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Dollywood Discussion Thread

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

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On 7/25/2022 at 1:53 PM, IzzyB said:

I am excited for a new family coaster at Dollywood.  Any guesses on height restrictions?  They tend to be on the lower end of other parks, so maybe 44"?  That would be nice.  I like the Bear theme and fits nicely into that area.  I know many on here complain about that new area, but honestly someone with kids ranging from 4 to 11 that area has added a lot to our experience.  I just wish that the coaster had higher capacity, so I am hoping the new coaster can run 2 to 3 trains.  Because the new one only running one train causes way too long of lines.  Having a higher capacity lower height near it would really help reduce lines.

My family is target demo for Dollywood and their new expansions have hit the mark for us.  If they can keep this coaster at or below 44" I think it would be amazing.  That would give 3 family and 1 kiddie coaster. 

I think it is impossible to guess what a ride's height restriction will be when it hasn't even been built yet. Since it will be a family coaster, I'd expect it to be in the lower ranges.

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It's not impossible. Most similar rides have similar height restrictions.  Most B&M speed coasters have the same height restriction across the board, most intamin family coasters have the same height restrictions across the board. . . and so on and so on.  This isn't a new wheel, just a new coster, more of the same.

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2 hours ago, jarmor said:

It's not impossible. Most similar rides have similar height restrictions.  Most B&M speed coasters have the same height restriction across the board, most intamin family coasters have the same height restrictions across the board. . . and so on and so on.  This isn't a new wheel, just a new coster, more of the same.

Funny enough Hershey has the exact kid coaster as Dollywood, but their ride alone height was way higher than Dollywood which meant I had to ride with my son (I was not amused).  Also Eagle height at 50" is less than most big steel coasters at other parks.  Heck Sea World can't build a proper coaster with a restriction below 54" which is very annoying. 

I agree they typically have the same, but there is some exceptions that always make me wonder why.  But Dollywood height restrictions run lower than most parks,  I don't know any other park with 39" coasters.  They are 38" or 40"

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Thanks for the good discussion on the "family rollercoaster" topic! I just always find it a fascinating conversation, and certainly, given the diversity in children and their responses to coasters and thrills, there will always be a place for rides of different intensity.

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On 7/25/2022 at 4:42 PM, DILinator said:

Amid all the calls everywhere for "family coasters", I'm always left wondering what that "demographic" is that they're really targeting...

That's an easy one, bro. A family coaster is for kids who aren't up to the task of riding the bigger rides, but they're still exciting enough for adults to enjoy. "A ride the whole family can enjoy."

Height isn't always a factor. Just about any mine train is a prime example. It's the happy medium between a Hyper and a Roller Skater.

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My commentary was a bit broader than that obvious answer, as some also commented on, but yes, obviously as its most basic interpretation, that's the general idea behind a "family coaster." I just find in interesting how many enthusiasts typically commenting on the need for parks to have more "family coasters", and acting like they know what the park is doing when they're targeting that demographic, are not at all IN that demographic, as opposed to somebody like myself, who has lived it for almost two decades now. I know you're coming into that demo now yourself, Prozach, so that's very exciting for you! It'll be interesting to see how quickly your child outgrows the "family coaster" thrills, and is ready for the "normal coaster" thrills. My youngest was ready really young, as I mentioned before, but my oldest took a while, but is now super obsessed. Whatever way it goes, there's no greater joy in my life than spending time at an amusement park with my kids, so I'm sure you have many blessed trips to the parks ahead of you, I can assure you! 😀

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Lightning Rod is a mess. I was at Dollywood this week and Lightning Rod had two rows of seats near the back of both trains roped off and closed. Of course, this made the wait times horrendous for people in the regular queue. I went into the single rider line and got on in less than 5 minutes, which was good. I've ridden Lightning Rod around 100 times since it opened and I live close by and my one ride on it this week was horrifying painful. This was the roughest ride I've ever had on Lightning Rod, even when the old Topper Track was damaged and rough. As the train pulled into the station, I could hear others in front and back of me complaining about how rough the ride was. I typically ride it a few times every time I go to the park, but once was enough this week. I could barely walk when I got off the ride and my back hurt for two full days. I'm not sure I want to ride Lightning Rod ever again. I'd also like an explanation from Dollywood as to why it was so rough.

