Dollywood, Dec. 7 - Coaster Construction

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 11:52 PM
Sunday was a beautiful, cold, completely uncrowded day at Dollywood. Tennessee Tornado was closed due to cold (high was about 40°, and the temps kept dropping). So consecutive rides on Blazing Fury had to suffice. Kids were having fun on the Fury. There was rarely anyone in the station, so opps were letting them switch seats without going out the exit and back through the entrance. Water splash was thankfully minimal.

There were some rides in the County Fair section of the park open, but I didn't venture down that way. Swings, Scrambler, Tilt-A-Wirl, Carousel. Maybe others.

As usual, my mom and I ate our way across the park. I don't know if there's any park with better food than Dollywood. (Yeah, yeah ... I know most enthusiasts say Knoebels ... but I disagree).

The significant part of the day came when we were able to catch glimpses of Thunderhead construction while riding the train. I was finally able to place where this coaster is being built. It is on a plateau behind the main street entrance area of the park. We were really lucky to have picked Sunday to visit, as the train conductors said it was the last day the train would run this season. It's being closed so that a pedestrian approach to the new coaster can be constructed. From what I understand, when you enter the park, you will go left past the Gospel Music Hall of Fame into what at one point was the motorcoach parking lot. You will approach the coaster from this direction, and you will go under the railroad trestle. Apparently they will build a few food and game stalls along the way. I'm assuming more elaborate theming will follow in years to come.

The coaster is coming along better than I expected. Wow, those turns at the tops of the hills are TIGHT and BANKED. I have uploaded some photos that I snapped in the contributions section, so maybe they will be posted here. If not, I will put them in another album to view. It looks like it will be an exciting ride. Reminded me of Wildcat x Roar x Lightening Racers. The park is heavily promoting the new coaster with signage throughout Dollywood. Here's Dolly's official Thunderhead construction page: http://www.dollywood.com/Ride_Thead.htm

Can't wait to have a that big woody practically in my backyard!!!!

- Rae

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Saturday, December 13, 2003 9:35 AM
I hope someday I can make it to Dollywood during the Christmas season. It looks beautiful.


xrae said:
Tennessee Tornado was closed due to cold (high was about 40°, and the temps kept dropping).

Rae, I know Tennessee Tornado used to run during Christmas time if the temperature was over 40, but their website now says that it closes for the season on Oct. 31. Do you know if it was ever running this Christmas?

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Saturday, December 13, 2003 7:28 PM
That's a good question, I was under the assumption it would run if the temps were above 40°. I know I've ridden it on chilly nights before that were right around that temp, but not this year.

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Saturday, December 13, 2003 8:29 PM
Actually I believe they did decide not to run TT this holiday season. I'm not quite sure why, the station was always very crowded last year during Smoky Mountain Christmas, particularly after dark. Maybe weather concerns or something.

Dreamland Forest was also closed during this year's Christmasfest. Seems like their heading back to the days when that area was Daydream Ridge.

I'm glad to hear you had a good time. I agree that Dollywood has great food. Not just stuff you can buy at your local Mcdonalds. Only 3 1/2 more months!

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Saturday, December 13, 2003 9:03 PM

xrae said:

As usual, my mom and I ate our way across the park. I don't know if there's any park with better food than Dollywood. (Yeah, yeah ... I know most enthusiasts say Knoebels ... but I disagree).

***I agree with that comment. The pizza at "fast food" listed Victoria's pizza was even better than most.***

From what I understand, when you enter the park, you will go left past the Gospel Music Hall of Fame into what at one point was the motorcoach parking lot. You will approach the coaster from this direction, and you will go under the railroad trestle. Apparently they will build a few food and game stalls along the way. I'm assuming more elaborate theming will follow in years to come.


Thanks. I didn't know where exactly the ride was , and that helps a lot. I had thought that it was over by County Fair.

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Dollywood just might be the next Holiday World/Knoebel's.

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