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Photo TR: Silver Dollar City - OTC


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Having a vast desire to reach 225 coasters by the end of 2010, I made the short 3 hour drive to Branson to not only reach that goal, but to see in person what the Travel Channel says is the best Christmas light display on the planet. The display did not disappoint, and neither did the hospitality at the park. I was able to score a very rare two days for the price of one ticket from a local ticket outlet online, and made a plan to enjoy the Christmas aspect of the park on day one, and switch to mostly rides and attractions on day two. As a result, I will break this posting down into two parts, Day 1 and Day 2.


Keeping with logic, I will start with Day 1 (12/2/10)


After checking into my hotel I arrived to the park around 4:30 and walked from Parking Lot 5 (I needed to drop a few pounds). SDC offers paid and free parking. Paid parking for non pass holders was $12. However, the park offers free Tram service from the free parking areas, so, I decided to save the parking fee to spend on food. Walking up to the front gates I could smell the cinnamon rolls cooking and see Wildfire running in the distance. I was a little worried about crowds since the parking lot was packed, but quickly noticed 85% of the crowd as either in the 65 and older crowd or 8 and under, so ride lines did not exist. The sun was setting and their was an orange glow cast of the park, quite appetizing to the eye.


On this Day 1, I went directly to the B&M. I should first mention that this ride, and all others, adhered to the strict no re-ride policy, even with empty queues. Luckily, the walk around to get back to the rides was short. Wildfire hasn't much airtime to talk of, but does offer a nice surprise of airtime coming off the lift down the first drop in row 8, something you don't get in the front row. The ride was only running one train, which was all they needed. Train 2 was disassembled in the maintenance bay. Overall this was a decent ride with 5 inversions including the famous B&M batwing. 8/10


Next I had to try the S&S air launched coaster, Powder Keg. This ride does not disappoint. Using the terrain after the launch to gain speed and confusion, this ride packs a punch. I was glad after the traditional chain lift that you got a little extra ride time, I'd been real disappointed if the ride had gone from lift to station. This ride was also only running one train, which again was all they needed. Train 3 appeared ready, but train 2 was being disassembled in the maintenance shed. 8/10


Only two more rides on this day before enjoying the food and sites. One, what I would call a Jeff Johnson credit, Fire in the Hole, something I rode 20 years ago, has maybe 40 feet of coasting on two drops, that, and the scenery in the ride is quite comical. Finally, I can't go without riding the S&S swing, love those rides. Oddly enough, only one side was in operation. I'd never seen that occur before on a swing. I applaud S&S for incorporating that option.


Now, on with the Day 1 photos!


Welcome to Silver Dollar City!


Walking up to the front gates


This place has the most awesome cinamon rolls, the price is well worth it.


In this building, you can get in line for the cave tours. They were offering one tour per hour, 60 people at a time, or 480 people a day. I elected to bypass the cave tour on this trip.


Walking down towards Wildfire


The top of the flume lift is where lightening struck and burned down the shed last week.




How about some silhouette shots of Wildfire?


Down she goes...


Up and over


weeeeeeee, ok, moving on


So after multiple rides on Wildfire, I strolled around the park on my way to Powder Keg




This production, Frontier Fa-La-La Follies, was extremely popular and always had a line. For an extra $10 per show, you can skip the line.


If you want to go to the Giant Swing, you go this way, but I want to go tap a keg.


how about some food?


more food in here too


very reasonable pricing for entres


we walk past this to get to a


walking taco


on the way to Powder Keg, you pass by the Opera House, another very popular show attraction with lines literraly halfway to mainstreet.


so after 4 launches on the keg, I went in search of the Giant Swing



yes please




After riding the swing, I ate here. Catfish was fresh and crispy, tasty. Price was, reasonable, 7.99 with two sides and cornbread, drink extra.


After eating, I figured I would complete the circle of the park, is 8pm, park closes at 9pm







off the stairs to nowhere


you can get your pottery on here.


or your ornament on


Finally we come almost full circle and cross the bridge leading to the giant Christmas Tree




hmmm, what do we have over here?


All you can eat! At prices you can afford!


Bye SDC, see you tomorrow!


So I took the tram back to the parking lot, drove back to the hotel to get warm and then went out to take a tour of the town. It's been 8 years since my last run through of Branson, and that was just a one day tour. Lots has changed, impressed with the new shopping complex along the river downtown, very nice.

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Awesome photos. I have a ton of photos of SDC from a week ago that I still haven't been able to get around to posting. Guess I don't need to worry about it too much now.


I'm glad you were able to get on PK - it was down almost all weekend when I was there. Between the sensors and the trains constantly causing the ride to go down, I'm beginning to see why another air-launched hasn't been built. You'd think after 5 years they'd have it more ironed out.


TGS seems to be running one arm most of the time now as well. I don't know if that saves them money somehow, or if it's another maintainence issue. Is that not usual for most Screamin' Swings?

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^ Thanks, and no reason not to post your experience! The main reason I posted what I did today was that I'm on my death bed and bored...


I've been on roughly half of the Screamin' Swings installed in the US and this is the first I've ran across that was in one arm op. It's also the first I've been on that didn't have a line halfway to China. The swings and towers are fairly reliable, the restraints on the swings can be a little touchy which, as we know, is the same system on PK. I suppose that's the price you have to pay to make sure everyone's locked in safe. Cost wise to run both sides, I suppose, to increase capacity, they would want two loaders versus one, and then of course the extra electrical cost, but to me, that's minimal, but I'm not paying the bills so it's easy to say. If they had really long lines I would want both sides working for sure, afterall they paid for the 32 seater, might as well use it when needed. One thing odd I noticed that this ride has that the others I've been on don't is the magnetic plate on the ground that helps stop the ride, that for sure increases capacity by not having to wait the extra twenty or so seconds for both arms to stop. Also the ones at Dorney, Morey's Piers, and Knotts are up charge attractions ranging from 5-15 dollars extra.

