Dollywood's Southern Hospitality 6-7

Associated parks:
None

Monday, June 21, 2004 7:40 PM
This was my first actual visit to Dollywood and was the first day of the Coaster Zombies southern park trip. I was there in March with Great Coasters but only to check out Thunderhead.

We arrived at Dollywood around 12:30 and we all went to Thunderhead. I knew the route to it already from my last vist and ventured to the queue. Somthing I didn't have to do in my last visit (since it wasn't completed yet and no waits either). :)

Thunderheads ride ops have to be the best loading the entire train and for energy. Just about every train leaves filled since they ask for single riders when one is avaliable.

Thunderhead is still the best woodie I ever rode. We grabbed a few rides then ventured to the rest of the park.

Tennessee Tornado is amazing. I thought I'd never use smooth and Arrow in the same sentence. It gives air on the first drop in the back seat and is an awsome ride. Too bad it was built too little too late after the Arrow boom of the mid 90's. The loop is massive way better then the typical sized loop only higher in the air. The only down fall of the TN Tornado is how short it is but it's still an awsome ride.

Slidewinder is crazy. I can only imangine what it was like before they added all the brakes on it. More parks need these since there are only 2 in the U.S.

Blazing Fury is another cool ride. The ending is alot of fun. I don't remember the water splash on the one at SCD last year.

Daredevil Falls was yet another fun ride. We didn't get very wet on the drop but then a wave came around and soaked my side of the boat. Oh well at least it was hot.

Dollywood Express is a nice relaxing train ride. I'd say any train fans have to check it out.

The park looks awsome as well. Tons of trees, flowers, country themeing, and lots of water. The buildings are incredible and it looks like an old town from the 1800's. One of the nicest looking parks I visited in a long time.

As we were ariving at Dollywood, Sam informed us that we will be getting several rides on Thunderhead after the park closed. :)

Unfortunately we were all in the station waiting and when Dollywood pulled the second train off they encounterd some problem. We waited for maybe 15 minutes or so with no luck. We would have waited longer but we had reservations for Dixie Stampeed and couldn't miss that. It looked as if our last rides on Thunderhead weren't going to happen.

This is where everyone at Dollywood really went out of their way for us. They told us to come back to the park after Dixie Stampeed for our rides. Way cool! They could have just said sorry and sent us on our way. Even better was it would be dark so they would be rare night rides on Thunderhead (somthing I know alot about). :)

To me this just shows some parks really care about their guests and go the extra mile to please them. I think Dollywood went way out of their way to make 23 people extermely happy. Dollywood deffinately has some of the best people in the industry working for them. Other parks should take note on what makes a park good or fantastic.

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Monday, June 21, 2004 8:04 PM
You left us hanging...how were the night rides? or did you not go back?
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Monday, June 21, 2004 10:00 PM
You're definitely right about the Thunderhead ride ops. Very fun, efficient, and professional. We experienced the same types at Silver Dollar City last week. There is nothing like having some gruff, older gentlemen give order to a queue.
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Monday, June 21, 2004 10:05 PM
Great TR! Glad you had a good time! :)

Unfortunatly, some of us have to wait until November for Night rides. :(

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Monday, June 21, 2004 11:19 PM
We went back for the rides of course. Yes Thunderhead nightrides rock! When i was at Dollywood in March 3/4 or my Thunderhead rides were at night. Alot were solo too. :)
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Tuesday, June 22, 2004 1:12 AM
Isn't thunderhead awesome. I think it's also beautlful. Wait till you see the aerial pics soon..... :) :)
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Tuesday, June 22, 2004 4:52 AM
Enough teasing already Jeff.......;-) We want those pics!

Thunderhead is beyond awesome. They are advertising it to death around my area. I think this is actually the first time I have seen Dollywood commercials here. The park is 4 hours away but I am seeing A LOT of stuff for it.

-Tina

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004 10:29 AM
I tried to get down to *only* TEN top ten wooden coasters for the stupid ballot last night, ThunderHead refused to give up its (rightful) place.

TT is the BEST looping Arrow I've ridden (apologies to Nessie, and X, well, doesn't even compute).

The water rides were abundant, WET, and fun.

But like the title says, Dollywood, like its sister park SDC, is ALL about the Hospitality! :) C-punk said it: "Other parks should take note on what makes a park good or fantastic."

Great food NEVER hurts a park experience either...;)

edit: Tina, when you wake up before 5am, the only thing you should do is go BACK to bed! :)
*** Edited 6/22/2004 2:30:59 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004 11:20 AM
The trip went greatly and Dollywoods hospitality made for a very upbeat beginning to the coaster tour. Having the tour bookended by the nite time ERT on Thunderhead(at the beginning), and the hour ERT on Rampage(at the end) made it one absolutely incredible trip.

Next year we already have ERT lined up for one stop on our Great Northwest Coaster Tour, so I can only imagine what else we can line up.

Thanks for the great trip report, it was a fun time

SAM

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