Dollywood - 12/27/05

Associated parks:
None

Friday, December 30, 2005 1:05 AM
First of all, we couldn't have asked for better weather for the day. Clear, sunny, and it reached 59 degrees for a high. The bad news...seemingly everybody in the area showed up because of the great weather. The shortened hours made for kind of a rushed afternoon and evening, but I finally did get to ride Thunderhead and Tennessee Tornado.

1st Stop - Get tickets for the Christmas show at the DW Theater.

2nd Stop - Country Fair...This place looked much more bright and colorful than it did two seasons ago. My son got to ride all the smaller rides, while me and my daughter rode the Veggietales Sideshow Spin and their family frog hopper, (the name escapes me!). I really wanted to get to the Disko, but the line was out the ques for it, and I had coasters to ride that had eluded me once already.

3rd Stop - Blazin' Fury. I had rode this before, but it'd been nearly 9 years since that time. And there seemed to be lots of things I missed from the first time. Probably because 9 years ago I was on my honeymoon, and there was really only one thing on my mind...wink, wink! My daughter loved this ride, and I have to admit it was fun to ride, and to watch her reaction! She loved it enough she rode again with mom.

4th Stop - Tennessee Tornado. We were talking a 20 minute wait for mid-train, and it was really a lot better than I expected. While short, it was an intense ride for me. The inversions were great! The last curve was rougher than it first looked, and the small dip into the break run hurt, but it was still a good ride. 8/10

5th Stop - The Christmas Show. I'll withhold comment...I did it for the wife! Seriously though, the show wasn't too bad. At 55 minutes though, it wasn't kid-friendly.

6th Stop - THUNDERHEAD!! - I was hoping to ride this while it was still daylight, but the bottom line is...at least I got to ride it. It was dark, but enough light was around to give you a good look ahead. Only at the back of the ride was it pitch black...which was actually very cool. Some details about the ride were:

- It was right at 40 degrees when we got to the front of line. They came over the intercom and told us that they typically shut down the coasters for safety reasons. But as she was saying this, one of the engineers examined the track and gave her the go ahead to let everybody left in line ride. I was nervous...all I could think was, "Not Again! Two trips to DW and no Thunderhead".

- The fly-through station had no real effect on me. It happened so fast it really was nothing. The turns, the speed, the headchopping passes however...incredible! The next time we head to DW I will be camping out at Thunderhead. The great part was, I was freezing before the ride, but after the ride, I had so much adrenaline pumping I wasn't cold again the rest of the night. Awesome ride! 10/10

We finished with the Christmas Parade and shopping...but there was more earlier in the day.

Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride

This is the newest Pigeon Forge attraction to open o the strip, and I'm sad to report, IMO a waste of money. It looks enticing from the outside, but it horribly staged inside. Any scares you get at all are in the first two minutes. It could've been spaced out better, because after that, it's pretty lame.

The effects were pretty low quality for all the boasting that is done in line. Many times it seemed lighting was a major factor as you could rarely get a good view of what was going on around you, or the boat was already passing the scene up when the lights came on.

The Pteradactyl scene had some humor to it, as one flew over your head with a little kid in it's talons. But other than that, even my two year old was rarely scared, (except during an effect at the tail end of the ride). I won't totally bomb this ride because many of it's problems can be fixed with a little tweeking of the effects. 4/10

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