SDCFans Forums

Silver Dollar City & Celebration City Discussion => General Silver Dollar City Talk => Topic started by: mhguy77 on March 15, 2018, 07:47:21 AM

Title: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on March 15, 2018, 07:47:21 AM

What lucky SDC Members have been to SDC? and how was your day?  Share your experience and let us live vicariously if not a little jealously through you.  Help us to take a little break from our day, dreaming about the fun you had.
This is the spot to share!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on March 15, 2018, 07:48:30 AM
Anyone there opening day?  How were the lines for the new coaster?  I cant wait for spring so everything starts to green up.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 15, 2018, 09:59:36 AM
We were there yesterday. Got there at opening and waited 2.5 hours to get on TT. It was a great ride but I will not be waiting that long again. At the 2nd level before you go up to the 3rd they tell you which row to get in. The idea is when you go up it’s then your turn to get on. The problem was once you got up there people were just getting in whatever row they wanted so the result was you ended up having to wait to get in your correct row while empty seats went out. This slowed things down quite a bit. The Park was not all that busy but after TT we went to PK. Ended up in that line about 20 minutes when they had an issue and had to change trains. So ended up waiting over an hour in that line. Rode a couple more rides then left about 3. Got back today, got to park about 30 minutes before opening. We ended up a way back from the rope but soon it was piled up alll the way up the hill to the square. We figured we would hit TT again real quick and should be able to get thru it in about 30 minutes or less. So at rope drop of course everyone was headed there. It took 30 minutes to get down the stairs because as soon as you enter the building they are stopping everyone to take their pic in front of the green screen area. Totally rediculous and slows the line way down. We are currently waiting in the line on level 2. It’s been right at 30 minutes and the first train just went. We will be back tomorrow but wil be skipping TT.  They really need to do away with this photo thing, at least for now while the lines are so long.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 15, 2018, 10:02:50 AM
To further add, yesterday they delayed opening TT because temp was under 41but today it’s 50+ and that train they just sent was empty. I will say yesterday when we finally made it up top about every train coming back in before it left I saw guys checking things on and under them and either making adjustments or tightening or doing something. Not sure. Hope this is not another one that breaks down all the time like PK.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 15, 2018, 10:25:59 AM
Well an hour after opening looks like they finally got whatever the issue was fixed and are now sending out riders.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 15, 2018, 11:07:15 AM
So it was about a 25 minute wait once they actually got the thing going. That was from close to the back of level 2. When we got off the line was all the way out the building up the stairs and up the hill. This also leads t long wait times on TNT. It’s showing a 60 minute wait.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on March 15, 2018, 11:24:32 AM
Not surprising that there are a few hiccups here and there. Seems like it is doing pretty well overall. Showing about a 2 and a half hour wait again now.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 15, 2018, 11:39:43 AM
I saw guys checking things on and under them and either making adjustments or tightening or doing something. Not sure. Hope this is not another one that breaks down all the time like PK.

Probalby no real problems, there will be lots of tweaks and adjustments to be made under everyday usage.. 
You can "test" and "prerun" all you want..   BUT nothing is the same as people lined up and wanting to ride and ride and ride and.................................
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 15, 2018, 11:47:56 AM
Yes that’s true. Once it gets going the line moves pretty good. The park seems super busy right now. The line for the swing is all the way out the building. We were going to ride PK but the line was all the way out the buillding and it appeared to be broke down again.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 15, 2018, 04:04:46 PM
The park was a mad house today. Insane crowds. Not as bad as Christmas though. Tons and tons of people with trailblazer passes. I have never seen so many people with passes. Finally decided to wait for PK which showed a 30 minute wait ended up being over an hour because a long line of trailblazers kept filllig up the trains. I guess they paid for it so more power to them. I am seriously considering getting a season pass one, well 3 of them that is. Was a very nice weather day for sure.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on March 17, 2018, 11:59:48 AM
Woof, everyone is here for the coasters today. I knew TT would have a big line, but Thunderation is over an hour and even wildfire is using most of the full downstairs queue. Haven't waited through this in a few years.

April should be a nice time to visit. I would come back next month, but I'll wait for the ACE spring convention to get the TT exclusive ride time.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on March 17, 2018, 01:23:38 PM
Quote
The park was a mad house today. Insane crowds. Not as bad as Christmas though. Tons and tons of people with trailblazer passes. I have never seen so many people with passes. Finally decided to wait for PK which showed a 30 minute wait ended up being over an hour because a long line of trailblazers kept filllig up the trains. I guess they paid for it so more power to them. I am seriously considering getting a season pass one, well 3 of them that is. Was a very nice weather day for sure.

Maybe some of our "citizens" can clarify, I was always under the understanding the trailblazers were very limited, only a certain amount sold daily.  How are they policing this?  If you have a Seasons pass trailblazer do you have unlimited times on the coaster?  How do they know you havent passed off your trailblazer?  This could become a problem.  Maybe like Disney they need to modify the plan to a (come back in 10 min) and you can ride plan.   I think when WDW does this they are able to slip them through because they have a larger RPH count to begin with.  What are your thoughts?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 17, 2018, 02:53:11 PM
@ MHguy.  go here to get part of your answers.....

https://www.silverdollarcity.com/theme-park/Tickets/Ticket-Add-Ons
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on March 17, 2018, 05:15:25 PM
Sorry can’t cut and paste Sand I am at work but as okibenz said powder keg had a long line of trailblazers.  Up to this point SDC has kept this controlled but it sounds like they are loosening up the # they are willing to sell.  I was skeptical of the pass but then after a few years never really noticed any hindered effort to get on the rides as a standard customer.  Okiebenz seems to have encountered a problem.  I wonder how they have changed the internal policy.   I was there during the Coater Christmas and there were 185 of us, I didn’t see any build up of trailblazers at the rides.  Sounds like there might be more passes in circulation.  This will be curious to watch.
Remember “All Pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal”
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 17, 2018, 07:14:15 PM
MHguy..  here you go....

#1 Season Pass-
Blaze to the front of the line on your favorite rides all year long for one low price! The 2018 Trailblazer Season Pass gives you unlimited front-of-the-line access for the following rides each time you visit:

Outlaw Run®
WildFire®
PowderKeg®
FireFall
The GIANT Barn Swing
Thunderation
Fire-In-The-Hole
Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train
Electro Spin
Magnificent Wave Carousel
American Plunge
Lost River of the Ozarks
Tom & Huck's RiverBlast
Additionally, TrailBlazer Season Pass holders will be able to blaze to the front of the line for the all-new TimeTraveler™ roller coaster once per operating day.

The 2018 Trailblazer Season Pass is just $165 plus tax per person. A limited number are available - Order Yours Today!

#2 Daily PAsses-
Super TrailBlazer
$70 plus tax
Unlimited rides for one single day

TrailBlazer
$40 plus tax
Use up to 8 times for one single day


Eligible rides: Outlaw Run®, WildFire®, PowderKeg®, FireFall, The Giant Barn Swing, Thunderation, Fire-In-The-Hole, Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train, Electro Spin, Magnificent Wave Carousel, American Plunge, Lost River of the Ozarks, Tom & Huck's RiverBlast.

