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The Year In Review: DIT Takes Disney Hatred To A New Level In 2017

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9 hours ago, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Sounds like a great trip.  I want a flag on the back of my chair that will call the attention of someone to bring me drinks! 

Haha... agreed.  It's breakfast time and I'm hungry.  I tried putting a shirt on my chair (didn't have a flag); Tom and the kids just walked by me.  

 

Great trip Dave!  Wonderful memories for your girl (and mom/dad), no doubt. 

Time does go by, too fast.

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Trip #5 - Fall Break at Dollywood

Our kids typically get 3 days off in October for fall break, which makes for a 5 day weekend.  Not long enough to head to the Fort unless we pulled them out of school, but perfect to head to the Smokies and visit our favorite fun lady, Dolly.  

I've shared our visits and opinions on Dollywood many times in the past, so I won't rehash all of that.  I'll just say this....Dollywood is probably my favorite park anywhere, Disney included.  So I am always excited to plan a trip here.  And I was particularly excited about this trip, because I had planned it to include all 8 of us, son in law included.  Since we have 3 kids in public school this year, and our other 2 girls both work in Special Education for the school district, all 5 girls had the same break.  We had hoped that we would all get to the Fort for our March trip that I covered earlier in this trip report, but that didn't work out.  So this was a do over.  

Well...as we got into fall, plans started to fall apart.  First, INC had a major conflict.  She either wasn't going to be able to go, or at the very least would have to be home by Friday evening.  Since break started on Wednesday, that really put a crimp on things.  Then, it turned out that our son in law was not able to get time away, and our daughter decided against going without her husband.  That I understand.  So, this trip was looking unlikely.  But INC suggested that, perhaps, I go and take the remaining kids less Anna....since the rest of us are the huge coaster fans.  She figured she'd stay back and keep Anna so that we could hit the park hard.  Ultimately, DD17 decided to stay back as well and work.  So, this trip will only include me, and DD21 and DD11.  Those two are my biggest ride fans, and while I wanted to ride the coasters, I also wanted to take in some shows and entertainment, so this would work our nicely.  

I made a reservation at the Pigeon Forge KOA, as it's walking distance to the trolley depot where we could easily hop the trolley to Dolly.  We've stayed here a couple of times before, and it's proven a good base camp for Dollywood.  We left our home Wednesday morning, arriving at the KOA by mid-afternoon.  After checking in, we headed to the trolley to head to the park for the remainder of the day.  I had purchased  3 day park tickets via an online special they offered....if I remember right I paid around $99/person for those tickets.  Not a bad deal.  We headed in, and immediately we were immersed in the Fall Harvest and Gospel Festival....a festival focused on food, fall decor, Gospel music, and FUN!  

8pEd-4RlBaFEDYdGR69KMY80In7jr8-bz4ITZvNk

Even though there were many, many things I wanted to see, do and eat, we had a mission to jump immediately on upon entering the park.  We needed to get in our first Lightening Rod ride!  

If you aren't familiar with the Lightening Rod, let me first tell you that it is the biggest adrenaline rush I've ever gotten from a ride.  It is a wooden coaster that opened in 2016, and is the World's first launched wooden coaster.  It is also, with a peak speed of 73 mph, the world's fastest wooden coaster.  The ride was built in the Jukebox Junction section of the park, which has a 50's theme that feels kind of like Back to the Future.  I think they did a phenomenal job theming the ride....this is where you enter the queue.  

gsHKE4Awl2P-qXvPSJqAqK3Smew4V88bQ8tj13Cj

We got a ride in, and this thing is insane.  You leave the boarding area, and the cars launch up the first big hill at 45 mph.  When you crest the hill, you get airtime for the first of 12 times during the ride.   12!!  It feels like you spend more time off of your seat than on it.  The ride lasts 3 minutes and 12 seconds according the website, but it sure feels shorter.  It's a blast, regardless.  

