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Photo TR: Midwest Mania! (SDC/SFStL/WoF/AdvL/VF/NickU)

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On-going Photo TR. Keep checking back for updates!


Trip Report Directory:

Silver Dollar City

Six Flags St. Louis

Worlds of Fun

Como Town and Zoo


Nickelodeon Universe




I landed in Minneapolis around 3:45pm on Thursday and got snatched up at the airport by girlfriend Kara (timberskara) and we were off on an 11 hour drive to Branson, MO. We headed south out of Minnesota, deep through Iowa, and into southern Missouri. This was all a new part of the country for me, and I’ll say one thing: Iowa sucks. I mean, the Wind Farms were cool but everything else was quite uneventful.


We checked into our hotel in Branson around 2:45am, but not before getting a bit lost in the Ozarks. And seeing the SBNO Wildcat peaking over the horizon in the early morning light was a neat surprise. It really is a bit sad, though that that ride is just sitting there lifeless these days, as the coaster looked to be amazing.


After a terrible night of sleep for me (damn dog next door was barking all night…of course, Kara didn’t hear it at all…At least one of us got a good night’s rest) we woke up, hit up the AMAZING Grand Country Buffet and headed off to Silver Dollar City; a park neither one of us had ever been to.


We opted to park in the free lot (Lot 5) and took the tram to the entrance. The location of SDC is amazing, nestled nicely in the mountains, surrounded by nothing but rolling hills and forest. I also must say this, between SDC and Dollywood, these two parks are EASILY the most scrumptious smelling places I’ve ever been to. Theme park or not.


On top of the smells, it’s a complete sensory overload, as the sights and sounds are amazing as well. Everywhere you turn is great theming, awesome horticulture and the sounds of nature and the mechanicals of superb rides.


Which brings me to…Wildfire.


Both of us had very high expectations for this ride, and it completely blew both of us away. The setting, to begin with, is incredible; right on the side of a steep mountain. The trains are beautiful, and they feel a lot different than Hulk and Kumba. The first drop is absolutely nuts, as you get a nice whipping action after disengaging the lift and being thrown around the curve before being absolutely yanked down the drop. I’m talking extreme ejector air that didn’t stop until the bottom of the drop.


The rest of the ride, while rather short, is a fury of intensity, power and a great mixture of inversions and transitions. Easily top 10 for both of us. After Wildfire, we headed to Powder Keg, and enjoyed a nice, fun ride on it. The launch was surprisingly strong, and every hill throughout had great airtime. My biggest problems with it were the lift hill was a bit out of place, and the hard plastic seats really deterred the experience for me.


The rest of the day was spent credit-whoring and exploring the amazing park. We ended the day with a marathon on Wildfire, ending up with eight rides. The biggest disappointment, however, was that the cave tour was closed for the day. We were both really looking forward to doing that.


And we're off!


Travel setup...Add in two laptops and an iPhone.





Love their park map






SDC is beautiful








"Magic Wall" in PowderKeg's queue





Ready to launch



Screamin' Swing


Checkers Break!



Better than Magnum


About the only good view of Thunderation




Flooded Mine...Nothing too exciting



I'll not post the score picture to save someone certain embarassment






Pathetic Pt 2




Cajun-seasoned chips!


A healthy dose of Wildfire, now.








Cobra Roll Panorama



Wildfire is now a Vekoma Boomerang...You've been warned


Not complaining






Honey, I Shrunk the Coaster Enthusiasts!



Toodles, SDC


Ozark Wildcat looked so sad sitting there dormant


Coming Soon: Six Flags St Louis.

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Amazing report! I love how you just let all of the photos do the talking. They are some really nice photos. I love your take on the park. You really told a great story through your camera. I really enjoyed this first part of the report, and can't wait for the next part.

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What a fun day that was! And just think how rare of an occassion it is to visit a park neither of us have been to.


Anyway, Thunderation was surprisingly fun but I don't know where you're getting this "Better than Magnum" business from. It's not nice to give readers a false reality.


I'm uber sad that SDC is in the middle of nowhere and I can't really see getting back there anytime soon because it is an awesome place. I'm having Wildfire withdrawl already!

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Waking up a lot earlier than I particularly wanted to, we were off from Branson to St. Louis around 8:15am and arrived at a relatively empty parking lot around 11:15am. After picking up my comp ticket at guest relations, we met up with Tyler (neuski) and headed straight for Evel Knievel. Honestly, this ride was about the only thing at this park that even remotely interested me, so I had high hopes that it would deliver. It was definitely a fun little ride, but nothing like I expected...Just wish we could have ridden more than once, but it was a good time!!


It definitely has potential, to go right along with its incessant squealing. We headed to Mr. Freeze next and after a 45min or so wait, were on in the back row. I enjoyed the ride, the launch was fun and the reverse top hat was awesome. The rest of the day was spent credit whoring for me, and we ended up with all credits except for the Mine Train and Screamin Eagle.


As far as the rest of the coasters, I LOVED Boss, which was a very unpopular opinion in our group. I also had a good time on Tony Hawk, and Batman was very intense…Possibly the most intense one I’ve ridden (SFOG, SFGAm and SFGAd).


