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Silver Dollar City (SDC) Discussion Thread

P. 261: Arvest Bank announces 10 year sponsorship deal

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However, I think many enthusiasts would be surprised to know how diverse a demographic it is. SDC is patronized by everyone from toddlers to grandparents, and the park has always had excellent offerings for everyone.

 

I'm not surprised by this at all. It helps makes SDC one of the best, most well rounded parks in the country.

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My wife has given me the green light for a trip to SDC. Even though we live in the St. Louis Area, and I have over 130 credits, I've never been to the park, before. It always seemed to slip through the cracks.

 

We're planning on leaving the lake early, next Tuesday, and heading to the park. I know it's the end of the season, school is back in session, and the hours are 10-6. Considering the circumstances, is it safe to say we may be expecting a light crowd? Can anyone offer any visiting tips?

 

Thanks,

Zach

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I was there Wednesday, August 14th. Crowds were very light. Wildfire, Thunderation and Fire in the Hole were 2-3 train waits. Powder Keg was 10-15 minutes. Outlaw Run was 20-30 minutes throughout the day. Just plan to get there before opening ceremonies and head straight to Outlaw Run for a few short-wait rides. Wear comfy shoes for lots of walking up and down hills. Bring change of clothes if you plan to ride any of the water rides and, yes, Fire in the Hole will get you wet! If you like caves, the Marvel Cave tour is included in admission, lasts about an hour, and is a good diversion toward the end of the day. However, with the shortened operating hours, you may not want to use up an hour on a cave tour.

 

The park is one of my favorites because of the unique old-time atmosphere, the picturesque location in the heart of the Ozark mountains, the friendly staff/cast members and the overall fun to be had there. I hope you have a great time!

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^JJ, I don't think there's an argument about the fact that it's a business and that they follow whatever trends are marketable to the current demographic. I'm first in line to say that the park has maintained it's "feel" and overall awesome level of experience to an exceptional level throughout the huge demographic changes it has experienced.

 

However, I think many enthusiasts would be surprised to know how diverse a demographic it is. SDC is patronized by everyone from toddlers to grandparents, and the park has always had excellent offerings for everyone. Heck, I can remember recently that during certain times of the year, the rides were running almost empty while the lines for shows and craft demonstrations were running out of buildings. SDC has shown that there are other people who will come to theme parks, you don't have to cater to the lowest common denominator: ie, kids.

 

The reason so many crafts are imported these days has a lot to do with the volume they sell, not that no one is buying it. When a number of people in my family visit, they always purchase crafts and pottery. A lot of older people are the same - part of their day is spent specifically on seeking out crafts and unique things to buy. It is tough finding new craftsmen though. A lot of them are trying to retire, and there are few to replace them who don't charge exceptional fees. When SDC was founded craftman skills were still abundant, and even taught in some schools. That might be the demographic change that's affecting them the most.

 

My grandparents have season passes to SDC and they get them every year. They don't go for the rides or attractions, except maybe the railroad. They go watch the glass blowers and walk around the different shops. It still brings them every year. SDC can't give up this homey feel otherwise they will lose a lot of business. The different shops and blacksmith guys is part of the reason SDC is what it is.

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Question for you SDC experts... I'm trying to get to SDC yet this year but it's not looking like September or October will work for me. I see the park is open every weekend all the way through the holidays, my question is, does SDC continue to operate the coasters and rides that late in the year as well? Or is more of a holiday-in-the-park, look at the lights type of thing only? Any input is appreciated! THANKS!

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They should still be running. The rides don't normally close down except for American plunge, lost river, and river blast. If you check out the SDC app they have a tempeture guide on there. Most rides will close once it gets 35 or 37°. Outlaw run, will close at 37°.

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Question for you SDC experts... I'm trying to get to SDC yet this year but it's not looking like September or October will work for me. I see the park is open every weekend all the way through the holidays, my question is, does SDC continue to operate the coasters and rides that late in the year as well? Or is more of a holiday-in-the-park, look at the lights type of thing only? Any input is appreciated! THANKS!

