Author Topic: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study  (Read 564 times)

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1823
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« on: August 21, 2017, 07:27:39 PM »
So, over on the Dollywood sub board a small debate broke out on whether Dollywood gets a lot more love than SDC. I contest that there might be a very small difference but as big as it is assumed to be.  A lot of we need to get a list of attractions and theater/showbuildings at the end of 1985.

SDC Attractions Pre 1986:
American Plunge Log Flume (circa 1981, replaced Jim Owens Ozark Float Trip)
Flooded Mine (circa 1968)
Grandfather's Mansion (circa 1968, formerly Sam's Mining Shack)
Frisco Silver Dollar Line Train
Huck Finn's Hideaway(formerly Herman the Hermit's Tree House)
Lost River of the Oazrks (under construction or opened in 1985, replaced Rube Dugan's Diving Bell)
Marvel Cave Tour with funicular back up to top
Fire in the Hole
Tom Sawyer's Landing (circa 1984, Consisting of Becky's Carousel and rope towers and nets)
Runaway Ore Cart
Petting Zoo

SDC Theaters, Stages, Showbuildings Pre 1986:

Echo Hollow Amphitheater (cap. 4,000, circa  1983)

Silver Dollar Saloon (circa 1973)

The Boatworks Theater

Riverfront Playhouse (cap. 600, circa 1979, former names Courthouse Theater, Gaslight Theater)

Gazebo

Dockside Theater

McHaffie's Homestead Front Porch

Dollywood Attractions Pre 1986

Blazing Fury

Flooded Mine

Country Fair Mills Log FLume

Inventor's Mansion

Butter Churn Trabant flat ride

Red Baron Flying Squadron spinner

Grand Ballroom (ball and germ pit)

Malfuntion Junction Bumber Cars

Mountain Swinger

Cloud Grabber

Carousel

Petting Zoo

Dollywood Theaters, Stages, Showbuildings Pre 1986:

Silver Dollar Saloon

Magic Show


Help Fill in the Gaps!!!!!

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1823
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 07:28:21 PM »
Additions and Changes to SDC and Dollywood Post 1985

1986

SDC:
off year

Dollywood:
Rivertown Rampage, Smoky Mountain Rampage, Back Porch Theater, Aunt Granny's restuarant, Tennessee Mountain Home(dolly childhood home replica)
Inventor's Mansion converted to Dolly Museum Rags to Riches
Butter Churn Trabant removed


1987

SDC:
Wilderness Water Toboggan

Dollywood:
DayDream Ridge opens with Mountain Sidewinder Water Tobboggan. Dolly gains candy shop and glass blowing shop that SDC already has. new burger eatery

1988

SDC:
Land of Forgotten Crafts?

Dollywood:
Celebrity Theater with a capacity of 1,739
Five rides added to Fun Country Area including a Zampera Balloon Race

1989


SDC:
Tom Sawyer's landing upgraded to include Balloons, ferris wheel and kid's coaster
Town Square got the Victorian Treatment (public hated it)

Dollywood:
Thunder Express  added, relocated half of SFSTL's dual mine trains

1990

SDC:
Flooded Mine renovated into a shooter
Furniture Factory added sometime between here and 1993

Dollywood:
Antique Dentzel Carousel relocated from Lancaster PA
Gaslight Theater with capacity of 600

1991

SDC:
?????

Dollywood:
Eagle Mountain Sanctuary
Wings of America Theater
Valley Theater

1992

SDC:
?????

Dollywood:
Butteryfly Emporium
Imagination Station  kids interactive area(Barnwood Theater conversion)
Streetshow area
Bakery

1993

SDC:
Thunderation opens at a 7 million dollar cost

Dollywood:
Fun Country Renovated with ferris wheel, scrambler, tilt a whirl
Balloon Ride relocated

1994

SDC:
Opera House opens with capacity of 1,0000

Dollywood:
Gaslight namechange to  Heartsong multimedia presentation about Dolly

1995

SDC:
?????

