Monday, July 2, 2001 3:33 PM
Thunderstorms = bad
Arriving in Pigeon Forge Friday afternoon I was pleased to see free ride coupons for the Thunder Eagle woodie on the brochure racks. Our first stop was Race World and the Coaster Works wooden coaster, Thunder Eagle. I will get straight to the point. It is literally impossible to get any smoother than this coaster. It was insanely smooth. Unfortunately, it was forceless. It was exactly like riding in a car. However, I am not complaining, because this was The Coaster Works first ride and its better to be smooth; I'm sure they can get some killer designs soon. I cannot give the ride an exact rating, but I'm leaning towards a 5/10.
If you purchase a Dollywood ticket after 3 PM, you receive a ticket for the next day. So, we decided to head to Dollywood even though the park was open only an hour more. There was no one charging for parking since the park was about to close, which was good. The destination: Tennessee Tornado. Approaching the ride, it is easy to tell that this is no ordinary Arrow coaster. It is greatly themed and terrain mmm talk about terrain. Trains roar out of a tunnel at the base of the mountain and seem to stall out in the "loop-screw". I rode this coaster 3 times that night, including at the back and in the front seat. I will admit, it is very short, but it is incredible. The 128 foot drop though the mountain is awesome and the hang-time in the loop-screw amazing. Take the overbanked turn at 70 MPH and 2 more inversions with insane G forces, add in B&M-like smoothness, and Tennessee Tornado is a Top 10 Coaster.
Tennessee Tornado- 8.6/10
I was in the front seat for Blazing Fury and the ride was about to start when it shut down, due to lightning. Not only was it an indoor ride, but the weather outside was beautiful. I would find out the next day that if there is thunder or lightning within 20 miles of the park in any direction, every ride is automatically shut down for 25 more minutes.
Arriving at the park shortly after 9, we first rode the Thunder Road Iwerks simulator. The theming, queue, and storyline were well done, but the actual simulator film wasn't done that well. It was still fun though.
After Thunder Road we headed back and road Tennessee Tornado 3 more times. Then, it was on to Blazing Fury. Whether this is actually a coaster is still a debate. It may be stretching it a bit to call it one, but I'm not touching that argument. It was pretty fun and had a nice splashdown at the end.
Daredevil Falls was one of my favorite rides in the park, and is one of my all-time-favorite water rides. It was very similar to Splash Mountain. The view of the mountains before cresting the top of the massive drop was amazing.
I don't have time for a very long trip report, but I rode basically all of the rides. The rapids ride at Dollywood is one of the best and the Slidewinder bobsled/flume/waterslide ride is great. I was incredibly disapointed Saturday night as I was next in line for the Tennessee Tornado when it shut down due to lightning. I waited outside the entrance for 2 and a half hours but the ride never re-opened, even though the sun came out. Safety regulations are good, but the ones there were stretching it just a bit. Despite that, it was a great trip and the Tennessee Tornado is one of my new favorites. Look for pics and a TT review at my site soon.
Tuesday, July 3, 2001 7:55 AM
What does this loop-screw do exactly?
Tuesday, July 3, 2001 8:11 AM
It looks just like a big round vertical loop, except right at the top it has a slight banking of the track, so it comes down farther away from where you started. It's hard to see from the ground, but when you are on it you can feel the hangtime it generates.
btw, TT is worth the Dollywood price of admission. It's just so unique. I especially like the little "plateau" of the mountain at the top of the lifthill where the turnaround is before the drop.
Tuesday, July 3, 2001 8:54 AM
It's nice to see a TR of somewhere else besides SFWOA or CP. Sometimes it looks like these are the only two parks that people visit.
Tuesday, July 3, 2001 1:05 PM
Glad you had fun, can't wait for the TT pics.
Ozzfest 2001: The greatest show on earth!