Dollywood construction status and your impressions

Friday, July 18, 2003 8:10 PM

Dollywood is my home park, and having visited many parks, is also my favorite.

Anyway,i have a Thunderhead construction report: I went to DW on July 7 and rode the DW Express which passes by the construction site. They have cleaned out the entire area,there is nothing in there now. I expect foundation work to start soon.

But now that DW is adding the largest GCI- built coaster to date, have your impressions changed? Do you plan to visit the park next year?

As you know DW also has the Tennessee Tornado, probably the best Arrow looper ever built,and the classic Blazing Fury.

All I know is that you will see me at DW's grand Opening next season in the front of the line of the new coaster!

Hope to see you too!
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Can you feel the thunder?
Thunderhead comes to Dollywood in 2004!

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Friday, July 18, 2003 8:20 PM
It is really going to suck because it is a tradition of my family to go to Gatlynburg every Thanksgiving and as you know Gatlynburg is neighbor to Pigeon Forge and I really want to ride it next summer when its open but I guess I'll just have to wait till next fall.

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Top 3: 1. Top Thrill Dragster 2. Millennium Force 3. Magnum XL200

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 6:56 AM
Where exactly is the location of the ride gonna be at?

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**Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my gosh....I could be eating a slow learner.**

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:04 AM
I know that it will be in its own new area of the park. Isnt it gonna be Thunderhead.......something?

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"Welcome back. When the train stops, push down then pull up on your lap bar. Please exit to your right, and down the exit ramp. We thank you for challenging Raging Bull, and enjoy the rest of your day at Six Flags!"
*** This post was edited by SFGAMan 7/19/2003 11:05:19 AM ***

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:50 AM
The area is supposed to be called Thunderhead Gap. We usually go to Dollywood once or twice a year already, so we plan on going anyways even though this gives me even more reasons to get excited about it. I'm surprised how little enthusiasts talk about this park, but I guess it would be higher on a "park enthusiast's" list than if you're going mainly for coasters before next season. If you're a water ride, country music, Dolly Parton, atmosphere, food, or general park fan, the park is a must-visit. Next year, it should be a must for coaster fans.

-Danny
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Coaster Insomniacs- Coastin' the Night Away

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 8:18 AM
I'll be visiting it for the first time in a matter days.:)

If I get any pictures of the construction area,I'll keep you posted.;)

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 10:49 AM
I must say, that while it looks like a neat park, I never really felt obligated to go there (mostly because it's not part of a large "chain" of parks where I can get a season pass for about $60 and go to four or five parks on that). However, the only real draw that I could see is Tennessee Tornado, and that wasn't enough to bring me in.
But now, living it ATL and with DW being only 4hrs away, you can definitely count on me being there for the opening of Thunderhead! The largest GCI ever? I'm there. :)

Joe, who thinks GCI's best effort was Gwazi so far...still need to try Ozark Wildcat though.

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Top Thrill Dragster -- The most intense, unbelievable, and spectacular fifteen seconds on any coaster, anywhere, ever.

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 11:05 AM
Joe: I agree - Gwazi is the best GCI so far. I can't remember whether or not I liked "Lion" or "Tiger" the best but one of them seemed to keep a high level of speed throughout the entire course. It's about time we see a new GCI.

I haven't been to DW either but it looks like a beautiful park. I probably haven't visited it either because the only real coaster "draw" was Tennessee Tornado. But with Thunderhead I think I might want to give it a look.

- Greg

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"That's DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'Mr. Thank You Very Much.'"

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 11:18 AM
I had thoughtabout hitting the park this summer. There wasn't much there so it got cut. It'll be in the plans for next year, though. GCI wood and a new Arrow looper... hello Dollywood.

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It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you.

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 11:32 AM
Thunderhead's Location is on the Hill above Showstreet to the Left of the Main Entrance. (Not the best choice of Location in my Opinion, it's going to totally screw up Traffic Flow on Showstreet) It's also the first time in years that Dollywood has not removed a ride to add a ride.

Dollywood is a great little park that is extremely Beautiful and Clean. It's right there on the Level of Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Disney's Magic Kingdom.

Theming is still king here, and I consider it almost as good as Islands of Adventure's or Disney's.

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*** This post was edited by Dukeis#1 7/19/2003 3:38:31 PM ***

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 6:50 PM

I feel Dukeis#1 is right about the location and the park in general.

I suspect that before you reach the trestle (DW Express) youll go through like a western town or a ghost town before reaching the ride. Also there will probably be a new outdoor theater set up (for the Xtreme sports during kidsfest) which will probably be a shoot 'em up show during the rest of the season.

This raises another issue. Where will they park the buses? (what I call the 'town' is now bus parking)

the new area's entrance at showstreet will be a traffic jam of people unless they wrap another path around to dreamland forest.
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Can you feel the thunder?
Thunderhead comes to Dollywood in 2004!
*** This post was edited by CoastermanX 7/19/2003 10:51:35 PM ***

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:05 PM
I had a meeting with the P.R. Manager of the park on Friday. We're already planning for media day and an event for ACE.