Dollywood:
Jukebox Junction with Rockin Roadway mini car ride

1996

SDC:
?????

Dollywood:
ThunderRoad Simulator Ride

1997
SDC:
Geyser Gulch added

Dollywood:
kiddie nick show and eateries and shops
Flooded Mine closes

1998

SDC
?????

Dollywood:
Daredevil Falls added at former Flooded Mine site
Thunder Express closed and relocated to Magic Springs

1999

SDC:
Buzzsaw Falls water coaster opens

Dollywood:
Tennesse Tornado steel Arrow Coaster opens

2000

SDC, WW:
Red Gold  Building with capacity for 1,800 opens

Dollywood:
Daydream Ridge converted to Dreamland Forest with Children's Mountain Themed interactive area

2001

SDC:
Wildfire, 14 million B&M steel coaster with 5 inversions

Dollywood, SC:
Splash Country opens


2002

SDC, WW:
Branson USA purchased

Dollywood, SC:
Thunder Road simulator changed to Smoky Mountain Wilderness adventure
New Dolly Museum

2003

SDC ,WW, CC:
Celebration City Opens with Ozark Wildcat, a GCI woodie and Jack Rabbit , an E&F Miler coaster. supposedly 40 million put into the opening of Celebration City
Wilderness Water Tobboggan overhauled and renamed Waterworks Waterboggan
BuzzSaw Falls closes at end of season

Dollywood, SC:
Imagination Station converted to special events center

2004

SDC , CC, WW:
Runaway Ore Cart closes

Dollywood, SC:
Thunderhead Gap opens with Thunderhead, a GCI woodie as the anchor
Counrty Fair Falls log flume removed along with 4 other rides

2005

SDC, CC, WW:
Powder Keg Opens useing parts of Buzzsaw Falls track

Dollywood, SC
Country Fair area renovated with 10 new rides

2006

SDC, CC, WW
Grand Exposition opens with Zamperla Ride package

Dollywood, SC :
Timber Tower opens, Huss topple tower flat ride along with Lunberjack Lifts, Beaver Creek Boat Float and Lil Loggers Landing

2007
SDC, CC, WW:
Giant Barn Swing, a S&S Screaming Swing (supposedly chosen over a topple tower or giant discovery on surveys) and surrounding  High Low Silos and childrens activities

Dollywood, SC:
Mystery Mine opens, A highly themed Gerstlauer eurofighter with two vertical lifts.

RECESSION HITS

2008

SDC, CC, WW:
Midwest Living Culinary Arts School
Roaring Falls at Celebration City
Tom Sawyers Landing closed, Balloons and carousel removed, 2009 attraction teased
Celebration City closure at end of season announced

Dollywood, SC:
River Battle opens , a Mack Splash Battle


2009

SDC, WW:
work stalls on Tom Sawyer replacement, new attraction delayed a year due to financial considerations but Tom and Huck's River Blast announced

Dollywood, SC:
new shows, another retheme of simulation ride to 4D
third party, upcharge zip line course added.

2010

SDC, WW:
Tom And Huck River Blast opens

Dollywood, SC
Adventure Mountain  ropes courses opens

2011

SDC, WW:
Half Dollar Holler  childrens play area opens with return of carousel
Aloha River at White Water

Dollywood, SC:
Dreamland Forest converted to Owen's Farm and adds Barn Stormer, S&S Giant Swing  and children's play area

2012

SDC, WW:
?????

Dollywood, SC:
Wild Eagle, B&M Wing coaster
Timber Tower removed after a time of SBNO
Dolly buys the Zip Line

2013

SDC, WW:
Outlaw Run, Wooden hybrid with inversions by Rocky Mountain Coaster.

Dollywood, SC:
shows changes and what not
River Rush Water Coaster at Splash Country


2014

SDC, WW:
Geyser Gulch closes
KaPau Plummet added to White Water

Dollywood:
Firechaser Express replaces Adventure Mountian. A gerstlauer trick track coaster with milder launches.

