Arkansas is far off the beaten path. It's one of those places I probably wouldn't visit were it not for TPR and my ongoing search for elusive credits. Having now visited, I can still tell you little about the place: I know it's the boyhood home of Bill Clinton, it's pretty, it has hot springs, it smells like a cross between cow dung and fertilizer - and it has a pretty decent amusement park.
We had a fairly brief stop at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls, since we were on our way to Silver Dollar City where our time was best maximised, but past experience told me that these out of the way parks often have more to offer than meets the eye.
I liked Magic Springs. I can see how the park might want to focus on their water park, but I thought the rides section had plenty to offer and I hope they keep it around and expand on it too. They had a Maurer Söhne SkyLoop for one - we've been on one of these crazy contraptions on the Gold Coast in Australia and it is definitely a thrilling ride experience, with some big Gs at the bottom of the drop and the odd sensation of hanging upside down at 150 feet with lapbars only. I was glad to see it still operating at Magic Springs.
The other coasters are pretty standard, from a non-eventful out and back woodie to a painful SLC and a better than average Arrow mine train, but if I was a local I'd take these rides over water slides any day. Coasters are just an altogether different experience, and with the park's decent flats - including a Zamperla Power Surge and an S&S Double Shot (two of my favourites), along with a log flume - and I see lots of room for them to do positive expansion rather than doing an 'Alabama Adventure' on us.
One last comment: the ride ops and staff here were SO friendly! Inquisitive, talkative and just really nice - the sort of people we always seem to encounter in the South. For example, a staff member, when we passed by their games stall said, "Thanks anyway, have a nice day!" when we turned them down. Very unlike the aggressive attitude you'd see at many other parks (hey Six Flags!).
This photo has been seen before and will probably be seen again...until the world gets more female roller coaster enthusiasts!
Welcome to Arkansas, a state I only recently learned how to pronounce.
We received a very warm welcome to Magic Springs and were given souvenir cups (I still have mine).
Five brand new credits awaited us at Magic Springs! Yay for open X-Coasters.
We wandered through the water park to get to our first credit. Any park with a FlowRider has an asset on their hands.
Some pretty cool slides in the water park.
'Crystal Falls' looked quite tempting.
Arkansas Twister, formerly of Boardwalk and Baseball in Florida.
It was OK. A fairly decent out and back woodie, but not much airtime to be had...
There was a small area for the little ones at Magic Springs.
Nice area of the park.
The lake that sits in the middle of Magic Springs.
Diamond Mine Run is the fancy name for the park's kiddie coaster.
Yay! A Zamperla Power Surge! Great flat ride.
Better still, an S&S Double Shot. This one went by the name of Dr. Dean's Rocket Machine.
The very intimidating X-Coaster...
There is something about vertical lift hills that manages to elicit screams of fear from riders.
You don't see too many hands up on this ride.
I do love an Arrow mine train, and this one was better than average.
This mine train has really whored itself around - from Six Flags St. Louis to Dollywood to Magic Springs. But it feels like it's always been here, with the setting amid the trees.
There was some kind of pirate show going on...
Yay! First SLC of the trip!
We tried every which way to brace ourselves - but it still kicked our asses!
No caption required.
Magic Springs has a couple of water rides, including this very wet shoot-the-chutes.
There was a lot of shade at Magic Springs too, always a welcome component of any park.
The giant wave pool seemed to attract most of the park's visitors today.
Magic Mountain isn't the only park than can YOLO! Silver Dollar City up next - and I'll try to be more prompt with my updates. (Sorry Neil!)
Grest TR! Now I am kind of regret that I haven't take enough photo of Magic Springs. Rushing around for credits and anticipating for Silver Dollar City made me not paying attention to how nice the park was! If I get a chance, GO BACK WITH TPR!
Lots of great pictures from Magic Springs! I didn't take a whole lot of pictures there, but I thought it was a really nice little park. Outside of SDC, they were probably the friendliest employees that we dealt with. Especially the crazy girl running the Arkansas Twister!
Thanks everyone for following along with my TR and apologies for the delay between updates - it's been a busy few months.
I was quite ill in 2010 when we last visited Silver Dollar City with TPR, and it didn't stop me from having a great time. In fact, it was my favourite park of the trip back then - and I can say the same for our visit this time round.
Silver Dollar City just keeps getting better and better. There is something incredibly charming about the place - the beautiful setting, friendly service, working craftsmen, amazing food around every corner and unique rides all coming together to create a world-class park. In fact, along with Knoebel's, this is easily my favourite theme park in the world.
Outlaw Run is the crowning achievement of the park - and what an amazing ride it is! I would compare it to one of my other favourites, El Toro. It's equally insane - a smooth but intense, out of control, wild ride. The first drop is crazy, the airtime and those swooping turns absolutely stunning, and the double heartline roll into the brake run makes for a great finale. We had our first rides at night during an epic ERT session and you could see how good the coaster was by the reactions on the faces of the riders barrelling out of that last heartline roll.
Day two at the park saw patchy weather, and just like our visit to Knoebel's in 2011, it didn't affect our experience whatsoever. The park is too well run for that! We enjoyed a backstage tour of Fire in the Hole, and utilised the park's special Trailblazer passes to get on all the rides. Not that we needed or wanted to rush - this is a park you have to explore and, very importantly, eat your way around! Particular favourites of mine were the cinnamon bread (which is to DIE for!), the delicious skillets and kettle chips. The park also put on an amazing lunch for us. It was some the best food we had on the entire trip.
