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Photo TR: Coaster Palooza X.....Midwest Excursion

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Sigh... it seems like Great America has gotten worse this year! Whirligig didn't look like it was open, American Eagle didn't open with the park (and has recently been running only one side... boo, hiss!), AE only is forwards now, Triple Play's center is down in SFOT for this season, they crappified their IMAX theatre up, and... ugh. It's just bad.

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Does anyone else eat the hell out of Coney Dogs while at King's Island? Or is it just me that eats those sick and twisted things???


I love Skyline Chili's coneys. I'm lucky to have one of those close to me.


Heck yeah. I live for Skyline.

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Day 8 – Friday – Silver Dollar City, Showboat Belle and Celebration City here we come!!!! OMG, what a day! We arrived at SDC before 9:30am (they open at 9:30) and paid $5 to park in the season pass holder’s preferred lot right up front! We bought season tickets before our trip. We went into the park through the season pass entrance also and went straight to Powder Keg, which was a walk up. We rode it 3 times, once in the front and once in the back. The launch is pretty good. I like the second lift hill. There was a lot of airtime in the back and the view from up there was incredible. We went to Fire-in-the-Hole next and got pretty wet because we were in the front row. Next we went to ride Wildfire. We got on this one 3 times too. Wildfire is a floorless that is similar to Medusa at SFMW and SFGAdv. We walked around the park a little and went to their new area Great Exposition. They have a kiddie coaster, but the line was pretty long. I rode their disk-o coaster instead, yes there was another disk-o coaster on this trip. It is called Electro-Spin. I have ridden three of these this year and this one had a little more kick to it than the other two (Zamperla at Mt. Olympus and Survivor at PGA). They also had a ride called the Racing Regatta, which looked more like the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland only outside. They had a BBQ and Bluegrass festival going on too. It was ending on Sunday. The BBQ was in full swing as you entered Grand Exposition. They had a humongous eating area right in the front. The bluegrass was on nearly every stage throughout the park. We went to Thunderation next. Not much to say here except you gotta ride it if you haven’t. We wanted to ride the train, but we kept missing it. We decided to ride the Flooded Mine next. It is a dark ride in a boat, but you get to shoot targets that give you a score on your gun. It’s interesting and you don’t get wet, just dirty from the gun’s cord. Finally we were able to ride the train. The station was really crowded because they take a lunch break for a half hour before the 2 o’clock train. After the train ride, we went to the front to leave by 3pm for our cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle at 4pm. This is a really great cruise, good food, and awesome entertainment. The people are just so friendly there. The cruise ended around 6:30 and Celebration City is open until 10pm with the fireworks starting around 9:30. We rode the Wildcat a few times along with their other beat you up coasters. The Jack Rabbit and Thunderbolt aren’t the most comfortable coasters to be on. We also did the Ferris wheel along with the drop tower and other rides. The fireworks show is really good. They incorporate a hologram type movie on the rocks along with fire, fireworks, and lasers. It is a must see if you get the chance. You can’t see it from anywhere else but the grassy area at the end of their boardwalk. We got back in enough time to have a beer at the Pizza Hut that is right next door to the Lake View Inn.


We liked the Wildcat though


This one too.


Very painful rollercoasters


The day ain't over yet, let's go to....


The end of the show....


This was the Russian couple. They have been performing there for 9 years


They were just moving so fast, but I had to click a photo


It was from Phantom of the Opera


This lady could sing very well


Some blurry pictures coming up


but go ahead and try to put your coat on.


No Gyendolynne, it isn't too windy....


The Captain was steering the ship with his foot


Some incredible views...


Nope, didn't drop the camera :)


We walked around the ship to take some pictures


It was really nice to just relax on the cruise. Dinner was included with the show too.


There are a number of tours your can take in Branson. This one is actually a land and water ride. We saw it just dive into the water, I missed the pic though.


This is the stage


and being us, we had to get it...


You can buy your picture they take once you get on board


Hey we're on board


We went to ride the Showboat Branson Belle for their 4pm cruise


Here's our Wildfire on-ride photo


The dog perked up a little bit after a gunshot


That's where they buried MA


The dog on the porch seemed a little exhausted


Good, at least our guy on the left has a gun


That's the crooks home


Oh man! We finally get on this and we're being robbed!