After riding the Lightening Rod, we did some exploring before it got dark.  We were excited to see the park after dark, because they were advertising the Great Pumpkin Luminights as part of the festival this year.  But we first wanted to check things out in the light.  

oGQYOr4KCNtdFFCoPMb0SUMPoNbZaAHWrU1yrJnL

1j5RBFTRhSo4wdbheWZI32THvUVJgZbJJpCwHmip

We made our way to the Mystery Mine, which is one of the girls' favorite rides.  

LFcVnQQFja5DeWd1iF_tPxv-1C_5BQRYoPh8abKg

This is a really cook dark ride coaster through an abandoned mine, with completely vertical hills.  

Waiting to ride....

mFkZVwOcmvBYbfmgYoIOA5U1H5K18x5q2hG0TCSc

We grabbed dinner in the park, then wanted to experience the Lightening Rod in the dark.  We had a Dollywood cast member pull off an outstanding photobomb.  

OF8EZjvmaTex5H4oo_rB2LbxG81ybuFDlt_XBt1U

Bravo to that young man.  

I thought the Lightening Rod was insane in the daylight.  It's is beyond insane in the dark.  I wasn't exactly sure whether we'd survive.  Not being able to see the hills or banked turns was wild.  But still, we loved it.  Funny thing was, being that there were 3 of us, and you sit 2 across on the ride, we were paired with another rider.  It was an old woman dressed in a pant suit, jewelry and full face of makeup.  Before leaving the station, we chatted for a moment, and she told us that her grandchildren were riding and, rather than walk back down to the exit, she figured she'd just ride down.  She said she'd never ridden a roller coaster before.  I chuckled and said, "and THIS is the one you picked?".  LOL.  She looked nervous, but it was too late.  As I mentioned, the ride was crazy, and the poor woman looked shell shocked at the end.  I felt bad for her.  Bet she never rides another coaster again.  

We headed back to the KOA, and rested up for a full day at the park on Thursday.  

In the morning, we had a quick breakfast at the camper and headed to the trolley.  Those clouds looked a bit fall like, but the temps were blazing hot.  It was in the mid-80's that week, and very humid.  

wUZZpTMiDbQ0Rm83rjvOfQYXJXzRaMzl48oN6pWs

We got to the park in time for rope drop, and where do you suppose we headed first?

n7XX-MLtuK09TwEpo2CMffO---qGXIfw2J-hv8gq

SCIw3BBsjzZpDhTfsZsSgrEQ8Boqg47ZW7BijP18

After that ride, the girls went off to ride some more coasters, while I wanted to just explore the Craftsman Valley and listen to some live music.  

XcUoay6J64KzlJ7UXO4CY6IaBreRTzwwKPWqY3sG

1zpymh3B_neOXJSjX02nM_XFVphkRU4EJU7ZWIHy

I decided to go see the Birds of Prey show, which showcases Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, Owls and other birds that reside in a sanctuary at the park . 

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fBD0cyMoeWwNLlwbfYfbj8ydixbO5FDKMC5-KBXN

The show features some endangered species, but none are more endangered than the Silverbellied American Flip Phone.

RIbkQEfZcyh2XEds-07rVS6fx_1eLxBZQES33a2X

dymFKRL-Dhf9Q7PzkyDALBl_zQSzjOdpnZmHCu-v

8pF3pFLy6hQwD4Ju5rWklWg0s6eXXedUf7ezsHOY

The culmination of the show is the American Bald Eagle, of which quite a few reside in the park at the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary.  

jgn36JklXl-4fAN2rRc8UCCnSFVt7ff7UokdiVdL

T7JhCt4YB_3ldPomEHqY35oAEbXTg5TimkyBXb4u

That's probably enough bird pics.  

I made my way to the grist mill to get some of that famous Dollywood ooey, gooey cinnamon bread.  

SWcBROuwNGuWpXWVo04B7419JfUxOOV4ooyGeXAY

NChD4p80mqVj1A_las2qAk0w56unuB_ZP6HWOnmQ

kuVa6H1xvwvg0l1RYVwOktLYBP48hd1Xi8tQ5wKE

W0BT2jcaLu6rtUeZc0AmF1V4NGk6BnSsk4Lv53hY

I wish I had some right now.  That cup of icing on the side, melted into the crevices in the bread....oh my.  