Additionally, TrailBlazer and Super TrailBlazer pass holders will be able to blaze to the front of the line for the all-new TimeTraveler™ roller coaster once per operating day.

 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on March 18, 2018, 09:52:25 AM
I guess to sum up my concern.  I would ask why SDC was out of Preferred parking seasons passes 2 weeks after they went up for sale but they have "still" not run out of Seasons pass trailblazers?  The number of Seasons pass trailblazers sold governed by what, Greed?  or keeping a balance?  I have not read reports up to this year of people mentioning a tangible wait increase to ride because of the "Trailblazer' or as I like to call it  "paying to break the rules" pass.   SDC better figure out how to hold back these folks till every 3rd or 4th train and let several ride at once.  I believe the immediate ride program if continued unabated will overload the system and you will have unhappy regular pay visitors.   Getting greedy doesn't work in the end.   Disney is starting to get public fan pushback to money grabbing.
SDC wants to be careful while they are making money.  They are starting to get some big-time attention in the amusement world they don't want to have any avoidable short sited missteps.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Coaster on March 18, 2018, 10:53:41 AM
I have never seen the park as crowded in March as it was yesterday. I think TT definitely boosted those numbers, but also it turned out to be a great weather day. I think SDC may be in for another record setting year attendance wise!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 18, 2018, 01:12:35 PM
I have never in years pass notice a long buildup of trailblazers in line at rides before.  You would see one every now and then come thru but nothing like I was when we were there.  So we went back Friday and had breakfast at the Mill before opening.  We stayed until noon and the crowds were pretty light.  We walked on all of the rides we rode, all of the other coasters, barn swing, etc.  We even got to walk onto PK a couple of times in a row. I think the cooler temps and scattered rain that morning kept it light.  We then headed over toward valley road a little before were were going to leave because the app said TT was 0 minute wait.  It lied.  We started down the stairs and got to where the line was which was about half way down the stairs I guess.  I figured it was backed up due to the picture taking going on when you first go in.  I figured the bottom level would be clear and we might have a 20-30 minute wait despite the app saying 0 minutes.  As we are going down I notice people coming back up as they have given up.  When we got down far enough to see into the bottom level I could see the entire thing was full.  We decided it was not worth it and left.  Most of the people in the park that day were in the TT TNT area.  All in all Friday was a good day except for the valley road area.  Just our of curiosity I had been checking the app off and on today and every time I have checked the TT shows temp closed.  I bet there are a lot of angry people waiting in that line.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on March 18, 2018, 08:46:17 PM
I have never seen the park as crowded in March as it was yesterday. I think TT definitely boosted those numbers, but also it turned out to be a great weather day. I think SDC may be in for another record setting year attendance wise!

It was this crowded opening weekend for Outlaw Run too
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on March 19, 2018, 10:33:32 AM
For a major ride opening, it really wasn't that bad. I honestly expected the line to go up to the square. It did wrap around past the gift shop going the other way immediately after opening Saturday, and it did consistently back up past the ride sign in front all day. I also witnessed a lot more Trailblazers than I've ever seen, but for "Spring Ride Days" I guess that's to be expected. Wildfire had a 30+ minute wait, PK's line often stretched past it's archway, and both Thunderation and FITH were filling their queue lines. OR even filled a few switchbacks under the tent.

We will be back to normal operations before long. Once there's some more stuff going on and the newness of TT wears off a tad, the park will be more fun again. It's kind of depressing with so few of the shops open and not a lot going on besides people waiting in lines. Like I said earlier, April will be a GREAT time to visit this year. Summer will probably be pretty busy, and I don't even want to think about Christmas right now.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 19, 2018, 12:18:14 PM
One thing I noticed that I forgot to mention is that is seems to me a lot of the food prices have gone up this year.  It seemed like the items at the BBQ place down by the river have gone up.  The pizza place seems to gone up I believe.  The Mine is now $16.99.  I thought it was $14.xx last year, which was up from $12.xx from the year before I believe.  Anyway, just an observation. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 20, 2018, 12:02:39 PM
Of course.. 
Food prices up 10-15%?   
SP prices were up about the same..
Anyone notice any other increases?  Drinks?     

Have to pay for that new coaster somehow!!.   LOL   ::) ::)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 20, 2018, 02:51:44 PM
I will say the new food places by TT seems pretty darn expensive to me.  I will also say at $16.99 I will not be eating a the Mine or Mill anymore.  We usually leave around 2 anyway when the crowds start getting big and will just go to Grand Country for buy 1 get 1 half off.  Drink prices were the same from what I can tell, at least for our grandfathered refill cups.  Buying new ones was $14.99 IIRC, which I am not sure if that is the same price or not.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HumphreyHawk on March 22, 2018, 01:43:02 PM
It’s crazy busy today....Thursday of spring break.  2.5 hr wait on TT.  The wait times on the app are not even close to being right.  0 time listed on FM but the line is out to the train station.  Ate at the new gator patch....good skillet.  Noticed they updated the bathrooms by the pix plaza...they look a lot better.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: dkparks on March 22, 2018, 04:54:04 PM
Has anyone noticed where they are parking motorcycles this year? A couple years ago, the parking was on the left along the fence after you turned right at the main entrance. Then they moved them the the back of the greatly expanded handicap parking. Just asking as I will be visiting via 2 wheels next month.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 22, 2018, 05:28:47 PM
Last year they were using both areas..  I didnt see any pattern..  maybe just pull in and park..??
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Joy on March 22, 2018, 06:23:35 PM
I am so excited to hear that Flooded Mine is getting a lot of riders! I know it seems to be even more buried with the new buildings, but at the same time, anyone who sits down to eat is likely to see the ride and think "oh hey, we should ride that".
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on March 22, 2018, 09:27:12 PM
Quote
I am so excited to hear that Flooded Mine is getting a lot of riders! I know it seems to be even more buried with the new buildings, but at the same time, anyone who sits down to eat is likely to see the ride and think "oh hey, we should ride that".
Boy I sure hope you are right.  I have ridden that ride since I was old enough to ride on my own 30+ years and FM is a classic.  The guys there now take a lot of pride in their work and I hope they get lots of praises.   I hope SDC leave FM and FITH alone or just adds.  A rebuild concerns me because its the oldness that is the ride to me.  Recreations normally disappoint me, maybe I am just nostalgic and should wonder at the change.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HumphreyHawk on March 23, 2018, 11:03:11 AM
Trip Report from yesterday...

