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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
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: How-doFolks on April 29, 2018, 05:59:01 PM
Made a trip to SDC this past weekend.

Got to the park late Friday, about 4:30, they closed at 6pm. No one was at Preferred Parking, so we parked for free. Time Traveler was not running, so we rode TNT. It seemed rougher than usual.. Walked down to FITH. That was fun as always. First half of the music was working, but the second half of the ride did not. The train light & yelling FITH were working though. Kinda got lost for a second around the new area, but we did not walk far enough & ended up finding it anyways. Went to Powderkeg next. We were on empty stomachs, so it kinda made us dizzy. Our bad.. We left after that to go eat. But we came back the next day.

Saturday we got there around 8'ish. They had some of the guys with the pogo sticks doing tricks. No opening ceremony at all. After that was over, the park was open!! We went straight to Time Traveler. The wait was about 45 minutes. It was fun. It did not make sick or dizzy. With just being used to roller coasters being forward, it was kind of confusing spinning around. But you do get to see other peoples reactions to the ride.

Then we went to the pottery place for about a half an hour. Rode FITH again. Rides were starting to get long already because the weather was great. Low 70s. Went to PK but the line was already down the hill. Stumbled around the park because we didnt get much sleep the night before, & ended up by FM, so we rode it. Ate at the BBQ place by Lost River, & decided to leave. We were wore out, the lines were getting long, & the crowd was getting big. I think we left around 1'ish..

We do have another trip planned for July during 1 of the Moonlight Madness nights. We will be bringing 3-4 more people with us. Oh boy, HOW will we make it?!?! LOL!!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on April 29, 2018, 07:28:13 PM
Yes, TNT seems like it is getting VERY rough.  They really need to work on that.  That spot in the tunnel is starting to get so bad I can't take it anymore
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jipper on April 29, 2018, 09:26:53 PM
Yes, TNT seems like it is getting VERY rough.  They really need to work on that.  That spot in the tunnel is starting to get so bad I can't take it anymore

Pretty much, 2 big bumps in the tunnel there. Seems to be worse this year compared to last year. Hopefully this receives attention soon.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on May 04, 2018, 02:20:32 AM
^Noticed that too. It started getting bad right there when they did earthwork near TNT for TT. Kinda wonder what happened. The heavy equipment and all the rain we had over the past couple years might have caused a shift.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on May 04, 2018, 11:25:53 AM
Do you think they will fix it or do away with it?  Shave, this is slightly off topic, so feel free to delete it you wish. But speaking of rides, I met a young retired wounded warrior recently that applied for a job at the City as a mechanic working on rides.  They were ready to hire him, but he can't ride the rides due to injuries, so they turned him down. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on May 04, 2018, 12:14:02 PM
^Noticed that too. It started getting bad right there when they did earthwork near TNT for TT. Kinda wonder what happened. The heavy equipment and all the rain we had over the past couple years might have caused a shift.

Sinkhole?.   
New Caverns? 
Better Call Johnny Morris, he will excavate the area, build a resort and make a fortune on it.  With SDC in the background.!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on May 05, 2018, 05:15:01 PM
TNT was actually pretty smooth for us. Did notice a bump in the tunnel, but overall it was smoother than I remembered it being last year. There is an obvious new sink hole near the train tracks right before the tunnel...

Today the park is absolutely packed out. The ACE event has been wonderful, but this afternoon we didn't have much planned due to the mercy event, and it was so packed I ended up just leaving. There are cars strewn all over the sides of the road leaving the parking lots. I think a lot of the new people don't understand the satellite parking system and thought they were being turned away. They were using the bank parking lot today, which they only use on the 25,000+ days. It is was madhouse out there. Wouldn't be surprised if they set a new record.

Last night was great though the ACE reception and ERT time was fantastic. I'll fill in more about it when I get home.

Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: HikerDan on May 06, 2018, 10:55:53 AM
My wife and I decided to head south for the City yesterday just for the hell of it... SDC trip #7 for 2018.

We read the heavy attendance warnings and were fully aware of the impending crowded day before us. The SDC website even had suggestions for Saturday visitors and what route to take coming to the park. They wanted folks to come through Branson West (our route) instead of coming from the east, and encouraged anyone who could to come early.

A couple of weeks ago we visited on a cold day when there were maybe 1000 people in the park total. So why not also experience 20,000 people in the park?

We arrived at 8:30 a.m. and the entrance road was already very busy, almost backed up to the fork in the road that early. We zipped into our preferred lot at the bottom of the metal stairs and were the first car parked down there. However, before we even gathered up our stuff and locked the car the lot attendants were already beginning to park cars in our lot. Wow!, that was quick.

As well as knowing that Mercy and ACE would be in the park, we saw several school buses unloading at the time and quite a few obvious Bluegrass fans heading in as well.

Went through the ticket scan pretty quick and into a busy Gazebo area. We were lucky enough to grab a couple of seats to watch the Pickers at the Gazebo before opening.  The Pickers participated in opening ceremonies as well. There was the pledge and the anthem and then the stampede to the thrill rides. We never even looked to the right down Valley Road heading towards TT and instead went left down Hugo's Hill Street for PK, etc.

For the second time this year the crew at PK were running three trains at opening. The operators were doing a great job loading and unloading and things were running smooth as we got front row seats for our initial morning ride.

Of course we knew things would get crazy busy really fast yesterday morning, so I asked my wife, "FiTH or WF?". She chose WF this time. Walked right onto that one and took two back row seats for that awesome pull down the big drop. FiTH was already backing up far out of the building, so we took off for Wilson's Farm.

Things were going well until we entered Wilson's Farm. Stunningly the crew at the Barn Swing had started up the swing with only one side swinging yesterday. The line was already winding through the railings and so they decided they needed to close off the ride to incoming visitors, empty the queue, start up the second swing, and then reopen the ride. That was a real head scratcher. We bailed on that one.

Upon arriving to OR they were still testing the ride and it had yet to open. Not good. We decided to wait a few minutes as we saw a ride operator riding one of the trains as it came out of the barrel roll, and that short wait paid off as they opened the ride once that train entered the station. Great timing for us as we got to ride in the front. Walking back past the swing we noticed they were still trying to empty the queue with the single swing and the operator at the closed chain was giving lots of explanations to quite a crowd gathering around the area. "We have to close the ride to start the 2nd swing, yada, yada, yada..." over and over to raised eyebrows and eye rolls from those being turned away. 

We were over at Fireman's landing 15 minutes later and overheard someone saying (while looking at their phone app), "Outlaw Run is still closed".  I guess I should have stopped and informed them that the app was wrong, but we were in a rush to get up to the Boatworks for some Bluegrass.

The group called Farm Hands at the Boatworks were very experienced musicians and we enjoyed a few tunes before heading towards the Heritage Hall. We passed through the Frisco Barn and were surprised what we saw in there. In past years during the BBQ Fest the barn was always full of wares that they were selling for grilling and BBQ purposes. Yesterday the Frisco Barn simply had maybe fifteen or twenty dining tables set up in two rows for folks to sit and eat. I like that. An indoor eating area for overflow from the Heritage Hall BBQ Fest. It was roomy in the barn too, as there was absolutely nothing in there but the rows of tables with tablecloths.

We stopped in the Culinary Craft School for some quick munchies with the pretzels, dips, and crackers. There were quite a few members from ACE inside the Culinary School, like more than a dozen. Maybe a complimentary cooking session with the school was part of the ACE experience? We saw many, many people wearing shirts of different types referring to ACE throughout the park yesterday. One of the shirts that quite a few of them wore stated something about riding TT in the dark.  Must have been late last night they gave the ACE folks a night ride on TT.

The Heritage Hall was already fairly busy with people eating BBQ at 10:50 in the morning. Man, those folks must really like some BBQ. We grabbed a couple of seats and watched another band for a few songs.  Interesting that this group was more of a country band than bluegrass. They played a cover of a Johnny Cash hit and then a Willie Nelson hit song. They all wore cowboy hats and were dressed in the cowboy western style. I wanted to catch the bluegrass group at the Dockside theater at 11:15 so we cruised on back to that area hoping that the theater wasn't already full.

I think most of the show goers were in the Opera House for the featured group at that time as we easily found seats for Remington Ryde at Dockside.  They were an entertaining bunch who mostly kept the show pretty lively. I tend to doze off on the groups who slow it down for too long and drone on and on. This group was pretty peppy though and the lead vocalist did a great job. We stayed for the whole 30 minute show.

Of course by now the crowd was getting bigger, all of the rides were swamped, and the eateries were bustling. It really wasn't too bad in the park before noon though and we were pretty much able to do most of what we wanted. The veteran SDC group Horsecreek Band is back at the gazebo for the festival and we took a whirl up the walkway heading towards midtown and on to Main Street and the Gazebo at noon for Larry Sledge, Butch, and the gang.

There was quite a crowd coming from the entrance and onto Main Street now, a steady stream of folks four and five wide.

After 30 minutes of Horsecreek we chose to mosey around a few shops near Main Street, watched the shenanigans of the Street Troupe (Hatfield/McCoy love potion skit), and went partially down Hill Street for some shops around there. We then poked around Homestead Ridge and the animal area waiting for the Pickers at 1:30.  Visitors were still steadily pouring in, so of course we weren't gonna go back down any hills and back into the park. There was a good crowd for the Pickers, but no problem finding a seat. The guys played a little longer than the 30 minutes and we were heading out of the park around 2:15. 

The wave of visitors continuing to enter the city was amazing. We were swimming upstream against a strong current of eager SDC arrivals. We eventually made our way out though and made the walk to our parking lot. A lucky, lucky young fella and his girlfriend were part of a steady stream of vehicles circling our lot hoping for a parking space to open up. As we walked down the metal stairs many cars passed our little car parked right up front and this lucky guy drove up just as we approached our car. I waved at him and signaled that our spot would be available. Some smiles, clapping, and fist pumping ensued between the young couple as they waited for us to back out.  Obviously the new arrivals were desperate for any parking spot to open.

Earlier we saw a sign attached to the Gazebo promoting some kind of Mercy employees dance on the square from 8:30 - 10:30 pm.  There were a huge amount of cars coming into the area as we worked our way out. On our way towards Branson West we noticed several SDC employees alongside the highway holding signs pointing the fresh arrivals to grassy parking areas off 76 highway west of SDC. There were cars filling them up and we saw a white bus full of people leaving one of those improvised lots . The City and Mercy Health must have planned for large groups to visit not only in the morning but also in the late afternoon and evening hours. SDC was prepared and ready to receive those folks in the afternoon.

