After a week long work related conference, I took a few extra days off and made my way to Dollywood, that's in Pigeon Forge for you leaving under a rock, on April 29, 2011. Disappointedly, I was only able to spend 6 hours at a park that is full of life, rides, attractions, food, shows, and has a well manicured landscape.
Pigeon Forge itself is full of amusements outside of Dollywood including NASCARSpeedPark (credit whore opportunity, sadly, it was out of service on my visit), Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride, and go cart and mini golf courses that stretch for miles. In my personal opinion, this is certainly a destination that one could spend a weekend at and never be bored.
Ride wise, Thunderhead is now in my top 5 wooden coaster. It carry's its speed well, nice drops and turns and unlike many wooden coasters intermingles with the structure and a variety of ways. Tennessee Tornado was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting a little headbanging, especially taking my first ride in the rear. On the first drop, OMFG! I felt like I was going to fly out of my seat, total surprise. Taking the suggestion of a special someone, I tried out the front seat of the last three cars which made, for me, a more intense ride, but nothing beat the rear. The second half of the Eurofighter was money with the fire and video screen at the top of the lift, and Blazing Fury was loads better IMO, than Fire in the Hole at SDC. Oh, and I also whored out Veggie Tales.
The only ride I was really disappointed in was the disk-o. I found it to run a rather weak program compared to it's counterpart at SDC. It was either that, or I've become immune to them.
Anyway, I had a fantastic time, and although I missed seeing Dolly, I certainly have plans to return sooner than later.
Enjoy the pics!
Welcome to Dollywood!! I showed by Club TPR card at the gate, received my discount and headed toward the woodie.
Here we are! Imagine that, it's a Wooden Coaster
So here we are going into the station fly-thru
Had a few posers going up the lift hill.
Get me off of this thing!!
It was a really nice day, a few clouds, bluish sky, and comfortable temperatures.
What is this thing? A giant dildo?
Timber Tower. Yup, sounds like a dildo to me. Whatever it is, the sign is permanent and since my visit, they have posted an even more permanent sign indicating the ride will not open this year and that they are in a dispute with HUSS. So, there you have it.
The themed Euro Fighter
The first half was blah, second half made up for it.
A ropes course! Included!
A ropes course! (again)
A ropes course! (again again)
Unfortunatley, many tornados had just torn up many parts of the state. The good news, this arrow did not tear me up.
A solid ride with a nice big round thing.
Time to try out Blazing Fury. Like I said earlier, i found this powered coaster much better than the one at SDC.
And an outdoor view of the attraction.
Birds in houses
Walking around the park
I found this harmless looking attraction
Maybe Dan would approve?
Off to what I really came to Dollywood for, one of my top 5 flat ride types!
Typcial of airlines these days
Which way to I go? I choose left.
If you can't follow these simple directions, you shouldn't be allowed in the park.
Load em' up boys!
These buttons make ride go swoosh!
AWAY! Another S&S that delivers!
So walking around toward the carnival type area
I found the carousel
With a traditional cock.
And a nice aviator
Time to do my whorish duties.
And no one laughed
So, I left. Thanks Dollywood for a fantastic time! See you soon!
So it's April 30th of 2011 and after an interesting drive thru the mountains in the dark (wish I had done that during the day just to take in nature) the night before, while texting (NAUGHTY), I made it safely to Carowinds about 30 minutes after opening. Upon my arrival, I found the line for Vekoma's finest flier to be at the queue entry point, so I made my way to Intameidator. I waited in the normal person line for about 15 minutes for my first spin which I found to be, well, tame and rather non-exciting. So, having now noted the single rider line, I made my way around for several more laps before realizing my initial reaction was correct. A few bits of air, but overall, not very forceful, and quite frankly, not very memorable.
The best ride in the crowded park for me was After Burn, full of force, turns, swoops, and dives, this one's a winner. The non-racing woodie was fairly smooth bringing back memories of Rebel Yell. The boomerang was rather pleasant with the new trains and restraints, I'd hit it again. Hurler was not memorable, but it didn't crack my neck, so it wasn't bad either. Vortex was decent, but flying ace was no where near the quality of Steel Laso at Frontier City. Easily the worst ride in the park for me . The flier was ok, and the sun shield on the brake run was welcome. While I tried to get the kiddie credit, no kids were around to bribe, so I ended with multiple rides on my now #2 B&M Invert, After Burn, which hauled some serious ass at night.
One thing I noticed, this park lacks flats. If they were to add more flats, they would have a well rounded park. All in all, it was great day, the park was busy, which was a good thing, and I would certainly return.
Welcome to Carowinds!
Where you can go North or South, your choice, but I like going down South.
where you can fill up on funnel cakes
Or ride Intamidator.
Honestly, I was disappointed.
The best part of the ride, imo
Even this turn was less than forcefull, it really felt to me like a drive down the interstate.
So yeah, this was the best part of the ride. Now, I will say the ride crew was on their game. Hardly ever three trains waiting and minimal time in the brakes with three trains.
So, I'll run thru some pics of Vekoma's finest.
It does have a few strong points.
It's photogenic for one
The ride crew was on top of things
It didn't beat me up either
But, I just don't find them comfortable
So we go over here and experience the new trains and restaints.
Silky smooth. All boomerangs should have them, maybe we wouldn't bitch so much if they did.
Then you have this, i swear, people couldn't figure out how to get in this thing, cars were stacking and it wasn't the ops fault, it was ignorant people who didn't know how to get in, sit down, and hold on.
One of the few flats they have with Skycoastin Steve's old gig in the background.
So that's all I have. I spent more time riding and crowd fighting than taking pics since it wa my first time to the park. Hope it was entertaining for you! Thanks Carowinds!
I'm glad you had a good time at Carowinds. I really enjoy the park, and I think Afterburn kicks butt too! I do think Intimidator is great too, and I agree about Flying Ace Vekoma Jr. SLC. It stinks! Thanks for the photo trip report. I really liked the Dollywood photos as its a park I've never gotten to and really want to go to.
Coaster Count: 200 Wood:35 Steel: 165
Favorite Steel: Maverick (CP) Favorite Wood: El Toro (SFGAdv.)
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