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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 rate the park as a 7/10

 

I'm just curious to hear what some of your 8, 9, and 10 rated parks are? I think most people on this board would give SDC at least a 9 as it's one of the best parks in the world.

 

I'd like to know the same. Personally, Silver Dollar City is right up there for me with some of the best parks in the world. So I'd love to know what parks rank higher for you. Just out of curiosity.

 

*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.

 

You're not the only one. While I love the ride that Outlaw Run's back seat delivers, for some reason I prefer it towards the front too. Giving it a 9/10 is really a HIGH score! Which speaks volumes for the ride! Do you have any 10/10 coasters?

 

Just trying to understand your ranking system a bit more, that's all....

Edited by robbalvey
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I'd rate the park as a 7/10

 

I'm just curious to hear what some of your 8, 9, and 10 rated parks are? I think most people on this board would give SDC at least a 9 as it's one of the best parks in the world.

 

I'd like to know the same. Personally, Silver Dollar City is right up there for me with some of the best parks in the world. So I'd love to know what parks rank higher for you. Just out of curiosity.

 

*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.

 

You're not the only one. While I love the ride that Outlaw Run's back seat delivers, for some reason I prefer it towards the front too. Giving it a 9/10 is really a HIGH score! Which speaks volumes for the ride! Do you have any 10/10 coasters?

 

Just trying to understand your ranking system a bit more, that's all....

 

It just seems so often people rate things from 5-10, instead of 1-10. I consider 1-3 to be unsatisfying, 4-6 to be average to decent, 7-9 to be fun or better than average, and 10 is perfect.

 

To me, I've yet to find the perfect park or the perfect coaster. It's not that I haven't been to some amazing parks (Cedar Point or Busch Gardens Tampa) or ridden some fantastic roller coasters (Outlaw Run or Maverick). A 10 to me is reserved for perfection, or as close as it gets. A 10 is the coaster that I have yet to ride and it very well may never exist. It may sound cheesy, but as a coaster enthusiast, I'm always searching for a 10. It's what keeps me searching out more coasters during the summer. It's what keeps me on the edge of my seat during the announcement of new attractions. Looking back, SDC was probably closer to an 8. I gave it a 7 at the time, because I rated KI as an 8, and I feel like I had a more enjoyable experience at KI. SDC is a great park and by no means did I mean to degrade it by giving it a 7. A 7 is good in my book.

 

Either way, my ratings are subjective, just as with everyone else. Hell, I'm one of the few people who used to consider Mr. Freeze a 9... or maybe even a 10... before it was altered. For whatever reason, that was close to the perfect coaster for me. I honestly think it was one of the coasters that fueled my coaster fire into adulthood. (also one of the reasons I'm so bitter at SFSTL)

 

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.

 

Thanks for the info!

Edited by prozach626
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" Looking back, SDC was probably closer to an 8. I gave it a 7 at the time, because I rated KI as an 8, and I feel like I had a more enjoyable experience at KI. SDC is a great park and by no means did I mean to degrade it by giving it a 7. A 7 is good in my book."

 

 

 

Wait KI can't be Kings Island, there's no way. I don't believe you

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^Yeah I saw that...I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he has other parks above SDC other than Kings Island. Cause like you said, if he ranks Kings Island above SDC I know to just flat out ignore anything he posts from now on!

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^Didn't answer my question though...tell me some of your higher parks than SDC.

 

These are just my personal opinions from my experiences at the parks. I'll just throw out some randoms:

 

World's of Fun: 3/10

SFMM: 4/10 (I know... just let it be)

SFFT: 5/10 (before Iron Rattler)

SF Saint Louis: 6/10

Knott's Berry Farm: 6/10

SFoG: 6/10

Carowinds: 7/10

Holiday World: 7/10

SFGam: 8/10

King's Island: 8/10

Busch Gardens Tampa: 9/10 (From what I can remember)

Cedar Point: 9/10

 

Again, looking at my personal ratings, I'd probably give SDC an 8. I also really wished I had been able to experience the park at night.

