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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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6 hours ago, Dan the Coaster Man said:

Were there misters in there, or am I just imagining things?

I don't specifically remember misters but it was always cool inside.

 

Certainly better than some benches in the sun. 

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That’s going to need a lot of work to look better than what was there. I’m overall disappointed with some of the choices DW is making these days. I feel a lot of what made it unique (staffing, atmosphere, quality of shows) is slipping into a corporate “growth” strategy. 

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I'm sure they'll make it look nice. It's a little unfortunate to lose another little quirk of the park, but such is progress. I am sure a lot of this is motivated by crowd sizes, as DW continues to grow at an incredible speed. SDC is having to do similar things all around the park to simply make enough room on the pathways to accommodate modern crowds. DW's steam train is pretty legit though and it has a lot of fans totally independent of DW and theme parks in general, so it's nice that it gets a little more emphasis. 

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Hope they will add some 'shade' of some kind, along with those benches they're putting in.

But if the sun hits directly there, they might not be able to do it. So ..... ?

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On 2/2/2022 at 10:46 AM, Shavethewhales2 said:

I'm sure they'll make it look nice. It's a little unfortunate to lose another little quirk of the park, but such is progress. I am sure a lot of this is motivated by crowd sizes, as DW continues to grow at an incredible speed. SDC is having to do similar things all around the park to simply make enough room on the pathways to accommodate modern crowds. DW's steam train is pretty legit though and it has a lot of fans totally independent of DW and theme parks in general, so it's nice that it gets a little more emphasis. 

Oh I get it. It’s being a victim of your own success, I just hope they do a balancing act of opening up areas by shaving down instead of clear cutting. Disneyland did similar as they got ready for anticipated crowds related to StarWarsGalaxy Edge opening, but it was a lot of shortening this… widening that… but putting it back VISUALLY the same in most cases. 

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Looking to visit for the first time the last week of March (it would be Sunday and Monday). I know Lightning Rod is always a crapshoot and is completely unpredictable, but how is the rest of the park in the first few weeks of opening, in terms of operations, crowds, etc.? If anyone has hotel recommendations in the area that are affordable please advise as well. I'll have my own car so I'd be willing to stay a good distance away from the park too if it's significantly cheaper.

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On 2/6/2022 at 7:25 PM, thrillseeker4552 said:

Looking to visit for the first time the last week of March (it would be Sunday and Monday). I know Lightning Rod is always a crapshoot and is completely unpredictable, but how is the rest of the park in the first few weeks of opening, in terms of operations, crowds, etc.? If anyone has hotel recommendations in the area that are affordable please advise as well. I'll have my own car so I'd be willing to stay a good distance away from the park too if it's significantly cheaper.

Park is usually very slow as they ramp up operations. Used to go in March a lot and had longer lines and more waits than times in June/July. An empty parking lot doesn’t mean much when there is low/ new staff. 

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On 2/6/2022 at 7:25 PM, thrillseeker4552 said:

Looking to visit for the first time the last week of March (it would be Sunday and Monday). I know Lightning Rod is always a crapshoot and is completely unpredictable, but how is the rest of the park in the first few weeks of opening, in terms of operations, crowds, etc.? If anyone has hotel recommendations in the area that are affordable please advise as well. I'll have my own car so I'd be willing to stay a good distance away from the park too if it's significantly cheaper.

There are tons of low-cost motels in Pigeon Forge, but some of them are sketchy and old, so remember, you get what you pay for. If you don't care about the quality, then shoot for a cheaper price.  One of the cheap ones is Americana Inns and suites. https://www.americanainnpigeonforge.com/   Parking is expensive at the park. You can park and take the trolley for just $2.50. Park at Patriot Park for free and take the shuttle to Dollywood. Trolley's run 30 minutes prior to park opening and run until all guests leave the park at night.  https://www.pigeonforge.com/trolley/

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50 minutes ago, Taylor Finn said:

Clarion Inn in Pigeon Forge proper is absolutely worth a few extra bucks though sometimes deals can be had.

THIS!!! We have stayed at a TON of properties in the area and this one is by far the best. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://www.hersheypark.com/explore-the-park/rides/jolly-rancher-remix/
 

this flat ride would be awesome in the entry plaza of a new spinning coaster someplace -maybe even theme the coaster and flat ride to gears or something like at a clock factory that causes time to travel backwards (hmm where has THAT been done before) but maybe actually do something cool with the ring and affects in tunnels where the launches are. 