Ok, moving on.

I also got myself some fried green tomatoes. 

Wv_42oICicuTo0XpSE4CP600spPtpMDLE1Sx5tj4

I met back up with girls and gave them some of the cinnamon bread.  What, you think I ate the whole loaf myself??

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Rxrq0grb2SjUENwRqngD12XTjZ8JFFfrHmZAgQia

I'll leave it here for now.  

Coming up, some music.  And some Great Pumpkin Luminights.  

  

 

    

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2 hours ago, DaveInTN said:

Trip #5 - Fall Break at Dollywood

Our kids typically get 3 days off in October for fall break, which makes for a 5 day weekend.  Not long enough to head to the Fort unless we pulled them out of school, but perfect to head to the Smokies and visit our favorite fun lady, Dolly.  

I've shared our visits and opinions on Dollywood many times in the past, so I won't rehash all of that.  I'll just say this....Dollywood is probably my favorite park anywhere, Disney included.  So I am always excited to plan a trip here.  And I was particularly excited about this trip, because I had planned it to include all 8 of us, son in law included.  Since we have 3 kids in public school this year, and our other 2 girls both work in Special Education for the school district, all 5 girls had the same break.  We had hoped that we would all get to the Fort for our March trip that I covered earlier in this trip report, but that didn't work out.  So this was a do over.  

Well...as we got into fall, plans started to fall apart.  First, INC had a major conflict.  She either wasn't going to be able to go, or at the very least would have to be home by Friday evening.  Since break started on Wednesday, that really put a crimp on things.  Then, it turned out that our son in law was not able to get time away, and our daughter decided against going without her husband.  That I understand.  So, this trip was looking unlikely.  But INC suggested that, perhaps, I go and take the remaining kids less Anna....since the rest of us are the huge coaster fans.  She figured she'd stay back and keep Anna so that we could hit the park hard.  Ultimately, DD17 decided to stay back as well and work.  So, this trip will only include me, and DD21 and DD11.  Those two are my biggest ride fans, and while I wanted to ride the coasters, I also wanted to take in some shows and entertainment, so this would work our nicely.  

I made a reservation at the Pigeon Forge KOA, as it's walking distance to the trolley depot where we could easily hop the trolley to Dolly.  We've stayed here a couple of times before, and it's proven a good base camp for Dollywood.  We left our home Wednesday morning, arriving at the KOA by mid-afternoon.  After checking in, we headed to the trolley to head to the park for the remainder of the day.  I had purchased  3 day park tickets via an online special they offered....if I remember right I paid around $99/person for those tickets.  Not a bad deal.  We headed in, and immediately we were immersed in the Fall Harvest and Gospel Festival....a festival focused on food, fall decor, Gospel music, and FUN!  

8pEd-4RlBaFEDYdGR69KMY80In7jr8-bz4ITZvNk

Even though there were many, many things I wanted to see, do and eat, we had a mission to jump immediately on upon entering the park.  We needed to get in our first Lightening Rod ride!  

If you aren't familiar with the Lightening Rod, let me first tell you that it is the biggest adrenaline rush I've ever gotten from a ride.  It is a wooden coaster that opened in 2016, and is the World's first launched wooden coaster.  It is also, with a peak speed of 73 mph, the world's fastest wooden coaster.  The ride was built in the Jukebox Junction section of the park, which has a 50's theme that feels kind of like Back to the Future.  I think they did a phenomenal job theming the ride....this is where you enter the queue.  

gsHKE4Awl2P-qXvPSJqAqK3Smew4V88bQ8tj13Cj

We got a ride in, and this thing is insane.  You leave the boarding area, and the cars launch up the first big hill at 45 mph.  When you crest the hill, you get airtime for the first of 12 times during the ride.   12!!  It feels like you spend more time off of your seat than on it.  The ride lasts 3 minutes and 12 seconds according the website, but it sure feels shorter.  It's a blast, regardless.  

