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Silver Dollar City & Celebration City Discussion => General Silver Dollar City Talk => Topic started by: shavethewhales on March 19, 2021, 02:52:32 PM

Title: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on March 19, 2021, 02:52:32 PM
I'm interested in gauging how strongly the park/industry is bouncing back this year after the covid disaster, so here's a thread to report on crowd levels when you visit for our general interest.

I am told the park is very busy today, and it sounds like it was decently busy yesterday. The park just extended hours a SECOND TIME for tomorrow. Sounds like spring break is off to a tremendous start for the park!

They sure need the attendance this year, so I'm rooting for big crowds!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: History Buff on March 19, 2021, 06:18:57 PM
I'm interested in gauging how strongly the park/industry is bouncing back this year after the covid disaster, so here's a thread to report on crowd levels when you visit for our general interest.

I am told the park is very busy today, and it sounds like it was decently busy yesterday. The park just extended hours a SECOND TIME for tomorrow. Sounds like spring break is off to a tremendous start for the park!

They sure need the attendance this year, so I'm rooting for big crowds!

All of Branson is hopping, today (3/19/21).  If nothing else happens, this may be a boom year.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: SDC#1fan on March 19, 2021, 07:27:54 PM
Just left the park and it was PACKED. Sdc was also on the struggle bus. Most of the day wildfire, powder keg, outlaw run, and mystic river falls were down. Couple that with large crowds and wait times were horrible. Fire in the hole was running 80 mins most of the day. Went to get cinnamon bread and were told halfway through the line that it would be and hour and a half for more bread. I love the city and don’t get to go very often anymore so it was a bit of a let down.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: History Buff on March 19, 2021, 10:21:22 PM
Just left the park and it was PACKED. Sdc was also on the struggle bus. Most of the day wildfire, powder keg, outlaw run, and mystic river falls were down. Couple that with large crowds and wait times were horrible. Fire in the hole was running 80 mins most of the day. Went to get cinnamon bread and were told halfway through the line that it would be and hour and a half for more bread. I love the city and don’t get to go very often anymore so it was a bit of a let down.

Unfortunately, this is often the case during "ride days" when there is nothing to draw crowed off the rides.  Many wish for shows, shops, and a fully-functioning park instead.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: Bigdog on March 20, 2021, 12:51:42 PM
The biggest problem yesterday was the lack of equipment up and running.  1 train operating on Powder Keg is just cruel.  It’s always amazed me that SDC doesn’t seem to take the weather forecast into consideration when planning their day.  I could have told them that it would be fairly busy on Wednesday, very light on Thursday and packed on Friday, yet they had the same capacity on open attractions all 3 days.  They did finally add a 2nd train to Time Traveller yesterday which helped.

My first impression of Mystic is that it’s a very nice ride but way too slow loading.  I can’t imagine the wait for this one on a hot summer day.  It broke down repeatedly on Wednesday and Friday but we did eventually get everyone on once.

The Cinnamon Bread shop seemed to have trouble keeping up with demand even on the slow days.

All that being said, we’ll head back over there around 5 or so this evening and see if we can capture an elusive ride on Powder Keg.


Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: shavethewhales on March 20, 2021, 02:46:28 PM
Couldn't even get into the park today. Was late leaving this morning, so didnt make it till about 1ish. The trams were parked at each stop with people on them because they weren't letting people in and we're telling people it would be an hour wait at least. I'm now at Shepard of the Hills, which is also busy.

The parking lots weren't even full at sdc... Lot 4 is currently employee parking. Lots 1 and 2 were full, but 3 was less than half full. I don't think anyone was in 5. Thats less than what was at Christmas. I guess they probably have less capacity due to shows/shops being closed, but still... I wonder if it's really a staffing issue.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: woodgrain on March 20, 2021, 04:18:18 PM
We made it in this afternoon without too much of a wait. We rode a tram in from stop 2 and walked right in. However, there were people behind us in line for the turnstiles that said they waited for two hours, presumably at the walk-up health check tent. The line there was very long. Employee at the tram stop said they are limited to 9,000 on park, so it was one out, one in for a while.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: shavethewhales on March 21, 2021, 11:30:39 AM
I managed to make it in today, but the park is not any less crowded, they haven't added any more capacity to the rides, and the maintenance issues are still here. TT hasn't opened that I know of, and I waited 30 mins for wildfire only to have it get stuck on the lift hill and have to be evacuated. I've never seen wildfire go down, it's supposed to be the most reliable ride in the park!

FITHs queue line has stretched around fry bread, so I think I'm just going to leave... Had a nice time walking around and got some coffee and a cinnamon biscuit from the mill at least.

These crowds are insane. SDC, Branson, and all over america it seems people were ready for spring break. Now I'm curious how the rest of the year will go. April is usually a dead period, and summer is usually weirdly unbusy. I'll bet summer will be more busy at least.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: Swoosh on March 21, 2021, 08:18:01 PM
When has March/April ever been a dead period for Branson? It’s always busy during Spring Break
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: Lampie on March 26, 2021, 04:19:41 PM
It sure seems like there were more than 9,000 there today. We just left lots 2,3 and 5 were full. Flooded mine was a 20-30 minute wait most of the day. It felt more like days In the past that were around 18,000. I’m sure some of that is not having as many shows to siphon people away from paths, but I’d guess they were around 12,000-14,000.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: shavethewhales on March 27, 2021, 06:22:03 PM
 
When has March/April ever been a dead period for Branson? It’s always busy during Spring Break

The few times I have been for opening weekend never felt crazy like this. Only time I felt it was really busy was when time traveler opened.

The park has been posting about large crowds again all weekend. People arent too happy. It definitely sucks. The crowds themselves aren't an issue, it's purely the capacity restrictions and one train operations on almost all big rides. Sometimes they'll put a second train on a couple of the coasters, but it seems like they are trying to keep it to one as much as possible? Just my perception so far this year. I think staffing levels might be affecting that. They need to at least stop half filling trains though, that was always a dumb bit of covid safety theatre.

But hey, at least the park is off to a strong start this year. They need it.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: sdcfan88 on March 27, 2021, 07:37:52 PM
Yeah it was crazy today. And the rides were actually running at full capacity and with two or more trains. However they really seem to have had bad luck with the rides as the day went on. Wildfire broke down with some kind of Lift Hill issue, Powderkeg actually valleyed apparently just as we were about to get on and both were down for the day as a result. TNT and Outlaw broke down for unspecified reasons too. Mystic was still having it's usual issues and closing a lot. Yeah lots of frustrated people out there today and a tough day for the maintenance crews at the park.

Oh and there had to be more than 9k in the park. It was super crowded for everything, like Christmas Crowd packed.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds
Post by: shavethewhales on March 27, 2021, 07:48:04 PM
Wow, that's great that they got up to multiple trains on the coasters today, but holy crap that is a lot of breakdowns. That's the second weekend in a row for Widlfire, and PK valleying? What the heck is going on? I know there was some damage from the winter storm, but c'mon...

There is not a single reliable ride in the park now. The old rides are pretty decent, but showing their age and lack of attention paid to them, and the new rides are all somehow incredible maintenance nightmares.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on March 27, 2021, 08:07:12 PM
Strangely enough the MVP's today were FITH and Time Traveler as I personally didn't see them break down. And of course the flats, FM, and the train were ok. FM and FITH both had lines I haven't seen in a long time with the former spilling into the train station line. Both had over an hour wait times. Granted this could be due to the others all having their issues and being closed.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on March 27, 2021, 09:56:44 PM
Mystic River Falls actually had a good day. It was only down for about an hour and a half total (2 temp closures) during the day before finally closing for the day due to weather around 6:45.

TT was down around 5 times, but they were really short closures and only lasted for around 45 minutes total throughout the day before closing for weather too.
FITH was down once for around 40 minutes.
PK was down twice for around 1.5 hours total.
WF was down twice for around 5.5 hours total.
FM wasn't down at all today.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: applegbt on April 01, 2021, 08:38:40 AM
Planning to go for the second time on Friday.  Hope it ends up a better experience than the visit last week.  All our kids were disappointed that they barely got to ride anything.  I'm glad we have season tickets, because if I'd paid for single day admission for that visit I would have been pretty disappointed.  Definitely would not have gotten my money's worth.  We also had visitors in from out of state last week, and were really excited to share the park with them.  Lets just say, they were not impressed.   :-\
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on April 01, 2021, 09:02:16 AM
It's really almost impossible to judge the park by just one visit with all the factors to consider.   You do not go into much detail in why you were disappointed and not impressed, except it sounds like you thought it was too crowded.

If you are lucky enough to get to the park on a nice weather weekday and stay away from the weekends it should be a better experience for you, your family, and friends.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on April 01, 2021, 10:03:19 AM
^Nah, a bad first visit leaves an impression. People aren't going to repeated visit some place they don't enjoy just to see if the other factors eventually pan out.

Visiting SDC this spring has sucked. Long slow lines, covid restrictions, constant ride break downs, and not much else to do besides the rides. I'm not really blaming the park for all of it, as there is so much out of their control. The freak storm caused some of the ride issues, and covid is obviously beyond their control. Still, it hasn't been fun.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on April 01, 2021, 12:27:10 PM
^Sure a first visit leaves an impression....every visit leaves an impression.   The factors in the park change daily from weather to attendance,  to even which festival is on at the time of your visit, and the covid restrictions should be expected for awhile.  These are all factors that change and could make a difference on your visit to the park. A little later on you won't have to constantly count on the rides when shops and a few more shows open up. 

Just don't let all your bad impressions for one day leave a thought that every day is going to be that way.   A visit on another day might be a completely different experience for you.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on April 01, 2021, 02:57:31 PM
It's really almost impossible to judge the park by just one visit with all the factors to consider.   You do not go into much detail in why you were disappointed and not impressed, except it sounds like you thought it was too crowded.

If you are lucky enough to get to the park on a nice weather weekday and stay away from the weekends it should be a better experience for you, your family, and friends.

There is no excuse for a bad experience whatever day you choose to go! They should be on their A game from day one. You pay the exact same amount every day. This spring has been a disaster for them. If I was a first time visitor I would never go back again. In fact my last few visits I have been underwhelmed more than I have been impressed. SDC has lost a lot in customer service the last few years.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: applegbt on April 01, 2021, 03:17:45 PM
It's really almost impossible to judge the park by just one visit with all the factors to consider.   You do not go into much detail in why you were disappointed and not impressed, except it sounds like you thought it was too crowded.

If you are lucky enough to get to the park on a nice weather weekday and stay away from the weekends it should be a better experience for you, your family, and friends.

There is no excuse for a bad experience whatever day you choose to go! They should be on their A game from day one. You pay the exact same amount every day. This spring has been a disaster for them. If I was a first time visitor I would never go back again. In fact my last few visits I have been underwhelmed more than I have been impressed. SDC has lost a lot in customer service the last few years.

This exactly!  Look I understand there are certain things out of their control.  But my kids waited in line for nearly an hour on 3 different rides, in which the ride shut down during their wait in line.  We were there for about 7 hours.  And they got to ride a grand total of 3 rides.  Our visiting family used out guest passes, so at least they weren't out the money.  But if they'd spent the price of admission for their family of three, I would have felt horrible.  I'm a huge fan of SDC.  I know how great it can be.  I've been going there for over 40 years.  That was the most disappointing visit I've ever had.  Nearly to the point that they should have offered partial refunds or rain checks for another visit.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on April 01, 2021, 03:21:48 PM
I wouldn't say it has been a disaster for them since everyone says the park has been packed.  Now if they continue to have long lines and waits I could see that being a problem.

My post was for someone that has never been before or just made one trip to the park and made their judgement by that one day.  I am myself still impressed with SDC unless the charm and quality of the place would continue to decline.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: applegbt on April 01, 2021, 03:49:58 PM
I wouldn't say it has been a disaster for them since everyone says the park has been packed.  Now if they continue to have long lines and waits I could see that being a problem.

My post was for someone that has never been before or just made one trip to the park and made their judgement by that one day.  I am myself still impressed with SDC unless the charm and quality of the place would continue to decline.

Definitely agree.  It's still one of the best.   

BTW...anyone know if Grandfather's Mansion is going to be closed permanently?  Or is this just a COVID closure?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on April 01, 2021, 08:23:48 PM
Planning to go for the second time on Friday.  Hope it ends up a better experience than the visit last week.  All our kids were disappointed that they barely got to ride anything.

Can you clarify something?

Was this your first visit ever, or the first this year?

You said your kids were disappointed by the wait time for rides. Rides are a big part of SDC, but it's primarily a theme park with rides, not an amusement park with themes.

My love of the park (going back to 1969) is for the theme aspect. The rides are fun, but the key to having a great past ahead of you is doing a mental travel back in time as you pass the gates. Those wanting the biggest/fastest/hottest amusement rides above all, probably won't have a great time at SDC no matter how good the rides are.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on April 01, 2021, 08:49:39 PM
^During spring ride days it's just an amusement park with beautiful scenery. There's nothing else going on. Pretty much all stores closed, and basically no craftsmen except the glass blowers and one artist on the main square. None of the shows are going yet.

Grandfather's Mansion closed due to the pandemic, but I assume they plan to reopen it when allowed... then again, it's a huge liability and this would be a good opportunity to close it forever...

I'm just hoping the swinging bridge comes back.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: applegbt on April 02, 2021, 08:05:16 AM
^During spring ride days it's just an amusement park with beautiful scenery. There's nothing else going on. Pretty much all stores closed, and basically no craftsmen except the glass blowers and one artist on the main square. None of the shows are going yet.

Grandfather's Mansion closed due to the pandemic, but I assume they plan to reopen it when allowed... then again, it's a huge liability and this would be a good opportunity to close it forever...

I'm just hoping the swinging bridge comes back.

I explained above, but yes I've been to SDC many times, maybe 50 to 60 in my lifetime.  First time season ticket holder in many years though, after moving back to the area following several years away.  I have lived away from the area for the last several years, and probably only went once per year during that time.  Kids have been maybe 6 or 7 times previously to last week.   I can certainly get enjoyment out of the park without rides.  But kids are a different story.  Waiting in lines for broken down rides 3 TIMES is never fun no matter how great a theme the park has.

Edit:  Sorry, I meant that to be a reply to the previous post, not yours.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on April 02, 2021, 08:41:22 AM
Planning to go for the second time on Friday.  Hope it ends up a better experience than the visit last week.  All our kids were disappointed that they barely got to ride anything.

Can you clarify something?

Was this your first visit ever, or the first this year?

I want to apologize applegbt.   I took your post to mean you had visited the park one time and was about to visit your second time.

You don't need me to tell you that every trip can be a different experience  :)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on April 02, 2021, 10:49:41 AM
Someone posted a TR on reddit that said they got to ride all the big rides multiple times yesterday with light crowds. Hopefully that means they've worked some of the mechanical jitters out at least. I'll bet the crowds this month will be a lot more manageable too.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: applegbt on April 02, 2021, 08:41:36 PM
Someone posted a TR on reddit that said they got to ride all the big rides multiple times yesterday with light crowds. Hopefully that means they've worked some of the mechanical jitters out at least. I'll bet the crowds this month will be a lot more manageable too.

No problem, my original post wasn't very clear. 

So here's the update on my visit today.  It was amazing!  Now, I'll preface by saying it seemed like the crowd was pretty light.  But all the rides appeared to be operational the whole time I was there.  We were able to pretty much ride everything.  I still find it odd that there seems to be only one car running on all the big roller coasters.  It appeared that FITH was running two cars.  But all the newer coasters seemed to only be running one.  I could be wrong on that, but it's what it seemed like.  And it was definitely the case for Thunderation.  But at least they were using all the seats.  The lines seemed to be a bit long in wait time considering the seemingly lighter crowd.  But that's a minor complaint, I don't think we had to wait more than 45 min to an hour  for anything today.

Anyway, all in all we had a great day.  I'll be glad when all the shops and artisans open up, and am hoping all the shows open up this year.

Can anyone tell me why the saloon show moved out of the old saloon?  Are they just updating the saloon?  Or is it going to be turned into something else?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on April 02, 2021, 09:37:02 PM
Someone posted a TR on reddit that said they got to ride all the big rides multiple times yesterday with light crowds. Hopefully that means they've worked some of the mechanical jitters out at least. I'll bet the crowds this month will be a lot more manageable too.

No problem, my original post wasn't very clear. 

So here's the update on my visit today.  It was amazing!  Now, I'll preface by saying it seemed like the crowd was pretty light.  But all the rides appeared to be operational the whole time I was there.  We were able to pretty much ride everything.  I still find it odd that there seems to be only one car running on all the big roller coasters.  It appeared that FITH was running two cars.  But all the newer coasters seemed to only be running one.  I could be wrong on that, but it's what it seemed like.  And it was definitely the case for Thunderation.  But at least they were using all the seats.  The lines seemed to be a bit long in wait time considering the seemingly lighter crowd.  But that's a minor complaint, I don't think we had to wait more than 45 min to an hour  for anything today.

