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Photo TR: Silver Dollar City and Outlaw Run

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Every year my family tries to have a little get together where we rent a cabin and spend a long weekend doing stuff together. I was pretty happy when we decided on doing it in Branson this year. I was even more happy when the trip coincided with the big announcement of Silver Dollar City's new mega woodie, Outlaw Run. Then I was ecstatic when I was actually invited to come along on a little construction tour of the coaster, getting to see the thing at last up close and from angles that few other enthusiasts will ever get to go.


We got into Branson on August 8, and I promptly headed over to the park to grab some rides on PK and peak through the fence one more time before the big reveal. Unfortunately a big rain cloud decided to park itself over the park, forcing all the rides in the park to shut down due to the rule about not operating when lighting is in the area. No one was very happy about this, and the park quickly began to empty out after awhile. I thought I was going to be left with an empty park when all the rides opened back up again, but when everything actually did open up again I only got one ride on the train in before they had to shut down again. They essentially just closed the park early at this point and were handing out tickets at the gate to everyone who bought a day pass. The worst part was that we didn't even get hardly any rain throughout this ordeal. The clouds just passed over really slowly, giving off enough lightning to keep everything closed.


The next day was much better, with no threat of rain and a bit cooler temps in the morning. When I first reached the entrance plaza I immediately noticed a stack of big flyers announcing Outlaw Run, complete with all the artwork you now see on Silverdollarcity2013.com I wish I could say it was a surprise... but oh well, I was happy to see it formally at last. The rest of the day is kind of a blur of meandering around and riding stuff, watching craftsmen, and watching a few performers. I didn't see any actual theatrical performances like the saloon show this time since I did all of them the last time I came through.


Finally it was time to go to the meeting I was invited to and hear the announcement pitch that was given to the media earlier that day. I was pleased to meet a Brad Thomas and a number of other SDC management who already vaguely knew me from my site, sdcfans.com. After a great dinner and the pitch from Brad, we walked down to Wilson's Barnyard and through the gate to the new Outlaw Run area. I'll let the photos do most of the talking from here, but suffice it to say that it was an incredible experience to get to see this thing under construction and from up close. This will definitely be one of my best memories as a coaster enthusiast, and I am more pumped than ever about this coaster. The images don't always do it justice, and the concept art certainly doesn't. It's just plain huge in person, and it's really tucked in well with the hill and valleys and the trees. The elements are out of this world, and every bit of the track has been carefully thought through so that you are experiencing something incredible for every second of the journey. This will be a ride worth any trip down to Branson to experience.


The first thing I did when I got to the park was to head over to the fence separating Wilson's Barnyard from the new coaster and snap this pic. Soon...


Unfortunately the skies looked like this all day, so the park ended up closing early and handing out tickets at the exit.


I did get one ride on the train though. These guys were great. They decided to spice up the old train skit with a musical number.


I didn't even notice the lifthill cog until Chadster pointed it out in his coverage.


The next day started right with a ride up to the park gates on the newfangled trams.


Seems like Wildfire gets more visible every year.


Ah yeah


This is a real water mill that actually powers a working gristmill inside the adjacent bakery.


Still one of the best attractions at SDC: the Swinging Bridge. It's literally a swinging, bouncing, suspension bridge.


Never too early to start hanging SDC's 4 million Christmas lights


Still one of the best Splash Battles out there, but I was too much of a wuss to do any water rides today.


Heege towers and the Giant Swing


Peeking through the fence again I spy a few media still on site at Outlaw Run. Joel Manby is there with Jack Herschend, and a number of other big SDC people.


I was very happy to see that the spinning barrels were back in action over at Powderkeg. No water effects anymore, but I still like the little things.


Something new is peaking up in this shot.


SDC does a good job of incorporating the crowd into their rides. Outlaw Run will have a little of that too as you'll see later.


This some of the neatest theming out there. For those that don't know, this is a car and track from the old Buzzsaw Falls attraction that Powderkeg replaced.


They had lots of these sprinklers set out for kids (and adults) to cool off in.



Obligatory Wildfire Shot


This is the best viewing platform I've ever seen for a coaster.



The ambiance is still what makes this park.


No report is complete without seeing some of the food though.


Many people complain about the food prices, but this meal was only about $10 and it was pretty filling. Still better than most parks, though you don't see so many of the great deals you used to here.


SDC has a store dedicated to Apple Butter and various other fruit butters and preserves. It's pretty sweet. I'm probably hitting some sort of appropriate photo limit for a single post, so I'll cut here and start another one.

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Pt. 2: Shows, Crafts, and Outlaw Run


SDC is special because there's so much to do besides the rides. Here we see a little magic show taking place outside the trick shop.


There are always big crowds for the glass blowers.


I didn't stop long enough to figure out what he was making.


I think this was the Peterson family. SDC brings in a lot of family bluegrass bands. Hard to believe there's so many out there.


This is the steam powered lathe. It has an interesting history that I hear on every visit, but I've already forgotten it again. Bonus points if you know who that is in the photo.


These guys are great and they definitely don't get enough attention or credit for what they do. This is the Homestead Pickers Band, named for the Homestead just off the SDC Main Square where they are often found playing. This is their stage farther down behind the homestead. Unfortunately not a lot of people are able to find them down here since it's kind of a forgotten corner of the park.


Little known fact: the park sells rabbits for $20


Chickens, ducks, and geese can be found near the petting zoo.


The petting zoo basically consists of these guys and occasionally a donkey or miniature horse.


This looks fun.


The Wilderness Church holds sing-alongs as well as services on Sunday morning.