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"Almost couldn't walk..." really?

 

6 hours ago, DILinator said:

It'll be interesting to see how quickly your child outgrows the "family coaster" thrills

I hope so, but she's incredibly cautious. 

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5 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

Lightning Rod is a mess. I was at Dollywood this week and Lightning Rod had two rows of seats near the back of both trains roped off and closed. Of course, this made the wait times horrendous for people in the regular queue. I went into the single rider line and got on in less than 5 minutes, which was good. I've ridden Lightning Rod around 100 times since it opened and I live close by and my one ride on it this week was horrifying painful. This was the roughest ride I've ever had on Lightning Rod, even when the old Topper Track was damaged and rough. As the train pulled into the station, I could hear others in front and back of me complaining about how rough the ride was. I typically ride it a few times every time I go to the park, but once was enough this week. I could barely walk when I got off the ride and my back hurt for two full days. I'm not sure I want to ride Lightning Rod ever again. I'd also like an explanation from Dollywood as to why it was so rough.

Sad to hear. 

I rode it back in 2019 and it was rough but not unbearable. 

What parts where rough? The steel track or the topper track sections? 

Maybe just bad wheels? 

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5 hours ago, u4icmusic said:

this week was horrifying painful. This was the roughest ride I've ever had on Lightning Rod, … I could barely walk when I got off the ride and my back hurt for two full days. I'm not sure I want to ride Lightning Rod ever again. I'd also like an explanation from Dollywood as to why it was so rough.

Not at all the experience back around the 4th.

No rows were out of service and it rode as smooth as it did the first day it was open the public (I just happened to be I the park that day)

Have to think it was a bad part (wheel?) to be that different in just a few weeks.

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Hmmm. Are we sure it's a coaster? I remember a few years ago there was a survey they sent out with different theme ideas for an interactive ride and one of them had to do with bears. I have at least one pic saved from when that came around:

f214705c-8f0c-4ce0-ad3c-09a070453b9e.jpg.6e6836b81227194397540a9724651d63.jpg

Here's the other image I remember seeing: https://www.screamscape.com/html/dolly2020_4.htm

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23 hours ago, Djwadeknox said:

I just checked vekoma website and they seem to be announcing a new motorbike coaster soon.

 

Matches with this.

 

Screenshot_20220731-165751.thumb.png.bd655d464617e3df4759688397e4ec23.png

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Surely I'll get lol'd at but: How has Lightning Rod been running this year? How is the park like in early Sept? 

Thinking of going for a long weekend and to avoid PTO Labor day weekend seemed a natural fit. But always dodgy going to parks on holidays, so curious if anyone has experience with then? If I don't this then in general how are crowds in Sept? 

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3 hours ago, JJLehto said:

How is the park like in early Sept? 

The Saturday before was pretty busy in 2019.
https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/?day=2019-08-31

But Friday wasn't bad.
https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/?day=2019-08-30

No data for Sunday or Monday. Maybe they were closed?

2020 looked busy Sat, Sun and Mon.
https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/?day=2020-09-05
Friday wasn't too bad though.

Of course this year is anyone's guess. With inflation, travel is curtailed, but recent drops in gas price may increase that. Or Prices could shoot up again and the park be nearly dead.


Oh LR. Had down time around noon Friday (maybe weather related), Then some short periods Sat and Sun. Also a longer period Sun evening (likely weather).
https://www.dollywoodwaittimes.com/ride.php?ride=Lightning+Rod&day=2022-07-29




 

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Ah thanks all, I forgot about that site. I'll do some digging, but I really want to go, will most likely just go for it and pray as that seems all we really can do XD
 

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2 hours ago, JJLehto said:

Ah thanks all, I forgot about that site. I'll do some digging, but I really want to go, will most likely just go for it and pray as that seems all we really can do XD
 

You can buy fast passes for one of the days. (I assume multiple days planned). Would help getting in many rides, particularly LR.

But crowds can are difficult to predict. 

 

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Also, don't forget LR has a single riders line.  Follows the fast pass line for the most part. I've been on in 10 minutes or less when the line was 90+ minutes lots of times.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, tndank said:

Also, don't forget LR has a single riders line. 

Wasn't sure if JJ would be alone or with others. And that only helps with LR. If it's busy and you want to ride others then the pass could be handy.
 

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