Anyway, all in all we had a great day.  I'll be glad when all the shops and artisans open up, and am hoping all the shows open up this year.

Can anyone tell me why the saloon show moved out of the old saloon?  Are they just updating the saloon?  Or is it going to be turned into something else?

No indoor shows due to C19
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on April 02, 2021, 10:36:51 PM
Looks like today was a great operations day for the major rides.

MRF - Down once for just under an hour.
PK - Down once for just over 20 minutes.
GS - Down once for around 30 minutes.
TNT - Down once for around 30 minutes.
WF & TT - Not down at all.

*This is according to the app data.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: biscuitcreek on April 17, 2021, 01:46:32 PM
Went to the first day of Street Fest, Every other bench is used in the Boatworks Theater (new home of the Saloon Show) and in the Dockside Theater. Lots of acts and show times throughout the park. Many of the acts have been at previous WorldFests, Festivals of Wonder, etc. The saloon show has 2 band members, 4 dancers, and 3 singers/actors. There is no notice posted at the Saloon that the show has been relocated to the Boatworks. Riverside Playhouse is open as a cool, maskfree place to sit and rest.

Wait times on Thursday were short for the rides we rode (drop tower, Fire in the Hole, train, Flooded Mine). When we rode the train in the afternoon we didn't see Wildfire, Outlaw Run, or Powderkeg running. Train ride is down to 1 robber.

We got Chesters Chips about 12:30. Apparently they had been cooked way ahead of time because they were cold. We didn't try any other food. We did see quite a few folks wearing Tasting Passport lanyards.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on April 17, 2021, 03:26:48 PM
^ The SDC website shows a new Sagebrush Sadie saloon show beginning April 15h at the Boatworks theatre!  If anyone sees the show give us a report.  Yeehaw!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on April 18, 2021, 08:59:40 PM
We attended Street Fest this weekend and here is our FOOD Report


(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SkA5zZZmm8Y/YHzbHbZKHCI/AAAAAAAA8qE/GooUdJg8ktU84XtVboDfmEN_nJaxDZ8zwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h300/4.JPG)
More photos and reviews of the food at the link
https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2021/04/street-fest-food-sdc.html
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on April 18, 2021, 09:56:07 PM
Here is our coverage of Street Fest

(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-M7a-Yx9EIc8/YHzrlNlLesI/AAAAAAAA8ss/bLgDAFOFygUKH9sIPVuM02UEQgydSZnLACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h300/7.JPG)
More photos of entertainment offerings can be found at the link
https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2021/04/street-fest-sdc.html
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Irrumater on April 19, 2021, 09:41:15 AM
We made our first trip of the year Sunday. Arrived at the city around 1:30 or so. Wasn't overly crowed and walked on TnT, TimeTraveler, FM and GE rides. about a 5 min wait for FiTH. Purchased the Tasting passport and was overall happy with it. Daughter insisted on Teriyaki Chicken Skewer, and I agree with Swoosh was the worst option we had all day. I knew we were in trouble when the cook was prying them off the grill. Tough and basically flavorless, and 1 skewer for a tasting, much better options and portions are available. Rounded out the Card with Orange Chicken Waffle Cone ( About half the cone full), Funnel Cake Chartcutrie board ( 3 3" funnel cakes and 2 toppings) and Carnitas Fried Ravioli Nachos ( 6 pieces) x2 since we ran out of time and the park was closing. All more than enough to share. Didn't see a lot of the entertainment since I was with my 13 year old who was really mainly interested in how much food and how many rides we could do. Overall a nice day at the park, even with the cold wind that picked up as the day went on.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on April 19, 2021, 11:17:37 PM
So, how did they pronounce "poutine"?

You answer first, then I'll tell you how the Quebecois up here pronounce it. ;)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on April 19, 2021, 11:20:01 PM
So, how did they pronounce "poutine"?

You answer first, then I'll tell you how the Quebecois up here pronounce it. ;)

Well I ordered it and pronounced it “Poo-teen” which is how they say it in Toronto.  My friends up there could care less how the stinky frenchies call it.  lol
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on April 21, 2021, 09:33:19 PM
So, how did they pronounce "poutine"?

You answer first, then I'll tell you how the Quebecois up here pronounce it. ;)

Well I ordered it and pronounced it “Poo-teen” which is how they say it in Toronto.  My friends up there could care less how the stinky frenchies call it.  lol

LOL

Most of Quebec, and all of the "Mill French" towns in New England, pronounce it "PUT-sin".

I know, it doesn't make sense. Neither do any other French pronunciations, whether Parisian or Canadian.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on April 22, 2021, 08:05:24 AM
So, how did they pronounce "poutine"?

You answer first, then I'll tell you how the Quebecois up here pronounce it. ;)

Well I ordered it and pronounced it “Poo-teen” which is how they say it in Toronto.  My friends up there could care less how the stinky frenchies call it.  lol

LOL

Most of Quebec, and all of the "Mill French" towns in New England, pronounce it "PUT-sin".

I know, it doesn't make sense. Neither do any other French pronunciations, whether Parisian or Canadian.

Shouldn't you basically drop the last letter/sound in just about every word when speaking French?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: biscuitcreek on April 23, 2021, 12:51:03 PM
^ The SDC website shows a new Sagebrush Sadie saloon show beginning April 15h at the Boatworks theatre!  If anyone sees the show give us a report.  Yeehaw!

We saw it the first day of Street Fest. 4 saloon girl dancers, Sadie, Charlie, and the "theater owner", piano player and drummer. Not much of a plot -- Sadie rents theater for a show, show bothers theater owner who makes noise at times to interrupt the show.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on April 25, 2021, 10:53:36 AM
^ The SDC website shows a new Sagebrush Sadie saloon show beginning April 15h at the Boatworks theatre!  If anyone sees the show give us a report.  Yeehaw!

We saw it the first day of Street Fest. 4 saloon girl dancers, Sadie, Charlie, and the "theater owner", piano player and drummer. Not much of a plot -- Sadie rents theater for a show, show bothers theater owner who makes noise at times to interrupt the show.

The show just left me whelmed.  It was nice to see some old faces back though
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on April 25, 2021, 10:54:13 AM
This just in.... tasting cards are coming to BBQ and Bluegrass

https://www.silverdollarcity.com/theme-park/Attractions/Dining/Bluegrass-Tasting-Passport
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: legoerosion on April 25, 2021, 10:04:33 PM
This just in.... tasting cards are coming to BBQ and Bluegrass

https://www.silverdollarcity.com/theme-park/Attractions/Dining/Bluegrass-Tasting-Passport
No surprise here, every time I'm at the 60th sign or the front gate taking pictures of guests they always ask about the taste passport for street fest.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: NotchGuy on May 10, 2021, 09:48:54 AM
I just noticed that the headliner acts during the Bluegrass and BBQ festival will be performing INSIDE the Opera House.  That is great news (if the online schedule really is accurate).  I am sure we will be “socially distanced” but that is one more big step back toward normalcy.  Yahoo!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on May 11, 2021, 02:12:19 PM
I do believe that is accurate.  An Opera House worker told me about it Sunday, and that they are only letting in 150 people at a time.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: tmstephe on May 14, 2021, 08:55:44 PM
Not sure if this is the right place, so feel free to delete/move.  We will be going to SDC for our first visit since before COVID and our first summer visit in almost a decade.  It looks like we’ll be in town on the 4th of July weekend (both Saturday 7/3 and Sunday 7/4).  I know this is an unusual year, but what kind of crowds might we expect?  Are there any special events at the City for the holiday?  Thanks!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on May 16, 2021, 08:12:58 AM
Saturday I would count on being very busy if the weather is good.  Sunday being a holiday would be the best of the two days, but it just depends on if people want to get out or stay close to home.  Could really go either way.

No the city doesn't usually do much for the 4th.  The most I really remember them doing is a fireworks show a while back and there is no announcement of that this year so far.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on May 16, 2021, 01:13:56 PM
I do believe that is accurate.  An Opera House worker told me about it Sunday, and that they are only letting in 150 people at a time.

This is incorrect.  There is no limits on capacity at any of the theatres anymore
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on May 16, 2021, 01:15:49 PM
SDC no longer requires masks indoors/outdoors or social distancing  for “fully vaccinated” guests.

I’m currently at the park and I’m so proud of how many people are fully vaccinated.  Not a mask in sight ???
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on May 16, 2021, 02:44:49 PM
I do believe that is accurate.  An Opera House worker told me about it Sunday, and that they are only letting in 150 people at a time.

This is incorrect.  There is no limits on capacity at any of the theatres anymore

We were there Friday the 14th with capacity limits still in place.   It was pretty tough getting in to see any shows.  You needed to be in line at the Opera House an hour before each show if you expected to get in.

I was wondering how they were going to distinguish vaccinated from non.  I guess that is the answer, they won't  ;)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on May 16, 2021, 02:52:40 PM
And if my eyes were not deceiving me Grandfather's Mansion was open.  I did not go inside but both doors were open and I did see people entering and leaving.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on May 16, 2021, 05:05:02 PM
And if my eyes were not deceiving me Grandfather's Mansion was open.  I did not go inside but both doors were open and I did see people entering and leaving.

Yes that’s correct
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on May 16, 2021, 07:58:10 PM
I do believe that is accurate.  An Opera House worker told me about it Sunday, and that they are only letting in 150 people at a time.

This is incorrect.  There is no limits on capacity at any of the theatres anymore

It was correct on the day that I was told about it, and the first day of the Bluegrass Festival when I was there.  It has since changed reflecting new statements from CDC.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: tmstephe on May 16, 2021, 08:21:30 PM
Saturday I would count on being very busy if the weather is good.  Sunday being a holiday would be the best of the two days, but it just depends on if people want to get out or stay close to home.  Could really go either way.

No the city doesn't usually do much for the 4th.  The most I really remember them doing is a fireworks show a while back and there is no announcement of that this year so far.

Thank you!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on May 16, 2021, 08:54:15 PM
Awesome to hear that the Mansion is back open. I kind of figured it would quietly remain closed for good - an easy way to send off a "problematic" attraction without anyone really noticing (other than us of course). Still amazed that the insurance people haven't ruined our fun there yet after all they've done elsewhere.

I'm coming up this weekend. Looking forward to the first "normal" visit since 2019.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on May 17, 2021, 08:15:29 AM
And if my eyes were not deceiving me Grandfather's Mansion was open.  I did not go inside but both doors were open and I did see people entering and leaving.

That is good to hear.   
I also figured it would lay there, in demise and slowly be dismissed from the "things to do" list..
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on May 18, 2021, 09:54:47 AM
We were there Friday the 14th with capacity limits still in place.   It was pretty tough getting in to see any shows.  You needed to be in line at the Opera House an hour before each show if you expected to get in.

I was wondering how they were going to distinguish vaccinated from non.  I guess that is the answer, they won't  ;)

Only an hour?  Heck, We've waited in line longer than that at OTC!   ;D

I hope they do not try to distinguish between Vacc'd and Unvacc'd folks.  The risk is on them, not me, and I would be very disheartened to hear [German Accent]Papers, Please.[/German Accent] when attempting to get into a show or restaurant.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on May 18, 2021, 10:58:00 AM

Only an hour?  Heck, We've waited in line longer than that at OTC!   ;D



Lol...yeah we have too!   The difference here is OTC wait time was based on attendance while this was capacity limits.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on May 18, 2021, 08:16:40 PM
Here is our food reviews from Bluegrass & BBQ

https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2021/05/bluegrass-bbq-food-sdc.html
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on May 19, 2021, 03:17:31 AM
Be aware that while SDC and many US places are probably not going to require proof of vaccination, many places around the world are if you plan to travel. THE NHS app here in the UK is going to be used as a vaccine passport. And to go to concerts and sporting events and all you will have to show at the least a recent (72 hours) negative covid test or your vaccine passport to be allowed in. There have been talks here of needing that to be allowed into pubs but so far that has not come into play although you still have to give contact details when you go... at least for another month.

And Europe is following suit with the same requirements. If you don't show proof of full vaccination, you will be required to quarantine when you arrive.

I know that most people in the US do not travel internationally - especially those who are antivax - but just be aware of what is going on in the rest of the world should you want to travel internationally

I was actually going to try to come visit my Dad in Detroit and then drive to Springfield, MO to see my friends as the flights were pretty cheap, but that is not going to happen due to having to test before (even though I have had one of the shots) and quarantine and test when I'd return for at a minimum of 5 days with 2 tests required. The testing costs have to be paid out of pocket for travel. The testing costs would be more than the flight costs... so just don't plan to go back to the US any time soon




We were there Friday the 14th with capacity limits still in place.   It was pretty tough getting in to see any shows.  You needed to be in line at the Opera House an hour before each show if you expected to get in.

I was wondering how they were going to distinguish vaccinated from non.  I guess that is the answer, they won't  ;)

Only an hour?  Heck, We've waited in line longer than that at OTC!   ;D

I hope they do not try to distinguish between Vacc'd and Unvacc'd folks.  The risk is on them, not me, and I would be very disheartened to hear [German Accent]Papers, Please.[/German Accent] when attempting to get into a show or restaurant.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on May 19, 2021, 06:07:24 AM
So the important stuff doesn’t get buried...,

Here is our food reviews from Bluegrass & BBQ

https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2021/05/bluegrass-bbq-food-sdc.html
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Fergy328 on May 20, 2021, 11:28:07 AM
Thoughts on how crowds will be on Sunday the 30th? It is the day before Memorial Day.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on May 20, 2021, 03:17:30 PM
Thoughts on how crowds will be on Sunday the 30th? It is the day before Memorial Day.

IF the weather clears up, it will be busy. always is.  Sat will be worse, But there will be some serious traffic.  enjoy!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on May 21, 2021, 08:49:34 PM
So the important stuff doesn’t get buried...,

Here is our food reviews from Bluegrass & BBQ

https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2021/05/bluegrass-bbq-food-sdc.html

We tried the Liberty Gooey Butter Cake from the Riverfront Smokehouse on Swoosh's recommendation and totally agree- it was delicious!  Thanks Swoosh
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: biscuitcreek on May 23, 2021, 05:33:58 PM
FYI -- most of the concession stands now have a sign that says credit or debit card at this location. Noticed this during our visit on 5/20. Your cash is no longer wanted.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on May 24, 2021, 09:30:29 AM
I was there Friday and Saturday, and while it rained the whole time on Friday it was a light rain with lower (but not super low) crowds. Still had to wait over 30mins to ride Time Traveler since most of the second floor was full, but most other rides had short waits.

Saturday was pretty packed! Thank goodness that normal operations are back or it would have been unbearable. As it was, we got to do everything we set out to do and it was a very enjoyable time!

I hope the festivals come roaring back next year. You could hardly tell there was a "bluegrass and BBQ" festival going on. I did watch one performer on the Tom and Huck stage who was very good. Without the house of BBQ or some smoking stands there wasn't much noticeable on the BBQ side. The tasting passport sounded like a good idea though.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on May 24, 2021, 09:45:43 AM
^ I take it you saw Hillary Klug the dancing fiddler on the Tom and Huck Stage?  We saw her and thought she was very good.  I ended up buying a CD from her.  I also miss the House of BBQ though we did eat the Kettle Chips Brisket special and really liked it.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: applegbt on May 31, 2021, 10:17:50 PM
I apologize of this has been asked and answered a million times already.  I did a quick search and scan but didn't see any info.  What is the latest on Marvel Cave?  I haven't seen any announcements regarding reopening or even plans to reopen.  Have I missed something?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 01, 2021, 08:43:29 AM
^ according to the sdc website the cave is still closed:
https://www.silverdollarcity.com/theme-park/Attractions/Rides/Marvel-Cave
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: theymitbgi on June 01, 2021, 12:51:36 PM
I apologize of this has been asked and answered a million times already.  I did a quick search and scan but didn't see any info.  What is the latest on Marvel Cave?  I haven't seen any announcements regarding reopening or even plans to reopen.  Have I missed something?

We were told on Thursday they were hoping to have it open in the next couple weeks.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: legoerosion on June 01, 2021, 05:27:51 PM
The cave is open, they opened it this memorial day weekend. I believe they are only half tours though and not all week.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on June 02, 2021, 08:04:36 AM
I imagine the water levels are the biggest issues right now. Can't get down to the waterfall at this point with all the rain they've had. That would be a great workout going up the stairs though!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 06, 2021, 01:50:51 PM
We were at City on Friday June 4th all day and Saturday June 5th until about 2:30.  Friday was more crowded than I thought it would be but not too bad.  We rode MRF early and only had to wait about 30 minutes.  It did get to a 2 hour wait later on.  We rode the train and I saw my first ever snake at SDC.  It was a black snake that must have been 5 - 6 feet long.  I saw it just after the train was passing the square roundhouse and it was slithering as fast as it could toward the grass and away from the City (the snake not the train).  Fire in the Hole had at least a 45 minute wait all day so that still remains wildly popular.  I also heard from reliable sources that the Rainmaker show will return during the Summer Fest!  That is great news for us purists that prefer our entertainment a little less Globetrottery  ;D.