2015

SDC, WW:
Fireman's Landing replaces Gyser Gulch, relocation and retheming of a few of Celebration City's rides with the S&S Shot Tower as the feature and reintroduction of Balloons ride from storage.

Dollywood, SC:
DreamMore Resort opens

2016

SDC, WW:
Coconut Cove at White Water

Dollywood, SC:
Lightning Rod , launched Woodie by RMC. lots of downtime, plagued with issues.
Splash Country adds Tailspin Racer mat racer slides

2017

SDC, CC:
Time Traveler, Mack launched spinning coaster with inversions annouced for 2018
Addition of what appears to be the Osborne Lights from Disney for Christmas.

Dollywood
Drop Line, 200ft. Funtime drop tower replace void left by Timer Tower.
no announcements at this time.


























« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 11:36:42 PM by chittlins »

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1823
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 07:28:50 PM »
please help fill in the gaps that I have with the time line.

Need dates for White Water additions post 1995 and after Splash Country opening

« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 10:28:44 PM by chittlins »

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1823
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 07:29:26 PM »
From this basic outline that's to be tweaked, outside of larger investments in Splash Country compared to White Water and the addition of DreamMore, if you include the Celebration City investment, the spend isn't far off or lopsided. Dollywood appeared light on show buildings and they beefed up in the early days but SDC had added a massive Echo Hollow just prior the conversion  of the Tennessee park to Dollywood.

Each had swings and misses, SDC with Buzzsaw Falls and Dolly with Timber Tower and Adventure Mountain have very short lives.

The recession delayed the SDC version of Mystery Mine and allowed HFE to grow out of love with the concept. Dolly needed a "Powder Keg" and a replacement for Adventure Mountain which wasn't cutting it for whatever reasons. Branson lost it's two new coasters they added to Celebration City, while relocating others and selling some off. When you add the loss of those two and HFE using the Gerstlauer to fill in a need at Dollywood after getting delayed at SDC has created a balance issue. I don't feel that Dollywood is getting more. The recession just threw the balance off. As I have pointed out, they love buying two rides per manufacturer at a time and splitting them with SDC and Dolly, SDC seems to get the first one.

Will there be a push to close the gap? Will a redevelopment of the CC site into a Branson resort even that score. Would that led to a new water park that would replace the  much older White Water with a modern equal to Splash County?

Does anyone know last years attendance totals for SDC to compare to Dollywood's?

So again, the Recession hit Branson hard while Pigeon Forge didn't seem to miss a beat. They had to overcome some duds at Dolly more recently than SDC. Will HFE ever catch SDC up on the coaster count. A standard non inverting woodie is a glaring omission and a GCI or GG could be had for well under 10 million. Since Dollywood got a Funtime ride, will SDC. A Star Flyer would be a solid addition for under 5 million considering the lake view it would give. Could we see a make up Gerstlauer added and give us our dive coaster like the new coaster for Knotts Berry Farms. Or will we get my preference of a drop track coaster from someone.

What we do know, compact steel coasters have come a long way the past decade.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 10:50:19 PM by chittlins »

HumphreyHawk

  • Citizen
  • Posts: 297
  • I do not think it means what you think it means
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 08:27:12 AM »
Time Traveler is technically a 2018 add for SDC.  Lights are the only 2017
"If with women don't find you handsome....maybe they'll find you handy"

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1823
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 08:55:57 AM »
Time Traveler is technically a 2018 add for SDC.  Lights are the only 2017

That's why I said announced for 2018

The only difference really in major additions is that missing Gerstlauer that should have replaced the Waterworks Waterboggin and the loss of Ozcat and minor rides withthe Celebration City closure.

Now if Dolly doesn't get a Mack anytime soon , that would make up some ground. That may give SDC a chance to gain lost ground if next year's addition is a Fireman's landing type area without a coaster. I doubt that is the case and it'll have some type of coaster or major ride considering the Buyin-N-Twos pattern.