It was a fun day in the City and we were glad we went ahead and visited. Also glad we left when we did.

Will be ready for another visit next weekend for Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. Hopefully we can manage to do all of our Mother's Day stuff on Saturday so we can enjoy a much quieter day in the park on Sunday.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on May 07, 2018, 09:51:37 AM
The ACE conference was outstanding. The parks always rolls out the red carpet for ACE, but this was especially nice for the spring conference with hundreds of people from all over the country flying in to check out Time Traveler. It is even more commendable that they did so much for us on a record-setting weekend with one of their biggest corporate customers coming in for their own special event.

Friday was pretty chill during regular park hours. Our group trickled into town and everyone had a fairly easy time getting on most of the rides (Time Traveler still had a huge wait of course). That evening kicked things off with the big ACE reception in RGH where Brad Thomas and Lisa Rau spoke about Time Traveler and ACE stuff. They brought out a Bluegrass group to sing us a song for the ACE 40th anniversary which was a really nice touch. After that they gave us the most fantastic spread of food that I've ever had at a park. Basically, it was an all-you-can-eat buffet of entrees from every restaurant in the park with cake and ice cream at the end. Amazing.

After stuffing ourselves, we rode Time Traveler over and over again for two hours, getting some of the first night rides in. It's pretty good in the dark, though with the lights on the launch segments it's not totally dark. The segments after the loop are pretty disorienting in the dark at least though.

Saturday started off with yet another amazing food spread of SDC breakfast foods before a quick marathon of Outlaw Run and then a little park wide ERT shared with Mercy. They gave ACE trailblazer passes for the rest of the day, which was a saving grace for those coming from far away due to the intense crowds. As for myself, I wandered a bit with my group and had a nice meal at the Mill before heading out in the early afternoon. Leaving the park you could see cars piled up all along the road... It sounds like some people waited in line for 2+ hours to get into the parking lots, then got turned away to go park in the far-off satellite parking lots, but some people revolted or didn't understand what was going on...

They had a nice event on the Branson Bell that night, but my group went to Coulee's instead, which was fantastic. Great steaks and a neat live band that featured a jug and a washtub guitar contraption.

Sunday we had yet another Time Traveler and Thunderation ERT session followed by yet another awesome food spread in RGH that featured brunch BBQ items. A calmer day, though they seemed to be having a lot of downtime on the rides, and then a little rain squall moved in and closed everything down again. Probably a lot of stress on the rides after such a hard weekend. I know the employees were wore out... Here's to a restful Monday to everyone!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on May 10, 2018, 01:47:02 PM
May 5th 2018:  Our report from SDC's most crowded day.  We got to the park around 8:30 and parked in Lot 2.5 (the smaller lot across the street from Lot 2).  We went to the Mill for an always great breakfast and it was around 9:30 at park opening when we finished.  We actually managed to ride the Flooded Mine, Thunderation, Firefall, and Outlaw Run in a little over an hours time then met some friends at the Opera House for the Flat Lonesome bluegrass show, which was very good.  Since we were close we rode Fire in the Hole after the show.  Line wasn't bad (around 15 minutes) but it was the longest line we had waited in so far.  My wife then went to ride Wildfire while my daughter and I rode Outlaw Run (her first time).  We then went to see Remington Ryde which were entertaining but I felt they played more non-Bluegrass than Bluegrass.  We wanted a snack but when we got to Hannah's Ice Cream parlor the line was stretched back to the Gazebo so we went to the Bakery instead and walked right up to the counter and were waited on.  We then went to ride the Flooded Mine again and right after we got into the Mine (we were the second boat) the boats in front of us went off the track and the ride stopped.  The people in line were cleared out of the ride and everyone in the boats behind us were cleared but since we were already in the Mine we could not safely evacuate.  The riders in the boats in front of us were pushing against the rock and finally got themselves back on track but they had turned off the pumps on the ride so the boats would not proceed on their own.  They turned the lights on in the Mine and workers in hip waders pushed us through the rest of the ride (took about 30 more minutes).  When we got off the ride we went to the Red Gold Heritage Hall for a BBQ supper.  Then we went and rode Fire in the Hole again then checked the ride apps and the lines were getting very long (Outlaw Run had 105 minute wait and Time Traveller was over 2 1/2 hours).  We decided to leave the park around 5:45 and got back to lot 2.5 and had a dead battery on the van.  Fortunately a very nice family from Missouri got to the lot when we did and jump-started our van.  We got back to the hotel where the battery again so the hotel owner gave us a jump and we went to O'Reilly's in Branson West for a new battery (the old battery was about 5 years old).
Sunday May 6th 2018:  what a difference a day makes.  The crowds were much smaller and most rides were a walk on (we even got to the train depot as they were boarding so we got right on that with no waiting).  We  successfully rode the Flooded Mine with no breakdowns.  We also got to ride Time Traveler with about an hour wait. I was very pleased it only did slow spinning. The wife and daughter did some shopping while I rode Outlaw Run and we left the park at 3 to head home.  A much better day.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on May 11, 2018, 01:00:11 PM
Unsure what is going on with the sound in riverfront playhouse but it sounded horrible last sunday and the first breaking grass set today also sounded horrible. And there have been issues all through the second set. Vocals not loud enough. Eq’d totally wrong for them. I have seen them multiple times in last 4 years at dockside and they always sound amazing. Hopefully the sound guy gets his crap together quickly
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on May 11, 2018, 08:45:59 PM
I saw Po Ramblin Boys there a couple days ago, and the sound was fine.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on May 12, 2018, 05:34:37 AM
the sound issue is related to the soundman. May have been different guy on days you were there i always sit right by sound booth as that is usually the best place to hear. I may be critical, though, as I used to run sound in bands and at churches and i’ve already seen like 65 bands this year. I am used to certain quality. And every other sdc venue has sounded great so far BUT riverfront playhouse

Has anyone found this year’s festival shirts with all the bands listed? It usually is in the frisco barn but I have not found it anywhere
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on May 12, 2018, 07:06:18 AM
Now that I have a computer in front of me and not my phone... Here is a not so complaining report

I went 5/11. I got to SDC before park opening but had a work phone call I had to take so didn't actually get in the park until 9:45 or so. A LOT more traffic than I expected for a Friday but the weather was perfect. Traffic was backed up until about 265 at that 9:15 time frame. I was on a motorcycle though so was easy to slip in and not wait too long. Maybe there is a "Motorcycle Parking" sign I missed. But I had found last Sunday where that was so it wasn't too bad.

Again, quite crowded in the park. Several field trips going on.

I went to see Breaking Grass first as I have enjoyed them since we stumbled into one of their shows 4 years ago. The sound was not good... Fiddle sounded very thin and high pitched. Vocals were not loud enough. It did get better by the 3rd show of the day... but wow. This was their second day. I would have thought the sound guy would have dialed them in during soundcheck or even have gotten it sorted the day before. I saw Farm Hands there on 5/8 and the first show that day started with the sound cranked and everyone jumped and really was bad the whole show. This leads me to believe it is the sound man having issues... We will see when I go back Sunday if it continues to be the poorest sounding venue.

Then I hit the Petersens which always put on a great show. They had the place packed with family and friends it seemed. The youngest girl has the most beautiful Irish lilt to her voice I could listen to all day.

Then up to Red Gold Hall to catch Jonah something. Not a fan. Then back to Breaking Grass/Petersens/Breaking Grass/Rhonda Vincent

They have the shows spaced nicely so that you can hit a lot if you plan right. I caught 7 different sets with the 4 bands. I wanted to see the Hainings but I could not fit that in. I also could not fit any sort of lunch in because the lines were just too long. Correction, I could have had a Hot Dog or one of the Skillets by Riverfront playhouse but I was not feeling it.

Park was still pretty crowded when I left at 5.

I am anxious to see how Sunday is as I am using one of my "bring a friend" passes to bring someone who has only been a few times. She wants to ride more than listen I think... But we will see
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on May 13, 2018, 09:42:43 PM
Here is our May 10th - Silver Dollar City - Bluegrass & BBQ Photo Trip Report.

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oj24amyLzXQ/WvZmUpZ28sI/AAAAAAAAt38/GvhokM85in8Le_2hMKfW28dP2Mfp4IX1wCLcBGAs/s400/19.JPG)

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dusVjnG54VY/WvZnqlOwPoI/AAAAAAAAt4s/noxnU9RmeacTCHfRX4eCjHg9BcpZRvQWwCLcBGAs/s400/4.JPG)
 (https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/05/bluegrass-bbq-sdc.html)
One thing that we noticed this year is that a lot of "traditionals" are missing this year.  There is no Sauce Tasting Tent on the square.  There is no "America's Backyard" shop in the Frisco Barn.  There is no Barn Dance in the Carousel Barn.  The food in the House of BBQ is all being handled by the park - so no Dickie's this year.  We just found it interesting.  The live entertainment is still really good though.  Rhonda Vincent and the Rage put on a great performance like normal.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on May 14, 2018, 08:42:59 AM
I noticed that as well. BBQ&Bluegrass is pretty weak this year, which is sad for me as it's my favorite festival by far. Going on ACE weekend I might have missed a lot of the good performances though.

I miss when they had a couple extra local BBQ stands that came in. That place that was in Aurora was really nice, though I think they closed up. SDC's BBQ can be decent, but I'm not a huge fan of the weirder stuff they've been pushing. I like my BBQ simple.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on May 20, 2018, 08:07:30 PM
Yeah this festival is a long time favorite of mine at SDC, was pretty let down by it this year too.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on May 21, 2018, 10:55:51 AM
I noticed that as well. BBQ&Bluegrass is pretty weak this year, which is sad for me as it's my favorite festival by far. Going on ACE weekend I might have missed a lot of the good performances though.

I miss when they had a couple extra local BBQ stands that came in. That place that was in Aurora was really nice, though I think they closed up. SDC's BBQ can be decent, but I'm not a huge fan of the weirder stuff they've been pushing. I like my BBQ simple.