Disclaimer:  I am one of the strongest proponents for the 1870s/1880s theme of the park- it is the reason we keep coming back again and again.  Having said that, our main reason for attending this past Friday was to watch the Classical Mystery Tour Beatles tribute concert at Echo Hollow.  We had seen them a couple of years ago here in Little Rock and were blown away with how good they were.  They look and sound like the Beatles.  The show was in Echo Hollow and to be honest you couldn't hear the music unless you were close to the Hollow so it wasn't like they were blasting rock/pop music all over the park.  And no, I do not want SDC to replace the piped Bluegrass/Rockin the Grass music they have been playing throughout the park with Beatles music.  I would love to see the regular ongoing Echo Hollow show with Bluegrass songs/Mountain music like the old Dillards show from the 80s.  I'll get off my soapbox now  :)

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Preachin_Bill on June 06, 2021, 02:23:06 PM
We were at City on Friday June 4th all day and Saturday June 5th until about 2:30.  Friday was more crowded than I thought it would be but not too bad.  We rode MRF early and only had to wait about 30 minutes.  It did get to a 2 hour wait later on.  We rode the train and I saw my first ever snake at SDC.  It was a black snake that must have been 5 - 6 feet long.  I saw it just after the train was passing the square roundhouse and it was slithering as fast as it could toward the grass and away from the City (the snake not the train).  Fire in the Hole had at least a 45 minute wait all day so that still remains wildly popular.  I also heard from reliable sources that the Rainmaker show will return during the Summer Fest!  That is great news for us purists that prefer our entertainment a little less Globetrottery  ;D.

Disclaimer:  I am one of the strongest proponents for the 1870s/1880s theme of the park- it is the reason we keep coming back again and again.  Having said that, our main reason for attending this past Friday was to watch the Classical Mystery Tour Beatles tribute concert at Echo Hollow.  We had seen them a couple of years ago here in Little Rock and were blown away with how good they were.  They look and sound like the Beatles.  The show was in Echo Hollow and to be honest you couldn't hear the music unless you were close to the Hollow so it wasn't like they were blasting rock/pop music all over the park.  And no, I do not want SDC to replace the piped Bluegrass/Rockin the Grass music they have been playing throughout the park with Beatles music.  I would love to see the regular ongoing Echo Hollow show with Bluegrass songs/Mountain music like the old Dillards show from the 80s.  I'll get off my soapbox now  :)
Stay on your soapbox, dont be ashamed. 1880 ozark hillbilly old mining town theme is what built this theme park and made memories worth repeating. That includes the traditional shows and music. Sure,  not everything fit the theme of 1880s ozarks but everything was at least “historical” or old-time. Thats why we go to SDC and not six flags. God, country, history. Feels like you are someWHEN else, not just somewhere else.

I love the globetrotters. I went twice when they travelled to gyms nearby and bought basketballs, got autographs, etc. While I love them, they arent why I go to SDC.
Glad to hear the rainmaker is coming back. I’m too young to really remember it.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on June 07, 2021, 10:42:58 AM
Photos from the ABBA Tribute Concert on Saturday night

https://www.midwestinfoguide.com/2021/06/city-update-sdc_5.html
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on June 08, 2021, 10:14:07 AM
We were there Friday as well to see the Beatles show. It was really good, but it was shorter than the afternoon show.  People in line with us were told it was only going to be a 45 min. show vs. the hr. and 15 min. show from the earlier one; not sure why.  I hope this doesn't become standard. Theatre was maybe half full. Concessions weren't open; not sure if that is temporary or not. Crowds were not bad at all.  One thing we noticed was that many places weren't honoring the season pass discounts.  Water was not $4.00/for two as advertised.  We asked at 3 different vendors and they wouldn't honor it. I was surprised at how many buildings were closed, including Percy's. Is this an employee issue? I think I did see the Rainmaker wagon on Main Street!  That's good news!  There was a couple in line for the concert that was very unhappy.  They came in at 5:00 thinking the park was open until 10.  They were sold tickets and 2 acv's, and weren't told the park was open for only 2 more hrs.  Expensive trip! It is their fault, but there isn't anything near tickets that says the hours, and it would've been nice if someone mentioned it.   
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 08, 2021, 01:14:12 PM
^ I also noticed no refreshment stands open in Echo Hollow.  I'm not sure they will ever have their regular evening show there again with so many of their entertainers being "dismissed".  And to be honest we haven't seen the regular evening Echo Hollow show in years.  They may have decided it was not drawing guests that only chose Silver Dollar City because of an evening show and therefore not cost worthy.  We may only see non-Silver Dollar City acts at the evening shows now.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on June 08, 2021, 04:30:44 PM
The concession stand closest to a Time Traveler is open

It doesn’t sound like Hits From the Hollow will return, but if you’re really missing it, Down By the Riverside has some of the former cast
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 08, 2021, 05:05:09 PM
The concession stand closest to a Time Traveler is open


Is it open during most of the evening Echo Hollow shows?  We bought frozen lemonade and kettle corn ahead of time to watch the Beatles show just in case  :D

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on June 08, 2021, 10:59:45 PM
The concession stand closest to a Time Traveler is open


Is it open during most of the evening Echo Hollow shows?  We bought frozen lemonade and kettle corn ahead of time to watch the Beatles show just in case  :D

It was open both shows on Saturday
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on June 09, 2021, 07:35:25 AM
  We bought frozen lemonade and kettle corn ahead of time to watch the Beatles show just in case  :D

That seems like an odd combo frozen lemonade and kettle corn.  I knew there was something wrong with you Duelist  ;)

Actually there are a lot of people that like that sweet & sour taste.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 09, 2021, 08:52:11 AM
^LOL!  We were jazzed up on sugar which is a better thing than a lot of people are jazzed up on when they go to concerts  ;D  I laughed out loud when the Paul McCartney portrayer was walking over to the piano to play "Let It Be" and the John Lennon guy said "Now we're going to do a song from the 1970s.  Or should that be the 1870s?"
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on June 09, 2021, 09:11:01 PM
^LOL!  We were jazzed up on sugar which is a better thing than a lot of people are jazzed up on when they go to concerts  ;D  I laughed out loud when the Paul McCartney portrayer was walking over to the piano to play "Let It Be" and the John Lennon guy said "Now we're going to do a song from the 1970s.  Or should that be the 1870s?"

My daughter's side gig this summer is working with the performers backstage at the AMP this summer. I'm waiting to here the stories on what some of the acts themselves are jazzed up on.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 09, 2021, 10:15:49 PM
^LOL!  We were jazzed up on sugar which is a better thing than a lot of people are jazzed up on when they go to concerts  ;D  I laughed out loud when the Paul McCartney portrayer was walking over to the piano to play "Let It Be" and the John Lennon guy said "Now we're going to do a song from the 1970s.  Or should that be the 1870s?"

My daughter's side gig this summer is working with the performers backstage at the AMP this summer. I'm waiting to here the stories on what some of the acts themselves are jazzed up on.

Probably not sugar.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Irrumater on June 11, 2021, 01:19:42 PM
We made a trip down yesterday for Season Pass holder Ride time. Got there about open and it was nice to get a couple times through on TT and Mystic before the crowds hit. We walked on Mystic back to back up until 930. I was surprised to see how much stuff was still closed in the height of summer, and on a day with several long waits( but those may have been increased due to several rides being down off and on.
It seemed none of the snack stands were open throughout the day, just the main restaurants. And of course The Mine, Percys and a few other indoor locations were still closed.
I am guessing it is less of a capacity thing now and more of a lack of employees.
Anyway good trip, as usual. This was our 5-6 time this year. If yesterday was any indication look for a BUSY summer in the City
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cheesehead57 on June 11, 2021, 06:54:23 PM
They are having a hard time getting enough workers to fill the jobs.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on June 13, 2021, 11:41:44 AM
They are having a hard time getting enough workers to fill the jobs.

 Since the missouri governor announced they would no longer be receiving the "extra" money for unemployment and so on, as of June 12th..   

Hopefully people will get out and look for work..
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on June 13, 2021, 12:44:59 PM
Arkansas declined the money several months ago.  Shortsightedly? the payments ended this month.  It was my understanding the " free money" for kids is starting next month.   Without the expanded unemployment we are still having employment problems in my area. We tried to call in a  to-go order for Chilis yesterday after noon and they were closed due to lack or participation on the employees part.  It seems the free money robs the desire to work.  Hopefully SDC will get past this although I thought they had this problem three years ago.  Lots of closed stands and unfilled roles.  In days of yesteryear the park would be heavily staffed by senior citizens but this seems to have changed.  Maybe when it went from family to Corporate?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on June 13, 2021, 01:31:38 PM
Robs the desire to work? really? If you could make more money working less hours would you not take it? I am not justifying the "free" money as you put it, but be realistic. If I could make the equivalent of $8 and hour more per hour for not working than I'd make working, I'd take it and you would too. It is a financial decision that they are making and I'd do the same. If they shunned the subsidy and go back to work at minimum wage, that would be stupid financially...

We who make decent money and were "essential" and worked through it all did get "screwed" by the subsidy program and all, but people making less than $15 an hour are better off on unemployment and the subsidy than they are working. And you can't fault them for doing what is best for their financial state...

Missouri unemployment is some of the worst in the country where anyone who makes over $15k is near destroyed financially on unemployment with the max payout of $320 a week... My company 2 years ago closed a division and I went from making over $100k a year to making essentially $1200 a month.

I think ultimately that you are correct in that most of the employees used to be older and retired. Perhaps they are concerned for their health and that is why they are not working and HFE are hurting for labour. Or perhaps they cost HFE too much money since they've been there so long and they are looking for those minimum wage employees... Hard to fault people for doing what is best for their family from a monetary standpoint though...
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on June 13, 2021, 02:21:30 PM
Robs the desire to work? really? If you could make more money working less hours would you not take it? I am not justifying the "free" money as you put it, but be realistic. If I could make the equivalent of $8 and hour more per hour for not working than I'd make working, I'd take it and you would too. It is a financial decision that they are making and I'd do the same. If they shunned the subsidy and go back to work at minimum wage, that would be stupid financially...

We who make decent money and were "essential" and worked through it all did get "screwed" by the subsidy program and all, but people making less than $15 an hour are better off on unemployment and the subsidy than they are working. And you can't fault them for doing what is best for their financial state...

Missouri unemployment is some of the worst in the country where anyone who makes over $15k is near destroyed financially on unemployment with the max payout of $320 a week... My company 2 years ago closed a division and I went from making over $100k a year to making essentially $1200 a month.

I think ultimately that you are correct in that most of the employees used to be older and retired. Perhaps they are concerned for their health and that is why they are not working and HFE are hurting for labour. Or perhaps they cost HFE too much money since they've been there so long and they are looking for those minimum wage employees... Hard to fault people for doing what is best for their family from a monetary standpoint though...

Jemmicat, I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. I will add also as a retiree  with the robust rise in the stock market and investments the last year more retirees are not needing to supplement their retirement income. No way would i work in the heat and humidity dressed in a full length dress or hot long sleeve shirt and jeans while I could lounge by the pool and drink margaritas while my investments provide my living.  Companies are going to need to get creative to retain and keep employees. This is not you fathers or grandfathers job market. There are choices out there for people.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mhguy77 on June 16, 2021, 07:48:44 AM
Quote
Robs the desire to work? really? If you could make more money working less hours would you not take it? I am not justifying the "free" money as you put it, but be realistic. If I could make the equivalent of $8 and hour more per hour for not working than I'd make working, I'd take it and you would too. It is a financial decision that they are making and I'd do the same. If they shunned the subsidy and go back to work at minimum wage, that would be stupid financially...

We who make decent money and were "essential" and worked through it all did get "screwed" by the subsidy program and all, but people making less than $15 an hour are better off on unemployment and the subsidy than they are working. And you can't fault them for doing what is best for their financial state...

Missouri unemployment is some of the worst in the country where anyone who makes over $15k is near destroyed financially on unemployment with the max payout of $320 a week... My company 2 years ago closed a division and I went from making over $100k a year to making essentially $1200 a month.

I think ultimately that you are correct in that most of the employees used to be older and retired. Perhaps they are concerned for their health and that is why they are not working and HFE are hurting for labour. Or perhaps they cost HFE too much money since they've been there so long and they are looking for those minimum wage employees... Hard to fault people for doing what is best for their family from a monetary standpoint though...

Without going into I I council people with financial issues.   You are supporting a short term fix with long term detrimental ramifications to both the recipient and the country itself.  Including those that want to shop at wal-mart and cant buy what they wish because of unstocked shelves, those that wish to eat out but the restaurant is closed and SDC slushy stand that is unmanned because we are not realizing that the gravy train will run out and we can see the end of the line from here.  I am not suggesting that parts of 6 get minimum wage jobs I am suggesting that the drive to participate in the system ( that starts with a lower wage job) has suffered greatly.   Our system is in real trouble.  SDC was not paying the Seniors a high wage because of tenure they are notoriously low pay positions. I have seen many of the paystubs.  I suspect the older folks enjoyed the jobs and the interaction.  The friendliness of working with the public has taken a real hit in the past few years.  Working for a corporation and not a family also changes the work dynamic.  I have worked for both and the allegiance is just not there to a board of directors.  Just my thoughts
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on June 16, 2021, 10:21:19 AM
I don't disagree with anything you are saying at all. The system is in trouble. And yes it is a short term fix... but for those people, making a decent wage for 6 months or a year is maybe more than they will ever make so they really have to take it. The problem is, you get used to that income and when it goes away, you don't have a plan for surviving on less. Totally agree with almost everything you said...
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on June 22, 2021, 08:29:57 PM
They must really be having their problems with staffing.  We went today and the eating places were....well....unbelievable really.

The Dockside Grill line was back to the toy store.  The new Rivertown Smokehouse line was back to where people are seated to eat.  Crossroads Pizza line was back to the Wild West Racers.  Cokes & Floats right next to Crossroads was backed up with a line under the train trestle.  The Lumbercamp was backed up to The Fry Bread Co.  The Lumbercamp Falls Skillet was backed up to the Tintype store and Flossie's Fried Fancies was backed up thru that line.  A couple we talked to said they could not find a place to eat and were leaving to eat and then coming back.

What was really strange was these lines were at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  Definitely not normal stuff for that time and this time of the year.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 23, 2021, 12:06:19 PM
^ Were all the restaurants/food stands open (besides Percy's that I think is only open on Saturdays) ? 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on June 23, 2021, 01:08:14 PM
^ I don't remember seeing any main restaurants closed except as you say Percy's.  Now there were several small stands that were.  The Fry Bread Co. by the Saloon, a couple of Dippin Dots stands, Coca Cola stand by Boatworks theatre, Cakes & Cones across from Red Gold and lemonade stand across from Kettle Corn all were closed.

I am sure there were probably more but that is what I noticed.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 23, 2021, 02:18:14 PM
^ Those places being closed can add up to some really long lines.  We were there Friday June 4th and all the places you mentioned were closed then also.  I, like you, was surprised to see food lines so backed up mid-afternoon but i did go to eat supper at the Riverside Smokehouse at 4 to avoid the later crowds and I was the only one in line.  Got lucky I guess.  Maybe SDC needs to look at a order ahead and pick up later option for the restaurants. They could put that on the app.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on June 23, 2021, 02:20:48 PM
I don't think this would completely solve the problem but I really like it....

^ Those places being closed can add up to some really long lines.  We were there Friday June 4th and all the places you mentioned were closed then also.  I, like you, was surprised to see food lines so backed up mid-afternoon but i did go to eat supper at the Riverside Smokehouse at 4 to avoid the later crowds and I was the only one in line.  Got lucky I guess.  Maybe SDC needs to look at a order ahead and pick up later option for the restaurants. They could put that on the app.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on June 23, 2021, 03:31:06 PM
Those places being closed can add up to some really long lines.

Yes it does make a bigger difference than a person would think.  It also adds up when the places that are open seem to be short handed also which slows them down.  The Kettle Corn stand when busy usually has 2 cashiers but yesterday only had one and customers about 40 deep.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: U Smell Smoke on June 23, 2021, 07:23:45 PM
We were at Dollywood last week and experienced the same thing.  Crazy long lines at all the restaurants. Two of our favorites were closed--Granny Ogles and Miss Lillian's Smokehouse. That was disappointing. However, it appeared they might have help on the way. There were a lot of international students who appeared to be in training. Several times you would see one or two people operating a ride with three new employees following them around watching. But, as has been mentioned, several smaller stands were closed. On Wednesday last week the posted wait time for Lightning Rod got up to 130 minutes. Sometimes it felt like we had to wait in line just to wait in line!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on June 24, 2021, 10:25:00 AM
Back in the days of Celebration City, HFEC relied heavily on international students to fill in roles. Those types of VISAs seemed to get harder to get, but I assume they are being made easier now. We sure need them again!