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16 hours ago, swfan1988 said:

I think this is cool as aside from force ghost Dolly, I thought the museum was a little jumbled and hard to follow. I have high hopes!

Had an odd “entrance experience” as well. Just sort of walk down a concrete block hallway and up some steps. I feel like it was because it was reusing an old restaurant space and they had to figure out a way to “route” traffic. Would be cool if it even started with something like  “Heart Song” and return that theatre to more of a performance show, or I’ve always felt make a permanent “Imagination Library” show either live like they do in the summer, or Dolly taped in the slow season. Maybe “holoDolly” reads stories to the kids as the “library come to life” with hidden screens or projection mapping to bring the characters she is reading about to life. 

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Hoping the addition of two new parking lot booths speed getting into the parking lot. If they keep it fully-staffed, that would be 4 extra hosts collecting parking fees or scanning season passes for free parking.

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18 hours ago, megan said:

Had an odd “entrance experience” as well. Just sort of walk down a concrete block hallway and up some steps. I feel like it was because it was reusing an old restaurant space and they had to figure out a way to “route” traffic. Would be cool if it even started with something like  “Heart Song” and return that theatre to more of a performance show, or I’ve always felt make a permanent “Imagination Library” show either live like they do in the summer, or Dolly taped in the slow season. Maybe “holoDolly” reads stories to the kids as the “library come to life” with hidden screens or projection mapping to bring the characters she is reading about to life. 

Not sure what your post is about. The Dolly museum, if that is what you are referring to, used to be a ride, not a restaurant.

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1 hour ago, u4icmusic said:

Not sure what your post is about. The Dolly museum, if that is what you are referring to, used to be a ride, not a restaurant.

No. It was a restaurant. The “my people” show is in the old action theatre ride building. The museum originally opened as a restaurant that they envisioned being open year round even when the park was closed. The first iteration was  Silver Screen cafe themed to different movies. The entire area was supposed to be a tribute to the movies (hence the original name “Dollywood blvd”. The restaurant only lasted one year and was returned to DJPlatters in 1997. And yes. Sorry. I was referring to the entrance of the museum. 

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22 hours ago, megan said:

No. It was a restaurant. The “my people” show is in the old action theatre ride building. The museum originally opened as a restaurant that they envisioned being open year round even when the park was closed. The first iteration was  Silver Screen cafe themed to different movies. The entire area was supposed to be a tribute to the movies (hence the original name “Dollywood blvd”. The restaurant only lasted one year and was returned to DJPlatters in 1997. And yes. Sorry. I was referring to the entrance of the museum. 

You are right. The Thunder Road/White Lightnin’ was a moving seat ride and is now the Dreamsong Theater.

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New Dollywood Updates.

There are some new changes at Dollywood. First, the existing 5 parking booths have been moved further into the parking area to accommodate more vehicles. Dollywood has also added 2 more parking booths, for a total of 7 booths and 14 hosts that will be collecting payment for parking to speed up the process. Second, the old trolley station has been removed and is being relocated closer to the parking lot. There are also plans in the works (over the next 10 years) for two additional parking lots, as attendance grows. Next, Dollywood has removed the security gates before you enter the park and has contracted with Evolve Express to automate the security screening. You will no longer need to empty your pockets, bags, or strollers. The Christmas Cottage Store has been completely removed to open up the area for a wider pedestrian walking and viewing area. There is a new tasting restaurant being opened called, Southern Pantry which will have tastings and specialty foods. Dollywood's Emporium has been completely redone with all new flooring and will feature self-checkouts, and a large butterfly sculpture hanging from the ceiling. Victoria's Pizza in The Village (across from the train depot) was completely gutted and reimagined into a larger and better restaurant, which will have a large deck overlooking the Country Fair area and the new name of the pizza restaurant will be Iron Horse Pizza.

 

The first photo shows the two new parking booths. The second photo shows the area opened up with the removal of the Christmas Cottage store. The third photo is inside the Emporium, while the 4th photo shows the new eatery called Southern Pantry. The final photo shows the new tram station being built closer to the parking lot.

 

New-2-More-Parking-Booths.jpg

New-Christmas-Cottage-Removed.jpg

NEW-Emporium.jpg

New-Southern-Pantry.jpg

NEW-TRAM-STATION.jpg

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Timesaver Unlimited went up to $80 this year. The price increases and Dollywood are getting out of hand, especially when you factor in how poor customer service has been over the last two years with so may shops, restaurants and ride closures. I think they new some new management at Dollywood and some managers that care about the guest experience.

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