Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Part 6: City Museum (Page 4)
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby The Great Zo » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:23 pm

Hi again!

Here's park #2 of the trip -- Dollywood!

To no surprise, the reason for going to Dollywood was to try (again) to get on Lightning Rod. Things looked bad, and then looked not so bad, and then looked fantastic as we finally got in line to ride! After success on Lightning Rod, we also saw the fireworks, took a lap on the other coasters, had a great lunch at the new Front Porch Cafe, and ate some cinnamon bread -- though I shouldn't need to specify the last one, since it's kind of automatic.

How was Lightning Rod? It's right there with Outlaw Run and Wildfire -- two other outstanding RMC wooden coasters. Outlaw Run might be the most consistent of the three, but it's also the shortest. Wildfire has a perfect first half that lets up a little near the end. Lightning Rod might be the opposite -- it starts out as great, and ends up insane. Having never been on the ride before, I don't know if the launch is slower than before, but we definitely didn't crest the first hill with a lot of speed. That said, the quad down -- especially in the back -- is so awesome it almost hurts! I will say that LR's operations were in some ways odd, and in other ways simply not good. Won't get into that now, because I have to get the pictures up before we arrive to the next destination!

Will also have a short update from other stuff in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg up tonight or tomorrow.
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This is what we're here for!
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Cars and stuff.
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I now feel like I can take pictures of Lightning Rod since I've actually been on it.
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Lightning Rod was down, but then...
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...it was open! Just about to ride for the first time!
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Launching to the top.
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On the quad down.
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Up into the final turn.
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On the final airtime moment.
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Reaching out at the end!
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We got some more rides on Lightning Rod at night.
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As we waited to ride, everybody else watched the fireworks, and I took a picture of everyone else watching the fireworks.
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I saw the fireworks too.
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Gas.
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A nice view of the fireworks from near the Lightning Rod station. Oh, and the night rides were very dark and very awesome.
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Back to Dollywood in the morning for more fun.
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We started off with some rides on Tennessee Tornado, as demonstrated by Nathan.
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It's a good Arrow coaster! They do exist!
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It's hard to photograph, but there are a few views from the exit area.
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Russ enjoying the ride in the back row!
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More TPR riders near the front of the train.
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Naturally, we made our way back to Lightning Rod, and watched the maintenance staff make their walk down from the quad down hill.
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With that, we were on board and ready to ride!
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Pulling out of the station -- and it's genuine excitement since this ride is so good.
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Caption this!
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Launching on Lightning Rod.
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About to reach the top!
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Curving up.
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Intense right to the end.
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Hands up for maximum enjoyment!
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This is where the magic happens.
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Cinnamon Bread and whatever else. We know why we're here.
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We got a demonstration from Joan at the Grist Mill, as she was preparing new loaves to bake.
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Take a crap ton of sugar, add half a crap ton of cinnamon...
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...and prepare some loaves of bread for the coating.
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Mix it all up real good.
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Bake it up for lots of awesome.
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The end result! Popular with both humans and bees!
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Next -- some rides on Mountain Slidewinder.
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There aren't many of these types of rides around (Dollywood's is the only one I know of) and it feels a little out of control!
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It gets fast.
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It gets crazy.
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It might get a little wet.
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Or, it might get a lot wet.
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Mountain Slidewinder better not be going anywhere -- it's a fun and unique attraction that is very unlike most amusement park rides.
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A group of half-soaked TPR people at the end of the ride. Literally half-soaked; just one side!
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So why not get fully soaked? Daredevil Falls was providing a drenching drop for full boats.
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Cresting the top.
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Preparing the descent.
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Oh, the reactions!
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At the bottom of the drop.
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Disappearing into a wall of mist.
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This is where the wetness occurs.
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A full boat of fully-soaked riders!
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Random theming!
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Dollywood has live eagles...
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...and giant eagle statues.
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Also, coasters themed to eagles!
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Wild Eagle is good, but those restraints cut off the circulation in my arms, which isn't good.
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Firechaser Express is one of the best family coasters I've ever been on.
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Just thrilling enough for everyone.
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Yes, it has airtime.
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Crazy Charlie's! Oh, and can you find the hidden Dolly inside the fireworks barn? Try to find it on your next ride!
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Mystery Mine -- fun layout, great theming, still a little rougher than I'd prefer.
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Thunderhead is a fun GCI!
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Drop Line is new for 2017, and it's got a good drop with /outstanding/ views. It's really the only place in the park to get a view of the coasters in the foreground and Mount LeConte in the background. But take it in quick, because the drop can be sudden.
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There are some definitions to learn while in the Drop Line queue.
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I'm just going to refrain from further comment on some of these!
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On the way out of the park: this may or may not be Dolly's van.

Yeah, probably not. That's all for Dollywood!
-- Andy
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby michaellynn4 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:34 pm

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"Uh oh, bird is coming my way! Quick, protect the nose!"

*puts hand up*
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby TBpony414 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:12 pm

Excellent pics! So Mountain Slidewinder gets you kind of wet and Daredevil Falls soaks you - is that about right? I love the ones of Daredevil Falls where KT shrieks, shrinks, and disappears into the skloosh. I also love the picture of the fireworks with the old car in the foreground. Glad to hear the Lightning Rod gods were smiling on you for your visit!