It sucks for the park that now they have the crowds back but are missing out on sales due to low staff.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on June 24, 2021, 11:07:28 AM
I would think SDC is looking at attendance and if that doesn't drop they are okay.  I mean they got them in the park and they have to eat sometime, so why should they care if you stand in line forever.

I also wonder if they have raised wages to get more employees in or figure they can just wait it out and they will fill the void gradually.  With extended unemployment benefits ended there should be more people looking for work, but on the other hand there is a lot of competition to get them.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 24, 2021, 12:22:57 PM
I would think SDC is looking at attendance and if that doesn't drop they are okay.  I mean they got them in the park and they have to eat sometime, so why should they care if you stand in line forever.

SDC at least should care about the long lines in order to get people to come back to the park.  Sure, there are diehards like most of us on this forum that will go every year even if we have to figure out ways to avoid the longer lines to eat but newbies or those that haven't been to the park in a while may think twice about going again if they have trouble getting food.  Especially those with younger children that are getting very cranky because they are hungry.  We've been there and that does not make a "memory worth repeating".  They can advertise and offer discounts and everything else to get people in the park but a bad experience will get spread by word of mouth and that can be a killer.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on June 24, 2021, 01:41:29 PM
We were at Dollywood last week and experienced the same thing.  Crazy long lines at all the restaurants. Two of our favorites were closed--Granny Ogles and Miss Lillian's Smokehouse. That was disappointing. However, it appeared they might have help on the way. There were a lot of international students who appeared to be in training. Several times you would see one or two people operating a ride with three new employees following them around watching. But, as has been mentioned, several smaller stands were closed. On Wednesday last week the posted wait time for Lightning Rod got up to 130 minutes. Sometimes it felt like we had to wait in line just to wait in line!

I just got back from out west. Estes Park, Jackson, WY, Yellowstone, Cody, ETC ETC Etc. Everywhere we went out there the shops and restaurants were staffed with Eastern European young people. Service was so so but you could tell they were on a learning curve. The only exception was Yellowstone where most of the staff was still retired people who move into the park for the summer.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: saladdays on June 25, 2021, 02:43:35 PM
I was thinking about trying to go to the park soon, but if lines are still that long I'm not sure if it's worth it. Are the lines for food the biggest issue, or are ride lines still huge as well?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on June 25, 2021, 03:04:36 PM
^ It usually depends on what day you go.  I just checked the ride wait times on the app and they weren't that bad.  Fridays on the whole usually seem to be pretty good. I'm sure tomorrow will be a whole different story.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: saladdays on June 25, 2021, 03:35:51 PM
Yeah, you're probably right.

I forgot I can check the app for wait times. That will be a good thing to use in the future.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on July 01, 2021, 06:16:38 AM
https://slashdot.org/story/21/06/30/2221243/great-resignation-gains-steam-as-return-to-work-plans-take-effect
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 03, 2021, 02:27:24 PM
Rumor: MRF will be closed for the foreseeable future.  Apparently there was an incident where guests were injured and had to be taken to the hospital.  That’s all the info I have at this moment.  Still doing some checking with different sources.  It is interesting that the app has MRF listed as closed for the day and that was the case at park opening. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: flutas on July 03, 2021, 04:12:37 PM
Rumor: MRF will be closed for the foreseeable future.  Apparently there was an incident where guests were injured and had to be taken to the hospital.  That’s all the info I have at this moment.  Still doing some checking with different sources.  It is interesting that the app has MRF listed as closed for the day and that was the case at park opening.

Interestingly enough the ride is also running, but all vehicles are filled with the sandbags for testing.

EDIT: as soon as I posted this it stopped of course.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on July 03, 2021, 05:25:14 PM
On some of the posts about MRF on SDC's facebook page people were mentioning getting injured in various ways. I honestly don't get it since the ride is pretty soft. It's aggressive for a raft ride, but that is still nothing compared to other thrill rides. I wonder if part of it is due to the type of people trying to ride this vs. those who typically ride thrill rides. An old person getting bumped will feel it 1,000x worse than a kid. Try riding Arkansas Twister and then tell me MRF is rough.

Hopefully no one stood up on the drop and got injured that way.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: legoerosion on July 04, 2021, 12:47:53 PM
People are saying on the SDC (unofficial) season pass holder group that one of the boats tipped, or almost tipped, nobody seems to know besides screaming loud about “they’re going to get sued for this!!!”. If the boat did actually tip, I figured that there would have been a press release or something like the one that flipped in Altoona yesterday.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on July 04, 2021, 01:21:21 PM
People are saying on the SDC (unofficial) season pass holder group that one of the boats tipped, or almost tipped, nobody seems to know besides screaming loud about “they’re going to get sued for this!!!”. If the boat did actually tip, I figured that there would have been a press release or something like the one that flipped in Altoona yesterday.

Not being in the know at all about this, but after hearing about the accident in Altoona and the timing of the closing, could it be that the closure at SDC is a result of the issue in Altoona?  Out of caution, could SDC simply be inspecting their own attraction to ensure they don't have the same problem?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on July 04, 2021, 03:34:42 PM
^ That's what it sounds like to me.  Good call HB
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on July 04, 2021, 04:39:26 PM
Like legoerosion said from the many posts from SDC Season Pass Holder Group (Unofficial) it appears there was some type of accident at MRF and not just a precautionary measure.  Seems like no one knew exactly what happened except for the boat leaning too far forward at the end of the plunge. They put a fence up so it looks like it could be down for awhile like Swoosh mentioned.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 05, 2021, 03:15:02 PM
People are saying on the SDC (unofficial) season pass holder group that one of the boats tipped, or almost tipped, nobody seems to know besides screaming loud about “they’re going to get sued for this!!!”. If the boat did actually tip, I figured that there would have been a press release or something like the one that flipped in Altoona yesterday.

Not being in the know at all about this, but after hearing about the accident in Altoona and the timing of the closing, could it be that the closure at SDC is a result of the issue in Altoona?  Out of caution, could SDC simply be inspecting their own attraction to ensure they don't have the same problem?

The two have nothing in common.  SDC incident happened on Friday. Adventureland accident happened at 7:30pm on Saturday. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on July 05, 2021, 06:17:41 PM
The SDC app showed wait times for MRF this afternoon so apparently it's operating again.  Last I checked was a 120 minute wait.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on July 05, 2021, 09:48:49 PM
It seems like their quest for the biggest fastest tallest whatever was really a mistake.  They should have kept LR, I know I sure liked it much better.  I have only ridden this new ride a couple of times and just have no interest in it. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 05, 2021, 11:22:46 PM
It seems like their quest for the biggest fastest tallest whatever was really a mistake.  They should have kept LR, I know I sure liked it much better.  I have only ridden this new ride a couple of times and just have no interest in it.

Keeping LR was not an option.  It needed major repairs and was not ADA.  Rib House didn’t have near enough capacity and was also not ADA.  See where this is going.  Basically if it is not ADA don’t expect it to be there much longer
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on July 06, 2021, 09:10:50 AM
They couldn't keep LR, but literally no one asked for the giant drop. I get that it looks cool and was a big marketing thing, but man what a blunder this whole ride has been. 2 years into operation and they can't even run enough boats, let alone even fill them to capacity with a full 8 riders. I am curious what the end result will be. The new fencing going up around the ride implies that they are going to make structural modifications to the ride again. Let's pray that it works this time. Otherwise it may end up like Buzzsaw Falls - limp around for a few years and then get reconstructed into a new ride - "The Revenge of Mystic River Falls"  ;D

Anyway, back to crowd discussions: apparently crowds were pretty light this weekend. This seems to be typical for SDC on major weekends. Often people expect it to be super crowded so no one comes, lol. Plus the heat with few water rides running...
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 06, 2021, 09:22:05 AM
^ there’s a reason it’s referred to as “Mistake River Fails”

Just think, if everything you said about MRF is common knowledge, just think what isn’t common. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on July 06, 2021, 09:41:55 AM
Likely couple a 400lb. heifers at the very front the raft.


Was that mean? Likely, but possibly true.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on July 06, 2021, 01:10:47 PM
Mystic River Falls has been reporting wait times since just before 10 this morning.
Anyone know if the fence is still up?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on July 06, 2021, 03:31:33 PM
They couldn't keep LR, but literally no one asked for the giant drop. I get that it looks cool and was a big marketing thing, but man what a blunder this whole ride has been. 2 years into operation and they can't even run enough boats, let alone even fill them to capacity with a full 8 riders. I am curious what the end result will be. The new fencing going up around the ride implies that they are going to make structural modifications to the ride again. Let's pray that it works this time. Otherwise it may end up like Buzzsaw Falls - limp around for a few years and then get reconstructed into a new ride - "The Revenge of Mystic River Falls"  ;D

Anyway, back to crowd discussions: apparently crowds were pretty light this weekend. This seems to be typical for SDC on major weekends. Often people expect it to be super crowded so no one comes, lol. Plus the heat with few water rides running...

I may be in the minority here but I like MRF.  I think it's an improvement on Lost River and part of that is the drop.  I didn't always get wet on Lost River but I always do on MRF which is why I ride a water ride in the first place.  But of course, I loved Buzzsaw Falls as well  :P
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on July 06, 2021, 07:27:08 PM
 ;D ::) lol with Buzzsaw Falls being brought up again I think its safe to say when it comes to SDC any water ride with the word "Falls" in it's name is gonna be doomed to be cursed with problems.
 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Bogart on July 06, 2021, 07:51:18 PM
So I had my first (and probably last) experience with MRF today.  Kids and I had been excited about the ride and this was our first opportunity to see it. When we got in line, we were informed that the ride had broken down but they were currently testing boats so it was assumed that it would be fixed shortly. We went ahead and got in line and waited about 15 minutes before it was up and running.

At that point, we waited another 1hr 15min and were about 2/3 through the line to the loading area.  They were only running maybe 6-8 boats. The lift only had a boat on every other platform when it would go up.

After 1hr 30min total wait time at that point, it was announced that the ride had broken down again. They said they had no idea how long it would take to fix and since the park was closing in an hour, it might not be running again.  The group in front of us said they would wait it out because they were in line yesterday when it broken down then and this was their only chance to ride it.  Kids and I figured 1.5 hrs of our day was sufficient to waste on standing in line and moved on to fire in the hole.

If we are there next time and there doesn’t happen to be a line at the time, I might try it but probably not. Looks like a fun ride but if it breaks down every day and sometimes multiple times, not worth the risk to me of wasting all that time with nothing to show for it.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on July 06, 2021, 08:09:53 PM
I'm surprised it was open again with that fence around it. So maybe they just want to block views in case there is ever another "incident"  ::)

Running with just a handful of half full boats is embarrassing. This ride was supposed to be a people eater. Lost River had an order of magnitude better put-through. The more I look through guest experiences, the more disappointing stories of waiting for hours I see. It's crazy how bad they screwed this up.

We mumbled about it last year, but at that point it was a new ride and the pandemic took most of the attention off it anyway. I figured they would work on it significantly over the off season and figure it out for this year. Now it seems like it runs even worse than ever. I think it would probably be better if they just shut it down until they can make it work as originally intended, but then I guess that might be a PR disaster too. Not sure which is worse at this point. 

;D ::) lol with Buzzsaw Falls being brought up again I think its safe to say when it comes to SDC any water ride with the word "Falls" in it's name is gonna be doomed to be cursed with problems.
 

Honestly it's pretty much any water ride at this point. The waterboggin was a fiasco of it's own after they attempted to "improve" it around 2003. I'm surprised they didn't screw up Tom & Huck's, although they didn't push any limits with it except the amount of theming that they don't take care of.

SDC just needs to add a couple water rides that are well themed but otherwise standard in every way.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on July 06, 2021, 08:37:56 PM
;D ::) lol with Buzzsaw Falls being brought up again I think its safe to say when it comes to SDC any water ride with the word "Falls" in it's name is gonna be doomed to be cursed with problems.
 

Honestly it's pretty much any water ride at this point. The waterboggin was a fiasco of it's own after they attempted to "improve" it around 2003. I'm surprised they didn't screw up Tom & Huck's, although they didn't push any limits with it except the amount of theming that they don't take care of.

SDC just needs to add a couple water rides that are well themed but otherwise standard in every way.

With the Waterboggin in its early life before the "improvement" I had thought it was alright? Though to be fair I was still pretty young during those days. I do remember it being closed most of the time in its later years after though. (A classic case of if it ain't broke don't fix it.) I do think if SDC wanted another big water slide ride they should've just taken that big splash boat ride that opened towards the end of CC's life and relocated it up there around Lake Silver or around the former Waterboggin site. Wasn't it open for like 1 season down there?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on July 06, 2021, 09:02:58 PM
The problem with the Waterworks Waterboggan was quite a few injuries at the end of the ride with an abrupt stop that was throwing riders into each other.

As far as MRF running with half full boats is because they were asking the day we rode if we wanted to ride alone or with someone.  We had a total of 2 people in our group and could have rode by ourselves but thought it would be better with a group.  They could start trying to fill the boats fuller and maybe make a difference on the long waits.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 06, 2021, 09:49:20 PM
Quote
”a raft didn’t have proper weight distribution which resulted in the raft almost tipping when it reached the bottom of the drop. There was a collar bone related injury”. They went on to explain that the walls were put up to preserve the theme of the area, while the ride was being tested with weighted dummy riders to determine what happened. Apparently they were happy with the test results, and/or any adjustments made, as Mystic River Falls was said to have reopened to riders once again on Monday.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on July 07, 2021, 08:25:51 AM
Likely couple a 400lb. heifers at the very front the raft.


Was that mean? Likely, but possibly true.

You could have made the point without being insulting.  If you feel the need to insult others like this, I suggest you re-examine your motives.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 07, 2021, 08:10:52 PM
Likely couple a 400lb. heifers at the very front the raft.


Was that mean? Likely, but possibly true.

You could have made the point without being insulting.  If you feel the need to insult others like this, I suggest you re-examine your motives.

Guests of larger proportions were situated on the same side which caused a discrepancy in weight distribution on the raft causing an incident
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on July 09, 2021, 09:33:57 AM
Screamscape now telling people that a ride op told them the issue was caused by low water level. Doesn't seem to alleviate many concerns... either way it seems the ride wasn't designed well. After a 1.5 years of operation you'd think they'd have things like the drop sorted out better, to say nothing of the capacity issues.

Feels like it'll be a busy weekend in Branson this weekend. Nice and warm, but not oppressively hot. 89 for Saturday, and only 81 for Sunday.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: saladdays on July 09, 2021, 01:32:28 PM
When I rode MRF a couple of weeks ago, it appeared like most of the boats were full or near full. It still was a long wait though...probably about an hour.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on July 09, 2021, 02:13:07 PM
I would say an hour or more will be the norm since we are now in midsummer and basically still a new ride.  Even on Lost River in the latter years there were long waits when the weather warmed up.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 09, 2021, 07:56:37 PM
MRF is now back to regular operations
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: biscuitcreek on July 10, 2021, 09:14:26 AM
We went on Wednesday the 8th for a few hours. Didn't ride anything. Saw the first Globetrotters show of the day, lots of talking at the beginning, show was very audience involved with kids and adults coming up to participate in various segments. Would have liked to see more skills and shots from the Globetrotters but did enjoy this version more than the one we saw the first year the group was at SDC.

Didn't get to see the new Down by the Riverside show since Wednesday is the off day.

Lines were long at the few places open to serve food and drink. Rib House needs some shade for those waiting in line since the wait is really long.  I heard someone say they waited for an hour at Chester's Chips. We did get a frozen lemonade at the stand near the saloon, took about 20 minutes.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on July 12, 2021, 11:47:45 AM
When I rode MRF a couple of weeks ago, it appeared like most of the boats were full or near full. It still was a long wait though...probably about an hour.

Hmm, that makes me hopeful. Of course, they still don't have as many boats running as they predicted and I don't think that can change unless they modify the channel somehow. I am very curious what their highest put through has been versus what LR's average was. Three hour lines to only maybe actually get on is just ridiculous.

I'm amazed they re-opened it so fast.

Sure hope they find some more employees by fall. I wonder how many have moved away from Branson over the past year? Where can incoming workers actually live now? I think Branson got used to using a certain crowd that lived out of some of the cheaper rentals - some of which have been forced to shut down recently. Now that many of them are gone, there's no one to replace them and no where for new people to come in unless they want to commute from Springfield.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on July 12, 2021, 01:49:14 PM
SDC and the Branson area have been pretty well spoiled over the years when it comes to summer help.  That's the first place in the summer kids would think of when they were looking for jobs.  Now with all the competition for their services they don't need to commute too far to find a job.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: SDCisHome on July 12, 2021, 02:23:07 PM
I went to the park on Saturday (July 10) and was extremely surprised at the lack of crowd. There was a chance of rain all day with more severe weather after park closing, so maybe that kept people away. It rained for maybe 30 minutes total during the day. I arrived when the park opened at 9:30 and was able to ride the big 6 (WF, PK, TNT, FITH, OR and TT) along with The Giant Swing multiple times each before noon. All rides had two-train operations except Powder Keg (one train). I'll never understand why that ride only runs one train when it has the capability to have three.

