March 29, 2024



It is Easter weekend, so that means it is time for our annual trip to Dollywood

I think it safe to say that we LOVE this park

While waiting for rope drop we noticed that Whistle Punk Chaser was already open AND there was no line, so we hopped on it for the first ride of the day

DropLine was also open with no line, so it was next

From there we headed up to Big Bear Mountain

While I got my first rides on this coaster last summer, this was the first time for most of our crew

We all agree that this is the best ride in the park now

The ride is just fun.  Not too intense or wild - just something that is fun to ride

Dragonflier was next.  Unfortunate side effect of it being so close to Big Bear Mountain is that the lines for it are now stupid long all day - even with Time Saver

Making our way to the Pizza place near the train for lunch we made a quick stop at WildEagle

This coaster continues to deliver each year

The older section of the park is so pretty

Klondike Katie was doing the pulling today for the Dollywood Express

After our train ride we made our way over to Lightning Rod

Honestly the fast lift hill gets the job done and while we miss the launch, we'll take the reliability over it any day.  We got three rides in on it today.

Barnstormer was next.  Cannot go wrong with a S&S swing

The church is really pretty

Making our way back to the back of the park again we stopped at our facorite show in the park

Having just ridden our new Fire in the Hole not that long ago - wow does it make the first generations look cheap.  I hope Dollywood gets their own upgrade

Fire Chaser Express is the GOAT family coaster

If you can ride this ride without getting a smile on your face, you're a liar

Confession: I really don't like Mystery Mine

I love the theme, I love everything up to the first lift and then after the second lift hill ... but overall this ride is not fun to ride.  I always have a headache after riding

Let the thunder roollllllllll right out of here

Thunderhead is ELITE after its last retracking.  So much fun

We had another great day at Dollywood.  See you again next year!

March 28, 2024

Lost Mine Mountain Coaster


Today we visited the newest mountain coaster in the Smokies - Lost Mine

The Lost Mine complex is located on Teaster Avenue near the indoor snow slope and pretty much directly behind the Island (the road just beyond that complex)

This is the loading station and as you can tell from here, this is a themed mountain coaster

And we're not just talking a little bit of theming - no this thing is themed the entire way

There are 3 distinct sections all marked with their own lift.  The first section has a helix after a couple of lifts taking you to the top

The second section has the longest lift that takes you through this rock slide blast area

Through a mine shaft - keep a look out for the bears

Finally you get to Bearfoot Ridge

They have built an entire western style village at the top of the hill

Complete with a cemetery

This section features some of the most extreme G-forces on this ride as you serpentine down the hill

Next is the final lift which takes you past a bear ziplining and several honey bee nests

This is the final helix and curves of the ride.
We had a blast on this mountain coaster and we honestly think this is our favorite of the bunch.  The theming adds so much to the ride and we hope this is the new model that future installations follow

Mammoth Valley Park


Just down the road from the famous Mammoth Cave National Park is Mammoth Valley Park ... and yes this is all in Kentucky

The main reason we stopped after visiting the cave was for this - an Alpine Slide.  We had only ever ridden an Alpine Slide at Ober so we were excited to try another installation

For the low price of $6 you get to experience the slide - and yes that includes your chairlift ride

Here you can see the slide snaking down the hill

There's also the option of just riding the chair lift round trip if you do not want to ride the slide

For those that have never ridden an alpine slide, let me tell you that you feel every imperfection in the concrete trough.

We still had a lot of fun though - and for $6 it was worth a quick stop

This one didn't go extremely fast when the brakes were completely off but it was still a good ride

When you are done with your slide ride you deposit your cart on the the rack like this person is doing and then you hop on the chair lift to take you back to the parking lot area

Fun stop on our way to the Smokies