Erik & Misty's Smoky Mountain Adventures

Dollywood, Mini Golf, & What Have You
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Postby Electerik » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am

monkeyoverlord71 wrote:I never knew Dollywood had a water park! Is it next to the park?


Kind of. Their parking lots are across the street from one another, but it's a bit of a walk from front gate to front gate (Dollywood's parking lot is weird).

They've actually just reworked it all this last year, so that you drive into both parks the same way, and then choose which one to go to after the toll booths (driving through a tunnel under the road to get to Splash Country).
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Postby Electerik » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:31 am

I like cheesy. And I enjoy laughing at things that aren't nearly as great as they think they are. But not everything works like that. Sometimes "bad" is just bad.

World of Illusions
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World of Illusions is located in Gatlinburg, right next to the Reagan Mall (home of Old Gatlinburg Golf & Games and Hauntings).
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It sounds awesome so far.
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Random is good.
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Smoke tornado thing.
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This will prove to be the highlight of your tour, sadly.
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Yes. I am a genie.
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No! They're on to my tricks!
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Well, I guess the wall would have just been blank otherwise.
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"Complaints will be taken at the exit."
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I wish I could say this illusion doesn't come across well in photographic form, but actually it does.
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Neither Misty or I could sort out how this was even supposed to work despite multiple attempts.
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Floating mannequin!
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Misty looked really bored in this photo, so I illusioned it up some.
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In this illusion, a plastic ball rolls around on a table--as if by magic!
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Here we see "a superman" using his x-ray vision to check out "a Lois Lane."
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Lt. Worf, I guess. And some other dude they had laying around. They disappear, as if my magic. Or transporter. Whatever.
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The big finish.
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YOU ARE INVISIBLE!!!
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Okay....
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What, seriously? This is the exit?

Yes. Yes it is.

YOU ARE INVISIBLE!!!
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Postby speedmetal » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:18 pm

You've been working so hard on this thread and I think this is the first time I've commented. Oops! :roll:

But I think the Superman looking at Lois Lane was seriously creepy, especially when her pants disappeared.
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Postby Electerik » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:42 am

speedmetal wrote:You've been working so hard on this thread and I think this is the first time I've commented. Oops! :roll:


That's okay. You still contributed. Some of the photos are yours, and this thread would be nothing without your mirror maze dance. ;)

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! I'll do more when I get to it.
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Postby TheRapidsNerd » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:15 pm

Mr. Edge said it best here.
I love your updates, and they are always entertaining... but this one had me laughing from beginning to end.


Big thank you for Splash Country! That truly made my day. Even the peek in the gift shop (girlfriend and I are gift shop/park swag nuts) was cool. Both you and SMisty had some pretty shots of the rides and scenery.

Have I mentioned how awesome donkeys are?
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Postby coastersrule85 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:58 pm

Everytime I look at your updates, I wish I'd have had more time to spend in the area when I went to Dollywood this summer. There is just so much to do! The one thing we did do was visit Sam Houston's schoolhouse if that counts...it's a Texas thing I s'pose, LOL.

Great report as usual! The captions always have me laughing. I now feel the uncontrollable urge to plan another trip to spend just in that area.

...although, I'll probably skip World of Illusions...
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Postby coasterville » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:19 pm

I've been sitting back soaking all this in, and taking notes if I ever get down there again...

The World of Illusions just isn't what I remember it being. Ok, the lobby looks sort of the same, except back wen I went through it they flashed it with star wars characters, not Harry Potter, and not the double edged light saber which we didn't even know about at the time.


The only thing I can remember being the same is the "Make your friend" disapear trick, which was at the very end of it. The other one I remember vividly is one where you looked through a window and saw a gyspy with a crystall ball on a tablle, the table appeared to stick out into the hallway where you were standing, and supposedly you could move your hand on the table to move the crystall ball on the other half of the table. Not that it ever seemed to work right....

From your photos above it just looks a lot drier in tone than I remember it being.

IIRC, didn't World of Illusions close down for some time? I never got to see Mysteries of the Unexplained or whatever it was called, I was alwsys told "You're not old enough for that one" then it went out of business. I sometimes wonder if your not old enough = nice way of saying "we don't want to blow even more money on these tourist traps" I recall I was usually allowed to choose 1 per trip so choose wisely, unless of course somebody else wanted to see one of them, then I could parlay it into seeing more than one on a trip.

We used to go down there evey year, but the last time was down there with the family, Thunder Eagle was still running. Oh, I made a drive by in 2004 and saw Dollywood, Dixie Stampede, 2 or 3 of the go-Kart/arcade places in Pigeon Forge. (The one that looks 50'sish outside and required waivers to drive their fast carts on a slick track., and the one with three tracks, none of which were all that special - okay well except for the one where you do a hairpin turn while dropping about 30-40', said drop having big flashing lights and use brakes signs. I would later figure out that if you just let off the gas, you could safely make it around the turn just letting the cart coast down. (This IS a coaster group, right), they were also unusual in that you loaded the carts and then drove through a little 1 cart wide passage to get to the track, then returned the carts down that same passage.

Let me add my kudos along with all the others for bringing us your feature.