The longest line of the day was MRF. We got in line around 2:30 and after 90 minutes or so was able to ride. They were only loading a max of six people per boat, but there were at least 10 boats operating. The ride itself was great, except for the large amount spin we experienced coming off the elevator before plunging down the slide, the spin was super intense.

I've ridden Mystic River Falls three times now and have noticed a couple of issues with the operations of the ride... the load process is extremely slow. When there's a long Trailblazer pass line, like Saturday, it slows the general queue line significantly. I understand people pay for the pass to skip the line, but it really slowed the main line. Also, the boats often get stuck trying to re-enter the station and riders have to bounce and shake the boat to get it to move...there needs to be a solution for this. One last thing, the water cannons at the end of the ride that people can put quarters in to get riders extra wet are great and remind me of LR, but there's one that shot me right in the face when I didn't expect it and it didn't feel great. SO be on the lookout!
Overall, the only time the ride was closed was when it rained or lightning in the area. It doesn't quite make since why the ride closes when it rains with no lightning since it's a water ride, but was happy to not have any maintenance closures. 

It was a great day at the park, especially for a Saturday in July. You can tell the park is hurting for workers, especially in food and beverage area. I was shocked that Buckshot's Skillet was closed all day. But, due to lower crowds, the lines for food were not bad. I highly recommend the Tasting Passport! Well worth it!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 12, 2021, 04:56:17 PM
I’m sure the lower crowds are because the media has potential tourists scared to death about the Delta variant in the area. 

The issue with the boats going back into the station has been there since the start.  That’s why there’s a hose dripping water on to that platform. 

They shut down MRF in the rain because it messes with the sensors in the tower

PK only has 2 trains now.  It will only run 2 when it’s really busy.  There’s a reason. 

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: SDCisHome on July 13, 2021, 10:17:10 AM
You're right about that. I've had several ask me how my trips to the Ozarks has been because of Delta variant.

I've noticed the hose since the start. Two weeks ago the water was spraying on the platform, but noticed Saturday it was not. And it makes sense that rain messes with the sensors.

As for PK, what's the reason? It's a lengthy ride between the transfer, launch, lift and brake run along with a low rider capacity to be running one train. Just my opinion. I did notice the train operating had the number three on the front left side of the first car. It's my favorite ride on park, so for it to be down to two trains now and only running one at a time is a little concerning.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on July 23, 2021, 01:16:49 AM
While I do not wish to cause this thread to get too political, its worth noting from seeing this map how the Branson, MO area is essentially the epicenter of new COVID cases. It's quite unfortunate. I will be very curious to see if SDC will be forced to go back into doing health and safety restrictions in the park if this continues towards the fall/winter months.

(https://themeparkreview.com/forum/uploads/monthly_2021_07/218315706_194745385998676_3282437645414213386_n.jpg.9586ebe5a0b7c3a693eaaea55dc60fd0.jpg)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on July 23, 2021, 08:15:15 AM
Yes, it's amazing how SWMO/NWA is the current epicenter, but maybe not surprising. I don't think it will last through to Old Time Christmas simply because everyone will have had it by then...

I don't think there's any political will to impose more restrictions, but who knows. It could get bad enough that they don't have any options. They are already sending MO patients to Tulsa. I'm sure the park is scared to do anything themselves because their customer base is already pissed about last year/early this year, and it's become so political now that customers will openly revolt.

I think for the next couple of months attendance will be lighter while this is going on, but that's kind of expected at this point in the year anyway. Hopefully the wave passes by October.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 23, 2021, 01:58:44 PM
There’s a rumor going sound that something happened at Outlaw Run yesterday.  The entire area is roped off and there are water dummies on the trains.  SDCfans won’t speculate on the situation until confirmation by a trusted news outlet.  Just be aware that OR will not be open for the first weekend of Moonlight
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on July 23, 2021, 02:24:40 PM
There’s a rumor going sound that something happened at Outlaw Run yesterday.  The entire area is roped off and there are water dummies on the trains.  SDCfans won’t speculate on the situation until confirmation by a trusted news outlet.  Just be aware that OR will not be open for the first weekend of Moonlight

Things do not look hopeful for the person involved, and our prayers are extended for the family, as well as for other riders, ride operators, and Silver Dollar City.  Without discussing the particulars of the matter, we can empathize with all involved or in the general vicinity.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: legoerosion on July 23, 2021, 03:11:54 PM
I know some details about what happened, but out of respect of the family all I will say is that nothing happened to the ride itself. Yesterday was not a good day at the park, with wildfire, Mystic River, and Outlaw being down all day. I had to experience a lot of unhappy guests.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on July 23, 2021, 03:24:41 PM
It's good to remember that not every emergency that happens at a park is directly related to the rides or park itself. Inevitably when you have thousands of guests each and every day, things happen. Hope anyone involved is doing OK.

That sounds like a rough day. I imagine the Time Traveler line was at least a couple hours long if the park was crowded, but at least it's indoors! Strange that Wildfire would be down all day. I feel like in some ways, 2021 has been rougher on the parks than 2020. Obviously they are glad to have the crowds back, but most parks aren't ready for them due to staffing and such. A lot of other parks are having similar issues with not enough maintenance staff to keep things running smoothly.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on July 23, 2021, 09:53:24 PM
Wow Wildfire isn't having a good year between whatever happened recently and the issue that happened earlier this year that kept it down for awhile. Not a good omen considering its the coaster's 20th anniversary at the park.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 23, 2021, 10:34:43 PM
Wow Wildfire isn't having a good year between whatever happened recently and the issue that happened earlier this year that kept it down for awhile. Not a good omen considering its the coaster's 20th anniversary at the park.

It’s electrical related.  This past winter was hard on it
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: How-doFolks on July 24, 2021, 08:29:03 AM
I hope all involved are ok.. We will be at the park this Thursday & Friday. Going with my wife, my brother, 2 of my nephews who are in their 30s, and their girlfriends. Gunna be a trip! Gunna try to make a picture video of our trip, will post it when it is done. Anyone else be there?!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on July 26, 2021, 11:42:04 PM
OR has reopened
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on July 27, 2021, 02:45:48 PM
Has anyone that has visited this summer seen the Rainmaker show?  We were there last the first Fri-Sat of June and I was told then that they planned to bring the Rainmaker show back during the summer.  Just curious.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: How-doFolks on July 31, 2021, 03:07:08 PM
Made it to the park Thurs & Fri. Didnt go to the park Thurs until around 7p, it was freaking HOT - HUMID!! We had relatives from Tenn with us, so we just walked around the park. Rode FITH & walked through GM, & watched the fireworks show. They went to SDC breakfast and got the rotating table. lol! Enjoyed opening ceremonies & headed for MRF's. Waited 30 minutes for the actual ride to open. Got on, got wet.. Then hit one of the corners of the ride & my wifes cheek bounced off my shoulder. She was ok, but, just as we got to the lift, it stopped. Waited about 10 minutes & they got us all off the ride. They did give us a voucher for a free ride of our choice. Had some other relatives from Springfield meet up with us, & all of us rode FITH. After that we all sat around & talked for an hour or so. Got some slushes, walked through some of the shops, & enjoyed just hanging out with family. The wife & i left around 1p, got something to eat in Branson West, & went swimming in the motel. Our other folk rode FM & used the vouchers for another ride on MRF's. Thursday was busier than Friday. Friday seemed bearable, temp wise. They got back around 3p, we ate & went & played mini golf & called it a day. Went to bed early, got up early, & headed home. All around it was a great trip. We may not have done much, but it was fun just being with family at SDC. Considering our parents took us back in the 70s. I made a picture video of our trip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5bqHDQbwhI That is the link to it on YouTube. Did see the John & Amy Burton folks walking by, but just didnt have time to say hi. We have figured out that maybe next time we will go when it is a little cooler, but we are all ok. Till next time, see ya later & have fun at SDC!! :)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on August 11, 2021, 06:42:32 PM
Finally made it for the first time in two years.  Not much has changed (outside of the riverfront).

We were pleased with MRF and thought it was a tremendous improvement over LR.  The ride was smooth (not bouncing off the channel walls), and we enjoyed the spinning (didn't think it was too much).  I did have to hold on to the rail pretty tightly coming down the fall (didn't expect that).  Feet got soaked, but not too wet otherwise; the folks across from us got drenched.

I was far from pleased, however, with the queue.  First of all, a few signs on the wall counts as theming, but I want more immersive theming.  Secondly, the queue was filthy, and I mean Six Flags 1999 filthy.  It was 11am, and clearly, no one had been through there for any kind of trash pickup or thorough sweeping.  The edges around the walls and props were all kinds of gunky with refuse.  That would be unacceptable if I was managing the area.

It's Wednesday, and we were all ridden out (no shows or shops this time around) and home (two hours away) by 6:15.  Pretty much walk-on to everything except MRF (40 minutes).
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on August 11, 2021, 07:55:23 PM
I was far from pleased, however, with the queue.  First of all, a few signs on the wall counts as theming, but I want more immersive theming.  Secondly, the queue was filthy, and I mean Six Flags 1999 filthy.  It was 11am, and clearly, no one had been through there for any kind of trash pickup or thorough sweeping.  The edges around the walls and props were all kinds of gunky with refuse.  That would be unacceptable if I was managing the area.

Wow!

That's not a "back in Miss Mary's Day" issue, that's something I would never expect at SDC no matter who's in charge.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on August 11, 2021, 11:08:20 PM
Finally made it for the first time in two years.  Not much has changed (outside of the riverfront).

We were pleased with MRF and thought it was a tremendous improvement over LR.  The ride was smooth (not bouncing off the channel walls), and we enjoyed the spinning (didn't think it was too much).  I did have to hold on to the rail pretty tightly coming down the fall (didn't expect that).  Feet got soaked, but not too wet otherwise; the folks across from us got drenched.

I was far from pleased, however, with the queue.  First of all, a few signs on the wall counts as theming, but I want more immersive theming.  Secondly, the queue was filthy, and I mean Six Flags 1999 filthy.  It was 11am, and clearly, no one had been through there for any kind of trash pickup or thorough sweeping.  The edges around the walls and props were all kinds of gunky with refuse.  That would be unacceptable if I was managing the area.

It's Wednesday, and we were all ridden out (no shows or shops this time around) and home (two hours away) by 6:15.  Pretty much walk-on to everything except MRF (40 minutes).

Regarding theming in MRF queue, at least there is some.  There wasn’t any in LR’s.

As for the trash upkeep.  There’s a reason.  Not my place to go into too much detail.  Been a rough year. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on August 12, 2021, 12:25:04 PM
I actually really liked the MRF theming apart from the weird billboard. It's about an average level of theming for a ride at SDC. The rockwork is truly stunning.

At least you made it on the ride! How long did you have to wait?

Those staffing issues are still a problem and it isn't getting better. In fact, I have heard it is actually getting worse as people burn out. SDC has been trying band aid solutions for too long. They should pulled a Cedar Fair and built employee housing. They actually used to do this at one point. They simply can't get enough people right now. I don't know what they'll do this winter...
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on August 12, 2021, 06:20:31 PM
I actually really liked the MRF theming apart from the weird billboard. It's about an average level of theming for a ride at SDC. The rockwork is truly stunning.

At least you made it on the ride! How long did you have to wait?

Those staffing issues are still a problem and it isn't getting better. In fact, I have heard it is actually getting worse as people burn out. SDC has been trying band aid solutions for too long. They should pulled a Cedar Fair and built employee housing. They actually used to do this at one point. They simply can't get enough people right now. I don't know what they'll do this winter...

40 minute wait since we got there at 10:40.  We were two riders, so they called us to jump the line about three boats.  By that time, the line had extended to about twice the length (as the day was getting hotter).

The ride is stunning.  It's just the queue.  I wish SDC would invest in more than signage.

As for the filth in the queue, it's the only place I noticed in the park that was in that condition.  I realize staffing is weak at this point, but it's not a job that would take that long.  Delay the opening of the ride for 15 minutes if you have to.  This has not been cleaned for a long time - probably all season.  Just to sweep it once a month would be an improvement.  An area host might need to make some rounds to notice.

All in all, we had a great (albeit hot) day.  That was really just one comment about an otherwise enjoyable time.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on August 13, 2021, 08:14:07 AM
They should pulled a Cedar Fair and built employee housing.

Dollywood just announced that they are building new onsite seasonal employee housing.
https://www.wvlt.tv/2021/08/12/dollywood-constructing-housing-seasonal-workers/
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on August 13, 2021, 08:38:21 AM
^Of course, DW seems like they are always on their game. Not sure why SDC doesn't have the same amount of vision behind it. Maybe it's because HFEC management is too busy buying aquariums that don't even make money. These guys have been around long enough to know what the park needs. Back in 2003 they brought over hundreds of foreign workers because that's what it took with both CC and SDC open at the same time. Whatever it takes.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on August 13, 2021, 01:00:50 PM
^Just a small issue with bringing in foreign workers right now … borders are closed to new visas.  Why do you think ALL parks are having issues with staffing this summer.  SDC did pull in some larger groups from around the country to work this summer but they’re all gone now since college is starting back up.

Cedar Fair is going to be announcing worker dorms at most of their properties soon.  This will probably be the way parks have to go to survive
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on August 13, 2021, 01:17:51 PM
Yeah I'm aware of the visa issues, just saying they have gone to lengths in the past to keep the park staffed, but now I'm not seeing the same level of effort. I feel like they aren't offering enough incentives, and haven't been focused on retention very well for a long time. Even before covid hit retention was an issue.

Which will SDC get first - dorms or a resort? We needed both years ago, IMO.

The park is advertising kids prices this weekend. Will be interesting to see if that packs it out like the $35 thursdays used to sometimes. It's going to be stormy off and on though.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on August 14, 2021, 08:40:37 PM
J-1 visas are for "cultural exchange", and sticking those workers in back-of-house roles is a big no-no. They're supposed to engage directly with American culture, even if language (or other) barriers don't make them well suited for that.

It happens, but sponsors also get their host status revoked when it's called out.

Sponsors have to line up housing and guarantee transportation.

They get a tax break, because they don't have to contribute the employer's portion of FICA.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: tmstephe on August 17, 2021, 07:10:37 AM
I know this year has been atypical for crowds, but what might I expect on opening day/weekend of OTC (Nov. 6-7)?  We’ve been there many times on Thanksgiving weekend and one time the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but want to try going earlier this time. Thanks.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on August 17, 2021, 08:21:57 AM
Obviously IF the weather is nice the park will be VERY busy!!    If weather is bad, Not so busy....   
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on August 17, 2021, 06:07:26 PM
Lol it's always been on my bucket list to be there when it's snowing.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on August 17, 2021, 06:46:16 PM
I would too but with my luck I would need that bucket to dig my way out.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on August 18, 2021, 02:36:02 PM
Lol it's always been on my bucket list to be there when it's snowing.


I was there when it was snowing. Be careful what you wish for. Streets got slick very quick. It did not take long for them to announce that they would be closing early. It was like get your stuff and get out.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on August 18, 2021, 03:49:28 PM
^ Me too.  We were parked in Lot 3 with a bit of a hill to climb to get out so I was glad they closed the park when they did before the road got icy.  This was during OTC around 5 years or so ago.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on August 18, 2021, 08:28:52 PM
Are there any parks in snow country that operate when it's snowing?

SDC is far from snow country, so I wouldn't expect them to operate during snow.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on August 24, 2021, 01:37:24 AM
Went Sunday,  park was very empty as it was hot, hot, hot. All coasters were running and quick to get on . Seems like lot two and maybe a sprinkling of cars in lot three were used. The preferred lot was nearly empty. I love the park that empty but don't like to see it from a business perspective.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on August 24, 2021, 10:21:47 AM
^ Agree but they should more than make up for it during Pumpkin Nights and OTC providing they don't have a long run of bad weather.  As for the low crowds you can certainly tell when school starts up again.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: History Buff on August 24, 2021, 06:00:18 PM
Exactly why Missouri has rules about school not starting earlier.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on August 31, 2021, 11:29:40 AM
Looks like we're finally going to get to go on either 9/30 or 10/1, probably the latter (as it a Thursday), but weather will play a role in the decision.  It's been almost two years!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on August 31, 2021, 09:31:59 PM
Looks like we're finally going to get to go on either 9/30 or 10/1, probably the latter (as it a Thursday), but weather will play a role in the decision.  It's been almost two years!

LOL.  small detail... according to my calender 10-1 is a Friday?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on August 31, 2021, 09:53:41 PM
Exactly why Missouri has rules about school not starting earlier.

Arkansas passed a law banning school from starting before Labor Day, because most schools at the time didn't have air conditioning.

Arkansas in September can be hot as hell.

After school consolidation, and the state mandating more school days per year, that somehow went by the wayside.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on September 01, 2021, 08:14:31 AM
Looks like we're finally going to get to go on either 9/30 or 10/1, probably the latter (as it a Thursday), but weather will play a role in the decision.  It's been almost two years!

