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Silver Dollar City (SDC) Discussion Thread

P. 261: Arvest Bank announces 10 year sponsorship deal

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2 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I feel like people used to post updates of every shrub being cut down.

Those idiots moved to reddit.  That sub is frightening.

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The building looks pretty impressive. Here is the most recent update that was posted to reddit: 

 

I guess it's harder to get excited because not only is it hidden inside a building but it's also a replacement ride for a long standing favorite classic attraction. It's a tough gamble by the park because everyone will be comparing it to the old ride rather than allowing it to be a brand new experience, but I applaud them for trying and not just junking FITH for another random coaster. 

 

As far as updates on here goes... a lot of us who still use forums are simply too old to deal with it anymore. I used to have a lot of fun with the speculation, keeping an eye out for markers, and going to the parks sometimes just to see construction progress. These days though I just don't have the time/energy/money and would rather spend what I have on other things - even though I still enjoy aspects of amusement park fandom occasionally. The kids who are coming up into the fandom who care about that kind of stuff are all on instagram/tiktok/youtube. Forums like this one aren't as appealing because it's a different type of interaction and quite frankly can be a little insular and hostile as KBrylczyk's comment displays, lol. 

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On 7/18/2022 at 4:13 PM, prozach626 said:

We're staying at a resort in Branson in the beginning of August for four days. Suggestions for local activities with a two-year-old? She's 34", so I'm hoping we can still get on a few things at SDC. Going to spend a portion of the day there, and another at the water park. 

I think she'd like feeding the fish at the Shepherd of the Hills fish hatchery. 9-5 but closed Sun & Mon, and need to bring your own quarters for fish food; we havent been in a few years but afaik they don't have change machines on site.

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18 hours ago, Shavethewhales2 said:

The building looks pretty impressive. Here is the most recent update that was posted to reddit: 

 

I guess it's harder to get excited because not only is it hidden inside a building but it's also a replacement ride for a long standing favorite classic attraction. It's a tough gamble by the park because everyone will be comparing it to the old ride rather than allowing it to be a brand new experience, but I applaud them for trying and not just junking FITH for another random coaster. 

 

As far as updates on here goes... a lot of us who still use forums are simply too old to deal with it anymore. I used to have a lot of fun with the speculation, keeping an eye out for markers, and going to the parks sometimes just to see construction progress. These days though I just don't have the time/energy/money and would rather spend what I have on other things - even though I still enjoy aspects of amusement park fandom occasionally. The kids who are coming up into the fandom who care about that kind of stuff are all on instagram/tiktok/youtube. Forums like this one aren't as appealing because it's a different type of interaction and quite frankly can be a little insular and hostile as KBrylczyk's comment displays, lol. 

Well, I appreciate all updates as I do not like scouring the net in a million places.  However, is the building themed on the side that inside the park?

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34 minutes ago, jarmor said:

Well, I appreciate all updates as I do not like scouring the net in a million places.  However, is the building themed on the side that inside the park?

I could be wrong but if it's a FITH replacement to me the new building looks bigger than the current one. It's possible it's the same size I suppose though, but just looks bigger to me.

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2 hours ago, jarmor said:

Well, I appreciate all updates as I do not like scouring the net in a million places.  However, is the building themed on the side that inside the park?

From what I've seen shared on other platforms, the building looks pretty much the same inside the park. It is also VERY visible from most of Fireman's landing. I'm hoping that they do something to dress up that side whether it be draping vines down the building like on the current FITH or a painting / mural. 

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I'm not used to the lack of social media videos and armchair safety experts going on tirades. This press release is way too appropriate to be real.

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Hi Everyone!

After visiting Dollywood last year, Silver Dollar City immediately jumped into the top "A-list park" spot for me. Seeing how nice the general setup at DW was really made me curious for Herschend's other premier park. I had heard great things about it, so I had high hopes and what do I say...this place is AMAZING. As good as everyone says it is, if not better! I'm proud to say (yes, at the very beginning of the trip report....no cliffhangers here) that SDC is my new favorite park. Hands down, no "if"'s, "but"'s, or "when"'s! I really really like this park!

