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Messages - sirwillow

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16
Dollywood Discussion / Re: Dollywood 2018
« on: August 22, 2017, 01:38:27 PM »
... and just as soon as I post that nothing is coming, DW announces that their river battle is closing soon and that more announcements are on the way concerning future projects...

Interesting choice.  Depending on what they do, that can be a pretty large area to work with. 

Funny reading the comments on Facebook about it.  Either "It was our favorite ride" or the ridiculous, "I hated that ride.  Some grown man shot my child in the face and got them wet.  How could someone be that evil?" and variations on that them.  SMH  at the melodrama.

The Fireman's Landing idea would be interesting, but I wouldn't be surprised if they put in some more food choices/ stores/ things to keep people hanging around more.  There's some on that side of the park, but it's still a bit light since it's the newer area of the park.  Wild Eagle also wouldn't fit in well with that theme, and it's sitting in between Firechaser and where River Battle is now.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's more than one thing though.

17
Dollywood Discussion / Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
« on: August 22, 2017, 01:29:33 PM »
Just one train though, correct?  Seems that if they only one train they have minimal issues, once they try to run two trains then LR throws a fit.

Yes, one train. We were also there on a Wednesday where they didn't really need more than one train.  But I've heard the same thing about if they try to go with 2 trains.

18
at the end of the day the company invests in what they think will work for the specific target at each location.

We are fortunate that HFEC is still investing so much into Branson.

with the fading of the Branson theaters and rise of more basic ride-based attractions it is in danger of falling back into being a regional attraction like the Wisconsin Dells.


Good thoughts Shave.

I think the three statements I quoted say a lot- about what's real, about what we don't necessarily like to be real, and about what we're afraid of.  There's a lot of truth in them, some that we don't like to admit or want to face.  I know I don't like them, but I can't disagree with them.

I'm hoping that in the long run the last 2 statements end up being completely wrong and we see the opposite happen.

19
Dollywood Discussion / Re: Whats Dollywood like?
« on: August 22, 2017, 12:09:49 PM »
If you're still interested, I have a video that will be posted in a couple of hours that shows our day at Dollywood.
https://youtu.be/0LDJy9nU4-w

  It'll give you a little bit of a look at the park.  I've also got a bunch of photos of it posted at:
https://sirwillow.smugmug.com/Amusement-Parks-Roller/Eastern-US/Dollywood-TN-Aug-4-20107

I would agree somewhat with Shave on the park.  It does have more rides.  It also has more entertainment than SDC does right now.  SDC has been in the habit the last few years of cutting back their non-festival entertainment, street troupe, and wandering characters.  Dollywood had more of all of that when we were there than SDC.  With at least 7 theaters, plus at least 2 museums, that's not hard for them to do.

The newer areas don't feel as "filled in" yet, but I think that's due as much to the time for the trees to grow in as anything.  Expo at SDC is finally starting to feel that way now, with the trees.  And Thunderhead Gap at Dollywood is on a similar time frame.  Give Timber Canyon and Wilderness Pass a few more years and they'll get there.  (BTW, both of them have more shops and dining available in them than either Grand Expo or Firemans's Landing, which, IMO I feel look at least as "cheap" as Wilderness Pass.  But that's just me)

I will say that SDC right now is better at preserving the history- the train robbery, Flooded Mine, Fire in the Hole, Grandfather's Mansion.  And I think there are people dedicated to keeping that.  I hope that continues.  One thing Dollywood doesn't have is classics from it's past left like that.

Which would I pick?  Honestly, I don't know.  There is a lot I love about both parks.  But if SDC continues on the path of letting it's past go away, the more it does that the more I lean towards Dollywood.  Which really hurts me to say that.

20
Dollywood Discussion / Re: Lighting Rod's Continued Issues
« on: August 22, 2017, 11:58:20 AM »
BTW, never responded to this, but when we were there on Aug 3 the coaster was open all day.  They were down for a short time due to weather, and one other time for 30-60 minutes (not sure the reason, just saw it on the app) but otherwise ran the whole day.

