Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dollywood Vacations "Ladybug" Cabin Review

I enjoyed a short weekend vacation by heading to Tennessee to check out America’s first wing coaster, Wild Eagle, at Dollywood. My full review of the new ride, with photo and video, will be posted on 101. Friday and Saturday night we stayed in one of Dollywood Vacation Cabins. Last year we stayed in One More Night which is in the Star Resort area. This time we were in Ladybug, a two story cabin with a nice view but a pain in the butt to get to.

Pictured below is a scan of the Dollywood Vacations resort map. The cabins Dollywood operates are mixed in with other cabins own by other resorts or individuals. The map is pretty deceiving because a lot of smaller roads are missing. Dollywood’s cabins look closer on the map then they actually are.

If you’re looking for cabins in the Gatlinburg vicinity, I highly recommend Dollywood Vacations. Cabin prices range from affordable to luxuriously expensive – but oh so worth it. Ladybug goes from $99 to $399 depending on the time of year. The Dollywood vacation package can include length of stay tickets to the theme park, including free parking in Lot B! Guests can take home free lanyards and plastic souvenir cups. Easily one of the best Pigeon Forge attractions!

One of my favorite features of the cabins, which you can see in the pictures and video I've added, is the hot tub on the back deck. This cabin also happened to have a Jacuzzi inside on the second story along with a pool table! Ladybug has two full baths and can sleep up to 6 people. We watched a thunderstorm roll in Friday night from the comfort of the hot tub.

Where is Dollywood you ask? Dollywood’s location is in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, land of the blue smoke, and the cabins for rent are located on the mountains behind the park. The main road to get to the park and the cabins is the second to last stoplight from the Smoky Mountain parkway leading to nearby Gatlinburg (a beautiful road to drive on). Once again, I highly recommend staying in these cabins, though I much prefer staying in the cabins closer to the park and the main roads. But trust me, you'll be able to hear the train whistle from any cabin in the area - it's loud!

FYI The address of the Dollywood Vacations Cabin "Ladybug" is: 2321 Foxberry Way.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Verbolten 3D CAD Model

I started working on a 3D CAD recreation of Verbolten, the new family launched coaster opening at Busch Gardens Williamsburg this year. I found a side profile and overhead blueprint on the internet, making this a very accurate recreation. Below are a few screenshots of the first few turns followed by the straight launch track up into the event building where the Black Forest themed area is. If you're one of those people like me that wonder how large the rails are on a roller coaster I can tell you that for Verbolten the rails are 900mm center to center and are 159mm in diameter.

Compare the screen shots of my track to this picture from Behind the Thrills:DSC00283 

Not sure if I am going to model the entire coaster – it is possible but would take a lot of work. The one large piece of missing information is the terrain.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 March Madness

March Madness is here! Watching these unpredictable games is almost as fun as a riding a roller coaster!
If you're interested in joining my pool leave a comment below and feel free to download the bracket and pool manager below. Visit my Excel Spreadsheets Help blog to learn how to complete your NCAA 2012 basketball brackets.

2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket.xls download
2012 NCAA Tournament Pool Manager.xls download

Join the roller coaster enthusiasts March Madness pool to help get you through the last weeks of the off-season! Type in Group ID (102697) and leave the password blank.

Click here to learn how to dominate your March Madness pool by picking those bracket busting teams!

Sorry for the mostly unrelated post. The good news is I plan on visiting Dollywood in two weeks on opening weekend for a chance to experience Wild Eagle, America's first wing rider coaster!