Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:34 pm

You are correct, thanks.

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby anonymouscactus » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:47 am

Great report. Sorry about the snafu but as you said at least it was your only one. Looks like they got rid of the wristband timesavers that everyone complained about in the beginning of the season. Looking forward to your opinions of Holiday World!

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby Philrad71 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:51 pm

Great report so far, Andrew!

Sorry you didn't get to ride LR, but sounds like you had a really good visit, other than the ticket SNAFU.

I agree with Bert, the Memphis Zoo looks really nice!

Looking forward to the rest!

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:11 pm

Day 3: In Which Part of the Multiverse Does White Water Look like This? Asking for a Friend

On Memorial Day, we went to Splash Country and discovered that the Herschends actually know how to make a waterpark. Like a really good one. A really, really good one. Like the best one I’ve been to that’s not in Santa Claus, Indiana. This is surprising to me because I grew up with White Water in Branson. So I was floored that Dollywood’s waterpark was big and had lots of slides that were really good and that I wanted to ride again and again. Let me reiterate that I am accustomed to White Water in Branson as a baseline for expectations on Herschend waterparks. To give you Easterners some idea of this feeling, imagine you have only ever been to a Jersey Shore boardwalk that isn’t Morey’s, and then you go to Knoebels. This was kind of the waterpark equivalent of that.

We ran immediately to RiverRush, which I liked, but not quite as much as the two at Splashin’ Safari. My daughter had the exact opposite opinion—River Rush was her favourite of the three. She tends to dislike intensity, so it makes sense. We then went to Big Bear Plunge, the faster of the two raft rides. It’s big, it’s intense, it’s fun.

Fire Tower Falls is one of those super steep body slides. I sort of enjoy these, I guess enough to always try them, but then I walk away thinking it was merely okay. They give me rugburn on my back, but I never can say no. I guess what I’m trying to say is my name is Andrew, and it has been 13 days since my last body slide.

SwiftWater Run was a fun bowl slide. I loved that they allowed double tubes, for extra speed to get up high along the walls. Not as fast as Bakuli (I don’t mean to compare everything to Splashin’ Safari, but, you know…).

Next up were the three mat slides. Yes, three. Slick Rock Racer is the standard three-hill mat racer with pretty good airtime. Mountain Twist does what it says on the tin. It’s as twisty as a tube slide, but with mats going down face first. Really awesome! The newest slide is Tail Spin Racer, and it basically takes the best of both of these. It is really tall and feels very fast.

The older complexes still hold up well, too. Raging River Rapids is a fun raft slide. Wild River Falls is a four-slide tube complex, with two of them allowing double tubes. The entrance and exit is up on an upper level, and to get down and back into the rest of the park, you can walk, or—you can take the Butterfly! Two short slides that start near the exit to Wild River Falls and end down on the main level of the waterpark. Such an awesome solution to a unique situation.

After all this, we decided to head on back to the Cascades so my youngest could play there while I and the two older kids rode RiverRush a couple more times. We did, and it was awesome again. When we were done, we went back to meet up, and we were apparently not the only ones who wanted to experience that pool. For just at that moment, a black rat snake came up out of the adjacent woods and down one of the slides!

Let the screaming commence.

Everyone ran as fast as possible, the water splashing in all directions through the heavy footsteps, fleeing Kaa as primates must needs always flee a serpentine nemesis. And lo, amid the cries of “SNAKE!” and “EVERYONE OUT OF THE POOL!” did two brave souls appear, uniformed in the traditional polo shirt and khakis of gunslingers of yore, and brandishing the weapons most feared by snakes—a really long pole and a snake bag labeled “Snake Bag.” As they strode toward the ferocious legless beast, we frightened onlookers were reassured by their obvious professionalism, as evidenced by the fact that they had a snake bag literally labeled “Snake Bag.” Clearly this was not our heroes’ first rodeo.

Theirs was not to reason why. Theirs was but to catch that guy.

And so with bated breath we took in the ranchers’ resolution to enrope our reptilian rascal. The hope rose as they closed in on the vivacious villain, and the despair and fear broke forth in gasps as the jet-coloured consumer of rodents broke forth from its trap. Late in the twelfth round, the snake obviously more wearied than the staff, it suffered the knockout punch and was forced into the ever-so-appropriate Snake Bag.

Cheers erupted from the newly hatched fans of this impromptu spectator sport as our heroes carried their trophy, still alive and wriggling in its Snake Bag, toward the edge of the park. These are heroes, who do not engage in such cruelty to kill, even be their adversary of forked tongue, even be it devoid of aural implements.