I had the same feelings/thoughts when i was there. 
I thought maybe I was being too criticle with all the TT hype and rebuilding the walkway.  Just expected more from the festival in general.. 
I liked what I saw, And i thought it was intereisting the "windmill" decorations all around the park that related to TT
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on May 21, 2018, 06:10:07 PM
Yup, I have to agree with Sand and Shave.  The music is great, but they may as well call just call it The Bluegrass Festival.  I miss the sauce tasting and the bbq tools that were marketed.  I ran into a guy that was featuring a few different ways to bbq last year, demonstrating with mini lessons, and had samples of brisket, tri tip, pork, etc.  He said the guy that worked for their store was from Kansas - they hire him a few times a year to give lessons.  They hired him for the festival this year, checked out why they weren't being invited back by the City and was told they were no longer doing anything with vendors.  I wonder if that means Kent Rollins won't be back during the Fall cowboy days.

Did anyone notice the lights are now left on at the Opera House and Riverfront Theatre? Neither hubs or I remembered them being left on during the performance before.  They are dimmed, but definitely on.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on May 21, 2018, 07:15:31 PM
It must depend on the performer.  They were definitely off for Rhonda Vincent
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on May 21, 2018, 09:16:07 PM

 I wonder if that means Kent Rollins won't be back during the Fall cowboy days.


DONT even say that!!   LOL.  That guy is great!  I love his stories.....
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on May 22, 2018, 01:23:26 PM
I just checked the Fall schedule and Kent Rollins will be back.  In fact, you can join him and Buck Taylor for a dinner at the Culinary School on select dates for $160 a couple.  Yikes! That's a bit steep for 2 hrs. of entertainment.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on May 22, 2018, 08:09:04 PM
I just checked the Fall schedule and Kent Rollins will be back.  In fact, you can join him and Buck Taylor for a dinner at the Culinary School on select dates for $160 a couple.  Yikes! That's a bit steep for 2 hrs. of entertainment.

I try to talk to Buck Taylor every season and have purchased several of his prints,  what a great talent!!

But 160 for dinner with either one? sorry no thank you. I can get 160 worth of conversation talking or listening to either one in his booth/camp ground... ;D
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on May 23, 2018, 08:49:18 AM
Yeahbut, the people who can afford his original paintings call that kind of money pocket change.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on May 23, 2018, 09:19:58 AM
Yeahbut, the people who can afford his original paintings call that kind of money pocket change.

LOL.  That may be true,  But I probably will never know.. ;D
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: U Smell Smoke on June 11, 2018, 08:47:48 PM
Finally made it to the park today for my first visit of the year. Hot, muggy day that made shows even more attractive.  Time Traveler was a walk on when we rode it in the afternoon. Wife and daughter walked right around and rode it again.  Not really my kind of coaster.  I can say I rode it though. Didn't seem very crowded to me today. A lot of rides were walk ons.  Guess the heat kept some folks away.  As others have said, FM looked nice but still no music. Went to PK first as it is my favorite. No surprise, it didn't open on time. Was saddened to see how much they have stripped back the craft demonstrations.  Cedric mentioned this is their last year.  Said it wasn't their choice and wasn't happy about it. But, his show wasn't real crowded and several people left during it.  Be interesting to see what they will replace it with.  Guess we'll go back tomorrow and try again.  Mike Huckabee is taping his tv show there tomorrow at 11 in the Oprea House. Several locals gonna be performing on the show including the Haygoods and Presley's among others. Might have to check that out.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on June 11, 2018, 08:59:54 PM
Finally made it to the park today for my first visit of the year. Hot, muggy day that made shows even more attractive.  Time Traveler was a walk on when we rode it in the afternoon. Wife and daughter walked right around and rode it again.  Not really my kind of coaster.  I can say I rode it though. Didn't seem very crowded to me today. A lot of rides were walk ons.  Guess the heat kept some folks away.  As others have said, FM looked nice but still no music. Went to PK first as it is my favorite. No surprise, it didn't open on time. Was saddened to see how much they have stripped back the craft demonstrations.  Cedric mentioned this is their last year.  Said it wasn't their choice and wasn't happy about it. But, his show wasn't real crowded and several people left during it.  Be interesting to see what they will replace it with.  Guess we'll go back tomorrow and try again.  Mike Huckabee is taping his tv show there tomorrow at 11 in the Oprea House. Several locals gonna be performing on the show including the Haygoods and Presley's among others. Might have to check that out.

USmell Smoke, tickets are required to get into the Opera House.  Not sure if they're still available, but they are free minus a $1 processing fee.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: U Smell Smoke on June 11, 2018, 09:16:37 PM
Did not know that.  Thanks for the "heads up" Gilligan.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on June 11, 2018, 09:22:28 PM
Here's your link - definitely not the easiest thing to find on their website.


https://store.silverdollarcity.com/tickets/buy-tickets.aspx?specialofferid=HUCKABEE
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on June 12, 2018, 09:03:28 PM
Today was a great day to be at the city as they celebrated Law Enforcement Day.  If you were lucky, you had tickets to see Mike Huckabee filming his show at the Opera House. That was a very cool experience, and the entertainment was great with appearances by The Haygoods, Moe Bandy, Irish Tenor, Tony Orlando, Dino (carrot cake guy), the Presleys, and the new Governor of Missouri, Mike Parson.  The Governor was a real surprise that wasn't announced earlier. It took about 2 1/2 hrs. to film, and I loved watching it play out.  A very cool experience! Cell phones had to remain off and no photography, so I don't really have any photos.

After the show, we went over the Riverfront to see the K-9 demo. There was a short delay because...they were awaiting the arrival of Huckabee and the Herschends! They each spoke for a few minutes thanking all the law enforcement officers.  After the demo, there was an ice cream social that I believe was meant for law enforcement and families, but I think nearly everyone walking by had ice cream.  All in all, it was a very good day at the City today.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: U Smell Smoke on June 12, 2018, 10:13:09 PM
It was a great day at the city as Gilligan said.  We were fortunate enough to get in to see the Huckabee taping and I really enjoyed that.  The entertainment was great and I am anxious to see the two episodes that come out of the taping.  I think the first one airs the weekend before the 4th of July. That would be June 30 and July 1.  The second episode would be the next weekend.  There will be interviews with the Herschends plus features on the Saloon show, the Culinary School, Time Traveler and the dog show from the various intros they recorded. Will be great publicity for SDC and Branson.   The park was not that crowded today.  One employee told me they had about 7,000. Not much of a wait for most rides.  Wife and daughter basically walked on Time Traveler multiple times.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on June 12, 2018, 10:31:52 PM
U Smell Smoke, so glad to hear you made it!  I actually thought of you as we were entering, and I heard one of the ushers tell another that if there were any seats left after 10:30, they would fill them with visitors that didn't have tickets. I loved it and can't wait for it to air. I think you are right about the dates, and it's on TBN Sat. night 8/7C time. I just googled it, and apparently it's also on Sun. nights, and you can watch current episodes online on the TBN site, so yay! It will be interesting to see it after edits.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: U Smell Smoke on June 18, 2018, 05:14:25 PM
Thanks Gilligan. I appreciate your thoughts and again thanks for the warning about the tickets.  I'm glad we got in as I really enjoyed the taping (and the chance to sit down and cool off).  I look forward to seeing the shows and what gets left in and what hits the cutting room floor! Mr. Huckabee is very at ease in front of the cameras and does a nice job.  He seems very personable.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on June 22, 2018, 12:27:42 PM
From Wednesday 6/20/18

STAR-SPANGLED SUMMER
https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/06/star-spangled-summer-sdc.html

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-crK_OOHG1Qg/WyVNp19xC_I/AAAAAAAAusU/e3Ofw9H-P1IxtrBIdiz66WVeY7ttbFeygCLcBGAs/s400/IMG_5771.JPG)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: missouripapa on June 25, 2018, 12:31:26 PM
I took two granddaughters, 3 & 8, to SDC yesterday (Sunday).  What a great day to go!  On the way down from Springfield there was a solid line of traffic leaving Branson and headed north in the rain.
When we got to the parking lot at about 9:15, we used my season pass parking and joined about 20 cars in the preferred parking.  We had to go through ticketing because the 8 year old had lost her military ID and couldn't get the complimentary ticket.
Upon going into the park, the rain continued for a short while, and then quit.  All the rides that appealed to a 3 and 8 were walk-ons.  The train was about 1/3 full, and Thunderation, while running one train, could be ridden as fast as we could walk back around the entrance.  The only disappointment was the Flooded Mine, which was in a sad state.  The gags didn't work when shot, and it was quiet all the way through.  Sad when children could stay on to ride again, and choose not to.
Aside from the FM, the park was in really good shape.  Everything was clean, and without exception the workers were welcoming and friendly.  As someone who has gone to SDC for 55 years, it's just a pleasure to visit.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: kbosch1 on June 26, 2018, 12:12:28 PM
Went for a short day trip to the park on Saturday.  Got there around 12:30 and was actually worried as we turned to go down Indian Point and up to the first parking lot, if the park was even open due to not seeing one car going towards the park!  Thankfully, it was open  :)  We were with some friends who are season pass holders and their older son who hasn't been to the park in 10+ years.  We only had a few hours so we wanted to take him on TT and OR.  We got in line on TT and it looked to be about a 45 minute wait.  Got settled in line and the announcement came...."ride suspended".  We figured we would come back since we were at the end of the line anyway.  We walked around the entire park and went to OR.  Advertised wait time was 20 minutes.  After almost an HOUR, we were next in line and.......you guess it, "ride suspended".  They had one car that had an issue as we noticed they weren't allowing riders in those 2 seats.  Guess they decided to fix it at that point in time.  We decided to wait and see if it would be fixed in 15-20 minutes and they came back over the speaker and announced it was going to take along while to fix.  My question is (and I also asked one of the workers when I was in line), why are they only running one set of cars on a Saturday in June?!?!?   The worker only said, "that's what we've been pretty much doing every day".  So, we walked around some more, caught a Pickers show and headed out.  The day was nice, but the two rides we wanted to ride weren't running.  Very disappointing.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on June 26, 2018, 03:50:08 PM
Anyone get any additional pictures or videos of the new Train engine operating? I've still been meaning to head up there to check it out sometime soon.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on June 26, 2018, 05:40:56 PM
Yes, the wait times on the app are just about worthless.  I watched it either Saturday or Sunday, can't remember, which, and it said 0 wait time on a bunch of rides that I knew darn well would not have a 0 wait time on a weekend.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on June 27, 2018, 12:11:42 AM
I took the eight-year-old to SDC, today, for a little daddy/son time.  He was exactly 52" tall, so I was able to get him onto WF and TT for the first time (my first ride on TT, as well).  It was hot and sticky, today, but the crowds were manageable.  We waited in line for AP (perhaps the hottest queue in the park) for about 15 minutes, but walked onto WF.  He hated it.

