Upcoming Trip Anticipation

I have a trip coming up in June. As of my writing this, it’s only April 26. But I am already starting to lay out my days on vacation. I am going to Tennessee. More specifically, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

Why these places? Well, I have always wanted to go to Dollywood. Dollywood is an amusement park owned by Dolly Parton. Now I am not a *huge* Dolly Parton fan as a singer. She just never appealed to me. Having said that, there are a few songs I like by her. (Jolene, anyone?) But according to some vlogs I have watched on YouTube and research I have done, Dollywood is much less about the quantity and more quality. What they mean by that is, they have rides, sure, but Dollywood is more about Southern Charm and less about thrills. But I do have some rides I am looking forward to. Lightning Rod, the world’s only launched wooden roller coaster, is there so I am dying to ride that!

Truth be told, it’s not even the rides I am looking forward to. It’s the one thing (outside Lightning Rod) most people know Dollywood for…THE CINNAMON BREAD! Healthy? Probably not. Delicious? According to all who have experienced it…YES! Now I have had Cinnamon Bread at HersheyPark, and it is to die for! So I am salivating at the prospect of something better than that! I’m like Homer Simpson when it comes to donuts. Mmmmm…..

I am not just going for Dollywood, though. For those of you not in the know, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are in the middle of the Smoky Mountains. I love scenery, and last time I was in Tennessee, I saw the Smokies from a distance but getting the chance to be in the mountains? I’ll take it!

While there, I intend on doing a few Mountain Coasters. A Mountain Coaster is essentially a bobsled on tracks that goes down the side of a mountain. These things are a little on the pricey side (around $15-$20 per ride) but from what I hear, they are FAST! Like, stupid fast. Ok…maybe 28 mph doesn’t seem “fast” per se, but if you consider there are no brakes and you control the speed…yeah, that’s pretty friggin’ scary!

But there may be something scarier than that… Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Mountain Monster. The Monster is a trio of thrill rides in one complex. The Monster Launch and Monster Fall are two rides in one tower. The Monster Launch is a ride where you and a crazy friend sit back-to-back and get launched 200 feet in the air while flipping. The Monster Fall is a free fall attraction that drops you 200 feet without a shoulder harness. Just a seat belt. You can buy a pass for those two. However the real reason I want to do this is the Monster Dive. This thing looks terrifying! You are hoisted, again, 200 feet in the air. But that’s where the similarities between this and the aforementioned two rides stop. You exit the lift and transfer to a swing. You drop 200 feet and swing over the midway. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry. I’ve attached a video link below. (NOT MY VIDEO!)

Oh, I blanked on one other thing I want to do in Gatlinburg. It is a haunted walk through called Mysterious Mansion. The gist of this, from what I can gather, is part escape room, part haunted house. It’s more haunted house, but has some escape room elements. The whole thing takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes to do. I used to loathe haunted houses, but over the years, they have sort of grown on me. I love being scared when you know it isn’t real.

So what do you think? Have you ever been excited for an upcoming trip? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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