Dollywood-America's next top park?

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 6:17 PM
Being a Dollywood fan myself(you can ask me anything about DW),I was wanting to hear some input from other coasterbuzzers about this rising park.Dollywood,already in top attendance in US,and when they came into the coaster business with the Tennessee Tornado(my favorite coaster),they became a competitor.Like other people in the industry im watching this park very closely,especially since rumors floating that DW could be getting 2 new coasters(a B&M invert,floorless,or sit-down,and a CCI Terrain Coaster)I feel this park may become something.I would like to hear some input on this park.


Wednesday, May 29, 2002 6:23 PM

Okay, I haven't been there but here are my thoughts. Dollywood has a lot of competition if it will be one of the top parks of America. Much more will be needed to compete with the bigger parks in the industry. There are only 2 roller coasters at the park and the only one I keep hearing about is the Tennessee Tornado. Even with the new roller coasters they might get, the park will still need a lot of work

"The opposite of war isn't peace, its creation," Rent.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 6:57 PM

I don't think Dollywood will ever be "the next top park," it may win an Applause Award, but it will never be considered a "top park". This is due in fact to it's location and the purpose of the park. SDC is not trying to make a CP or SFMM out of this park, so don't ever take it for more than what it is. DW is second fiddle to SDC (and maybe third after the 2nd park opens in Branson). So don't go expecting HUGE things for the park. Occasional improvements will happen, but don't expect it to ever reach it's full potential.

IMHO of course

S W :) :) S H

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 7:50 PM

Dollywood does not need to be compared to CP or other "thrill parks" to be considered a top park now or in the future. Disneyland and BGW are top parks and they don't have the number of thrill rides that CP or some SF parks have.

Dollywood is an awesome themepark on its own rights and it does what it does expertly well. With some coaster additions it may gain more attention from some people who are not currently Dollywood regulars, but that only emphasizes the point that it is or could be a top park. You see, it already receives huge attendence figures without the throngs of thrill seakers that may visit other parks. Add some of those thrill seekers to Dollywood's established clientele of themepark visitors and I would call that a world class park that caters to all interests and ages just as Disneyland and BGW do now.

My feeling is that people who visit Dollywood know a good thing when they see it, and people who have not visited Dollywood but have a preconceived notion of what the park is like probably don't understand what they are missing. Or, perhaps they wouldn't appreciate it anyway.

Dollywood, like Hershey and Busch, seems confident in what they are doing and in being themselves despite the competition. I don't mean that they aren't in business to make a profit, but I think they value their core audience while remaining open to attracting other visitors as well without abandoning their principles.

Finally, contrary to the previous post, I do expect huge things from Dollywood. They haven't disappointed me yet. Every year I watch this lovely park continue reaching its full potential.

*** This post was edited by gardener14 on 5/29/2002. ***

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 8:24 PM

SDC Inc is pumping 40 million dollars into Dollywood over the next 4 years so expect great things from them. They are also making a huge investment in their new Branson venture and will continue to add to their main park Silver Dollar City.

Dollywood did a fantastic job with their new Iwerks Simulator. It ranks up their with Disney and Universal in regards to themeing and all around design. A nice terrain B&M coaster would help put them on the thrill ride map in the Southeast. They will need to keep adding attractions considering that Nashville is working on a new park and SF is pumping in LOTS of money into SFOG. SDC has a great design team so expect some wonderful attractions like Widfire and Wilderness Adventure Tours.

Look, I see some something swiss coming to Dolly's neck of the woods!!!!!! ;)

WCUSA-The World's largest theme park is coming!
Theme parks will NEVER be the same!

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 8:26 PM

I agree with gardener,Dollywood is the Disney of Tennessee(Ever since the sad closing of Opryland).I disagree with swoosh im not making it out to be big,but it is one of the theme parks that has rides exciting and tame-a family park.Anyway what I would like to make a point of is that one Miss Dolly Parton owns 75% of the park;while SDC owns the remaining 20%.

So, if Dolly wants to build its pretty much her park.

Also,this not a bad place for a upscale park with the nations most visited national park next door,Dollywood gets a lot of business.I'm actuaaly trying to build a park in this area as well and of course im having funding problems.

Anyway,if DW gets new b&m('s?)it will put DW on the thrill-seeker map.

