Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:06 am

^ Absolutely. For our family of 5, even with Memorial Day weekend prices, the actual room itself was $70 a night. Now, that's only if you go to the park each day and get a TimeSaver each day, which in our case was true. We would have done those things even if we stayed in another hotel, so having them included in DreamMore was a big selling point.
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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:50 am

Day 5: Everything's Better Down Where It's Wetter

It's fitting that I took a bit of a break from writing this TR, because we definitely needed a break after 3 days at Dollywood. It's a really great park, and I absolutely loved it, but it was time for a more low key day. We stayed in downtown Chattanooga, and Wednesday was devoted to just walking around downtown, enjoying the city, and exploring the Tennessee Aquarium.
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We stumbled across this fun little exhibit.
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Noted.
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Art gives me hiope for the future.
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Yep! We're in the South!
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This is a bus stop. There were several fun public art things like this all over downtown.
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Goal for the day.
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Who knew Tennessee had earthquakes? We found out the hard way.
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The aquarium is right up on the Tennessee River
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Inside the aquarium there be sea dragons.
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The top floor had a lot of natural light.
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This guy prefers the artificial light.
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Sunfish!
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Lots of not-fish at this aquarium.
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The girls loved touching the sturgeon.
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Another room with lots of natural light. There are probably two dozen alligators here in a huge exhibit.
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By the way, this aquarium does have fish too.
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Prehistoric turtle shell.
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Yay turtles!
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Back to the fish.
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Me and you...
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Another touch pool, this one with rays.
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Lots of cool tropical plants.
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Including some carnivorous ones.
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Inside of a pitcher plant or Georgia O'Keefe painting? You decide.
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I love penguins.
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Sharks!
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Coral reef
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Jellies are super cool.
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Nice, peaceful deep ocean exhibit.
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Haha! I interrupt your idyllic ocean scene!
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This is an Alaskan king crab. This guy is huge.
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This is a lionfish. Thanks, Eric Carle.
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Om nom.
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They killed SpongeBob! You bastards!
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There was a pretty cool sea-inspired art exhibit near the end.
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Only you can prevent coral reef fires! Next up: Lake Winnie!
Last edited by ytterbiumanalyst on Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:37 am.
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Top Wood: 1. The Outlaw Run 2. The Phoenix 3. The El Toro 4. The Voyage 5. The Beast
Top Steel: 1. The Millennium Force 2. The Skyrush 3. The Magnum XL-200 4. The Diamondback 5. The Maverick
Top Parks: 1. The Disneyland 2. The Dollywood 3. The Silver Dollar City 4. The Knoebels 5. The Holiday World

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby boldikus » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:28 am

Another nice update! :nina:
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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby cparkes92 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:32 am

Chattanooga looks like a very nice city! I've driven through it three times on I-24 and the most experience I've had off the freeway was stopping at a gas station right next to a pay-by-the-hour motel because its gas prices were 20+ cents cheaper per gallon than any other station near I-24.
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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby bert425 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:23 am

that looks like a fairly nice Aquarium (and as we are "Aquarium" folks.. I notice things like that).

how many hours did you spend there?

which of course, translates to : should we put it on our list when we finally make the Dollywood trip?
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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:35 am

We took it slowly and were there about 4 hours. It's enormous, and honestly one of the best aquariums I've ever been to. It's up there with Shedd in Chicago. It's in two buildings, one for freshwater and one for saltwater. The saltwater building is essentially one giant tank, which you experience on multiple levels and from different angles as you go through the building. If you're into aquariums, put this on the list.
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Top Wood: 1. The Outlaw Run 2. The Phoenix 3. The El Toro 4. The Voyage 5. The Beast
Top Steel: 1. The Millennium Force 2. The Skyrush 3. The Magnum XL-200 4. The Diamondback 5. The Maverick
Top Parks: 1. The Disneyland 2. The Dollywood 3. The Silver Dollar City 4. The Knoebels 5. The Holiday World

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby Philrad71 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:36 pm

that is just a gorgeous park. . tho some areas seemed to have quite a few elderly folks sitting in your pics.

is that just the particular pics? or is the age range for Dollywood skewing older?
(I would think with the coasters, they would be getting more of a mixed to younger crowd. . so I'm curious).


