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Messages - shavethewhales

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1
Branson Talk / Re: Grand Palace is sold at auction...
« on: November 15, 2018, 02:43:40 PM »
They aren't asking for "free land", they are asking for permission to build into the ROW for their giant octopus thing that will interact with the sidewalk. This is something that Branson has encouraged developers to do as part of the Spirit of 76 project.

Tax incentives are a no-brainer here. On a macro level, they get abused a lot, but if you want big, unique developments you have to help them along. They are taking a bigger risk vs. someone building a walmart or a hotel. If this gets built, everyone will benefit from the increased traffic. You can't really say the same about most general development (although developers certainly try to).

2
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2020 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: November 14, 2018, 08:54:34 AM »
So to bring some of the Lost River speculation over to the 2020 thread (since it is supposedly a 2020 project after all). It turns out that Knott's is also rebuilding their old river rapids ride. What interests me though is the amount of theming and animatronics that Knott's is putting into it. Lost River had that huge building to work with for years and didn't do much with it except for the waterfall gag. Makes me hopeful that a new iteration of the ride could be quite thematic.
https://www.knotts.com/play/rides/calico-river-rapids

3
Construction/Rumors / Re: Fire in the Hole changes coming?
« on: November 13, 2018, 01:13:57 PM »
Sure it's an option. Why wouldn't it be?

We have no idea what the park has planned or even what their true motivations are. The buildings might end up being declared total losses when they go in for a refurb, and then they end up deciding to build something completely different. They might just want something different in any case.

Who knows what will happen eventually. Looks like we get to enjoy them for at least another year in the mean time.

4
Construction/Rumors / Re: Fire in the Hole changes coming?
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:02:52 PM »
It's definitely been an on-going discussion on here for years now, both FITH and Flooded Mine. Almost every year we ask if they are finally going to re-do one of them, but they keep them chugging along as-is.

It's only a matter of time really. Both are having trouble with basic wood rot and issues that haven't been kept on top of like they should have been. At this point I fear the park will want to gut or tear down both and rebuild with new versions. I wouldn't mind the "new" so much if they could keep some of the old theming and keep the same basic "feel" of the ride.

The current big rumor is that Lost River is being re-done for 2020 (based on tram announcements that it will be closed next year). I guess the earliest they could even start on one of the classics would be that year unless something really breaks or fails a major inspection.

5
Branson Talk / Re: Snow Slopes Coming to Branson Area..
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:58:55 PM »
So we actually went and did the snowflex thing on Sunday morning. It was a lot of fun as a group activity. I thought it was decently fun, but it definitely felt like a glorified giant slide vs. a sledding experience. For the price, even with our discount, it's a bit steep, but it's a big professional setup at least. It's great with a big group or family because you can either race or hold on to each other. The group as a whole really enjoyed it and plan to do it again next year.

The first slides were a little slow, but it turns out they have a misting system built in that wets the slide down, so once it was wet we had some nice speed over the humps. It was a bit odd getting misted on a "sledding" hill though. I'll bet it's nicer in the summer though.

It's not nearly as big a slide as the one pictured on the first page of this thread, but it's a decent hill and it has some nice humps built in. There is a conveyor belt that you stand on to go up the hill instead of walking. Unfortunately is strains under the weight of more than a few people and doesn't go very fast. In ~1 hour we got something like 8-10 rides in I think. Everyone seemed to be satisfied with the amount of slides we got in.

The rest of the Wolf Mountain complex looks awesome. The ziplines are where they really shine, and I would believe it if someone told me they were the best in Branson. They've got some good topography to work with there and it's nice and wooded.

Getting to Wolf Mountain is the worst part. They are literally right off of 65 a ways North of Branson, but you can only get there going North. It's a quick little turn-off, and if you miss it you have to loop around back to it.

They have my seal of approval if you want to do something a bit different and adventurous with your family or group. It's not a mind-blowing experience or anything, but the whole place is really well-done as a whole.

6
Branson Talk / Re: Shepherd of the Hills - New Adventure Park
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:42:27 PM »
There's so much being done at SOTH right now. Large new building addition under construction, the new ropes course thing looks great, and the trail of lights and trail rides look to be really nice. It looks like it is really coming together and becoming a full fledged attraction again.  I am definitely planning on checking it out next year.

7
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« 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.

8
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2019 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:29:15 PM »
I think the train is still the star of the park. Lines get ridiculous for it at various times of the year, and I know it sucks for kids when they can't get a ride in due to the huge line. Even just adding another car would be a huge improvement. But I digress, I don't see anything happening with it anytime in the forseeable future now that they have the new engines in place.

In actual 2019/2020 "news", Brad didn't give any real clues about the potential Lost River project at Coaster Christmas, but he did say that 2020 is park's 60th anniversary and that there will be a number of announcements throughout 2019 to get people hyped. He said there will be something to look forward to... There wasn't a Q/A session this time, so no one asked about it.

There are indeed no obvious signs of construction/demolition in the area yet. I didn't ride the trams, so I don't know if they are still mentioning Lost River or not.

9
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2019 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: November 06, 2018, 08:32:28 AM »

Going off this post (and your post over at Toilet Paper Residue)...
The redirection of the road near TT is setting up long term plans.  Things are not done being changed in that area.  You mentioned your curiosity on why such drastic changes for “little gain” - the issue here is you are only judging by what you can see.  The park is slowly building (and rebuilding) their infrastructure.  The older structures featured utilities that were in need of expensive upgrades.  While sentimental attachment to the old is understandable, it’s not cost effective in the long run.  These new structures are better equipped to handle the needs of today and I predict that all future ride additions will come with a new “land” and not just the ride as the entire park is upgraded systematically.  This really started with the RiverBlast area and has continued ever since.

