Thursday, August 19, 2004 1:26 AM
Going to Dollywood on 8-28 Park is open from 9a-8p.

Any suggestions on what rides, shows, and food to focus on and which to avoid?

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 2:08 AM
The key thing to remember about Dollywood is not to go expecting to be blown away with thrill rides. Dollywood is an entertainment park, not a rides/thrill park. Expect to find a much more laid back atmosphere with a lot of themeing, and many more shows than what you would find at a normal park. It's like a slimmed-down version of Busch Gardens. With that said, you should try to hit some of the more unique attractions at the park:

-Dollywood Express: 5-mile journey up into the mountains aboard a 66-year old steam train.

-Mountain Slidewinder: A Waterslide and a Log Flume rolled into one. One of the most thrilling rides at the park. (Right after Thunderhead ;))

-Blazing Fury: Indoor Roller Coaster through a burning town. Classic example of a 70s dark ride!

You'll also want to hit Thunderhead and Tennessee Tornado. Lines are not a problem at TT, but Thunderhead's que can fill up around lunch. The line starts to thin in the afternoon, and will dwindle down to nothing after 5 or 6.

Some other cool rides at Dollywood are Daredevil Falls and The Smoky Mountain Rampage. Daredevil Falls never has lines, but SMR can have 45min. waits if it's nice and hot. Be prepared to get drenched on those two.

Try to see some shows. Bandstand USA is a cool 60s music show that has some impressive visual effects and great talent.

You might also want to check out Dolly's nice museum if your interested in that sort of thing. Have a great trip! :)

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 2:17 AM
I have to agree with Dukeis, don't expect to be blown away by anything. Thunderhead is a great ride but it is overhyped, and Tennessee Tornado is decent but is rough up front.
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Thursday, August 19, 2004 3:01 AM
DO expect to be impressed by how friendly the employees are and the extensive landscaping around the walkways. Dollywood is a great park! (Good Food too!)

And I don't think Thunderhead is overhyped. It's exactly what everyone says...a fun, fast paced ride with amazing direction changes and a bad-ass twister coaster attitude. Some nice little pops of air here & there as well.

*** Edited 8/19/2004 7:02:38 AM UTC by Dukeis#1***

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 9:24 AM
As stated... don't expect a "thrill park"... don't even expect alot of rides... but expect quality over quantity. Thunderhead, Tennesee Tornado and Dare Devil falls are great rides.

As for the park itself... think of some of the friendliest, most helpful staff around. The look of the park... It is to the Smoky Mountains ("down home Tennesee") what BGW is to old Europe.

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:38 AM
Here's a tip. Check the local weather forecast. Thunderstorms come in pretty quick in the mountains. And everything shuts down at DW when they do. I was there back in May on a beautiful sunny day. We decided to start at Tenessee Tornado and work our way to Thunderhead to build the anticipation. Well, 2 hours later we heard REAL thunder. The rides remained closed for the rest of the day. No TH rides that day. Not to worry, as we were coming back the following Sunday morning at opening. Beautiful morning! As soon as the tram pulled to the entrance we heard thunder again. Then it started raining. I mean, this storm came out of nowhere! TH remained closed until noon.
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Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:43 AM
I was there last weekend (Aug 14 & 15). The park wasn't that crowded on Sat. and TH waits were about 20 minutes. Sunday morning between opening and noon, TH was a walk-on. Got 15 rides! FANTASTIC!

We ate at the Backstreet cafe. Really good food. Waitresses take your order. Homecooked styled eatin'.

And yes! Check the local weather forecast. Don't be fooled by what things look like currently. Storms roll in very quickly there!

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 9:30 PM
Here is a POV from the MiG Crew

Shows - don't waste your time as most of them are pretty bad (as in they can't sing in tune to save their souls). We walked out the American Bandstand show, the guy was so sharp that it was painful to listen to. (please note I'm a music major and my fiance is a trombone player, so that might have something to do with our tolerance level). The Kin Folk show is all right, just not something to write home about. The Birds of Prey show was interesting, but again nothing out of the ordinary from other shows like it elsewhere.

Thunderhead: Great woodie. Claire and the gang really outdid themselves on this one, and it is the official MiG #1 woodie (replacing Legend). We highly recommend riding in the back as it produced some very wicked laterals and air time.

Tennessee Tornado: Contrary to what was said above, the front gave a great ride. The tail is quite fun as well and we imagine that you will enjoy this smooth ride.

Blazing Fury: Lacking the charm of it's sister Fire in the Hole, as well as lacking a plot, this classic dark ride will amuse you with its scenes. Its a fun ride, but like I said nothing compared to FITH.

Mountain Slidwinder: A great down hill toboggan run. If the boat is "steered" correctly, you can really get high in the curves.

Smoky Mountain Rampage: Inferior to it's sister Lost River at SDC, the ride is a rather tame rapids ride that will get you wet only if the coin operated sprayers are being used.

