SDCFans Forums

General Category => Other Parks => Dollywood Discussion => Topic started by: shavethewhales on May 22, 2017, 09:19:58 PM

Title: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: shavethewhales on May 22, 2017, 09:19:58 PM
So the park is now in full swing with the true start of summer coming fast this weekend, and Lighting Rod is still not fixed. If anything, it almost sounds like it has gotten worse with the way people have been complaining. I really thought they were going to hit this thing hard through the winter and have it running at least most of the time this season. I'm sure they tried, but it seems like there's no hope for this thing. There's a rumor going around that they will change it to a chain lift for the 2018 season.

I know there are all kinds of technical challenges that we can't even dream of, but I can't help but keep thinking that it shouldn't be so hard to add a launch to anything in this day and age. The material that the support structure is made out of really shouldn't make much of a difference, especially with RMC's designs where you could add a lot of steel in one part and no one could tell the difference. I've heard that one of the issues is the heat that the launch system produces and how they have to control it due to the wood structure - but couldn't they replace the wood with steel in the areas that are most affected? I'm sure that's a gross oversimplification, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

They say that in a few years this will all blow over like TTD, but I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. CP has so many coasters and TTD was such a huge outlandish thing at the time that no one was too surprised when it had issues. This is DW where they previously had a sterling reputation for ride operations, and this is supposed to be a big feature of the park. It's going to leave a bad taste in people's mouths even years down the road.

And just to run this long post even longer: the fallout is really adding up over this. The poor reviews of DW that have been coming out really show that the park is now truly dependent on the operation of it's rides. Fewer people than ever care about the crafts, shows, and charm. If LR isn't open, and one of the other coasters is down then most people seem to think the day is ruined. Back when they had just a couple of coasters it was no big deal when a ride had to close because that wasn't the sole focus of the park... Crazy how much has changed in just over a decade.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: Tmboote on May 22, 2017, 09:48:57 PM
At least this site hasn't turned into TPR where we get hourly Lightning Rod updates ;D

But I also don't understand what is so much more difficult about a launch on wood versus a launch on steel, especially considering how much technology has advanced since the first launched coaster over twenty years ago.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: sdcfan88 on May 23, 2017, 03:16:07 AM
I am really surprised with Hershend's past history working with S&S (e.g. Powderkeg) They didn't simply use that same launch system. If they do decide to remove the launch than I will definitely have to endeavor to make a trip out that way to ride it before they change it. At SDC I only got to ride Buzzsaw Falls once before it got changed to Powderkeg. I am thinking this coaster is Dollywoods Buzzsaw Falls, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: sirwillow on May 23, 2017, 10:59:16 AM
You know the park management isn't enjoying this any more than anyone else either.  Truly aggravating for them as well.

Looks like we're going to actually be able to make a trip out there at the beginning of August, so now I'm really hoping they can get it sorted out and working by then.  Especially if it's a heat issue, as that wouldn't indicate good things for the time of our planned trip.  Here's to hoping...
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: Dewayne on May 24, 2017, 09:12:39 AM
First CC closed, which made SDC behind DW on upgrades/new rides. With LR not working for a while, I think this is SDC's chance to get ahead of DW. Less people will go to DW because they know they wont be able to ride the new coaster and they will be going to SDC for new rides instead. This is your chance SDC! Dont screw it up.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: shavethewhales on May 24, 2017, 11:26:28 AM
^That's... not how it works...
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: chittlins on May 24, 2017, 12:23:56 PM
^That's... not how it works...
That was the trend.

Two GCI's , one to Dolly, one to CC.
 Two splash battles, two giant swings,
County Fair= Grand Exposition.
Two RMCS
Now Two drop tower rides.
They now have a 1 for 1 ratio for B&Ms
Two arrows, sdc with Thunderation and the Tennessee Tornado for Dolly.

When CC closed the balance was thrown off on GCI's.

Imagine SDC with a more tradional woodie along with Outlaw.

The recession cost us our Euro fighter and the make up Gerstlauer  went to Dolly for Firechaser. SDC lost its Waterboggin, Dolly still has theirs.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: sdcfan88 on May 24, 2017, 05:11:51 PM
I know they keep saying the chances of SDC ever getting a traditional woodie to replace OzCat are slim to none, but they still have a chance to do a Mystery Mine type ride with the new Mack coaster being built. I have noticed it seems like whatever SDC gets Dolly gets a better version of. I would still love to see SDC get an invert or dive machine to offset the inbalance. They could reuse the steel structure of the Waterboggan tower for one of those aforementioned coasters or rebuild a new water ride with it.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: chittlins on May 24, 2017, 07:17:24 PM
I know they keep saying the chances of SDC ever getting a traditional woodie to replace OzCat are slim to none, but they still have a chance to do a Mystery Mine type ride with the new Mack coaster being built. I have noticed it seems like whatever SDC gets Dolly gets a better version of. I would still love to see SDC get an invert or dive machine to offset the inbalance. They could reuse the steel structure of the Waterboggan tower for one of those aforementioned coasters or rebuild a new water ride with it.

What's better at Dollywood? The Wing coaster? Meh, maybe. FITH at SDC superior, Powder KEG still better than Firechaser. Outlaw Run better than Lighting Rod even when it's running. OZCAT was as good as Thunderhead. That loss stings. Mystery Mine is not the best Euro I've been on but is themed well. I like Thunderation better than the head banging Tennessee Tornado. Consider how many Times I rode Revolution and Wabash as a kid, it may explain things today.