I think that a lot of the older folks come for the shows more than anything else, Bert. When we went into the shows (especially during the Christmas event), the majority of the attendees had silver hair.

Great report, Andrew...really like the looks of DreamMore and that aquarium!
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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby TBpony414 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:34 am

ytterbiumanalyst wrote:We took it slowly and were there about 4 hours. It's enormous, and honestly one of the best aquariums I've ever been to. It's up there with Shedd in Chicago. It's in two buildings, one for freshwater and one for saltwater. The saltwater building is essentially one giant tank, which you experience on multiple levels and from different angles as you go through the building. If you're into aquariums, put this on the list.


That aquarium sounds fantastic!!! We are planning on going to Ripley's Aquarium near Dollywood next month as unfortunately we won't be driving towards/by Chattanooga. Maybe some day we'll get to the Tennessee Aquarium. I bet we could easily spend 3/4 of the day there!

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby Nrthwnd » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:50 pm

Aquariums Rule!!!

:b :br

Great TR Andrew.
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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:59 am

Day 6: Lake Winnie’s Boat Chute and Indiana, Too

New state credit! We crossed the Georgia-Tennessee line, a cartographic demarcation so unremarkable that no one would ever name a country band for it, and entered the grounds of Lake Winnepesaukah (pronounced “Winnie”). We gave our cans of food to the ticket agent for a cool $5 off each ticket, which was the best discount we could find. Many others were doing the same.

While the entrance isn’t nearly as grand as Dollywood’s, the kids immediately got excited for all the rides that were immediately in front of them. This isn’t really a park where you have to have a plan of attack, so we just kind of did whatever we wanted to. First up was the Parachutes. This is a ride that everyone truly loves. We did several of the small rides in this area—whale, boats, cars, bumblebee, Matterhorn. Much fun was had.

And then it was time for the boat chute. This is the ride that we, and many others before us, came to ride. It’s the original attraction on the lake, and honestly, it still holds up. Fans of flume rides, rejoice in this one. It starts in a long, long tunnel, then emerges to go up a traditional chain lift, such as would have been seen on any wooden roller coaster of the time. On our ride, the chain had jumped out of its guide, so they had simply stopped the ride (no evacs) while a guy got out of the booth at the top of the lift, walked down the hill, and put it back in its place. He returned to the booth, started it up again, and there we went. Fans of common sense, this is a place for you!

The ride isn’t very tall, but wow, when it comes off that chute, it glides right over the lake with an impressively big but not soaking splash. This is one of the best flumes I have ever ridden, and it’s worth it to come to this park just for the Boat Chute.

That was it for that side of the park, so we turned and went down the boardwalk area. There are plenty of shops here, along with the Wacky Factory dark ride. I tried to convince my 5 year old that it wasn’t a scary ride at all, but she wouldn’t go. Honestly she would have loved it.

In the back of the park is a carousel, Wacky Worm, playground, and antique car ride. The playground was closed the day we were there as a work crew were changing out the mulch. The antique cars were fun, not much of a layout, but it went through some woods and was quite relaxing. The car ahead of us broke down near the end, so while one of the operators opened up the hood, another directed us to get out of the car and just walk straight to the exit. No bullsh*t safety theater stuff here. Clearly I’m capable of walking across the grass to a gate in a chain link fence, so that’s exactly what they instructed us to do. And neither I nor my kids got hurt! For those keeping score, that’s now 2 incidents that aren’t a big deal treated like they aren’t a big deal.

That done, it was time to go for the big rides. My wife took my youngest back to the small rides at the entrance, and I went with the older two around to the other side of the lake. First up was the Alpine Way sky ride. It went right over the lake, and then back again. Super great ride, and anyone who’s a fan of skyrides should get down here now.

Cannonball was down for a few minutes (this one they did close the line; they’re into common sense, not recklessness), so we went over to Wild Lightning. Pretty standard mouse, but a good one. Cannonball was testing when we got off, so we went to the bumper cars. Not bad at all; they weren’t fast, but they moved at a good pace, and there was no centre concrete. They just told everyone don’t hit head on, and people didn’t. Amazing what happens when you trust people to use their brains.

