Author Topic: 2019 Trip Reports  (Read 21834 times)

DianaGail

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #195 on: September 30, 2019, 12:55:20 PM »
Time for a pumpkin nights trip!!!

My guess was 10,000 so I wasnít far off!  We got there at noon.  Part of our group went through the cave first thing. It took 1 3/4 hours. Definitely on the long side. We tried to go to percys for lunch. It was closed. Again. We are told they will only be open Friday and Saturday for the rest of the year. Very disappointing.

There were no lines for rides. They walked on to everything, unless they wanted to ride in the front. :). Lots of families with really young kids or older couples.

Pumpkin nights...eh until it is dark.  It was a mess. So many people packed into one small place and so many little kids with parents yelling trying to find the one that is theirs. Ugh. Also, I cannot believe how many people were spending $20 per bubble wand. It was astounding. The owl path was pretty cool, but there were so many people crowded in it was really had to see anything or enjoy it. When they reformat this festival, they have got to spread things out instead of putting it in one small area. The beat part was definitely the expanded hours and ride times.

woodgrain

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #196 on: October 02, 2019, 01:55:50 PM »
I kind of felt the same way. We went last Thursday night and noticed how busy that area of the park felt even though there weren't a ton of people in the park. We enjoyed what we saw and the kids had fun riding Grand Expo rides in the dark. The dance party was a fun idea for little ones, but it still felt a little un-SDC to be listening to a DJ blasting Bruno Mars and the like. Pumpkin Plaza also felt a little bare and just slightly underwhelming. All of the pumpkin displays were great though. Incredible detail and great art concepts. Lots of folks stopping to take pictures of them with tripods to counter slow shutter speeds for nighttime shots. I, too, could not believe how many parents forked over $20 for a bubble wand. One of the kids standing behind us had one, and I think ours enjoyed the bubbles coming from him more than anything else in the Plaza. We barely escaped without a fit thrown as we passed those conveniently-located retail carts on the way back out to the Grand Expo.

I noticed all of the Christmas lights were on down at FL. Does anyone know if that's just to light up that area in the evening hours? It was a little odd to walk down the owl path and see Christmas lights through the trees.

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #197 on: October 02, 2019, 05:29:36 PM »
Quote
but it still felt a little un-SDC to be listening to a DJ blasting Bruno Mars and the like.

I blame that Time Traveler for bringing things from the present into the past!
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The Outlaw

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #198 on: October 06, 2019, 02:56:54 AM »
Made a trip out to the park today. The pathways were packed, but we spent the day hopping from coaster to coaster and never encountered a wait longer than 20 minutes. SDC really has the best set of coasters for night rides, with all of them being out in the woods.

I was with college friends so we didnít really stop to look at any craftsmen booths, like I would have if I were with family, but there was a noticeable difference in quantity from past years. The cowboy festival concept fit the park a lot better IMO. That being said, I appreciate the park being open later for night rides, and obviously Pumpkin Nights is a much larger draw than the cowboy festival ever was. I think if they tinker it to fit the park more by spreading out the pumpkins, itíll work better. At least the party area was over in Grand Expo, which doesnít really fit with the park anyways. If they expand this event I could see it growing to be just as popular as Christmastime.

Minor complaints about P-Nights aside, Iíve been a pass holder for the past 6 years and I still find something new to appreciate every visit. Iíd never had a meal in the mine restaurant before- what a cool place. I know a lot of people are worried about the changes the park is making, but the charm the park carries has never really faded away to me. My college friends who care a lot more about coasters than themeing still pointed out that they loved the park because of the theme and how consistent it was. I think the younger generation will continue to appreciate the park just as much as the older ones have.