Good to be back in the city.  I took a season off last year so I haven't been since Christmas 2016.  Arrived at the park around 8:45 to a chilly 38 degree tram ride from Stop 2.  Meet up with a family that shared some passes for us (Thanks Olsen's)....they are die hard SDC pass holders and where ready to line up for TT as soon as we got through the gates at 9.  I wrangled by tentative 13yo to ride it with me with the help of the kids from the other family.  The had the ropes up behind the TT queue so we jumped in line before 9:30.  Though we where in a pretty good spot line up just outside the entrance with it moving.  Took the picture and the line stopped for us right before the stairs to the 2nd floor.  We enjoyed the pop/bluegrass music and the 1st floor line even erupted in the chorus of "freefalling" briefly.  I figured the ride was delayed due to temp but no one was updating the line.  Around 9:45 the announced they where warm enough to start testing with an eruption of claps from the building.  I thought the queue and building was pretty awesome....sure it could have been more (it always can be) but I thought is was great.  Got lined up and headed upstairs with our group of 5.  But immediate got mixed-up upstairs because one of the trains back cars restraints weren't working.  My daughter and I started backwards on the 3rd car....twisted around to take the first drop sideways!!!  Took both loops sideways.  My usually chicken of rides daughter yelled "LETS DO IT AGAIN!!", "THIS IS MY FAVORITE RIDE EVER", "I like going upside down".  Ended up waiting a little over 2 hours for the ride....45min of that waiting on temps and testing.

Ate at the Tator patch and the family sat around the new tables by the FM exit.  The layout is done well but it does feel extremely packed and crowded.  Food was good.  We went around the corner and rode FM.  The line was out the front by the train station.  The SDC app listed FM with a 0 wait time.  Even with that line it only took 15-20 mins to ride.  The trained marksmen in our group easy won....lol.  Overheard a GP talking about this ride possible being removed with their friend commenting back "they better not".

Went up to grand exposition for some of the younger ones favorite rides.  This is when I confirmed that the whole park was just crazy....not just TT area.  It was about as busy as I have every saw it.  Only a couple of Christmas weekends could match the mass of humanity that I had experienced before.  We spend 2 hours in GE...the kids split up and only got 3-4 rides in between the groups in 2 hours.  We headed over to FL but the lines where insane....kids played in the barn for a few then we risked trying Barn swing and OR.  Barn swings line spilled out into the path.  OR was listed as a 90min wait and they had the overflow lines beside the building backed up.  We moved on.....if we where going to wait....we'd wait on FiTH.  FiTH's line was backed up and crossed lines with the Powder Keg line up the hill!!!!  Longest I ever seen it.  Passed them both....headed to WF since my daughter was begging me to ride it for the first time.  Listed as a 60min wait the line was right at the start of the building.  Jackpot I thought....this shouldn't be too bad. 

Did you guys know that WF has a 2nd floor waiting que????  wraps around the gift shop?  I've rode this ride 30+ times and never had to use it.  Longest wait I've ever had for WF....ended up taking about 45mins and my 13yo got her first WF ride!!!  She loved it.  I finally have a coaster rider in my family!!!

We where done at that point.  Decided to hit Grandfathers mansion on the way out.  I of course stopped by the Mill to get some bread when the worst news of all was announced as I waited in line.  "Sorry folks, just sold the last cinnamon bread....I'll have fresh bread in 1.5 hours".  I walked up to the register and told him..."I'll wait....it's on of the shortest waits in the park right now".....he laughed. 

Random thoughts:
The intersection around the Casey Dugout, kettle corn, EH is just getting worse.  The lines from the food places kill the flow of traffic.  Same issues around the saloon at the other corner of the park.  It's very frustrating.
Tram driver 'jack-knifed' a tram on our way out.  They had to call for a backup driver to do some driving magic to fix it.
I'd be curious to hear the total numbers for today.  I assume it was high but not record levels.  The crowd has nothing to do but ride rides right now.


Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on March 23, 2018, 08:29:18 PM
It’s crazy busy today....Thursday of spring break.  2.5 hr wait on TT.  The wait times on the app are not even close to being right.  0 time listed on FM but the line is out to the train station.

Sounds like they need a Waze version of the park apps, with real-time updates by users.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on March 24, 2018, 07:34:22 AM
Quote
I'd be curious to hear the total numbers for today.  I assume it was high but not record levels.  The crowd has nothing to do but ride rides right now.
I have stayed away this year thus far because of this very reason.  Each year I go early in the season I note the lack of greenery, the crowds and the lack of anything else to do but stand in line.  Even on the weekends when they know they will be busy you would think they would have some outside music or something, the city seems half alive and it really shows when its busy.  SDC may be getting to the point they will have to step up the game as the crowds appear to be stepping up.  You have to supply your customers with things to do and the shops / shows being closed are not helpful. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on March 24, 2018, 09:10:37 AM
That's also the reason we don't do Spring Break Days anymore.  I took an email survey sent from SDC yesterday and really blasted them on the non-festival shows- both the lack of quality and quantity.  You would think they would add more non-ride things to do during March just to keep the social media complaining of long ride wait times down. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: busymom4kc on March 24, 2018, 09:36:05 AM
Our daughter was there a week ago yesterday and the wait times were nil. TT was only a 25 minute wait.  Our granddaughter was there Wed and wait times were small. Heading there right now. I have on a “Silly rabbit Easter is for Jesus” shirt. Say hello if you see us.

I agree with the posters who are complaining about the lack of entertainment during “Spring Break Days”. Also half of  stores are closed. Understand it’s a cost saving measure, but dang.

Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: U Smell Smoke on March 24, 2018, 03:30:36 PM
We used to travel every year at spring break and preferred going to Dollywood over Silver Dollar City for the simple fact that when Dollywood opens for the season they are "open".  They jump right into a festival with a full slate of shows and all the restaurants/shops open. We had fun at SDC when we used to go over break 5 or so years ago but it seemed the crowds were more manageable. Must admit though I always had a weird feeling walking around SDC with so many things closed.  With crowds growing every spring, maybe it's time to re-evaluate and open full bore.  Then again, if people are coming anyway why spend the extra money.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: milhouse on March 24, 2018, 04:37:55 PM
I would be really interested in seeing the second floor of Wildfire queue. Pictures anyone?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on March 24, 2018, 06:41:48 PM
Yeah I am definitely waiting to make my next visit in mid April, and I am looking forward to see how TT looks once some greenery grows in. Wished they had at least threw down some hay or some kind of landscaping around the construction area though as it is pretty ugly right now. I am however glad they kept SOME of the mature trees in and around the layout.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HumphreyHawk on March 24, 2018, 07:12:04 PM
Only took one pic...hope it uploads.  From above the gift shop.  It really did feel like I got to explore a abandoned part of the park....lol.  Crazy to see such great theming go to waste.  You can see the bottom of the boat from the shop....but I've never see the top....or even noticed the boat from the shop.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on March 24, 2018, 08:02:15 PM
Only took one pic...hope it uploads.  From above the gift shop.  It really did feel like I got to explore a abandoned part of the park....lol.  Crazy to see such great theming go to waste.  You can see the bottom of the boat from the shop....but I've never see the top....or even noticed the boat from the shop.

