The park is in perfect shape, early during their first week. Friendly faces greet the patrons while an array of background music plays in the midway. We walked the long pathway back to the new wooden monster to get our first laps. Ok, cool...next ride.
The major problem with Dollywood is the midways which are as wide as Paris Hilton's waistline. On busy days, I can see tourists taking swings at moutain folk, dogs and cats living together....mass hysteria. In reality, they are about 12 to 15 feet wide and cause many forms of gridlock while winding about the park. But, on today's venture, minimal stops to get from place to place.
The shows at Dollywood, which are major attractions, were wonderful. The Chinese acrobats were a little rusty, making minor mistakes, but a great show nonetheless. The Metal Drummers from Trinidad was also an enjoyable show, since they play next to the American Eagle display along the hillside in the back of the park. The other ride, which is also a show, is the Wilderness Adventure. This huge motion simulator becomes completely nauseating, but was fun to try once.
The Mountain Slidewinder, with it's long walk up to the top was very enjoyable and extremely wet. However, what's with the best non-coaster ride in 1999 thing?? It was good, but was Spiderman (IOA) created at that time? Overall, the water rides were very well done with average themeing, especially the Mountain water ride that drops off the cliff.
The Tornado was maybe the best Arrow I have ridden besides Magnum. This ride hidden in the back of the park uses the terrain well with a very surprising first drop and good inversions, but way too short to be considered a great looper. Blazing Fury: I'm a little dumbfounded by this one. What the hell is it? I thought it was a good attempt at a new idea in the 80's, but it's quite boring.
Now, let's end the discussion with a major notation: This is NOT the best wooden coaster every built. It's in my top 5, but not the best. Thunderhead is a huge hit for Dollywood and GCI. Outstanding, twisting, first drop into a terrific S-curve. The banking is simply amazing and the pops of air are subtle and surprising. The one thing that sticks in my mind is this: The engineering is so good on this coaster that on changes in direction, your heart and lungs stay in one place while your legs and head swoop about your midsection effortlessly. The station fly thru is a classic, since you barrel past the que with a blurr. But, after the station, the next drop down into the valley for the finish, Thunderhead becomes good to insane. It's a winner for sure.
Another positive for the ride is the crew. They really work hard to avoid stacking the trains, while the operator says, "There's a Thunderhead rolling in" and "Thunderhead is rolling outta here" all while the thunder rolls right by at what seems Mach II in the station. They do need another ride back there to help with the lack of que.
Coasterpunk, GREAT job on the trains, they are very comfortable and my wife thanks you. Chaindog, make a trip, you'll love this ride, too.
DW may invest some more capital dollars into a new capital ride for 2005. This is however, doubtful. But the B&M Inverted and.or floorless is coming!
I agree that the path up to Thunderhead is a little small. Maybe they'll widen it eventually.
Mountain Slidewinder was AB's #1 back in 1991, and that was before we had things like Spiderman. ;)
Yes, TT is short, and I'd love for it to be longer as well, but I don't think it's too short to be considered a great looper. It's hands down the best Arrow looper in my book. With TT only 49' shorter in length than Raven, does this mean Raven is too short to be considered a great wooden coaster? It's not the length of the ride but what you do with it.
Since Thunderhead Gap is new this season I'm sure we will see it built up with more rides, shops, and shows. Just give it time.
Remeber when Midway America at Hersheypark was just the Wildcat sitting in the field by itself? Now Look at it from 96 to 2000. 3 GCI's, Wild Mouse, and a slew of other rides.
She was on that radio station for about a week too. I listened to her on the net.
Actually, who needs Utah?
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