Okiebenz

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #199 on: October 06, 2019, 04:58:34 PM »
We just got home from our trip up.  We arrived at around 4:30 Friday and we walked right on to TT.  We then did the FM and headed down the hill toward the GE area and the pumpkin cluster.  Walked thru there a little after 5 when I assume they opened.  It was not all that crowded down there yet and they had some stuff going on but we did not really pay attention.  Walked up the path then back out toward the river area. We then walked on the rest of the coasters.  We sat around for a bit then when it got dark we walked back down the path and by this time it was jam packed down there and all the way up out of GE and toward FM. We went over to the other side of the park which was practically a ghost town.  Walked on PK a couple of times then headed toward the exit.  We left at around 8pm and there was a horde of people coming in at that point. 

Got there a little after opening Saturday, walked on to all the rides again.  Last ride we rode was TT and only waited about 5 minutes for that.  Left about 1pm.   Overall I could really care less about pumpkin nights.  The only good thing I liked about it was it seemed to keep everyone crammed down in that area freeing up the other side of the park. 

We thought about going up this morning for an hour or so before leaving town but it was pouring rain so we decided not too.  It appears as if it rained most of the day today so I bet the numbers are real low today.

Forgot to mention, we did the lumberjack show at noon yesterday.  Line was long and we were in line at the frybread place but got in just fine.  I was not all that impressed with it.  I liked it better than the swashbuckling show.  The wife liked swashbuckling but said she was not impressed with this one.

KBCraig

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #200 on: October 13, 2019, 12:18:06 AM »
I blame that Time Traveler for bringing things from the present into the past!

Minor complaints about P-Nights aside, Iíve been a pass holder for the past 6 years and I still find something new to appreciate every visit. Iíd never had a meal in the mine restaurant before- what a cool place. I know a lot of people are worried about the changes the park is making, but the charm the park carries has never really faded away to me.

These two posts together match a thought I had earlier today about the changes in the area. There are basically two groups of Branson and SDC visitors: those who always want something new, and those who always want the old familiar things.

Most of us old SDC purists don't mind the new things, as long as we can still have our old things. Sometimes things that are really worn out and unappreciated have to go to make way for the new, and we understand that; there's only so much space. But there are some things that have been lost in the last couple of decades that shouldn't have been, such as detailed theming. I know that newer visitors think SDC is highly themed, and it might be compared to other parks. But, SDC has always been a theme park first, and the amusements were added to fit the theme. Yes, the theme has changed some and has frequently been ahistorical (Hatfields and McCoys, Old West stagecoaches, Tom Sawyer, etc.), but the personal touch was always applied.

Signs that were printed instead of hand-painted were the biggest shocker to me. That's the impersonal, computer-generated failure of the modern theming.

The lack of "Citizens" interacting and performing is another point, but I know that keeping dozens of actors on staff is expensive. One person who can paint a few signs along with other maintenance duties? Not so much.

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #201 on: October 13, 2019, 01:34:57 PM »
I don't even mind the signs as long as they aren't pixilated.  I know they are made to last longer, and I get the maintenance cost is a consideration.  At least the signs keep the illusion of the theme.  However, a permanently-located lift off the TT queue is inexcusable.  Music choices for performers and street dances should be stepped up, as well.  Parties are fine, and events like those are fine, but there are ways to remain in theme.  If something old has to go, something new and in theme should take its place.  I know the bottom line is the main reason for these things happening, but it's not the only thing:  it's also laziness and lack of creative vision. 

Thankfully, Mystic River looks to be bringing in better theme than LR had (since LR lost its theme early in the game), but I still see what looks like a giant tiki head in the concept art, and I fail to see the relevance.

And...I'm impressed that you worked in the wordahistorical.
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Duelist

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #202 on: October 13, 2019, 02:56:11 PM »
^ Did you get to see the lumberjack show yet, HB?  We went last Sunday and it was pretty good.  The whole show took place in the lumbercamp even though the pictures advertising it showed it taking place in a saloon setting.  They might do 2 different shows. Last Saturday's line to see it was starting to back up Hill Street (show is at the Opera House) so I'd say it's here to stay for a while.  Better that Reuben's Swashbuckling Nightmare.
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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #203 on: October 13, 2019, 06:51:19 PM »
^ Did you get to see the lumberjack show yet, HB?  We went last Sunday and it was pretty good.  The whole show took place in the lumbercamp even though the pictures advertising it showed it taking place in a saloon setting.  They might do 2 different shows. Last Saturday's line to see it was starting to back up Hill Street (show is at the Opera House) so I'd say it's here to stay for a while.  Better that Reuben's Swashbuckling Nightmare.

