PhotoTR: My Amusement Park Road Trip- Dollywood update!

Pg5-SFGAdv, Jenkinson's, Dollywood, + a Texas (and TN) hero
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Postby coastersrule85 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:38 pm

I do have to admit that after visiting Kennywood, Hershey, and Knoebels, I couldn't help but notice how few trees there were at Dorney. I still had a great time, but we actually talked about it while we were there and were glad that the weather was nice and cool.

On to Day 11

We sadly had to leave Pennsylvania, probably my favorite state to visit for amusement parks. Today we were going to spend an awesome day at Great Adventure. Since I didn't fit in Top Thrill this trip, I was looking forward to riding Kingda Ka just for the thrill. I'm not the biggest fan of TTD and KK, but I can't deny the enjoyment of the adrenaline rush! Heidi was looking forward to riding it so she could say that she'd ridden the tallest and fastest (at the moment) coaster. Well, as we all know, while we were on the trip they closed KK for repairs...quite disappointing. Oh well, they still had El Toro and Nitro, plus I was excited about riding Runaway Mine Train, since the group I was with my first visit a few years ago didn't want to.

We arrived at the park as it opened and headed straight to Nitro. We got in three quick rides before the line started getting bad. Unfortunately the park was undermanned or something because a LOT of rides were closed early and intermittently throughout the day. As some rides would come on line, others were closed, a tad frustrating, but we just went with the flow and had a blast.

Great Adventure gave a whole new meaning to line jumping! My first visit it seemed like there were more employees around to prevent it, This time it was just an absolute free for all. And unlike Dorney, we were dealing with real wait times now. Again, we just thought, "Whatever, who cares? We're here to have fun!" And, that we did.

Okay, picture time...
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G'morning, Bugs!
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Ahhh!! Curses!!
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Wile E. productively spending his morning trying to blow up Bugs.
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Good morning Revolutionary War statue.
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A little Great Adventure loveliness.
Thank goodness the crowd was small in the morning!
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A few people waiting to make the mad dash to Nitro.
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Time for some sweet steel coaster love!
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"On the count of three- skinny people, scream like banshees; large and lovelies, squint and smile."
I love Nitro in the front row...and the back row...and the middle...etc.
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There was no line at Skull Mountain, so we took advantage of it and got our ride in.
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Call me goofy, but I really like Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train.
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A little more Blackbeard...
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We were told that these were the platforms they were going to use for fireworks, but unfortunately, we were a few days early to see them.
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Move over Joker. MEEEEEOW!!
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Welcome to Bizarro, the home of the Line Jumping Olympics!
The new effects on Bizarro were pretty cool.
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Paul Bunyan loaned his chuckwagon to the park for the day.
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Classic photo point. Crazy thing is when I took this photo, the only ride in this picture that was running was Rolling Thunder...which we promptly rode.
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Not many people in line, but our track had one train, so we did have a little more than 30 minute wait...still had fun though.
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Yay, the Skyway finally opened!
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Batman, Nitro and Big Wheel...oh, and trees!
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Hmm, I suddenly want ice cream...
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Time for some B&M inverted fun! The restraints on this Batman were much tighter than any we'd ridden on the trip. I'm not sure if that's because they were actually tighter or if it could possibly have been the diet of fried potatoes, cotton candy, frozen custard and kettle corn.
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Next up was The Dark Knight-the Jersey edition.
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Say hello to the creepy statue ladies. Does anyone know if the poor things are even out on hot days?
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Hey, I just rode your ride!
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Get out the dry rub and heat up the coals...
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Roughing it through the midway gauntlet.
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A little Great Adventure beauty.
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Who can turn down a ride on the Carousel?
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Tea Cups! Yay!
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By this time in the trip, I've gotten completely used to spin'n'pukes.
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Finally in the afternoon the Runaway Mine Train opened, so I was able to get the credit I'd missed a few years ago. Woo-Hoo!
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I think it's about time we headed to Big Wheel.
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Whoa, another big one!
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Going up!
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I love this shot.
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Another shot from Big Wheel.
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I love this shot too, nothing but coaster awesomeness!
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Nitro and Batman at sunset. Pure beauty...
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Good night, Nitro, it was great seeing you again.
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...however, before we leave, how about a little cheesecake at the Carnegie Deli? MMMmmmm!
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And the "Dork" award goes to....
Okay, the whole trip we'd been doing self-pics as we left. Someone offered to take our pic this time, but like morons, we still posed as if we were doing the self-pic thing. Stooooopid!
Anyway, again we arrived at the end to another awesome day.
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Postby coastersrule85 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:00 pm

Day 12

We planned today to either go back to SFGAdv if we needed to or to just take it easy. Having sufficiently conquered Great Adventure and since we were staying in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, we decided just to explore and enjoy the boardwalk. We stayed at the Broadway Motel, which was absolutely great! It was actually very reasonable and we were only about 2 1/2 blocks from the water.

