A Day at Dollywood July 2012

I visited Dollywood over the weekend after what seemed like a very long three-year hiatus from visiting the park. During that three years I missed two important additions to the park: Adventure Mountain and Barnstormer. Click here to see my thoughts regarding Wild Eagle. This post will focus on the rest of the park.

I didn’t notice any 2013-related construction. I’m guessing whatever the park plans on adding will be much more modest compared to the blockbuster Wild Eagle addition.

The temperature was warm but nowhere near as miserably hot as the opposite end of the state from where I traveled.

Kids Fest was in full swing but I wasn’t able to notice much of a difference in crowds from previous visits. There were no wild children running about the park.

Adventure Mountain was nothing but a small bit of land clearing last time I was at the park. Now, I can’t imagine Dollywood without it.

From a distance, Adventure Mountain sounds similar to a roller coaster train going up a lift hill. Anyone agree?

I love Blazing Fury, but the lack of a water splashdown finale will take some getting used to. What will the townspeople use to put out the raging fire?

The Grist Mill is the Cinderella Castle of Dollywood.

Here is the Grist Mill as seen from the Dollywood Express.

Wild Eagle makes a few brief appearances through the trees during the train ride.

Dollywood does have a carousel, in case you were wondering.

The National Roller Coaster Museum exhibit really took me by surprise.

I was expecting a few artifacts and pieces of coaster memorabilia…

I was amazed at the amount of coaster history packed into one exhibit (even a patch vest!).

The best part about the exhibit? It’s free! I don’t want to give too much away about all of the surprises inside, so go to Dollywood and see this amazing exhibit for yourself.

A Wild Eagle train departs the (absolutely beautiful) station.

I like Dollywood’s subtle commands: Get back in line!

As my first Screamin’ Swing, I found Barnstormer to be a blast (no pun intended), although the ride cycle was very short.

As always, I was drenched on Smoky Mountain Rampage. Moving along…

…and although it may seem unlikely, I walked away from Daredevil Falls mostly dry.

I appreciate Tennessee Tornado more and more each time I visit Dollywood.

I’m not exactly sure why, either. Perhaps because it’s one of the last of its kind, or maybe it’s because of its short-and-sweet layout. Regardless, it’s a great ride.

Timber Tower’s old foundation is serving as a beautiful picnic area.

Thunderhead continues to “let the thunder roll” as it’s done since 2004.

I love Dollywood’s creative names (and signage).

Woman standing nearby: “Does this go upside down?”

Mystery Mine’s restraints really kill it for me. Perhaps one day we will see the over-the-shoulder restraints swapped for a simple lapbar. One can dream!

It’s still a beautiful coaster regardless.

The pot kids are out in full force.

I had another great day at Dollywood. I feel very lucky to live in the same state as this truly exceptional theme park. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves for future expansion.

Below is a video recapping our day at Dollywood:

Thank you for reading!