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My group and I had originally just planned on visiting the park on a Monday, but after discovering we could essentially buy 1 day and get a second for only $10 more and that we had some free time the night before...we decided to come for an evening of fun. And was it worth it! There was basically no line for anything, and even though the park doesn't stay open all that late (I think they closed at like 7:30 or something) we were able to ride all of the coasters (except Fire in the Hole) and get a head start on seeing what SDC was all about. I would highly recommend the strategy of going the night before, especially if they continue running that ticket special. SO, SO WORTH IT!!

Speaking of the coasters....we first started out with a bang, and did Powder Keg (which surprisingly never broke down the whole time we were there both days, or at least that I noticed). And, WOW is that launch fun! I haven't had the privilege of riding too many launch coasters, but this one was really good. The launch blew me away with its intensity, and I was surprised with how solid the layout was. Given the rides history I was expecting it to be on the rougher side, but I actually found it to be quite enjoyable. Big thumbs up for Powder Keg!

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After Powder Keg we hit Wildfire, which I honestly thought was just ok. I'm glad it was smooth, but the layout didn't do a whole lot for me and the inversions and drops didn't provide much in the way of forces (oh no...I must be turning into an enthusiast...I'm complaining about "forces"). I've always wondered why more of these B&M sit down coasters weren't built, and now I think I get it. Why would a park build one of these, when they could get a vastly better ride experience at probably a lower price from another manufacturer, or even from another of B&M's models like the invert? Granted, this was my first B&M sit down looper so maybe Incredible Hulk or Kumba are different, but I also now understand why no one talks about Wildfire, because it's just not that great.

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Up next was a coaster I was very excited to ride...Outlaw Run!

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Now, this rides was FUN!! It really reminded me of a wooden version of Stunt Pilot at my homepark. The first drop always blew me away with its angle, and the inversions and airtime hills were just plain fun! I will say...was surprised at the roughness in the back seat which was disappointing. I wouldn't say it was bad rough, but it was enough to bother the other members of my group, so we tended to stick with the front for the most part. This was also my first experiences with RMC's lap bars, and after figuring out how to use my legs to keep from getting stapled on ride, I didn't mind them at all. I did find it kinda weird the whole "push up on the lap bar" thing...did RMC just not have the budget for springs or what... Anyways, Outlaw Run is amazing, right up there with Mystic Timbers and Prowler for my favorite wooden coasters!

We also rode Thunderation that evening, which was my first Arrow mine train, and...ooofff that was rough. I'm normally very tolerant of rough rides, but wow...the jackhammering in that helix....yeah just not fun... So unfun in fact, I didn't even bother to take a picture! So let's move on to the only reason anyone doesn't go to Outlaw Run first at SDC...

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...Time Traveler! And uuuuhhhh...this thing is straight up weird...very very weird...

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I think the time travel theme was a good choice since it fits the rides bizarreness and oddity, and I was impressed (along with all of the other themes at SDC) with the execution of it. However, the ride itself...you know I'm not really sure how to describe what I think of Time Traveler. Is it the best coaster in the world? NO (and I don't want to here about Ride to Happiness....) Would I want to see more Mack Extreme Spinners built? Maybe, depending on the layout mostly. I will say, I really REALLY like how TT goes straight out of the station into the first drop and then launches it's way back up the hill. I think that's such a cool and creative concept, and I would like to see more coasters do that kind of out of the box thinking. I did find it very odd that the ride comes to a full stop on the first launch, it made me think that there was supposed to be an enclosed show scene or something there but that it got cut from the budget. If they could make it a rolling launch like the second one, I think it would be much better. Other than that I found the whole experience (in both the front and back) to be just to weird, disorienting, bizarre for my tastes. Not bad by any means, just not a ride experience I would rank super highly.

After our ride on Time Traveler it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for the main event...a full day! Too me, this is when SDC really started to shine. While I was having fun and enjoying the park on Sunday night, Monday is what really put it over the top for me. We kicked off the day with a tour of Marvel Cave!

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And wow...just wow!! First off, there are no other theme parks in the world (that I know of) that have a complementary tour of a real cave included with your admission. I am really glad that they do that, and that they offer the lantern tour for a small extra fee (which I really want to do next time...). The cave itself was very impressive, and our guide was the perfect mix between good educational information and jungle cruise skipper, which really made it fun. Do NOT miss the cave tour when you go to SDC.

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After the cave tour we decided to ride the train, which I thoroughly enjoyed! The route was pretty and fun, and the on-ride show was hilarious, making it one of my favorite theme park trains. So much fun!