We had so much fun at Jenkinson's Boardwalk! The weather was perfect, the beach was extremely clean, and all of the people were just so very nice. It was such a nice and relaxing day of spending time at the beach, eating lots of beachy foods, and buying really tacky souvenirs to take home. We also spent part of the day riding rides and getting one more coaster credit.

There is a part of me that wishes we'd have tried to run down the coast and get in a few more credits, but the day was just so nice and so much fun, that I don't regret anything.

The next day was the long drive to Pigeon Forge...

Time for the pictures...
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That's where we're headed!
We were so close, we decided just to walk to the boardwalk.
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The beach was great!
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I spy boardwalk fun in the distance!
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What beautiful flying rats.
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Please tell me you see the giant penguin too. I couldn't have had THAT much to drink.
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We couldn't pass up the chance to spend lots of money to earn tickets for really crappy stuff!
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The whole day was just such a neat experience. The boardwalk really was like something out of a movie.
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First the giant penguin, now this guy...definitely no more for me, bartender.
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Boardwalk deliciousness!
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More gameroom fun!
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More boardwalk yummies. That reminds me, we've never seen such a love for waffles as we did in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Not that it was bad; heck, I love waffles as much as the next guy, but I'd never seen anything like that. ...just an observation.
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One of the stores where we bought loads of tacky stuff to take home.
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Oh boy, rides!
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Flitzer was a lot of fun and a tad bit terrifying, not in intensity but more in the fear of my life area.
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Flitzer steel madness!
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It's not just a regular Himalaya; it's Super-Himalaya!
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Heidi sees a Tilt-A-Whirl=we ride a Tilt-A-Whirl.
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...don't even think about it.
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When we rode the swings, it was more like destruction-derby swings. A little rain cloud blew in and the wind picked up just as the seats were rising. When we began spinning, the empty seats would bash into us like crazy...it was so much fun! lol
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I assure you I'm not that much of a credit whore.
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Cute little Merry-go-Round.
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From the south end of the boardwalk...for some reason Alfred Hitchcock comes to mind suddenly.
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There was some parasailing action going on which looked like a lot of fun!
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Some cool kites were flying too.
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Heidi's first time in the Atlantic! The water was fun but absolutely freezing!
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Welcome to the Jersey shore!
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Jetty and gulls.
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As we walked back up the boardwalk, we couldn't resist riding a few more rides.
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Nothing beats Dizzy Dragons...except everything!
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Rides.
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The boardwalk had a Fun House.
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If you are ever in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, do yourself a favor and dine at the Shrimp Box. It doesn't really look like all that much on the outside, but we had been directed there by several people, and they were spot on in saying that it was excellent. It's not exactly cheap, but it is worth every penny.
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Aliens descending upon the Earth? No, just the reflection of the chandeliers inside the restaurant. This was the great view from our table.
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Time to say good-bye to the beach...sigh.
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So long boardwalk...
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The end to another awesome day of fun. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I must say that I was not in the least disappointed. If you haven't been, I highly recommend spending time at the Jersey shore. I look forward to a future visit when I will take more time to explore the boardwalks further south as well.
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Postby coastersrule85 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:28 pm

Days 13 and 14

Day 13 was devoted entirely to driving down to Pigeon Forge. I wish I'd done my research for the area because I had no idea that there was so much to do. All we really did in town was walk around and eat.

The next day we headed to Dollywood. I absolutely loved it! First of all, it is an absolutely beautiful park. I love the landscaping they have throughout. Everyone was so very nice and courteous; they really know how to cater to the customer.

We tried to ride as many rides as possible, with special attention given to Thunderhead of course...in addition, we gave a little extra love to Mystery Mine too. Mystery Mine was different and a lot of fun, but Thunderhead was terrific! It still didn't beat out The Voyage or Phoenix for me, but it was amazing! If it was just a tad bit longer it would give both of my top two woodies a run for their money.

The food in the park was absolutely delicious! We tried to eat a little of everything. I loved the over-sized skillets full of yummies. We pretty much grazed all day. The only thing we didn't eat that I really wanted to try was fried banana pudding. If you've had that and it's delicious, please don't tell me and make me hate myself for being full.

Sadly, this was the last park in our trip. In fourteen days we hit twelve different parks and had the greatest vacation of all time. I worried a bit that Heidi would get a little tired of driving and going to parks at some time, but in the end she actually turned into a bit of an amusement park phanatic herself.

I must say though, I do look forward to letting someone else do the planning and driving next year, because I am absolutely going on a TPR trip.