We didn't make it.  I don't think we'll make it back until Christmas.
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Swoosh

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #204 on: October 15, 2019, 07:40:06 PM »
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Pudgy Jones

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #205 on: October 28, 2019, 09:07:09 AM »
My family and I were in the City on Friday and Saturday. Both were less-than-perfect weather days. The new pumpkin decorations throughout the park we really nice, and I feel like they really added to the atmosphere in a positive manner.

Our food was great as usual. Over the course of two days, our family enjoyed a family feud succotash skillet, a molasses cookie, cinnamon bread, cheese danish, hot pumpkin cider, coffee, and an apple dumplin' with cinnamon ice cream. My wife and I are big coffee drinkers, and we both agree that SDC has upped its coffee game. The coffee used to taste instant, and now it tastes brewed. It is much better.

The rides were in great shape. We rode nearly everything. We rode the train on Saturday, and the gentleman who is normally a train conductor was one of the Bolin brothers. The parts were said slowly, clearly and with a great deal of enthusiasm. It was the best train robbery I have seen in years!

Yes, it seemed as though there were fewer crafters. After talking to some of the vendors, it seems as though some of the vendors feel that they have been wronged by SDC. I hope that this feeling can be resolved. Crafts continue to be a life-blood of SDC for a very large segment of the population, including my family and me. I hope that some extra attention will be paid to the "Craft Days" portion of this festival. It was great to see Violet Hensly still at it!

As far as the Pumpkin Nights are concerned...meh. The pumpkins are nice, but not enough to merit a special trip to see. We walked through the trail because we were there already, but I wouldn't make a special trip to see it. For some awful reason, the bluegrass music stops and 5:00 PM, and modern music starts. I really don't understand this decision, but what do I know? Sometimes I feel like the PTB feel trapped by the 1880's theme and look for any opportunity they can to dump it. It seems to me that they are diluting their own brand, but I digress.

The Pumpkin Plaza is the stuff of nightmares for me. It doesn't belong at Pumpkin Nights, and it doesn't belong at SDC. One minute you are walking through a pretty lane with nice illuminated pumpkins. Then, you round the corner and you are in a cheap carnival in a back-of-house parking lot with inflatables, gaudy lights, and a DJ. It seems like a real disconnect.

If the folks in charge at SDC are reading this...please do me a favor. If you insist on using this parking lot for the Pumpkin Dance Party, please hold the Moonlight Madness street dances here as well. At least it is away from Main Street where those of us who want to avoid it can avoid it (except for the thumping bass music that can be heard throughout the park). We like the "great past ahead of us".

All-in-all, it was another great trip to my favorite place on the planet. I only critique because I care. We look forward to going back for Christmas!

palallin

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #206 on: October 28, 2019, 10:55:45 AM »
We went Saturday.  The weather was pretty bad, but we had a good time.  Some not-entirely-connected observations:

I liked the look of the pumpkins; we made a point of leaving before 5 pm to avoid the wretched noise--uh, music.  Attendance was starting to pick up as more people were coming in than leaving (must like noise), but the rain had also pretty much let up by then.  I would have like to walk the pumpkin area but it was closed off, I suppose because of needing to guard the RR crossing.  What we could see at a distance looked good, though it began to verge on the too modern.  Pumpkins--even carved ones--are not entirely out of place in an Ozarks Fall festival.

We missed the larger number of crafters though we did get a chance to talk to one or two old faithfuls.  I know that others in the city were concerned about that situation.

