Friday, May 18, 2012


About one hour's drive from our home, nestled into the gorgeous Tennessee Smoky Mountains, lies the fabled entertainment mecca known as Dollywood.  Yesterday, the Cinderoo and I took the plunge and paid a visit.

My Season Pass

We left home at 9:00 on a beautiful, clear morning; blew through downtown Knoxville, drove southward on Chapman Highway; turned toward Pigeon Forge when we reached Sevierville, and finally arrived at Dollywood a little after 10:00, when the gates open for business.

Want a Thrill?  Ride the Wild Eagle, America's First Winged Coaster!
There was excitement in the air!  We had purchased our season passes on-line, but still had to go through the ticket gates, where we had our pictures taken and were given our formal passes for 2012.

This is the Thunderhead Coaster, One of Four Full-Scale High-Performance Coasters in the Park
Then, through the turnstiles we went, and made a beeline for the newest attraction---the mind-blowing Wild Eagle Coaster---America's first winged roller coaster. 

Another View of the Thunderhead Coaster, Taken From the Train
Cindy was pumped.  She was talking 100 miles per hour as we climbed the stairs to the coaster entrance.  The line was short and we were fastened into our seats in about 15 minutes. 

Get Ready to Get Wet!

And then the machine moved slowly forward, our feet dangling into space beneath us.  That alone was a thrill.  But then, the mighty beast angled sharply and slowly upward and adrenalin began to enter our bloodstreams.  Up, up, up...the beauty and grandeur of the Smokies became our view. 
An Incapacitated Eagle That Cannot Exist on Its Own in the Wild.  We Counted Four of these magnificent Raptors in The Park.

Dollywood is a Shelter for Incapacitated Bald Eagles.  These are Three of Their Chicks

And then....the Eagle leveled off and we could see downward---hundreds of feet...straight down...we began to drive groundward, our speed reaching over 60 miles per hour...driving screaming my head off...Cindy petrified and silent, eyes eyes, however, were wide open as the now barreling coaster began its inverting twists and turns at high speed, leaving no time for contemplation, up, down, around and around....

And then, the end came abruptly, decelerating and leveling off at the finish.  WOW!!!

When we got off the ride, I was in a super-adrenalized state.  I looked at Cindy, however, and she was obviously stricken in some manner.  Her stomach was, she said, in knots.  She had a green patina covering her face.  She wasn't moving very smoothly. 

The Gristmill

I got her to a lady's room, where she spent some time trying to compose herself.  But truth be told, she never could get herself back to normal.  Even after we sat for awhile and then had a light repast, she just felt a little sickly.

Cindy Took This Close-Up of These Gorgeous Flowers.  The Park is Full of Such Beauty

I felt sorry for her.  We took it easy from there on out.  We rode the train around the park.  While that may sound boring, it was not!  The train has full sized cars and is powered by a steam, coal-fired locomotive from the 1920s.  It took us all around the park and we saw a lot of the surrounding forest, also.  Very enjoyable.

After the train ride, we stopped in most of the shops and browsed.  We got some of the world-famous cinnamon bread and made love to it as we strolled the huge park.  I noted that the shops all present high quality goods.  There is none of that cheap, touristy stuff one sees so often in other parks.

I didn't dare suggest we try another challenging ride.  Cindy was slowly returning to her old self.

The Blacksmith's Fire dances Magically in The Foundry, Where High-Quality, Custom Made Gifts Are Forged
We stopped in the chapel and rested.  A highlight for us was a visit to the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame, where we viewed the plaques and life stories of our favorite personalities who have contributed so much to that genre of music.

We Stopped in The Chapel.  Very Nice.  Services Are Held Here on Sunday

The ride home was anti-climactic.  We were tired from all the walking.  Even though we only rode a couple of rides, it was a special day.  And, since we have season passes, we will be returning soon to experience more of the park and rides.

This is Me, Browsing Through the Southern Gospel hall of Fame

We stopped at Papa Murphy's Pizza and picked up a large chicken-spinach-artichoke thin-crust pizza for din-din.  Ahhhh.  Life is gooood.

Cindy Took This Shot of Us Through A Decorative Mirror in One Of the Shops


  1. You did a good job of telling about our Dollywood experience yesterday. I had not imagined getting motion sickness. Truthfully, I am still in a recovery phase as I type this. Cindy, repeat after me ... you are not twenty one, you are not twenty one ... ;~D

  2. i'm with cindy. i don't do rides. period.

  3. Huuuu...that sounds like fun..OK, not the part when Cinderoo was feeling bad.

    I wished I could've make the trip with you.

    Have a beautiful weekend and a lot of greetings to you

  4. I have to give Cindy kudos for even getting on that thing! Are you kidding - good for her. Hope she feels better. We went there a couple times - it is a great amusement park with good morals and a lot of information! sandie

  5. Sounds like you guys had fun!

  6. I can't believe you really did that. I was sure you were just joking. You guys are a hoot! I can't do rides. I commend you. Looks like a great place to have a season pass too. : )

  7. I don't do roller coaster winged or other wise I have a fear of open next time you go on the ride and leave Cindy to wait on the ground for you........

  8. I do not even think of climbing aboard a "Roller Coaster" so kudos to Cindy....for joining her brave daring companion....if it had been'd rode alone...see God has someone for everyone! ;0)
    Your trip to Dollywood appears to have been the "best"! Love the old church...way cool on that one!

  9. All looks good. Don't think I would go on that roller coaster at my age :) but would think about it though.