Located in scenic Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Dollywood has a unique flair, theme, and appearance. When walking through the gate, the sights and sounds assail your senses. The park is beautiful landscaped, the buildings take you back to a time long ago, and the sounds relax you.
Dollywood has something for people for all ages and desires, 4 roller coasters, 3 water rides, a kids area, a craftsmans valley, shows, home cooked food, and a carnival ride area. Admission is reasonable, and there are some discounts and perks as well. If visiting the park more then once, a season pass is highly recommended.
Dollywood is home to 3 coasters of unique design, and 1 that is classified a coaster I think mainly because it is on tracks.
Thunderhead was added to the park in 2004, a long wooden coaster reaching speads of 55 mph, a 100ft drop, and approaching 3.5g's. Being wooden, there is no inversions. As far as wooden coasters go, it is relatively smooth, the line moves reasonably fast, and it is about 1 minute of thrills. It was rated best new coaster of 2004 by Theme park magazines reader choice awards, and was named “the number one wooden coaster on the planet” in 2004 by www.thrillride.com. Thunderhead was named Coaster of The Year and Best New Wood Coaster at the 2005 Coasters’ Choice Awards, the first wooden coaster to take the top honor in the awards’ five-year history.
I have ridden most coasters on the east coast, and this comes in right behind The Beast at kings island for me in terms of fun, thrills, and excitement. A must ride at the park.
The Tennessee Tornado is a metal coaster with 128 ft drop, and 3 inversions, with places pushing 4g's. A very short ride, but very intense. As far as steel coasters go, this one is okay and you should ride it if in the park, but don't make the trip just for it. It is a very smooth coaster, hardly any rider discomfort. If you are sensitive to g's, you may want to skip this one though. Coming into the third inversion, we have on occasion had our eyesight narrow and go dark, it does push the limits at that point. Top speed on this coaster is only around 64 mph, which is kinda slow for a steel coaster, but all in all, it is a fun ride. The line is normally very short.
Dollywood's newest attraction and roller coaster is the Mystery Mine. This is a very uniqe coaster, one I totally enjoyed, doing somethings I haven't experienced before in a coaster. It reaches 74 mph, 4g's and has 3 inversions. What makes this unique, is the cart. It has two rows, 4 person to a row. This design allows for some unique parts to the ride. The most interesting is 2 climbs, at 95degrees. Almost completely perpendicular, you climb up on your back. The first climb takes you outside the "mine" and through a few twist and turns, the second takes you up, as you are "escaping the mine" and then just, drops you. You literally go from on your back to on your stomach. A absolutely wonderful ride, and a must ride attraction.
The Blazing Fury
Yes, I count this as a coaster. No thrills, no big drops, no high speed, but it is nostalgic. The Blazing Fury is an underground coaster, that takes you through a community on fire, an almost collision with a trains, and a bit of water at the end. I remember this ride from when Dollywood was still known as Silver Dollar City, many years ago. I recommend it once, pretty fun and safe introduction to roller coasters for kids, and nice sit down and cool ride for adults.
In my next Dollywood entry, I will cover the other parts of the park, including the crafts festival, and of course the water rides.