My wife and youngest met us at this point, and Cannonball was about to open, so we got in line. Oh wow this thing is awesome! Feels like a miniature Screamin’ Eagle. I suppose I probably will always compare these Allen out and backs to Screamin’ Eagle. It is the last and biggest of them all, as well as a ride I grew up with. Cannonball has a lot of the same elements, with a big drop into low airtime hills and a series of several ejector hills going into the brake run. We rode this several times, and it is so much fun.

There are a couple of other big rides between Cannonball and Soak Ya, including a great Larson drop tower and a paratrooper. What will interest most of you on this board, though, is the Conestoga. Hoooolllleeeyyy sssssshhh************t! You may think you’ve been on one of these before, but you haven’t been on one like this. It moves so fast that the whole queue gets a big blast of wind each time it swings by. Hold on tight, and put your feet on the braces in front of you. You will be whipped around and swear this thing is trying to kill you. Enough promo, just go. You’ve got a classic wooden coaster, a really old and still awesome flume, a skyride over a lake, and this hellish beast. What more reason do you need? Just go. Right now. Go now.

We collected everyone and headed for the train. This is the standard sort of train you usually find in zoos and small amusement parks, but the scenery was nice. We finished off the day with the Monster and the Fireball, and then headed out across state lines. Twice, as it turns out, as we went back into Tennessee to hit I-24, but that road dips into Georgia briefly. It’s very scenic, especially for an Interstate.

The original plan was to drop by Beech Bend on the way for the new coaster and slide complex, but we decided we needed to take it easy and just went on to Indiana instead. We had rented an RV at Lake Rudolph, and everyone was more interested in hanging out at an RV campground. I’m not going to argue with saving $130 today, as there’s not a point if we’re too tired to have fun. We’ll be back in this area again soon, as it’s only about 5 hours from home.

Final stats:
Tennessee > Georgia > Tennessee > Georgia > Tennessee > Kentucky > Indiana
New state credits:
GA > All of us except Julie
KY > Just the kids
IN > All of us except me
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We followed the sign's instructions to the letter. The best letter is the G.
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The kids loved this area with all the small rides.
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You can tell this whale is free by the way he's attached to the ride.
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Oh, what's that I see over yonder?
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Matterhorn was a pretty great specimen of this ride type.
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Very cool to see parks respecting their history.
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We're going on the Boat Chute! Everyone get happy!
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This is such a good ride. I love how it's right in the lake.
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The lake is definitely a central focus of the park.
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They have paddle boats, too.
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The park's dark ride. It's not great technically, but it's really great kind of because of that. Hard to explain. Just go.
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The carousel was large and decently well cared for. Some paint was peeling in places, but with the way they're keeping up other rides, I'm sure this will be done before long.
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The worm was as wacky as advertised.
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The playground was closed.
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As was the mini golf.
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Fun boardwalk area.
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Onward to the sky ride?
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Foreshadowing.
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OMG! We're on a sky ride!
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Fun stuff in the lake
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Fun on the shore too.
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Skloosh!
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Turning around
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Hi!
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And the return trip.
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Conestoga! You have to ride this!
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Oh-zone! You will say "oh" (it's required).
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The paratrooper is one of my oldest's favourite rides. We have to ride one of these whenever a park has one.
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Don't shoot!
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And now some photos from a relaxing train ride.
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THROUGH THE TREES!!!
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Waterpark and Cannonball
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Back side of the Boat Chute tunnel
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Skyride porn
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Matterhorn
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And back to the front again.
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Bye Lake Winnie! Thanks for a good time!
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And I leave you with the most Southern thing we experienced all day. These were your only choices of tea.
Image
Top Wood: 1. The Outlaw Run 2. The Phoenix 3. The El Toro 4. The Voyage 5. The Beast
Top Steel: 1. The Millennium Force 2. The Skyrush 3. The Magnum XL-200 4. The Diamondback 5. The Maverick
Top Parks: 1. The Disneyland 2. The Dollywood 3. The Silver Dollar City 4. The Knoebels 5. The Holiday World

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