 

Wait KI can't be Kings Island, there's no way. I don't believe you

 

^Yeah I saw that...I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he has other parks above SDC other than Kings Island. Cause like you said, if he ranks Kings Island above SDC I know to just flat out ignore anything he posts from now on!

 

lol. Maybe it was because I snagged my 100 (Diamondback), or maybe it was because we drank too many beers between 6 to close, but my wife and I really had a great time at KI. To each his own, I guess. Like I said, you can tell my opinions vary from the majority, since Mr. Freeze (FORWARD blast) would probably be in my top 3-5, if it hadn't been changed.

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I like Outlaw Run best in the front seat, too, especially since it has the right kind of trains to help maximize the view. Silver Dollar City is easily a top-10 park for me, and I'll now say they win in the customer service and friendliness realm. The uniqueness, creativity and attention to detail of the place is hard to beat as well.

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I just took my first rides on Outlaw Run today. I have to say I like the last row the best.

 

On another note they had 6 ride ops on the platform checking lap bars, and they were not in any hurry when checking them either. We asked one of the ops if it was because of the NTAG incident, and he confirmed that it was. While I do appreciate their dedication to preventing a similar incident, capacity has taken a serious hit. I think they may be able to crank out trains faster if they added seatbelts.

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I just took my first rides on Outlaw Run today. I have to say I like the last row the best.

 

On another note they had 6 ride ops on the platform checking lap bars, and they were not in any hurry when checking them either. We asked one of the ops if it was because of the NTAG incident, and he confirmed that it was. While I do appreciate their dedication to preventing a similar incident, capacity has taken a serious hit. I think they may be able to crank out trains faster if they added seatbelts.

 

Don't worry. It's only a matter of time before operators get complacent, again...

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While I love the last row on Outlaw Run, I do prefer the front for several consecutive rides, as the back, while completely smooth, is very wild, and there is a crazy amount of hang time in the second barrel roll. I would rate the coaster as a 10/10, and the park as a 10/10. Simply put, Silver Dollar City is one of the best theme parks in this country.

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Another vote for the front seat. I only rode towards the back at first because I figured with the drop there is no way the back could be beat...how I was wrong! While the back seat feels a little more "out of control" the overall airtime experience towards the front is absolutely amazing and was totally my type of ride.

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On another note they had 6 ride ops on the platform checking lap bars, and they were not in any hurry when checking them either. We asked one of the ops if it was because of the NTAG incident, and he confirmed that it was.

First off, Silver Dollar City has ALWAYS had a lot of ride ops on their loading docks. Not sure I've ever seen a ride with less than four. I actually doubt their operations had anything to do with the accident.

 

Secondly, I personally think it's totally inappropriate to be asking some random ride operator if their ride operations have changed based on an accident at some other park owned by some other company. That ride op is not actually in any authority to tell you one way or the other, and you probably put him on the spot to answer a question he knew little about while he was trying to do his job.

 

Moral of the story - Don't worry about a parks operations and why are they are doing certain things ESPECIALLY if your question relates to a tragic accident someplace else.

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On another note they had 6 ride ops on the platform checking lap bars, and they were not in any hurry when checking them either. We asked one of the ops if it was because of the NTAG incident, and he confirmed that it was.

First off, Silver Dollar City has ALWAYS had a lot of ride ops on their loading docks. Not sure I've ever seen a ride with less than four. I actually doubt their operations had anything to do with the accident.

SDC goes above and beyond in a lot of ways, and safety is one of them. They want to be absolutely sure nothing will happen to their guests--and it's not a kneejerk reaction to Texas Giant, either. Really, it goes back to the Fire in the Hole accident in 1980, when a ride operator accidentally switched the train onto a maintenance track and killed a guest. That was really a wakeup call to them, and from then on, they have been super cautious with all of their rides. Despite this insistence on double-checking everything, they still manage to have some of the most consistently fast operations I've seen. I've been going to SDC for about 25 years now, and it's always been like this. I was there the weekend before the NTAG accident, and I was there a couple weeks later. Nothing changed. Oh, and I find Outlaw Run's new restraints actually more comfortable than the original ones. Good move there.