PK's line wasn't moving so we left it.

FitH was temporarily closed, so we had to return to it.  Many effects were not working (as was previously reported).  The same was true for FM (also previously reported).

I enjoyed the layout of the new "food court" area, and I don't see any problem with any parades they may have in the future.

We didn't wait for TT for long before getting our first ride there.  I appreciated it, but wasn't sure the boy did.

We circled back to OR, which was also closed earlier for maintenance.  They had announced over the PAs at TT and TnT when it reopened.  I noticed a few of the heavier guys cringing in pain at the restraints.  I know I've felt it more myself in our latest visits.

My son decided he wanted to hit TT for a second time and then WF, as well (which you may remember, he hated on his first try).  I was willing to go for it, but that's when lightning entered the 10-mile radius and rides shut down.  It was late enough in the day that we knew they would not reopen.  My original thought was we should leave the park.  It was also in the thoughts of the majority of the other guests.

The line for the trams backed up into OzMark.  Once through the exit doors, we saw the windstorm begin.  The trees across the tram lanes were bending in pain from the the 70mph wind.  After imagining a tram being turned over in the wind, and not wanting to be in the agonizing traffic during the storm, I decided to circle back, reenter the park, and wait things out somewhere inside.


(https://6076564-664304278789514556.preview.editmysite.com/uploads/6/0/7/6/6076564/img-1530_orig.jpg)
(https://6076564-664304278789514556.preview.editmysite.com/uploads/6/0/7/6/6076564/img-1531_orig.jpg)

I thought the Christmas store would be a pretty good place to stay.  The storm wasn't super dangerous, and we weren't scared, but we then had the option of a room that was somewhat underground.

When the winds died, there was a very light sprinkle.  We then watched the glassblowers for a little while before making our way back to the front.  The line was still stretched to inside the Marketplace.  As we weren't in a hurry, we reversed and went to the leather shop and knife shop to kill some more time.

Finally, we had killed enough of it, so we left, deciding to walk in the cooler weather and light sprinkle - all the way to the far end of the "quarry".  This was in the preferred parking area:

(https://6076564-664304278789514556.preview.editmysite.com/uploads/6/0/7/6/6076564/img-1534_orig.jpg)
(https://6076564-664304278789514556.preview.editmysite.com/uploads/6/0/7/6/6076564/img-1536_orig.jpg)
(https://6076564-664304278789514556.preview.editmysite.com/uploads/6/0/7/6/6076564/img-1535_orig.jpg)

I'm not sure why two wheelchairs sat in the parking lot with nothing around them (rentals, I assume).  Do they keep them in the area for some reason?

Anyway, we enjoyed our visit, and we're always up for some adventure.  Thankfully all of the weather disruption was at the end of our day.  We would have liked to have ridden TT and WF once more before they were shut down, but all in all, the kid behaved, and we made it home safely.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on June 27, 2018, 06:53:23 AM
@ Buff,   sounds like a good overall visit.   Glad the bad weather wasnt worse, and you were still able to enjoy yourselves...
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: ThemeParkFan on June 27, 2018, 09:23:07 PM
Just wrapped up a two day visit.

Loved the new signage that has popped up around the park!

Time Traveler got better each time I rode it. Going upside down sideways was a surreal experience. Great air on the first drop in the back of the train!

The reconfigured path from Time Traveler to the Frisco barn worked well. I was pleased to see a number of new food items in those booths too. However, yesterday around the time they made the call to shut the rides for the storm, I was dismayed to find almost no food stands open from Time Traveler to the Toy Store. I settled on Nachos from Elmer's minutes before they closed too. Has this become normal procedure? It didn't make any sense to me that they would introduce new menu items near a new ride and then shut them down at prime time for dinner. I've never noticed this before.

No lines for Outlaw Run the few times I was over there. I can't tell if I was lucky, its popularity has diminished, or if the location is too remote. I really think the park should try to connect the farm area to FITH or the Opera House if there isn't some issue with the terrain.

Train was most notable for a woman robber (!), and the fact that the script seemed better than the last time I did the train during the regular season, which must have been 2015 or so.

As noted, FITH and FM were a mess. FITH had working music and dialogue, but no sound effects; FM was just sad with no music and maybe half the targets working. Both are due for major TLC.

Took the cave tour to beat the heat in the afternoon today. It was a bit backed up because they apparently had been having problems with the train. When we were at the lowest point we were encouraged to go slowly because more problems had been reported, and we might have to climb back up. Luckily, whatever problems existed were resolved and we were able to take the train out. I wonder if they'll limit the cave tours to slightly less than 60 in the near future- sitting four to a bench was basically not happening in our car and where it did happen, it was often a struggle.

Now that I've ordered it several times over the years, and tried an "upgraded" version today, I must conclude that SDC's Cinnamon Bread just isn't for me. I'll stick to Dollywood's bread in the future.

Overall a great visit, and maybe if I'm lucky, I'll be able to make it down for one of the other festivals before the year is out.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Tmboote on July 11, 2018, 10:39:34 PM
I’ve been at the park the past four days and we’ve been having a great time. The crowds haven’t been bad-we’ve never had to wait more than 15 minutes except when we got to PK and Time Traveler before they opened for the day. I’ve gotten five rides on Time Traveler and think it is a great addition to the park. I love how every ride is different, and the drop is great (especially from rows 7 & 8). Also, I’ve had 2 rides on FITH and all the sounds seemed to be working for me (at least what I remember). My sister was in the train behind me, however, and she said the train sound effect didn’t work for her ride even though it had for mine. I’ve also ridden FM once, and while I don’t really remember what music or sounds were playing on it the last time I rode it in 2015, something seemed different about it so the music must not have been working.

We’ve also gone to White Water twice and it has been pretty busy, which makes sense considering it’s been about 95° every day I’ve been here. The park is still a good time.

Probably not the right place for this, but we also attended yesterday’s showing of Samson at the Sight and Sound Theater and the show was amazing.

I’m excited to go back to SDC and WW the next two days, and I’m also looking forward to seeing the Showboat show for the first time tomorrow evening.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Tmboote on July 15, 2018, 09:47:53 PM
Got back home from our trip to SDC yesterday afternoon and it was an amazing trip. I felt all the rides were running pretty well the whole trip. Time Traveler seemed to be open with two trains nearly the entire trip. It was also a pleasant surprise to see TNT and PK running two trains Sunday-Wednesday and PK running three trains and WF and TNT running two trains on Thursday and Friday. The Barn Swing also had both sides going every day except for one (I don’t remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday).

I was also impressed with FITH. I hadn’t been on it since 2015 and with how people talked about it on this site, I expected it to have some issues, but every time I rode it all the scenes and sounds seemed to be working. I also thought the drops seemed smoother than they did when I rode it in 2015.

Waking around the City, it seems to me that the Grand Exposition area is hidden with how they redid the area around TT. The path to get back to it is very narrow and with the queue for Echo Hollow being on that narrow path, it doesn’t seem like there would be a big kids area on the path. If I didn’t know about GE, I don’t think I would’ve found it very easily, and when I was back there it didn’t seem very busy.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on July 16, 2018, 09:26:06 AM
We had a great time last Tuesday.  Crowds were light so little to no wait for most things. No music still on Flooded Mine or Fire in the Hole, but most of the other sounds were working at least.  it was a lot of fun to bring the whole family from California and Maryland to experience the park.

biggest beef- one man robber show because of how they do breaks now.

You can see the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL9h7OOZYtg
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on September 07, 2018, 08:42:18 PM
Hubs and I went to hear Firefall tonight at Echo Hollow. The rain held off, Echo was about 1/3 full, and the band was better than I even expected. Had a great time!  Couple things we noticed - on the way down to Echo Hollow, on the opposite side of the walkway where the lantern lights are, there are big, round led lights that shine up into the trees.  We saw them at a couple other places walking out.  They are pretty, BUT they totally ruin the ambiance, and they are clashing with the soft lantern light.  Now, the best part of all, was Brad Thomas and a couple of suits were walking ahead of us as we were discussing this.  I couldn't get the hubs to move faster - I wanted to talk loud enough that he would overhear our conversation about the new lights that are shining a cold blue and green up into the trees and how they are too contemporary for their setting.  ;D

 I know the Fall Festival doesn't start until the 12th, but the vendors on Main St. were set up.  Very little fall decoration going on - a few stores had a wreath on the door.  I hope they aren't finished setting up as it looks very unremarkable right now.

One thing was a little weird.  Hubs went off to get drinks for us, and carried them back without lids. One was collapsing a bit, but I had something to pour it into. Now, the vendor told him that the park is no longer providing lids for any drinks.  Not even hot coffee!  The reason given was that kids flip them into vats of hot oil, so they decided to do away with them.  With cooler weather coming soon and more hot drinks being sold, I see this as an enormous problem that they should be concerned about.  Very difficult to hold onto an open drink if your in a wheelchair, walking thru a crowd, trying to push a stroller, getting bumped standing in line. A few years ago, I was handed a cup of wassail w/o a lid at the 5K and it flipped in the process.  That was wickedly hot and steaming.  I got a "sorry about that" and another drink which I turned down. No more hot drinks in a crowd!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: How-doFolks on September 18, 2018, 07:31:32 PM
Went to the park this past Sat, the 15th. Had 10 people with us all total!! Most had never been there before and loved the place within 10 minutes of being there. Anyways..
Friday, my wife & I & my brother went to park after 3 so we could get in free the next day. The park was not busy at all. Rode AP 1st off, have not ridden it in probably 4-5 years. Tried PK again & it did not make us dizzy this time. And then of course rode FITH. After that we just walked around the park & looked at some of the craftsmen.
Saturday all 10 of us ate City breakfast. The park was open by the time we were done. They wanted to do the cave first, but we thought the park night get busy like always on a Sat. So we talked them into hitting most of the rides first. The newbies loved every ride & being in the park. We started on the left side of the park & they rode everything. By the time we got to TT & TNT, it was about 2-3pm & the wife & I were getting hungry. So we left.
It was also car show weekend, but it did not seem to be too busy, did see a lot of hot rods. We had lots of laughs & good times. Talked to a lady at the slushy machine place right by the RR bridge, she was a nice lady, had some good stories about meeting & hanging out the Herchends. She was from Texas, they come up here for the summer. Talked to Betty at Mollies Mill, she had just celebrated her 30 years at SDC, that was great, they let us keep our food ticket to add to our SDC collection.
We paln on doing this again next year. My brother works for Waffle House, & 3/4 of the folks that went with us, work for WH. I made a FB page for our Moonlight Madness trip, but since we didnt go, we have changed it to The Waffle House SDC Trip. We are up to 30 members. Anyways.. It was a great trip as always. Talked to KD & told her if she needed anythig, she knew what room i was in. Saw Mrs. CheeseHead too at Classic. As always, a great time at SDC & Branson!! :)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on September 19, 2018, 07:04:35 AM
sounds like a good visit..  lots of fun..