We finally got on the train after missing it 3 times in a row!


Here is the flooded mine ride


I had to throw Gyendolynne in the stocks after that ride


Another Jam packed queue. This day was great!


TARNATION....Oh I mean Thunderation


but this is what is was called


This reminded me of the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland


I'm looking a little bored, no it's not a coaster


Disk-O Coaster


Here is the BBQ part of it. This was in their new Grand Exposition area.


More bluegrass music


This shirt cracked me up!


This is where they were performing. It is funny because I know a place called Dockside in Orlando, Florida


The BBQ and Bluegrass festival was also going on....sorry about the blurry picture, there will be a couple more. ;)


They really know how to get some good food going!


mmmmm....Good cookin'


The queue may look bad, but it was only 1 train wait for the front seat


Here we are going to ride wildfire


This is inside Fire in the Hole


That's her again going down the hill


There's Gyendolynne all the way to the left.


again, just some neat theming for the ride


Here is the empty queue, pretty much


Yep, here it is...


Hey, they have an on-ride photo


Neat theming


Time for the first coaster




Make sure all firearms are left in your vehicle


We parked right down there in the preferred season pass parking for $5

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Continuing with the pictures, thank for reading!


and if you're not too tired....


This one is good too


RIDE IT!!!!!


end of the day, beers at Pizza Hut next to the hotel. :)


and fireworks with a little bit of a laser light show


There was fire too!


This was so neat with the holograms against the rocks


Time for the fireworks show


I do my best to fill it in


Hey, it's a big chair


Typical muscle shot.


No problem, I think we will


Yeah, yeah....

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Great pictures. I have enjoyed your trip report so far. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed your time in Branson. In my opinion, Branson is a wonderful place.


The Branson Belle is one of my favorites also. In fact I just did it in April. The singers put on a good show but I really enjoyed the comedian (Todd Oliver). Was he there for your show?

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Thanks I am glad you like it. I have just a couple more days to add and a video. Hopefully I will get some more time soon to add them.


Yes, Todd Oliver was there. Very good show. He had a new dog with him.


Bob Nichols hosted and the Showstoppers were really great! They can sing so beautifully.


Andrei and Marina were the Russian couple that just put on a fantastic show. They wrap around each other and do some very acrobatic acts on a small stage.

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Day 9 – Saturday – SDC and World’s of Fun (I will take what Robb and Elissa say about this and call it the World’s of NO Fun!). We went to SDC one last time before we left to ride Powder Keg and Wildfire a few times. Powder Keg was running 3 trains! Their operations are great! Wildfire had a 2 train operation still, but there was any wait for that either. I rode it once and then we went back up front. Marvel Caverns is near the entrance and if you have an hour to and hour and a half to spare, we definitely recommend this. We went to the Luray Caverns in Virginia last year and this place is special too. It is a little cramped, but if you don’t have a problem stooping down, please go on this tour. I can’t say anything more on this. You have to see it.