Go during Young Heathens Weekend and you will
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: milhouse on March 24, 2018, 08:41:16 PM
Never even knew there was a boat! Thanks for the pic!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on March 24, 2018, 09:30:59 PM
Only took one pic...hope it uploads.  From above the gift shop.  It really did feel like I got to explore a abandoned part of the park....lol.  Crazy to see such great theming go to waste.  You can see the bottom of the boat from the shop....but I've never see the top....or even noticed the boat from the shop.

Haha Thats awesome seeing it from another angle! Reminds me of the Rescue Rangers ship from the old 80's cartoon. :) I keep forgetting that thing exists in the Wildfire building, but yeah look up when you are in the gift shop section if any of you have missed it on previous visits.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HumphreyHawk on March 24, 2018, 09:59:27 PM
Only took one pic...hope it uploads.  From above the gift shop.  It really did feel like I got to explore a abandoned part of the park....lol.  Crazy to see such great theming go to waste.  You can see the bottom of the boat from the shop....but I've never see the top....or even noticed the boat from the shop.

Haha Thats awesome seeing it from another angle! Reminds me of the Rescue Rangers ship from the old 80's cartoon. :) I keep forgetting that thing exists in the Wildfire building, but yeah look up when you are in the gift shop section if any of you have missed it on previous visits.

Yes...Rescue Rangers...I was trying to think of what it reminded me of.  Line is full of additional invention drafts on the walls.  Some very detailed and creative....kind of wish I'd took some pics of them now.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HumphreyHawk on March 24, 2018, 10:03:45 PM
Only took one pic...hope it uploads.  From above the gift shop.  It really did feel like I got to explore a abandoned part of the park....lol.  Crazy to see such great theming go to waste.  You can see the bottom of the boat from the shop....but I've never see the top....or even noticed the boat from the shop.

Go during Young Heathens Weekend and you will

You must work with the young heathens regularly...lol  I know your talking about the Christians week.  I assume the local Mizzou schools where out for spring break too....but I saw at least 30 people from the little AR town I live in included two of my kids teachers.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: milhouse on March 24, 2018, 10:55:08 PM
Only took one pic...hope it uploads.  From above the gift shop.  It really did feel like I got to explore a abandoned part of the park....lol.  Crazy to see such great theming go to waste.  You can see the bottom of the boat from the shop....but I've never see the top....or even noticed the boat from the shop.

Go during Young Heathens Weekend and you will

You must work with the young heathens regularly...lol  I know your talking about the Christians week.  I assume the local Mizzou schools where out for spring break too....but I saw at least 30 people from the little AR town I live in included two of my kids teachers.

How close to Jonesboro do you live? Several of my Facebook friends from town were there today!!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: DeweyBald on March 25, 2018, 10:36:42 AM
Was at the city last Thursday (22nd) and it was insane with the amount of people.  As we were leaving, I asked the lady at the candy shop what the number was and she said it was over 20k.  She went on to say "the bad part was they were only expecting about 11k!"  The PTB really needs to address this  partial opening stuff as the crowd has nothing to do but wait in line.  I had 6 other people with me wanting to ride TT, but when they heard the wait time was between 2 1/2 and 3 hours...we walked on by.  Even the teenagers agreed that it was crazy to wait in line for 3 hours to ride a 1 minute ride!  We hit FM early and walked right on and I'm glad we did because a little later, the line extended past the train station.  Never got to ride the Train because that line extended to the Christmas store.  Homestead pickers were inside the cabin and it was PACKED for the 1:30 show.  In fact, I ended up standing the entire time buy worth it.  Those guys are always fun to be with.  I was disappointed to learn that I have now lost my go-to place to relax...on the back deck of the culinary school overlooking echo holler.  I was also disappointed with the new layout around the TT-TNT-FM exit area.  It gets really congested there and from what I witnessed it seems that people just are standing there looking around with that "I'm lost" look on their face.  I have to admit, when we got off of FM and walked out the door I had the same look on my face!  LOL  Food lines began to form around 11:30 am and lasted until around 3pm or so.  SDC really seemed to be understaffed in the food areas.  I had a hot dog at Franks and that poor lady was by herself working her can off.  We joked that with the amount of gloves she had to go through, they could have hired another person just to take the money so she could keep her gloves on!  We finally had enough of the crowd and left the city around 4:30 or so.  At that time, it appeared that all the parking lots were pretty full.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: DeweyBald on March 25, 2018, 10:42:27 AM
Oh....something else they need to address.  It has always been somewhat of a problem in the past, but it really seemed to be getting worse is the drivers proceeding in the right lane to enter the parking lot.  As we are all lined up nice and neat in the left lane to enter parking lot 2, you have this stream of folks speeding up in the right lane then jumping in whenever they feel like it.  I actually had someone honk at me because I wouldn't let them in in front of me!  As we stood in line for the tram, it hit me....what's the different between that and someone just walking up to the tram and cutting in front of everyone and getting on the tram?  I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I consider that extremely rude.  SDC needs to split that road and make people commit to the right lane if that's where you are at.  Wouldn't take much more than a metal barrier between the left and right lanes to cure that problem.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HumphreyHawk on March 25, 2018, 04:12:12 PM
I'm from NWA...about a 1.5 hour roller coaster drive around the lakes from the park.

We specifically went Thursday in hopes it would be one of the lighter days during the break.  I guess we weren't the only ones with that in mind.  20k sound about right.

I can confirm the food stations where extremely understaffed.  They where all open but usually only with one window and one or two workers.  Only about 1/3 of the stores where open...mostly the ride gift shops and a few of the newer ones by TT.  Only had a couple of shows scheduled in the smaller venues....I noticed one (gospel singers?) going in the dockside venues and it was standing room only.

If the crowds stay like this...HFE almost has to start jacking up prices to help control the crowds:(  Or do the variable pricing like Disney/Universal.  I thought about that all day as I snaked through the endless crowds to wait 20mins to 2 hrs for the next ride/food vendor/bathroom (yeap waited 10 mins for the mensroom).  There where also trailblazer passes everywhere!!!!  Overheard a table of people by us at lunch talk about the Dad going back to the gate to buy 2 trailblazer passes so they could ride TT.  They planned on sharing them (5-6 people).  They came from OK.  I think those are limited to one TT ride a day so I wonder if they where able to do that.

I would be livid if I came from out of state....paid full price for the day....and had to deal with those crowds and the amount of trailblazers.  It's a good but tough situation for SDC to have to deal with.

Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 25, 2018, 06:16:39 PM
Thursday 20,000 attendence?   I cant verify that..

But friday and sat they had 18-19 per day..  Lots of people? yes..  But has been 5,000 more many,  many times.  Early in the Season?  New Ride. Problems with new ride.   It will work out,  things will calm down this week, and then scheduling of employees will straighten out... 

COME ON SPRING!!!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on March 25, 2018, 09:01:45 PM
Oh....something else they need to address.  It has always been somewhat of a problem in the past, but it really seemed to be getting worse is the drivers proceeding in the right lane to enter the parking lot.  As we are all lined up nice and neat in the left lane to enter parking lot 2, you have this stream of folks speeding up in the right lane then jumping in whenever they feel like it.  I actually had someone honk at me because I wouldn't let them in in front of me!  As we stood in line for the tram, it hit me....what's the different between that and someone just walking up to the tram and cutting in front of everyone and getting on the tram?  I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I consider that extremely rude.  SDC needs to split that road and make people commit to the right lane if that's where you are at.  Wouldn't take much more than a metal barrier between the left and right lanes to cure that problem.