And i personally think Tennessee Tornado Deserves a top 10 steel coaster-its the best ive rode.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 2:35 AM

Who ownes the other 5 % if SDC owns 20%?

I don't hav any input but I'm looking forward to see what this park puts in next. I'm moving to Nashville and can't wait to ride TT and all the rides in the years to come!


Thursday, May 30, 2002 5:51 AM

Once again I'm taken out of context.

What my post stated was "This is due in fact to it's location and the purpose of the park. SDC is not trying to make a CP or SFMM out of this park, so don't ever take it for more than what it is."

To psychoanalize this for the few who can't read this means that the park will never be a "coaster arms park". This is mainly because of the misson statement of the park.

Next I said, "DW is second fiddle to SDC (and maybe third after the 2nd park opens in Branson). So don't go expecting HUGE things for the park. Occasional improvements will happen, but don't expect it to ever reach it's full potential."

I stick by this. I see them adding coasters ever so often, but if this park was with any other chain it could really reach it's full potential, however with SDC at the reigns (no matter how much Dolly owns, SDC still has a final say) it will ALWAYS be the #2 park in the chain (if not #3 soon). I'm sorry if that makes me sound negative and close minded, but I'm speaking the truth.

And no matter what some people say, some people won't like it -- so I'm not too worried about people's feeling getting hurt because I spoke something that was true.

Whatever folks...

(In cyberspace no one can hear you scream)

Thursday, May 30, 2002 5:58 AM
I have tried to find as much information as possible on this park and it seems to me that the scenery is outstanding and the Tenessee Tornado is simply amazing. I would be very happy with a park like that, however, I think the general public is more interested in BIG rides and a BIG ride selection then a nice small friendly park. I wish I could get there being an Arrow Fan but I have no reason to go to Tenessee. I'd like to see DW expand but slowly and surely, not in big strides.


Thursday, May 30, 2002 6:28 AM

I also think that Dollywood is making its stake in the Southeast thrill ride business. With both Daredevil Falls and the Tennessee Tornado (which is amazing) opening in the last few years, they are definitely concentrating on adding more thrill rides. It seems to me like Dollywood is trying to add some sort of major attraction every year. Dollywood is a beautiful park with a terrific atmosphere--it has a feeling of seclusion since it's several miles from the major roads in Pigeon Forge. When these new coasters open, they will help to make Dollywood even better.

BTW, what is SDC's new venture in Branson? I guess I haven't heard of it.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 11:09 AM

More coasters is the only thing that will ever draw me to DW. Why? Because I detest country music to the core of my soul. And the price of admission is already pretty high at $38. For what? Shows, big woopedy-doo IMO. I know a lot of people like going to the shows and I'm grateful that they exist because that means less people in the ride lines. IMO DW is overpriced and won't get my attendance. I'd much rather go to KW or IB and pay less than $20 and get more thrills that DW offers. Yeah, I've never been there, but this is a coaster enthusiast site and I like coasters. TT looks awesome and I don't doubt that it is one of the best coasters that Arrow ever buildt. BUT I'm not paying close to $40 to ride it, because at this time this is the only ride I really want to go on at DW.

Incidentalist now ducks at the incoming responses.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 11:15 AM

Incidentalist: I agree with you completely.

I went to DW in 2000 for the sole purpose of riding TT. I paid full price. I rushed straight to TT and rode twice in a row. My wife and I then walked around bored for the next two hours. We shopped a little (as if we couldn't do that in Pigeon Forge proper), watched an (admittedly cool) bird show, but otherwise were bored out of our minds.

We were astounded by the lack of rides. Other than TT, Blazing Fury and the water ride, the only other rides we saw were carnival-sized Ferris wheel, flume and scrambler.

We stayed only two hours, eager to escape our boredom and the (shudder) country music.

He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 11:22 AM

Den, full price for two hours? Ouch! You should have tried to ride TT enough times to justify your admission. Seeing as I went to CP and paid $31 and rode 14 different coasters for a total of 30 rides a couple of weeks ago, that would mean over 30 rides on TT alone to justify that price. No thanks, there are few coasters I want to ride that many times in one day, and guess what, none of them are Arrow loopers.