Let the pictures begin...
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We saw this on the drive down, and it just cracked me up. Candy and tobacco?
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Yay! They're glad I'm here!
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Dolly does love her butterflies.
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I see pot people...
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We decided to hit the best first!
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I do loves me some 'taters!
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I'm glad no rain was made today.
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"Showers? It ain't Saturdee!"
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RIP to those who didn't survive Thunderhead...
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I just can't seem to resist a coffin photo-op.
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Pure wooden awesomeness!
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We wanted to ride Timber Tower, but we weren't prepared to get wet and didn't want to pay for a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. It looks like fun, so next time I visit, I'm riding it for sure!
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We loved Mystery Mine!
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It was a very different ride. I thought it was well-themed and a lot of fun. I wish we'd have gotten a chance to ride in front. One other thing I loved was how much shoulder room it seemed to have!
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Aaaah!!
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The park was just beautiful!
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...and I'm sure it's even a lot better on acid...
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I was also amazed at how clean the park was all day!
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Have a Coke and a smile!
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Cute little sculpture thingy.
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What a great little museum! Dolly is living proof that good things happen to good people.
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Dolly's tour bus.
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Burger anyone? You know, that's probably the one thing we didn't eat that day.
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I smell extra-large skillet deliciousness!
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Pretty.
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Super creepy miner dude.
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I loved the train ride! What a unique experience.
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All aboard Klondike Katie!
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Toot-toot!
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Time for a ride on the Village Carousel.
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I rode a good old-fashioned horse; Heidi decided on Ned Beatty.
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How about a ride on Fire in the Hole...er, I mean Blazing Fury.
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This reminds me that school is starting soon...only three more days of summer, sigh. Wait, I need to be positive. Only 180 more school days until I start gearing up for my first TPR trip!
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More Dollywood scenery.
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Okay, I've got it. It's, um...four hundred thirty-two o'clock in the year 2525.
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Making our way back up the switchbacks. My calves got quite a workout on this trip!
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Now, that's the 'tater I want fried up!
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A little swinging action at Dollywood!
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Take a ride on the Sky Rider.
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Yay, the Wonder Wheel of expletives!
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Hmm...seems small and harmless enough...the same as Beech Bend only less rust. Shouldn't be a problem right?
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Yeah right! My niece being the comedienne that she is, kept leaning our bench forward an backward "on accident" which brought out the Tourrette's in me! I even apologized to this family in front of us, but I think they were laughing too hard at me to hear.
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On the way out we stopped by the candy store and bought a bit of everything!
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Thus comes the end to another absolutely awesome day at the last park on our trip. Thank you Dollywood for helping us finish up in style!
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Postby tnguy » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:55 pm

Good TR, looks like it was a fun trip. I've never been a big ferris wheel guy, and that one in Dollywood really scares me for some reason. :omg:

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Postby Electerik » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:33 am

coastersrule85 wrote:We wanted to ride Timber Tower, but we weren't prepared to get wet and didn't want to pay for a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. It looks like fun, so next time I visit, I'm riding it for sure!


Prepare to be surprised. :P

(It's actually really dull.)

Glad you had fun at Dollywood. Great TR of your entire trip. Thanks for posting it!

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Postby coastersrule85 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:57 pm

Electerik wrote:
Prepare to be surprised. :P

(It's actually really dull.)


Really? That's too bad. I'm sure I will ride it the next time I visit, but at least I don't feel like I missed anything for now. I know I will be heading back to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area within the next few years, the main reason being all of the activities in the area from your post.

tnguy wrote:
I've never been a big ferris wheel guy, and that one in Dollywood really scares me for some reason.


You have no idea! I mean, I've ridden TTD, Kingda Ka, and had numerous rides on various Skycoasters, but none of them ever scared me. I felt like I was going to die on the Ferris Wheel at Dollywood; of course, most of the credit for that has to go to my niece for "accidentally" rocking the bench...and then laughing her butt off as I terrifyingly spate expletives.
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Postby John Peck » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:48 pm

Did Jekisons still have their "Spin Out" and "Rock-O-Plane" Flat rides? We rode those in 2003.

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Postby coastersrule85 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:49 pm

John Peck wrote:Did Jekisons still have their "Spin Out" and "Rock-O-Plane" Flat rides? We rode those in 2003.


No, we actually heard some people talking about how there used to be a spin out where the swings are now. I didn't see a Rock-O-Plane anywhere...and I'm glad too, because I'm sure my niece would have made me get on the thing. LOL
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Postby coastersrule85 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:41 pm

On Day 15 we drove home, but not before a stop at the Sam Houston School House near Maryville, Tennessee. I saw it on the map and thought that there was no way I could pass that up! (Okay, maybe it's a Texas thing, plus the fact that I graduated from Sam Houston State Univ.)

If you don't care much for Texas history, there really isn't much to do or see. They have a little museum depicting the life of Sam Houston, which I found very interesting. Of course, there is also the restored school house in which he taught and they are doing a lot of work on beautifying the grounds. All in all, I'm glad that we took a couple of minutes to stop and see it.

So, I suppose THIS is the actual last stop for our trip before driving back to Memphis.
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Whew! We found it!
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Welcome!
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The grounds were very nice and extremely quiet. I guess you should expect that when you're in BFE, Tennessee.
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Duck if you're taller than 5 feet!
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"Tools of the 19th Century Schoolteacher" ...I especially love the little behavior modification device in the lower left...
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The final stop to the greatest road-trip ever!
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Postby Electerik » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:43 am

^ I've never even heard of this, and it's right down the road from me.

Maybe it's just because I have an aversion to school in any form. :P

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