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Silver Dollar City (SDC) Discussion Thread

P. 261: Arvest Bank announces 10 year sponsorship deal

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I'd be very disappointed if Herschend pulls the plug on Fire in the Hole and the Flooded Mine. I haven't been to SDC, but having been to Dollywood and ridden Blazing Fury I think I can get the unique connection thoose rides have to the charm and feel of the park. Taking them both out I think would be a gut punch.

Seems like a lot of trouble for them to go to for one big project in 2026 as well. It seems to me it be better to just bulldoze FM if that's what they really want to do rather than build a whole replacement for FITH. I hope neither goes away though, they look like really classic dark rides that people don't talk about enough.

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They both are really great dark rides, but FITH has had a lot of audio issues lately. It kinda feels on its last legs. FM has always been mechanically difficult to maintain with the animatronics in the water, but they've really kept up quite well. I'll embrace a FITH replacement, but I don't see a good reason to replace FM at this point.

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I'm torn because I would miss both rides but I can definitely see the reasoning, at least for FITH.    It's nearly 50 years old and while the ride system is fine (other than the audio issues(which really are disappointing especially if you are a long time fan and know what's supposed to happen and where)), I wouldn't be surprised in the least if a big problem is the building it's housed in; the 'backstage' views you get of it when walking to Outlaw Run aren't very pretty.    And FM is even older, with the addition of it being a water ride and the structural problems that that entails.   

Most of the FITH rumors have been along the lines of  'destroy then rebuild'.  FM feels more like the one that would go away and not be replaced.  And I'd miss both, whether missing the old version of FITH no matter how good a job they do on a new one, or FM in general.   But none of that would change my attendance or even overall feeling towards the park; I get there are business decisions that I am not going to be privy to, etc.   I get that people don't like change, especially if from the outside it appears to be needless change. 

It does make me wonder if SDC should give more info on why these changes would be made, or is it not worth the trouble because people would be upset either way.  To me it would make sense if they said something like "To 'fix' Fire in the Hole's show building, it would cost X dollars;  to rebuild it would cost Z dollars which includes safety improvements over the original structure, other benefits, etc etc" but to those would reflexively react to any change as negative, would putting out an explanation even matter, or even make things worse.

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On 10/2/2021 at 10:45 AM, PKI Jizzman said:

How have things been at SDC lately? Coasters running all trains? Are fast passes necessary on a Saturday/Sunday?

I cant speak for recent attendance/operations, but I've been going to the park this time of year pretty consistently, and I've never felt the *need* for trailblazer but I don't think it would be a complete waste of money either.  Sometimes I think it'd be worth it just for Powder Keg; that line moves SLOW.   It's going to be hot in the park this weekend so Mystic Falls line is going to be nasty as well. 

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1 hour ago, Chiselphane said:

I cant speak for recent attendance/operations, but I've been going to the park this time of year pretty consistently, and I've never felt the *need* for trailblazer but I don't think it would be a complete waste of money either.  Sometimes I think it'd be worth it just for Powder Keg; that line moves SLOW.   It's going to be hot in the park this weekend so Mystic Falls line is going to be nasty as well. 

SDC is essentially a once or twice a decade park for me so even skipping a 30 minute wait is nice. Queue times showed PK and TT averaging 30-40 minutes. Thanks for the advice! 

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LOL, I love how so many people on FB are like, FITH is SACRED!!!!!!!!!!!! How DARE they change anything about the park. I'm never going again. This is the last straw!" , Yada, yada, yada......🤣🙄

My God. Why don't they at least wait and see for sure what they are doing before they lose their shit. We will be at ACE Coaster Christmas event in Nov. I'll see if we get any info from the powers that be.

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I'm looking forward to whatever comes of this project! As much as I enjoy FITH, I'd rather they replace it with something new and high quality than just keep it running in its dilapidated, worn out state just for the sake of nostalgia. As long as the new version or replacement has immersive theming and a fun storyline, then I feel it's a worthy replacement. I don't understand the "SDC is turning into six flags" cries because of the removal of old attractions. Sure it's sad to see them go, however SDC puts a lot of thought into whatever replaces them so it doesn't feel like the park has lost anything, rather they gain something. Take Mystic River Falls for example. Much like FITH, Lost River was in a terrible state. I imagine they'd have to spend almost as much as a new attraction to get it back into a good state. But they chose to replace it and improve the experience that it provided. Aside from reliability, Mystic River Falls improves upon Lost River in almost all categories. Better theming, more creative storyline, more exciting ride experience etc. I imagine the same will be for whatever replaces FITH. It'll stick to the principles the parks has had for attractions since the beginning. The park still cares about making an immersive experience for guests. It's far from becoming Six Flags over Branson like some are saying. I'm yet to see SDC just slap a generic flat ride on a pad of concrete and call it a day. Change is hard for some, but I have faith in SDC to create an attraction that provides memories for future visitors just like FITH has for all who have visited by now.