21
I don't know if this is new or not.  First time I'm aware of it.  But it would make sense.  Maybe even a bit overdue.  :-)

22
Whew!  Nice job on the list and the research there!  I'm thoroughly impressed.

There are a few things I'd like to note, if I can.  (and honestly, not trying to be a stinker here.  hehe)

2007- the year that Mystery Mine opens, not only did that add that coaster, but it was also a large area expansion, adding in several shops, restaurants and other items to support the area.

2008- Dollywood also adds the Wilderness Pass area in addition to their version of Riverblast.  I'm not sure if this is when they finally completed the loop or not, but the entire area is much bigger than, say, Grand Expo, as can been seen with the later additions of Firechaser Express and Wild Eagle into it, along with a number of shops, eateries, and other things to do.  This was a major expansion project all on it's own.

Between Thunderhead Gap, Timber Canyon, and Wilderness Pass Dollywood added in enough areas in expansion that would easily more than equal half of Silver Dollar City.  That's big, and SDC hasn't done anything that remotely comes close to that sort of expansion.  Grand Expo is nice, but it's still a very small area in comparison.

We can also go with a simple metric as well.  Since 2000 the years that each did NOT have some sort of addition:
SDC: 2002, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2016 (2008 and 2014 is iffy),
Dollywood: 2003, 2013 (2009 is iffy and not sure I count the resort in 2015)

And the number of major additions (e.g. roller coasters) isn't even close.  SDC had 7 (counting Ozark Wildcat and the refurbushment that was Powder Keg) while Dollywood had 9, and most of those were of a much larger scale than what SDC added.  That's also counting Expo as an addition at SDC while not counting the Country Fair revamp at Dollywood, even though they are almost the same thing.

So that's all the public stuff.  Having worked in the park, I attended a few meetings where they would talk about future plans and attractions coming. It was openly acknowleded in those meetings that more money was spent at Dollywood and more investment was made there.  I did hear a few times from people "in the know" that they knew SDC was lower on the chain than Dollywood in about everything, that it was no longer the center of the company but that Dollywood was the "prize"- and as it should be since it generates far more guests and $$ than SDC does. (more than twice as much in fact, closer to 3 times the volume)




23
Random Talk / Re: Eclipse.........
« on: August 22, 2017, 11:17:03 AM »
Yeah I went to Nashville, TN and got lots of photos and video.

Also making my first ever visit to Dollywood on Wednesday. (this was way overdue lol)

Those are incredible photos!!  Nicely done.

and yes, you're way overdue to visit Dollywood.  lol  If you're interested my videos from my trip a couple of weeks back will (finally!) be up today.  I'll certainly be interested to hear your thoughts about the park afterwards.

24
Construction/Rumors / Re: New Steam Engines Arriving at SDC
« on: August 20, 2017, 05:08:14 PM »
Had a good talk with one of the lead engineers today about the trains and new engines.  if you'll recall, they bought 3 engines- one being the twin to current 76 and one the twin to current 13, along with another.  The original plan was to use 13's twin for parts.  Well, that's changed a bit.  Here's my understanding now of how it stands.

There was one engine that didn't match any of the current ones.  You can actually see that one now when going by the round house.  It looks nothing like the others, and is not a steam engine at all.  It won't be used for pulling the trains, but is very useful for moving around cars on the tracks when they need to, or doing track work, along with other uses.  So it is currently in use.

13's twin, which they originally thought they were going to use for parts, they changed their mind and it is currently out of state receiving a major overhaul so that it can be put into use later on.  So it will actually be running in the park sometime in the future.  No eta on when.

76's twin is in the last stages of it's overhaul and updating for use.  You can actually see its tender car sitting by the round house.  Yes, it has a tender car, and yes, it will be used with that engine!  You'll notice the tender car has a different paint scheme as well.  They are hoping to have a grand unveiling at some point in the future, but not sure when as they want to make sure they have all the work done, and that's tough to do with the operating schedule.  But it's getting close.

They're hoping to get some room added to the round house, but not real optimistic on the expansion that it's going to really need.

and, of course, all of this is subject to change at any time, so take it for what you will.  But I was very excited about the future of the new engines and the train.  :-)

25
Random Talk / Re: Eclipse.........
« on: August 20, 2017, 04:56:47 PM »
We'll have 94-95% of total where I live, which is plenty good enough for me.  I'm sure I'll step out at the high point and take some photos or something.  But otherwise no plans.

