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First ever trip to Dollywood!


Hyper Poster
Y'all know I don't do trip reports with pics, (we've seen em all, nothing I can really contribute) nor do I go hyper in depth on every experience or ride, but this was my first visit on my 3rd attempt maybe it's longer than usual. So let's dive in!

Was very glad they let us into the park early. Naturally went straight for Lightning Rod and waited for 10:00. Was very anxious about the fact it wasn't testing, and alas "delayed opening". So I moved quick. Not sure if this is common or I lucked out but park was very quiet from 10 to 12. I just did one loop and rode basically everything once, a few twice. Back to the start LR still down, so grabbed some lunch and figured OK, let's do re rides, and the ones I missed: Dragonflier and Blazing Fury. Which I did. Lines were bouncing between 5 to 35 mins for most so I just used the wait time site and managed to time rides pretty well as I did loop 2. Longest wait was Dragonflier at 30 mins. By 2:00 LR was still down, I did basically all I wanted, and I tend to hit a wall around this time so said screw it, gunna just wait by LR, sit in the shade, listen to a podcast or watch some YT, just take a break and wait it out. If this doesn't open well, I'm coming on Friday. Thankfully, almost upon arriving I saw a train move and testing began. Maybe 20 mins after I got there it opened up.

Lightning Rod lived up to the hype. My god, this thing is bonkers. Nothing that can be said that hasn't been, just damn it was amazing, basically every moment from start to finish. No let up sans the brief slow down at the top, and honestly it was even whippier than I expected, and the wave turn was just...wtf. The single rider line was a godsend, did 5 rides in an hour. Yeah jokes on me haha at an amusement park solo, but when the line spiked to 50 mins I kept walking on, and for free. Day was already a success, so I just grabbed some re-rides on Tornado, Iron Eagle, Mystery Mine before finishing with a couple more spins on L Rod. Hilariously, when I said Im calling it a day this is my last ride it went down again, but wasn't an awful wait and backseat was a helluva trip. 8 rides in total courtesy of single rider line.

Overall, park lived up to the hype too. Was quite nice, deff occupies the middle ground between "small park" and congested corporate behemoth, though with a lineup that prob bests many mid tiers. Sure, a few rides are moderate by design but none were bad. I weirdly really enjoyed Blazing Fury. Dragonflier was fun, Firechaser was solid and a bit better than expected. Mystery Mine was also better than expected and not as jarring as feared, granted my expectation was low and I prepared to be thrashed. Was a fun lil ride, shame its so meandery and kinda slow for most of it, that finale is epic. Thunderhead and Tennessee Tornado were as advertised: great rides. Iron Eagle surprised me, I enjoyed it more than expected and I think I preferred its straight drop over twisting, got some serious pull in the back. Same through some elements and the helices didnt totally suck. Bit of an underrated surprise. The ops were great. Every ride had 2 trains and they were moving. Basically every ride they seemed to be hustling, all day, I never felt they were ever slacking or "could be better" I really felt they were giving it their all. Of course the scenery, various birds, and overall vibe were quite nice. #1 Park? Sorry Im too much of a CP fanboy but top 5? Absolutely! LRod and Thunderhead will be making my top 10 lists that's for sure, though guess poor LRod has to now compete with the steel. Not much else to say: Great park with a superb lineup, good staff, and a not terribly crowded day at all.