OH, and can’t forget to mention the amazing portions of food that Panda Express gave us for lunch. So amazing.


Anyway, we missed those two credits because we wanted to hit the road and get to Worlds of Fun before closing for some Patriot and Mamba night rides.


Pics yo!


On the way from Branson to St. Louis!


Strip club or Six Flags parking money?


We have arrived


GCI Goodness


Evel Knievel









Kara and Tyler (and me!) all loved Knievel


Aaaand, next...



I really enjoyed Freeze


Nussy and Neuski


"Turkey Leg!"


Three Trains, One Shot



LOOOOVED The Boss (No, really!)


I spy a hater



It's so powerful, and that's reason #1 why I love it


Love and hate (of Boss)





The food LOOKED good...


But we got better food in the end



Waited almost 45min which killed all hopes of a full credit sweep of the park


Loop de loop



Damn you, crowds!







Yanked on the way to Kansas City...And off clean.




My burger will kill your burger


Quick nap...Out like a light

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Kara, you must be bad luck or cop bait. Didn't I get pulled over when riding with you? In fact that was the last time I've ever been pulled over.


Looks like you guys had a great time. Keep them pics coming, I would love to get back out to the area soon.



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^ That may be the case, but the IMPORTANT thing is that I am also good luck in that neither one of these instances resulted in tickets...am I right ? Although seeing you take the breathalyzer was memorable-- since when do blue slushies make you impaired?


Anyway...STEVE post WOF already you slacker!

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My first impression of Worlds of Fun’s coaster collection was definitely a good one. We had about an hour and a half at the park on Saturday night and got a couple of Patriot and Mamba night rides in, sandwiched around obligatory whoring of Timberwolf and Boomerang.


As far as Patriot, I loved the unique layout, the few surprise pops of air and the ending was nice and fast. I still prefer Montu and Raptor over it, but it was definitely a quality ride. Mamba was a very nice surprise…At night. During the day, it was rather boring, but night rides were definitely a good time.


Timberwolf was terrible, that’s about all I can say about that. The Boomerang wasn’t too bad, but definitely a one-and-done for us.

After closing, we checked into our lush cottage at the Worlds of Fun village, and promptly passed out. A day spent in Branson, St. Louis and Kansas City was definitely draining.


On Sunday we woke up and got to the park around 11am, hit up Mamba and checked out Prowler before heading out and getting food at Waffle House (mmmm). Once we got back to the park, I finished my credit run with Spinning Dragons (fun!) and we got another ride on Patriot, hit up Detonator and tried to get the Wacky Worm credit…And failed.


The rest of the day was spent relaxing, catching rides here and there and meeting some cool people. Worlds of Fun was overall a nice park, and I’ve gotta say they’ve got a bright future with Prowler…..


Showin' the wolf some love


After starting in Branson on Sunday, we made it to WoF!


Mamba at night




Patriot at night







Spinning Dragons at night...There were some raccoons running around by the creek


Our abode at the Worlds of Fun Village for the evening





Checking out






Sittin' pretty


Whose that?? Looks a bit like Renegade to me....


Mamba is a LOT better at night



Hello hai


I really do like these spinning coasters



Yes, that's me updating my track record



Patriot photo shoot time










No credit for us


Pain washes over me just thinking about this ride


Timberwolf broke down while we were there and three maitenance trucks swooped in for the kill




And I'll end this with a panorama of Patriot!


Hitting up Adventureland on Sunday, so I'll continue this thread once those photos are ready. Thanks for reading.

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Nice photos across the board!


I'm going to go ahead and agree about Mamba being better at night. I wouldn't call it boring ever, but it certainly is better at night.

Timber Wolf is not that bad, you wuss. Neither is Detonator. Detonator is actually one of the strongest S&S towers I've ridden. Then again, everything has good days and bad days. I've had some awful and some outstanding rides on Timber Wolf, as well as some powerless and some rocket-launch-out-of-your-seat rides on Detonator.

Too bad you didn't wait until Saturday to do Worlds of Fun! That's just bad planning.

I'll be at WoF while you're at Adventureland. Have fun at my home park! Don't forget to try the mini doughnuts.

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No, Timberwolf IS that bad! I can take rough rides...Voyage is my number one. But there's a difference between intense/violent and rough and raggidy. And Timberwolf is definitely the latter.


And don't worry, our planning wasn't bad.


I'm excited about Adventureland!

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^Wait, so you "LOOOVED" Boss but you didn't like TW? I think both Boss and TW are equally brutal, but are both extremely fun. I agree that Boss is better, but I've had some amazing rides on TW. I respect your opinion though.

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Timberwolf is easily one of the worst coasters, wood or steel, that I have been on. Boss might be a top 10 favorite of mine. Boss is brutal in a kick your ass kinda way, but it's because the ride is powerful. Timberwolf just jack-hammers through the course and doesn't have one ounce of fun in it.


These are solely my opinions, but none of my friends who have ridden Timberwolf like it. I had to beg Kara to ride it with me, actually, and I would probably not ride it again if I was at the park.