Our tour takes us to our final place before heading home, Kansas City, Missouri for the World’s of Fun. I will say this place is terrible. I read what Robb and Elissa wrote about this place before and it is all that. To start off, we get there and hand our season passes from Cedar Point to guest services and the kid looks at it and gives a big huff, like he can’t be put out to process these passes. He takes out 2 forms which he has to fill in his name, my name, my season pass number and circle the park from which we came from (Cedar Point). I can’t believe how hard that was! Next we walk up to the front entrance. There are no metal detectors or bag inspections. There are 3 people working and only one “entrance”. The other 2 people are just sitting there, so we walked up to them to hand them our PAPER entrance (yes not ticket) and they said you’ll have to wait in that line to get in. There is only one entrance! It is 5pm at this point, the park closes at 10pm and you have 1 entrance and 5 exits that are being tended to by 2 people. I tried to be okay about all this because we just got there. Gyendolynne went to the 1st bathroom we could find and when she came out, she said it was so disgusting in there. The other bathrooms weren’t any better. The one that I went in was actually flooded a little and there were some things on the ground. There was a humongous dryer on the ground, but why didn’t they just close the bathroom until it was all cleaned up? Maybe because none of the bathrooms are clean there and they don’t know what a clean bathroom is! We went straight to Spinning Dragons after that, but the line was really long, as it was with the Patriot. We figured every line would be long and we should just head to the back to ride the rides and work our way up front. We rode Timber Wolf first in the front row, then went to Steel Force, oh I mean Mamba. Mamba’s line wasn’t long at all. They were running 3 trains! We were able to ride it twice in 45 minutes, once in the front and then in the back. As we headed back up front, we passed by Boomerang and the line was huge! I couldn’t believe all these people waiting for that ride. The Patriot’s queue was still pretty long. The attendant at the beginning of the line was good enough to tell us it was an hour wait from her. They were running 2 trains. This place had the most security of any area of the park and we still didn’t feel safe. The Patriot reminds us a lot of Top Gun at PGA without the water. I think Top Gun is a little faster too. That is about the best that I can explain it. There have been so many other reports on it, I don’t want to get redundant. We had dinner at the Lonestar and checked into our hotel, which was the Embassy Suites. This hotel was awesome, we were in the Norwood Suite, right next door to the Presidential Suite. This leads to our question: Because we had a bad hotel in Branson, and a great hotel in Kansas City, but SDC is awesome and WofFun sucks, would you rather have a great hotel and a terrible park, or a great park and terrible hotel? Ultimately we all would love to have great hotels and great parks, but you sometimes come up with craps (a gambling term).


Cool room


Embassy Suites hotel, the Norwood Suite right next to the Presidential Suite.


Good night WofFun


What I will say about Patriot is that it reminded us both of Top Gun at PGA. It is a similar layout. If they had water at the end, we thought we would buzz it.


Mamba, pretty good ride. Just like Steel Force at Dorney Park, go figure?


On-Ride photo! The guy behind us was a little scared.


That looks like an hour....it turned out to be 45 minutes. :)


With drink in hand, we are about to wait our 1 hour to ride Patriot


NO WAY! Boomerang???


What is this line for?


Steel Force....I mean MAMBA


If you can't take it, leave through this exit.


First ride at WofFun


We'll come back for you


We won't be riding this on the trip.


The park is a little crowded


It was 4pm and they had one person taking tickets and 2 people just sitting in other aisles not letting you through and not taking tickets.


This may look like a fun happy park, but.....


Good-bye Silver Dollar City, we'll miss you!


Always something to see


Looking straight down


Looking straight up


More random pics


Another passage


Here's a close up


Gyendolynne was interested in the structure behind her.


Unfortunately I didn't find any new passages


If you make it through, you can name the passage after yourself....


Looking forward to going up those steps


A lot of stooping going on


This place is just incredible


Another one looking over the edge


Random cave picture


That is where we started. This is so big.


A cave picture!


I took the previous picture on top of the structure on the right. This is a better shot of how big the opening is and how deep the cave is


That is looking straight up at the opening where an indian and a bear fell through years ago


They give you a lot of warnings about how many steps it is and how steep it is.


This is the 1 hour tour map


This was very interesting and there wasn't an added cost for it


We went through Marvel Cave




Oh dear lord! Should I hold on?


We thought this waterfall was neat, it is by Wildfire


I caught it just as the explosion went off!


Powder Keg, a little busier, but they were running 3 trains!


Ain't that the truth

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Man it's amazing how long those lines are at WoF. I was actually just there last Friday (could have been the day before you). It was dead, everything was almost a walk-on. The longest wait was probably for Spinning Dragons at like 10 minutes.


Just a little weird to see how the crowds differed from Friday to Saturday.

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Silver Dollar City and Celebration City were all walk-ons on Friday too. Saturdays are usually crowded for Amusement Parks. I will post what happened on Sunday soon, as well as post a video of Sea Dragon from Wyandot Lake.


It takes a lot to go through hundreds of pictures and create a trip report.


I am glad you're enjoying it so far. We had a really good time!

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Glad you had a good trip Rick. I wish we could of hit up some of the other parks you did. The amount of driving you did still must of been crazy, it seems like you guys were all over the place.


Hit me up when you get a chance.


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^Nice seeing you yesterday Ryan. I can't believe how many pics you have to go through. I will hopefully have the last day of this trip up by Monday.


Rick, It was good to see you too. It's nice to just walk around and relax for a little bit, sometimes at the park it can be so chaotic like today.



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