Author Topic: 2018 Trip Reports  (Read 6098 times)

Jipper

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #75 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.

sdcfan88

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #76 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.

Gilligan

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #77 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. 

sanddunerider

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #78 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.!

shavethewhales

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #79 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.


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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #80 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.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 07:16:37 PM by HikerDan »

shavethewhales

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #81 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!

Duelist

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #82 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.
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Jemmicat

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #83 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

Gilligan

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #84 on: May 11, 2018, 08:45:59 PM »
I saw Po Ramblin Boys there a couple days ago, and the sound was fine.

Jemmicat

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #85 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

Jemmicat

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #86 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

Swoosh

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #87 on: May 13, 2018, 09:42:43 PM »
Here is our May 10th - Silver Dollar City - Bluegrass & BBQ Photo Trip Report.





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.
SWOOSH

shavethewhales

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #88 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.

sdcfan88

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Re: 2018 Trip Reports
« Reply #89 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.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 11:55:39 PM by sdcfan88 »