LOL.  small detail... according to my calender 10-1 is a Friday?

OOOooops!  Yeah, I meant the FORMER.  (Reminder:  engage brain before typing.)
 :-[
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on September 02, 2021, 09:22:42 AM
Looks like we're finally going to get to go on either 9/30 or 10/1, probably the latter (as it a Thursday), but weather will play a role in the decision.  It's been almost two years!

LOL.  small detail... according to my calender 10-1 is a Friday?

OOOooops!  Yeah, I meant the FORMER.  (Reminder:  engage brain before typing.)
 :-[

Okey Dokey, I got that..!! 
LOL, 
not being a Smart A**,   
But sometime little details, really mess up the big plans!!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on September 03, 2021, 08:40:35 AM

But sometime little details, really mess up the big plans!!

For which reason I don't resent constructive correction  8)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on October 05, 2021, 09:33:17 AM
We were able to go to the city on Thursday, 9/30.  The day began very wet, but, by the time we finished breakfast at Mollie's, the rain was stopping.  Soon, it has ended altogether. 
We saw the Pickers at the Gazebo and the Saloon show at the Boatworks.  The Saloon show tries very hard to maintain continuity with its previous iterations, and the performers have all the necessary energy and talent.  I miss Dave and Rachel, but the current how is well worth the time.
We ate at the Rivertown Smokehouse for the first time.  The food was good and no more expensive than at many restaurants in town--in fact, probably less so.  Theming is nearly non-existent, but this we knew going in.  there did not seem to be a good way to get my wife in the door on her cart, so my son and I got the food while she found a table.  If we must have a modern building, why can it not have ADA accessibility?  The worst aspect of the meal was the noise from the show at the Dockside. 
In fact, probably the most disappointing aspect of the entire visit is the wretched pop being played all over the place.  We go to the city for traditional music, not hyper-electric pounding. 
We did dot he Pumpkin Stroll and saw the opening of the Party--and then escaped ASAP because of the noise there.
We caught up with several citizens whom we have missed much, but some others have retired in the interim, and we will miss seeing them even more.  The crafters were reduced in number, but the ones there were producing quality products.  We did get to chat with Buck Taylor for a good while--great guy!
We picked up a number of household items that we were out of or nearly out of, including spices and soap.  We replaced my wife's deep dish pie plate--her previous one had broken.  And we bought a rack to help keep them safer ;-)
We were pretty tired when we left--it was about as long a day at the city as we have ever spent--and happy that we didn't have to drive home immediately afterwards.  We enjoyed the day very much.

Related;  we went to see the sons the next day at the IMAX, and enjoyed their show quite a bit.  If you liked them at the city, you'll love them in the new venue.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on October 06, 2021, 08:43:41 AM
For the life of me, I'll never understand the pop music.

Does SDC's marketing department have data somewhere that says people enjoy their visit to an 1880's theme park more with 1990's pop music being played in the background?

Makes absolutely no sense.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on October 10, 2021, 11:13:02 AM
The music sets a feel for younger audiences the same way bluegrass sets a feel for us. They are going for a super lively feeling for pumpkin fest. It does kind of clash with the harvest fest, and I think the kidsbob songs are super annoying, but I understand what they are going for.

Anyway, I had a great visit Friday-Sat. Really enjoyed the crafts on the main square, and the weather was unexpectedly great. This was my first time seeing the pumpkin stuff actually since I never managed to make it down during fall the last couple of years. The dance square was very lively, but kind of a hodge-podge of stuff going on. I was surprised by how many enjoyed the corny DJs and dance party. It really looked and sounded like a group zumba exercise. Still, very fun and lively, and obviously it is brining in the crowds because Saturday was PACKED.

Only negatives were one train/one side operation on basically everything but Wildfire, which managed to break down for a good part of Friday. Outlaw Run appears to have a train in pieces that was being worked on. I don't know what the excuse is for everything else. They used one train on TNT friday, and then the other on Saturday, so clearly both work. Saturday was so packed there was no excuse for using one train unless they have serious parts and labor shortages. The line for TNT was through the tunnel. One train on Time Traveler is always ridiculous. Still can't believe they sold one.

FITH and Flooded Mine were running decently though! Some sound effects still missing in both, but that is a constant battle.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on October 10, 2021, 07:31:20 PM
Wait... they sold off a train for TT? Or was that a typo? I know PK has been down a train for quite some time now. (2 instead of 3)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on October 10, 2021, 08:01:23 PM
I have been told by several people that one of TT's trains was sold to Plopsaland for ride to Happiness. Not sure what they were thinking, but perhaps they were offered a bunch of money for it and will replace it later? I feel like supply chain issues probably had something to do with it.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: legoerosion on October 10, 2021, 10:42:04 PM
Didn't TT have three trains though? I could've sworn I saw two trains running a few weeks ago.

Anyways, yesterday the park had around 19,000 people there and it was PACKED. Pumpkin Plaza was busy the entire night.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on October 11, 2021, 09:10:35 PM
That does not seem to make any sense to sell off one of the TT trains, but wow, who knows.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on October 12, 2021, 08:26:53 AM
TT originally had three trains and was setup to have a separate unload station from the loading area. That's part of why it has that long bridge. I don't know why they have never operated it as designed after the first season. I guess someone crunched the numbers and realized how much they get from Trailblazers due to the long lines... what we always said would happen. Once a park starts making profit off of lines, the park is actually incentivized to create and sustain them...

Anyway, I wish we could get the numbers for last Saturday. I'm being told they used all the lots and maybe even one of the satellite parking lots? That would make it similar to Christmas season crowds. It definitely felt a little uncomfortably busy, but not quite the actual crushing crowds of Christmas. Part of that may have been the fact that all the pumpkin fest stuff directs people to the back of the park where there's more room rather than bunching everyone up in the main square. Still think the park is in for some real struggles once November hits.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on October 12, 2021, 09:54:23 AM
Expect HUGE crowds this weekend. It's Oklahoma's Fall Break and I'm doing a last minute search for hotels, rentals, etc. for my family and there are not many options left (especially Friday night). Thousand Hills will not let you search for rooms this weekend...I did find some things for $4000+ a night (I do not have that kind of cash).

Anyway, should be a big crowd in Branson this weekend.

Jay
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 12, 2021, 11:19:45 AM
Expect HUGE crowds this weekend. It's Oklahoma's Fall Break and I'm doing a last minute search for hotels, rentals, etc. for my family and there are not many options left (especially Friday night). Thousand Hills will not let you search for rooms this weekend...I did find some things for $4000+ a night (I do not have that kind of cash).

Anyway, should be a big crowd in Branson this weekend.

Jay

Jay, call michelle or Lori at 417-332-2121, they may have a lead to rooms available...  thats their business..

tell them your with me and SDCfans...   that will either save you some money or cost you double!!!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on October 12, 2021, 11:39:54 AM
Thousand Hills will not let you search for rooms this weekend...I did find some things for $4000+ a night (I do not have that kind of cash).

Jay

That's alright cowboy...I probably could squeeze you in at my house for $3000 a night and 2 nights for $5000  ;)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on October 12, 2021, 01:18:07 PM
We visited on Saturday and Sunday (10/9 & 10/10). My family and I have been coming Columbus Day weekend for years. When we first started coming, the crowds were relatively light on that weekend. This weekend was NUTS!

The highlight of my weekend came during the Homestead Pickers' 3:15 show on Saturday. A kindly gentleman walked up and said, "Danny, can you all do Arlington? These folks look like they are having too much fun, and you need to do something serious." I looked up, and saw Jack Herschend himself watching the Homestead Pickers. After the show, I got the opportunity to thank him for what Silver Dollar City has meant to my family and me for the past 61 years. I met Pete several years ago, and always wanted to meet Jack. It's amazing that the founder of the park and the man who literally built everything can walk around unnoticed by vast majority of the people there. I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of famous people in my career, but none excited me more than getting to thank Jack Herschend for Silver Dollar City.

Another thing of note, I overheard one of the craft vendors tell another park visitor to enjoy Fire in the Hole because this was the last year for it. I'm sure the PTB wouldn't be thrilled that one of the vendors was telling people that.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on October 12, 2021, 01:30:41 PM
Expect HUGE crowds this weekend. It's Oklahoma's Fall Break and I'm doing a last minute search for hotels, rentals, etc. for my family and there are not many options left (especially Friday night). Thousand Hills will not let you search for rooms this weekend...I did find some things for $4000+ a night (I do not have that kind of cash).

Anyway, should be a big crowd in Branson this weekend.

Jay

Wow, what on earth would justify 4 grand a night in branson? Sounds like a drug laundering scheme, lol. Nothing in Branson is THAT fancy.


Pudgy, we must have just missed each other! I came to the picking shed just before they started playing, but left early to go ride stuff with my nephew. It's great to hear that Jack still gets out there.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on October 12, 2021, 01:46:59 PM
There were only two cabins left at Big Cedar (no rooms) each cabin is $4,765 / day. I have found some other places…but need multiple rooms (so it adds up). Friday is really booked solid, things open up a bit on Saturday. It’s going to be a busy weekend.

I’ll probably be giving Michelle or Lori a call…see if they know a house or condo somewhere.

Jay
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on October 12, 2021, 04:29:04 PM
One thing I noticed this weekend was that a couple of the nicer water features were turned off. The stream that flows down hill toward the gun/knife shop wasn't running, and the small water wheel by Powderkeg wasn't running. I am used to seeing them off during Christmas, but not during the fall. I hope this is temporary...those little features add a lot to the park.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 13, 2021, 05:36:59 PM
One thing I noticed this weekend was that a couple of the nicer water features were turned off. The stream that flows down hill toward the gun/knife shop wasn't running, and the small water wheel by Powderkeg wasn't running. I am used to seeing them off during Christmas, but not during the fall. I hope this is temporary...those little features add a lot to the park.

4800.00 per night :o :o
I live 4 hours away, for 4800 per night you can stay on my rural amercia farmstead in Eastern Kansas, I will fire up the Town Car and I will drive you back and forth!! ::) ::)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on October 17, 2021, 01:52:16 PM
25,300 on park Saturday the 16th. I’m glad we’re here today. There is a bit of a crowd and food lines are existent but manageable.

It’s just 2:00, so I expect it to get busier. Rode MRF and got drenched this time on the final drop. Much better ride than what I experienced last year.

Having a great day.

A quick update on the day….food lines were long….everywhere. Tator Twist lines (2) were stretching all the way across the pathways, cinnamon bread was almost to the pizza place, etc. We didn’t buy the food passport….I couldn’t imagine standing in that many lines. It was just that busy today…workers seemed to be working as fast as they could.

The only extremely negative of the day were the Chicken Cashew Cone and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Cone….both were not very good. The Cashew Chicken last year was in a sweet sauce and extremely good…but this year’s was in a brown gravy and wasn’t great. The Pumpkin Mac and Cheese just doesn’t work well together. Won’t be doing these again.

Jay
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on October 18, 2021, 08:59:20 AM
Must have been intense on Saturday. I hope they had two trains running on at least a few of the coasters... I'm surprised that Mystic is still going with the weather getting colder. When it finally stops that's one less major ride to spread the crowds out, but at least the employees can be utilized elsewhere.

We have already pretty much ruled out going on the weekends during Christmas.

Food lines have been terrible. I waited with my family for probably an hour last weekend for them to get dinner at the tater patch. I had those pumpkin/sweet potato balls... they were not good. The pumpkin/coconut curry was decent, but nothing to write home about and a much smaller portion than what is shown for like $15. All-in-all a bit of a letdown foodwise this year, mostly because they simply can't keep up with limited staff.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: greg heard on October 24, 2021, 04:17:20 PM
Hello, We have always gone to SDC in the fall and being a homeschool family we have been able to come to the park on a Wednesday or Thursday to avoid the lines. We were unable to come on Fall Break but hoping to visit SDC in November. Since the park is only open on the weekends looks like we may try November 5th or 6th. Traditionally, how busy is the park on the weekends in November?  Would Saturday or Sunday be better and early or late arrival? Thank you in advance for any input!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on October 24, 2021, 06:53:14 PM
^ Hello and welcome to the site!  SDC is closed on November 5th (that whole week until Saturday the 6th).  I would definitely suggest a Sunday visit as opposed to a Saturday because of a lighter crowd.  The park is open from 11 - 10 on Saturday and 1 - 9 on Sunday but you should be able to do more on Sunday even with a couple of hours less operating times.  The park is open Wednesday thru Sundays after the first week of November. Good luck.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Jemmicat on October 25, 2021, 02:44:44 AM
I moved to London last November so haven't been to the park since just before I left. I am coming back to SGF for work on November 6 and staying until the 15th. I really would like to go to the park on November 7 or 14 as I've missed going desperately. Have Sundays been like typical Sundays in the past in 2021 as far as crowds? After a year with mostly polite Brits, I am hesitant to go if the crowds are insane so Saturdays are out entirely... And working during the week so a weeknight visit isn't possible.

When I lived in SGF, I would always go on a Sunday or during the week if possible to keep my sanity
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on October 25, 2021, 09:26:08 AM
I moved to London last November so haven't been to the park since just before I left. I am coming back to SGF for work on November 6 and staying until the 15th. I really would like to go to the park on November 7 or 14 as I've missed going desperately. Have Sundays been like typical Sundays in the past in 2021 as far as crowds? After a year with mostly polite Brits, I am hesitant to go if the crowds are insane so Saturdays are out entirely... And working during the week so a weeknight visit isn't possible.

When I lived in SGF, I would always go on a Sunday or during the week if possible to keep my sanity

We go on Sundays quite a bit. I would say that they have been a bit more busy than in the past, but nothing like a Saturday. The 7th is the second day of An Old Time Christmas so I'm not sure if that will cause a little higher crowds or not. Plan on eating outside of normal meal times and food lines shouldn't be too bad. Have fun!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: greg heard on October 26, 2021, 07:08:34 PM
Thank you for the information.We really wanted to go Saturday but sounds like we might spend the majority of our time in line.  I noticed when I logged onto the ticket portal the number of available tickets remaining for Saturday was 4232 and Sunday was 6269.

Do they still have the policy to go into the park after 3 pm then you can spend the next day with that same ticket?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on October 26, 2021, 09:15:08 PM
^ I don't believe they offer the after 3 the next day's free during Christmas since the park opens later in the day i.e. Sunday the park doesn't even open until 1pm.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on October 27, 2021, 01:02:41 AM
If I recall correctly the After 3 policy ended after the 2018/2019 season. Same for Dollywood.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on October 28, 2021, 09:56:08 AM
If I recall correctly the After 3 policy ended after the 2018/2019 season. Same for Dollywood.

That was my understanding also..    And I am sure they didnt do after 3 during OTC,  since they dont open until 1 or so anyway..
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: greg heard on October 28, 2021, 11:02:34 AM
Okay, Thank You for the information. I think we are going to purchase two day tickets and do both days. Saturday late in the day then Sunday.  I was talking to my wife and she reminded me last Fall 2020 when we went to SDC they were sanitizing the rides in between every group and spaced out seating on the rides. We ended up leaving due to the very long waits. Surely it won't be anywhere near that bad.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on October 28, 2021, 07:24:48 PM
Okay, Thank You for the information. I think we are going to purchase two day tickets and do both days. Saturday late in the day then Sunday.  I was talking to my wife and she reminded me last Fall 2020 when we went to SDC they were sanitizing the rides in between every group and spaced out seating on the rides. We ended up leaving due to the very long waits. Surely it won't be anywhere near that bad.

From the way it sounds, the lines will be much longer this year than last.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on October 29, 2021, 08:16:04 AM
I notice that you can still make reservations to visit on the SDC website.

I'm guessing that there will be days during OTC that you won't be able to get in unless you have a reservation.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: legoerosion on November 05, 2021, 09:15:58 PM
Homestead Pickers will be playing inside of Percy’s for OTC
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on November 06, 2021, 02:17:32 PM
We just got out of the first public performance of Dickens and it was… interesting.  They cut the snow globe scene and Tiny Tim’s solo. The new songs are different.  Now you have to understand my background is in music so some of the things I noticed most probably will not.  But it felt like they were sampling the songs that they no longer can use right up to the line where there would be a problem with copyright.  Are they fine? Sure but if you know the old version as well as I do it felt off.  Then you add in that none of stars are back. I think the only non-swing members back are the Fezziwinks and Scrooge’s nephew. Tiny Tim was actually a girl in this particular show which might not be noticeable from afar but near the the Cratchet House, it was.  Oh and Ghost of Christmas Present accidentally threw the star part of her wand into the crowd when she did a home run movement. 