Now for a serious question. For people who have been to both DW and SDC, are their respective indoor coasters similar? Just curious as I've never heard word one on DW's other coaster.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 11:25 AM
Incidentalist - my wife's not much of a coaster fan, so I can't power-ride unless I'm alone. :)

He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 11:31 AM
I'm in the same boat with my wife. That's why I went to CP by myself a couple of weeks ago. She can only go on weekends so I went once during a week so that I could power ride just in case when we went together we couldn't get enough laps on MF.
Thursday, May 30, 2002 11:32 AM

Swoosh said:
(no matter how much Dolly owns, SDC still has a final say

Really? Do tell.


Thursday, May 30, 2002 11:54 AM

I agree 100% with Incidentalist - $38 is way too much money for a small (hilly) park and the attractions are mediocre. The park itself is beautiful, but TT is just another Arrow bang your head around coaster.

I don't get Dollywood - what do people do there all day?There isn't much to the park - I felt ripped off actually.

I went two years ago and don't plan on going back for a long long time, not with other parks being more economical and having more attractions - I really don't need my name engraved in a leather belt.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 12:19 PM
Dollywood is, I believe, one of the best parks I have been to. 1. It is clean. 2. Tennessee Tornado, Daredevil Falls, Slidewinder, Thunder Road, and Blazing Fury are all great THEMED rides. 3. The park has one of the best atmospheres with trees and themed areas. 4. Has anyone actually waited for the rides there? Aside from Slidewinder, I have waited no more than 10 minutes for any ride! Okay, okay, I can see why people don't like it due to "lack of thrill rides," which it does lack. But that doesn't make it a bad park! Where it lacks in the thrill rides, it makes up in the shows. I am not too fond of shows at any amusement/ theme park but that doesn't mean others think that too! My grandma and grandpa never ride rides(my granpda tells me how he used to try to drag my grandma on the Blue Streak at CP) but they bought season passes just for the shows. Dollywood also has many traveling shows, I can't think of any, but I know that many famous performances have been there. So Dollywood, keep on doing what you have been doing!

Take a good look at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure because in a few years the Sea World side will look exactly like it does, a zoo.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 12:45 PM
Comparing Dollywood to CP or any other thrill park is like comparing apples to oranges.

Dollywood, for the most part, isn't a destination park like most thrill parks. The Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area is a destination with or without Dollywood. Since so many tourists are already in the area, they shoot to attract people who are already in the area to fill the park. Their main competition lies in the local attractions like Ober Gatlinburg and the NASCAR Speedpark. Therefore they don't require 6-10 coasters to attract the local thrill seekers. The main pull for the Pigeon Forge area lies in Families and the 50 and up crowd. Dollywood offers a little something for every age, unlike the thrill parks that cater to the 12-34 thrill seeker demographic.

Your approach to DW is key to your enjoyment of the park. If your enjoyment of a park depends on how many coasters you can ride per dollar admission, then you need to go elsewhere. However if you're in the area and want to go to a place with beautiful theming, some excellent rides, great food, cool shops, and great shows, then this is your place.

Who wonders when enthusiasts will learn that not all parks are built for them.

Thursday, May 30, 2002 12:57 PM

Dollywood, the next great park? Someone was throwing out Busch and Hershey -- having been to all four parks in question (BGT, BGW, Hershey and Dolly) I don't think Dollywood will ever be able to compare to the other three.

There is nothing wrong with Dollywood if you accept it for what it is, a park with a lot of local color and warm Southern hospitality with real country music, country crafts and country charm. The ride collection is paltry. Even if it added a terrain coaster it would be on par with Lake Compounce.

Dollywood is a great locals park. They have music festivals all year round. They have a nice holiday setup. Dolly Parton is huge in philanthropy (well, huge in other ways, but you get the point). Did you know that she sends out five free books to every baby born in Pigeon Forge? She makes the park the local success that it is. But is anyone going to ever fly into Knoxville just to head down to Dollywood? No. It's a great park to mix in with the Gatlinburg sites, but it'll never be an exclusive destination park. That said, if you dig Dollywood, enjoy it. It's a pretty park -- though the terrain isn't in the same league as a BGW or Animal Kingdom or even Idlewild where the beauty can be bewildering. But take it for what it is and it's a great park and one with a solid foundation where you know it will be around ten years from now.


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