Dollywood 2019 Trip Report: Part 2 Luminights & Lightning Rod

Here’s Part 2 of my Dollywood trip report. In case you missed it, check out Part 1: Wildwood Grove and Dragonflier. Great Pumpkin Luminights: A More Family-Friendly Halloween-Themed Event Great Pumpkin Luminights is Dollywood’s Halloween-themed event. As parents, we really appreciated Dollywood’s approach to their theming. Instead of the gory and macabre, the park has glowing pum...[Read More]

Dollywood 2019 Trip Report: Part 1 Wildwood Grove & Dragonflier

A few weeks ago, I went to Dollywood with my wife and daughters (ages 12 and 9). It was our first time at Dollywood since our trip in 2015. On that trip, Lightning Rod had just began construction. Since then, the ride had opened to much praise from enthusiasts. Jon gave it a 10 out of 10 and it currently sits tied at 2nd in our combined overall list. So I was looking forward to finally riding it m...[Read More]

Review: Lightning Rod at Dollywood

Lightning Rod is located in Dollywood’s 1950’s-themed Jukebox Junction area. Both the station and the coaster’s trains reflect that era. One of Dollywood’s strengths is the park’s use of its mountainous terrain. Several of the roller coasters are terrain rides which not only make them unique, but also hides much of the layout from a spectator’s view. Like wing c...[Read More]

Review: Dragonflier at Dollywood

Dragonflier is a family roller coaster that serves as the signature attraction at Dollywood’s new Wildwood Grove area. Wildwood Grove’s focus on family attractions means that the area has something for the entire family from toddlers to adults. Dragonflier is a suspended Vekoma roller coaster, where you ride below the track rather than on top of the track. Located in the far end of Wil...[Read More]

Review: FireChaser Express at Dollywood

FireChaser Express is a family roller coaster that debuted back in 2014 at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Designed by Gerstlauer, it is geared toward families and young coaster riders, but not without packing a few surprises as well. The attraction replaced the former Adventure Mountain, a ropes course situated on the same hillside FireChaser currently occupies–and an attraction that ...[Read More]

Review: Lightning Rod at Dollywood

Lightning Rod is a wooden roller coaster which was slated to open for the 2016 season at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Due to complications with its prototype launch system, it failed to open as scheduled and struggled to remain open consistently that whole year. In 2017, and hopefully beyond, it seems to have turned the corner. An Unfulfilled Trip It was a crisp morning in late June when ...[Read More]

Dollywood Revisited

Dollywood Revisited So What’s New (relatively)? It had been five years since I visited Dollywood and during that time some significant changes had been made.  Two coasters had been added, including one which is revolutionary in design.  (The park also added a drop tower and drop line.)  The prospect of experiencing something new in such a gorgeous setting was more than enough incentive to revisit ...[Read More]

Announcing CoasterCritics’ Picks: Our Top 10 Roller Coasters List

Given the growing team and community here at CoasterCritic, I thought it’d be fun to launch a critic-driven Top 10 that would become the site’s official list of the top roller coasters. In order to incorporate new rides, the list will be refreshed annually. Our first annual Top 10 Roller Coasters List combines the lists from the writers for CoasterCritic (Joel, John, Bobbie, and Jon), ...[Read More]

Dollywood 2015 Trip Report Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of my Dollywood Trip Report. In case you missed it, check out Part 1 which covers the Jukebox Junction, County Fair, and Timber Canyon areas. Wilderness Pass – Home to the Firechaser Express & Wild Eagle Coasters Firechaser Express was one of our most anticipated attractions since my 8-year old daughter is becoming quite the thrill seeker. I knew that my other daughte...[Read More]

Dollywood 2015 Trip Report Part 1

Last week we took a family trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The main attraction for our trip was Dollywood, a top-rated theme park that offers classic country charm mixed with modern rides and award-winning food and shows. The park’s mountainous terrain offers a beautiful backdrop and the employees are known for being the friendliest around. Jukebox Junction Jukebox Junction is an area that&...[Read More]

Dollywood Announces Lightning Rod, World’s First Launched Wooden Roller Coaster

A few days ago Dollywood officially unveiled a new roller coaster called Lightning Rod. It will be the World’s first launched wooden roller coaster, designed by Rocky Mountain Construction. Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction area, the ride will have a classic hotrod theme. The ride will start with a 45 mph launch up the first hill. Next, riders will experience a 165-foot drop gene...[Read More]

Upcoming Pigeon Forge Trip

Soon, I’ll be heading to the Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. We’re looking forward to a first-time visit to Dollywood as a family. By the time we visit, they’ll have announced their highly anticipated 2016 attraction (scheduled for August 7th). So, I hope to have some fresh construction photos and the latest scoop on the ride. It’s rumored to be a launched woodi...[Read More]

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