My eleven year old son and I arrived at 12:30 on a 95 degree day and since we were late we took a different strategy. We went to two Kidsfest shows before hitting the rides: The Gazillion Bubbles show followed by the DOg Stunt Spectacular. Both were decent but not must see, unless you are under the age of ten. (KID fest!).
Then it was time for the rides. We went to River rampage, but bypassed it as the line was too long. We then went to country fair and rode the Dizzy Disk. Enough spiining for dad. We then went to barnstormer, and had to wait about 20 minutes, as only one side was running. But it was a fun ride. Then we headed up the hill to try to the Mountain SLidewinder to attempt to cool off. THis was another twenty minute wait as we got good views of the wild eagle. The ride was fun but we didn't get much water on us. So we headed to Daredevil falls to try and get wet. Another 20 minute wait and we did get a little relief from the heat, although we had to wait on the bridge to get some extra splashing.
Time for the coasters: first one up was the tennessee tornado. THe wait was not bad even though they only had one coaster running. this is an intense although short looping coaster. Next up was the new addition, wild eagle. The wait was approx 45 minutes for the front car. What a great ride as it did not disappoint! we then took a break from the coasters to get very wet on river battle, which was just the ticket on a hot afternoon. Two more coasters to go. Mystery mine was first after a thirty minute wait. The theming on this one is fantastic, the ride somewhat jerky. Not perfect but good. The last coaster to conquer was Thunderhead, and we were almost able to walk on for two rides before dinner. This is an intense and loud woodie!
We had a slice of pizza from Lumberjack pizza and were too full to try another coaster. It was almost time to go as the park closes at 8:00. Of course we had to wait 20 minutes to get a tram to our car. Then there is the parking lot at dollywood, which has no marked exits that I could find (the only negative of the day.) Otherwise a great day at dollywood.