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Man, I really cursed myself saying I never felt the need for fastpass this time of year.  We went Sat & Sun and it was crazy busy (and HOT) for the season, especially Saturday.  It did not help things at all that every coaster (except FITH) was running one train.  We rode Time Traveler first thing and I was all "wow the line is super short for this time of day, we really lucked out"  and then it became immediately obvious why, under normal operations that line would have been almost to the queue entrance.

I talked to some staff and they did not expect the level of crowds at all, there were lots of ingredient shortages and they were really scrambling at times.  The lady at the Apple Butter Shop said they ran out within an hour and she didn't think she'd be able to do much better by Sunday, she just didn't have enough ingredients to keep up with the demand surge. Sunday did end up being a bit better, we actually got some walk-ons for Mystic River Falls in the morning to the point we rerode it a few times back and overall things seemed a tiny bit less hectic then Saturday, but they still stuck to one train ops.

I actually got a little excited because the audio on Fire in the Hole's first half seems to have been tweaked, it was louder and clearer than I ever recall hearing it.  But the back half is still a mess, if not flat out broken. 

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7 hours ago, Chiselphane said:

Man, I really cursed myself saying I never felt the need for fastpass this time of year.  We went Sat & Sun and it was crazy busy (and HOT) for the season, especially Saturday.  It did not help things at all that every coaster (except FITH) was running one train.  We rode Time Traveler first thing and I was all "wow the line is super short for this time of day, we really lucked out"  and then it became immediately obvious why, under normal operations that line would have been almost to the queue entrance.

I was pretty disappointed with the rides ops when we went this summer.  Every coaster except FITH and Time Traveler was running one train, which is inexcusable in the middle of summer.  On top of that, Mystic Falls didn't open the entire day we were there.  It's really too bad bc it's a great park and has some really fun rides, but I'm not planning on going back anytime soon.

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I can't really fault the park on the operations situation. From what I understand from a few conversations with some employees there, they legitimately do not have the staff to run more than one train. And this was a problem before the pandemic too. I don't know if it's a Missouri law or just park policy, but they have to have a high number of ride ops stationed at each ride to run multiple trains. That's a common policy at parks, but SDC seems to struggle with it more than other parks in the region. It also seems that the park is prioritizing having more rides open at low capacity instead of closing some rides and having those ops help run select rides at a higher capacity. With the employment situation for SDC having no signs of improvement, it's just become an expectation to see rides routinely running just one train. At least the ride ops themselves are incredibly fast and get trains sent out pretty quickly, keeping the lines moving at slightly higher than a snails pace. . 

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Do FITH rumors suggest it's closing after this season or next?  Grew up with SDC/Dollywood and have always wanted to ride the other one.  Got close this year but had to cancel a trip last minute.  Planning on next year for sure.

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42 minutes ago, PKI Jizzman said:

I'll do some digging through this thread but would love to know food recommendations! Is there a sit down restaurant yet or is it all cafeteria style? 

Molly's Mill is a buffet restaurant but that's about it at the moment; there's also a Mine buffet but that's currently closed.  The rest will be cafeteria or stands.   We tend to snack rather than full meals just because there's so much to choose from, and more than normal during a festival.  Its actually hard for me to recommend things because I like so much of it, but for a full meal I like Rivertown Smokehouse,  for a sandwich/lighter meal (lighter being relative lol) I like Fry Bread company (which was not operating last weekend) or a skillet from Lumbercamp Falls.    We never visit without getting a Tater Twist.

For sweets/dessert/etc everyone will tell you to get cinnamon bread from Clara Belle's and rightly so, but don't neglect Eva & Delilah's bakery right at the entrance of the park, and easy-to-miss Sullivan's Mill has some great stuff too (including coffee ground by a grinder powered by the waterwheel you see when crossing the swinging bridge!)

 

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15 hours ago, PKI Jizzman said:

Thanks for the updates, it's sounding more and more like their fast pass is required to get multiple rides in and avoid long painful one train ops.

Yes, if you want to get multiple rides on the coasters and Mystic River Falls, I would definitely recommend their fast pass.  As for food, the skillets offered at various locations are very good.  The BBQ place next to Mystic River Falls is cafeteria style, but it has lots of seating and the food is also good.  Plus it's right across from the cinnamon bread place!

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We haven't actually made it down to the park since the re-opening week in June of 2020, one train ops that day too, but it was understandable at the time. Have they pretty much been on one train ops all this time? Yikes. Like I said we will be down there for Coaster Christmas in Nov and will be curious to see if the seasonal closure of a few of the rides (like the 3 water rides) relieves any of the staffing pressures and maybe allows a few of the bigger coasters to add a train.

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Christmas season still seems to be fine when it comes to operations. It's pretty much one of the few times of the year that you'll have a good chance at seeing rides running at high capacity.

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