Why did Dollywood remove their mine train coaster?

Wednesday, October 1, 2003 9:28 PM
A few years ago Dollywood removed their mine train coast which is now Big Bad John in Magic Springs. But TT from what I've heard was not but in the mine train's spot. Had they kept it they could have had three coasters instead of just two in 2004. The mine train would have been great for families while us thrillseekers would ride Thunderhead & TT.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2003 11:38 PM
I think I once heard that the mine train and TT use the same station, but I can't confirm that
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Thursday, October 2, 2003 4:10 AM
TT is in the same location that Thunder Express was. I'm not sure if it actually uses the same station, but now that I think about it, it is very possible, because the direction of the train is the same.

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Eastcoaster
Rideworld

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 5:05 AM
I think TT does use the same station and transfer shed as TE as the layout of the the buildings and the TT lift hill is the same as BBJ which used to be TE and before that was at SF in Eureka as that park had two mine train coasters side by side.

Jim "run-on sentence" Wolgamuth
OZ Cat ride op

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 5:16 AM
I'm guessing that, at the time, Dollywood didn't see the need to offer two coasters. Many parks are hesitant to have too many as it pigeonholes them into being "coaster parks" and nothing more.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 5:23 AM
TT uses not only the same station, but some of the same footers for the approach to the lift. I got to ride TE in it's final year, and TT in it's first year, and was amazed at what the park salvaged from TE for TT.

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Goccvp1

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 6:25 AM
I agree though if they kept it, it would have really gave them the perfect small collection. Wood coaster, loop coaster, family mine train. All the basics would be covered in that lineup.
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Thursday, October 2, 2003 7:30 AM
what i really find interesting about the installation of TT is how they changed around the que area. for those of you who have ridden both TE and TT you remember where the old que entrance was and how they completely opened up a whole new area in the back of the park that wasn't there before. honestly a pretty cool addition.

on a side note, after speaking with one of the ride supervisors at dollywood this summer i found out that TT currently is a maintenance nightmare for the folks at dollywood and they are running way over budget each month on maintenance. the employees claim was that the ride does not track correctly at times which adds to added stress on the structure and new wheels having to be put on sooner.

although TT offers a great ride....i can't help but think of the X saga.
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seek first to understand
then to be understood

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 2:12 PM
Perhaps that's why the park does not run Two trains often. I also found out this summer that the ride ops cannot dimiss a train unless there are at least Three Full Cars. (Evan though they sneek them out every now and then)

I was on Thunder Express's last public Train out of the station on Labor Day in '98, kind of fitting considering I also visited the park when it re-opened there in 1989.

Like mentioned above, TT uses the same station and storage shed that Thunder Exp. did. The difference is that there was no viewing area for the ride, so guests had to exit out under the station through a large arcade instead of out into the games/photos area behind TT.

I do miss the little coaster though. It was nice as far as Mine Trains go, and did provide a nice little pop of air into the -expected- tunnel at the end. '98 was the last year I really remember Dollywood as it was. Seems since then, the park has never felt quite the same.
*** This post was edited by Dukeis#1 10/2/2003 6:24:47 PM ***

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 3:19 PM

super7 said:
I agree though if they kept it, it would have really gave them the perfect small collection. Wood coaster, loop coaster, family mine train. All the basics would be covered in that lineup.

But if you think about it , they really do have all three(at least Blazing Fury does feel like a mine train at the end.

Btw , I can't find any photos of Thunder Express; anybody got some?

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SFOG: Land of freaky Drop rides.

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 5:19 PM
Not exactly Thunder Express, but here are a few of Big Bad John.

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Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 5:36 PM
Actually looks like it's maintained better at Magic Springs. The Trains got pretty nasty looking the last few years it was at Dollywood. Maybe it's doom was written on the wall sometime in advance.

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"The Mountain Slidewinder. Voted The #1 Non-Rollercoaster Ride in America Amusement Business Magazine, 1991"

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 6:40 PM

Before the rumors start flying, TT isnt going anywhere. Dolly has the money to replace some wheels more often than needed. I guess all parks have their 'maintenance nightmare' in a coaster.

P.S. going to DW tomorrow, look for a Thunderhead construction report on the 'Dollywood.com now has a Thunderhead Progress Page' thread.
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Can you feel the thunder?
Thunderhead comes to Dollywood in 2004!

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Thursday, October 2, 2003 6:48 PM
Well if TT is a "maintenance nightmare", it sure runs well! I couldn't feel it tracking incorrectly, and that was back in early August. Please give us a Thunderhead update CoastermanX!
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Nashville needs a theme park!
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Thursday, October 2, 2003 7:05 PM
I agree. I have never actually seen Tennessee Tornado closed because of mechanical problems. I'm also surprised to learn that it is a nightmare to operate considering that the technology used on it has been around for 28 years.

I could understand the park may have problems ordering parts with the Arrow/S&S Merger, but not with the coaster itself.
Either way it could not take more than Mountain Slidewinder does, with them having to fabricate new boats for it every year.


BTW, The Guide to Magic Springs also has a page with Nice Photos of Thunder Express/Big Bad John/River King

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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 10/3/2003 1:28:50 AM ***

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Friday, October 3, 2003 6:33 AM
I would hardly consider the TT a "maintenance headache" because the wheels have to be replaced often. A coaster like the PKI Bat was a maintenance headache... not TT.

Big Bad John probably looks a little better at Magic Springs because the entire wooden structure was replaced by GCII when it was installed last year. I'm sure the new structure goes a long way to making the coaster look nice and spiffy.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, October 3, 2003 3:19 PM

CoastermanX said:

Before the rumors start flying, TT isnt going anywhere. Dolly has the money to replace some wheels more often than needed. I guess all parks have their 'maintenance nightmare' in a coaster.

P.S. going to DW tomorrow, look for a Thunderhead construction report on the 'Dollywood.com now has a Thunderhead Progress Page' thread.
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Can you feel the thunder?
Thunderhead comes to Dollywood in 2004!


You the guy that does the pics?

Get on the ball, boy. :)

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SFOG: Land of freaky Drop rides.

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Friday, October 3, 2003 5:31 PM
Nope.

But my report is up at the other thread.

180 Days til the Thunder!

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

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