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p. 734 - Lightning Rod closed for remainder of 2020 season

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You mean like this. . . (pssst, all wooden coasters run on steel rails, well, with the exception of the flying turns)   Also, who would have thought the first RMC coaster to get the RM

Their season pass renewal system is running on the same server as Lightning Rod. 

Shenanigans! Dollywood is a theme park. Do you realize how many people go to Dollywood for the shows? Or the Eagle habitat? Or the soot train? Or just to take it all in? Or the freaking cinnamon

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Hey guys! Just got back from an amazing media construction tour of Wild Eagle! As always, thanks a TON to Pete Owens and everyone at Dollywood for organizing a great tour for us all.

 

A couple of quick notes from the tour:

 

- As you will see in the photos, one of the trains is on site and almost fully constructed. The trains are going to be MASSIVE! I was very impressed by their sheer size and it was difficult to get a photo of the full train in one shot.

 

- Everything with ride construction is right on schedule. Construction will continue on the ride station and entrance plaza over the next month.

 

- Ride should begin testing in a few weeks!

 

- The eagle sculpture will be installed in late February, so expect another update then!

 

I took a TON of photos, so I am going to start the posting now...

 

Video Interview with Pete Owens, Media/Public Relations Manager of Dollywood talking about Wild Eagle!

 

 

And here is Video Footage of today's behind-the-scenes construction tour!

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Hmm, I wonder why all these people are at Dollywood today when the park is closed???

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Could they be here for Wild E??? Coyote??? Is this Six Flags???

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Ohhh, today is the media construction tour for Wild Eagle!! Although, I kind of like the name Wild E! ;-)

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Yes, Theme Park Review is getting a tour of Dollywood's new B&M Wing Rider today! And take a look at the amazing ride station!

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The entrance plaza for the ride was bustling with construction activity today. Notice that there is no longer any blue walls!

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Work has begun on the gift shop for the exit of the ride! You will be able to buy all of your Wild Eagle goodies in here.

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Just look at that sexy Wing Rider lift hill. I am a big fan of the dual catwalks!

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Pete Owens gave us a great and informative tour of the ride. He rocks! Thanks again Pete!

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Let's take a more detailed look at the ride station!

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This photo shows that no detail has been spared for the theming of the station! Love the railings!

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How about another lift hill shot because you can never have too many! Also, notice how nice the landscaping is looking where the hillside was excavating.

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I spy the Wild Eagle's transfer station! We will go inside you in a little bit! ;-)

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The beginning and the end.

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As you make your way up the mountain, you get a great view of Wild Eagle's brake run.

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Zoomed in as close as my iPhone would allow to get a close up for the coaster brake fans/geeks out there.

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From the first drop to the first brakes!

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Amazing sky behind an amazing looking ride!

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Riders will be screaming down this first drop in less than two months!

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Here is most of Wild Eagle's layout minus two inversions.

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And here is the back portion of the ride! We see you back there hiding, Mr. Immelman Loop!

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Now, here is a couple for the vertical loop fans out there!

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The vertical loop is very loopy and vertically!

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Three Wild Eagle inversions in one shot!

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Help! I'm stuck on Wild Eagle! I sure hope the ride doesn't begin testing now!

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Zero-gggggggg!

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And here is that elusive Immelman that's hard to get a good photo of!

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The flatspin will be the final inversion of back-to-back-to-back-to-back inversions on Wild Eagle! And that is a lot of backs! (Sir Mix-a-lot would be proud)

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But, Wild Eagle is not just about the inversions. It also shows some love to the twisteeee!

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See what I mean! Twisteee!

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And here are what the Twisteeee supports look like!

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Speaking of supports... Some of these are massive!

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And we can't forget about the bolts! We need those!

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There is nothing like shiny, new paint on a coaster track!

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Rider envelope testing has begun! Looks like some leg/arm choppers will be included in your Wild Eagle ride!

Edited by ernierocker
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Update continues now!

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Here they are folks! Wild Eagle trains are in the building! (Literally)

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A close-up of the seats! And yes, they are VERY comfortable!

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Wing Rider wheels!