After riding the Lightening Rod, we did some exploring before it got dark.  We were excited to see the park after dark, because they were advertising the Great Pumpkin Luminights as part of the festival this year.  But we first wanted to check things out in the light.  

oGQYOr4KCNtdFFCoPMb0SUMPoNbZaAHWrU1yrJnL

1j5RBFTRhSo4wdbheWZI32THvUVJgZbJJpCwHmip

We made our way to the Mystery Mine, which is one of the girls' favorite rides.  

LFcVnQQFja5DeWd1iF_tPxv-1C_5BQRYoPh8abKg

This is a really cook dark ride coaster through an abandoned mine, with completely vertical hills.  

Waiting to ride....

mFkZVwOcmvBYbfmgYoIOA5U1H5K18x5q2hG0TCSc

We grabbed dinner in the park, then wanted to experience the Lightening Rod in the dark.  We had a Dollywood cast member pull off an outstanding photobomb.  

OF8EZjvmaTex5H4oo_rB2LbxG81ybuFDlt_XBt1U

Bravo to that young man.  

I thought the Lightening Rod was insane in the daylight.  It's is beyond insane in the dark.  I wasn't exactly sure whether we'd survive.  Not being able to see the hills or banked turns was wild.  But still, we loved it.  Funny thing was, being that there were 3 of us, and you sit 2 across on the ride, we were paired with another rider.  It was an old woman dressed in a pant suit, jewelry and full face of makeup.  Before leaving the station, we chatted for a moment, and she told us that her grandchildren were riding and, rather than walk back down to the exit, she figured she'd just ride down.  She said she'd never ridden a roller coaster before.  I chuckled and said, "and THIS is the one you picked?".  LOL.  She looked nervous, but it was too late.  As I mentioned, the ride was crazy, and the poor woman looked shell shocked at the end.  I felt bad for her.  Bet she never rides another coaster again.  

We headed back to the KOA, and rested up for a full day at the park on Thursday.  

In the morning, we had a quick breakfast at the camper and headed to the trolley.  Those clouds looked a bit fall like, but the temps were blazing hot.  It was in the mid-80's that week, and very humid.  

wUZZpTMiDbQ0Rm83rjvOfQYXJXzRaMzl48oN6pWs

We got to the park in time for rope drop, and where do you suppose we headed first?

n7XX-MLtuK09TwEpo2CMffO---qGXIfw2J-hv8gq

SCIw3BBsjzZpDhTfsZsSgrEQ8Boqg47ZW7BijP18

After that ride, the girls went off to ride some more coasters, while I wanted to just explore the Craftsman Valley and listen to some live music.  

XcUoay6J64KzlJ7UXO4CY6IaBreRTzwwKPWqY3sG

1zpymh3B_neOXJSjX02nM_XFVphkRU4EJU7ZWIHy

I decided to go see the Birds of Prey show, which showcases Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, Owls and other birds that reside in a sanctuary at the park . 

QrYpCsyC4Y7qEgeTV5nP_rEv2TgdKnKcq-PSMVN-

fBD0cyMoeWwNLlwbfYfbj8ydixbO5FDKMC5-KBXN

The show features some endangered species, but none are more endangered than the Silverbellied American Flip Phone.

RIbkQEfZcyh2XEds-07rVS6fx_1eLxBZQES33a2X

dymFKRL-Dhf9Q7PzkyDALBl_zQSzjOdpnZmHCu-v

8pF3pFLy6hQwD4Ju5rWklWg0s6eXXedUf7ezsHOY

The culmination of the show is the American Bald Eagle, of which quite a few reside in the park at the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary.  

jgn36JklXl-4fAN2rRc8UCCnSFVt7ff7UokdiVdL

T7JhCt4YB_3ldPomEHqY35oAEbXTg5TimkyBXb4u

That's probably enough bird pics.  

I made my way to the grist mill to get some of that famous Dollywood ooey, gooey cinnamon bread.  

SWcBROuwNGuWpXWVo04B7419JfUxOOV4ooyGeXAY

NChD4p80mqVj1A_las2qAk0w56unuB_ZP6HWOnmQ

kuVa6H1xvwvg0l1RYVwOktLYBP48hd1Xi8tQ5wKE

W0BT2jcaLu6rtUeZc0AmF1V4NGk6BnSsk4Lv53hY

I wish I had some right now.  That cup of icing on the side, melted into the crevices in the bread....oh my.  