Glad to hear Cheeseheads made it, hadnt seen any post form her lately...  I hope to see her this weekend..
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on September 19, 2018, 10:27:17 AM
Went to the park this past Sat, the 15th.

I was also out there on Saturday!  A bit on the crowded side, but not overwhelming, and we were able to do a lot. I wonder how many times we ended up crossing paths during the day...

For me it was more about shows and the festival on Saturday, catching the saloon, homestead pickers, wild west show, and more, and had a blast doing that.  it was also a way to avoid the lines for the rides. :-)

I put my day into video form, so you can see it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI628gVs-GM
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on September 19, 2018, 01:04:49 PM
I went on Sunday the 16th. Got there a bit before opening. Quite a lot more traffic than I was expecting but it was quite warm. I have taken to riding my motorcycle when going alone and that makes getting parked and leaving SO much easier.

Each year it seems like there are less and less craftspeople... But I think the truth of the matter is that the last couple years the craftspeople there just did not have crafts I was interested in. I am more into paintings and photos and there were just a few of each. I saw the Farnum Family which I was skeptical of at first and then they played a version of "Pancho and Lefty" that I enjoyed immensely. Sawy The Western Flyer as well but I have trouble getting into Texas swing music. I intended to see the western show but the lines for it were past the barn and I was not in the mood to stand in the sun and wait.

I am hoping to get back in early October when they switch out the craftspeople but not sure my schedule is going to allow that.

I did manage to finally get a recording of the train whistle and it rolling by sans conductors... Hoping to use this in a song. I stood near Red Gold Hall and waited until it came around that bend. I would have preferred the longer whistle earlier in the ride, but figured trying to ride and record would be ruined by all of the people on the train.

With the crowds I have seen this year even on my normal visiting day of Sunday, I am not looking forward to Christmas crowds
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on September 19, 2018, 07:51:24 PM
Today was a nice visit, and I was surprised at the number of people there on a Wednesday.  Lots of kids! I agree with Jemmicat in that I don't think there are as many crafters there either.  Talked to a couple of vendors we always stop and talk with who told us that they were told they aren't being invited back next year. For the first time, I got to hear Violet Hensley play her fiddle and sing.  That was an honor! I really enjoyed the reps from the Cherokee nation and learned a bit of history from the potter, bow maker, and flute player.  There was a cooking demo on the schedule, but was told that it's only held on Sat., so it must've been a misprint in the schedule. Hubs only comment was that so much of the park, at least in the back, was closing or closed at 5:30, and he was annoyed by it. We had to walk to the front to find one open to get a drink.

We went with the sole purpose of riding water rides and leaving, but got side tracked with other things and rode only LR.  Came home drenched, but had a really great day.   
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: kbosch1 on September 20, 2018, 01:15:29 PM
Talked to a couple of vendors we always stop and talk with who told us that they were told they aren't being invited back next year.

Is this due to them not having this festival next year or they just don't want the outside vendors?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on September 20, 2018, 01:50:57 PM
Talked to a couple of vendors we always stop and talk with who told us that they were told they aren't being invited back next year.

Is this due to them not having this festival next year or they just don't want the outside vendors?

You know, I'm not really sure.  I didn't want to ask too many questions when it was brought up.  The two that spoke about not coming back were in the Frisco Barn.  One mentioned that the entire back of the park was in for a remodel, but not sure how he would know that.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on September 20, 2018, 02:11:06 PM
Talked to a couple of vendors we always stop and talk with who told us that they were told they aren't being invited back next year.

Is this due to them not having this festival next year or they just don't want the outside vendors?

You know, I'm not really sure.  I didn't want to ask too many questions when it was brought up.  The two that spoke about not coming back were in the Frisco Barn.  One mentioned that the entire back of the park was in for a remodel, but not sure how he would know that.

Hmmmm...... this is so close to the waterboggin tower. Hmmmmmmmm..............

Sounds like SDC is about to get their own new area similar to dollywood. Waterboggin footprint and Employee parking lot.

Bad News for Flooded Mine?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on September 21, 2018, 11:43:15 AM

Sounds like SDC is about to get their own new area similar to dollywood. Waterboggin footprint and Employee parking lot.

Bad News for Flooded Mine?

It was indicated to me 2 years ago that Both FM and Boatworks Theatre were in danger....  Boatworks more then FM..

But with TT last year, I wouldnt expect anything very major happening this year, especially with NO annoucements and NO vicous rumors floating around.

No doubt though, from all the cancellations for vendors for Fall Festival... Something is in the works... ::)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on September 21, 2018, 03:56:50 PM


Sounds like SDC is about to get their own new area similar to dollywood. Waterboggin footprint and Employee parking lot.

Bad News for Flooded Mine?

Highly doubt it.  I've heard some interesting rumors from the craftspeople that I never saw come to pass.  We know that they are redoing the festival event next year, as evidenced by the departure of the Wild West Show and a few other small changes they've announced.  It's very possible they're just completely reworking how they're gong to do that whole event.

But if they were doing a major remodel of an area of the park, you can bet they would have announced it and been milking it for all it's worth already.  That's not the kind of thing they are going to do under the radar and not say anything about.  Remember how early the hints were dropping about Christmas in Midtown- a full year before it happened.  They're not going to have a major project like that go by and nothing even hinted until a quiet rumor 6 months from when it would be complete.

Which is also why I laugh every time certain people start talking about the redone entrance and moving it or Echo Hollow.  Again things that the PR department isn't going to keep hidden.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on September 21, 2018, 04:46:54 PM


Sounds like SDC is about to get their own new area similar to dollywood. Waterboggin footprint and Employee parking lot.

Bad News for Flooded Mine?

Highly doubt it.  I've heard some interesting rumors from the craftspeople that I never saw come to pass.  We know that they are redoing the festival event next year, as evidenced by the departure of the Wild West Show and a few other small changes they've announced.  It's very possible they're just completely reworking how they're gong to do that whole event.

But if they were doing a major remodel of an area of the park, you can bet they would have announced it and been milking it for all it's worth already.  That's not the kind of thing they are going to do under the radar and not say anything about.  Remember how early the hints were dropping about Christmas in Midtown- a full year before it happened.  They're not going to have a major project like that go by and nothing even hinted until a quiet rumor 6 months from when it would be complete.

Which is also why I laugh every time certain people start talking about the redone entrance and moving it or Echo Hollow.  Again things that the PR department isn't going to keep hidden.

Good to hear that, Sir Willow!  I hope you're right.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on September 23, 2018, 07:38:57 PM


Sounds like SDC is about to get their own new area similar to dollywood. Waterboggin footprint and Employee parking lot.

Bad News for Flooded Mine?

Highly doubt it.  I've heard some interesting rumors from the craftspeople that I never saw come to pass.  We know that they are redoing the festival event next year, as evidenced by the departure of the Wild West Show and a few other small changes they've announced.  It's very possible they're just completely reworking how they're gong to do that whole event.

But if they were doing a major remodel of an area of the park, you can bet they would have announced it and been milking it for all it's worth already.  That's not the kind of thing they are going to do under the radar and not say anything about.  Remember how early the hints were dropping about Christmas in Midtown- a full year before it happened.  They're not going to have a major project like that go by and nothing even hinted until a quiet rumor 6 months from when it would be complete.

Which is also why I laugh every time certain people start talking about the redone entrance and moving it or Echo Hollow.  Again things that the PR department isn't going to keep hidden.

Not if it's for 2020.

New shows/festivals next year, new area /revamp with a major ride 2020. Something like that would take more than a year.  Could we see the at grade train crossing go bye bye for a overpass/underpass?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on September 23, 2018, 08:06:24 PM
When they built Fireman's Landing, they put in the infrastructure for a train Track crossing(see photo).
That could easily be used as part of a new pathway to connect Fireman's Landing and Grand Expo. I theorize that they would only claim the southern half of that employee parking lot for this. But if you look at how FM, Frisco Barn and the area left from the Water Boggin and you have the making of a space for a coaster. Other wildcards are RiverFront playhouse and the open air theater and if Valley Road stays.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on September 23, 2018, 08:23:41 PM
Whenever they pull the trigger in that area -  FL and old Waterboggan....   

I am real sure that Riverfront will go too.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on September 23, 2018, 09:47:55 PM
Quote
I am real sure that Riverfront will go too.
I think that are was poorly used.  It wouldn't surprise me one bit. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on September 24, 2018, 07:26:51 AM
Quote
I am real sure that Riverfront will go too.
I think that are was poorly used.  It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Well that and for sure the last 3 or 4 years, the maintenence on building and surrounding area is really slacking..  that is what I am noticing.... LOL, 
that and a couple of the citizens have mentioned something may happen in that area ;)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on September 24, 2018, 12:03:18 PM
We were at the City Sunday.  It was a nice pleasant day, crowds were lite and all rides we rode were walk on.  When we first got there we were going to ride TT but the line was backed up to the stairs going up to the 2nd level and they only appeared to be running 1 train.  We left and didnt try it again.  Got to meet Buck Taylor who was down in the barn area selling his art work. Had a long discussion with KD at Classic.  When we were checking in there was a group of folks sitting in the lobby.  We asked her who the new owners were and she nodded to them.  I guess the place can no longer be called American owned, at least it does not appear to me to be.  She was very upset and frustrated by the number of hours they are making her work and they are now charging her to live on the property, yet require her to as they never let her off work.  As we were heading out to dinner we say some of the guys from the group who were the owners walking across the street to the one that is across and just up the road a bit, the Brickhouse something or other I believe.  I would assume they also own that one.  When we got back from dinner we brought KD some food from Florentino's.  That seemed to have made her day.  I really feel sorry for her.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on September 24, 2018, 12:18:32 PM
  I guess the place can no longer be called American owned, at least it does not appear to me to be.  She was very upset and frustrated by the number of hours they are making her work and they are now charging her to live on the property, yet require her to as they never let her off work.  As we were heading out to dinner we say some of the guys from the group who were the owners walking across the street to the one that is across and just up the road a bit, the Brickhouse something or other I believe.  I would assume they also own that one.  When we got back from dinner we brought KD some food from Florentino's.  That seemed to have made her day.  I really feel sorry for her.