Having finished the train ride and cave tour, we decided to hit some of the smaller attractions at the city (Wait a minute....did I just call it "the city"...I think I'm turning into an enthusiast AND a SDC fan boy....ahhh!). I really enjoyed going through there crooked house in Grandfather's Mansion, and it made me wish that more parks had these style of walkthrough attraction.

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It did feel a little like something you should be able to find at Knoebels, but that gave it all the more charm for me. Definitely not the easiest attraction to navigate (it is a legit crooked house after all), but still very fun.

We also hit Flooded Mine while we were right next to it and...ooofff...this poor ride! I had heard that FITH is on it's last legs, and too that I say no...this thing is! The guns barely worked, most of the set pieces and effects seemed broken and in disrepair, of all the dark rides I've ridden this one was probably in the worst shape. It made me feel sad since it seems like the ride really was something cool and special at one time, but years of bad maintenance and the addition of the shooting aspect have drastically hurt the ride experience. Hopefully the park has a nice refurbishment in the works for this ride, since with a little TLC I think it could be really cool. I was expecting Fire in the Hole to be in bad shape, but sadly Flooded Mine to that cake...

Speaking of Fire in the Hole, one of my main reasons for coming to SDC this year was to ride FITH before it allegedly goes under the knife. And unlike Flooded Mine, which made me fear for FITH's state, I was pleasantly surprised at how good of shape this ride was!

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And I really enjoyed it! Definitely my favorite dark ride/roller coaster hybrid-style attraction, which made me sad that it's probably going away very soon. If it is it's last season thought, you wouldn't know. Aside from what looked like a couple missing figures, everything seemed to be in good working order, and I didn't notice any sound or effects issues. I was looking for the Bald Knobber theme issues, but to be honest I couldn't find anything in the ride that really alluded to the problems associated with them. (Note: I'm NOT saying that the Bald Knobbers were/are/caused a problem(s), I'm just saying that the RIDE itself from what I could tell didn't seem to mention or allude to those specific problems...other than the Bald Knobbers setting the town on fire). I'm honestly not sure why Herschend would want to replace this ride, unless there really is something majorly wrong with the building. I've heard that it's to build a newer, bigger train station, but I'm not sure how that would work/help. If anything it seems to me that removing Flooded Mine and remodeling/expanding the existing train station would be a more effective (and cheaper) option, but I digress. I hope that they take more of a "relocation" and upgrade approach to the new FITH (assuming that's what they are really doing), rather than a screen-based "Fire In the Hole for the 21st Century" deal... Anyways, I'm glad that I got to ride it, and that it was in really good shape from what I could tell.

After some more rides on coasters, we decided to get something to eat! We eat at the Rivertown Smokehouse by Mystic River Falls. (Which as a side note, looked really cool, but I didn't want to get really wet so I skipped it. I did ride American Plunge though, and thought that was fun albeit short and lacking in theming) I thought the BBQ was alright, good for a theme park but nothing truly special and kinda on the expensive side. We also of course had to get the famous Cinnamon Bread after (spoiler alert...I think tastes exactly the same as the one at Dollywood, except the Grist Mill is waaaayyy cooler than Clara Belle's), which was of great! It did give me a stomach ache after, but I'm not sure if it's cause I was pretty full already when we got it, or what so that was a little bit of a bummer...

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After some food and a couple more rides, our time at SDC was over. All in all I have to say that I really enjoyed this park, finding it to be one of the most well rounded, beautiful, and fun parks I've visited. The attention to detail I thought was great (and sometimes downright hilarious), and I appreciated how it seemed like they made an effort to seamlessly blend the newer areas (Mystic River Falls, Fireman's Landing, and Outlaw Run) with the older areas around them. It just made the whole experience feel complete and really enjoyable!