With Branson growing again, it's time to do something with the CC property or put it back on the market.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 09:25:56 AM by chittlins »

kbosch1

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 25
  • SDC fan
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 10:12:10 AM »
Great discussion!  And well done on the research.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 10:15:39 AM by kbosch1 »

sirwillow

  • Jr. Citizen
  • Posts: 246
  • Ralph, you remember that talk we had in the cabin?
    • View Profile
    • Confessions of a Theme Park Worker
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 11:53:57 AM »
Whew!  Nice job on the list and the research there!  I'm thoroughly impressed.

There are a few things I'd like to note, if I can.  (and honestly, not trying to be a stinker here.  hehe)

2007- the year that Mystery Mine opens, not only did that add that coaster, but it was also a large area expansion, adding in several shops, restaurants and other items to support the area.

2008- Dollywood also adds the Wilderness Pass area in addition to their version of Riverblast.  I'm not sure if this is when they finally completed the loop or not, but the entire area is much bigger than, say, Grand Expo, as can been seen with the later additions of Firechaser Express and Wild Eagle into it, along with a number of shops, eateries, and other things to do.  This was a major expansion project all on it's own.

Between Thunderhead Gap, Timber Canyon, and Wilderness Pass Dollywood added in enough areas in expansion that would easily more than equal half of Silver Dollar City.  That's big, and SDC hasn't done anything that remotely comes close to that sort of expansion.  Grand Expo is nice, but it's still a very small area in comparison.

We can also go with a simple metric as well.  Since 2000 the years that each did NOT have some sort of addition:
SDC: 2002, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2016 (2008 and 2014 is iffy),
Dollywood: 2003, 2013 (2009 is iffy and not sure I count the resort in 2015)

And the number of major additions (e.g. roller coasters) isn't even close.  SDC had 7 (counting Ozark Wildcat and the refurbushment that was Powder Keg) while Dollywood had 9, and most of those were of a much larger scale than what SDC added.  That's also counting Expo as an addition at SDC while not counting the Country Fair revamp at Dollywood, even though they are almost the same thing.

So that's all the public stuff.  Having worked in the park, I attended a few meetings where they would talk about future plans and attractions coming. It was openly acknowleded in those meetings that more money was spent at Dollywood and more investment was made there.  I did hear a few times from people "in the know" that they knew SDC was lower on the chain than Dollywood in about everything, that it was no longer the center of the company but that Dollywood was the "prize"- and as it should be since it generates far more guests and $$ than SDC does. (more than twice as much in fact, closer to 3 times the volume)



This is a stick up!  Get it? Stick.... Nevermind, it's a train robbery.  I want everyone to get your hands up and act scared.

shavethewhales

  • Administrator
  • Master Craftsman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3359
    • View Profile
    • SDCFans.com
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 11:59:13 AM »
This is an interesting topic and you've put a lot of work into listing it all out, but I still have to say that the background line of thought here is silly.

These two parks aren't like two children fighting over equal inheritance. They are separate businesses opportunities in completely separate markets with dealing with different client bases and market forces. When HFEC was a much smaller company, DW was literally just a little clone of SDC, but those days are behind us. I enjoy the fact that they obviously still do a lot of joint contracts and test out different concepts and manufacturers between the parks, but at the end of the day the company invests in what they think will work for the specific target at each location.

Not to mention the fact that Dolly has her own split-off company that represents her business interests. I'm not sure how it works within the HFEC structure, but obviously Dolly and her name recognition is a big part of getting Dollywood built up more over the last decade or so. That and the fact that it is closer to millions more people.

We are fortunate that HFEC is still investing so much into Branson. The CC debacle was a big setback for them, not to mention how hard the economic downturn hurt this area specifically. We already talk a lot about how Branson is geographically challenged as it is - it's sort of close to a lot of things but not really. It's still a ways off from being a destination that people truly fly in to see, and with the fading of the Branson theaters and rise of more basic ride-based attractions it is in danger of falling back into being a regional attraction like the Wisconsin Dells.