Is that even legal to require a person to work that many hours, not leave the premises, yet charge to live there?  I think that's called slavery.  I hope she get out of there soon.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on September 24, 2018, 02:07:48 PM
No, it is not legal.  I forgot to mention, she did say she gave them her notice but they would not accept it.  They said she would either just have to quit, or they would fire her. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on September 24, 2018, 02:21:25 PM
Had a long discussion with KD at Classic.  When we were checking in there was a group of folks sitting in the lobby.  We asked her who the new owners were and she nodded to them.  I guess the place can no longer be called American owned, at least it does not appear to me to be.  She was very upset and frustrated by the number of hours they are making her work and they are now charging her to live on the property, yet require her to as they never let her off work.  As we were heading out to dinner we say some of the guys from the group who were the owners walking across the street to the one that is across and just up the road a bit, the Brickhouse something or other I believe.  I would assume they also own that one.  When we got back from dinner we brought KD some food from Florentino's.  That seemed to have made her day.  I really feel sorry for her.

Yes, that whole thing is getting ridiculous, and now she has closed on her own house, and she has had some concerned job offers.. I dont know why she just doesnt hand them the damn keys..!!  >:( >:(     

Actually I do know why, she is staying for her loyalty to her customers....  I told her to make a customer list and take it with her to her new location..... :(
\
ANYWAY... on a lighter note..  she should have eaten well this weekend...  LOL.. 
we took her burger and fries on friday
Tacos on sat..
Cheesehead said she was going to get her a chicken dinner on sunday evening.
OKIE got her some Florentinos...!!!     
She ate better than I did!!..   

Special thanks from me to you people that are bringing her in food..!  LOL.   

I gave a friend of mine 40 bucks, and asked them to take her a small or medium pizza every couple of days until the money runs out.... Something with Beef or pork or both on it..   supposedly new owners dont eat Meat? (religion)  Hmm??... thinking meat lovers!!!   LOL
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on September 24, 2018, 03:34:26 PM
What a shame.

So soon as I hear she's gone, we will certainly cross the place off our list.  Too bad because it's such a convenient location.

I hope the new owners notice the decline in traffic and come to realize what they have lost:  not just the business but the great person.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on September 24, 2018, 05:30:45 PM
I did not realize anyone else what there Sunday.  If I had known would have tried to say hello.  On another note, I did notice a couple of pallets of new toilets sitting in the back, and other construction supplies around the place so maybe they are getting ready to do a big remodel or something.  It did not seem to me like it needed anything major though.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on September 24, 2018, 07:44:18 PM
I did not realize anyone else what there Sunday.  If I had known would have tried to say hello.  On another note, I did notice a couple of pallets of new toilets sitting in the back, and other construction supplies around the place so maybe they are getting ready to do a big remodel or something.  It did not seem to me like it needed anything major though.

we left sunday morning,  yes some new fixtures sitting around..... 
BUT i can GUARANTEE you, there is NO big remodel going to happen there. a few needed repairs and maint?, Yes..  that is all that will be done, IF in fact that gets done at all..
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on September 24, 2018, 11:27:32 PM


Sounds like SDC is about to get their own new area similar to dollywood. Waterboggin footprint and Employee parking lot.

Bad News for Flooded Mine?

Highly doubt it.  I've heard some interesting rumors from the craftspeople that I never saw come to pass.  We know that they are redoing the festival event next year, as evidenced by the departure of the Wild West Show and a few other small changes they've announced.  It's very possible they're just completely reworking how they're gong to do that whole event.

But if they were doing a major remodel of an area of the park, you can bet they would have announced it and been milking it for all it's worth already.  That's not the kind of thing they are going to do under the radar and not say anything about.  Remember how early the hints were dropping about Christmas in Midtown- a full year before it happened.  They're not going to have a major project like that go by and nothing even hinted until a quiet rumor 6 months from when it would be complete.

Which is also why I laugh every time certain people start talking about the redone entrance and moving it or Echo Hollow.  Again things that the PR department isn't going to keep hidden.

Good to hear that, Sir Willow!  I hope you're right.

Just a reminder that the PR department does not do things on Willow’s timeline and there is a lot of season left. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on September 25, 2018, 01:26:18 PM
When they built Fireman's Landing, they put in the infrastructure for a train Track crossing(see photo).
That could easily be used as part of a new pathway to connect Fireman's Landing and Grand Expo. I theorize that they would only claim the southern half of that employee parking lot for this. But if you look at how FM, Frisco Barn and the area left from the Water Boggin and you have the making of a space for a coaster. Other wildcards are RiverFront playhouse and the open air theater and if Valley Road stays.

You might be surprised to know that crossing has actually been there for years.  I used it when I worked there a couple of times, but it's main use was when they were building Fireman's Landing it was much easier to bring in the materials that way since they were stored in the lot, and that was the main reason that it was improved- so the construction teams working there during Fireman's Landing build could use it.

There's been lots of speculation that at some point they might use the old employee lot for expansion.  The same has been said about the maintanence area around the round house as well, where they could easily build a path from Barn Swing to Fireman's Landing.  Or use the gate by Outlaw Run to build out into the woods. Or...  :-)  Well, I hope you get my drift.

SDC's team didn't win the PR award at the recent Golden Tickets for no reason.  If there were plans being formulated or in place, then there would be something coming out from the park in some fashion.  Markers, planning teams, "convenient leaks" or something other than wild guess work on a fan forum or from a group of people who are only at the park 3-5 weeks a year instead of the regular employees.

In other words, while I'm sure they have some things in the planning stages for 2020, at this point I'm not optimistic that it's any of those.  I have some ideas, and have had a few discussions, but I don't want to add speculation or rumors so I'll refrain until there is something more solid, but don't count on what you think you're seeing or hearing.  :-)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on September 25, 2018, 01:30:26 PM
No, it is not legal.  I forgot to mention, she did say she gave them her notice but they would not accept it.  They said she would either just have to quit, or they would fire her.

Perhaps they don't realize that's illegal here in the US and they can't force someone to work or refuse to accept their notice?  I hope she walks in 2 weeks and files against them.  That's ridiculous.

Quote from: Swoosh
Just a reminder that the PR department does not do things on Willow’s timeline and there is a lot of season left. 

 ::) ::) Nor do they operate on yours Swoosh, as evidenced by the multiple rumors and things you've had wrong over the last several years.  smh
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on September 25, 2018, 04:13:47 PM


Quote from: Swoosh
Just a reminder that the PR department does not do things on Willow’s timeline and there is a lot of season left. 

 ::) ::) Nor do they operate on yours Swoosh, as evidenced by the multiple rumors and things you've had wrong over the last several years.  smh

Give it a break! sir willow is just adding to a conversation that most of us are interested in, and most of us are interested in what he has to say whether it's speculation or not.  Let's all play nicely! Good grief!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on September 25, 2018, 05:06:01 PM
SDC's team didn't win the PR award at the recent Golden Tickets for no reason.  If there were plans being formulated or in place, then there would be something coming out from the park in some fashion.  Markers, planning teams, "convenient leaks" or something other than wild guess work on a fan forum or from a group of people who are only at the park 3-5 weeks a year instead of the regular employees.

SDC's PR team is amazing and doesn't get the recognition they deserve. They did a mind-blowingly good job with the Time Traveler publicity and made headlines worldwide. Not sure what you're trying to say here. We will hear about 2019 stuff here in about a month when they start pushing 2019 passes as is typical. As for potential 2020 stuff, SDC isn't usually a park to tease things a long ways off unless construction is obvious.

Anyhoo.... This thread is supposed to be for trip reports. We have a whole other section of the forums for speculation.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on September 25, 2018, 10:00:12 PM
Quote from: Swoosh
Just a reminder that the PR department does not do things on Willow’s timeline and there is a lot of season left. 

 ::) ::) Nor do they operate on yours Swoosh, as evidenced by the multiple rumors and things you've had wrong over the last several years.  smh

Oh honey, if you’ve been around the business as long as I have you’d know how fluid things can be in this industry.  What was solid 100% one day can be cancelled the very next.  So no, they were not wrong, just either cancelled for a different project or put on the back burner.  Do you have any idea how many times the FITH, FM and LR projects have had their timelines changed?

Sorry Gilligan, had to renew my lease in Willow’s head
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on September 25, 2018, 10:09:05 PM
^lol, so in other words, you've ended up being wrong on your "hints" before. Most of the time none of us really know what is going on. Sometimes the people in charge don't even know what they're going to end up with. I don't know what there is to get out of being a know-it-all about the future plans of a theme park. Personally, I like watching and guessing at what they'll come up with.

I'm getting real tired of the snide comments back and forth. It's such a stupid and immature thing to argue over. Last warning.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Coaster on October 23, 2018, 09:43:06 PM
I was at the park on Saturday. I hadn't been to the fall festival in a couple years so I was excited to return, and I was reminded as to the reason fall-winter is my favorite time of year at SDC. I love the fall weather, the colors of the leaves, and the overall atmosphere at the park. I enjoyed several of the craftsmen/women booths around the square, although some were not overly impressive. Crowds were manageable all day, but it was pretty busy. Longest wait of the day was a little over an hour for Time Traveler first thing in the morning. I also waited the longest I have for Wildfire in quite some time. Later in the day, I got my first ride on PK for a couple years because the line wasn't too long. Normally I do not feel the need to wait for PK. I was reminded why, it feels like it has gotten a lot rougher since I rode it last. Still a fun ride though.

Highlight of the day for me was the stagecoach "show" with Cowboy Rick. I loved hearing the history of the stagecoach, getting to hear the story from them, and looking through their book. I already knew the early history of SDC, but I love that SDC is allowing the general public to hear it as well. I think it just enriches the overall quality of the park.

