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Silver Dollar City (SDC) Discussion Thread

p. 274: New Fire in the Hole announced for 2024!

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I think that they may break out one of their ideas from the past guest surveys and install a Metallbau Pony Trek ride. Herschend installed one at Darien Lake in 2012 and it is quite popular.


The only issue is the capacity which could lead to over 45 minute waits at times. But it is actually a nice family ride and it would look nice at the park too.

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^Very possible, it was indeed mentioned but I agree on the capacity issue.


There are some new construction photos posted by a member over on SDCFans: http://sdcfans.com/forums/index.php?topic=2476.msg57184#msg57184


Tons of stuff going on. This is indeed a younger-family oriented expansion, but the S&S shot tower will still be fun at least. It's been rumored pretty heavily that the balloons and kiddie swing ride will make a re-appearance as well, but I'm still iffy on that. It's also known that HFEC has a few used rides sitting in storage right now... not sure how much of this development will be brand new rides.


I'm very excited to see how the old Geyser Gulch play area is re-engineered. I love the idea of imaginative play structures in parks. My nephews absolutely love them, and I had a blast at Geyser Gulch when it was brand new. I really think this development has the potential to be one of the quintessential Herschend all-around amazing and unique experiences, just so long as corporate doesn't cheap out on it. The Grand Expo fell fall short of what I know they are capable of, but they did a pretty good job with the Huck Finn themed splash battle a while back, and the Half Dollar Holler development was decent, albeit very small. This is a good chance to see if they still have the magic.

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Is Geyser Gulch a sizable plot of land? I'm definitely interested to see what becomes of this space, especially to see if they try to reuse any of the structures or facilities like Dollywood did for Firechaser Express with Adventure Mountain...

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Silver Dollar City has shared the sad news with us that master craftsman Ray Johnson, who had been with the park since 1998 has passed away. They've included a note from the park as well as his official bio.


It is with great sadness that we tell you of the passing of Ray Johnson, a member of our Silver Dollar City family since 1988. Ray, a world-recognized Bladesmith Poet from Oregon County in the Ozarks, has always been known as a Silver Dollar City citizen with a heart of gold, a surprise for those who dare, and a beautiful poem to share.


From a Bladesmith’s Prayer:


Lord I ain’t much with words,

I hope you understand

And I hope you’re fergiven’,

On that far away strand

Well I was just wonderin’,

When my fire burns real low

If you’d take me over yonder,

Where the sparklin’ river flows…


Our prayers for Ray’s family.


Silver Dollar City first heard about Ray Johnson when he was profiled by CNN National News in 1986. Ray was initially discovered by a newscaster while he was living in Oregon County, Missouri, working as a welder, making knives and writing poetry in his spare time. The news reporter, who had heard about Ray’s unique skills, aired a story on how he combined his talents. When the story was picked up by CNN, the world learned of the Bladesmith Poet from Oregon County.


Ray was a welder for 26 years, jumping into the industry right after high school. With decades of experience, Ray developed an understanding of steel, the properties of different metals and how they can be molded together with heat and force, and he began making knives in 1983. Ray claims all of his life experi- ences were to prepare him to become a knife maker at Silver Dollar City.


When Silver Dollar City learned of Ray’s skills as a knife maker and poet, they offered him a job. Ray came to the park in 1988 and what began as a hobby became a talent recognized all over the world, where many of his knives have traveled.


Ray’s most popular knife is the Damascus steel knife. This knife incorporates 320 layers of steel that can cut like no other knife. Ray incorporates different designs into the knives, making them one-of-a-kind creations. These knives take an average of six to eight hours of nonstop focus to complete. One slip of the knife and it would be ruined. Ray’s knives range in price from $180 to $5,000. Sixty percent of the sales are from collectors, and he has a long list of orders.


Visitors to Mountain Outfitters find Ray forging knives and reciting his poetry. He will tell guests all of his knife-making tricks; this humble craftsman has no secrets. His book of poet- ry, Knife Facts, Opinions and Poetry, is sold at the shop along with his knives. Not surprisingly, it includes one of his favorite subjects:


“I know we’ll be eatin’

Fruit from the tree of life,

But how’re we gonna peel it

If we haven’t got a knife?”


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Is Geyser Gulch a sizable plot of land? I'm definitely interested to see what becomes of this space, especially to see if they try to reuse any of the structures or facilities like Dollywood did for Firechaser Express with Adventure Mountain...


I would say they could increase the new area by a third if they plan on tearing down Geyser Gulch (which I think is gonna happen)

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Ray Johnson truly was one of the people SDC was originally created to celebrate and admire. He is greatly missed.




