So to begin the 2015 theme park season I started it the same way I ended it with a visit to Dollywood! My only two previous visits to Dollywood were in the winter of 2014 so I didn’t get to experience any of the attractions that only operate in the summer. So let’s revisit one of my all time favorite parks and see what new things we can experience in the warmer weather!
And we’re back on a nice sunny day at Dollywood. First stop is the tram to take us to the entrance from the D/E parking lots.
It’s Festival of Nations season and you can see the whole entrance area is decked out with flags and colors of the different countries.
There’s even a neat globe display outside the entrance.
Lot’s and lot’s of flags!
And we’ve arrived! Notice the globes in front of the sign as well.
Our first stop was the Palace Theater they were putting on the show Timber! and since we arrived just in time to walk in for the show figured we’d go give it a look.
Timber is a show in which there’s some balancing….
…some playful fighting…
..even some old guy dancing…
..and finally some crazy juggling.
It’s a heck of a lot of fun and a great show to check out during Festival of Nations.
Which show should we see next? Is that an Irish flag?
Holly was excited to see this one, Rhythm of the Dance! Which is an Irish dancing show put on by the same company that made Riverdance.
Lot’s of footwork involved in this show.
Look at that footwork.
For a new twist however there was some singing at certain parts of the show.
And even some drumming.
But there’s still always the dancing.
The finale brought out the singers and dancers one last time.
And that is Rhythm of the Dance!
Another great Festival of Nations show. These were the only two Festival of Nations shows we checked out but there was a great variety and I wish we had time to see them all!
Which this brings us to our first new attraction to experience Daredevil Falls!
There wasn’t a big line for Daredevil Falls so we hopped right on.
Quick duck for cover!
A fun log flume, nothing too special but I’m sure it’s a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.
Next up was one I was waiting for all winter… Mountain Slidewinder!
It’s a long climb up the mountain for the ride but there’s great views involved.
Of Wild Eagle of course!
Wild Eagle gracefully flies through the trees.
One final look at Wild Eagle from Mountain Slidewinder’s station.
Who’s ready to step in?
The ride is Toboggan like rafts and it’s definitely a close quarters attraction.
And here they come down the mountain!
Look at how much fun they had!
Mountain Slidewinder is great! It’s a completely unique attraction that I’ve never seen anywhere else and it’s a lot of fun. You do get a little wet but certainly not soaked. Another great way to cool off on a hot day, don’t miss this attraction!
The Toboggan like rafts made their way back up the mountain.
On the way back to some coasters we saw some the birds of prey hanging out.
Dollywood has a great collection of birds and even a show about them, which we’ll see in a little bit.
Tennessee Tornado was our first stop. Uh oh someone else caught with their phone out. 😛
Tennessee Tornado is a great ride, it’s not the most exciting in the park but it still packs a punch.
Plus that loop is just awesome!
Short but action packed ride.
Firechaser Express had long lines the two days we were there so we did not ride it on this trip, since we had ridden it so much in the winter. Still a great family coaster though!
The Dollywood Cabins right up on the mountain. Wish we had the cash to stay in those. haha
And here’s the bird show I was talking about earlier.
It’s a great way to learn about all kinds of birds even the adorable Screech Owl.
This bird was hunting for Easter eggs.
And finally the star of the show the American Bald Eagle!
Tuck would take folded up bills from the audience and put them in this box for donations. A very neat way to get donations.
The Dollywood Express lies in wait.
So haven never ridden the Ferris Wheel before at Dollywood we decided to give it a shot.
It’s one of those tiny sketchy ones that you definitely don’t want to rock the seat.
Up we go!
The views don’t provide too much from this section of the park but you can see Wild Eagle.
And some mountains. 😛
The antique car section of the park where there’s a bunch of construction going on for the rumored coaster for next year Shot Rod!
The kiddie coaster which I got my credit on in the winter, so move along.
It’s 30th Anniversary season here at Dollywood.
Here’s a map of all the countries represented in Festival of Nations and their journey to Tennessee.
Plus some fun facts as well about the distance.
Another neat Festival of Nations display.
To end the day we begin the long trek up to….
Thunderhead is still one of the best wooden coasters in the country.
Plus one of the cooler things is how it flies through the station.
Well that’s it for the night at Thunderhead. This picture is the tree from the winter with a ton of lights all on it. Looks a whole lot different now without any Christmas lights on it.