Yes, people seem to be getting more and more rude every year.  What is really annoying is people in the right lane then trying to get back left holding up preferred parking people behind them because they can't seem to read the signs way down the road.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: kbosch1 on March 26, 2018, 10:24:08 AM
Late adding this, but we’ve been busy.  We went to the park on Friday the 16th and arrived around 10:30am.  Parked in preferred parking and there was maybe 40 cars in it.  Got in and did a little browsing in the shops before heading TT.  They had just opened it and the guy working the test seat said it was 2 to 2.5 hours wait.  We turned around went back to cave entrance and bought Trailblazers for the day.  Went back to TT and was on the ride in 10 minutes.  Loved every minute of it.  My daughter went with me as my wife was leery about the spinning.  Got off the ride hit the shop and bought a TT shirt that had the year on it and then went straight to the Culinary School to enjoy the view on the back porch  (on a side note….while shopping in the TT shop, I heard a voice behind me that I knew I had heard before but couldn’t nail it down.  After surveying all of the shoppers I noticed SirWillow and his family exiting the store.  Didn’t go chase him down as he was out the door and I had unpaid merch in my hand).

Went inside Culinary School and actually did some shopping for the first time inside.  Their honey pecan butter was to die for and we bought a jar of it for our breakfast in the condo the next day.  We also tasted some instant salsa mix.  Pour an amount of their canned dried seasoning in with a can of diced tomatoes and boom, instant salsa.  It actually tasted really good.  $20 for the can but it made quite a bit of salsa.  Talked to the nice lady working in there for a bit and moved on for lunch. 

We ate at Buckshot’ Skillet and I had the jambalaya (very good).  Went to FM and had no wait.  The fresh paint always makes it smell new and updated.  The ride was great.  We went and rode the train next.  Show was fun and had lots of adlibbing and it was the longest I’ve ever seen (maybe this is normal on day 2 or the first week or two??)  Exited and went to TNT.  No wait once again and had a great ride (still one of my favorites). 

At that point TT was a 15-20 minute wait and after a LOT of convincing my daughter and I talked my wife into riding TT.  She doesn’t do “spinning” at ALL, but she absolutely loved TT.  We walked across the swinging bridge and grabbed some cinnamon bread at the mill.  Spoke with a gentleman bagging some freshly grounded product and was sad to learn that they are using electric power now to turn the mill inside.  He said that they can switch to water if they wanted but rarely do anymore due to them shutting water down during later months for possible freezing.  Wife and I went and rode FITH and used Trailblazer to save a few minutes in line while the daughter wanted some homemade chips at Chester’s.   FITH was great.  The lights seemed brighter and everything smelled clean (sure love that first week of the season). 

We then headed up to PK and used Trailblazer for me and my daughter while the wife stayed back and hit some shops.  We next swung up to WF and used the Trailblazer for it.  This is where I learned that the Trailblazer can be cumbersome too.  We didn’t care where we rode on the ride, just wanted to skip the line.  Well, we were behind about 3 sets of riders who all wanted to ride in front row.  The workers on the ride allow a front row Trailblazer to go every-other-ride.  So we had to wait about 6 rides before we could board and noticed that people that were walking with us as we approached the building were riding before us.  I feel one way to make the trailblazer work a little better would be to have one section (or row) of seats dedicated to trailblazers.  If there are no trailblazers in line then let normal riders use that row for that ride.  That way the normal riders aren’t watching ride after ride of trailblazers get ahead of them as they would know that this one particular row is dedicated for TB and no normal riders would be in line for that row.  Not sure this makes sense, but it sure did to me at the time!   

After WF, we headed up the hill and visited the owner at “In His Hands” in their new location.  We then caught a Homestead Pickers show (they were inside the cabin and we made sure to arrive about 30 mins early to get a seat).  Great show and the crowd was full inside and standing outside.  We then walked down to Outlaw Run and walked right up to the ride (no wait).  Great time!  After OR, we went to Giant Barn Swing.  They were only operating one swing and the wait was about 20 mins or so even though there weren’t very many people in line.  Walked around looking for working squirting machines to squirt the Lost River riders, but they weren’t working.
 
We decided to call it a day and head to Danna’s for some bbq dinner.  Great day!  Crowds were never very much on that day and that might have had something to do with it being a Friday and that it was raining around park opening time, but it stopped by 10:00 and never rained again during the day.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on March 26, 2018, 07:28:31 PM
Wait! What? No more sitting on the back porch of the Culinary School? Dewey Bald, what's up with that?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on March 26, 2018, 08:53:44 PM
I think they will open it up once the regular season starts later in April. I remember this from last year they did the same thing.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 27, 2018, 07:41:54 AM
I think they will open it up once the regular season starts later in April. I remember this from last year they did the same thing.

Agreed it will be open, they want people to see TT and as long as that area doesnt get overcrowded with viewers, I am sure it will remain open..
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on March 27, 2018, 08:37:45 AM
The back porch was open all during opening weekend. I think sometimes the gate gets closed and no one realizes. They also might be closing it whenever TT gets shut down so people aren't sending out panicky FB live videos about riders being "trapped".
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on March 27, 2018, 08:44:37 AM
The back porch doesn’t open with the park.  If you were there earlier in the morning then that’s the reason why
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: DeweyBald on March 28, 2018, 01:33:18 PM
Regarding the porch, what I was referring to was don't plan on going back there to sit a have a quiet moment anymore.  This was my go to place to simply have a seat and relax.  Yes the porch is still there, and yes it was open, but the scenery is gone and it is far from being quiet.  In fact, it has become more or less an observation deck for TT.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 28, 2018, 04:56:02 PM
Regarding the porch, what I was referring to was don't plan on going back there to sit a have a quiet moment anymore.  This was my go to place to simply have a seat and relax.  Yes the porch is still there, and yes it was open, but the scenery is gone and it is far from being quiet.  In fact, it has become more or less an observation deck for TT.

IS TT really that loud? 
or is there also more noise from TNT now?, with trees removed
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: DeweyBald on March 28, 2018, 06:50:36 PM
Yeah, you get some noise from both, however the screams are loud!  LOL
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on March 29, 2018, 07:31:03 AM
Yeah, you get some noise from both, however the screams are loud!  LOL

Oh yes!!   The Screamers!!!! :o :o
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jipper on March 29, 2018, 10:34:50 PM
I managed my first trip of the season today. There was rain all morning and into the afternoon. This kept the crowds at bay, but most rides were operational. Not a fan of the new pathway around Time Travler/ TNT/FM area... Still seems like it will be a cluster during busy times/Christmas season... They were only doing half cave tours due to all of the heavy rain recently. It was nice to see that FITH opening scene received some love in the off season. Train was fun as always...
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: MandyTG on April 12, 2018, 08:35:52 AM

I’ve done a quick read though of posts so I may have missed if someone already mentioned this-

Have they installed a new pressed penny machine with a Time Traveler design yet?