Gatlinburg area tourist traps I have done (and can remember)
* Ober Gatlinburg (Alpine Slide, yessir!, why else would you go up there :)
*The skyride you showed that just goes up to the Gift Shop in the Sky, as opposed to the Ghost Town in the Sky in a a somewhat nearby city (I've seen that one as well)
* Space Needle and its arcade
* Ripleys Motion Theatre
* Ripleys Haunted Adventure
* The indoor mini golf where Ripleys Haunted Adventure is now, it had the Star Trek themed holes, and had the finale with Hole 18 being the Space Shuttle hole.
*Christus Gardens
* The haunted house a couple doors down from Christus Gardens, I redid that one in 2004 and it did not live up to my memories of it at all!
* A big wax musuem that was up where Old Gatlinburg mini golf is now, and then Q-Zar after that. My only game of Q-Zar brand lazer tag in fact.
* World of Illusions
* Hauntings
* Earthquake the Ride - I redid that one in 2004 just to sucker the person I was with into it. "You won't believe how amazing this is!" - How is that indoor mini golf next to Earthquake, the Indiana Jones (I think) Adventure Golf?
* Gatlinburg (No) Fun Mountain - short lived(?) traditional style amusement park
* Hillbilly Golf - Perennial Favorite!
* The wax museum down that way, which was an indoor gokart and mini golf last time I saw it.
- also, I've seen over the years, almost all the crafers get run out of the stores there as more and more of them get filled in by the same tacky souvenir and T-shirt shop as every other joint in town.

Of course I've hit whatever go cart park had the Thunder Eagle, and I have that credit, and I saw the NASCAR speed park. Yep, also hit Cade's Cove Loop Road, Clingman's Dome - you want a challenge do the Cherokee to Gatlinburg drive on the foggiest day you can find!

Did the Bear Zoo thing in Cherokee, and remember fondly the coin operated "Educated Animals" that did tricks. Darn PETA! I recall somewhere around there was one of those Mystery Houses at one time, the kind where water runs uphill, or a person leans way back in a chair and doesn't fall over, easier to walk up than down, etc. Once I even did a helicopter tour of the Smokies, the only time I have been in a chopper.


A couple of the traps I haven't done are either the old or the new Ripleys museum, but I did get snookered into that Tales from the Crypt attraction that lived a short time where the old Ripleys was. I also never did the Guiness World Records museum. (As opposed to the Guineess Tasting Museum, which would be quite a feat as I recall the area is dry.)

Remember, at least one breakfast in a pancake house is required per trip. Though, I call breakfast at the Apple Barn - its a long wait for family style breakfast featuring apples any way they can serve them - apple fritters, apple butter, apple juice, etc. Not to be confused with a similarly named restaurant right on the main drag in Pigeion Forge. We've gotten nailed on that.

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Postby Electerik » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:18 am

^ Though I live in Pigeon Forge, I certainly didn't grow up in this area. In fact, I'd never ever heard of it (except for Dollywood) before about five years ago. So, for the most part, I really can't speak reliably about any of the area's older, now-gone attractions.

coasterville wrote:[...]and the one with three tracks, none of which were all that special - okay well except for the one where you do a hairpin turn while dropping about 30-40', said drop having big flashing lights and use brakes signs. I would later figure out that if you just let off the gas, you could safely make it around the turn just letting the cart coast down. (This IS a coaster group, right), they were also unusual in that you loaded the carts and then drove through a little 1 cart wide passage to get to the track, then returned the carts down that same passage.


I believe you're talking about Speed Zone--which has the distinction of being the closest go cart place to my house, and one of the few I've actually done.

* Ripleys Motion Theatre
* Ripleys Haunted Adventure


Done these, but have no photos. They may be revisited at some point in the future, but I have no definite plans.

*Christus Gardens


This is now closed and sitting empty. I never did it. I could have, but it just didn't seem like my kind of thing.

How is that indoor mini golf next to Earthquake, the Indiana Jones (I think) Adventure Golf?


"Treasure Quest." It's pretty good, but I need to take more photos of it. ;)

Once I even did a helicopter tour of the Smokies, the only time I have been in a chopper.


Definitely on my list. One of the more logistically tricky things for me, though.

I also never did the Guiness World Records museum.


It's terrible. The only reason I can imagine doing it again would be to take photos for this thread. (See how I sacrifice for you people?? :P )

Though, I call breakfast at the Apple Barn - its a long wait for family style breakfast featuring apples any way they can serve them - apple fritters, apple butter, apple juice, etc. Not to be confused with a similarly named restaurant right on the main drag in Pigeion Forge.


I probably will do an update about The Apple Barn at some point. I believe the restaurant on the parkway you're referring to was the Apple Tree Inn, but it's now gone.

Thanks for taking the time out for such a detailed response!
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Postby ernierocker » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:28 am

The Apple Tree Inn sounds right. We ate there a couple of times on family vacation. We always used to eat at the Apple Barn, Burning Bush Restaurant and the Old Mill just about every family vacation to the area. The Burning Bush is of course gone now. I used to love their little rotating tray of fruits and muffins.

I was about to comment on how much you are sacrificing for this thread. I mean you spent money on World of Illusion for pete's sake! :P

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Postby Velo_editor » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:16 pm

Yeah, the Apple Tree Inn was right on the Parkway. I remember the Burning Bush Restaurant as having dozens of finches and being literally on the edge of the National Park.

Does Bunny Golf still exist? I know there was the sad "bunny massacre" some time back, but I wondered if they ever came back with it.

Seriously, this thread is awesome.

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