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Nice report. Some of those swings are a blast. CP's is outstanding, with a generous ride program. The one at Knott's would scarcely be worthwhile if free. They hit the brakes immediately once it reaches maximum height. How was SDC's?

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^ Same as Knotts. I was reading on the new S&S website (it's no longer s-spower.com, it's now engineeringexcitement.com) that the ride cycle was 50 seconds. I too like CP's, the extra 25 seconds they give you makes all the difference in the world. I'm working on day 2, hope to have it done shortly.

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It's ridiculous to compare, but have you seen the Osborne Lights at Disney Studios? Now that's a holiday light display! Not that pretty colors, untold millions of bulbs that 'dance' to music will ever be the primary reason I plan a visit. It is a nice plus worth a few minutes of appreciation.


SDC looks like a charming, family oriented park.

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Day 2 (12/3/10)


Arrived at the park at 12:15 and was rewarded with a close free parking space. I went ahead and made my way to the entrance around 12:30 and stopped off for one of those cinnamon rolls. Yum. Yum. The ropes were up preventing you from going much farther than the area of the General Store and the bulls were lining up. Their destination, the Opera House. Talking with one of the ride ops on Powder Keg, I was told that the Christmas show in the Opera House was not only a production worth watching, but their most popular, and that was 100% true. When the ropes dropped they were off like a motocross race running through the hills and cutting people off. The electric scooters were getting pushed out of the way and some had to just be pushed. By 1:15 they had already taken all they could for the 1:45 show, so, the old people camped out for the next one at 3:15.


Myself, I went by Wildfire for the first ride of the day, and that's where we will begin.


First ride on Wildfire!


Nerd Shot!


Ultra Nerd Shot!




and weeee


and weeeee again, ok, enough of WF, time to move on to Powder Keg in the daytime.


hmm, I wonder what ride this is?




Let's play red light - green light; Red Light


Green Light




they do have nice themeing




station shot


and here's a little game we like to call, facial expressions. This guy's posing for project runway.


Front left just farted.


line for the Opera House despite the theatre being fill


this show, the fa la la is also packed. One thing you can say about SDC, they put a lot of effort into their productions, which, makes them extremely popular.


Fire in the Hole, a Jeff Johnson credit.


so, we now move back to the swing. Only the far side in operation. They even ran the ride with a single rider. How cool is that?


This is the magnet I referred to earlier, first one of these I've seen on a swing, and I must say, it's quite effective in stopping the ride quickly.


After the swing, it's off to find a mega-disk-o, and food.


yes, i love these!


yeah, disk-o with a crazy insanse ride program!


did they get this from Disney?


these are cool too


and you've gotta have a ship


and tea cups


But this is what I came all the way for! Don't let this ride fool you, that first turn and drop is a wild one!


And now, for the last credit of the trip.


this is a hard ride to photograph given the outdoor theatre is closed




death helix. I often wondered why this mine train style ride ranked so high, now I know. It packs a mean punch, not too jerky, and no lift hill for quite some time.


we end this report with another round of facial expressions on various rides. You insert your own captions if desired. We'll start out with "You can't see me!"


Not sure what those two on the right are holding on to...


Now five of them are holding on to um, something.


Girl in the gray is doing the sprinkler...


Ok, that's it, thanks Silver Dollar City for a Good Time and Good Food!

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It's ridiculous to compare, but have you seen the Osborne Lights at Disney Studios? Now that's a holiday light display! Not that pretty colors, untold millions of bulbs that 'dance' to music will ever be the primary reason I plan a visit. It is a nice plus worth a few minutes of appreciation.


I shall hold my head in shame as I've not even been to Disney Studios, maybe during WCB. If you do get out there, send us some pics! The only thing that SDC had dancing to music was their Christmas tree. It had a steller sound system as well, the bass could be sensed halfway across the park.

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I did a number of searches and could not find the Silver Dollar City discussion thread. If there is one, please add this post into it and lock the original.


My question is, what did Powder Keg originally do before it was Powder Keg. I mean, what was Buzzsaw Falls? What is the difference between when it was Buzzsaw Falls, and now, as Powder Keg? Any small or big differences? Was the launch still there?


When was Buzzaw Falls Built and when did it become Powder Keg? I am confused on which was built when and what opened when. If someone can explain it to me that would be awesome. Please.

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BuzzSaw Falls was originally a Premier Rides Water Coaster prototype. It opened in 1999 and reopened as Powder Keg in 2005.


Since it was a prototype, it had a lot of bugs and even after the first year it was still unreliable. On top of that, it was short and didn't do much of anything. BuzzSaw Falls closed in 2003. For the 2005 season, S&S was contacted to "reinvent" it but still keep the family-friendly aspect. The launch and first half were not part of Premier's design. The track with the spine is S&S's track and the two-rail with ties is Premier's track (if I'm correct, y'all SDC natives feel free to correct me.)


Basically BuzzSaw Falls was just a Premier version of MACK's Water Coaster... with a lot less interesting things.


BuzzSaw Falls/Powder Keg RCDB page

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