He told me Thunderhead will be a little over 2 minutes long. There will be a burm on each side leading to the trestle overpass into Thunderhead gap. He also told me to expect any new rides that DW builds will be in this valley. It is parallel to Craftsmans Valley and approximately as long.

I also got a quick tour of the construction site. Some footers have already been dug and poured and the lumber is already on site. Land prep is the biggest thing that is going on right now though.

As for the location, it's not very good but at the same time if they continue to expand in this direction then you can plan to finally see that midway loop to the back of Craftsmans Valley (thank goodness). And as far as the motor coach lot. It's going to barely touch it. It's just going to take the corner next to the SGMHF.

See you all next year on Thunderhead.

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Flying over metal is a beautiful thing!

TNcoasterman

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:21 PM
Over 2 minutes long? It's going to be a great coaster!

As far as the media day goes what are they planning on doing?

And an ACE event at Dollywood? Said that ten years ago and people would think you were crazy.

Maybe DW's long-rumored B&M coaster will be put in this valley soon.

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Can you feel the thunder?
Thunderhead comes to Dollywood in 2004!

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:31 PM
Right now really the only thing that we're doing is just planning for ACE to be there for either media day or sneak peak to give the park some good press.

An event is still very much in the works but hopefully will happen sometime next year once Thunderhead really gets broken in.

As for the B&M, I expect it in the near future. The P.R. Manager practically told me that SDC is outta land and that DW still has pleanty of undeveloped land. I believe that's the real reason for Celebration City, cause SDC is only 70 acres and they've got nowhere else to go.

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Flying over metal is a beautiful thing!

TNcoasterman

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:36 PM
I expect a few more coasters in the near future...but thats just my prediction.

BTW, does anybody know what happened to the robberies on the DW express?

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Can you feel the thunder?
Thunderhead comes to Dollywood in 2004!

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 8:13 PM

TNcoasterman said:
As for the B&M, I expect it in the near future. The P.R. Manager practically told me that SDC is outta land and that DW still has pleanty of undeveloped land. I believe that's the real reason for Celebration City, cause SDC is only 70 acres and they've got nowhere else to go.


Well, I must be mistaken, but I'm sure the Buzzers from the area will agree that SDC has plenty of acres for new rides. (Hint, 2005) This person must not really know what he is talking about for SDC. Maybe the land that is actually inside the park is a full, but I garantee you that they have not ran out of land. (I thought I head once they have over 300 acres) And as for CC, they are only using, what, 40 or 50 of their 120 acres?


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CoasterBill is THE official non-average-coaster-enthusiast-teenager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Baseball Club

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 9:01 PM
According to Crystal Paton's Book, I'm sure that SDC has 2,000 acres of Un-Developed Land. I think it's more of a -How To- question wrather than a lack of Space Problem.

Back to Dollywood, It's Amazing to hear that this little park may One Day be 200 acres!

As for DW's future, I'd like to see a few more Flats as well as Coasters. I think an Enterprise or a Trabant would fit in good here. I'd also love for the Balloon Race to return if they still have it in Storage.

I'm glad that the Park could one-day be a loop wrather than a whole bunch of Braches leading to Nowhere.

I'm trying to get in a trip sometime in August. I'll try to take Pictures of the site if I can.
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"The Mountain Slidewinder. Voted The #1 Non-Rollercoaster Ride in America Amusement Business Magazine, 1991"
*** This post was edited by Dukeis#1 7/20/2003 1:04:48 AM ***

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 10:09 PM
Yes SDC is "outta" land what with all the condos, apartments, high rise office buildings, airports, etc butting up against the park :) (caveat: I am being sarcastic)


CCity came about not because SDC was "outta" land but because it was a chance for HFEC to eliminate the competition that was Branson USA.

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Jim Wolgamuth
self proclaimed mayor of Celebration City

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Saturday, July 19, 2003 11:12 PM
Ok, maybe I should rephrase what I said. SDC is outta easily developable land. I've never been to SDC myself but I know enough about it to know that they've not got alot of places that are good to work with left.

And Dollywood is in the same boat. Beautiful location with extremely limited usable land. That's why Thunderhead is being built in the Valley and will use the sides of the valley for it's footprint and to save money.

You know that's just what the P.R. guy told me. He's been there, I haven't. I'm going by what he said. I believe I'd trust him just a little bit more then a ride op. He is the manager of one of the busiest departments in the park.

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Flying over metal is a beautiful thing!

TNcoasterman

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Sunday, July 20, 2003 12:02 AM
this coaster is gonna be great, and I might even ride it next year!

Josh, who thinks Lightning Racer owns Gwazi

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