26
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2018 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: August 19, 2017, 05:15:44 PM »

As for the coaster reactions and publicity I am loving some of the ones I have been seeing on social media from the GP. Some of the best ones can be found on KY3's Facebook page. They are downright hilarious.

I've found the comments on KY3's Facebook page to continually be hilarious as people hyperventilate over their misinformation, misconceptions, and often just plain silliness and stupidity.  lol  Witness the comments about the church that is moving from one location to the old Palace theater that went out of business and closed.  :-)

27
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2018 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: August 18, 2017, 10:04:02 AM »
I'm really starting to think that they need to remove the word "spin" from all of their stuff, as the connotation that people seem stuck on with the word is teacups-style fast, dizzying spinning.  And it seems that even when explained, a lot of people have a real struggle to get that image out of their mind.

Maybe change it to "rotating" or something like that?  Perception is so much, and with the word spinning people just seem locked in to what is an erroneous perception of what it's going to be doing.

28
Dollywood Discussion / Re: Dollywood 2018
« on: August 17, 2017, 08:43:45 PM »
If history repeats itself, they'll be getting a Mack Coaster soon, 2019?

I know that's a common theory- that whatever one park gets, the other will get something similar.  And it has happened sometimes, and I understand why some think that.  But it really only plays one way, sort of, and there's been a lot more investment at Dollywood than there has been at SDC.  And several things put in one park that didn't have a matching cousin at the other.

Since 2004, Dollywood has added 7 coasters (Thunderhead, Sideshow Spin- now closed, Mystery Mine, Wild Eagle, FireChaser Express, Lightning Rod, and Whistle Punk Chaser).  Of those, 2- that's right, two, had matches at SDC, one sort of with Outlaw Run, and the other being the Grand Expo coaster.

Then you get the other additions in that same time period:
2005 Dollywood Renovates Country Fair with 10 new rides- matched by Grand Expo at SDC the next year
2006 Dollywood adds Timber Tower- no match
2008 Dollywood adds River Battle- matched by SDC's River Blast
2010 Dollywood opens Adventure Mountain ropes course- no match
2011 Dollywood adds Barnstormer- matched by SDC's Barn Swing
2015 Dollywood opens the DreamMore Resort (nothing close at SDC)
2017 Dollywood opens Drop Line freefall ride.- no match

The one thing that SDC has done in that time that Dollywood hasn't was replace Geyser Gulch with Fireman's landing which contains exactly 0 (zero) new rides, but all ones that have been in the park previously or recycled from other parks (especially Celebration City).

So since 2004, Dollywood has added 5 coasters, 3 major rides and a resort with no comparison at SDC.  That also doesn't include the 2 new areas of the park they've added in that time as well- Thunderhead Gap/ Timber Canyon and Wilderness Pass, as well as a couple they've expanded.

There may be a compliment to this at Dollywood, but honestly I hope not.  it would be nice to see them invest in SDC for a change and not have to do it at Dolly as well.  SDC deserves some of the love that's been going to TN over the last few years.


29
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2018 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: August 16, 2017, 04:11:02 PM »


If anyone thinks the "controlled spinning" on TT is going to be more tame than this on any level, I think you're kidding yourself. I just scanned the comments from SDC's official announcement on FB and I would say at least 25-33% of the comments echo the concerns about spinning and being bummed about never getting on the ride.


I think you need to go back to the video and listen to Brad Thomas' comments about the spinning.  What you're talking about on Spinning Dragons is EXACTLY what Brad said he DOESN'T want on the coaster- free, fast spinning that can get people sick.  Much to much spinning, much to fast, and this will NOT do that.  It is a very slow rotation that has built in brake controls so that it can not spin fast.  This has no chance of getting you dizzy or disoriented anymore than any other coaster because of how slow they are going to allow the cars to spin.

I understand your fears, but I don't think you're understanding the limits they are putting on the rotating that will prevent what you are afraid of.

30
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2018 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: August 16, 2017, 11:35:12 AM »
All spinning. That's a huge letdown for me.  :(

I was concerned about that.  But it sounds like with their "control" that the spinning won't be bad.  It won't be the high speed, dizziness inducing kind of spinning.  Sounds like a slower speed that will be more like a slow turn rather than a spin that will just change your perspective as you ride.

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