My daughter was injured on the Dollywood Express train ride. Several large pieces of hot coal embers struck her eye when riding the Dollywood Express train, and I find this to be a significant safety hazard and the very reason why we will never go back to Dollywood again. We usually visit Dollywood 1 or 2 times a year, and had never taken the Dollywood Express train ride until this trip. The train is operated by a coal powered engine. The amount of smoke and soot we endured during our ride was absolutely terrible. My mother, who suffers from COPD, experienced shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches during and after the train ride. My husband's white clothing was completely covered in soot and ash. I experienced headaches after leaving the train. And my daughter's eye injuries were the most severe - requiring medical attention and debris extraction. We all were forced to cover our eyes, nose and mouth during the train ride. I would like to further acknowledge that the medical staff at the medical care center (curiously located right at the exit to Dollywood Express - coincidence?) cared for my daughter without sterile gloves, all while taking a break from eating food. Absolutely disgusting. There were three children in the medical care center being treated for this same type of injury while we were there. One of the medical care workers casually told me as she laughed, "Yeah, this happens ALL the time." I was shocked and deeply disturbed. After riding the Dollywood Express, my family of 5 (and dog, staying in a bleach-soaked kennel at Doggywood) all promptly left the park. It has been three days and my daughter's eye remains red and irritated. This polluting, damaging product should not be used around unprotected people, like park guests, causing injury and negatively impacting those with health conditions. Plain and simple: this is an absolute danger to park guests. I am certain that Dolly would not approve.
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