Dollywood closing Adventure Mountain, teasing new attractions

Posted | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

Two Dollywood theme park attractions, Adventure Mountain and Imagination Cinema, will not return for the 2013 season. Adventure Mountain, which is coming up on the end of its third season, will be replaced by a new attraction that will open in 2014. Details of that project won't be released until next year, Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens said.

Read more from The Knoxville News Sentinel.

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LostKause's avatar

Very disappointing. Very disappointing.

"With the popularity of that area, we felt this is the perfect location of what has been designed. We know some people will be disappointed, but we think they will be pleased with the new project," Owens said.

You might be surprised to know that you think wrong. That area is popular partly because of Adventure Mountain. The park has a lot of space, and could build a new attraction anywhere. Why remove such a fantastic and popular experience, especially only three years after it opened?

The new project will encompass that property and some more, extending in front of the water raft ride River Battle, Owens said.

Couldn't this new project, probably just another roller coaster, have been put into that location without taking up the couple of acres occupied by Adventure Mountain?

There is something someone is not telling us. There has to be a better reason for Adventure Mountain's removal. Was it too loud? Was it causing injury to park patrons? Was ridership low? Was insurance for the attraction too expensive? I want more than, "We have to remove your favorite attraction at the park so we can build a different popular attraction."

I know this is "CoasterBuzz", but if they are going to remove Adventure Mountain for just another roller coaster, I will not be satisfied. Adventure Mountain is awesome because it is not a roller coaster, and yet it delivers thrills equivalent to one, in my opinion. The only thing that they can build to replace Adventure Mountain that will satisfy me is "Super Adventure Mountain", an expanded version of what is already there.

Removing something you just put in three years ago is pretty much openly admitting "Well, we screwed that up." I'm not sure how, exactly---I haven't been on it, because my son was not tall enough the last time we were there, but we were all looking forward to trying it on our next visit.

Last edited by Brian Noble,
janfrederick's avatar

I was scratching my head too. My only thought was the insurance issue.

Adventure Mountain wasn't an upcharge attraction was it?

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Jeff's avatar

It seemed pretty busy there in the spring, and people seemed to be into it. It is pretty strange to hang up such a new attraction so quickly.

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Adventure Mountain wasn't an upcharge attraction was it?

I had a vague recollection that it was, but it appears that the challenge courses were included, while the zip lines were extra.

eightdotthree's avatar

The courses were included and really fun.

Aside from the theories already presented, the other idea I have is that Adventure Mountain is simply in the way. There is a gigantic tract of land behind the attraction -- it's where the train goes to turn around. Have a look:,-83.528...d&t=h&z=18

(Adventure Mountain is the complex with the reddish roofs near the center of the map.) Given the topography and locations of more expensive attractions, that seems to be a great place to branch out if they want to expand out towards the train loop.

bjames's avatar

I have a strong feeling this was insurance-related, not expansion-related.

The two biggest issues I suspect other that the thing being in the way are first that it is big, noisy and complicated to operate, and second that it has a pretty extreme staffing requirement and relatively low capacity compared to a major ride.

I also wonder if they were reaching the end of the service life for the lanyards and harnesses. If that stuff has a three year service life, would it make sense to replace it all to get one year of service, knowing that the expansion plans require removal for 2014?

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rollergator's avatar

I can't say I was tempted to do the Adventure Mountain stuff, but I was happy that so many people *were* enjoying it on the day I was there last year. There were no lines in the park, but AM had quite a few people in/around in comparison.

That being said, I still think those things look like giant eyesores....but that's probably just me, since they're popping up *everywhere* (MOSI Tampa, Old Town Kissimmee are the two I saw most recently).

Jason Hammond's avatar

Dave, it is very noisy. But, as Rihard pointed out to me, they make quite pucks. I'm not sure if these were available in 2010 when the attraction was built. But, they definitely aren't using them.

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Gator, they're popping up everywhere because of where you are. I don't think there are *any* around here at all. I'm almost surprised our Zoo hasn't installed one yet. But it seems that they appear where there are large concentrations of FECs, because it is an FEC-type attraction that isn't mini-golf or go-kart.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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LostKause's avatar

The noise was part of the fun. Moving your wheels from track to track, and hearing it, was part of the enjoyment.

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Dave- Kalahari Sandusky has one of these, although quite a bit smaller than the one at Dollywood judging by the pictures. I've done the one at Kalahari. It's interesting, but not something I think I'd pay for (I had a free pass for theirs).

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Tekwardo's avatar

Screamscape rumors that it could be moving to stone mountain. That may be a great fit for it.

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rollergator's avatar

^Now that is HFEC thinking....I love the idea!

a_hoffman50's avatar

I have been away from CBuzz for a little while, so I just saw this. How is it that some of you are saying that it is in the way when there is clearly a service road that goes directly behind it to the midway? It certainly doesn't look in the way at all. I think it has more to do with what Dave said about the life of harnesses and such as well as the staffing issue. Even on slow days with just one path operating there were a bunch of staffers needed to operate it.

WildStangAlex's avatar

There hasn't been much speculation going on recently, but I was wondering if anybody has been out to the park, and if there's anything going on at the site. Maybe any pictures? I do feel like this may be another coaster, but it does seem really soon after Wild Eagle. However, maybe they are trying to compete more with Kings Island and Six Flags over Georgia now? Ideas or thoughts?

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Jeff's avatar

I really don't think they're competing with either one. That area of Tennessee is a tourist trap all its own.

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