I will definitely have to see it again to pass final judgement but as of right now it was just ok
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on November 06, 2021, 03:02:48 PM
The new Salon Show (in the Playhouse) is great.  You probably will need to see the new Dickens first to get some of jokes though.  Love how they spoof Dickens, Wonderful Life and Wizard of Oz
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Swoosh on November 06, 2021, 06:57:09 PM
The NEW Home For the Holidays show is really good.  No plot, just song after song.  Very tight group.  Voices of Liberty at Epcot quality.  Very enjoyable
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on November 06, 2021, 07:34:36 PM
Very interesting. Thanks for the reports Swoosh. Sucks that they cut the kid's songs. They always did a great job and those were touching moments from the old play. I guess those songs in particular are super protected by copyright though. Makes sense that they have adjusted this way, but it's hard to beat the original.

Can't wait to see the saloon show again! Is it still in boatworks? I so miss the actual saloon.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on November 06, 2021, 10:10:24 PM
^ According to Swoosh and the SDC website the Saloon show is in the Riverfront Playhouse.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: tmstephe on November 07, 2021, 07:03:11 AM
The NEW Home For the Holidays show is really good.  No plot, just song after song.  Very tight group.  Voices of Liberty at Epcot quality.  Very enjoyable

I agree that the voices were excellent, but the show just didn’t do it for me.  As Swoosh says, there’s no plot.  For what is billed as a “Broadway style show”, replacing IAWL, I was disappointed.  I’ll see it again with adjusted expectations.  Similar to Swoosh, I’m a high school theatre director, so that was my bias going in.

Dickens was definitely odd hewing so close to the former score, but if someone were seeing it for the first time I’m certain they would really enjoy the show. 

Crowds were manageable, weather was great, and we had a fun day on park. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on November 07, 2021, 02:48:01 PM
^ According to Swoosh and the SDC website the Saloon show is in the Riverfront Playhouse.

Oh, lol. I didn't read closely enough. Interesting choice. I wonder when the Saloon will come back in service, or if its now out of ADA compliance since it's been out of service for so long?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: ThemeParkFan on November 15, 2021, 07:13:35 PM
Had an enjoyable three day visit for OTC that just wrapped up. I didn't 100% love old Dickens but I do think its a miss that they didn't take the opportunity to rethink portions of the show instead of just going with soundalikes pretty much the entire time. The new Scrooge isn't bad, but why is he there? But the staging and set design are essentially unchanged, and those were two of the strong suits anyway, and the new changes, while not great, aren't catastrophic either.

As much as I miss the Saloon show being in the Saloon, it seemed noticeably easier to get into the Playhouse. I have to wonder if replacing the Saloon with one that's larger is in their long-term plans.

I really enjoyed Home for the Holidays. If there is any minor critique that I have, it's just that the title and description make it seem like there's going to be a plot, and there just isn't one. That said, the singing was fantastic. For me, this was a definite upgrade from IAWL.

If I have any critique of the park over the weekend, it lies in the park's (mostly ride) operations. Namely that the park has decidedly shifted to being more ride-oriented, and the crowds have responded accordingly, even during OTC. The park's philosophy towards ride operations, however, seemingly hasn't changed at all since my first visit in 2005 when they were still more of a novelty, and so they're still doing things like single train operation on Powder Keg and Time Traveler on an OTC Saturday that's hosting an enthusiast event. It just feels like something is institutionally broken in operations if there are two attractions that are very obviously more popular than others and yet those are the same attractions they are parting out or (potentially, from what I've heard) selling trains from! I'm not saying it can't be nuanced-Thunderation isn't going to need two trains running at the same frequency as some of the others. But SDC-you WILL fill those two 16-seat trains on Powder Keg and TT 95% of the time in any crowd conditions. Just run multiple dang trains on them, please, so that those of us who like those rides you've built can ride them other than at the start and close of each day!

Oh, and I think it's time to just open everything on the square already during that preview hour. Many things are open, sure, but not everything, and on Saturday because the buffet didn't open until later the only place to get anything to eat during that hour was the bakery, which was, naturally, mobbed. During OTC especially there were plenty of people hanging out that likely would have spent more money on food/souvenirs if they were given the opportunity to do so. They're leaving money on the table by keeping a lot of things closed. I get that it costs money to staff things but I bet they'd more than offset those costs in increased sales.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Dewayne on November 16, 2021, 08:44:33 AM
Had an enjoyable three day visit for OTC that just wrapped up. I didn't 100% love old Dickens but I do think its a miss that they didn't take the opportunity to rethink portions of the show instead of just going with soundalikes pretty much the entire time. The new Scrooge isn't bad, but why is he there? But the staging and set design are essentially unchanged, and those were two of the strong suits anyway, and the new changes, while not great, aren't catastrophic either.

As much as I miss the Saloon show being in the Saloon, it seemed noticeably easier to get into the Playhouse. I have to wonder if replacing the Saloon with one that's larger is in their long-term plans.

I really enjoyed Home for the Holidays. If there is any minor critique that I have, it's just that the title and description make it seem like there's going to be a plot, and there just isn't one. That said, the singing was fantastic. For me, this was a definite upgrade from IAWL.

If I have any critique of the park over the weekend, it lies in the park's (mostly ride) operations. Namely that the park has decidedly shifted to being more ride-oriented, and the crowds have responded accordingly, even during OTC. The park's philosophy towards ride operations, however, seemingly hasn't changed at all since my first visit in 2005 when they were still more of a novelty, and so they're still doing things like single train operation on Powder Keg and Time Traveler on an OTC Saturday that's hosting an enthusiast event. It just feels like something is institutionally broken in operations if there are two attractions that are very obviously more popular than others and yet those are the same attractions they are parting out or (potentially, from what I've heard) selling trains from! I'm not saying it can't be nuanced-Thunderation isn't going to need two trains running at the same frequency as some of the others. But SDC-you WILL fill those two 16-seat trains on Powder Keg and TT 95% of the time in any crowd conditions. Just run multiple dang trains on them, please, so that those of us who like those rides you've built can ride them other than at the start and close of each day!

Oh, and I think it's time to just open everything on the square already during that preview hour. Many things are open, sure, but not everything, and on Saturday because the buffet didn't open until later the only place to get anything to eat during that hour was the bakery, which was, naturally, mobbed. During OTC especially there were plenty of people hanging out that likely would have spent more money on food/souvenirs if they were given the opportunity to do so. They're leaving money on the table by keeping a lot of things closed. I get that it costs money to staff things but I bet they'd more than offset those costs in increased sales.

I went last Wednesday. We got there before chain drop, but Molly's Mill was not open before chain drop during OTC. Weird...

My mom saw Home for Christmas. She said it was basically non-stop singing.

I rode TT twice. I talked to one of the ops. He assured me that they have NOT sold a train for that ride. 1 is in pieces and the other is in the back while they wait on the wheels to come in the mail. I noticed that they aren't doing the sound/lighting effects for the lapbars. I pointed that out and he said that it broke about week ago. It won't be fixed until probably the beginning of next year. We bought a TT magnet for our fridge. I REALLY wished they did ride photos on this ride. I would have totally bought one! They are missing a great opportunity to make money! The shop employee told me that they used to take photos in line, but they don't anymore. Those wouldn't have been nearly as good for me anyway.



MRF was running, but closed. I would expect all water rides to be closed and turned off during OTC. I saw maintenance operating the ride and constantly walking to different areas all day. They had dummies in 1 or 2 rafts. It only stopped for 1 hour at 3PM, then it started back up again. A ride op said there are certain things they have to do before it can officially shut down. I also saw employees watching in the towers and they now have computers to look at for something. I think they are trying to work out the bugs while they can so it doesn't break down as much next year. I also saw a new road going around Lake Silver, along MRF, from Fireman's Landing restrooms to the MRF line. It was roped off on both sides. Not sure if this is just an employee road or a public road everyone can use later. I will find out next year.

We got to the Pumpkin Plaza gate next to GE to watch the parade at 6PM. They did some cheezy, very kiddie dances at 5:30 for 10 minutes. That was not on the schedule and I did not like seeing that! I was strictly there to see the parade.

I saw they were running engine 504, which is the new engine, so we rode it at 8PM. It seems that they have taken most of the light tunnel away and added it to Christmas in Midtown. I did not like that at all. I always loved and prefer riding thru the normal length of it on the train. They were also closing the main gates and using the old, single, wooden gate to load the last few people on the train. I haven't seen them use this gate in YEARS!!! I'm very happy to see this once again and I hope it continues!

FITH was the same as always to me. Never heard any type of a story any time I have ever ridden it.

We got passes for next year. The employees still won't say what the VIP access and events are. They say it is suppose to be a surprise. I pointed out that if nobody knows what it is, nobody will buy the pass to get it. I also asked about the discounted mug refills. I wanted to know how much those would be and why they are not free, like another Amusement Park franchise is. They said that they are about $1.75 or $2.50. The normal price without a discount is $2.75, and they do have free refill mugs, but those cost $75. WOW!  Really price gouging you and SUPER greedy these days on all food and drinks!!! At some point, nobody will be buying food anymore. They will all start bringing their own food in.

The tree seems to be worse than ever. It seems like they got yet another new tree, new songs that are all bad, and it just doesn't look as good as it used to. I miss how they used to do it before 2017....

PK was running 1 train and I saw 1 other train in the building. This must be the same situation that TT is in for their trains.

Lastly, I saw the construction from both Firefall and the windows of the Firehouse. I expected it to be in the triangular area of trees across the tracks, like some have said, but that looks to be untouched. The construction is actually straight behind the Firehouse, litteraly touching the back part of Pumpkin Plaza. They stacked 4 shipping containers on top of each other as a way to build a wall, directed at Pumpkin Plaza. I didn't see much going on. About 4 construction vehicles, but all I saw was a few electrical/water lines going in the ground and gravel on top of them. There is a gravel road going around it, along the train tracks and the West side, with small wooden sticks along it. There wasn't anything interesting enough to take pics of.....yet. Can't tell anything about it as it is. Anything could have electrical/water lines in those positions.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on November 16, 2021, 10:24:03 AM
FITH was the same as always to me. Never heard any type of a story any time I have ever ridden it. 

Is FITH suppose to have a story read to you now or am I missing something?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sirwillow on November 16, 2021, 02:47:49 PM
If you're interested in getting a glimpse of the new show and Dickens, we have some brief clips and a review of each in the new video https://youtu.be/y8lk_AOyi1Y

Permission was obtained at the shows to film video during them.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on November 22, 2021, 06:16:54 AM
Never gone to the park during Thanksgiving week. But a friend wants to go and has a limited schedule. Was thinking about Wednesday? What kind of crowds should I expect? I figured no way we were going Fri-Sun during a holiday week. Lol
 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on November 22, 2021, 10:45:38 AM
It'll be busy, but probably not terrible. Day after thanksgiving has usually been a record breaker, and of course every weekend going forward that isn't super cold or wet.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on November 22, 2021, 10:51:18 AM
Any thoughts on December 15th and 16th? (Wednesday/Thursday)

That close to Christmas are those days likely to be crazy?

Unless the weather is horrible I assumed 17th/18th will be insane with it being the last weekend before the holiday.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on November 22, 2021, 02:20:50 PM
Any thoughts on December 15th and 16th? (Wednesday/Thursday)

That close to Christmas are those days likely to be crazy?

Unless the weather is horrible I assumed 17th/18th will be insane with it being the last weekend before the holiday.

those days wont be bad, school is still in session.. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Super on November 24, 2021, 08:49:00 PM
The City was packed today.  Ride lines and food lines took forever.  Limited staff working and not controlling crowds are a big concern for safety and a good experience for the guests that spent a lot of money for families.  I have been a big fan of SDC for many years but this experience was terrible.  Food lines at least an hour wait then ran out of food when you finally made it to the counter frustrated many people.  You could not move in the crowd at several locations.  No concern for Covid.  There were hardly any hand sanitizer and no hot water.  Bath rooms needed attention.  The kicker was trying to go out to my car to get a jacket, then not allowing me to enter because they were at capacity.  Capacity should have occurred hours before then.  When I  bought my tickets online 3 months ago it stated the crowd would be limited.  Why did it take capacity at 6:00 p.m.?  The best line was a SDC gate keeper that said you shouldn’t have come today it’s too crowded.  Really.  SDC needs to fix some major problems.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on November 24, 2021, 11:31:30 PM
We were at the park today too.  We got lunch early, but didn’t wait in any of the lines after that….everything had a big line and we didn’t feel anything was worth waiting for. Same with the rides and shows….extremely long waits, including Flooded Mine and Fire In The Hole (hour+).

So we shifted into Christmas light lookers and shoppers. Got a few items we couldn’t live without and really enjoyed the sights, tree, parade, etc. The Mill didn’t have much of a line for their treats and the Ice Cream Parlor also had a short line, so we did get a few items from there.

We still had a good time, but probably because we go often enough to adjust to crowd, etc. I can completely understand any frustration that others experienced though….the place was extremely packed.

Jay
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on November 25, 2021, 10:43:05 AM
Before the pandemic hit we were discussing how the park unfortunately needs drastic change to accommodate even the current crowd levels. The past few years have seen them chipping away at what needs to be done with large pathway expansions around Time Traveler and Mystic River, not to mention the added holiday area.

The main square and entrance are unfortunately what needs to be addressed next. I say unfortunately because that will change a good bit of the nostalgia and atmosphere of the park. Perhaps why it's been avoided so far.

Parking is the other issue... they simply need to invest in a disney style parking deck at this point. So all in all, they need at least $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements just to handle crowds.

But for all that to be worth it, they need enough employees just to run the park as it currently stands! Lots of tricky issues for them to sort out, but this has been going on for years.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on November 25, 2021, 11:17:37 AM
Not gonna lie regarding the post above, I was there yesterday and considering we are coming out of a global pandemic, the state of the bathrooms and the lack of soap/sanitizer and absolutely no hot water operating in the bathrooms is inexcusable. (wasn't even lukewarm, just straight cold water as the sinks would shut off if you tried to turn it to hot) You know employees working at the food stands using the bathrooms are in the same boat which is unsettling. Hopefully everyone handling food is abiding by health and safety standards by at least wearing gloves all the time. I have worked in the retail/food/restaurant industry for years and if we had got caught with something like that in the establishment we would be shut down. The main basic requirement of any establishment serving food per the FDA is hot water.

https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/commercial-kitchen-water-temperature-requirements-27241.html
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Preachin_Bill on November 25, 2021, 08:41:55 PM
Before the pandemic hit we were discussing how the park unfortunately needs drastic change to accommodate even the current crowd levels. The past few years have seen them chipping away at what needs to be done with large pathway expansions around Time Traveler and Mystic River, not to mention the added holiday area.

The main square and entrance are unfortunately what needs to be addressed next. I say unfortunately because that will change a good bit of the nostalgia and atmosphere of the park. Perhaps why it's been avoided so far.

Parking is the other issue... they simply need to invest in a disney style parking deck at this point. So all in all, they need at least $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements just to handle crowds.

But for all that to be worth it, they need enough employees just to run the park as it currently stands! Lots of tricky issues for them to sort out, but this has been going on for years.

I don’t understand this logic.

The problem has absolutely nothing to do with space. I have been to the park hundreds of times and have never felt like I couldn’t get in or out. The entrance and exit has never been more than a minor inconvenience if someone stops right in front of me. Then I simply walk around them. You are too set on getting rid of the old SDC you are looking for excuses.

The problems are staffing. They need to hire more people and open everything up when they say the park is open. They need to have powder keg up and running before chain drop. They need to build rides that work, not rides like MRF. They need to use at least two trains on the rides. They need to open the mine back up. They need to be sure all snack stands, lemonade stands, etc are open when the park is open.

SDC needs to take the money they are going to invest in the next “NeW bIgGeSt SpIn DrOp omg!” ride that won’t work, or the money they’d waste on expanding the entrance and invest it instead on staffing and overall park maintenance. 
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on November 25, 2021, 09:00:42 PM
Just like everyone else that's desperate for employees they're going to have to pay enough to draw workers in.  That will be passed on to us the customers but I think it has come to that.  My first thoughts after the fire took out the Pork Rinds shop and Flossie's Fried Fancies (after being thankful that no one was injured) were at least they can put those employees to work at some of the food places that have been closed down due to lack of employees.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on November 25, 2021, 10:05:48 PM
Before the pandemic hit we were discussing how the park unfortunately needs drastic change to accommodate even the current crowd levels. The past few years have seen them chipping away at what needs to be done with large pathway expansions around Time Traveler and Mystic River, not to mention the added holiday area.

The main square and entrance are unfortunately what needs to be addressed next. I say unfortunately because that will change a good bit of the nostalgia and atmosphere of the park. Perhaps why it's been avoided so far.

Parking is the other issue... they simply need to invest in a disney style parking deck at this point. So all in all, they need at least $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements just to handle crowds.

But for all that to be worth it, they need enough employees just to run the park as it currently stands! Lots of tricky issues for them to sort out, but this has been going on for years.

I don’t understand this logic.

The problem has absolutely nothing to do with space. I have been to the park hundreds of times and have never felt like I couldn’t get in or out. The entrance and exit has never been more than a minor inconvenience if someone stops right in front of me. Then I simply walk around them. You are too set on getting rid of the old SDC you are looking for excuses.

