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Messages - sirwillow

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Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2017 Project Part 2
« on: November 01, 2016, 07:10:11 PM »
The Osborne lights sound cool to me, not knowing anything about them other than that they are Disney quality.

The concept art seems to show some new buildings in Midtown though? I'm still wondering if they are planning on reconstructing the area, and this seems to be a hint... Looks good though, I like the look of the buildings they've built recently so it could really help bring back the city feel.

The concept art looks like it takes a couple of photos from the Osborne lights at Disney MGM Studios, adds in a couple of other light displays from something else, and adds in a couple of trees as well.  It's a few different photos and images shopped together.

Here's a couple angles from it at Disney to show you what it looked like there (mine from when I worked there- not great though as I was using a lame camera and no tripod to take them)

Branson Talk / Re: Proposed Branson Tram Project
« on: November 01, 2016, 07:01:58 PM »
I'm highly skeptical that the cost to return ratio is going to make this thing financially viable.  And that's going to be a major roadblock to this, or any other system.

Didn't stop KC from putting in the very unpopular streetcar system (and now they want to expand it).  That project went over budget in time and money.

And was government funded by a large city.  Branson is not a large city, doesn't have the funds, and hasn't shown a willingness to fund something like this on their own.  or even to be a major contributor to it.

Branson Talk / Re: The Branson Shuffle starts early
« on: November 01, 2016, 07:00:56 PM »

This.  Glorified karaoke is Branson's problem.  Young people realize this isn't really talent at all, especially for that price.  I can go to the piano bar and listen to good karaoke and drink a beer, too, for five bucks.

You guys make it sound like that is all that the Branson shows are.  There are a LOT of them that are not that at all.  Are there some?  Sure. But quite a few don't fit into that.  If you don't want to see that, then don't.  Go see some of the other shows.  There are acrobats, illusionists, huge stage productions, original singers, animals, pure comedy, variety shows, dinner on a boat or at a Stampede, and plenty of other things to do as well, with all of the min golf, go carts, zip lines, museums, and much more.

Can it use a bit more variety?  Maybe.  But one of the wonderful things about Branson is the large variety.  And if you haven't seen it, then you aren't looking.

Branson Talk / Re: Proposed Branson Tram Project
« on: November 01, 2016, 06:45:53 PM »
I'm highly skeptical that the cost to return ratio is going to make this thing financially viable.  And that's going to be a major roadblock to this, or any other system.

It says in the article, "Green says it would be privately funded and would require a small percentage, roughly 10-percent, of Branson eight-million yearly visitors to be financially viable."  In other words, for this thing to pay for itself it's going to need 800,000 riders a year, or more, to be viable.  I wonder what the cost per rider is that they are thinking for that.  And do they think they'll actually get that many riders?  I don't know.

I know Vegas monorail was built on a lot of the same kind of build up, need, and promises of how it would pay for itself.  And with costs to build it being 3-4 times this cost, and a ridership that has varied from 4-7 million each year (Or 5-8 times the ridership this says it needs) it went bankrupt in 2010.  Not a good omen for something with similar goals, and something that will be looked at.

Honestly, I don't see something like this happening, and especially not being vialble and able to keep operating, without government funding or taxes specifically for it. I don't think it will get the ridership (seniors are not going to leave their cars in mass), nor do I think it's going to draw that many people to ride it to SDC. (for evidence, look at the bus routes that used to run to SDC, all of which are now defunct)

Not to be a debbie downer, but I just don't see this as a workable project, in any form, without massive government help on the financial end.  And I don't think it's the type of project that is worth the massive $$ investment into it, or the small return it would get out of it.  Neat idea?  Nice if it was there?  Absolutely. Worth it?  I don't think so.

Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2017 Project Part 2
« on: October 31, 2016, 08:18:33 PM »
Former Disney castmember in me, and the skeptic... is there a confirmation of this somewhere or just a rumor?  From what I heard from my friends when they took down the Osborne lights this last time many of them were scrapped.  I'm also skeptical that the contract that Disney had with the family would allow them to be sold/ moved to a non-Disney park.

Met the family a couple of times while I worked there, and they were very proud of the exclusives and the packages that were done with that contract with Disney.

Edit- let me just add, if you are basing it on the video and the brief glimpse there, that may not be a safe bet.  While those lights are similar, that is absolutely a photoshopped image and it not a photo of the lights from Hollywood Studios or their home.  I have seen similar light displays to those in a couple of different places.

Branson Talk / Re: The Branson Shuffle starts early
« on: October 28, 2016, 02:08:01 AM »

I think you may be selling the Haygoods short...  In recent years they have sang national anthem at the National PBR finals in Vegas,,  they have a had 2 TV shows (series), more recently have done some recordings in nashville,  and of course they have several recording on I-tunes and Your tube...

Up til we moved here 5 years ago we'd never heard of the Haygoods.  Or the Presleys.  Or the Baldknobbers.  Barely remembered the Duttons from AGT.  Honsetly, America's Got Talent may be the best advertising for the Branson shows in general at this point.

But....  I know in talking with some of my friends who work in the shows, they said that in many ways this was a better year for them.  The shows that have been doing well had more sell outs and big crowds this year.  And you can see several things in Branson changing/ being added with younger people in mind.  The alpine coaster.  The giant wheel.  The adventure park.  The baseball complexes.  The remodeling of the strip.  So there are positives happening.

