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Zachary

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Looks like Dollywood submitted plans for a new coaster with the local municipality!


This evening I sent a FOIA request out to Pigeon Forge to try to get a more complete picture of the project (and higher quality copies of the document the local media shared). Fingers crossed!
 

Zachary

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I did some poking around and was able to download a higher quality version of the image in that article from the WVLT website. Here is the higher res image with the layout traced:

Screenshot_20211104-223125_Brave.jpg

Pretty obviously a sprawling multi-launch coaster of some sort. I don't see any indoor portions, but there is a sizable tunnel near the end of the layout under a path. Hopefully the FOIA will reveal more!

Also, for your drawing/analyzing pleasure, here's a clean copy of the higher res version from WVLT:

XR7QWROHW5AEJOJHNXPK773NXM~2.png
 

horsesboy

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I did some poking around and was able to download a higher quality version of the image in that article from the WVLT website. Here is the higher res image with the layout traced:

View attachment 25107

Pretty obviously a sprawling multi-launch coaster of some sort. I don't see any indoor portions, but there is a sizable tunnel near the end of the layout under a path. Hopefully the FOIA will reveal more!

Also, for your drawing/analyzing pleasure, here's a clean copy of the higher res version from WVLT:

View attachment 25108
Wow that looks really massive for a launch coaster.
 

Zachary

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I have super high quality versions of the Dollywood 2023 Family Coaster site plans!

First off, huge thanks to the local municipality for the quick turnaround in getting me copies of these docs—always makes my life way easier! Also, props to WVLT out of Knoxville for tipping everyone off to the fact that this project exists in the first place! I wouldn't have known to go looking for this stuff without their reporting!

Anyway, here's what we now know:

Location: Wildwood Grove
Coaster Type: Family Multi-Launch
Max Coaster Height Above Grade: About 65 Feet
Total Coaster Height Differential (Lowest to Highest Point in the Layout): About 78 Feet
Track Length: Greater Than 3,826 Feet*
Launches: Probably Three**

* 3,826 feet is the length of the layout on an imaginary flat plane. We know the track length is greater than this number because the coaster changes elevation throughout the course.

** There are three obvious areas of flat track before hills. We could previously guess the two main launches that run parallel to one another in the center of the layout, but these new files revealed that there's another flat section of track immediately after the station with a small hill making up the turn before the first long launch segment. This leads us to believe that there's a less powerful launch immediately following dispatch, a hill that turns to the left, and then the train hits the next (much longer) launch.

Anyway, below I've included the full quality, uncompressed, unwatermarked, site plans. Feel free to download these documents and share them wherever—I just ask that you please credit ParkFans whenever and wherever you do so.

Proposed Site Layout.png Site Grading Plan.png Attraction Plan & Profile.png

For anyone who who isn't comfortable interpreting plans like these, I've traced the layout in the image below. Green lines are what we believe to be launches, red are what we believe to be brakes, purple represents the station platform, and the light blue segment of track is where the underground trench/tunnel will be located.

Layout Traced.jpg

Lastly, here's a composite image showing the layout as it will be located in the park.

Composite.jpg
 
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b.mac

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My ultimate guess is that this will be a family launcher similar to that of Manta @ Sea World San Diego



Don't expect anything fancy in terms of operations, I'm betting it'll just be a simple single station with 3 trains. It also has a fairly long line to it so Dollywood does anticipate it getting crowds.

The station and storage building have odd shapes and I don't know what to make of them really.
 
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Of COURSE you would get access to these! Massive thanks for bringing these out. I can't for the life of me decipher what type of ride this is.

Before any plans were found, my first guess was an Intamin Quadbike coaster. Now seeing these, I highly doubt this is it because of the length of the station building. Intamin Quads have 2 riders per car, meaning it needs very long trains to get even somewhat good capacity. My next thought, like @b.mac, was a Mack launcher like Manta. It definitely appears to share some similarities here, but the apparent launch right out of the station (and the following~18ft tall hill/turn right after) is very interesting and makes me doubt that as well. Mack launchers have notoriously "weak" LSM launches, so based on what I see (and to be fair, it's not much), I'm not entirely sure it would be able to launch (and be able to stop the train in case of a rollback) in that distance.

A few other things to note:
-If the grey circular footers are accurately depicted from engineering plans, they can usually give some indication (spacing between each footer, density & angle of supports, etc). The almost consistent even spacing (at the very minimum) implies that the track is not 2-tube track like Mystery Mine or parts of Firechaser.
-The location & angle of the maintenance building is very odd. No indication on the plans, but the placement & angle make me think it's a flat switch track rather than a full transfer table.

So in conclusion, I got no idea 😂 Definitely looking forward to more info.
 
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Mushroom

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Thanks for sharing, Zachary!

I'm always happy to see Dollywood expanding, and it seems like they have a real winner on their hands with Wildwood Grove as a sort of middle ground between a children's area and a family-oriented immersive land. But, does anyone else wonder if a family-friendly launch coaster might be a bit redundant in the park's lineup with Firechaser Express just up the pathway? It seems like it already checks a lot of the same boxes that this ride would.