Also, does anyone know what times of year they make and sell the spicy peanut brittle. I discovered it for the first time last fall and was disappointed to discover they don’t sell it at Christmas due to making holiday brittle at that time. Are there different brittles for every season/festival?

Sadly, I don’t think we will make it to the park this year, much to the disappointment of my boys. They are very impatient to ride Time Traveler.  We do already have a trip planned for next April to look forward too though.

Thanks to everyone who posts about their trips!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on April 13, 2018, 09:22:29 PM
Today was our third day in a row on park.  We don't do that too often, but the crowds were low, and we wanted to see most of the shows before we come back next week with friends.  William Close Earth Harp is a don't miss show if you are on park.  I liked last year's show better, but this year's show featuring movie tunes was also very good. Harp and Hang is the most talented and entertaining show, by far.   Look them up on youtube if you don't know who they are (Marianne Gubri and Paolo Borghi). SDC is lucky to be able to feature someone as talented as they are. I was happy to see they were moved from the Gazebo this year as I thought they deserved a better venue, but they are sort of tucked out of the way at the Boatworks Theater, and I think a lot of people just walk on by without realizing they are there.  CirqUnique is a fun show. Thirty minutes is plenty long enough for it - lots of balancing and comedy. The finale makes the whole show worth it. Today we saw the Illusionist. Loved it! The Paint Jam guy (Dan Dunn) is not here this year.  It was mentioned that he is having health issues, but his sub is filling in nicely.  He has had a nearly full house all 3 days I was there.

The park looks great. I'm happier with the rehab than I thought I would be.  Time Traveler is definitely the theme this year and it's everywhere - announcements, on cookies and cupcakes, ice cream, posters, decorations.  You can't miss it! lol There are new, huge concrete planters between the open areas and the stone flowerbeds on the road heading up front. Hubs and I both thought they kind of looked out of place - just huge stone boxes. The parking cones and parking attendants are a neon yellow/green that we think would show up on a satellite view. Yikes, are they bright!  ;D

A couple of points of interest: the blacksmith demos are now on a schedule. They have a blacksmith position open, so maybe it will drop off as daily scheduled demos when they hire another one.  I overheard a couple of employees talking about the flag ceremony.  They were discussing how upset some guests are over the changes.  It now starts about 10 min. before opening with the flag already up.  They've dropped the veterans recognition and flag raising. It's a simple "say the pledge and sing the song".  Hubs and I both noticed the flag up when we entered and thought we had missed it (weren't paying attention to the time), right before we heard the employees talking.  One mentioned she hoped they would bring it back in May.  If you are going one day only and hope to see all the shows, you'll have to pick and choose and plan your day.  They aren't staggered, so they are all pretty much happening at the same time. I don't remember it being that way last year. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on April 13, 2018, 10:05:04 PM
I hope they have NOT done away with the open ceremonies.  The flag raising, the singing, the pledge,  ALL very important...
 

Mainly posted this because I know the PTB does monitor this site..
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on April 14, 2018, 04:03:13 PM
I overheard a couple of employees talking about the flag ceremony.  They were discussing how upset some guests are over the changes.  It now starts about 10 min. before opening with the flag already up.  They've dropped the veterans recognition and flag raising. It's a simple "say the pledge and sing the song".  Hubs and I both noticed the flag up when we entered and thought we had missed it (weren't paying attention to the time), right before we heard the employees talking.  One mentioned she hoped they would bring it back in May. 

They did something like that last year as well at the beginning of the season, though I thought by the time the "Festival of Wonder" started they had gone back to the regular ceremony.  Hopefully they're just taking longer this year to go back to the normal one.

Do they have any of the "citizens" actually leading the opening?  They had Terry and Mandy doing it for the short time before they had the Hatfields and McCoys come back and do it again.  But it also seems like every year there are fewer Hatfields and McCoys than there was the year before.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on April 14, 2018, 06:07:05 PM
I am going tomorrow morning even though supposed to be a freeze warning and wind chills in the teens. Unfortunately, because "Worldfest-lite" is so short it is either this Sunday or one of the next 2 unless I take a day off work and since I just plan to see shows, the cold might just keep everyone away . I don't touch the park on Saturdays anymore unless it is critical (Bluegrass festival I probably will as otherwise I don't get to see all of the bands I want this year - and won't anyway as the main ones are during the week this year and I cannot take off work)

Anyway, I kind of understand the rationale to cram this festival into 15 days, but it makes it really hard to plan for because the weather in April is ALWAYS all over the place. I mean, in Springfield it was 84 degrees Thursday and then supposed to top out in the mid 30's tomorrow before doing it all again. It would be nice if there was just one more week. Then you've got a higher chance of hitting a weekend where the weather is not horrible

Also, since I moved to Springfield 2 years ago, I seldom witness the opening ceremony anymore. But I am also one of the ones who doesn't much care for it. I am not a flag waver/religious person. I was not standing for any of it for well over 18 years - long before it became trendy. My reasons are not their reasons but are reasons just the same. But I also did not fault anyone for their belief in it all as long as they leave me alone. All that being said, though, it is held dear to many in the park. And things continue to change and not always for the better. And we who have been going for years and years lament the changes. I've come to realize that is just life - Change. Quite honestly the thing that would make me the happiest is if they would look at show times and walk ways and all of it from an engineering type viewpoint. IE don't dump the people from the opera house out at the same time or just before the Saloon show starts. Just things like that drive me crazy...


And BTW... don't mistakenly think the Silver Dollar City website is SDC.com... that is a TOTALLY different site. Made that mistake today
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on April 14, 2018, 11:41:29 PM
I'm pretty sure the flag raising ceremony changes based on who is working, how many people are there, and the time of year. I think they usually do the "full" ceremony later in the year when the park is more in the swing of operations. Or at least that's what I seem to remember us discussing before...