And lo, did their good deed fail to go unpunished, for the great basilisk lept forth from the Snake Bag to duel these gunslingers again! And lo, did the guests shrink back from the fray, but our heroes, made of sterner stuff, did immediately re-engage. A second time did they fight, and a second time were they victorious, as for a second time the snake was placed in its apropos Snake Bag and for a second time the populace did cheer.

Hurrah! Hurrah for the snake-catchers! Hurrah for Dollywood!
Nice entrance.
I like the ambiance the buildings give off. It's different from the usual generic waterpark vibe.
Bag check.
Nice fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo/shower station.
Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Oh. Not those shots.
Very cool scenery here.
And the park got busier after this, and I feel weird taking pictures in waterparks, so here are some closeups of my family!
Our heroine removing the snake!
And our hero arrives to assist her!
Get in your Snake Bag!
We went to all the trouble of labeling it.
Aw! It appeared to be caught!
Sorry the photos are all from behind our heroine--it was just where we were when it happened.
We certainly did! Great theme park, great staff, great snakes.
Last edited by ytterbiumanalyst on Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:28 pm.

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby bert425 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:27 pm

holee crap.

that snake would have gotten me out of the water for the rest of the visit! (even if it's a non-poisonous one).


were the kids enthralled, or terrified?

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby boldikus » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:32 pm

Oh man what a great update! On the edge of my seat. And if I haven't said so already, you're also one of TPR's finest literary masters, without a doubt.

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:31 pm

^ Thanks!

bert425 wrote:were the kids enthralled, or terrified?

If you can believe it, they were oblivious. They just got out of the pool because everyone else did and wondered what the fuss was about.

No one was ever in any real danger. Black rat snakes are harmless unless you're a rat. They just inspire a very primal kind of fear in humans, and indeed in almost all primates. No getting around genetics.

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby Hilltopper39 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:03 pm

I always kind of forget about Splash Country even though it really looks like one of the better water parks in America. I've never been to Splash Country and it's been about 5 years since I was at Dollywood so I'm looking forward to taking it all in one of these days. Now if they could just get Lightning Rod operating consistent so I can plan a trip......

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby TBpony414 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:17 pm

Great TR so far! I love the chapter titles. How long is the tram/bus ride from DreamMore to DW? Do you have to pay for a separate ticket to get into the waterpark?

That black snake was HUGE!! I can't imagine how many times the snake wranglers have sprung into action - clearly this is a common occurrence. Your story of it had me in stitches! Snakes are the only creature that scare the bejesus out of me and it's because they don't have ears or legs so I have no idea what their expression is, where they're listening, or thinking about going. They always look like they're really mad and they're so strong that they could spring right up and wrap around my jugular in the blink of an eye.

On my recent visit to Cedar Point we had an almost identical experience regarding park tickets and season passes. Nobody seemed to know anything and those who thought they knew really didn't. I have a platinum pass and the person with me did not have a pass so needed a 2 day park ticket. It took a while to get through to the clueless receptionist that season pass holders get discounts but we weren't sure where to get them. Eventually got more people involved and sorted out that on property hotel tickets are already discounted from gate prices, therefore season pass discounts are not applicable. If we wanted to use the season pass discount we'd have to go to a park entrance ticket window... but it would only be $4 difference from the hotel price.

However, in the middle of proving to the original receptionist that pass holders do indeed get discounts (she insisted they didn't and didn't seem to realize that my Platinum pass from Carowinds is indeed valid at any CF park) I figured out a way to save $16 online. I thanked her for her time, told her it was a learning experience for us both and to forget the whole transaction. I bought the extra ticket on my phone while walking out of the hotel and they scanned my phone right there at the gate 3 minutes later. It was a frustrating way to start the day and wasted a good 15 minutes of everyone's time though. I really wish when people aren't sure they would say something along the lines of, "I don't know, let me check or get someone else who may be able to help" rather than talk in circles. This applies to anyone, anywhere in life, but especially those working in a customer service capacity!

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Re: Photo TR: From Dollywood to Holiwood

Postby Canobie Coaster » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:44 pm

Great report of Splash Country! I was just there the past 2 days and loved it.

RiverRush may be shorter than the 2 water coasters at Splashin' Safari but I honestly may have liked it the best. It wasn't as long, but there were 3 drops that had stronger air than the awesome shed drop on Wildebeast.
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