Dollywood 4/3

Associated parks:
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Sunday, April 4, 2004 6:55 PM
I went to Dollywood on Saturday for opening day, primarily of course to hit Thunderhead. The park was horribly crowded, but, oh well, I knew it would be when I decided to go on opening day!
The first place after we entered the park was, of course, Thunderhead, located in a new part of the park to the left of the entrance. When we got there, there wasa lready a HUGE line, so we had to wait a while, but thankfully they had both trains up and operating so it only took us about 1 1/2 hours to get on.
Ahhhh...Thunderhead. Nothing that has been said on here can actually do this ride justice. I have NEVER ridden anything quite like it! We took our first ride in the front, and I have to say that the first drop was definitely worth the entire price of admission!! Once you nose over the lift, you're butt doesn't touch the seat again until you reach the bottom, after this you head through the never ending hills and turns that make Thunderhead great. Most of the time, your butt has just barely started to touch the seat again when you are slammed into an impossibly tight corner. Overall, it is the best coaster that I have ever been on, and if GCI can ever manage to build something better, I will be there to ride that coaster no matter where it is!
Next we headed over to the 50's section, where all we did was pretty much walk around and look at stuff because there is not much there that my girlfriend and I like, but we did manage to ride the Smoky Mountain Wilderness Adventure, DW's motion simulator ride. It's fairly fun, but it jerks the crap out of you and left me with a neckache.
Then we decided that it was to to head towards the Tennessee Tornado, located all the way at the very back of the park. On the way to TT we decided to go ahead and ride Blazing Fury. Yes, it's old. Yes, it's cheesy. But I still like it, and hey, I think they actually change the water at the end for the first time since it opened!
After that we hit TT. I love this ride! It's a little short, but if you sit in the back you get major airtime on the first drop and in the loops. It is still verrrry smooth also.
We spent the next little bit dealing with the crowds and looking in the overpriced hillbilly shops before riding the Mountain Slidewinder, which is finally back open. I was the forced to go to several shows by my girlfriend before heading back to Thunderhead for the last two rides of the day.
This time we rode in the back, and I am not sure where I like it better! In the front, you feel like you are going to fly off of the track going into the corners, but in the back you get major ejector and floating airtime! I love this thing! Even the fly-through is cool! But anyway, we went home happy and I will be returning Thursday!
Joe

BTW, sorry about the rambling nature of this TR, but I am not much of a writer, and this is also the first TR I have done!

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Sunday, April 4, 2004 7:15 PM
Oh yeah, and on the way out of Thunderhead gap last night, I got to (very briefly) tell Claire Haine that GCI kicks butt! (He was on his way up yo Thunderhead) I wish I could have thought of something more profound to say...lol
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Sunday, April 4, 2004 7:57 PM
Glad to see you had a good time! Hopefully the crowds won't be so bad on your next trip!

Happen to see Dolly any?

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Sunday, April 4, 2004 8:08 PM
Very happy you enjoyed it as much as i did. Words will not do this ride justice. It is simply the best wooden, if not over all-roller coaster built in quite a long time!

Great TR! *** Edited 4/5/2004 12:10:27 AM UTC by CoastermanX***

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Sunday, April 4, 2004 8:18 PM
No we didn't see Dolly...I managed to convince Leah to skip the parade and got over to Thunderhead...we got two rides in 30 minutes!!!
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Sunday, April 4, 2004 9:32 PM
Very cool. I can't wait to ride Thunderhead next weekend. Did you stay until the end of the day and if so, what time did they cut they line off for the coaster?
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Sunday, April 4, 2004 9:37 PM
the line was closed at 7:30 pm

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Sunday, April 4, 2004 9:50 PM
Actually they closed the line off at about 6:45 because they don't have working lights in the station or on the backside of the ride yet, but I was told that they would be correcting this little glitch on Monday or Tuesday...

Joe

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Sunday, April 4, 2004 9:59 PM
Is dollywood usually crowded? Will the Lines for any of the rides be long in the summer months?
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Sunday, April 4, 2004 10:10 PM

villeneuve said:
Actually they closed the line off at about 6:45 because they don't have working lights in the station or on the backside of the ride yet, but I was told that they would be correcting this little glitch on Monday or Tuesday...

Joe


yea i just talked to the wife and you are right. she said that it was about 6:45. i think they probably were still cycling trains though till probably 7:10.

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Sunday, April 4, 2004 10:39 PM

coasterkid16 said:
Is dollywood usually crowded? Will the Lines for any of the rides be long in the summer months?

Normally the park is not that crowded(One of the advantages of having such a long operating season), but during July and early August, right before schools begin to start again, the park can get very congested as families come to Pigeon Forge for their end of summer vacations.

October can also be a crowded time to visit because of all the leaf lookers and tourists.

Evan when the park is crowded, lines are not that bad. The River Rampage and Slidewinder, from my expierience, normally have the longest waits. Tennessee Tornado, Blazing Fury, and Daredevil Falls don't seem to have bad line problems. I'm not quite sure about Thunderhead though. It's lines have been very bad so far, from what I've heard. :)

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Monday, April 5, 2004 12:00 AM
Finally April 3rd rolled around! Good to see some of you guys made it out to Dollywood. We (Raptor Pilot, my friend Dave, and I) left Nashville at 4 AM (whew) and made the drive over to Dollywood just in time to be there at the opening hour. We entered and headed immediately to Thunderhead, what might be the most beautiful and sinuously curved coaster I've ever seen in person. MMMMM the fresh smell of wood and sawdust was everywhere in the air. We got in the queue just as Thunderhead trains started making test runs. After about a 25 minute wait (partly due to the computer video on the lifthill having to be rebooted), we got seats in the first 2 rows. By the way, the MF trains are gorgeous...great job Coasterpunk! The seats are really comfy, and I'd say a little tighter than most other trains I've been in. Folks, you don't see this type of craftsmanship and attention to details everyday. Back to the ride...The train was released and out we went into the cool mountain air and sunshine. From the moment you crest the lift, Thunderhead feels incredibly out of control to put it mildly. It doesn't let up til you hit the brakes...drops, dips, 78 degree banked head choppers, compression...release, compression and release again, and my beloved airtime...it's all there. The station fly through really heightens the ride as the people standing below in the queue become a total blur. Then, its back out of the fly through for more insanity til you hit the smoothest brake run. After our front seat ride, we got back on it this time in the very back. WOW...I loved it even more! I really haven't done the ride justice here...everyone get down here and ride it ASAP!

Later in the day we happened to catch Dolly in the parade. She was all made up for the Festival of Nations in an Egyptian looking costume. I hardly even recognized her at first haha.

OK Maybe it's just me, but I enjoyed seeing the Fest of Nations happenings around the park. We caught the Chinese Acrobats show and were totally blown away. The Scottish bagpipe guys sounded amazing too...there was a lone one right by Tennessee Tornado blasting away.

Tennessee Tornado was running smooth and fast as ever. In the back seat I figured out a great trick on the tunnel drop is to lift your feet right before you crest the top of it...you float all the way down the tunnel.

We were going to head back to Thunderhead at the end of the day to catch some night rides, but the ride supervisor at TT told us it was shut down due to the lack of lighting in the exit. Bummer! So we stayed on TT til park closing.

All in all, a great day. Wish we had of bumped into more of you CBuzzers.

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