Ok, moving on.

I also got myself some fried green tomatoes. 

Wv_42oICicuTo0XpSE4CP600spPtpMDLE1Sx5tj4

I met back up with girls and gave them some of the cinnamon bread.  What, you think I ate the whole loaf myself??

kzR5bEHSe6ulWwrN157LVVWElOCmTu4now29NhOj

Rxrq0grb2SjUENwRqngD12XTjZ8JFFfrHmZAgQia

I'll leave it here for now.  

Coming up, some music.  And some Great Pumpkin Luminights.  

  

 

    

I have always wanted to go to Dolly Wood. I wondered if there was a campground near it so you didn't have to drive to it. Is there a charge for the trolley? 

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So I'm trying to catch up since getting back from WDW. But I just read your post about Raglan Road and you asked if anyone had been there recently. Well we were, last Tuesday!

We had never been before but we went with some friends who were also down there and they go just about every trip. I had the salmon, DH had the chicken pot pie and we were both very pleased with our meal. When it came time for dessert, which we don't normally order, our friends said "We're all getting the bread pudding. There is no other choice, that's what you're getting." So DH and I split one and we both thought it was delicious. Of course it was our first time so I can't compare but our friends seemed happy with it and they always get it.

Just my two cents. 

 

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On 1/19/2018 at 8:48 PM, bhall said:

Whoa, you are just like my dad.  wishes do come true!

:lol:

On 1/19/2018 at 9:48 PM, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Sounds like a great trip.  I want a flag on the back of my chair that will call the attention of someone to bring me drinks! 

I've tried it at home and much laughter ensued.  

On 1/19/2018 at 9:56 PM, momof3kids-Yvonne said:


I'm thinking I should get one of those for the Montgomery Bell GG.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

For my chair, so you can bring me beer?  

On 1/19/2018 at 10:23 PM, LONE-STAR said:

There are maybe better campgrounds but we have always liked the section of river that it backs up to. It has Rapids, shallow water, deep water, slow water, so there is some place for every one to play. It's also nice if you want to rent there rafts or tubes they will bus you back from Gruene.  You feel like your nowhere near town but it's only 5 to 10 minutes and you have plenty places to go eat. 

http://camphuacosprings.com

That sounds really nice.

On 1/20/2018 at 7:16 AM, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Haha... agreed.  It's breakfast time and I'm hungry.  I tried putting a shirt on my chair (didn't have a flag); Tom and the kids just walked by me.  

 

Great trip Dave!  Wonderful memories for your girl (and mom/dad), no doubt. 

Time does go by, too fast.

Yes, too fast.  I'm glad we did it.  

40 minutes ago, LONE-STAR said:

I have always wanted to go to Dolly Wood. I wondered if there was a campground near it so you didn't have to drive to it. Is there a charge for the trolley? 

There is....it's $0.50 per person, each way.  Cheaper than parking, and it drops you right at the gate.  The only times it's not pleasant is if you leave at park closing, there can be a LONG wait for a trolley.  I came very close to Ubering one night, but then a couple of trolleys showed up and the line moved quickly after that.

38 minutes ago, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Dollywood is definitely on our to do list. 

Try it out.  

36 minutes ago, dvccamper said:

So I'm trying to catch up since getting back from WDW. But I just read your post about Raglan Road and you asked if anyone had been there recently. Well we were, last Tuesday!

We had never been before but we went with some friends who were also down there and they go just about every trip. I had the salmon, DH had the chicken pot pie and we were both very pleased with our meal. When it came time for dessert, which we don't normally order, our friends said "We're all getting the bread pudding. There is no other choice, that's what you're getting." So DH and I split one and we both thought it was delicious. Of course it was our first time so I can't compare but our friends seemed happy with it and they always get it.

Just my two cents. 

 

That's good to hear, and gives me hope that perhaps our last visit was just a bad night.

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