Dollywood 11/28/07

Associated parks:

It'd been on the back of my mind for two years as I visited Dollywood in 2005 to ride Thunderhead. Then 30pds heavier I did not get to ride. I then went to gain twenty more pounds over the next year of hell.

So this year I was comfident after loosing 65pds I could ride thunderhead. I was kinda worried about Mystery Mine but hoping I could ride. It would be my first Eurofighter.

I left Cincy at 6am and got to Pigeon Forge about 11, With three hours to spare I decided Id drive around and look at what attractions were in the area and then procedeed to cruise Gatlinburg noting a Gatlinburg Amuement park that sat abandoned on the hillside with a Yo-Yo, Ferris wheel and Tilt on the grounds.

About 1pm I headed back to Dollywood taking notice of the Steam Engine located behind the Dollywood/Dixie Stampeed info building. Back in the 80's me and my brother had climbed aboard of what was then a unpainted rust bucket filled with wasp nest. Im glad they at least did some cosmetic work and painted it. I doubt it will ever be restored at it's boiler is riveted.

1:15 I pay my SEVEN DOLLARS FOR PARKING WITH FULL TRAM SERVICE Not 10, not 15 but reasonable 7

I get up to the entrance and the greaters and picture takers are in full swing but not intrussive and quite comical. One saying he stayed at the Holiday Inn express last night and doesn't even work here :)

130 park gates open and I head straight up the hill to Thunderhead. It opened promptly at 2. I tried the test seat (NO PRoBLEM) Went in the station second row and WTH? The bar won't lock, Attendant says hop to the other side. CLICK???????????? Same way all over the train although I did ride in EVERY SEAT with 88 total THUNDERHEAD RIDES.

T Head review? Awesome! It's only the second coaster I've ridden with the GCII trains the other being Lightning Racers. I rank this right against Villain as far as intensity, Length and quality witch ties it for my 3rd of of 80 woodies. Front seat offers a lot more airtime throughout the ride however the backseat first drop and drop under the station is great and there isn't a bad seat on the train. The Thunderhead shuffle since riders were low all day just meant you could ride again as much as you wanted, Just not the same seat.

After about 25 rides I headed up the hill to Mystery Mine. I didn't even watch it run, I just walked up the steps and got on, The whole apearance of the ride is great. The ride itself is ok and fun until the end, The final drop, Corkscrew and WTH? Inversion that hangs you upside down for about 5 seconds then rolls out is FLAT AWESOME!

MM review: I noticed something different on almost every one of my 30+ rides however some of it became mundane. It's good, The drops are awesome and I actually prefered the back seats to the front seats for ride quiality. There is one point in the building right near the transfer track that is just plain ROUGH. Id say it's a great ride but then SOMETHINGS WRONG with it. Any coaster that does not use up it's potential energy has a hash mark against it in my book. A simple helix at the end or something would have completed the ride. Instead it comes out of this 90ft tall inversion straight into the brakes.

Im a huge steam train fanatic and rode it twice in 2005 when I had more time due to my not being able to ride Thunderhead. I don't know. I just love the sound, sights and power of a real steam loco.

I caught about ten minutes of a outdoor show. Excellent as all of DW's shows are but thats not why I went this year. Six Oclock It was back up the hill to Thunderhead and MM and I got many more rides on each. 730 I made a mad dash to Tennessee Tornado and rode that three times back to back to back. It's a darn good arrow and it features one of the best first drops ever on one.

Fire in the hole i rode once, It's ok, I just don't get it. Kinda funny in spots.

8-9 more head and MM

Got home at 2am with a charlie horse in my thigh from the drive but feeling pretty good.

Next day, Memories and Charlie Horse are still vivid!

Chuck (Cravenmorehead) Nungester

eightdotthree's avatar
How in the heck can your body even take that many rides in one day? Thats just completely insane.

Sounds like a nice day.

I could ride the GCII trains from open to close, No problem, The rides intense but they are not cramped and well padded. If that ride had PTC.s I wouldn't be walking right now but would be brused to death and probably a couple broken ribs. LOL

It was worth every penny :)

How late in the year does Dollywood operate the rides?


I agree with Charles. Those Millenium Flyer cars are just plain comfortable. As re-rideable as Thunderhead is, Kentucky Rumbler is even more so.

My author website:

The problem I see with the MF trains is GCII isn't building there rides around them. Sure they turn better and wear less but these trains are capable of WHACKY TRACK and 10 degree radius turns, Steeper bunny hops and stuff like that. I talk Wacky track because if you look at the animation or video of the Crystal Beach Cyclone and its severe radius turns.

I also feel it's a lot safer to have sharper and bigger air in these trains as you sit deeper in them The sideboards and backs are higher than PTCs, The T Bar is assured over your thighs compared to the ratchet which could be anywhere and the belt :)

How old is T-Head? 5 years? I didn't notice one bit of track work. I could be wrong but thats a agressive coaster. I could only imagine coasters like Voyage's maintence would be cut ten fold with them.

Chuck *** Edited 11/30/2007 2:24:23 PM UTC by Charles Nungester***

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
THead debuted in 2004. :) It's still my personal fave, as if nobody knew. ;) I am hoping to get back down there before the end of this month, hopefully around my birthday as always. :)

I agree about the Dollywood Express, Chuck. I love those old trains! There is nothing quite like a nice ride through the Smokies! :)

Killer TR! I am glad you had a great time!


*** Edited 12/2/2007 11:58:25 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

When you come to the Thunderhead, make sure you come see me!

Let the Thunder RROOLLLL!!!
The Thunderhead
The Wildest Ride in the Woods!

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