Gotta love being in the woods while at a theme park.


These guys were causing trouble on the main square.


So many photos, and I don't feel like I've scratched the surface of what the park has in store. There's still a bunch of Zamperla rides, numerous shows and musical performers, a couple dark rides, an Intamin rapids, a giant cave, and more..


...but let's just finish with a food shot for now and move on to the Outlaw Run photos.


Here is my first photo from the other side of the fence. It was pretty surreal to actually get to cross that barrier after so many long months of watching this construction from the other side.


As you can see, the area is spacious and open, but soon it will be covered with trees and the queue line for Outlaw Run. Much of the queue will be situated around where that tent is.


If you look close, you might be able to make out one of the barrel rolls through the structure. There are much better photos of the rolls out there, but we never went to the other side to get better views. This just shows what an intricate and mesmerizing structure it is that riders will be flying through as they are inverted twice in short succession.


I had to be a noob and get my hand in the shot to block out the sun, but I wanted to include this since it's one of my only close photos of the outside of the station. I really like the station architecture. It just seems like they did a good job evoking the traditional style of the park here instead of trying to modernize it too much.


Here's Brad Thomas, Senior Vice President of SDC Attractions, showing off the impressive lift hill and first drop of Outlaw Run. Behind him you can see the exit pathway, which actually crosses over the base of the lift hill. After crossing this bridge riders will exit through the new gift shop.


Here's the inside of that gift shop so far.


Here's the inside of the loading area of the station. Riders will enter from the ramp on the far side. Notice how the riders in line will have an up-close view of the returning trains, which will have just completed the double barrel roll maneuver.


Also of note: the floor of the station is concrete, but is nicely detailed with a wooden texture that looks surprisingly real in certain lights.


Outside the station we have this replica stagecoach, which will be part of the theming for this ride.


Probably going to cut again here. Stay tuned for the last segment of Outlaw Run Photos.

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Never had the opportunity to visit this place myself, but the atmosphere looks plain awesome. It seems like a way more legit Knott's Berry Farm and a mix of like... Colonial Williamsburg or something.


Kind of a shame that I don't thing the average west coast person even knows this place exists.

Edited by SLUSHIE
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Last round of photos.



Here is the 153 degree reverse banked turn in all it's glory. I know we've seen it a lot before, but this element really is incredible in person. I can't even imagine what it's going to feel like.


Here's the next part of the turn, also known as part of the 'double down' segment.


We head back for a closer view from the other side.


I'm glad they're formally calling this an inversion. Now if we could just get past the whole wood/not wood argument.


Looking through the structure you can see the conclusion of the double down and the start of the double up.


So here's what makes the 153 element so special. Look through the structure and you can see the base of the first drop, then the swoop upward and to the side, then...


...before you know what's happening you're twisting the opposite direction, then you're upside down, and then as you've seen from the other side you turn the other way before diving down and around again. That's a lot of direction changing and inverting and craziness going on at once.


It's not all that apparent in the concept art, but the double down really is a double down. It starts with the dive and curve off the 153 element...


...then there's this little airtime hill...


...and finally it swoops down again even farther into the valley.


This was probably one of the most awesome moments I've had as a coaster enthusiast, getting to stand here next to the incredible first drop of Outlaw Run and see the ride from angles very few people will ever get to see. Standing here invoked feelings like you'd experience on your first glance of Yosemite or some other such natural wonder. It was almost too awesome to be real.


This drop is going to be one of the best coaster experiences anywhere in the world. It is of course the steepest ever on a wooden coaster, not the mention among the steepest ever on a "traditional" coaster in general. Besides steepness, it's also just plain big. At 162ft, it's a bigger drop than almost any other wooden roller coaster out there.


The base of the drop and the bottom of the double down.


After the double down there's the double up, where it lifts out of the valley, hits this little airtime hill, and then goes up again into a wild curve that will sent it through the lift hill.



That's going to be yet another wild turn.


Through the lift. The track will soon dive through this opening.


There will be some nice air on that hill.


After diving through the lift, the track hugs the ground, rockets through another incredible overbanked "wave turn" followed quickly by a great airtime hill, and then the big finale of 2 uphill barrel rolls. Again, that's so much happening so quickly.


Whew, that's all for now until Christmas. Outlaw Run will open in Spring of 2013, even though it will probably be complete before long. Testing may begin in December. Thanks for viewing.

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What a great inside look at Outlaw!


I just cannot fathom that twist inversion 'thing'!


Can't wait to see test runs of it - and then

everybody on it, of course, LOL!


Thanks for sharing all your photos!

Great TR.

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Shame the pictures are so small


Yeah, I've actually got a lot higher resolutions on hand if anyone wants any, but when I post them on here like this I always resize them somewhat small because otherwise it takes forever for them to load. I guess they could go a little bigger these days since most people's connections are faster than they used to be.

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Just wanted to say these are some amazing pics - lots of great views of the behind-the-scenes stuff! Well done!


Also: How did I not know SDC had a Splash Battle? I don't really care for them, but SDC's looks fantastic, surrounded by all that foliage and such. Can't wait to finally get out there next year! (Sad really, considering how close I am.)

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Do they have the whole lift tracked at this point? As in all those pesky holes are covered? It looks like they have at least gotten the track leading out of the station and up the lift as far as I could tell covered with a layer of steel now.

Edited by The Yeti
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Do they have the whole lift tracked at this point? As in all those pesky holes are covered? It looks like they have at least gotten the track leading out of the station and up the lift as far as I could tell covered with a layer of steel now.


That is confirmed--the entire lift hill now has the complete topper track.

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