get that part figured out. At this point I’m thrilled I didn’t do passes to DW next season. Way too many negatives. Here’s to hoping next season is a rebuild and reset, or I’m a little scared for what things look like going forward. They have burned through so much season pass good will this year that they really need to find their footing fast. 

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On 12/20/2021 at 10:33 AM, Hilltopper39 said:

Quick Dollywood question before our trip this week, but what's the bag policy for rides? I can't really find anything on the website but can you leave loose articles (bag, jackets, water bottles etc.) in the station or do you have to put everything in a locker before entering the que. Are there any ride that require locker and others that don't? I think this will be our first family park trip without a stroller for the kids (FINALLY, I hate dragging that thing around), so I've kind of forgotten what it's like to go to a park without one lol. 

You cannot carry anything onto any of the rides, but most of them have storage areas in the loading area where you or the ride operators will store your items until you get off the ride. No need to get a locker unless you plan on storing a coat or change of clothing.

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Since when does Dollywood have a limit on the number of reservations you can make with a season pass? I realize the rest of the year has no open reservations remaining, but I've never seen a limit on the number of reservations that can be made on a diamond season pass.

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