Geyser Gulch + the cleared area is a fairly significant amount of land for SDC. The actual Geyser Gulch structure is pretty massive, but there's a lot of mixed rumors over whether it will be simply refurbished and repurposed or torn down with another large play structure being built somewhere in the new area, or maybe a combination of the two where part of it gets taken down and a new extension built. They did mention that they wanted to have a big play area still though, and I know there would be backlash if they don't have one. SDC has always had some really creative play areas. I grew up playing on the massive bouncy rope nets that hung high above the general area where the Splash Battle is now.

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This is indeed a younger-family oriented expansion, but the S&S shot tower will still be fun at least.


If this is the S&S tower from Celebration City, it is not very tall but it gave a great ride. I hope that SDC will run the same "program" which features a downward launch after the second upwards launch. It had some serious negative G's. Of course I'd love a taller drop tower, but this was probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite ride at Celebration City so I'd say it's certainly a welcome addition to SDC.

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So, last weekend I finally got to experience Outlaw Run! OMG! That was an undescribable experience! Outlaw Run is now my new number one Coaster! I cant put into words just how awesome RMC is! I cant wait to ride thier other creations!

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So, last weekend I finally got to experience Outlaw Run! OMG! That was an undescribable experience! Outlaw Run is now my new number one Coaster! I cant put into words just how awesome RMC is! I cant wait to ride thier other creations!


Yup, basically the common sentiment here


We watched OR be rumored about and built for over two years, and I still remember how on my first ride it still blew away all of my expectations. I think it's starting to be overshadowed by some of the newer RMC's, but there's something special about this one in particular. It's not as long as some of the others, but it just flows together so perfectly.


In other news, today is Geyser Gulch's last day... only 10 days till the announcement!

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Thought we would stop by the park for a quick visit yesterday. Boy were we wrong. I have NEVER in my life seen this park so busy. We got to the park in the late afternoon, hoping that most of the crowds would be heading out. Ha, if only. How did our day go??


Wildfire - First ride of the day. When we got in line for Wildfire the line was out of the entrance and about even with the steps you go up when you exit the ride. We thought that they had none of the inside que open. Boy were we wrong. The entire inside que was open, (Only the first floor. This is the first time I have ever even noticed that Wildfire has a 2 story que line. Total wait time, about 50 minutes. When we got off of the ride, the line was all the way down the path to the covered section underneath Great American Plunge's lift, and drop.


PowderKeg - Was going to be the second ride of the day until we approached the ride, and noticed the line went from the entrance of Powderkeg all the way down the hill, and out into the main path in front of the building where you can get family photos done.


Thunderation - Hoping for a short line we headed over to Thunderation which is usually a one train wait. We ended up waiting about 30 minutes. I have never in my life seen this ride have a line.


Outlaw Run - Knowing how busy the park was we were expecting a large line for Outlaw Run. We had no idea what we were in for. We got inline for Outlaw Run at 8:53pm (which the line was about 100ft out of the entrance to the ride. The posted wait time was 58 minutes. (58 seemed rather odd to us.) At 9:53pm we finally made it from the que out under the trees back into the que under the tent. At this point the posted wait time was 95+ minutes. Halfway through the line under the tent we get our first breakdown.. About 20 minutes later the ride is back up and running. Finally, at 11:03 we were next to get on the ride, and it broke down... again. After waiting for them to evac the entire train of guest on the lifthill, and do several test runs were were finally able to ride. We finally got on the ride at 11:53pm. We managed to wait 3 hours for Outlaw Run. --- On a positive note, I must say that Outlaw Run is AMAZING at night. It gets so dark at points it seriously seems like an indoor coaster. I was amazed by how dark the ride got. Riding in the front row, at the top of the drop you could not see the bottom of the drop because it disappeared into blackness.


Giant Barn Swing We got off of Outlaw Run at 11:57pm, and managed to get in line for Giant Barn Swing before they closed the line. A night time ride on Giant Barn Swing is amazing, you just go sailing up in the air, and all you see above you are the stars. It was simply amazing!


On a seperate note, when we got in line for Outlaw Run both sides of GBS were running. Both sides were running after the Firework show ended. At some point between the end of the Firework show, and when we got on GBS the ride broke down, and they quit operating the far swing. (The one that is farthest away from the main path.)


All in all aside from it being a BEYOND busy day at the park, the 2 night rides we had were amazing. As I said before, I have NEVER seen this park this busy, but I am glad they were able to pull in such large crowds.