It also strikes me as interesting that with this addition, four of the park's past five coaster additions fit in the family/kiddie category (Firechaser, Dragonflier, Whistlepunk Chaser, and now this coaster, with Lightning Rod being the sole exception). I don't mean to be a thoosie who's upset at the addition of a family coaster at the expense of a more thrilling ride, but I'm curious about what internal factors led the park to make this decision.
 
^Thoosie frustration is certainly real when a park just dumps years after years after years of capex into families with small children attractions. I certainly don't disagree with the business decision by any means but the thoosie in me gets bummed if there's nothing fresh if you're outside of that demographic for a long time. If this launch coaster is truly more family style then yeah it would feel somewhat redundant. If it's more similar to Copperhead Strike (a ride lets note is 82 feet tall) or Time Traveler that would seem more unique to the park itself especially Time Traveler.

I feel like that range is largely what Dollywood is looking for here. Copperhead Strike despite having 5 inversions if I remember correctly targeted the family demographic somewhat but despite the "weak" launches I was in love with the layout of the coaster itself. If they want to market a terrain Copperhead Strike style coaster to families sure whatever, they can tell themselves whatever they want but it's ostensibly doable.
 
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horsesboy

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Thanks for sharing, Zachary!

I'm always happy to see Dollywood expanding, and it seems like they have a real winner on their hands with Wildwood Grove as a sort of middle ground between a children's area and a family-oriented immersive land. But, does anyone else wonder if a family-friendly launch coaster might be a bit redundant in the park's lineup with Firechaser Express just up the pathway? It seems like it already checks a lot of the same boxes that this ride would.

It also strikes me as interesting that with this addition, four of the park's past five coaster additions fit in the family/kiddie category (Firechaser, Dragonflier, Whistlepunk Chaser, and now this coaster, with Lightning Rod being the sole exception). I don't mean to be a thoosie who's upset at the addition of a family coaster at the expense of a more thrilling ride, but I'm curious about what internal factors led the park to make this decision.
That doesn't actually sound unreasonable given Dollywood's target demographics seem to be more young families and older people. I think that much like Disney has stayed largely away from high thrill rides that Dollywood is likely taking a similar path.

Add to that Lighting Rod, Wild Eagle, Mystery Mine, and Thunderhead all do a fairly nice job appealing to the more adventurous thrill seekers. Another slightly edgy family ride which the layout makes me think this is seems like a good fit for the park.
 

Fur Dozy

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Nov 5, 2009
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Thanks for sharing, Zachary!

I'm always happy to see Dollywood expanding, and it seems like they have a real winner on their hands with Wildwood Grove as a sort of middle ground between a children's area and a family-oriented immersive land. But, does anyone else wonder if a family-friendly launch coaster might be a bit redundant in the park's lineup with Firechaser Express just up the pathway? It seems like it already checks a lot of the same boxes that this ride would.

It also strikes me as interesting that with this addition, four of the park's past five coaster additions fit in the family/kiddie category (Firechaser, Dragonflier, Whistlepunk Chaser, and now this coaster, with Lightning Rod being the sole exception). I don't mean to be a thoosie who's upset at the addition of a family coaster at the expense of a more thrilling ride, but I'm curious about what internal factors led the park to make this decision.
Well considering the park doesnt sell alcohol, it probably more profitable to get families in the park than couples and teens based on upsale opportunity. Just a hunch though
 
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Zachary

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Friend of the site, Jake, did it again. This interpretation of the layout should be very close to the final product. It was designed to match the layout, height profile, terrain, etc exactly. We still don't know the coaster type of course, but the layout should be nearly spot on.

 

Jonesta6

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It's just a video thrown together off the designs without anything else known (no top speed, special elements, etc) so of course this isn't by any means final or exactly what can be expected. Pretty good considering the limitations the producer had to work with.

I'm just curious if there will be inversions, stalls, and/or overbanked turns; if there will be special scenery along the layout, or something else that will make it unique.
 

Zachary

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Given the stats and shaping aspects we know, I'm not expecting any inversions. It's not impossible, but it does strike me as unlikely. There's technically one or two parts of the layout where I think the footers could accommodate one, but I'm not seeing obvious indicators.

More importantly, I think anyone hoping for notably higher speeds will likely be disappointed. The track height and turn radii are all correct in that video—and it's hard to imagine some of those elements—no matter how they're banked—taken at a much higher speed than they are in Jake's mockup.
 
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Ice

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This is definitely more on the family side of family coaster. Pretty surprising honestly, but I am sure they have a market strategy.
 
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^I was thinking about that too. You could definitely put spinning cars on this layout. If that happens it's fantastic, if not then I mean they will have 2 family launch coasters that the average park guest would differentiate as "the one that goes backwards" and "the one that doesn't." But I mean Hershey has an Intamin Hyper and B&M Hyper next to each other.
 
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