A flume is a flume, but if SDC had put any effort into the darn tunnel, i'd never complain about AP. Like has been mentioned , the loss of CC and the Water Bogging got them ahead in attractions. Let us not forget the reinvention of Buzzsaw Falls as well.  SDC still has a form of Flooded Mine as well.

Herschend clearly likes two Fer deals with manufacturers so I'm sure Dollywood will announce a Mack next season. As long as a hyper of some sort finds its way to the Ozarks in the next 5 years and The Tracks gets themselves to full Fun Spot with one the compact GG woodies I'll be happy. Still some rather simple flats at SDC would help and quite frankly a much taller drop attraction. Give me one of Gerstlauers with a drop as part of the vertical lifthill.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: shavethewhales on May 30, 2017, 07:37:33 PM
Yeah, honestly the only thing at DW that I'm jealous of is Mystery Mine. Thunderhead is cool to, but overall it's a similar package of rides and SDC has (IMO) the better versions of most, plus an overall better setting and more cohesive atmosphere and theme. But that's an old discussion and there's plenty of people who would see it either way.

Back to the topic at hand though, there's a rumor floating around that the park is now getting ready to sue. That's a rumor that I'm pretty sure has come up before, but at this point you have to expect that it is inevitable if they can't get it working this year. It is right back to being closed more than open, and as I understand it the ride is sitting closed for another week or so until they get a new special part. Two summers in a row for a blockbuster attraction to be essentially out of commission is too much for even the most forgiving management. I'll be watching for a filing any week now...
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: Swoosh on May 30, 2017, 08:46:51 PM
I can't remember where I read this (or confirm the validity) but apparently if they can't get the launch to work properly this year, they're going to make RMC rip it out on RMC's dime.  A lift hill apparently cannot work with this layout due to a needed speed that the train must be at when it crests the hill.  Part of me thinks it's pride that's keeping them from changing to a lift hill.  It was billed as the first launched wooden coaster.  That's a lot of crow to consume if you change it out to a conventional lift

Read on another board (don't ask which one they all run together after awhile) that there is apparently an issue with Outlaw Run as well.  They switched wheels this year as you already may know, but apparently for some reason the new wheels are wearing out extremely fast
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: sdcfan88 on June 02, 2017, 02:09:25 AM
Man that is most unfortunate on both accounts. :( I thought the new wheels on OR made the coaster perform phenomenally better. (and quieter) As for Dollywoods RMC I thought they could simply make the hill taller with a chain or cable lift and delete the pre-drop or whatever they called it before the main drop to compensate.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: HumphreyHawk on June 02, 2017, 01:34:44 PM
Man that is most unfortunate on both accounts. :( I thought the new wheels on OR made the coaster perform phenomenally better. (and quieter) As for Dollywoods RMC I thought they could simply make the hill taller with a chain or cable lift and delete the pre-drop or whatever they called it before the main drop to compensate.

No!!!!  That ride starting off with two large mounds is one of the most unique parts of it.  Off course it only makes sense it's at Dolly's park.  one large peak just would make sense anymore. :o
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: Swoosh on June 02, 2017, 02:06:40 PM
I honestly thought the quadruple down was more unique but yes the twin peaks are rather unique as well
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: Runner1960 on June 02, 2017, 02:58:26 PM
Man that is most unfortunate on both accounts. :( I thought the new wheels on OR made the coaster perform phenomenally better. (and quieter) As for Dollywoods RMC I thought they could simply make the hill taller with a chain or cable lift and delete the pre-drop or whatever they called it before the main drop to compensate.

Did they not replace some track already last year on OR  ? Seems like I heard that. Maybe the new wheels are to provide less track stress ?  Not sure if this is correct. That is why I am asking the question.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: Swoosh on June 02, 2017, 03:10:20 PM
I think some of the track was replaced where it goes over the train track after the roll. Something about it getting damaged by something that was too tall to go under it or something like that. 

The wheels this year have helped but I keep hearing that they wear out too fast.  Almost as if the track is shredding them. 
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: sdcfan88 on July 17, 2017, 03:10:10 AM
And its down again. I think this is the best comment I have seen on TPR in regards to that coaster and its incessant issues. lol

Quote from: Djwadeknox
Dollywood needs to invest in a moose out front to let people know that Lightning Rod is not open today.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: sirwillow on July 20, 2017, 03:27:02 PM
And its down again. I think this is the best comment I have seen on TPR in regards to that coaster and its incessant issues. lol

Quote from: Djwadeknox
Dollywood needs to invest in a moose out front to let people know that Lightning Rod is not open today.

I don't float over to that site at all.  Was it a one day closure?  Longer period of time?  Any ideas?

We're still hoping to go in 2 weeks (depending on the cost of car repairs) and I'm hoping it will be open.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: Tmboote on July 20, 2017, 08:07:09 PM
^So far this month Lightning Rod hasn't been open at all on the 14th, 15th, 16th, 19th, or 20th and it only uses one train operations when it is open as far as I know.
Title: Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
Post by: shavethewhales on July 21, 2017, 09:41:20 PM
Yeah, it's a freaking joke. Even after all the down time to start the year off, they never got it running truly reliably or even with both trains. Now we are back to it being closed more than open again...

I can't imagine the conversations going on in DW backrooms now. I have a feeling some kind of legal action is going to be back on the table. The summer is running out quick, and before long LR will be "new" for 2018. So many enthusiasts are pissed that they still can't make definite plans to come ride it. Long gone are the days when DW was one of the parks that could do no wrong in the communities' eyes, now it's just another amusement park with ride problems.