This year SDC will have a combined total of nearly $50 million spent on it. That is a staggering figure. It's not all being spent on rides like at DW - but we are getting an incredible first of it's kind roller coaster AND a huge Christmas expansion that I predict people will love. SDC also has a real fight with expanding its parking lots and the road infrastructure leading to the park. One of the reasons cited for the closing of CC was the halting of the highway project that runs close to the park. It's been normal for a long time to wait in miles-long lines to get to the park on busy days... and they're trying to grow the park by 100's of thousands in attendance every year?

Lots of obstacles in SDC's way, so I think they are doing amazing with what they have done. DW has had a lot of opportunities, and quite frankly I think they've squandered a lot of them no matter how much money they spent. I'm much more interested in execution at the parks than I am about dollars spent.

sirwillow

  • Jr. Citizen
  • Posts: 246
  • Ralph, you remember that talk we had in the cabin?
    • View Profile
    • Confessions of a Theme Park Worker
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 12:16:45 PM »
at the end of the day the company invests in what they think will work for the specific target at each location.

We are fortunate that HFEC is still investing so much into Branson.

with the fading of the Branson theaters and rise of more basic ride-based attractions it is in danger of falling back into being a regional attraction like the Wisconsin Dells.


Good thoughts Shave.

I think the three statements I quoted say a lot- about what's real, about what we don't necessarily like to be real, and about what we're afraid of.  There's a lot of truth in them, some that we don't like to admit or want to face.  I know I don't like them, but I can't disagree with them.

I'm hoping that in the long run the last 2 statements end up being completely wrong and we see the opposite happen.
This is a stick up!  Get it? Stick.... Nevermind, it's a train robbery.  I want everyone to get your hands up and act scared.

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1823
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 02:35:32 PM »
Shave hit up on something that's kinda obvious int the early days and period of just leading up to Dollywood. It was a mini me of SDC. Dollywood repurposes place at a greater clip than  SDC.

As for the rest of the High Road, you can forget it. It will not happen. the best thing is for 76 to be upgraded and the interchange where it it meets redone to take out the bottleneck of the intersection.  The lights have to go. 

You can argue all you want, when it comes to major rides it's still one for one  before and after the recession.

I'm not getting into counting shops and eateries or the entertainment offerings which are plenty at each park

oldsdcer

  • Cave Guide
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 01:21:34 AM »
that is the biggest thing that HFE needs to concentrate on with the state, county , and city gov's, to improve the road  getting to the park to eliminate the log jam back to the IHOP that most likely makes a lot of family's turn away. Spending three hours getting from Shepard of the Hills Expressway to the parking lots just is unpleasant. Not including the effect that it has on Shepard of the Hills  Theater, which I am sure assisted in its reduce attendance before it was closed. The Highroad help  get you around Branson and  the 76 Jam, but you still have to contend with the jam from there to the lots.
SDC has always made a great past to remember

Wildfire

  • Hatfield
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 06:19:48 AM »
We have season passes and live about 90 minutes away.  I refuse to go on a Saturday because of the long line to get in.  There have been times when we have turned around on a Sunday if the traffic is backed up to the high road.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Also SDC is a tiny, tiny park in terms of acreage.  OTC is miserable most of the time just due to all the people packed in like sardines

Graybeard

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2017, 01:11:53 PM »
It's been about three years since I've been to the park but from the discussion it seems the traffic is getting worse. Is the traffic already backed up if you head out there by 8:30 or is this a later in the morning thing?  Any better to come in from the south?  I'm in agreement that the park growth will stall if the parking and traffic isn't addressed.

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1823
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: SDC Vs. Dollywood, Side by Side Study
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 01:35:58 PM »
If I can't be there at rope drop  or after noon on a Sat or Sun, I always come from Kimberling City. Of course, it's been years I've been on a Saturday.