Last week my daughter and me headed down to Dollywood & Carowinds for a half-week vacation during her spring break. I will be putting my star rating after each ride for what my opinion of the ride is from 1-5 stars, 5 being best obviously.
Day 1 (Wednesday 4/11 - Wonderworks)
We left around noon to Pigeon Forge and arrived around 5pm. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express which was half under construction which was kinda annoying but we lived through it as it was only one night. The first night we went down to Wonderworks which was actually quite a good place as it had a lot of cool things you could do such as some free arcade type games and some good learning opportunities. The highlight of it was going through the rope course, my daughter got scared when we were at the second level, and honestly I was kinda scared myself lol. It ended with a laser tag game which was included with admission and although I haven't done laser tag in over 20 years I was able to get second place out of everyone that played, so I guess that's something to brag about. After this we headed next door to the Hard Rock Cafe and ate a very good bacon cheeseburger and headed back to the hotel for the night since it was pretty late.
Day 2 (Thursday 4/12 - Dollywood)
We left early in the morning from the hotel after eating breakfast and headed to Dollywood. We actually went to Patriot Park and took the trolley over which was a great idea as it was only $.50 per person and took you straight to the entrance for Dollywood, good way to avoid paying a $9 parking fee! I got my tickets from the self-service kiosk at the front entrance which was quite convenient although it was quite expensive which I knew would be the case going in, maybe next year will invest in a season pass and go more than once in a year especially with how I've heard how their Christmas celebration is. We ate at Lumber Jack's Pizza which was meh, it wasn't terrible but it wasn't that great either. With that said, here is my opinion on all the rides I rode, to forego any questions about wait time, they were all walk-on, it was pretty amazing.
Blazing Fury - It was a fun little ride with a really good theme. ** Daredevil Falls - It was the best log flume I've ever been, although that doesn't really say much as I haven't been on too many. Again the theme on the ride was pretty good, not as the most complex theme but it at least did some stuff to add to the ride. ** Dizzy Disk - This was a pretty boring ride, I was hoping for something similar to Surf Dog at Kings Island but was pretty disappointed. * FireChaser Express - This was my absolute favorite ride at Dollywood. What a fun ride! All I've read about at Dollywood for the most part has been Lightning Rod, but I feel this ride was better than Lightning Rod. The theme and thrills of the ride really made me enjoy this ride. They combine all my favorite things of a ride: Good theme, multi-launch, backwards elements, and speed ***** Lemon Twist - So this ride... ugh, I felt sick after riding it, maybe it's just my old age but I guess I can't handle these fast spinning rides anymore. * Lightning Rod - Very fun ride! I love the intensity of the ride as it was just non-stop action from the beginning. The only two issues I had with the ride was the restrain system as I barely fit on the ride which I didn't have that issue with any other rides at the park and I felt the theme of the ride was very lacking with the exception of the queue line which even that wasn't overwhelming. **** Lumberjack Lifts - This was a pretty interesting attraction but was something different which was pretty cool. ** Mystery Mine - Oh... my... God... when I got on this ride I had no idea what I was getting myself in for as I hadn't heard anything about this ride. What an awesome fun ride that had a fantastic theme and some super intensity to it. Can't wait to ride it again! ***** Tennessee Tornado - This was a little bit fun of a ride but way too short. ** Thunderhead - This was quite an intense wooden roller coaster and was enjoyable. *** Wild Eagle- I think I had too high of expectations going on this ride, I was expecting something similar to GateKeeper and I think that ruined it for me. It was still a pretty fun ride but nothing I would consider Earth shattering.
Day 3-4 (Friday 4/13 - Saturday 4/14 - Carowinds)
So I was looking quite forward to going to Carowinds this year as last year I went during around the same time period and it was completely dead and we were able to ride almost all the rides. This year... not so much, sooo many rides were closed it was ridiculous. There was also quite a few schools visiting this day which made the park very busy with minimal rides so of course the bigger rides all had big lines.
Afterburn - Didn't get to ride this ride last year as my daughter wasn't tall enough. This was a pretty cool ride and I enjoyed it very much. *** Carolina Cyclone - Was closed on Friday and on Saturday it was always a way too long line to wait for Carolina Goldrush- Was closed on Friday and on Saturday it was always a way too long line to wait for Fury 325 - What an awesome ride! As stated earlier my daughter wasn't tall enough to ride this ride last year so it was good to finally get to ride it. I thought the ride was very enjoyable and I can't wait to get back to ride it again! **** Hurler - Was open on Friday but everyone always had a very long wait. We rode it on Saturday and it was a good time riding it even though it's not the biggest or best coaster. ** Intimidator - Always had a long line on Friday & Saturday so we didn't ride it, will definitely get on it next year. Nighthawk - Was closed on Friday and on Saturday it was always a way too long line to wait for Ricochet - Good small ride, I enjoyed it more than most wild mouse rides as it doesn't hurt you too much. I always get very freaked out about these rides but it's definitely fun. ** Flying Cobras - Was closed on Friday and on Saturday it was always a way too long line to wait for Vortex - Line was too long on Friday & Saturday to wait for it Woodstock Express - Typical kiddie coaster but definitely a fun little ride. ** Carolina Skytower - I always like going on this ride as it is a nice change of pace for the day. ** Plants vs. Zombies - This is always a welcome ride for my daughter, I think we did this ride the most of any ride except for maybe Fury 325. I wish we had something like this at Kings Island. ***