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Now, having visited both SDC and Dollywood I have too (just like everyone else, make some comparisons. I'll definitely start by saying that I like SDC better as a whole, while I think Dollywood has the better rides for the most part. I like Tennessee Tornado, Wild Eagle, and Mystery Mine better than Wildfire and Thunderation, but I like Outlaw Run, Powder Keg, and Fire In the Hole better than Thunderhead and Blazing Fury (I got aced out of FireChaser Express, Dragon Flyer, and of course Lightning Rod while at Dollywood). I thought Daredevil Falls was better than American Plunge, but the Frisco Silver Dollar Line was better than the Dollywood Express, etc. Time Traveler is kinda in it's own world, and DW really doesn't have a comparison I'd say. I really did enjoy the craftsman, cave tour, and overall beauty of Silver Dollar City over Dollywood though. Where I thought Dollywood had too much contrast between the new areas and the old, SDC blended them seamlessly together. Dollywood does feel a bit more master planned and thought out, while SDC feels more organic (which I guess kinda fits the whole "city" theme) and I prefer the later because of that. All in all, I'll say I like SDC better with it being the better park overall, but in in general Dollywood having the better ride lineup.

Thinking about the future of SDC, I know they are already working on that alleged FITH replacement in Fireman's Landing, but I would love to see them do a large Garner Holt/Calico Mine Ride-style refurbishment to Flooded Mine and some of the other older buildings and attractions. I think that would go over really well. For roller coasters...hmmm...I think I'd like to see a B&M invert actually. The park really doesn't have anything like it, and if they could go the route of a more intense layout like Banshee flying through the trees, then I think that would be really cool! That or another dark ride I think would be cool, as this seems like a park that just screams dark rides too me.

In closing, I had so much fun at SDC! I don't know when I'll be back, but whenever they get there next coaster or large ride I'd be very inclined to go again!

Thanks to @Rai Fox @tinaalsgirl @tndank and @Chiselphane for the tips and advice! I really appreciated it!

Oh, and on our way to St. Louis (our next destination on the trip), we drove by Six Flags St. Louis which I have now decided I will visit as soon as they finish restoring their carousel...and RMC Boss...:lol:

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And that wraps up this report on my annual coaster desert escape! I got two reports down, and two too go! So see you then!

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Sad to hear Flooded Mine has slipped back into a sorry state, and so quickly too.  Our last visit was late 2020 and it had been fixed up pretty well after being how you described it now for some time. 

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  It's probably been asked 100 times before, but I never paid attention, since it wasn't not applicable for me. Are there single rider entrances? I wouldn't mind snagging just a couple awkward rides on a coaster or two, but I don't want to leave my wife and daughter waiting long.

On 7/30/2022 at 3:06 PM, swfan1988 said:

Why would a park build one of these, when they could get a vastly better ride experience at probably a lower price from another manufacturer, or even from another of B&M's models like the invert?

Year 2001.

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Flooded Mine is over 50 years old. I think one of the reasons you think it's in such bad shape is that you are comparing it to more modern attractions. Some things were intended to be static, and others work intermittently. It's been a long time since everything worked all at once. In the old days there were very few moving parts as I understand it. The guns and targets were added in the 70's and changed the nature of the ride. It used to just be  a ride through with a bunch of themed scenes. It's just an old ride though and the scenery inside is still incredible even when all the moving parts aren't working.

SDC maintenance is suspect sometimes though. It's true that they haven't given it the attention it deserves. I had a friend that used to work on it some years ago and he was constantly running around fixing things but he had little support from management, no budget, and the dysfunctional politics of the place eventually ran him off. They have such high turnover these days and the people coming on don't know how to do all the little mechanical tasks that a ride like this requires. 

It really is a wildly popular ride that literally anyone can ride. I remember riding it with my grandmother and baby nephew at the same time years ago. Being air conditioned and high capacity are also big plusses.  I don't think SDC is capable of replacing FM with anything similar. They are always too tempted to do something crazy to make it more marketable, such as the drop they added to Mystic River when the previous raft ride was already super popular without it. I'm sure the new FITH will have something wild in it too. 

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17 hours ago, prozach626 said:

  It's probably been asked 100 times before, but I never paid attention, since it wasn't not applicable for me. Are there single rider entrances? I wouldn't mind snagging just a couple awkward rides on a coaster or two, but I don't want to leave my wife and daughter waiting long.

Year 2001.

No single rider entrances on anything. 

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Wildfire had a single rider queue, though I've only seen it in use once. It was located towards the entrance of the main queue, roughly to the right of the big water tank theming piece. If I remember right, the signage was still there for it when I visited last October. Though, I think it's only used when they have enough staff to have a dedicated grouper loading trains. 

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I don't blame you for skipping Six Flags St Louis, I went last year while on vacation in St Louis and honestly I have no desire to go back, it's a decent park but definitely not a must visit type of park.