Oh I get it. I've speculated before about them having very long term plans to basically rebuild the park just from an engineering and logistics standpoint. I'm just saying we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves with expectations just yet. Replacing Lost River is already an ambitious project. The other things in the area are probably also in a longer term plan, but I'm going to wait and see what gets closed off next year before I get too dismayed about things being torn down. Sometimes things get scaled back, and sometimes we overestimate the extent of things based on rumors anyway.

10
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: Attendance numbers
« on: November 05, 2018, 08:29:18 PM »
You shouldn't have trouble getting to Outlaw unless it goes down for maintenance. Hard to say which way the weather will go, but there's still time for it to warm up. Either way, it will be a fun trip just to see SDC at Christmas. (even though it's still early November)

11
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2019 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: November 05, 2018, 08:25:33 PM »
Well, we'll see what happens, I'm just saying that's the inclination I would get from that news. I wouldn't put too much stock in any rumors just yet. All we know is that they are moving everybody around. I feel like that's such a big asset to write off unless they are planning on adding another theater in the process somehow. It also seems like they could just re-purpose the building instead of doing a full tear down an new build.

Who knows though, just like with the area around TT I was surprised at how much they rebuilt for apparently so little gain. It's hard to say what the driving forces are sometimes. Maybe the buildings aren't to code or have other problems.

Seeing what happens over the winter will be fun. Lot of questions to answer here. Almost more of a mystery than Time Traveler.

12
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2019 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: November 05, 2018, 07:57:25 PM »
Sounds crazy. The inclination is that Dockside theatre will be taken out. Perhaps it will just be repurposed... I get that they would want to open up all that space, since there is a lot of room behind it, but that's a good theater and shop building.

I assume they have some good plans though. Just have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

As for this weekend, they just announced on FB that since the window of TT being open is going to be short, they aren't going to do ERT and will just give everyone trailblazers.

13
Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2019 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: November 05, 2018, 10:24:48 AM »
lol, so either way though, they've already come out and said it's coming out, they just haven't started OBVIOUS construction yet. Perhaps they have started gutting the inside? Or their workforce is devoted elsewhere with Christmas stuff still. I know we'll all be watching intently for the first signs of real obvious work.

Coaster Christmas this weekend will be interesting. I expect a teaser, just like we got in 2016 when Brad told us to get start getting excited about what we would eventually find out was Time Traveler.

14
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: Attendance numbers
« on: November 05, 2018, 10:17:59 AM »
Welcome bgtgwazi, you coming for Coaster Christmas?

Branson West is always the best way to get to SDC. Coming in at 11 will be tough... that is prime time for the road to be clogged. SDC's parking system is absolutely crazy. Keep in mind that they have limited capacity in the lots close to the park, and on days like these they know that they will exceed them, so they sometimes guide people down the road to the satellite parking lots, some of which are miles from the park. This causes endless confusion for first time visitors who think they are being turned away.

If you look on google maps, there is a Bear State Bank on 76 between SDC and Branson West. The dirt area behind that bank is one of the overflow lots, for example. They also park in the empty lot across from West Branson Marine, and there's a long skinny lot south of SDC on Indian Point Road. So if you end up being flagged through the parking lots, you will likely be redirected towards one of those lots. Don't worry though, the parking is free and there are lots of shuttles.

As for coaster waits, it will be crowded, but SDC is efficient. Even on busy days, Wildfire has pretty short waits of less than 30 mins. Sometimes it's a walk-on. Outlaw Run is about the same, sometimes a bit longer. Powderkeg will stay busy at around an hour or so wait since it is such an all-around hit with a short height limit. Time Traveler is still new and extremely popular, so wait times on it can reach two hours. Thunderation is next to TT and has had a massive popularity boost thanks to it, so it can get waits ~30 mins sometimes too.

But here's the good news, just like you mentioned about DW, a LOT of people come here for the shows, lights, and other things besides coasters. This park has a lot to offer, and it was popular long before all the modern coasters and rides were added. Around mid-day, the lines will be at their longest, but as it gets dark and the lights come out, they will actually drop off. By the end of the day WF and OR are often walk-ons. There's also often a change-over in guests, as some guests come early for rides and then leave to go to Branson for shows, while other people come later just to see the lights. Lots of interesting crowd dynamics at SDC, it's more complicated than most parks.

If you are coming for Coaster Christmas, there is a chance they will give us Trailblazers (SDC's fast pass system). It's not guaranteed, and it's always an awesome event either way, but sometimes they go all-out for ACE. They've already treated us once this year though, and this is going to be a busy weekend, so I wouldn't go in expecting it. Otherwise, buying a trailblazer pass may be worth it for you if you are gung-ho about the rides. Unfortunately for this year, trailblazers can only be used once on Time Traveler due to the extremely high demand.

15
General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: 2019 SDC Refill Tumbler
« on: October 31, 2018, 07:59:07 PM »
Woof, that is steep. I guess they know how often people visit and get refills. As we've discussed before, it's tough to do deals like this when so many people come all year long. Not a lot of people visit WOF 10+ times a year unless they are big enthusiasts, but it's not so rare to hear of people doing that at SDC.

More reason to move to cards/membership programs.

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