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The eagle theming on the trains looks fantastic in my opinion! Great job Dollywood!

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Here is one for the seat belt enthusiasts out there.

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Just like on the New Texas Giants, there appears to be plenty of room for the wheels here! ;-)

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Because we are geeky enthusiasts that like to take geeky photos of geeky details.

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Don't the seats look so inviting?!?

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Please Dollywood! Can I please ride now??? I'll sign a waiver and everything!

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Here is a close-up of the eagles on the trains.

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They have yet to add the eagles to the first two rows.

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But you can get a general idea here what the finished trains will look like here.

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Kinky!

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Let's take a look at the loading station while we are up here!

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Here is the transfer track mechanism thingie. The track will slide over to the transfer station here.

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Here you can see how close the station is to Blazing Fury!

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These eagles are ready to go that way!

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Pete just gave us the okay to ride! Let's do this thing!

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The after shot! That was amazing! (Just kidding guys, we didn't actually ride. I had you going though, didn't I?)

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More details on the loading station and queue!

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Detail work is still ongoing on the station. It's going to end up amazing I know it!

Edited by ernierocker
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And more!

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Let's head back up the mountain for a few more shots!

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Just hanging out with my good buddy, Wild Eagle.

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So, beautiful.

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Landscaping work has already begun underneath the ride.

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Look! It's Sidewinder's queue! Love the structure to protect you from flying debris from Wild Eagle!

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And there you can see how close Sidewinder's station is to the ride. Wild Eagle will have some amazing interactions with the existing Dollywood attractions!

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And this is where Sidewinder's toboggans hang out when they aren't getting you soaked!

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I see you down there Thunderhead. The ride is currently getting some re-tracking done.

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And there's Mystery Mine!

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More immelman and ride structure.

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A TPR exclusive! Immelman through the track!

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The landscaping is already starting to take growth under the ride! Should be looking great in March!

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Zero-GGGGGG!

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No Wild Eagle! Don't crush Eric! He hasn't seen the new Mission Impossible yet!!!

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And we will finish this update with a photo of the final track piece installed on Wild Eagle! Thanks again to Pete and everyone at Dollywood for a great tour!

Edited by ernierocker
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Trains look awesome as they are!!!!... However, it looks like they still have some more details to add on them. So I don't know why there is any complaining. There is so much detail in this ride!

 

see the screws on the angled piece on Swarm

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Well you can see the screw holes for what looks like an attachment piece here

 

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The trains look like they spent a total of 5 mins coming up with a cover design. Every other Wing-Rider has proven how nice these trains can be made to look, so it's impossible to not make comparisons. These trains have zero luster about them. It would probably be better if they just went ahead and took those eagles off and went with a plain look.

 

I mean, not that it will change the ride experience itself, but there's definitely something to be said for adding bit of atmosphere with some sweet detailing, and I feel like half-assing it only hurts the overall experience. When you have a premier reputation for that kind of thing, people will and should expect more.

 

At least the station and area looks good so far.

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I think the station might just be the BEST I've ever seen. They basically built a mammoth cabin for it. I can't wait to see the finished station, plaza, gift shop, ect. I think I'm more excited to see that than the actual ride testing, hah!

 

I'm glad Dollywood is my other "home" park as I'm a season passholder to Kings Dominion and Dollywood. My only question is, will this become my new favorite coaster in the park? Thunderhead is my #1 wooden coaster!

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The trains look like they spent a total of 5 mins coming up with a cover design. Every other Wing-Rider has proven how nice these trains can be made to look, so it's impossible to not make comparisons. These trains have zero luster about them. It would probably be better if they just went ahead and took those eagles off and went with a plain look.

 

I mean, not that it will change the ride experience itself, but there's definitely something to be said for adding bit of atmosphere with some sweet detailing, and I feel like half-assing it only hurts the overall experience. When you have a premier reputation for that kind of thing, people will and should expect more.

 

At least the station and area looks good so far.

 

It could be worse, like it could be covered in advertisements for hair styling products *AHEM* Six Flags. And maybe there is more theming to be added to the trains...

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^ I think I saw/read somewhere that the station will have an elevator!