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21 hours ago, Jaykethekid said:

Wildfire had a single rider queue, though I've only seen it in use once. It was located towards the entrance of the main queue, roughly to the right of the big water tank theming piece. If I remember right, the signage was still there for it when I visited last October. Though, I think it's only used when they have enough staff to have a dedicated grouper loading trains. 

That would be why I had no idea, I only ever go in off season so I've never had to wait much if at all for Wildfire.  I've only  used that bubble machine thing in the queue once because I've never been in line long enough to get to it lol

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We had a great time in Branson this week. It was my two-year-old's first road trip, and our four hour trek (5 hours with a kid) wasn't bad.

We went to SDC Tuesday. 

Rides:

Flooded mine x2. (Her first dark ride.)

Train.

Carousel. The one at SFSTL is often closed, even more than Boomerang and Xcaliber, so despite her 5 or so carousels, she never gets to ride that one. This one was great, because it had smaller horses, too.

Huck Fin's splash battle or whatever it is. We never ride these. Ever. The dads were cool about only spraying my wife and I, while saying, "Not the daughter! Dad only!" After shieling her, and getting constantly blasted in the face, I got a "Thanks for taking one for the team, Dad!" She loved it, so it was worth it. I've never been more soaked at a park.

Fireman's landing was cool. We rode the fire dog's twice, which my daughter loved.

Whatever drop/bounce tower thing we rode was a little too intense for her. It was "ok, all done?" by about our third bounce. I'm actually surprised this is a ride for kids under 36", accompanied by an adult. (We're at 34" now.)

Aside from that, we let her play on the splash pad and scream for a while.

The stunt dog show was a massive hit, and we were able to get out of the heat for a while. The hostess was awesome and sat us in the reserved seating, because my daughter is so damned cute. It comes with the territory of only being two, but having a shit ton of hair and being verbally advanced... She gets it from her mom. Dad brag. Pre-show the kids got to meet the big dog in the costume. After, they got to meet a stunt dog. She screamed in the ear of the people next to us the whole time. I gave up on stopping her, because I'm a prick, and I thought it was funny.

It was hot AF, there were no lines, and I still managed to get a ride on one of my favorite wooden coasters. We had to leave for a few hours for a nap, so as usual that took a big bite out of our day.

The little random shit you'd never care about as an adult was great for kids, like the cow utter thing, and big ball fountain. Despite thinking, "We didn't come here for this shit," you just let your kids enjoy it...

Even if your young child walks well, bring a freaking stroller. I'm glad my wife talked me into it. It would have been an absolute shit show without it.

Staff was friendly. The park was clean. The large building being constructed just absolutely ruins the entire park. Just trashed. We'll never be back. My wife was offended and our daughter cried.

Branson was cool for kids. We read complaints about the aquarium, but why? I was really impressed.

Food is really underwhelming, and I feel like it's all geared toward seniors. HOWEVER, Mr. Gilberti's Chicago Style Pizza in Hollister was some of the best pizza I've ever had. Ever. They only took reservations when we went, and there were signs warning about the hour + wait for your food, which wasn't a lie. Despite that, I'd say it gives Lou Malnati's in Chicago a run for its money. It's kind of a hole in the wall and seating is limited. They're going to tell you when you can come when you call for your reservations... without much flexibility. How did this place get here? Pizza, bottled domestics, and the best fried mushrooms I'd ever had was a welcome change from giant meatball places on the strip.

We went full nostalgia mode and bought a couple disposable cameras, so we can make a photo-book. Two cameras and processing is about $150. Lol. Times change.

My computer is on full dim mode, because of a wicked headache, and I'm not proof reading. Cheers.

 

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10 hours ago, prozach626 said:

HOWEVER, Mr. Gilberti's Chicago Style Pizza in Hollister was some of the best pizza I've ever had. Ever. They only took reservations when we went, and there were signs warning about the hour + wait for your food, which wasn't a lie. Despite that, I'd say it gives Lou Malnati's in Chicago a run for its money. It's kind of a hole in the wall and seating is limited. They're going to tell you when you can come when you call for your reservations... without much flexibility. How did this place get here? Pizza, bottled domestics, and the best fried mushrooms I'd ever had was a welcome change from giant meatball places on the strip.

Nice tip here.  Thanks for sharing. I love some Chicago deep dish.  

Sounds like you had a great trip.  Love to see it.  

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