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This weekend was my first uncomfortable ride on Outlaw Run. My thighs kept being slammed into the restraints, and I can't tell if th restraint was too tight or too loose. My previous rides were before these "changes".

 

I think I just had one bad ride, and I'll make up my mind after I ride again.

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On another note they had 6 ride ops on the platform checking lap bars, and they were not in any hurry when checking them either. We asked one of the ops if it was because of the NTAG incident, and he confirmed that it was.

First off, Silver Dollar City has ALWAYS had a lot of ride ops on their loading docks. Not sure I've ever seen a ride with less than four. I actually doubt their operations had anything to do with the accident.

SDC goes above and beyond in a lot of ways, and safety is one of them. They want to be absolutely sure nothing will happen to their guests--and it's not a kneejerk reaction to Texas Giant, either. Really, it goes back to the Fire in the Hole accident in 1980, when a ride operator accidentally switched the train onto a maintenance track and killed a guest. That was really a wakeup call to them, and from then on, they have been super cautious with all of their rides. Despite this insistence on double-checking everything, they still manage to have some of the most consistently fast operations I've seen. I've been going to SDC for about 25 years now, and it's always been like this. I was there the weekend before the NTAG accident, and I was there a couple weeks later. Nothing changed. Oh, and I find Outlaw Run's new restraints actually more comfortable than the original ones. Good move there.

 

We went back to the park on Sunday, and since we talked about it, and I had posted about it on Saturday, we paid extra attention. This is what we saw.

 

There were 4 ops checking lap bars. They were checking them slowly and deliberately. They were being shadowed by what I assume was a manager (person in a SDC polo, not in costume). This person who was not in costume would literally walk behind the ops and watch everything they did. We saw this every time we rode the ride on both Saturday and Sunday.

 

Now, I will say that this past weekend was the only time I have been to the park this year. So, I don't know what the loading process was like at any other time this season. This is simply what I saw this last weekend. It is possible that what I saw was an anomaly.

 

I do agree that SDC does some other safety conscious things on their rides that other parks don't do, and it doesn't normally slow things down. However, things at OR this last weekend were noticeably slow.

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I like Outlaw Run best in the front seat, too, especially since it has the right kind of trains to help maximize the view. Silver Dollar City is easily a top-10 park for me, and I'll now say they win in the customer service and friendliness realm. The uniqueness, creativity and attention to detail of the place is hard to beat as well.

 

I was very happy we decided to use our front of the line pass for the front seat. What a ride it was indeed in the front. Honestly though, I just love riding the coaster. I can't wait to get back to SDC (also a top park on my list)

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Trip report time!

 

My wife and I headed down to Branson for a Labor Day weekend at Silver Dollar City. We were very excited to finally experience Outlaw Run, as well as our old park favorite Powder Keg!

 

Overall:

 

SDC is a very well rounded park. Between the extreme coasters, family rides, shows, shops, craftsmen, and cave tour, they really do have something for everyone. The park is well shaded, which was nice during the heat of the day, and the staff was very friendly. The park is also quite hilly, so bring your walking shoes.

 

I tend to favor more thrill oriented parks, and for this reason I don’t rate SDC as high as say Cedar Point. However, we did have a wonderfully fun weekend of rides, shopping, and generally just acting like the children that we are.

 

Food:

 

The food at SDC is decent and reasonably priced. By decent, I mean really good compared to normal theme park food, and average compared to most restaurants. The standout meal we had was at Crossroads Pizza. We tried both of the calzones, and while they were pretty greasy, they were also tasty. Of course, no trip to SDC would be complete without cinnamon bread! Also the Outlaw Run flavor ice cream was quite good.