The full ceremony is a little corny, but it is a part of the old character and authenticity of SDC. If it goes away entirely I feel like it's yet another piece of the SDC heritage that someone at corporate in Atlanta decided wasn't part of the new "image". So many suits have been on park this year... Too many of them seem to want to replicate Carowinds and Worlds of Fun too.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on April 15, 2018, 08:41:51 AM
And BTW... don't mistakenly think the Silver Dollar City website is SDC.com... that is a TOTALLY different site. Made that mistake today

LOL!!  OH MY!!   I checked it, because you said not to......LOL
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: biscuitcreek on April 15, 2018, 11:24:14 AM
I am going tomorrow morning even though supposed to be a freeze warning and wind chills in the teens. Unfortunately, because "Worldfest-lite" is so short it is either this Sunday or one of the next 2 unless I take a day off work and since I just plan to see shows, the cold might just keep everyone away . I don't touch the park on Saturdays anymore unless it is critical (Bluegrass festival I probably will as otherwise I don't get to see all of the bands I want this year - and won't anyway as the main ones are during the week this year and I cannot take off work)

Anyway, I kind of understand the rationale to cram this festival into 15 days, but it makes it really hard to plan for because the weather in April is ALWAYS all over the place. I mean, in Springfield it was 84 degrees Thursday and then supposed to top out in the mid 30's tomorrow before doing it all again. It would be nice if there was just one more week. Then you've got a higher chance of hitting a weekend where the weather is not horrible

Also, since I moved to Springfield 2 years ago, I seldom witness the opening ceremony anymore. But I am also one of the ones who doesn't much care for it. I am not a flag waver/religious person. I was not standing for any of it for well over 18 years - long before it became trendy. My reasons are not their reasons but are reasons just the same. But I also did not fault anyone for their belief in it all as long as they leave me alone. All that being said, though, it is held dear to many in the park. And things continue to change and not always for the better. And we who have been going for years and years lament the changes. I've come to realize that is just life - Change. Quite honestly the thing that would make me the happiest is if they would look at show times and walk ways and all of it from an engineering type viewpoint. IE don't dump the people from the opera house out at the same time or just before the Saloon show starts. Just things like that drive me crazy...


And BTW... don't mistakenly think the Silver Dollar City website is SDC.com... that is a TOTALLY different site. Made that mistake today

Even though we go to Branson at least once a month, we are also finding it difficult to work in a visit to Festival of Wonder this year. And also agree with the show scheduling -- very difficult, if not impossible to see the main festival shows in 1 day with the start and end times of the shows.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on April 15, 2018, 11:27:19 AM
Best news ever: my phone actually works in red gold hall now! I would always forget to put it in airplane mode and it would drain the battery searching for signal
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on April 15, 2018, 05:02:33 PM
Just got home...

Got in about 10. There were maybe 200 cars in lot 2 when I pulled in. It was miserable cold. I don't know why it was so bad today... I have been there when it has been colder. But the wind was biting. And no escape from it.

I kind of killed time until the earth harp show. This year's show was not as strong as last years. They should have called it earth harp salutes James Bond Themes. And his explanation of how the thing works is complete BS (The thing is a fancy MIDI trigger), but it does make for a good show. It just was not anywhere near as entertaining as last year with the song selection

I did not see Harp and Hang Drum last year... I regret that immensely after seeing the show this year. I REALLY enjoyed that. I am not a fan of either instrument in general but I loved what they did. No real fanfare or even talking but the music was amazing. If I go back, I will definitely hit their show again

I did not see the Illusion show... as an Engineer I spend those whole shows analyzing the tricks. It ruins the show for me (and for my family when I had a family).

I did see the Saloon Show... with about 30 other people. I felt sorry for the performers as there was no audience to feed off of and the laughter wasn't loud enough. I've never been there with such a small crowd

I am unsure how I feel about the Time Traveler area revamp. I love the added seating and how all of that is done. But it looks like it won't take much to make it a complete clusterphuck. I am a little unsure why they did not take the walkway straight into the walkway by the side of Frisco barn instead of doing the little jog. It would have changed the echo hollow entrance some but it would have made a lot more sense.

Hopefully can figure some time in my schedule to get back on the 29th
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on April 15, 2018, 06:59:07 PM
We were out there this afternoon with the almost non-existant crowds.  Made it easy to take a nice slow pace around the park from show to show.

We enjoyed the Earth Harp collective show. Sat third row in the center, can't get much better than that.  My wife and daughter in particular love the music, but my son was blown away by their rendition of Skyfall, one of his favorite songs.  Only 2 gripes with the show- they didn't have any of the music they performed in the show available on CD, and they don't have a credit card reader available for the CD's.

While my wife and others poked around the blacksmith I wanted over to the cave entrance and the homestead to give my condolences on the passing of Uncle Gene this morning (if you don't know him, he read stories with the pickers at Christmas and greeted at the Cave desk for years).  While at the Homestead talking with them, the Pickers were rehearsing for the entry ceremony.  It is coming back, but instead of prerecorded music the Pickers are going to be playing live and there will be a mix of people singing- at least on days that the Pickers are there.  I think that will be a nice change and add a little spontaneity to it as well.

We then headed down to the Cirque show.  Terrible name on it (CirqueUnique) but a great show.  Very impressive performances.  It was a bit hard on the "clown" in particular with the small crowd, but they did a great job and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'm going to make it a point to get back at least one more weekday in the next couple of weeks to see the other shows.

It was cold, but far from unbearable.  I think the few flakes that fell this morning really kept people away.  And most of the rides weren't open because of it.  But for us it turned out to be a wonderfully pleasant day.

Oh, season pass holders take note- they have a new deal available on teh photos this year!  They are selling an "Unlimited Digital Photo Card" for $60.  Similar to Disney's photopass, you can get every single photo that they take of you in the park all year long for that one price.  Most photographers you'll have to get the slip of paper and add the photos onto your card at the end of the day. Ride photos can add them on at their photo spot.  And you'll need to actually download them within 30 days of having them taken.  But for that price, that's an awesome deal!  For someone like me who's generally avoided the park photographers in the past (long story, but it's new management/ ownership of the photos in the park), but that's enough to get me to stop and get photos taken for sure.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on April 15, 2018, 09:27:00 PM
It’s Cirqunique
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HikerDan on April 16, 2018, 11:17:01 AM
My wife and I made our 4th and 5th trip of '18 to the city on Saturday and Sunday April 14 & 15.  Our first 3 trips were of course during spring ride days and we chose some fairly nice days to visit and walk around the park in the mornings looking around and also riding many rides while most everyone else was desperate to ride the new coaster. 

We were curious in March to find out just how much effort SDC would put into having most or all of their rides up and running early after opening, knowing that the majority of their visitors focus would be on TT.  We were happy to find out that most of the rides were ready and running shortly after opening. Lots of new ride operators and some familiar face as well.

It was fun heading back in the park on those mornings and riding WF, PK, FiTH, OR and the Swing at will. When we snuck over to the TT area to look around at the changes and new additions we were able to get on FM and the Train fairly easy as well each day. Everything in the park looks just great and an excellent 2018 at SDC is under way.

We still have yet to ride TT because it's just not a priority for us right now. We did the same thing during the opening season of OR and waited a while until our first ride.  Our number of visits to the city each year is in the 20's (I think it was 26 last year) and we'll eventually ride TT with ease at some point during the year and in the future.  Now days OR is the easiest ride to get on in the park.

On Saturday, April 14 we parked in our usual parking spot, in the lot at the bottom of the hill to the left of the entrance road. I don't even know the number or name of the lot, but we've used it for years. We walk up the metal stairs, under the entrance road, across the road leading to paid parking, hang a right and then on to the city. SDC has been doing a great job of getting folks through bag check and the entrance during our visits no matter the crowd size. We're always on site 5 or 10 minutes before opening and sometimes there's a pretty good crowd trying to get through at that time.  As many of us know it can get a bit congested right after ticket scan as so many people tend to stop right there to organize themselves and gather up the family. But, it's understandable and no big deal to us. I always grab my pathfinder and turn to the left towards the exit area out of the way, remove only the show schedule from the pathfinder and deposit the rest of the paper into the handy paper recycle bin provided by SDC. Meanwhile my wife can get her pass put away, her backpack on, and into the city we go.

