Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
First visit to Dollywood since July 2007. The new back section of the park looks great and makes the park so much easier to navigate. As always, the park was sparkling clean and beautiful. It was a beautifully sunny, 80 degree day so that was a huge plus. We arrived about 45 minutes prior to park opening and were able to park in the closest general parking lot-which is still a bit of a hike to the entrance. If we had gotten there just a little earlier we could have parked in one of the few spots that are very near the entrance just by the side of the main road.
The National Anthem was played at 9:45 and they opened the gates at that time. There were not too many people there yet, but it was a gorgeous day and the only day we could be there, so we opted to rent a Q-bot just in case. Quick and easy rental process there. As it turned out, we really didn't need the Q-bot as lines were fairly minimal all day. It did save us about 1.5-2 hours for the whole day though so it was worth it to me to have the extra time to explore the shops and other attractions.
Wild Eagle was our first ride of the day and it was great. No comparison to Gatekeeper at CP in my opinion, but still a great ride and the station house is beautifully done. It did however have quite a bit of downtime throughout the day with trains being stopped at the top of the lift hill for extended periods. It seemed to be an issue with one of the trains as when we finally got a re-ride late in the day, only one train was running.
The new Fire Chaser Express was next and what a great addition for the whole family! Just thrilling enough for the big kids, tame enough for the little ones. Great job with the theme here and all-in-all just a unique, fun ride.
Mystery Mine is still my favorite Dollywood ride and didn't dissappoint. Neither did Thunderhead. Of course, a little rougher than in 2007, but still my favorite woodie outside of Holiday World.
I'm a Cedar Point regular and though the point is so much bigger with-by far-bigger and better rides than Dollywood, CP customer service (though good in general) pales in comparison to that of Dollywood. The employee's obvious enthusiasm and love of thier park make Dollywood shine brighter that CP in that department.
I look forward to see Dollywood continue to grow and add new attractions and rides as long as the beauty of the park and the passion of the employees remains intact.
Thanks for a great day Dollywood!
Dollywood customer service is above and beyond most parks, not just Cedar Point. It is a very special place.
Just curious about something: do most amusement parks do the whole Star-Spangled Banner thing at opening? I noticed you mentioned it, and I have seen that KD has SSB played at opening as well. Dorney, Hershey, and most other parks that I have been to don't. Is it a location thing? Just a tradition at certain parks? Not saying I mind by any means, but I just realized that even in the Cedar Fair parks it varies, so I wanted to ask.Last edited by bunky666, Sunday, April 20, 2014 1:21 AM
I do recall SFGAm doing the Anthem, but it's been years since I've been anywhere near the gate of a park at opening.
Dollywood is the leader of customer service. Beyond Disney even. They personally respond to every single customer email.
It did however have quite a bit of downtime throughout the day with trains being stopped at the top of the lift hill for extended periods. It seemed to be an issue with one of the trains as when we finally got a re-ride late in the day, only one train was running.
Probably not an issue with the train, rather an issue with the control system where a defect did not allow reliable operation with two trains.
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