TR: Dollywood, 12-23

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, December 28, 2002 11:53 AM

The Smoky Mountains is the only place our family
ever went on vacation when I was a child. I kind
of grew up in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Attended the park when it was Silver Dollar City
most every year. I can remember complaining to my
parents that I was sick of going to the Smokies.
I can remember saying; "I'll never take my
family there when I grow up."

Our family made our second annual trip to
Dollywood at Christmas this past weekend. We went
on Monday (23rd) and were told that it was packed
the two days before. There was a moderate crowd
there on Monday.

We purchased our first ever season passes for
Dollywood. $204 for 3 adult and 1 child pass and
that included this day’s admission.

Observations:

- $5.00 parking is a relief compared to some of
the corporate parks.

- Trams are plentiful (no long waits) with great
operators.

- Best staff in the world! Sincere smiles and
thank you's from most everyone. (Got to speak
with an off duty staff person while waiting in
line for a show. She stated that Dollywood is
very generous to its staff. She stated that most
of the non-summer employees are retirees whom are
there because it's a FUN place for them to be.
This shows up in the positive attitudes from
staff throughout the park.)

- Shows. Only got to see the "Twas The Night
Before Christmas" show on this trip. I felt
that it was a huge notch above (as mentioned in a
previous TR) local theater group quality. It was
by far, the best Park show I've seen in the past
few seasons.

- Lights! I'm not a huge Christmas light fanatic,
but I've got to tell ya, The lights of Dollywood
at Christmas time are beyond description.

- Blazing Fury: Was thrilled to see Dollywood had
this ride winterized and running for the first
time ever (that I'm aware of) during December.

- Tennessee Tornado: Seemed to be running much
smoother than last year. Walk on early in the day
when we rode. Didn't make the long trek back up
the hollow for a night ride, however.

- It's hard to find a masculine looking Dollywood
shirt. (lol)

- Despite some minor stereotyping (Had to laugh
at Clovis and his Smoky Mountain Tour's bit
though) Dollywood presents a very accurate (and
moving at times for this enthusiast as a native
Appalachian) picture of the pride, strength,
talents and generosity inherent in the people of
the southern Appalachians.

Mom and Dad continue to go to the Smokies several
times per year. I look forward to their knowing
glances and smiles while sharing video of our
trip to the place I'd never take my family when I
grow up. Maybe, at 39 y.o., I finally
have?.....Nah! LoL

Take it easy,
DAC

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Saturday, December 28, 2002 5:57 PM
Cool TR! Hope to see a new coaster there soon, great possibilities it has!

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See THE ULTIMATE in Orlando TR'S! Right now in the TR fourm!

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Saturday, December 28, 2002 6:11 PM
Wow! Me and my family visit Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge practically every Summer for hiking trips. And never once did we think of stopping at Dollywood. We've always thought "Oh, it's just some ripoff kids place with hardley any rides." But now, I think I'll have to convince them that it's much more! BTW - Did you stop at all the Pigeon Forge go-cart tracks and Gatlinburg attractions? Gatlinburg has one hell of an aquarium, not to mention the numerous haunted houses that aren't too bad. Did you stop at The Hard Rock over the river in Gatlinburg? It's so cool! It's like a tiny little paradise in the middle of the mountains! I'm beginning to love that place more and more...
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Sunday, December 29, 2002 6:09 AM

Hi RollerJunkie,

While I would not in any way, characterize Dollywood as a major rides park it does have a great "Family" lineup of rides.

One exception is Tennessee Tornado. It is a thrill ride for sure. While relativly short, it has a nice 130-140 ft. drop into a tunnel followed by three inversions. It's listed speed is 70 mph but I'd guess closer to 60 mph on the day we rode.

In the summer one of my favorites is the "Mountain Slidewinder". You ride down the mountain in a log flume shaped rubberized boat in a high speed trough. The trough has some water to increase the speed but you don't get very wet at all.

We didn't have time to do any of the carts and other Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge attractions. We've done them in the past and while fun, can add up to lots of dollars spent in a short period of time.

With Dollywood, you can be entertained all day for $35.00 or all season (pass) for about $55.00. Dollywood is done up with such class that it is far from being a rinky dink tourist trap. I hope you can go next summer and I look forward to reading your Dollywood TR in the future.

Take it easy, DAC

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Tuesday, December 31, 2002 10:10 AM

Dale Caskey said:

Dollywood is done up with such class that it is far from being a rinky dink tourist trap.



Class is a good word to describe Dollywood and Dolly Parton as a person. Anyone who judges Dollywood by the never ending strip of tacky go-cart and mini-golf joints on the strip is missing the jewel of the Smokey Mountain area (outside of the National Park itself). Dollywood is such a charming and peaceful relief from the chaos that is the Pigeon Forge strip.

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Friday, January 3, 2003 8:35 PM

I'm Glad to see that some people like this park.

And, I agree, the employees are some of the best in the theme park world, I think the greeters at the entrance to the park are the greatest.

By the way, a heads up for 2003.

The popular rumor is that 2003 will be the Slidewinders last year. The Rumor is that the Insurance Company is no longer willing to support the ride, and that the ride is no longer very popular, because of rides like Daredevil Falls and the Tennessee Tornado, which don't have that much of a climb to the station. But, I've heard that for many years now, and it has not happened yet.

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Saturday, January 4, 2003 9:27 AM
I really hope you are wrong Duke, but unfortunately I think you could be right :(. The Slidewinder was one of the highlights of Dollywood for me; I thought it was a really fun ride. I was very impressed with Dollywood and had a great day there when I visited in 2001. A great looping coaster and IMO the best selection of water rides anywhere.

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Jonathan Hawkins
Starcoasters.com
"There is a cluster of bees at the top of the lift. Sorry for the inconvenience."

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Friday, January 10, 2003 10:22 AM

Dukeis#1 said:

I'm Glad to see that some people like this park.

And, I agree, the employees are some of the best in the theme park world, I think the greeters at the entrance to the park are the greatest.

By the way, a heads up for 2003.

The popular rumor is that 2003 will be the Slidewinders last year. The Rumor is that the Insurance Company is no longer willing to support the ride, and that the ride is no longer very popular, because of rides like Daredevil Falls and the Tennessee Tornado, which don't have that much of a climb to the station. But, I've heard that for many years now, and it has not happened yet.



The rumors was the same at SDC however they are just replacing the slides and it will reopen in 2003. Sidewinder will probally follow suit and reopen in 2004 with new slides and boats.

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Chris Knight
I can't decide is it BGW or SDC/CC.

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