Hey Guys ! We are up bright and early to head over to one of my favorite theme parks ever built; Dollywood. Leaving the Wilderness at the Smokie
Hey Guys !
We are up bright and early to head over to one of my favorite theme parks ever built; Dollywood.
Leaving the Wilderness at the Smokies at around 7AM to be the first ones at the park.
If you haven’t already go check out our wilderness POVS on the youtube channel!
Okay so we arrived at Dollywood!!! At this point I am getting more excited than an adult should, but I had never got the chance to ride Lightning Rod on previous trips, and I heard it was operating that day!
We arrived in the park and immediately ran to Lightning rod to hear its “Attention Racers: Lightning Rod has been running Hot laps all day, and needs to cool down” or something like that to kill my Dollywood mood already….. It was very busy that day so we headed to get timesavers! Time saves are worth the buy at only 45 a person for unlimited rides with no wait time on all the rides at Dollywood!! These are probably the best express style passes I’ve seen; even on a ride without a time saver line they still escorted us to the very front of the line and right on.
So that was amazing. I am so happy after visiting this park for 2 years I finally got a ride. Well I got 6 just in the morning alone. It was a great ride in certain seats. I say this because in the back and any wheel seat on the ride you get a big bump at the bottom of the first drop. Thats it for any roughness on the ride, but it still is enough to make you say” That kinda hurt bad lol “. But luckily I only did the rear seat once and every other ride was a front seat one. The front was amazing!!!! The air time was almost as strong as Skyrush’s ; but on LRod you have a lot more moments of time your butt is not in the seat. Ill walk you through what happens on this amazing wooden hybrid. You start up the hill with a launch, it has a good amount of force and hauls about 3/4 up the hill. You slow to go over the false first drop, get a little pop of air and then rocket down the rides real first drop into a valley. After picking up a good amount of speed you hit the coasters enormous Wave turn which provides absolutely insane sideways airtime. Your then shot into an off axis air time hill into a very high speed low to the ground right hand corner. Now this is where the OMFG airtime everyone who loves this ride talks about. The infamous quadruple down. You maintain all this speed after the corner to pop into a smaller floater airtime hill, right after your sent up into the 4 consecutive ejector anti hills. This is the most insane part of any hybrid I have ever been on, and I have been on almost all of them excluding Medusa. After the 4 hills completely kick your behind, you are sped into one last giant curved element leading into the brakes. 90 seconds never felt so good. If you ride this go for the front only!! It is unlike any ride I have ever been on and is just insanity from start to finish.
Anyways, all of that airtime made me hungry. And its not like we are in one of the best parks for food, are we?
Actually I heard we are, so that means time to enjoy some amazing southern food!!!
Yeah… thats at a theme park … and cheaper than chicken fingers at six flags.
Time for some more rides!
LIES LIES LIES! The wait time was easily over 45 minutes in this photo. No need to fear, time savers are here!
And just like that boom we are front row ready to take on the parks oldest attraction/coaster credit.
Oh and just and fyi this ride apparently is the parks only coaster that does not partake in time saver, but about 12 other families with them were lined up at the exit to get on. Even though this ride does not have a time saver line the employees still let us as well as the 12 others use them to get on the ride faster than the line. Now that is really good theme park service.
The whole track for Blazing Fury was apparently redone with metal rails this year to provide for a smoother ride. Thats just what the ride ops were saying, it looked the same as my last visit.
What wasn’t the same were the effects, they were all working and running amazingly! We actually can back later for a re-ride because it was running that good.
Continuing our walk around of the park we ran into the parks hidden gem; Tennessee Tornado.
This ride is a huge surprise because its actually very smooth, has a great first drop into a tunnel,and provides good speed throughout.
I also loveeeeee the color of the track. Its just so unique and fitting for the coasters environment. This little shed is where the other trains of TT sleep when not in use.
Have any of you noticed a trend to my favorite seat on a coaster is…?
It’s always the front!!! I know that some people love backseat rides and I do as well, but I love being able to see whats coming and feel the wind in your hair. Plus you get the best on ride pictures in the front.
Most of this ride is hidden amongst the many trees of the Smokey Mountains. Here is the final turn into the brake run and also half of the rides first loop.
If you plan on riding this make sure that you brace coming into the brakes; you come in very hot and stop very fast. Other than the brakes being a bit much, this is a great ride that should not be overlooked because of its earlier built cousins. Its a very short and fast ride, but truly unique to the park. I won’t say to much and I would highly advise not watching any POVS before you ride, it’s best left as a surprise:) it is awesome!!!
You can’t turn your head without spotting a world class attraction. Right next to Tennessee Tornado is the parks other newer coaster attraction; Fire Chaser Express.
The last turn of Fire Chaser.
We will get back to this fun family coaster in a bit. Wild Eagle is out next coaster we are getting on!
What a beautiful sight. Nature, gorgeous building, and a shiny blue B&M wing coaster. Is there any better combo?