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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby boldikus » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:14 am

:nina: :lover: :lover: :lover:

As always simply incredible photos. My favorite thing about your work is how you manage to capture peoples up close and true expressions on/reactions to rides. Amazing.
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby ernierocker » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:27 pm

Good to see you again, Andy. Great photos and looking forward to seeing the rest of the trip.
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby Blue Turbo » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:37 pm

There's a ton of really flattering pictures of me in this update, thanks Andy (also thanks for all of the rain :lol:). I was not expecting to be sitting in a puddle in the log flume after the lift hill (Also it was KT's idea to sit in the front, not mine)
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby chickenbowl » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:47 pm

Excellent action shots!! People's expressions on the quad down are priceless! The element is insane :omg:
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby The Great Zo » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:06 pm

Blue Turbo wrote:There's a ton of really flattering pictures of me in this update, thanks Andy (also thanks for all of the rain :lol:). I was not expecting to be sitting in a puddle in the log flume after the lift hill (Also it was KT's idea to sit in the front, not mine)


1) You seem to find a way into some of my more, uh, creative shots!
2) GOOD JOB ANDY.
3) Well judging by her reaction, Kristen might have regretted that decision!

ernierocker wrote:Good to see you again, Andy. Great photos and looking forward to seeing the rest of the trip.


Likewise, great to see you and thanks for hanging out for a bit in Pigeon Forge!

boldikus wrote:My favorite thing about your work is how you manage to capture peoples up close and true expressions on/reactions to rides. Amazing.


That is the goal! :)
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:57 am

Awesome photos as usual! Glad you got on Lightning Rod--still not an easy thing to do!
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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2017 US TPR Trip

Postby The Great Zo » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:39 pm

Here's a short update -- we'll call it Part 2.5 -- from some free time we had in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. There's plenty to do in this area, from tacky tourist traps to awesome mini golf, big attractions and cheesy restaurants. With a group like ours, there is plenty of fun to be had.

One thing I did but won't cover (due to a lack of pictures) is a fun trip to Clip and Climb (at Top Jump) which is a facility with a ton of different climbing walls. Robb's update covers this awesome place and I may have had a little too much fun (and scaled their timed wall in under seven seconds...)

Another accomplishment was riding four alpine coasters in two days! Reviews of them will be mixed in with the pictures.
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I have not been in an arcade in a decade, so things are a little different than I remember. Nonetheless, I had fun, and this insane gazillions-of-pucks Pac Smash air hockey table was a hit!
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I had some skill at this milk jug toss game, sinking three throws in a row, but never made it to five to win the jackpot.
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I loved the giant Pac Man machine...
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...which Russ set a high score on!
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The machine also allows people to play Galaga on its huge LED screen, and we had a ringer on our hands.
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A close-up view of one of the Galaga bad guys on the LED board.
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This was my first time ever riding alpine coasters at night! We started at Goats on the Roof.
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This coaster has an awesome lighting package on the lower half, but it's pitch black up top, which makes for a spooky ride.
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The "goat coaster" lit up at night.
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We also rode the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.
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A view from across the street at the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. Contrasting with the Goats on the Roof coaster, this one has tracer LEDs that run up the entire lift, which creates a cool glowing effect in the tree canopy above the lift.
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Here's the view of the track!

These two are my favorite alpine coasters in the area. I think the Smoky Mountain coaster is slightly better (maybe a little more intense in spots) but to be honest the rest of the experience at Goats on the Roof is better. A little less corporate, a little more friendly, and a lot less crowded for whatever reason. Wish more people went to that one!
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The next morning, we went to the newest coaster of the batch -- Rowdy Bear in Gatlinburg.
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Rowdy Bear got us in early for some rides, and it was a lot of fun.
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This one's short, as it's on the same smaller hill that the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is on.
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It might be my least favorite of the four, but it's definitely worth riding. Can't wait for their zipline coaster to open later this year!
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Getting ready to head up the lift at Rowdy Bear. Also, for anyone who's been there, "Bear Facts, Bear Facts, it's facts about bears, it's Bear Facts!"
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Climbing the lift at Rowdy Bear.
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The final alpine coaster was the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster. This one is short, but its second half gains some significant speed, and the final helix is the most intense moment on any alpine coaster I've been on.
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Hmm, this shirt looks a little familiar...
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"Hi, this is the Hersheypark legal department, can we speak to the manager?" ;)
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I summoned the rain to try to make the Gatlinburg coaster run a little faster! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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Next up? A place I've been wanting to go to for several years -- Hillbilly Golf. I think I have to credit Erik/Smisty for doing the thread that first brought this place to my attention.
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It's a mini golf course that requires a ride on an inclined railway (funicular) to get to the course, which is a decent distance up the hill.
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POV shot up the funicular!
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Teeing off.
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There was more golf skill in this group than I was expecting.
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He sinks it!
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Hillbilly Golf has many interesting obstacles -- barrels, broken-down farm equipment, a stagecoach, an outhouse, etc.
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This is not an easy place to putt from!
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Take a bath while you wait to tee off!
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Just, please, keep your clothes on.
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I won an intense, hard-fought, epic battle -- 43 to 47 to 48 to 50.
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And then I called down the rain again to make the golf course more interesting! I promise it was all part of the plan!
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Final picture -- something to do on my next visit to Gatlinburg. This is the lower facility for Anakeesta which will run a chair lift up the hill on the southeast side of Gatlinburg to a new development. Anakeesta, of greatest interest to people reading here, will have a new alpine coaster at the top.
-- Andy
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