I'm just waiting for some of the big youtube stars to start moving in, as I wouldn't be surprised if that happens at some point.  Lindsey Sterling, the Piano Guys, Peter Hollens, etc.  If some of them started coming in, that would be a quick, big revitalization of the shows as that's where a lot of the music entertainment is coming from now.

Been a little while since I updated here, but there have been videos added and more coming.

Last week I posted a blooper reel, which I hope is good for some chuckles. Also asked for questions for an upcoming Q&A video.

This week's episode is about 2/3rds SDC, talking about more wild animal encounters:

Next week's will also be about half SDC, but a topic that in many ways is center to what SDC is- moments where my faith stepped out into action while working.

And then in a couple of weeks will be the Q&A responses.  I got a lot more questions then I thought I would, so it's going to end up a couple of videos.  It's taped already, but lots of editing to do.  But I'm sure I'll have to do another one in the not to distant future as I'm still getting questions.  :)

Announcements / Re: Site Updates
« on: October 27, 2016, 06:08:40 PM »
Looks good to me!  I know moves like this are never fun, especially when it means a complete reinstall of everything on top of migration.  I'm liking what I'm seeing and it looks like everything important is there, so that's always a success in my book.

Hope I can help a little.

First thing- I would strongly recommend going to SDC on the Weds or Thurs evening if at all possible.  At the very least DO NOT GO ON SATURDAY!!  The crowds are enormous on the weekends, so go on a weekday if there is any way possible to do it.

There will be eating places open throughout the park throughout the whole night.  There are some that will close a bit early (in particular the buffets close a couple of hours before park closing as I recall), but there are still plenty of options for food.  Most of the walkups stay open til closing time, with a few staying open a bit later (e.g. funnelcakes), and that's true of a lot of the other eateries as well.

As long as temperatures don't get to cold, all of the rides will continue to run.  Generally the only time you're going to have to worry is if it's getting close to freezing, which it can do that time of year.  But as long as it's in the 40's or above you won't have any problems.  There won't, of course, be any water rides open.

Temperatures can vary.  It can push near 60 for a high sometimes, and also get down close to 0, so be prepared for anything.  Generally though you should be ready for a high in the upper 40's to 50 and lows in the 30's somewhere.  Be sure to watch the weather forcast though, and even then be prepared for anything.  We had one time that they swore it would only get cold on us and it dropped 3 inches of snow while I was working on the train.

I haven't been to much of the Branson Christmas stuff, as I was usually working, and when I wasn't I live the other direction.  The Shepherd of the Hills lights are pretty neat though- it's a one hour drive through with hot chocolate at the end that can be a lot of fun if you're into that.  The "Branson Gift of Lights" actually costs more money and is a shorter drive.  And lots of great Christmas shows throughout town, but I'm honestly not even sure what is free.

Not familiar with the cabins offhand either, but they are listed on and I've found their reviews to be a pretty good indicator overall, and it gets good marks there (4.5 out of 5- the only negative I saw being someone who apparently didn't realize that ants live in the woods.  lol)

Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2016 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: October 06, 2016, 03:45:13 PM »
It's posted on the Branson forum that the costume dept. is hiring to help with Fall and Christmas costumes.

Shhh.  Don't let facts get in the way of their pure hysteria.

Exactly.  As noted by some on that Facebook thread (and ignored by a few), they are NOT changing the costumes to polo shirts. Just another stupid rumor that isn't based on reality.

Since you wanted updates...  8)

I'm heading out of town this week for some much needed R&R/ solitude time.  But I do have 2 videos scheduled to be posted up this week.  On Wednesday will a full ride through of the Flooded Mine (something I'm sure all of you have seen/ done many times).  On Friday will be, "That's Not Supposed to Happen" on the SDC train- some of the blips and happen along with my biggest blunder I made while working.  So if you're interested, keep your eyes on the channel later this week.  :)

Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2018 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: September 16, 2016, 03:38:24 PM »

Not to mention there is about a HUGE shake up in management in the next 2 months.  Lots of reshuffling of people (among other things).

Any other information or details about this?  Who, what departments, positions, etc?

Thanks!  Happy you are enjoying them.  Just got part 2 up with possibly the greatest prank I helped pull off while out there.

The next few will probably be more Disney focused things, so I may not post about them.  Don't want to spam the boards with my stuff.  But appreciate the kind feedback.  If you want more updates, let me know.

Ok, here you go SDC/ train fans.  Part 1 of 2 of pranks and silliness that we pulled on the Frisco Silver Dollar train.  If you've ever been on the train, you'll get a kick out of this one (and maybe seen some of these things)  If not, you'll still get a good laugh out of this I hope.  I'd love feedback.

And if all goes well, part 2 will hopefully be up Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon.

Posted a couple more videos in the last week.  Again, both are focused more on Disney World, but might be fun for you as well.

Last week's was some tricks that we used to help get guests to smile as they came in the park and for photos, along with a nice story (some tricks that I wish Digiphoto at SDC would learn instead of bugging the guests)

This week is a few stories of some funny moments with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

I've got another SDC focused one in the works, but it's likely a couple of episodes away.

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