 

Attractions:

 

Grandfather’s Mansion - This is an interesting tilt/fun house walk thru. It is worth a look, however, be careful if you have motion sickness issues. I am normally ok if I stay away from spinning rides. It didn’t make me barf, but the tilted rooms did make me feel dizzy.

 

Marvel Cave - This is what the entire theme park was originally built around. We took the Lantern Light Tour, and it was excellent! The tour lasts 90 minutes and the group navigates the cave entirely by lantern light. You also get to see some areas of the cave you don’t see on the normal tour. I highly recommend this!

 

Rides:

 

Flooded Mine - This is a fun shooting boat ride.

 

Train - This is one of the best train rides around. The conductors are funny, and the show is as well. A great way to break up a day of coasters!

 

Fire in the Hole - You can’t go to SDC and not ride Fire in the Hole. Yes, it’s dated, but it’s so much fun! Plus, it is based on a (mostly) true story. It also takes me back to when I was a little kid and first visited SDC.

 

Thunderation - This is a surprisingly good Arrow mine train. I love the big helix, and if you sit in the back there is even some mild floater air.

 

Wildfire - I really like this ride. It’s a fun B&M looper with decent forces. I also love the trains. Since your feet are off the floor and the OTSRs don’t staple you, the airtime in the last row on the first drop is incredible. While Powder Keg and Outlaw Run have much more airtime overall, this drop is the best individual airtime moment in the park!

 

Powder Keg - This ride is actually tied as my favorite in the park. The launch is great, and there is plenty of airtime to go around. I also like the lap bars better than the ones on Outlaw Run. They didn’t staple me as much as OR, so the airtime was much more floaty. The lift hill does kill the pacing toward the end, but it’s still a great ride!

 

Outlaw Run - This is my other co-favorite ride of the park. This thing is fast, has airtime all around, and is just generally a wild and crazy ride. What I didn’t like was the inversions. The 153 was meh. It wasn’t bad. It just didn’t really do anything for me. The barrel rolls, on the other hand, I didn’t care for. I don’t normally mind hang time, but going through the barrel rolls felt like rolling around in a dryer. I felt my weight slowly shift from the bottom of the seat, to the side of the seat, to the lap bar, to the other side of the seat, back to the bottom of the seat, and then all over again. It just felt awkward. Still, this ride is a crazy good time!

 

Other Branson recommendations:

 

If you are headed to SDC, or just Branson in general, I recommend the following.

 

Deer Run Motel - This is where we stayed this weekend. It is just down the road from SDC. They have a shuttle to and from the park, but we chose to drive so we wouldn’t be locked into the shuttle times. Because this hotel is actually past the park, when driving from downtown Branson, traffic was a breeze. We didn’t have to sit and wait in the normal ridiculous SDC traffic. The motel itself was nice. It was nothing special, but it was clean and comfortable. It is family owned and the staff were extremely nice. Breakfast left a little to be desired, but we didn’t mind since we knew we would be snacking all day at the park. The rates are also very cheap.

 

Uptown Cafe - We decided to go out of the park for dinner on Sunday. We landed at Uptown Cafe. It is a retro diner style restaurant, similar to Steak n Shake. However, Uptown Cafe beats the pants off of Steak n Shake. The food was delicious. I had a bacon cheeseburger, and you could tell the beef was fresh and the thick cut bacon was amazing. My wife finished her chicken sandwich before I finished my burger. This never happens! The only downside is that it is in the middle of the crazy tourist area of branson. It is very near the Titanic museum, and the Ripley’s museum.

 

Billy Gail’s Cafe - This is a little out of the way diner, that is not too far from SDC. The parking is limited, they only take cash, you will likely have to wait 45min-1 hour for a table, and it looks like a old run down hole in the wall. However, it is the best made from scratch breakfast ever!

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