Now for my "SDCFan nitpicks." Why are cast members allowed to wear 21st century tennis shoes with their costumes? Yes, I know, for the normal guest this goes unnoticed. However, it really does take me out of the moment when I see the ride operators wearing Nike tennis shoes with 1880's dress otherwise. These kinds of costume infringements would not happen at Disney, which I feel needs to be the gold standard SDC should strive for when it comes to theme. Second nitpick is the merchandise selection at SDC. All I want is an SDC hoodie or sweater with the classic axe and log logo. However, all I can find anywhere in the park is clothes with roller coasters, trees, or mountains on them. Honestly, a lot of SDC's merchandise when it comes to clothing is targeted at a younger audience which is just really disappointing. A lot of it is not appealing to me at all. I would be willing to pay higher price for a higher quality clothing selection.

Overall, it was a great day even with those two minor complaints. I can't wait to make it back for OTC!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Tmboote on October 23, 2018, 10:20:55 PM
^ Based on the shoe comment... how many types of shoes are there that would be comfortable to stand and walk in for an entire day that match the 1880s themed outfits? I know that even with tennis shoes on my feet would be tired by the end of the day
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Joy on October 24, 2018, 07:49:31 AM
Honestly, as much as I like that Disney enforces full costume, I feel bad for those who can't wear more comfortable shoes, so I'm okay with SDC allowing it. I sympathize with them, as when I worked at Worlds of Fun, even though my booth was run by a different company, we still had to dress for WoF's employee dress code. With having to stand for a full 5-6 hours (we weren't allowed any stools/etc - "if you're sitting you don't look like you're working" even though as an airbrush artist, I'd pretty obviously be working even if I was sitting), it was frustrating that the dress code only allowed "shoes with laces", which meant I couldn't wear my Crocs, which are the only footwear I've been able to wear and not have aching feet and back after being on my feet for several hours.

So, yeah, if SDC allowing employees to wear sneakers means they don't have to deal with sore feet or back? I'm all for it.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on October 24, 2018, 08:25:50 AM
Quote
All I want is an SDC hoodie or sweater with the classic axe and log logo. However, all I can find anywhere in the park is clothes with roller coasters, trees, or mountains on them. Honestly, a lot of SDC's merchandise when it comes to clothing is targeted at a younger audience which is just really disappointing. A lot of it is not appealing to me at all. I would be willing to pay higher price for a higher quality clothing selection.

Amen to the merch getting worse.  When I was in Dollywood I noted the merch there was unappealing to me, same company I suspect from all I see same corp direction.  I see SDC is going the same direction.  I was looking at shirts last time I was there.  All pictures of rides.  SDC is changing,  They are gearing to the younger folks and thats ok but I dont believe its the teens that turn the turnstiles April - June Then September - Christmas,  Lots of non-weekend days in that schedule.  Don't forget the adults or they won't be willing to bring the kids as often.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on October 24, 2018, 08:27:39 AM
A few years ago, they sold vintage-looking Fire in the Hole hoodies, and I was lucky enough to get one. It's one of my favorite shirts. I would like to see an entire line of vintage SDC shirts. Imagine the possibilities!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on October 24, 2018, 10:19:15 AM
For costumes, I don't let a few little things done for comfort get in the way of the experience. I'm glad they still wear as much costuming as they do. Shoes are practically a human rights issue these days if you are on your feet all day. Forcing them to wear uncomfortable shoes is a good way to get people to quit, or even worse - unionize. Theoretically they could provide employees a comfortable, less conspicuous shoe style, but I'm sure it's cost-prohibitive.

As for merch, it comes and goes. It's all based on whatever they think will sell, so send them your thoughts. What sells this year will impact what they have the next.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on October 24, 2018, 11:17:54 AM
The shoe issue comes down to one thing- as others have mentioned- "authentic" looking shoes are, generally, also horribly uncomfortable, especially when it comes to being on your feet for 8 hours + a day.  When I was there the general rule was a "color appropriate work shoe without a logo" at least for the train.  We weren't allowed tennis/ athletic shoes per se, but I was able to find some very comfortable work shoes with gel soles in them that worked very well.  But they really weren't any more time appropriate than a tennis shoe either.

However, I also can understand what you're saying in that just at a glance the tennis shoe can look more "modern" than a work shoe.  I'm curious if it's just the visiting craftsmen that are wearing them, or if it's a widespread thing among the employees.  I haven't noticed it. But then I also don't tend to stare at people's feet either.  :-)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on October 24, 2018, 04:39:56 PM
SDC CRAFT & COWBOY FESTIVAL
https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/10/craft-and-cowboy-festival-sdc.html

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wryVHMRixDQ/W9DaQwdYTdI/AAAAAAAAweU/WiLTN1fQ2ZIqTmxvpTExUR1ysYxU894fACLcBGAs/s400/1.JPG)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Coaster on October 24, 2018, 06:50:59 PM
Just to be clear, I do support comfort at work. I just wish that the shoes fit in better with their costumes, is all I am saying. And no, I did not stare at employee's shoes all day.  But when one stands in line, you notice random things. ::)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 25, 2018, 08:07:09 AM
Just to be clear, I do support comfort at work. I just wish that the shoes fit in better with their costumes, is all I am saying. And no, I did not stare at employee's shoes all day.  But when one stands in line, you notice random things. ::)

I agree..  Things, 

You know..... Things  :o

For Example :
Shoes,
2 way radios,
cell phones,
secruity carrying guns,
AC units on buildings,
fans,
machine tracks in the Asphalt,
Things.. :)   
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on October 26, 2018, 07:01:25 PM
I understand about shoes. Theme-appropriate footwear is both expensive and uncomfortable. Forty years ago, wearing Grandpa's old hunting boots was cheap and easy, but it's not that way today. For one thing, Grandpa is probably still wearing them. ;)

I think even Miss Mary would give in on this. Not about the wristwatches and cell phones, though.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on October 28, 2018, 07:07:09 PM
We were at the City for a little bit Friday afternoon and Saturday.  We got there at about 2:45pm and the crowds were not too bad.  We rode all the rides we wanted then left at about 5 I think.  Saturday we got there at around 9:45am or so.  We walked on to every single ride we wanted to ride with no wait at all.  We rode PK totally alone as well as FITH.  We back and rode PK another couple of times.  We then walked around and checked some of the booths out for a while, then rode TT toward the end of our visit with about a 30 minute wait.  This was around 12:30pm.  I think when we first got there everyone else headed to TT first, so we were able to walk on all other rides for the first hour or 2 they were open.  By the time we left before 1pm the parking lot looked full and the square was starting to fill up. 

One other thing of note, we noticed they were setting up tents in the area behind the admin building to the right of where the trams pull up.  We asked the stop 1 driver what that was and he said he was not 100% sure but he thought they were setting those up because they think the crowds for Christmas will be so huge they will also bring people in around that side (maybe that is the employee entrance)?  Anybody else heard that?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on October 29, 2018, 08:44:54 AM
One other thing of note, we noticed they were setting up tents in the area behind the admin building to the right of where the trams pull up.  We asked the stop 1 driver what that was and he said he was not 100% sure but he thought they were setting those up because they think the crowds for Christmas will be so huge they will also bring people in around that side (maybe that is the employee entrance)?  Anybody else heard that?

That honestly wouldn't shock me at all.  I'm going to dare to chance the crowds this Saturday for a meet and greet- and maybe next Saturday for the ACE event (I still haven't quite decided on that) but they'll both be days that I'll get there very early then plan plenty of crowd watching.  :-)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on October 29, 2018, 10:49:38 AM
My family and I were in the City on Friday and Saturday. We had a great time as always! We made the following observations:

1. This was our first time on Time Traveler. It was a great coaster and the entire family enjoyed it.
2. SDC has upped its coffee game. In the past, the coffee has tasted instant. The coffee this year tasted brewed and it was very good.
3. Is it just me, or did they change the apple turnover recipe? I didn't care for the turnovers this year.
4. I was pleased with the new food court. I'm a SDC traditionalist, so I tend to be change averse.  :) However, this was well done.
5. I was amazed at the rebuilt Jack's building in Midtown. If I didn't follow this site and known it had been done, I would have never noticed.
6. I continue to be amazed how a theme park can trigger such an emotional connection for my family and me. I can't wait for Christmas!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 29, 2018, 01:37:56 PM
My family and I were in the City on Friday and Saturday. We had a great time as always! We made the following observations:


3. Is it just me, or did they change the apple turnover recipe? I didn't care for the turnovers this year.


The turnovers were below par last year also...  IMHO
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on October 29, 2018, 04:32:28 PM
Same with the Hot Chocolate seemed very watered down.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: DianaGail on October 29, 2018, 06:11:20 PM
Any thoughts on This coming Sunday?  My kids don’t have school Monday. It would be the perfect Sunday to go and let them ride til close.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 29, 2018, 06:23:43 PM
Supposed to be nice,
First weekend for christmas,
enjoy yourself should be perfect..!
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on October 30, 2018, 07:58:19 AM
Any thoughts on This coming Sunday?  My kids don’t have school Monday. It would be the perfect Sunday to go and let them ride til close.

Supposed to be some showers Saturday evening into Sunday, and cool, but looks like it will clear up for park hours.  Saturday is the day I expect to be really busy, so Sunday could turn out to be a great day to go.  But expect some crowds since it's opening weekend.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: okiebluegrass on October 30, 2018, 08:49:07 AM
Any thoughts on This coming Sunday?  My kids don’t have school Monday. It would be the perfect Sunday to go and let them ride til close.

Sunday is my favorite day to be at the City, since it is usually not as crowded. I will be there this Sunday as well.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 30, 2018, 10:54:14 AM
@DianaGail,   why are the kids out.?   I think we have school everywhere up here..
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: DianaGail on October 30, 2018, 11:06:35 AM
@DianaGail,   why are the kids out.?   I think we have school everywhere up here..

Some school districts have gotten smart and realized the time change is hard on kids. So, to give them an extra day to get over it, many schools in the Joplin area will have inservice days on Monday.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on October 30, 2018, 12:46:14 PM
@DianaGail,   why are the kids out.?   I think we have school everywhere up here..

Some school districts have gotten smart and realized the time change is hard on kids. So, to give them an extra day to get over it, many schools in the Joplin area will have inservice days on Monday.

I can handle the fall back and get the extra hour of sleep just fine.........now the spring forward, I could see being off that first Monday as a big benefit.

Jay
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: cheesehead57 on October 30, 2018, 12:54:52 PM
We Cheeseheads will be in SDC for Christmas opening this weekend.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on October 30, 2018, 04:20:34 PM
@DianaGail,   why are the kids out.?   I think we have school everywhere up here..