And here is Wild Eagle from the Fire Chaser station. I thought I got more photos of Wild Eagle, but I think that was the following weekend at Bluegrass and BBQ. Don’t worry there is another blog post just covering that weekends fun. Anyways, Wild Eagle is on the shorter side off wing coasters but provides a very solid ride.
It is pretty much just inversion after inversion with 2 helixes at the end, but it actually gives a lot more forces than the other wing coasters I have ridden.
This is a ride you either love or hate. This is my friend Mike’s favorite coaster ever built. He claims it is the smoothest and craziest coaster he’s tried. Theres also some reviews people think this ride is boring and forceless, but let me put this to bed once and for all.. This is an amazing ride. It has a lot of forces and actually gives me that drop feeling in y stomach every time on the first drop. The inversions are insane and are taken with a good amount of speed, and depending on the seat provides some really strong forces. I prefer this to gatekeeper only because of the first drop and environment. Now I have been on swarm and a few other acclaimed wing coasters and I do think this holds its own among some of the larger ones.
But thats my opinion go to Dollywood and try for yourself, you will not be let down.
Now it is time to ride Fire Chaser Express! This ride’s awesome thumbing comes from somewhere very very special. It was picked by the famous TV duo of “American Pickers”. If you watched this episode of the show you will love this attraction. Even if you do not like the show give this episode a watch it is very interesting and fun. Watch it before you ride this too!!! It will make for an even better ride experience.
Tennesse pays homage to the brave volunteer firefighters that saved many lives in these Smokey Mountains. There football team is called the Vols, the states nickname is the volunteer state, and serval attractions here at Dollywood pay respects to these brave heroes.
Don’t just ride rides when you visit, pay attention to all of the history all around! Reading is key at Dollywood.
Twisty goodness that is Firechaser.
This is one of the best family coasters I have been on. It has two launches and a lift hill, it has amazing theming, and you ride in little steam trains!
The operations were amazing today. I mean three trains on Firechaser with insanely fast dispatch speed? It was such a blessing! We got front row and got right back on to give the back a try. Front is 100% the way to go for this attraction.
I love how unique each and every Dollywood coaster is. This ride backs you in to the station to unload, and shoots riders off at over 20 mph on the start of the ride. The scene in the shed has REAL fire and some awesome props gathered by the pickers themselves.
This ride; although a family coaster, is truly one of the most unique coaster experiences in the United States. Maybe the new Potter coaster will take that away, but for now that’s my standpoint on Firechaser.
Ahhhh, the parks indoor/outdoor euro-fighter, Mystery Mine. While I love the theming and setting of the ride, the actual ride experiance was very rough from last year when I visited. In both the front and back rows I got my head banged around during the first half of the ride, while not so much on the end half.
Close up of one of the ride carts about to take a vertical plunge!
Nearing the end of the day the park died down a lot, leaving only a 15 minute wait for non time savers for Mystery Mine. The ride is themed very well as you can see.
The best part of Mystery Mine is the end half where the mine explodes, you drop straight down right into a 360 twist, hang time, than brakes. A crazy way to finish an equally crazy ride.
Im also adding the man who was directing people to the seats of the car was very rude. We asked to ride in the front on our second ride and he deliberately placed other riders infant of us so we could not ride there. He then proceeded to tell us there is no preferred seats on the coaster. I completely understand that but at this point there was NO ONE at all waiting to ride, even in the general line. I just waited another train so he had no choice but to let us ride. We also had another older ride operator be very rude to us at Thunderhead after we got line jumped. Don’t worry we passed there names on to higher ups to deal with it. Other than those two I have never once had any issue with any employee or guest at this park, and that is one of the reasons I hold it in such high regards.
To be honest I think he was just jealous that I got two rides on Mystery Mine in under 20 minutes 🙂
Look at that insane twisty track!!!! This views from the loading side of the rides station.
With only 45 ore minutes left of the park being open, I headed to get my final ride of the day in on Drop Line!
It was very odd, a 45 minute wait time!! Oh well, we used the time savers and zipped to the front and was on in less than 15 minutes.
Okay so I love drop rides and never really get nervous, but this one was a little scary. The views were amazing, but the scary part was they left us up at the top for at least 5 minutes. I thought something was broken and just when I let my guard down the thing drops. And it is a very forceful drop. Great new addition Dollywood, something that was much needed!
We squeezed in few rides on Thunderhead in the front row before headed back to the hotel. Sadly my camera died after Drop Line so I wasn’t able to photograph Thunderhead. Its okay because check back in a day or two for an even more in depth look at the rides not covered here, as well at their Bluegrass and BBQ festival!
Hotel sweet hotel…. and also not so sweet closed outdoor waterpark:( Time to get some rest before headed to Six Flags in the morning!
As always check back for more new and exciting trip reports and updates from your favorite source of theme park coverage!:)