Day 2 at Dollywood begins right where we left off by Thunderhead!
These fountains were not on during our winter visit.
Wild Eagle looks as good as ever though!
The Splash Battle provides a great foreground to Wild Eagle
Our first destination for the day was Sky Zip!
Sky Zip is an up charge attraction at Dollywood where you can zip-line over roller coasters! So naturally we just had to try it out!
And we’re off on our zip-line adventure.
Starting off and the best part is…
… we get to walk right by Wild Eagle!
The Eagle is soaring!
Our first zip-line is Black Bear Drop.
Which is located right under Wild Eagle’s lift!
We’re ready to soar!
So the view from the other side is pretty incredible as Holly comes flying in.
The zip-lines are a little tricky and sometimes you can get twisted up on the line.
Again the view is pretty great from up here.
So of course we had to pose for a picture.
Next up was to cross the suspension bridge.
Here comes Holly across on another zip-line.
Next up is the Cougar Plunge.
You can see the mountains from up here pretty well.
You can also see the top of Tennessee Tornado from the trail. Notice the tunnel it plunges into after the initial drop.
The Bald Eagle swoop is the final zip-line and the longest one.
The final destination is back over where we started.
And the line up begins.
Who’s that out there?
Here I come!
And back over by Wild Eagle.
Again the views we get of Wild Eagle are incredible.
Best coaster in the park hands down!
Sky Zip is an incredible experience, it’s the only zip-lines in the world that go over roller coasters! Besides that though the beginning and ending is flying over the park but the middle section is back in the woods and mountains like a traditional zip-line experience. This was only my second time ever zip lining but these are by far my favorite zip lines so far. Definitely a must do if you got some extra cash at Dollywood! For passholders it was only $35 a person and that’s a steal!
Are you gonna Fly on the Edge or….?
Are you a chicken?
Naturally we took a few spins on Wild Eagle since we were right here.
Still such an amazing coaster, the views of the mountains upside down are just something else.
Next we headed to Blazing Fury which I had heard had some work done on it during the off season.
Fire in the HHHHOOOLLLEEE!
Blazing Fury was great! Super smooth and a big contrast to how it was running last year. Much improved!
Of course had to get a picture with the eggs.
There was plenty of action at the Splash Battle today.
Time for some Mystery Mine!
Into the Mystery Mine.
Mystery Mine is another great ride. It’s a little bumpy but the extras more than make up for it.
The final surprise inversion.
Who’s ready to ride?
And they’re back! Like I said definitely a great ride, the extra theming is awesome on this ride, and it makes it a don’t miss attraction.
While we’re up here let’s take a look at Thunderhead!
The section where it flies through the station.
Such a twisty magnificent coaster.
And to finish off our riding for the day we’re back at the Eagle!
Up we go!
See the Horizon and Never Look Back!
So we’ve wrapped up our day of riding coasters but no visit to Dollywood would be complete without…..
…cats? Haha no that’s not it but interesting to see cats here again when we saw some in the winter.
The correct answer however is cinnamon bread!
A Dollywood original!
Yum yum yum!
Some fun facts about the Grist Mill.
At the entrance before leaving was a lady playing bagpipes.
Catch ya later Dollywood!
Off we go back to the car.
Our day was not finished however as we were off to the Dixie Stampede! Dolly’s dinner show attraction in Pigeon Forge.
Outside you can see the horses used in the show.
The lamps even have horses on them.
Here we go.
The pre show which was just some country songs.
Outside on the balcony you can see the mountains and the south end of the Pigeon Forge strip.
And there’s the other direction. Look at all the traffic.
Well show’s about to begin I’m told to put cameras away.
The show was a lot of fun, and some crazy animal tricks I’ve never seen before. It’s an interactive show so be prepared to stomp your feet and clap and yell and well of course eat!
Here’s a look at the wrapping up of the show.
After the show you could meet some of the horses.
Hope you had a fun time y’all.
And our picture from the Dixie Stampede.
As I said earlier Dollywood is one of my favorite places. There’s always so much to do that I still didn’t feel like we had enough time. The best thing though is while it was still familiar from our visit just a few months earlier so much other stuff to do that we weren’t able to do during Christmas time. The park truly does warrant multiple visits in different times of the year, but trust me no matter when you go you’re going to have a great time. Why? Because Dolly made sure of it. 😛