 

 

Ride closing temps are listed on SDC's website and vary from 42 degrees to 32 degrees. Most people go for the shows and the millions of lights. If you go and don't take in the two major shows you are doing yourself a disservice. Special holiday all you can eat buffets are available the include that traditional items. Cave tours are limited as parts of it fill with water. My advice would be to go prior to mid December as weather beyond that can go either way. Thursdays are empty ride wise with Saturday's being the busiest days. They will also have some special deals on line so be on the lookout for those.

 

You can reference info on the Holiday event here and ride closing info here

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Cool, I appreciate all the responses and help. I don't think I'll make it for any holiday events, it's just too busy at that time back here at home. I kinda think the best time I'll be able to go is in early to mid-November when it should still be fairly warm, so hopefully I'll still get my Outlaw Run credit in this year!

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The holiday events begin in early November. SDC is thoroughly enjoyable in the winter. It will be well worth the trip. It's not the same as the summer, but you will most likely get to ride all the major rides unless there is a cold snap. Really though, the shows, lights, ambiance, shopping, etc. are where it's at.

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Cool, I appreciate all the responses and help. I don't think I'll make it for any holiday events, it's just too busy at that time back here at home. I kinda think the best time I'll be able to go is in early to mid-November when it should still be fairly warm, so hopefully I'll still get my Outlaw Run credit in this year!

Mid-November the park will be open from around noon until about 9PM. Weather in November is usually highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s, so the rides will shut down around nightfall due to low temperatures. This is the Midwest, though, and it can be unpredictable. There was a weekend last December that had a high in the 70s; positively everyone and their brother was at the park that day. So maybe you'll get lucky. But most likely if you get there at opening you'll be able to ride it a few times in the afternoon. As others have said, the shows and lights are the thing during the Christmas season. Don't miss the train ride after sundown; it's so popular they build a temporary queue out into the plaza for it. There are Christmas light displays along the entire route; it's amazing. Oh, and the wassail is a requirement. Trust me on this. It's only available during the Christmas season, and it is amazing. It's everywhere, too; they convert the frozen lemonade stands to serve wassail and hot chocolate. No excuse not to get some.

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This is our third trip this year. Trailblazer sounds useful. Is there a season pass discount?

No discount. It isn't really made for season pass holders; it's made for people who buy the one- or two-day passes. Season pass holders are likely just going to come back on a day when it's less busy. That's how I see it, at least. It's no big loss to me if we decide not to do a ride because of the line. We'll be back again, and it will still be there. Makes each visit a little different, too.

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^That's next to none. We'll be there Thurs after 3 and all day Friday. Should I "unlimited up" now or wait until we see the lines?

Oh, now Thursday and Friday are completely different. Labor Day weekend is really only Sat-Sun-Mon. Thursday and Friday will be significantly less busy, as all the local schools are already back in session. You still may see a bunch of people there for the shows, as the Southern Gospel festival really brings the show lovers in, but the ride lines should be very short. Those coming on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday will find MUCH longer lines indeed. Also, SDC does not sell the Trailblazer pass on weekdays except during the summer peak season, which has past.

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Trip report 08/27, Silver Dollar City:

 

My wife and I spent a weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks. There's only so much beer drinking I can do, so I talked her into leaving the Lake a day early to take a two hour drive to SDC. Even though I have lived in the STL area my whole life, I somehow managed to scrape up 134 credits, before I made it to this park. I was excited for Silver Dollar City for an obvious reason: Outlaw Run. Even though I'm not a woody fan, I was looking forward to experiencing what RMC had to offer. I'd also heard that Outlaw Run gave SDC a great Buzz this year, and I was really looking forward to going to a park that was riding high on a new hit attraction.

 

We got to the park around 1030. The park looked very crowded as we made our way back toward Outlaw Run. However, the more I looked around and noticed the majority of the people in attendance were seniors, my apprehensions of waiting in long lines went away. We got to Outlaw Run just in time for it to open. We boarded the 2nd train of the day, which was our longest wait for any of the attractions throughout the day. We rode Outlaw Run a few times and loved it. Not wanting to get sick, we spent the rest of the day slowly walking around and casually going from WALK ON coaster to WALK ON coaster.