There are also a number of districts in the area that have also now gone to a 4 day school week, with Monday being their standard day off.  While it's a small number, most of them are near SDC
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 30, 2018, 07:52:42 PM
We Cheeseheads will be in SDC for Christmas opening this weekend.

we will be in and out also.  will look for you at breakfast on sunday,,,

safe travels'
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on October 31, 2018, 07:56:38 AM
Might see you this weekend as well
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: DianaGail on November 04, 2018, 09:20:21 PM
The weather wasn’t perfect today but we went anyway. A high of 46 is a bit chilly for November 4th. Anyway...

Attendance was around 6000 at 6 pm. The city looks beautiful dressed in her holiday finery. Seriously, the attention to detail is astounding at times. We got there at rope drop. Walk on to thunderation and a 10 minute wait for time traveler.  Done. Off to the measuring station (move it to the top of the hill!!!!) and to do some expo rides. All walk on. Met Rudolph and clarice. Off to the outlaw run area. Again...all 3 rides walk on. Now we see powder keg is open. Get there as fast as possible. The ride is done twice. I’m attaching a photo of my daughter riding pk for the first time. She was screaming “I’m gonna die!” Over and over again before take off. We laughed so hard we were crying. However, she ended up loving it and she then rode every coaster in the park..all for the first time. The big kids split off for more coaster time and we took the littles to meet Santa. Then down to fireman’s landing.  Again...the most time to wait was 1 round. Ate grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. Then a buzz through midtown and stopping to watch the tree. Overall, it was a great day. I kind of dread our trip in 2 weeks...it will be on a Saturday.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on November 05, 2018, 08:12:21 AM
DianaGail sounds like an absolutely awesome day. Especially after the 20,000 people that were out there Saturday that I braved for a little while.   lol
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: okiebluegrass on November 06, 2018, 10:11:49 AM
My wife and I were there on Sunday for our anniversary. Went and saw Dickens and then walked over to the Frisco Barn on our way to IAWL. Very long line so we decided to ride the train just as it was getting dark. Zero wait time. We walked right on. I noticed the trick bench and showed it to my wife (thanks, Sir Willow).

Next, We walked around midtown for awhile and decided to eat dinner at Wagon Works. After that, we went back to the square to watch the tree lighting.

The tree looks kinda glitchy. There was an entire section of lights that was flashing off and on when it shouldn't be. I love that tree but the technology is outdated and it is in desperate need of an upgrade.

My wife decided that we had to watch the 6PM parade (Holly Jolly.. Holly Jolly... UGH) because her friend's daughter is in it.  We followed the parade from GE all the way back to the front gate and missed most of the traffic leaving the park (which is an awesome strategy BTW).

Overall, another great trip
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on November 11, 2018, 12:46:38 PM
AN OLD TIME CHRISTMAS 2018
SHOWS part 1 (https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/11/an-old-time-christmas-shows-part-1-sdc.html)
SHOWS part 2 (https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/11/an-old-time-christmas-shows-part-2-sdc.html)
DECORATIONS (https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/11/an-old-time-christmas-decor-sdc.html)
LIGHTS (https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2018/11/an-old-time-christmas-lights-sdc.html)

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WY6a-xyLd5M/W-hhJtgR8iI/AAAAAAAAwwM/THZPVexiUDgHbLi_SCNuqPf3WRSExZ8wgCLcBGAs/s400/IMG_2093.JPG)

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6pZ4rXzwIlw/W-hpC38n0EI/AAAAAAAAw0Q/fgQ5-wl_SPwN7yXzhxgYUVvwKy3_Zj4YgCLcBGAs/s400/IMG_2023.JPG)

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yWIHqvH7uwc/W-JL9-6Wd3I/AAAAAAAAwlQ/N_z4eDfF8bMVKO6YbGME003-OR0IHvg-ACLcBGAs/s400/DSC_0217.JPG)

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lr78KxAYFwc/W-JQnuOlqfI/AAAAAAAAwnQ/uPR39ISkNtwrXVWwJsGohL5GzBZ2ZId_wCLcBGAs/s400/DSC_0277.JPG)
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on November 12, 2018, 01:39:23 PM
It was a tough Coaster Christmas this year with the unexpected arctic blast, but SDC was enjoyable as always for me at least. The rides had a narrow operating window on Sat. due to the temps. Time Traveler operated for about 30 mins or so? The train had some trouble and didn't open till late in the day, but we snagged a spot on the last ride. Really makes you appreciate the indoor rides...
Sunday was better for rides, but Time Traveler was down all day with technical problems (or at least it never opened by the time I left)

The presentations were nice as always. Not a lot coming to the region next year unless you are as excited about the year of shows at SDC as I am. I like that WOF is focusing on theming, park atmosphere, and their own identity again from the sounds of it. SFStL was a no-show again.

ERT was cancelled due to temps, but they gave out trailblazers for the ACE members who flew in to ride stuff. A lot of them snagged at least one ride on TT before it closed at least. There were no back stage tours this year, probably due to the huge number of registrants that were expected this year. When CC started it was just ~50 or less, but this year I think there were more than 200 sign-ups? A number of people flew in or drove 9 hours just to see Time Traveler.

I personally had a good time just walking around, hanging out with big Steve, seeing Matt again, and having some good food.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: RedDirt on November 14, 2018, 12:47:05 PM
Any best guesses of projected / anticipated crowd attendance numbers for this Saturday 11/17?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on November 14, 2018, 01:39:10 PM
Any best guesses of projected / anticipated crowd attendance numbers for this Saturday 11/17?


 with predicted weather forecast, and looking at the numbers for the last couple of sat's...  I would guess 16-18,000 people..
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on November 14, 2018, 05:50:37 PM
I  am planning on going out there tomorrow afternoon/evening. I would think it should be pretty light traffic, correct?
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on November 15, 2018, 07:41:53 AM
I  am planning on going out there tomorrow afternoon/evening. I would think it should be pretty light traffic, correct?

I would think extremely light... 
friday wont be bad either......
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on November 16, 2018, 03:37:25 PM
We arrived yesterday at about 3:30pm and stayed till close to 8pm.  All rides were walk on, including TT.  We watched the parade sitting on the new wall with the little tables on them over by the new restaurants.  There was very little crowd there and it was stress free.  When the parade ended, we headed over to the train and jumped in line just as they started letting people into the station for the next ride. They closed the gate at the group that was just ahead of us.  Once the train pulled in and everyone loaded, we ended up getting on that ride just fine but by this time the line behind us was pretty big.  After we got off the train we headed over to TT to ride it in the dark, which was cool.  Once again it was walk on. I had a couple of interesting observations about it that I will post in a separate thread.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on November 16, 2018, 06:08:52 PM
I  am planning on going out there tomorrow afternoon/evening. I would think it should be pretty light traffic, correct?

I would think extremely light... 
friday wont be bad either......

That could change.  An hour ago (5:00), it was 63 degrees.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on November 28, 2018, 08:54:00 AM
I was at the city Saturday night. I was also there last year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which, if I remember correctly, was close to being a record-setter. IF you go into the City expecting these crowds, and IF you know where to go and what to do, it's still a great experience. Here are my tips:

1) Get there before rope drop and parking won't be an issue for you.
2) If you aren't a season pass holder, buy your tickets in advance.
3) Visit Midtown before dark OR after the parade.
4) Stay away from the depot while the train is running. Between people getting on and trains letting off, it's the most crowded point in the park.
5) Time your meals during non-peak meal times. For example, eat lunch at 11 or 1, not at noon.
6) Don't go with the expectation of riding a lot of rides. If you want to ride rides, come at a different time of year.
7) If you want to see the saloon show, be in line an hour in advance. (It's worth it, BTW).
8 ) If you absolutely must see IAWL or Christmas Carol, strongly consider the Show Lover's Pass. It's worth the money. 
9) Plan to stick around to enjoy the city AFTER the parades. Even on the busiest days, it becomes so serene after the parades. It makes fighting the crowds worth it. Plus, getting out of the parking lots will be so much easier.
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: kbosch1 on November 28, 2018, 09:52:35 AM
I was at the city Saturday night. I was also there last year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which, if I remember correctly, was close to being a record-setter. IF you go into the City expecting these crowds, and IF you know where to go and what to do, it's still a great experience. Here are my tips:

1) Get there before rope drop and parking won't be an issue for you.
2) If you aren't a season pass holder, buy your tickets in advance.
3) Visit Midtown before dark OR after the parade.
4) Stay away from the depot while the train is running. Between people getting on and trains letting off, it's the most crowded point in the park.
5) Time your meals during non-peak meal times. For example, eat lunch at 11 or 1, not at noon.
6) Don't go with the expectation of riding a lot of rides. If you want to ride rides, come at a different time of year.
7) If you want to see the saloon show, be in line an hour in advance. (It's worth it, BTW).
8 ) If you absolutely must see IAWL or Christmas Carol, strongly consider the Show Lover's Pass. It's worth the money. 
9) Plan to stick around to enjoy the city AFTER the parades. Even on the busiest days, it becomes so serene after the parades. It makes fighting the crowds worth it. Plus, getting out of the parking lots will be so much easier.


Couldn't agree more!

I'd add, do NOT watch the parade in the Main Street area if you don't want to be 5 people deep. 
Title: Re: 2018 Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on November 28, 2018, 11:29:07 AM
I was at the city Saturday night. I was also there last year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which, if I remember correctly, was close to being a record-setter. IF you go into the City expecting these crowds, and IF you know where to go and what to do, it's still a great experience. Here are my tips:

1) Get there before rope drop and parking won't be an issue for you.
2) If you aren't a season pass holder, buy your tickets in advance.
3) Visit Midtown before dark OR after the parade.
4) Stay away from the depot while the train is running. Between people getting on and trains letting off, it's the most crowded point in the park.
5) Time your meals during non-peak meal times. For example, eat lunch at 11 or 1, not at noon.
6) Don't go with the expectation of riding a lot of rides. If you want to ride rides, come at a different time of year.
7) If you want to see the saloon show, be in line an hour in advance. (It's worth it, BTW).
8 ) If you absolutely must see IAWL or Christmas Carol, strongly consider the Show Lover's Pass. It's worth the money. 
9) Plan to stick around to enjoy the city AFTER the parades. Even on the busiest days, it becomes so serene after the parades. It makes fighting the crowds worth it. Plus, getting out of the parking lots will be so much easier.


Couldn't agree more!

I'd add, do NOT watch the parade in the Main Street area if you don't want to be 5 people deep.

5 ? people deep?   

You meant to say 50 people deep? didnt you.? ;D