We didn't do the Marvel Cave tour this time, and due to flooding you couldn't do the round trip anyway, but I highly recommend it to visitors of the park. It is a totally unique experience and a wonderful break from the heat too.
I know I'm raving about Silver Dollar City, and I haven't even gotten to the other rides yet, so I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking...
Welcome to Missouri!
I don't have many photos from our first night at Silver Dollar City, but this one sure brings back memories. Night rides on Outlaw Run were totally epic! And how cool that our visit was on the park's very first midnight closing.
Day 2: On our way to the park we passed by poor old Ozark Wildcat, now SBNO since 2009.
We kicked off the day with a backstage tour of Fire in the Hole, the park's fun coaster/dark ride hybrid.
The nicely-themed station.
TPR ponchos are very in this season.
It was great checking out the maintenance areas.
Fire in the Hole has electrically powered sections and a series of drops, including a splash down finish. A real classic.
We then headed straight back to Outlaw Run!
Outlaw Run, like all the attractions at Silver Dollar City, is carefully themed. Riders are part of the law enforcement tasked to take control back from the outlaws. As explained to us at lunch, this bit of themeing at the entrance is there to advertise that "good guys always win".
The coaster is quite hard to photograph from the pathways, but we got this nice peek of the heartline rolls
If rain really does lubricate coaster track, I say bring it on!
We were all amazed that the park managed to add the second train today - this was just after modifications were made, and they had only been running one train the previous night. We all cheered at this sight!
No ERT for us today, but no matter, the Trailblazer passes got us on multiple times.
TPR are ready to ride!
The speedy lift hill.
That drop...one of the best in the world without a doubt.
A pic we took from the train later in the day. The trees have really grown in since Outlaw Run opened, making it seem even faster!
Time to explore the rest of the park.
There are all sorts of strange things to do at Silver Dollar City...like Elsie the Milk Cow.
The Giant Barn Swing is a well-themed S&S Screamin' Swing.
I love these rides - they're usually quite short, but so much fun.
I thought this was the Ozark Water Tree, but no - that's apparently a real tree that yields a continuous stream of water. I don't recall seeing it, which is typical of the park - they just have so much to see and do.
I love this place!
We wandered in here for another highlight of the day...
Cinnamon bread with extra frosting... This is just so, SO good, it's hard to explain and hard to overrate.
We didn't know about Grandfather's Mansion on our last visit, so were happy to find it this time.
Something sure is up with Grandfather!
They had some great tricks in here.
Every park should have a fun house!
Time to explore some more...
The park's suspension bridge.
Silver Dollar City has a lot of craftsmen demonstrations, such as wood carving.
The smells at Silver Dollar City were just heavenly!
We had to sample some of the food from the cast-iron skillets.
It was fantastic! (Of course!)
The weather started to clear up nicely for us, and it actually got pretty hot.
Ah! Don't tempt me!
Powder Keg was a fantastic, fun launched coaster - and as others on TPR have said, it's quite underrated!
The park ran the ride exceptionally well on our visit, with fast dispatches, significantly reducing what looked like a long line.
We're ready for our blast in the wilderness!
The launch is great, the airtime surprising, the second lift hill unique - all in all, great fun. I wish there were most coasters on the planet like this one!
Like some of the other rides at Silver Dollar City, it was a little hard to photograph...
It was getting hot, so what better way to cool off than some water rides? (I don't have any decent photos of Tom & Huck's River Blast, but we were all surprised at how fun this was!)
We managed to squash five adult men into our log on American Plunge - and got soaked!
Lost River of the Ozarks was very popular with the crowds, but fortunately the Trailblazer passes saved the day yet again.
The public seem to love rapids rides, and so do I!
Lost River of the Ozarks has some interesting features, including a cool tunnel.
I haven't forgotten about B&M's contribution to Silver Dollar City.
Wildfire is a fun ride...and the first drop is particularly good, especially in the back, where your butt will not touch the seat the whole way down.
It also has one of the best backdrops of any coaster in the world!
Heading into the cobra roll.
It only has a couple of jolts (the corkscrew, as I recall, walloped my ears).
It was time for lunch, and WHAT a lunch we had. Thanks Silver Dollar City!
After lunch we wandered over to the Grand Exposition area to watch TPR members embarrass themselves on the kiddie coaster.
But a credit's a credit, right?
It's a really beautiful area with lots of flat rides.
Some nice rides for the little ones too.
The park spends months covering their buildings with Christmas lights. This undoubtedly looks stunning at night!
We checked out Geyser Gulch.
It's a really fun area for both kids and adults.
There were two large buildings with plenty to explore, and lots and lots of balls!
We also rode the Flooded Mine, a shooting dark ride. Word has it that it may not be around for much longer, at least in its current form.
I loved the Americana store!
Is it time for more food yet?
The park had an enormous candy store.
We brought quite a lot of candy from here!
Finally, a shout out to one of the best Arrow mine trains in the world - Thunderation!
It's a shame the park doesn't run some of the cars backwards like they used to, but this is still a great ride. It picks up some really good speed, and even has (gasp!) airtime.
Thanks Silver Dollar City for a truly wonderful day!
Last edited by mattnz on Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:06 am.
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