Daredevil Falls: Weird themed flume ride that was not really that great of a ride. Ride it if there is a short line.

The rides in the County Fair section are all right, but are just your ordinary carnival rides. The flume ride down there (yes they have 3 at the park) is fun, but the course is a bit boring.

The train ride is not worth it. Unlike the Frisco Silver Dollar Line, the Dollywood Express should only be ridden if you have done everything at the park or if you want to see Thunderhead at a different angle. They spend the entire trip talking about the train and then annoy the heck out of you blowing its whistle at the top of the mountain for what seems like forever. Also ever since the idiot fell off the the train they have idiot-proofed the ride by being over repetitive with safety warnings and such. There are no jokes told (like on Frisco) and I guess if you like to look at trees then go for it. Loading and unloading take forever!!!

The park is all right, but like I said in another thread, it's not Silver Dollar City.

-SS

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 10:13 PM
Ouch.
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Thursday, August 19, 2004 10:27 PM
I visited Dollywood for five straight days during the first week of August, and I would like to simply disagree with most everything Swoosh said above. It's not that Swoosh's information is factually wrong or anything, but I think it's all in one's outlook and expectations. Maybe Dollywood isn't Silver Dollar City for those who hold SDC as an ideal, but it's a great park and worth one's time to fully discover it's nuances. We watched every show, rode every ride, ate in every major restaurant, and just relaxed and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere. We were at the park from 11 am - 8 pm each day plus the evening of our arrival day and we didn't do anything twice except for the sidewinder,Dare Devil Falls, the Dollywood Express train, and the Country Crossroads show. It was a leisurely and fun few days for my family, and Dolly Parton's Chasing Rainbows museum is awesome for any Dolly fan.
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Thursday, August 19, 2004 10:41 PM
Exactly, DW isn't a thrill park, a rides park, a show park, or even a crafts park anymore; it has departed from it's SDC Heritage somewhat and is moving forward, I see no problem with that. It just means our product is a little different than SDC's, which is great, because I believe, as with people, no two parks should be alike. (Six Flags just died ;))
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Thursday, August 19, 2004 10:50 PM
I think I need to add in something here so that you can understand my reasoning for my comments. I was at Busch Gardens Williamsburg two days before. BGW IMHO is one of the best parks ever created and is a "full package deal" with great rides, shows and atmosphere. Also I am SDC about once every three weeks, so when I went to DW I was hoping that I would find something the same yet different, you know the whole tomato - tomatoe thing. I think the thing that really ruined it for me was the locals. They are just DUMB, there is no way around it. Sorry to be so blunt, and yes as gardner said it is one opinion (however it is actually three as the entire MiG crew went).

Also tell me how I am wrong with my conclusion about the train ride. I know I wasn't the only one in my car that was annoyed by the way they handled things and the ride in general. PEOPLE WERE BORED!

Sorry for ripping DW a new one tonight, but I guess I was ready to speak out about my visit.

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:23 PM
I find it ironic and amusing that you, Swoosh, the #1 HFE fan of all time, are bashing an HFE property. Nothing is certain in today's world.

Mountain Slidwinder: A great down hill toboggan run. If the boat is "steered" correctly, you can really get high in the curves.

i agrees with u. Much better than SDC's version, in that ours doe'snt suck and is alottt fasterer!!!!!!!!!11111!!!

Smoky Mountain Rampage: Inferior to it's sister Lost River at SDC, the ride is a rather tame rapids ride that will get you wet only if the coin operated sprayers are being used.

I consider it one of the better rapids rides because it actually uses the rapids to get you wet, instead of waterfalls and things of that sort. I find it hard to believe you came off without being saturated.

Daredevil Falls: Weird themed flume ride that was not really that great of a ride. Ride it if there is a short line.

I guess you thought BuzzSaw Falls's themeing was weird as well.

The train ride is not worth it. Unlike the Frisco Silver Dollar Line, the Dollywood Express should only be ridden if you have done everything at the park or if you want to see Thunderhead at a different angle. They spend the entire trip talking about the train and then annoy the heck out of you blowing its whistle at the top of the mountain for what seems like forever. Also ever since the idiot fell off the the train they have idiot-proofed the ride by being over repetitive with safety warnings and such. There are no jokes told (like on Frisco) and I guess if you like to look at trees then go for it. Loading and unloading take forever!!!

The jokes were dropped because people thought they were annoying. Most of the riders would like to hear the history of Dollywood's beautiful train than dumb redneck chatter about " 'Possums" and "Moonshine".

The Dollywood Express has the Frisco Line beat. DW's locomotives are 100% American built, (Not dinky little "teapot" imports from Europe like at SDC) and are WW2 veterans. You actually go somewhere on Dollywood's train as well, instead of slowly rolling down a hill behind the park and back. I'm surprised you didn't like it.

