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  1. Glad that you enjoyed Dollywood. One of my favorite park in the US. Dollywood is one of the prettiest park that I have visited as well as having great food options. We visit Carowinds and Dollywood equally. I love Lightning Rod as wooden coaster but this coaster, unfortunately, has been modified to I Beam steel coaster. Still, Lightning Rod is by far the best RMC creation in my view. Thunderhead was retracked in places this year so much smoother. My suggestion for Dollywood is to visit after Thanksgiving. They have quite probably the best Christmas set up.
  2. Rumor has it that Carowinds will get GCI woodie soon. RMC may in the future for Hurler although I wonder how different this can be refit compared to Twisted Timbers. I really hope that RMC can come up with better train and restrain systems. They are awful.
  3. Nice trip report. With Carowinds being my home park, it is interesting to see how people rate some of these coasters. Yes, Fury 325 is my favorite steel coaster. Back left is the best seat. It is kinds of sad to see Firehawk trains under the Fury lift hill. I liked Firehawk better than Nighthawk. Firehawk had double helix at the end that Nighthawk is missing. Nighthawk lift hill is so quiet though. If you are at Carowinds again, let me know.
  4. We are rotating SFoG, Dollywood and Carowinds. Obviously, Fury 325 is the reason we go to Carowinds the most. This park is also the closest to us. We love Dollywood for atmosphere as well as 2 great wooden coasters. (Is Lightning Rod still a woody?) Surprisingly, SFoG is quite enjoyable. We were able to get gold SF passes for $40 each for 2022. Goliath and Twisted Cyclone are the one we ride the most. We go up to KI about 5 to 6 times a year. My daughter is still in that area, so that we are semi regulars still. I ran into several coaster friends at KI last year. How about you? How do you like Orion? Also, have you rode the new Beast yet?
  5. Iron Gwazi is nice one although I am not a big fan of retrofit RMC. I love ground up RMC wooden coasters though. Like most RMC coasters, train design is terrible. More re-ridable than Steel Vengeance or Storm Chaser but still not the most comfortable ride. This coaster just knocked out Millennium Force out of my top 20 favorite steel coaster.
  6. Because people are traveling so much more than even last major pandemic in 2009, this Covid 19 is spreading faster than any other pandemic in history. Obviously, this is extremely contagious with human immune systems not seeing the virus in the past. Therefore, encouraging social distancing is the right thing to do. It is a well known phenomena that every fast spreading infection will be undercounted because many people will not know that they were exposed. This will also reduce mortality rates in retrospect. Like many of the past pandemics, the peak will be around 3 months long and start to mature. 1918 1919 Spanish flu had triple peaks, but the world population was weaken by WW 1 and killed over 50 million people. Great Britain is taking an interesting approach. I hope they work for their own sake. They want as many people to get exposed so that their immune system can get built up.
  7. From Korean government website daily briefing: 3/15/2020 update: 76 new cases, 8162 total 1362 Less suspected cases, 16172 total 120 recovered, 834 total 3 new death, 75 total Third straight day of higher recovery than new cases. This is a great sign. The outbreak of Covid 19 happened almost at the same time as Italy. Stark difference between Korea and Italy was that Koreans started testing and treating quite seriously. Many in Korea took this extremely serious as everyone should have and followed guidance for the most part except one cult church in Taegu. The epicenter was there because of it. That city is totally locked down still.
  8. An update from South Korea has that suspected cases are dropping rapidly and recovery outpacing new cases. At least, there are some positive news out of all these. Not out of woods by long shot but very positive development. It is day 16 since what is considered to be an acceleration phase in South Korea.
  9. Very informative article on this topic. It is always better to overreact than not in these cases. Be sensible and be safe. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2020/03/12/china-and-south-korea-models-seem-like-only-way-to-contain-covid-19/
  10. Absolutely right. Important considerations are that slowing the spread will help treating people easier. Think about traffic. Driving during rush hour is far more stressful than other times. Another consideration is that people are learning about this new virus everyday. We already know more now than a month ago. Mortality rates are going down rapidly. Even if same number of people get infected, it is far better to have them get infected over 3 to 4 months than they get infected in 3 to 4 days. Limiting social contact works. It has been proven to work throughout history.
  11. Here are the latest statistics from South Korea as of 3/14/2020. Source: ncov.mohw.go.kr (Korean government update link in Korean) Confirmed: 8086 (+107) Other suspected: 17634 (-306) Recovered: 714 (+204) Death: 72 (+5) First time since the outbreak in Korea about 2 weeks ago, the number recovered is outpacing new confirmed cases for 2 days in a row. This should be a model that the US should follow. One major problem in the US is that the population density is so much less so that mass tests can be impractical. Having said that, a spread can be limited here for that same reason.
  12. I am not sure if the links are allowed but here it is. https://www.businessinsider.com/south-korea-launches-drive-thru-coronavirus-testing-facilities-as-demand-soars-2020-2 I can say for sure that the US response has been slower than some would like but this spread was inevitable regardless. We all knew it was coming. Now, it is here. Anyway, I can provide updates from Korea if anyone wants it.
  13. Dollywood, Busch Garden Williamsburg, Carowinds and Kings Dominion openings are delayed. I assume the first rider auction for Orion is not going to be held.... I will donate regardless. These are disappointing but totally understandable. Let us all hope that have plenty of time to enjoy these places later. I have been monitoring the situation in South Korea very closely considering I have many family members there. It has been 2 weeks since the escalation of the Covid 19 in Korea. The things are starting to peak out with more people recovering than the new cases. They are definitely out of danger yet, but this is a great sign that things can get better relatively soon if everyone does his or her part in preventing and containing the spread of this disease. Some of the measures being taken by the US officials are modeled after what South Korea has been doing. With more knowledge we gain everyday, this disease will be easier to treat and contain sooner than later, I hope. Stay safe everyone.
  14. It is the busiest I have seen in Dollywood on Black Friday. Wait for Lightning Rod is 105 minutes and Blazing Fury is 45 minutes. In the past, this is a good day to come. Lightning Rod - This is by far my favorite RMC coaster. A distant second is Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City. I still have not been on Twisted Timbers yet though. That 6 hill combination at the end is absolutely incredible. Still, I have El Toro and Voyage above this as a wooden coaster. Drop Line - Since Drop Tower is not a frequent option for me now, this is my go to drop rides. They cycle this ride so much faster than Drop Tower so it is much easier to wait. I still miss Drop Tower a lot. Thunderhead - Still running very nicely. First half of the coaster was retracked this year and running so much better. About 30 minutes wait for this ride. This coaster provides so much floating air time. This is a great substitute for Mystic Timbers for me. Wild Eagle - 45 minute wait? I got to appreciate this ride over the years. Not a big fan of wing coasters except for Skyrush but this is probably my favorite of the B&M wing coasters. It is practically required to get a cinnamon bread at Grist Mills when we come to Dollywood. For those who never had this, do yourself a favor and try it. Dollywood has become our favorite park over the years. With the park being only 2.5 hours away for our house, this became our regular stop.
  15. WindSeeker seems to be down a lot. There was a sign yesterday that the ride was closed for the day. Park was really empty yesterday. We rode Fury 11 times with 9 re-rides. Carowinds allow re-rides.
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