Boss, on the other hand, I could ride over and over. I'd be curious to know how many and which wooden coasters you've ridden to honestly believe that Timberwolf is a good ride. To me it seems more like a case of love for the home park.

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wow man, you guys were at Worlds of Fun the exact same time I was there with a friend this past weekend. It was my first trip there and I booked the flight a few months ago assuming Prowler would be open... Oh well. I don't remember seeing you though.


I mostly agree with your assessment of the rides. Mamba really won me over on Saturday night but was extremely sluggish on Sunday.


Great pictures and report of all the parks. I was running around taking some pictures on Sunday at WOF but the lighting conditions were horrible so I probably won't post any.

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Timberwolf is easily one of the worst coasters, wood or steel, that I have been on. Boss might be a top 10 favorite of mine. Boss is brutal in a kick your a$$ kinda way, but it's because the ride is powerful. Timberwolf just jack-hammers through the course and doesn't have one ounce of fun in it.


These are solely my opinions, but none of my friends who have ridden Timberwolf like it. I had to beg Kara to ride it with me, actually, and I would probably not ride it again if I was at the park.


Boss, on the other hand, I could ride over and over. I'd be curious to know how many and which wooden coasters you've ridden to honestly believe that Timberwolf is a good ride. To me it seems more like a case of love for the home park.

Jackhammers through the whole ride? I'm sorry, but that just isn't true. I've ridden Timber Wolf tons of times and it's been uncomfortable sometimes, but it has never jackhammered. Voyage jackhammers a lot through the last half if you sit in the wrong place. Timber Wolf is totally manageable even in the back row. In fact, it even has a bunch of really intense airtime on good days. Even on bad days it's pretty enjoyable before the helix.

Now that I think about it, Boss actually feels a lot like Timber Wolf, but on a way bigger scale (incidentally, I LOVED Boss as well - it seems like it's going to suck majorly, but then you hit the bottom of that drop and WHAM).

Either you got it on a SERIOUSLY bad day or something weird happened with your ride. Same thing happened to me with Talon. It really isn't that bad.


I would advise you not to expect too much from Adventureland. Dragon is horrible and Underground is a big waste of space. Outlaw, Space Shot, and Sidewinder are your best bets. Splash Over isn't bad either, and the Falling Star runs crazy fast. The best part (aside from the mini-doughnuts) is the staff. Highly underpaid, but the friendliest group you'll ever meet.

Have fun!

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^Enjoyable and Timber Wolf should not go in the same sentence, for sure. I respect your opinions but the ride has zero good moments. I've been on it a couple of times now-- on different days in different seats-- and I have to agree with Steve about the jackhammering.


I don't even like Boss, but it's tolerable and I respect the ride for being what it is. With TW there's nothing for me to like or even respect about it. After my ride on it last season, I swore I'd never do it again...but Steve and I made a pact and I had to keep up my end of the deal and ride it with him. If anything, riding again this season proved to me that it's not a fluke in my book-- never again! Regardless, WOF is an amazing park and we had an absolute blast.


I went into Adventureland with low expectations and was blown away. I'm trying to keep Steve's expectations down so he can have just as much fun. We're definitely looking forward to spending a relaxing day at the park on Sunday. Mmmmm Outlaw!

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I agree that Timberwolf was a horrible ride when I rode it a few years back. Do they still have the random sprinklers on the turns? Nothing like having your spine re-aligned 3 times and getting sprayed in the face...Oh wait a lot of things are more enjoyable than that.

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Wow this photo TR really is good. SFStL looked pretty busy tho. Guess I'm lucky I hit it on a fairly light day. I wasnt a fan of Boss, their B:TR was def the best between SFGAd, SFMM, and SFoG, smooth and incredibly forceful. Mr Freeze is actually in my top 3 steel, front rides are amazing. Were they running both trains on Freeze? For that matter how have operations been you experienced at the parks so far?

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Timberwolf is the roughest wooden roller coaster I have ever been on. Maybe even roughest coaster period. I HATED it. My mom had two bruises, and instead of laughing on the ride, we both screamed "OW!". Horrid ride.


However, when I rode it was a very humid day. Is it possible that the humidity affected the wood? I know that water (it also rained that morning) makes wood expand, so could that have caused so much pain?


Patriot is my favorite inverted coaster. I have been on an SLC, three B:TR's, and Patriot definitely beats them all. GREAT ride.


Mamba is an amazing ride as well. It has some good pops of air. I rode Steel Eel at SW in San Antonio, and I have to tell you, it blows Mamba out of the water. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Mamba and it's an awesome ride, but after I rode Steel Eel, I had a new favorite Morgan coaster.


Boomerang is so forceful. I only rode it twice last year because the forces were really starting to give me a headache. It's pretty smooth as well.


Can't wait to ride Prowler this year!!!

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Great TR and Photo's so far!!


It's pretty crazy how similar Dorney Park and Worlds of Fun seem! Is Patriot a clone of Talon?


I haven't been on Timberwolf but I automatically hate it now because of all the anger you caused by not liking it! Way to already ruin the ride for me people!!


Looking forward to the next stop!

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