Swoosh, I have concluded that you are just jealous & grouchy because Dollywood is twice as large as Silver Dollar City and has more rides. Now, could you pleeeeeze re-type your post and tell the truth about your awesome, awe-inspiring, and spiritually uplifting trip to Dollywood and how you'll never be able to go back to SDC again after such a wonderful life changing experience at it's superior sister park?

-Thankz in advance, the Dollywood fanboys. *** Edited 8/20/2004 3:29:46 AM UTC by Dukeis#1***

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:30 PM
Thunderhead = not overhyped.
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Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:43 PM
I didn't like the Dollywood Express because (1) Slow and poorly executed loading procedures (2) While the train is 100% American, the smoke sucks all of the Oxygen out of the air if you are "lucky" enough to get a whiff of the smoke (3) The train goes no where, it goes up the mountain and then goes down. You see nothing, at least SDC has stuff to look at, and it even goes around most of the park (4) The information about the train, while educational, was boring in amount given. I at least expected some information about Dolly or anything that was remotely fun. (5) The train needs a robbery or something to make it entertaining.

It is almost impossible to compare Slidewinder to Waterboggan anymore because they redid the one at SDC to have a new style of raft as well as all new slides. I did enjoy the ride though.

Rampage was weak, but then again you have to remember I was at CP and BGW just a few days before.

I counted 21 rides at DW, while SDC has 16. With that being said, of those 16 rides, all but 3 of them are original rides, whereas there are quite a few "off the shelf" rides at DW (*cough*The Village*cough*).

The park is not horrible, it's a long ways from that (see SFKK and SFAW), but I still say it is inferior to SDC. I'm a SDC fanboy what can I say. I find it humorous that you can me the #1 HFE fanboy on this site (it may be true though ;) but what about Jim Wolgamuth?).

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Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:52 PM
The train had a robbery, but it was stopped to increase the train's daily capacity. :(

I'll have to visit SDC someday. It does look amazing. :)

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Friday, August 20, 2004 12:01 AM
I think the main problem with DW's train is the layout of the track. With the current set-up it is impossible to have two trains on the course at the same time. The only way I can see around it is for there to be a "quasi-stacking" to occur. One train would have to be leaving the station while the other train is near the engine workshop. I think the park needs to lay some more track so that capacity can be increased. With SDC's setup they can run two trains on the same course. This allows for departures every 15 minutes, which helps the pph. I think that is another reason why Frisco is better.

Dukeis, when you DO decided to come to SDC, let me know and I'll give you a guided tour.

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Friday, August 20, 2004 12:46 AM
Swoosh, IMO you are coming off as a real snob in this thread. Oh, you are such a far better, smarter person that the people in TN. ( I'm not from TN, so don't say I'm sticking up for my kinfolk :) ) You also keep holding the park up to be EXACTLY like Silver Dollar City. DW does not claim to be SDC, and just because they are owned by the same company doesn't mean that they are exactly the same. Next, are you going to compare everything at Wyandot Lake to SFGAM? You have VERY few complaints or even comments that dont involve a compareison to SDC, stop holding the park up to a different standard, and rate it for what it is, not what you WANT it to be.

/rant *** Edited 8/20/2004 4:49:15 AM UTC by CoasterCameron***

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Friday, August 20, 2004 9:06 AM
The only thing that I agree with the criticism of the train is that the course could be considered a bit boring by some. Going up the mountain there is not exactly that much to see.

HOWEVER... All things considered, it is still one of the most memorable rides at Dollywood and probably the best park train around (next to BGW's wich actually can be used toget from point a to point b in the park). Heck... what am I saying... while there are not that many "major" rides at dollywood, they are all memorable (Quality over Quantity). This is not your average "park train", seeing that the engines are 60 year old steam engines. (I could be wrong on the exact years). As for the loading taking a long time... Unlike other "rides" this train doesn't simply dispatch when it is filled. It runs on a schedule. When my wife and I rode it, the sign said "next train leaves at 4:30pm". We boarded knowing that we would not be leaving before that time.

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Friday, August 20, 2004 10:59 AM
i was at DW in June: loved it! Very nice change of pace from 6 flags ohio (had season passes for 3 years) .
I found the staff the friendliest i'd ever seen. Even when they approached about smoking in the non-designated areas, they were friendly and courteous...
unlike 6-flags ohio: 'yo, motha-f#@$@r, stuff the butt out! beee-yah!' offended, no, i laughed in his face and he sicked a sheriff on me, who promtly told him the shut the f$#@ up...
(outside of loading stations, i don't believe 6 flags has designated smoking areas)
the non smoking thinga at DW did make a differance. without a doubt, it was the most beautiful park i'd ever seen and was virtually litter free...
Great park, looking forward to it next year!
ThunderHead, great ride!
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