 

We also let ourselves unwind a bit, since we're usually health/fitness conscious. We never touch park food, aside from the occasional pretzel, but this place was an exception. Throughout the day, we ended up splitting a potato twist (ok), a white chocolate turtle (wow!), and a potato sausage skillet (decent).

 

We took the cave tour around 130. It was really neat and the cave was much larger than I anticipated. The tour was a good way to dry off our sweat from the hot and muggy afternoon... The tour guide, Tony, was really good. That said, my wife, a social worker, and myself, a cop, could have really done without the cheesy theatrics. However, we understand, since there are so many children who attend the tour. That's the price we pay for my geek hobby. I wouldn't recommend going to SDC and missing out on the cave tour.

 

Overall, the park was very interesting. It had more of a southern attraction/flea market feel, as opposed to the usual theme/amusement park feel. It was a nice break from just going ride to ride. We could have gotten endless rides on Outlaw Run, or any of the other coasters, but after going to Carowinds, Hilton Head Island, and Lake of the Ozarks, all within the past two weeks, we really just wanted to relax and enjoy ourselves. We took in the themeing, the atmosphere, the food, and yes... the rides. Unlike other parks, we took it at a slow enjoyable pace, which really made for a unique experience. It was definitely a far cry from Six Flags, thank God.

 

We honestly can't stand 'shows', especially theme park 'shows', so we missed out on a lot that SDC has to offer. Even without that element, we still had a fantastic time. It was well worth the short drive from the Lake and the 4 hour drive back to STL. We left around 430, after Emily and I had a front seat walk on ride on Outlaw Run, completely by ourselves. WOW! Even my not-so-coaster-enthusiast wife thought it was awesome.

 

I'd rate the park as a 7/10. Here's how the coasters stacked up on my list:

 

*Outlaw Run (9/10) #135 - We got five rides on it. We could have gotten as many as we wanted, but five was plenty for us. What a great ride. Definitely a top tener, and definitely the best wooden coaster I've ever ridden. I didn't give my wife much advanced notice about the ride and she was totally shocked, on our first run. Surprisingly, we preferred the front more than the back.

 

*Thunderation (5/10) #136 - Probably one of the most fun Arrow Mine rides I've ever ridden. It was forceful, but smooth. The long sweeping drops were great. We only took one memorable ride in the back row.

 

*Wildfire (7/10) #137 - It was much better and much smoother than I expected. It was a great B&M sit down with a great first drop, huge elements, and it was somewhat forceful. I could use tad bit more on the positive G side. We took three rides total. Again, we preferred the front as opposed to the back.

 

*Powder Keg (7/10) #138 - It was no Mr. Freeze (before the ride was ruined), but it was way better than Flight of Fear/Poltergeist. This Premier Launched coaster's elements were reminiscent of Intamin. Plenty of positive G's to go with the negative G's, but it was a little more rough than I expected. Also, the mid course lift hill was just awkward. I could have done without it, in exchange for smaller finishing elements. We took 3 rides on this. Again... we preferred the front row.

 

*Fire in the Hole (3/10) #139 - The scenes were confusing the coaster/dark ride was too fast to get a good look at any of them. The 'drops' were surprising and fun. It was good for one ride, but I would never wait longer than five minutes for this roller coaster technicality.

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*Powder Keg (7/10) #138 - It was no Mr. Freeze (before the ride was ruined), but it was way better than Flight of Fear/Poltergeist. This Premier Launched coaster's elements were reminiscent of Intamin. Plenty of positive G's to go with the negative G's, but it was a little more rough than I expected. Also, the mid course lift hill was just awkward. I could have done without it, in exchange for smaller finishing elements. We took 3 rides on this. Again... we preferred the front row.

 

Powder Keg is an S&S product. The lift hill and the long turn before it are left over from the old Premier water coaster that used to sit in its spot, but the rest is from S&S.

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