We got there early and caught the first bus in.  The food was good, as usual.  My son was somewhat disappointed that the BBQ skillet was not available at the Rib House and hopes the new place will return the item to the menu.

We rode the train twice.  The first time, no robbery because of the rain.  That and the poor girl riding conductor could hardly speak, must have been pretty sick.  Some sounds were not working at FM--"I'm gettin' outa here no matter what!" for example.

We caught the Pickers twice and the Sons once; as always, great stuff.  We also saw the new saloon show a second time.  That show is improving with age.

We stored up winter supplies--soap, seasonings, taffy.  Thank Herschend for Package Pick-up!

We had a comfortable and uneventful stay (the right kind!) at Ozark Valley.

[Edited to add:  Took a good look at the carriage for the 6 pounder, and the wood is beginning to rot really badly.  The axle ends and the trail under the trail plate/lunette have actually slipped away from the iron parts.  If they wait too much longer to repair/replace, the tube will be lying on the ground.  Should the PTB need help with the repairs, I will be glad to offer assistance.  Further, I will be glad to help them relearn how to properly and safely fire salutes with it ;-)]
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 12:52:49 PM by palallin »

DianaGail

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #207 on: November 03, 2019, 09:28:37 PM »
What an awesome day at the city!  The weather was beautiful and attendance was on the low side. We rarely waited in line for anything at all. We saw the saloon show. They did a great job. We didnít see any other shows. I like the new location for Rudolph and the bumble. Santa had no line. Outlaw run photos are working again. Percys was actually open.  Thatís the first time in 2 months weíve been there and able to eat there.

The new tree is...large. Itís cool but Iíll miss the old one. I do like the new lighting scheme and light around the town square. We rode the train and grandpa talked about it being ďalmost thanksgivingĒ. No photos of mystic river finals as we rode the train after dark.

mg

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #208 on: November 03, 2019, 10:38:28 PM »
Made it down for our first Christmas trip of the year tonight. The city is looking great.

Iím not sure when they made the upgrades to the speakers and sound system for the train show, but it sounded the best it had sounded in years tonight with no static or dropouts in the audio during grandpa telling the Christmas story.

The new tree looks great! However, the square seemed to have less lights overall. Many big trees in the square donít have any lights, especially the ones right around the new tree. Seems very unfinished. Overall the area looks good, but the new tree is held back by being in the middle of other large unlit trees. Maybe it will be a little better once they all donít have any leaves on them.

Jemmicat

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Re: 2019 Trip Reports
« Reply #209 on: November 04, 2019, 06:48:17 AM »
I went yesterday as well. Got there before opening.The new treee is very large. You really have to tilt your head up to see the top if you are anywhere near it. Overall the park looked nice.

I went to Dickens show... Oddly enough, the Marley character was not hanging... Scrooge was talking to him as if he was there, but he wasn't. Unsure what the issue was but was a little weird. Also, they got a new audio mixer in the sound booth area. It has 2 very large screens and is now turned such that during the dark times, it illuminates about 6 rows in front of it. It is very distracting if you are sitting anywhere near the booth (which I usually do for the best sound). I saw the first show on Sunday so like the 4th performance in front of a crowd. Oddly, the musicians were a bit off at times. Not sure if it was a replacement crew or what there... But definitely off. The show was excellent even with these few things though...

I also went to see It's a Wonderful life... I guess I miss the original cast. Another new "George" this year... has a beautiful singing voice but the acting seemed a bit wooden and not very likable. And as with last year, he just can't get the laughs out of most of the funny lines because he doesn't know how to deliver them. This was my complaint last year as well... there are a lot of funny lines in that if they are delivered properly... and I've not seen anyone do that since the original cast that was there for the first 2-3 years. But the songs were great as usual

Neither theater was packed which according to attendance made sense.

I took off after that show which was right as the tree was starting. The square was packed and hard to navigate to get out. Just too many people in one place. I can't imagine how it is going to be on the square with a real crowd.