My sister and I arrived at Dollywood on Saturday at around 11:00. The park was rather crowded, or at least more crowded than it was the last time I went there over five years ago. Dollywood was holding its “Festival of Nations” event during our day at the park, as it has been since March. Inside the park were various shows featuring musical acts and performances from people around the world.
Our first task was to search out Thunderhead in this rather confusing park. I expected Thunderhead Gap to be further up the mountain, perhaps up near Daredevil Falls, but I was surprised to find it just to the left of the park entrance. We headed up the hillside to one of the greatest coaster experiences I have ever had. We waited about 10 minutes for each of our rides throughout the afternoon. Thunderhead was my first GCI coaster, and I was very surprised at the difference between a GCI coaster and every other wooden coaster I have ridden. The ride was extremely smooth in every seat we rode in, including the front and back rows. This ride had an abundance of airtime in the most unexpected places, and the banking on the turns was incredible. I couldn’t get enough of this ride, and my sister loved it as well. We rode it several times throughout the day.
My sister and I had both ridden the Tennessee Tornado back when it first opened so we knew what to expect from this ride. On our three rides we never waited more than one cycle. Without a doubt this is the best Arrow coaster I have ridden, including Magnum and a few of the megaloopers. The ride is very smooth, and each element of the ride packs a punch, from the first drop to the final turn into the brake run. The ride has very fast pacing; there isn’t a chance to catch your breath from the top of the lift until you hit the brakes. On the first of our three rides, my sister and I both had a whiteout experience in the final inversion. We sat in the same seat in our other two rides, but we never experienced another whiteout. This is a top notch steel ride.
The time between the coaster rides was spent walking around and watching the other rides, as well as taking in the performances. The Moscow Circus was very entertaining. We also checked out the new rides in the County Fair section of the park. The rides looked great, but unfortunately they had rather long lines we weren’t willing to deal with.
We finished the day by purchasing some souvenirs, including the S&D Greetings wooden coaster calendar at the Thunderhead shop. I was so excited to find it because I missed out on ordering it earlier on. Great job Mamoosh and everyone that worked on this calendar, it’s beautiful and the first page is very interesting.
On another note, one of the small go-kart parks in Pigeon Forge has an S&S Screamin’ Swing. It looked very fun, and I wanted to give it a try but unfortunately I was a bit wary of the ride operator. He walked under the ride while it was making a cycle and that coupled with his unprofessional appearance turned me off. Hopefully I’ll have a chance at riding one of these later on, maybe when Kennywood gets their large version next year. Thanks for reading.
Dollywood is one of those parks that I just love to walk around and take it all in. The food is incredibly good, the shows are amazing, and the coasters are great as well!
Glad you had a good time!
You're right, the food was fantastic and it's a blast to just walk around the park and take in all the scenery.
Thanks! Dollywood is the reason we sold out...they bought everything we had left ;)
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