Author Topic: 2018 Trip Reports  (Read 7121 times)

Gilligan

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #60 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. 
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 09:56:46 PM by Gilligan »

sanddunerider

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #61 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..

sirwillow

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #62 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.
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Jemmicat

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #63 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

shavethewhales

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #64 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.

sanddunerider

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #65 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

biscuitcreek

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #66 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.

Jemmicat

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #67 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

Jemmicat

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #68 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

sirwillow

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #69 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.
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Swoosh

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #70 on: April 15, 2018, 09:27:00 PM »
Itís Cirqunique
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HikerDan

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #71 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.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 04:43:24 PM by HikerDan »

Swoosh

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #72 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
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How-doFolks

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #73 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!!
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Okiebenz

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #74 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