Dollywood Opening Week

We will be up in Tennessee next weekend and while we will avoid going to Dollywood opening weekend we would like to go during one weekday that first week. Does anyone have experience with crowd size that first week? Just curious.

"You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dreams a reality." -Walt Disney

Sloooooow would be my guess. I don't know what spring break schedule is, though, and that would be the thing to watch. I usually pick a weekday or two in the spring for DW and while the park may seem medium busy at best the rides themselves are mine, mine, mine. Lots of non-riding retirees in attendance.

Will the new ride be ready? I haven't heard anything on that and that would be my main reason to drive down there.

Tekwardo's avatar

I went opening day 2 years ago. I had a great time. Now, granted, I purchased a Qbot (because, I mean, $15!) So I didn't really wait in any lines at all, but...the only line that was kind of long was Wild Eagle, and even that was less than an hour.

I really didn't need the Qbot, but it was nice to reserve a ride on Thunderhead while I was exiting Wild Eagle and not have to wait 5 minutes to ride once I got there ;).

Weekday will be slow for sure, but Opening day really isn't that bad. In fact, the crowd was just right for me.

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I checked the website and it says the new coaster is scheduled to open on Mar 28th, which I believe is opening weekend. I haven't heard otherwise. I guess when media day rolls around we'll know for sure.

Tekwardo's avatar

Countdown on the ride's web page says it opens in 6 days.

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Thanks guys. We are definitely going during the week so I'm guessing it will be fine. I have lots of non-coaster riders with me so not sure if I will get to the new ride or not. Maybe I will slip away.

Send em to Aunt Grannies or Miss Lillian's then have at it! You can probably bust all the rides out in an hour then join back for some fried chicken.

Tekwardo's avatar

Very true RCMAC.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

today is media day for fire chaser express, and here's the first pov.

birdhombre's avatar

Reminds me of Powder Keg at SDC, in a very good way. Looks fun!

Looks good, but I'm curious to know who made the decision to have the ride vehicle leave and re-enter through the same side of the station. Just seems odd to me and a possible capacity issue if they have problems with it.

Last edited by ThemeParkFan1990,
Vater's avatar

This ride looks like more fun than most others being built this year.

I cant wait to ride it in 2 weeks! Looks like a lot of fun, and from the reactions of one of the riders, sounds like it packs in a lot of g-forces ("This is not a kiddie ride.")

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

kpjb's avatar

Looks good, but the video would be better with fewer sirens and annoying girls and more Rammstein.


It looks like there may be some blocking issues that need to be ironed out. At the very end when our train finally backs into the station, a train is going up the lift, and just then the third train arrives on the final brake to sit there until our train is loaded and launched again. I don't think that was the intention in the design. And is there a fourth train? Would they run all of them eventually? That would take some doing.

I hope trees make an appearance there someday. One of the issues I have with Eagle is it sits on top of a bald mountain. That side of the park is just gettting more and more barren, very un Smokie-like.

It does look like a fun ride, though, and that fireworks theming is cute as hell. I'm going to try to get there in the next week or two.

Edit to add: sorry, I watched it again and what i thought was the fourth train, sitting on what looked to me like a storage track, is actually a backwards train waiting to come in. My mistake. Looks like three trains after all.

Last edited by RCMAC,
Tommytheduck's avatar

That really does look amazing!

As far as the crowds opening weekend, well, I guess I'm a little too late to answer that, huh? We went to CinnamonBreadWood on opening weekend of Wild Eagle and had only a 45 minute wait early in the day followed by 20 minutes the rest of the day. Place doesn't seem to attract opening day crowds like some other parks do.

If you are there right now, I hope you're having a blast.

Heading there tomorrow. 54 and sunny, we hope. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were hopping over the weekend but I assume that was just the typical heavy weekend crowd. We'll see how it goes.

waynethexplorer's avatar

I was just there for opening day, season pass holders were able to attend the park on Friday. Dolly was there that day as well and she was in a parade right when I arrived. I didn't even try to ride Firechaser Express that day as the line was pretty long, I decided to wait and get there first thing Saturday morning. I arrived at the park and entered the gate 30 minutes before park opening and Firechaser was already running with an hour wait. I'm not sure why they opened earlier than posted that day but they did. It's a great ride, I don't get the video in the fireworks building on the POV video, I didn't see any video there at all and the POV looks like an edit to me. There is a calendar on the wall in the fireworks building that looks old school with Dolly dressed up in a skimpy patriotic outfit, that was a nice theming touch. Anyway it's a great ride and IMO a little extreme to be called a family coaster, I think they are pushing that classification to the limits, but that's probably a good thing. The line was 2 hours after I rode it and that made it easy to ride Wild Eagle, Tennesee Tornado etc. When I left the area cars were backed up on I-40 a mile or two at the off ramp to Sevierville.

I think it's apparent that the POV includes a small real-time inset to show the special effects that happen on the left wall inside the building. On media day the cameras are mounted to the train and unless he did the edit, all we'd see for however many seconds would be the blank wall dead ahead. I thought it was a great touch, and the perfect way to showcase the theming without interrupting the flow of the ride. The video is not inside the building, but instead riders turn their heads to see the action. Right?

Now, I could be wrong. I'm not the one who's actually been on it...

The show elements before the backwards launch are pretty adorable. We felt that the best view was from the back rows because you can see the steam engulf the train as it shoots out of the building.

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