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The only 1 day discount I know of is price cutter Thursdays for $30. This deal used to be posted on SDCs site but was taken down but as far as I know the deal is good through October. Basically how it works is you buy your ticket at a Price Cutter grocery store, (Country Mart in Branson is also under the Price Cutter brand) make sure you tell them it's for Thursday. Then you go to the park on a Thursday. Unfortunately with this deal you cannot take advantage of the night before free deal and sometimes Thursdays can be pretty busy because of this deal.

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I haven't been looking for discounts as much as I used to, but it seems like they haven't had any major discounts for single day admissions over the last couple of years. There might have been a coke promotion here or there, but nothing like what most parks do. There are a few deals for combo lodging + 2 day passes at pretty much every hotel though.


I guess they really don't need to give away the gate in Branson, you're either going to come for a few days of vacation or not. It's more of a destination park where locals aren't the main draw.

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SDC does have a nice "twilight" discount where if you visit after 4 PM, then your admission is still good the next day (as of last year, I didn't try this or check when I visited SDC this year). The discount also works with two day tickets if your first entry is after 4PM, and White Water at least used to have a similar discount.


I think it's starting to be overshadowed by some of the newer RMC's, but there's something special about this one in particular. It's not as long as some of the others, but it just flows together so perfectly.


In a way, I agree. Outlaw Run is overshadowed by height, speed, and steepness, but I think most people who have ridden other RMC coasters, including Goliath, have said Outlaw Run was their favorite of the bunch.


Outlaw Run's first drop really grew on me this year. I wasn't too impressed with the drop last year and for some reason it just felt short, but now I can't forget about that airtime!

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Haven't been watching the thread as closely as I should as I have missed the discussion about the announcement being made later today. I really have to believe that it's got to be something besides the drop tower especially for the amount of space they have available. But here is an idea, I saw a post about a wing rider, but SDC is not really a "B&M" kind of park. I realize they have one, but their allegiance seems to lie elsewhere.


Count the number of S&S rides. Powder Keg, Swing, Soon to be double shot, (they bought Arrow so....) Thunderation. I count Thunderation because SDC made a comment that the reason there are no longer backwards cars is because the manufacturer made them turn them back around. So.... With a little digging I found this:


Logan company’s spinning roller coaster promises unique experience

By Kevin Opsahl | Posted 1 month ago


Engineers at S&S Worldwide in Logan may dub their newest project the “little brother” of its counterpart, the 4-Dimension, but don’t be fooled — the 4-D Free Spin is set to provide an unmatched suspended experience.


The $7 million ride — with a speed of 38 miles per hour on a 1,265-foot track — is currently undergoing prototype testing at the Logan plant on 2500 North, not far from the highly successful Zip Line creation. By April or late May of next year, the 4D Free Spin will debut at a yet-to-be-named amusement park somewhere in the U.S.


The Free Spin earns its distinction from its “big brother” 4D — which debuted at Six Flags in 2002 — because the “free spins” the eight-passenger ride induces are not mechanically controlled, explained Mike Worley, senior mechanical engineer. Riders are suspended off to the side of the coaster track, where the seats spin independently.


S&S wants to make “a more family-friendly ride with more variability where with each time you ride it you get a different experience,” explained Worley, when describing the 4-D Free Spin.


The Free Spin ride thrives on natural dynamics — and even personal interaction with the movement of a person’s feet — to invoke spins. But the 4-D Free Spin is using old technology in a new way to help control some of that.


From here: http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/logan-company-s-spinning-roller-coaster-promises-unique-experience/article_252562fa-013f-11e4-85f2-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=jqm


Look at the specs, it's not huge, it's family friendly, and the cost is only $7 mil...


I am soooo keeping my fingers crossed...

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There is no coaster being added with this addition, unless something seriously changed in the last couple of months. We already know the essential details of what's being added, and it's been discussed in this thread a number of times. I'll refrain from reposting it since the announcement is only a few hours away. There'll be a little something for everyone, but mostly the target audience here is younger kids.


We're expecting the announcement to go out sometime around 11:30am.

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It's not the free spin, I can almost guarantee it, but I don't want to pretend like I actually know exactly what the park has in store.


I have followed this development since last year when the first concept pitches first went out. I'm very excited to see the end result of that process. HFEC, SDC in particular, is extraordinary in their ability to really get at the root at what their guests want through surveys, focus groups, etc. They don't just listen to what guests say, but what they really mean, if you catch my drift (most people will always just yammer on about how they want a big coaster or whatever).


We've been consistently pleased with their results following this process, which have recently included The Giant Swing, Outlaw Run, and Half Dollar Holler.


With this addition, what I'm looking for most is character. The rides will be typical kiddie/family rides, the play area will be nice. To really make this addition something that advances the park it will need all the SDC charm they can throw at it, and they know it. I'm confident it will look great.

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