It was 1986 when Silver Dollar City in Pigeon Forge became Dollywood, and 2001 when Dollywood added Splash Country Water Park. However, it’s wasn’t until 2017 that Tailspin Racer was added. This feature is so awesome that we have to wonder why it took so long for park designers to make it a reality.
We never expected to enjoy Tailspin Racer as much as we did. Standing at the bottom, all we could see were riders, lying on their stomachs, flying down what appeared to be a huge incline. It wasn’t until we reached the top that we realized Tailspin Racer is actually five stories high.
Once we were next in line we had the opportunity to watch the riders before us, hoping to get a better sense of what we were supposed to do when it was our turn. We’re pretty sure they’d ridden Tailspin Racer before because they all seemed to know precisely what they were doing. They were each handed a heavy blue mat, curved at the front, with handles to hold onto. Each of the racers were positioned at one of the six lanes, although it did not appear that all six racers knew one another. Once they laid out on their stomachs on their mats, they were off like a shot. Due to all the twists and turns of the attraction, they were out of sight in a matter of seconds. That, of course, did nothing to quell the anxiety of several in our group.
One interesting thing we later made note of was how loud the water appeared to be when it was our turn. Once a lifeguard hands you a blue mat, you have little to do but lie on your stomach, hold tight to the handles, and wait. It’s during those moments of waiting that the roar of water running down Tailspin Racer suddenly seems to grow louder. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation thinking, Well, it’s too late to back out now, you’ll understand how some of us felt at that moment. Tailspin Racer is the park’s tallest attraction, a fact that hits home as you lie there, listening to the water crash down, and wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.
It seemed as though we had to wait forever to get the signal to go, although it was probably a matter of seconds. The first drop was a bit of a surprise, although more fun than expected. Water sprayed our faces as we shot into a spiraling tube. Once we were out of the tube, the race was on. It felt as though we were flying, around curves and down the steep incline. Just when we thought we had the track figured out there would be another drop or sharp turn. By the time we landed in the pool of water at the bottom, most of us were ready to go again.
There were eight in our group, so six of us raced against each other, and the other two raced against strangers. We were later told that it was even “more fun” to race against strangers, although there is no way to test the veracity of that statement.
We won’t say who won the race down Tailspin Racer (it’s still a contested subject), but we can say that it was far more enjoyable than expected.
– Do not attempt to walk around the park without footwear of some kind. You can easily scorch your feet in a matter of moments. That said, expect to leave your footwear at the bottom of most attractions.
– You can easily spend most of your day in line during busy summer months. Consider buying the TimeSaver H2O pass. It allows you to reserve your place in an attraction line, giving you time to do other things until it’s your turn.