 

It will, for disabled guests, all our coasters have one. If I am not mistaken, it is in that tower you see on the front of the building.

 

You are correct, sir.

 

 

The unfinished tower structure on the front of the building is where the elevator is located.

 

And to the complainers:

 

What you guys are failing to get here is that this ride is not located on a flat piece of land in the middle of Six Flags. It is located on top of a mountain in the middle of the Smoky Mountains. It doesn't NEED extensive theming on the trains and along the layout of the ride. The theming is the natural surrounding. If you put Raptor or Swarm type theming on this ride it would stand out like a sore thumb. It wouldn't fit in!

 

Now, for the part of the ride that will actually be located on the same level as the public areas of the park will be themed out of the wazoo! You can already see this in the themeing of the station. With the backstory of the ride and Dollywood's dedication to conserving nature, the theming of the ride is perfect!

Edited by ernierocker
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^ I think I saw/read somewhere that the station will have an elevator!

 

It will, for disabled guests, all our coasters have one. If I am not mistaken, it is in that tower you see on the front of the building.

 

I believe I remember seeing in a Funworld (IAAPA) magazine relatively recently stating that all new rides have to be built so that disabled people have to be able to get access to the ride, and that parks are to make reasonable (as deemed by the parks) additions/changes to already existing rides so that disabled people can get on those as well. So I'm expecting to see all rides with elevated stations to have elevators or an access ramp somewhere

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The trains look like they spent a total of 5 mins coming up with a cover design. Every other Wing-Rider has proven how nice these trains can be made to look, so it's impossible to not make comparisons. These trains have zero luster about them. It would probably be better if they just went ahead and took those eagles off and went with a plain look.

 

I mean, not that it will change the ride experience itself, but there's definitely something to be said for adding bit of atmosphere with some sweet detailing, and I feel like half-assing it only hurts the overall experience. When you have a premier reputation for that kind of thing, people will and should expect more.

 

At least the station and area looks good so far.

 

Shavethewhales,

 

I agree with what you are saying about half-assing anything. The eagles could have a more realistic look to them but I think they will look great out on the course. The minimal design of the eagles will allow more of the blue track to show through while concealing the train's frame from the top. I think once the ride opens, the minimalistic nature of the theming will look best. Just think about looking up and seeing the eagles soaring on the track with the seats at the tip of their wings!

 

I can't wait to see Wild Eagle testing.

 

-Rob

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I actually like the look of the Eagels on the trains. Sure, the design is a bit repetitive, but it still is a fantastic looking train, and I think it complements the ride very nicely.

 

Hats off to Dollywood on creating such a fantastic looking ride! I'm hoping to ride it this summer!

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The trains look like they spent a total of 5 mins coming up with a cover design. Every other Wing-Rider has proven how nice these trains can be made to look, so it's impossible to not make comparisons. These trains have zero luster about them. It would probably be better if they just went ahead and took those eagles off and went with a plain look.

 

I mean, not that it will change the ride experience itself, but there's definitely something to be said for adding bit of atmosphere with some sweet detailing, and I feel like half-assing it only hurts the overall experience. When you have a premier reputation for that kind of thing, people will and should expect more.

 

At least the station and area looks good so far.

 

I agree with the last sentence of this post.

 

Personally, I think the level of detail on the trains fits in well with both the ride and the park. You're entitled to your opinion, but to say that they'd be better off with "plain" trains is a bit much. It's best to wait until you see the final finished ride in action before making a final judgment.

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I want desperately to make a "tension cylinder" joke, but for the sake of propriety, I'll just leave it at this:

 

These pictures are gorgeous, and this ride looks amazing and I can't wait to ride it later this year.

 

Thanks so much for these awesome updates, TPR and Dollywood!

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Holy crap, this thing is looking awesome! You took some great photos, Eric. I can't wait to get back to Dollywood!

 

I think everything about the ride looks great. The track, the colors, the trains, the station, and everything else! I really like the look of the eagles on the trains. It blows my mind how people always find something to bitch about. Be happy. It's a new coaster!

 

Anyway, thanks for the great photos, Eric!

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