Dollywood 5/27 & 30 (Long)

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Thursday, May 31, 2001 6:51 PM
My family and I went up to Pigeon Forge for the Memorial Day weekend. Since I didn't have a chance to hit Dollywood last time I was there I made it a point to go this time. We were able to get tickets that gave us an extra day for only $3 more, great deal. Here's my review of the park.

This has got to be one of the most beautiful parks in the country, even without the theming. The park is nestled in a narrow valley in between several beautiful hills. They keep very close to the country theme throughout the park except for 'Dollywood Lane' and it works well. There's water flowing just about everywhere. While walking to the Tennessee Tornado at the back of the park there's a small creek running right down the middle of the Midway leading to that area, complete with ducks! This isn't a big thrill park for coaster nuts, but if you're looking for a place to sit back and relax and enjoy the 'slow life' then this is a great place. The food is simply amazing. We had fried potatoes, roasted turkey leg, frozen lemonade, beef jerky (made at the park), and all kinds of sweets from the bakery and it was all top notch. Although I didn't go to any of the shows I walked by a few and they all looked like good performances, mainly country and bluegrass music, but enjoyable I'm sure. We did listen to the a cappella singers in Jukebox Junction, and they were great. A few small complaints, they only had two people working the season pass gate that also had to stamp people's hand wanting re-entry to the park which made a big mess around lunch time. Also, you have to exit the park through a shop which isn't labeled as an exit. Finally the park closes at 8 P.M., what's up with that? I would think that on Memorial Day Weekend the park would be open till at least 10, oh well, still plenty of time to hit all the rides multiple times. All in all a great park.
Food: 10/10
Theming: 9/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Employees: 9/10

Now to the rides:
Tennessee Tornado
This is the only real coaster here. A fairly recent Arrow looper. The first drop is simply amazing, best one I've been on (Which isn't saying too awfully much, just look at my track record :( ). Dropping 100 ft. down a tunnel in the side of the mountain is simply amazing. If you want positive G's go for the front seat, my sis's boyfriend had a minor gray out (if that's what you call it) when we rode up front during one of the loops. If you like airtime go for the back. You get a nice pop of airtime over the top of the lift and then float all the way down the drop into the tunnel. All in all a very fun coaster, but just a little too short. The ride-ops were great both days. I was never in line for more than 10 mins, even with one train operation, however I wasn't around during lunch hours. We were able to get in 8 rides (3 back seat and 1 front seat) without any problem. Also got an on-ride photo, you'll be able to see it in my profile once I get it scanned.
Rating: 8.5/10

Blazing Fury
Theming was marginal, effects were less than marginal, and the drops were very lacking. I hate coasters whose main theme is 'you're in the dark'. There were a few neat elements, such as a drop that looked like a falling bridge. The last drop is into water, if your in the front you will get soaked. Definitely skip this ride if the wait is more then 15 mins.
Rating: 3/10

Daredevil Falls
A very fun flume ride. The drop isn't quite as high as Splash Mountain, but its still fun. Excellent theming.
Rating: 8.5/10 (For a water ride)

Smoky Mountain Rampage
Fun little rapids ride. Not near as big as others, but it seemed longer and a little faster paced. The line for this really gets long during lunch time, which is typical of any water ride.
Rating: 6.5/10 (For a water ride)

Mountain Slidewinder
Didn't find this ride until right before we left the last day. Its hidden behind Dolly's Enchanted Forest. This is a water toboggan ride down the side of a hill. A fun little ride, but be warned, you will get soaked it you sit in the back of this ride, up front isn't quite as bad, just a wet bum. ;)
Rating: 5/10

Thunder Road
A neat simulation ride in the front of the park. The movie and story line is cheesy, but it's meant to be that way. The car chase simulation is cool, just a little short.
Rating: 6/10

There are more flat rides in the County Fair section of the park, but we didn't hit all of them because of the growing crowds by the time we were in that area of the park. We came back in the evening on the 27th and were able to ride everything again. We came back for our second day on the morning of the 30th and rode sevral rides again before noon, along with eating. This park could definitely use a CCI terrain coaster, it would be amazing. A fun park and worth another visit.
Overall Park Rating: 8/10

A few tips:
-We stayed at a resort on the right just before you get to Dollywood (Golf View). You can get 2 day passes there for $35 (Reg. Admission is $32). The only drawback is you have to use the 2nd day within 2 operating days of the first day, but still a good deal.
-There's also a wooden coaster on the strip in Pigeon Forge, but unfortunately its only open on weekends, which they don't tell you until you get there. Needless to say I was very disappointed at not getting a ride on this one.
-Give yourself plenty of time for parking in this park, due to the terrain around the park the parking lot is very long and narrow, so the close parking places are filled up very quickly. But fortunately there's plenty of trams so you don't have to do too much walking.

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Thursday, May 31, 2001 7:18 PM
Great TR. I'm so glad someone else at least appreciates the park, but it, along with Disney, is one of the most hated parks by coaster buffs. I don't necessarily like country music, but I don't mind it and all the shows I've seen were really well done. I have to disagree with you about Blazing Fury though. It's an older family coaster, but I thought the theming was pretty cool and when I was little(just showing you who it was meant for), this ride scared the hell out of me. I cried and cried through it the first time...and then rode it 20 times after that(when it was the only good coaster they had). I thought it was a fun little ride. Not up to today's standards but family-friendly and cool nonetheless. Personally, I thought Thunder Road was the best in park motion sim(minus BTTF) I've seen. The show is funny and cheesy, but a nice ride. I guess it depends on taste. What better one's have you been on? DW had a nice selection of water rides too. I think the theming is great too. Did you see the waterpark? Anyway, glad you had fun!
Thursday, May 31, 2001 7:31 PM
Didn't make it to the water park, it seemed just a little too cool to have fun at the water park.

I agree with you on Blazing Fury, I didn't realize how old it was until I looked it up on rcdb just a few minutes ago. I still think it lacks a little, even for the family theming, but I understand it much more now after realizing its age.

I've been on several simulators, mostly Disney and USF. This one was second only to BTTF, but my rating was dependent on thrill rides in general, as a simulation ride it would get an 8 or 9. Guess I should've clarified that rating. ;)

Glad I'm not the only one who liked the park. :)

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