As many of you know it was a cold weekend at SDC which kept the crowds down for those of us who visited. When the sun was out on Saturday the cold wasn't too bad and I think they may have eventually got TT running at some point during the day. We walked by at some time before noon and the new ride was down for some reason, but we saw it running later so hopefully all those people who came specifically for TT got to ride eventually. As we passed noon on Saturday the crowds did pick up some and there was a decent amount of folks in the park.

Our visit this past weekend was primarily to catch the 3 premier shows in the large indoor venues, and of course mix those in with the Pickers at the Homestead.  We figured with the low crowds it would be a great time to make the short trip down from Nixa for this festival. 

On Saturday we caught the Pickers at 9:30, rode the swing a couple times and the shot tower over at FL and then back to the illusionist in the Playhouse at 11:00.  My wife really enjoyed the illusionist and wants to go back soon to enjoy the show again. There was a magician and his wife doing a show at the Playhouse a few years back, and I thought that show was better than this one, but to each his/her own. We'll go see Vitaly again at some point. The Playhouse show ended 15 minutes before the start of CirqUnique over at the Opera House so we beat it over there hoping for more entertainment.

Wow!, the Opera House was nearly full as we arrived and we had to wait to be seated and escorted in to a couple of open seats. The place was packed before showtime and every seat was filled to capacity. There was no one with disabilities at the show so the ushers put us in the back row right in front of the exit doors. An after show QUICK EXIT! We loved that opportunity. Unfortunately the old fart sitting next to me obviously hadn't taken his shower this week and attempted to cover it up with some cheap deodorant and cologne. Since we were so close to the exit I pondered leaving the show, but instead I torn a kleenex in half and stuffed a wad in each nostril to get me through the show.  My mouth was quite dry after the show from the direct mouth breathing, but it worked well enough. CirqUnique started with a dud as a kind of clown dressed guy simply marched from one side of the theater to the other clapping along to a song with the crowd for way too long. I guess his role is merely to try and get the crowd excited before the legit acts. There was a lot of talent packed into the show from there on with four or five different performing artists showcasing their skills. I would go back again. The show was done in 35 minutes, a little shorter than the estimated time, so ya'll may be able to take that into account when you're planning your day. Many people walked straight from the OH to the Saloon for the 12:30 show.

There's a bit of a lull between shows from 12:30 to 1:30 so we strolled clockwise around the park burning time until 1:30 Pickers at the Homestead.  We eventually made our way to Main St. just after 1:00 and stood behind a decent crowd to check out the X-POGO stunt guys. Many people, including myself, were impressed with the pogo stunts. Quite a few other people left quickly, not very entertained by young men bouncing around on hopped-up pogo sticks. But, these guys were doing aerials ten feet in the air, doing back flips and front flips and the such...I was impressed and gave them plenty of applause.

The Pickers were their usual entertaining selves of course. Most of our trips end around the 5 hour mark at 2:30 as that is always when the park is at it's busiest it seems. We stopped in for a delicious pizza over at Reeds Spring Pizza and then on home via the short drive to Nixa.

Sunday, April 15 was bitter cold with the wind all day. But, you can always dress for these things and that's what we did. I really wanted to visit Sunday to see just how many folks would come to the park. Man it was empty, and of course none of the outdoor rides opened during the day, too cold. That was as quiet as I've ever seen the park in the morning and most of the day. We caught the Pickers at 9:30 and enjoyed the fire in the cabin while listening to those stringed instruments. At 10 we were on to the FiTH and had a train to ourselves for one ride. Only a few other guests on our second ride. And it was back to the fire in the cabin for the Pickers again at 10:30. The Earth Harp Collective in Red Gold was set for 11:30 and that worked out great for us.

There was probably 200 people or so in the hall for the earth harp and group. We saw this show last year and I had forgotten that there were guitar, drums, violin, and vocalists along with the harp. The movie themed show was different from last year and aside from "The Rose" we really enjoyed the show. Nothing against the female singer who performed "the Rose" (she has a beautiful voice) but that song just puts me to sleep.  I'm a big James Bond fan so I really enjoyed their version of Skyfall and Live or Let Die. There were a few others thrown in there as well and lots of drums for anyone who like drums. It was good, as my wife likes drum solos. We had time after the Earth Harp to beat it across the park and catch the new Saloon show at 12:30.

Unfortunately for us when we arrived at the Saloon the CirqUnique show had just let out and most ALL of them beat us to the Saloon. We could get in the door, but it was standing room only. I don't think they'd ever allowed people to stand in the show without a seat, but they were doing it this time. We actually went inside and up the stairs to the balcony, but it was full and people were standing behind seated people. We just left, no big deal, we'll catch the show some other time. It was nice to see the Saloon performers get a full house, because when we walked by earlier leaving the FiTH there were only about 20 people waiting in line for the show at 10:30 just before door opening.

We walked around the quiet park all bundled up for a while and visited several shops and did whatever. The fire was once again waiting for us at 1:30 in the cabin and the Pickers played a little longer than normal. Each show in the cabin saw a few more folks show up as the day went on. I think there were 7 of us at the first show early, probably a dozen or so at the next, and a good 20 inside in the afternoon. Sometimes when there are fewer people at the Picker shows I am lucky enough to get in a request or two through the day. One thing to mention about the Picker shows this weekend and well into May: there are only 3 of the 4 guys playing right now as Danny Eakin is out until sometime in May recovering from a surgery for medical issues. They say he is doing fine, but needs time to heal up before he rejoins the group. So it's Greg Becker, Greg Bailey, and Walt Morrison for a while.

Thank you so much to SDC (if any of ya'll PTB are reading this) for this wonderful playground you give my wife and I every year and thank you for continuing to bring back our favorite part of this great park, The Homestead Pickers. These fellas are so talented, obviously love what they do, and their kind interaction with their guests and fans is second to none. We've watched a lot of Picker shows over the years and I must say that the group they have at the Homestead right now is the best we've ever been fortunate enough to enjoy. There have been a few very talented guitarists who performed alongside Becker, Danny, and Bailey...but, with all due respect to those who came before, Walt is the finest addition to this group we've seen yet. He is a very talented professional musician.  All you locals can catch him over at Flat Creek Restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights year round as he does a solo act over there for that incredibly popular eatery on the James River arm of Table Rock Lake. 

Anyhow, it's been a fun 5 trips to the city so far and we look forward to at least 20 more. Maybe we'll actually try to walk down and hop on the TT at some point on an early Sunday morning this spring. No big deal, it's gonna be there for years, and so are we.

Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on April 16, 2018, 05:20:59 PM
Here is our photo trip report from this past weekend
https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/04/festival-of-wonder-sdc.html