The problems are staffing. They need to hire more people and open everything up when they say the park is open. They need to have powder keg up and running before chain drop. They need to build rides that work, not rides like MRF. They need to use at least two trains on the rides. They need to open the mine back up. They need to be sure all snack stands, lemonade stands, etc are open when the park is open.

SDC needs to take the money they are going to invest in the next “NeW bIgGeSt SpIn DrOp omg!” ride that won’t work, or the money they’d waste on expanding the entrance and invest it instead on staffing and overall park maintenance.

There have been times when I have arrived to the park that the line to get through the turnstiles stretches back almost to where people were getting off the trams. There have been times me and my family have been stuck in the pathway near Brown's Candy unable to move because the crowd was completely jam packed and we were praying there wouldn't be a stamped or crowd panic. There have been times when the line to exit the park winds all the way up through the hospitality house. Space is absolutely a problem. Staffing is also a problem. There are plenty of other problems too.

Unfortunately, you can't hire people who aren't there, and you can't make space without ruining some of the history and ambiance that we have grown to love. Nothing is going to come easy if the park is going to keep growing the way it has.

Curious what it will look like this weekend. The weekend after Thanksgiving has often been their busiest of the year.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on November 26, 2021, 12:16:51 PM
Movement on Wednesday wasn’t horrible…but I did notice they had some traffic directors out (see pictures). They were also using the overflow entrance to avoid the conflict of entering and exiting guest.

Today should be interesting, park opened at 11 and at 11:15 they were sending out crowd notices. Will be interesting to read the Facebook and Google reviews after tonight. Tomorrow expect worse with temps climbing in the 60’s.

Jay
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on November 27, 2021, 08:44:26 AM
I don’t understand this logic.

The problem has absolutely nothing to do with space. I have been to the park hundreds of times and have never felt like I couldn’t get in or out. The entrance and exit has never been more than a minor inconvenience if someone stops right in front of me. Then I simply walk around them. You are too set on getting rid of the old SDC you are looking for excuses.

I used to think pretty much that way until I was at the Christmas festival in 2019 with 25,000 people and trying to get out of the park after the first tree lighting.  The square was shoulder to shoulder with dividers from the Hospitality House to Ozark Marketplace for people that were coming and going with no one really moving at all.  I know this was just one day but there are more and more of these days with the expansion of festivals to deal with in today's SDC.  You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

I don't know if entering the park needs a lot done to it.  Yes, I know it gets backed up but it moves at a fairly good pace.  I think just separate the entrance and the exit would make a big difference. 

The infrastructure inside the park is a major problem along with staffing shortage of workers.  At this point there is not much that can be done about staffing since almost every business is having the same problem.  I think they have done a pretty good job on the infrastructure so far but a lot still needs to be done.  It's just going to be an ongoing process trying to keep up with.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KBCraig on November 28, 2021, 10:40:38 PM
You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on November 29, 2021, 07:27:51 AM
You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on November 29, 2021, 07:31:09 AM
 Why would they want/need to see your cell phone?


You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on November 29, 2021, 07:55:04 AM
Why would they want/need to see your cell phone?


You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.

I guess some screenings might be a little intense depending on the situation.  For the most part it's just raise your cell phone and walk through.  If you happen to set off the detectors then you are stopped and they find out what set it off.  It's very quick and has minimal effect on backing up of the line getting in.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on November 29, 2021, 08:08:32 AM
Why would they want/need to see your cell phone?


You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

I guess they wanted to see it because they didn't believe that I didn't bring one in with me. They did a thorough search of my book bag and lunch box (the only thing in my book bag), went through all the small pockets in it...it's never been that intense before.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on November 29, 2021, 09:03:24 AM
My family and I were there Saturday, and we were prepared for a record crowd. Unless we missed something, that crowd never materialized. We have gone the Saturday after Thanksgiving for 20+ years, and we have watched the crowd get bigger each year. At one point in 2018 while we were stuck in a mass of people and couldn't move, we looked at each other and vowed never again (but we did it again  :)).

This year, we went with a plan. We got the a Show-Lovers pass for A Dickens Christmas Carol and knew which bottle-necks to avoid at which time. We went with the intention of NOT riding rides...only looking at Christmas lights, shopping, and enjoying the atmosphere. We were there from 11 AM to the last tree lighting at 10:00 AM. The weather was great, the crowds were manageable, and it might have been one of our more enjoyable trips to the City for Christmas.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pudgy Jones on December 02, 2021, 09:16:37 AM
The apple dumplin/cinnamon ice cream stand down by MRF didn't have apple dumplins and cinnamon ice cream on the menu this year. Has anyone else had luck finding them at the park or are they gone this year?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 02, 2021, 10:35:34 AM
^ They didn't have the apple dumplings during our last trip in October. None of the popcorn/lemonade/snack stands were open when we went in October.  I don't think they have enough staff to run any of the snack stands.  Was the Chicken Waffle Cone shop that took over the Fry Bread shop open?  It's not listed on the website or on the app now.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on December 03, 2021, 03:36:08 PM
Neither of those stands seem to be open today.

Park is very crowded, which makes sense considering the great weather. It feels like a late spring day out here. Unfortunately ride ops aren't great. Only one train running, and it doesn't open until 4pm. Most coasters seem to have one train ops again. TNTs second train was pulled apart in the maintenance area. Long lines everywhere, especially food stands again since only half of them see to be open.

Kinda not worth going at Christmas anymore unless you are just ducking in to see the lights. It's just too crowded, even during the week now. It would be better if the rides and food stands were all operating like they used to, but it's still just plain too crowded.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on December 03, 2021, 03:44:07 PM
"It's just too crowded, even during the week now"

Funny you mention that as I just watched John/Amy's video today where they said they were there on a Wednesday and it wasn't as busy....but as I watched I thought it looked pretty crowded...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQv7_ZcZl84

Neither of those stands seem to be open today.

Park is very crowded, which makes sense considering the great weather. It feels like a late spring day out here. Unfortunately ride ops aren't great. Only one train running, and it doesn't open until 4pm. Most coasters seem to have one train ops again. TNTs second train was pulled apart in the maintenance area. Long lines everywhere, especially food stands again since only half of them see to be open.

Kinda not worth going at Christmas anymore unless you are just ducking in to see the lights. It's just too crowded, even during the week now. It would be better if the rides and food stands were all operating like they used to, but it's still just plain too crowded.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on December 03, 2021, 04:24:35 PM
I'm sure as early in the week as you can get is better, but even Thursday was pretty busy this week. We might try wed-thurs next year.

We are in the grand expo now and all the lines are out past the entrances for each ride. Not having the big shows probably hurts as well. It used to be that half the crowd was here for the lights and shows at this time of year, but there's definitely been a generational change. Plus the shows aren't what they used to be.

My brother just tried to go see the pickers and couldn't get in there... That's about the last really good show left, IMO.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Gilligan on December 04, 2021, 10:58:17 AM
"It's just too crowded, even during the week now"

Funny you mention that as I just watched John/Amy's video today where they said they were there on a Wednesday and it wasn't as busy....but as I watched I thought it looked pretty crowded...

I pulled in Wednesday about 4:30 and the parking guy said every lot was full. We decided to turn around and leave.  Maybe another day...hubs and I just wanted to eat dinner and see the lights thinking Wed. would be a lighter attendance day. 





Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: biscuitcreek on December 04, 2021, 12:41:22 PM
We were there Wednesday 12/1, and it didn't seem that crowded. We parked in lot 3. We were able to see the last Dickens and the Living Nativity. (I don't remember if anyone mentioned it but the Living Nativity is also a new production this year). Got Chesters Chips before getting into the Dickens line. Don't know when the chips were cooked but the chips and toppings were cold.

Thursday the 2nd was insane. We parked in lot 5. Wall to wall people, long lines everywhere. Most food/drink stands were closed. The 1st and 2nd performances of Dickens were canceled due to lack of staff (don't know if that means performers or front of house staff). We saw the saloon show and got into the last performance of Home for Christmas. We waited in line for over an hour to get in.

We thought the new Dickens production was good. The new songs have some similarities to the old.

Didn't care for Home for Christmas. The musical aspect was good (singers and live band) but there needs to be a story instead of unrelated Christmas song after unrelated Christmas song with a patriotic song in the middle.  The last song should come across as a finale. It didn't. We didn't know it was the end until the cast paused and then started taking their bows.  The costumes were terrible in that they didn't go with the songs. Costumes were what you would see in Dickens or were costumes you would see on a riverboat show or a Carrie Nation show. No costumes you would associate with a 50s/60s style Christmas song. The choreography needs help too. Honestly I have seen better productions at various large churches.

On Thursday we waited over 30 minutes to get ornaments, decided to skip getting season passes. At 3:30 the line for the first train at 4 pm was backed up into Midtown. At 7:30 pm the line for the train was backed up into Midtown. Every bathroom we used during the day was trashed. There was poop smeared on the walls of one stall in the hospitality house. Why don't the bathrooms have hot water anymore for handwashing?

After 20 plus years of season passes not sure we are going to do it for 2022. We have loved SDC over the years but I just don't know if it's worth it anymore.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on December 06, 2021, 09:32:41 AM
My family was there Thursday, I got there Friday, and we drove past Saturday. They told me Thursday was indeed more crowded than we expected. They didn't get on the train unfortunately, but were able to do a few things and had a reasonable time. Friday was very busy during the day until 7ish. The crowds did die down in the evening, but one train ops and half the food stands being closed still made for long lines everywhere.

On Saturday the line to get into the park was as bad as I've ever seen it before they even opened, and I think it was only 1:30 or so before the park was posting their usual high crowd notice telling people to wait till 6:30 to come.

Didn't get to see the shows since I was with the niece and nephew and they just wanted to ride, which I am happy to oblige. We never did get on the train this year. For some reason it didn't open until 4pm on Friday. We actually ran to it first as a group and were disappointed. Very strange to not only have just one train running, but to open it so late. It sounded like they had two trains running later on though. Seems like another staffing issue?

We had a reasonable time all-in-all. Got to do most of the coasters and a number of GE rides with the kids, in addition to the mine with the whole family. I do feel that the crowds are getting to be more of a pain than ever. Maybe I'm just spoiled from the good old days when we could come in and do everything in the park easily. Of course back then there was technically less to do, but the experience feels more fulfilling when you aren't standing in lines most of the time.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KevinLong on December 06, 2021, 05:09:46 PM
Crowds at OLD TYME CHRISTMAS -

That's how the holidays/festivals are, you go once and its beautiful, easy to get around with  low crowds, no lines and perfect weather, and you and the family have an amazing time. then you go home and post your photos and tell all your friends.

The next year your friends show up have a great time and tell all their friends.

And so it goes until one day, before you know it, you're fighting your way through a 45 min wait to get your spiced cider drink. and its packed to capacity at every single show and elbowing your way around ride queue's becomes a way of life. Not to mention parking in a lot, except you realize it's no lot; you're on 76 waiting to get into a lot.

I would not visit at Christmas on a bet. You're welcome for me leaving you my space, I hope it helps.

my two cents.
Kevin
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on December 06, 2021, 08:41:48 PM
True......also doesn't make it any less crowded when they are voted every year as one of the top Christmas destinations.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Dewayne on December 07, 2021, 07:20:49 AM
My family was there Thursday, I got there Friday, and we drove past Saturday. They told me Thursday was indeed more crowded than we expected. They didn't get on the train unfortunately, but were able to do a few things and had a reasonable time. Friday was very busy during the day until 7ish. The crowds did die down in the evening, but one train ops and half the food stands being closed still made for long lines everywhere.

On Saturday the line to get into the park was as bad as I've ever seen it before they even opened, and I think it was only 1:30 or so before the park was posting their usual high crowd notice telling people to wait till 6:30 to come.

Didn't get to see the shows since I was with the niece and nephew and they just wanted to ride, which I am happy to oblige. We never did get on the train this year. For some reason it didn't open until 4pm on Friday. We actually ran to it first as a group and were disappointed. Very strange to not only have just one train running, but to open it so late. It sounded like they had two trains running later on though. Seems like another staffing issue?

We had a reasonable time all-in-all. Got to do most of the coasters and a number of GE rides with the kids, in addition to the mine with the whole family. I do feel that the crowds are getting to be more of a pain than ever. Maybe I'm just spoiled from the good old days when we could come in and do everything in the park easily. Of course back then there was technically less to do, but the experience feels more fulfilling when you aren't standing in lines most of the time.

Every year during OTC, the train ALWAYS opens at 4 (sometimes 3ish) on Weekdays, including Sunday, and 2 or 3 on Saturday. It has been this way forever, litterally. It has ALWAYS said this in the Pathfinder. That's why you need to read it for the ride times. It has NOTHING to do with staffing. OTC is about lights. Almost everyone who ride the train during OTC, want to see the lights. This is why they open late. They bring the second train out at 6:00 or 7:00 everyday, unless they have very few people in the park.

At times, they will trick you by blowing the first whistle around 2:30 and possibly doing the test run before 3:30, but still waiting to open at 4. I used to wait for the first ride every time, but now I know that it's not worth it. The best time to ride (if you want to ride before dark) is the second train of the day. The first line waiting to get in will be boarded with a few extra people, then it will be the shortest line all day, then it will slowly get longer. Once they bring the other train, the line will get shorter again and should then grow even longer and faster. This is how it works most days, unless there are very few guests in the park.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on December 07, 2021, 09:57:16 AM
I am almost never there on a weekday, so I guess I didn't realize that. Still seems odd to me. Why so late, and why  only one train to start with? It seems like the train is the most popular ride in the park so you'd think they'd have it going full tilt the entire time they are open. I disagree that OTC is purely about the lights and that most people wanting to ride the train do it for the lights. We just plain wanted to ride the train like usual.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Dewayne on December 08, 2021, 07:21:44 AM
I am almost never there on a weekday, so I guess I didn't realize that. Still seems odd to me. Why so late, and why  only one train to start with? It seems like the train is the most popular ride in the park so you'd think they'd have it going full tilt the entire time they are open. I disagree that OTC is purely about the lights and that most people wanting to ride the train do it for the lights. We just plain wanted to ride the train like usual.

They don't do the normal train during OTC. That's why. Plus, they feel that they need it to be dark enough for Grampa's story too.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 08, 2021, 08:41:09 AM
^ You can enjoy Grandpa's story without it being dark.  The train has long lines before it gets dark.  True, some people do prefer to ride the train after dark for the lights but not everyone (myself included).

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 08, 2021, 10:34:53 AM
If they were to do an all day train operation, it would be neat if they came up with a Christmas version of the Train Robbery skit during the day, then once it gets dark switch it over to the traditional Grandpa Christmas Story. Though with their issues with staffing and logistics as-is that's probably out of the question. But hey its always fun to do some imagineering.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Preachin_Bill on December 08, 2021, 02:43:31 PM
If thurs-sun wasnt the busiest weekend, at least busiest non-holiday weekend the park has ever seen I’d be stunned. I couldnt believe how busy it was Thursday. We were there all day.

Friday we planned on going late as we always do on the friday of our winter trip. The line to get into the park was very long, and lots were full down Indian point. We stayed on indian point. We waited an hour and went back, got in fairly easily but the lines for everything were huge. (It’s impressive how long people will wait for taters or hot chocolate.)

We decided to get in line for the train Friday since the lines were so long Thursday.  It went pretty fast as there were two trains….however, at 7:15 when our train rolled in we were told that train was going to be put back for the night and they would get us on the next one. This made us have to wait another 15 minutes, and much of the line was turned away after our train left. I thought this was a poor move by SDC. People were waiting a long time….they could have filled that train for one last 7:15 run and the next one at 7:30.

We were disappointed dickens was cancelled both first shows on Thursday so we didn't get to see it. They said technical difficulties. Lines for other shows were very long until the 6:00 saloon show which was surprisingly empty due to the parade starting.  This was really a great saloon show….too bad it wasnt in the actual saloon. But they did a great job.

Crowds like this with nothing really to do but wait in line make me question whether to go back next year. Seeing things sitting closed due to staffing furthers my belief that they need to take the money they’d spend on stuff and put it toward increasing pay and maintenance to attract workers. MRF was quite an expense to be unused half the year and not work anyway.

Flooded Mine was the highlight of the trip for the family. Everyone loves it. Living nativity was good as was the aformentioned saloon show.  Lights look good but I feel like I spent most of my time trying to navigate the crowd I couldnt really take it all in as usual. Theres just SO MANY people that it seems like people are all you see.
The tree show on the hill is impressive as always  but on a personal preference level I dont care for many of the songs they use.

We didnt go saturday but they were already filling the back lots down by indian point at 12. Seemed as though they were filling those lots first.

It might be time to increase prices…. for the Christmas season at least. Demand is simply too high for people to have an enjoyable experience. It doesnt feel like I even really went to SDC.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on December 10, 2021, 01:31:38 PM
MRF was quite an expense to be unused half the year...

It's closed less than 20% of the season; November & December. It also had much better operations this year overall compared to 2020. I would assume that next season will be even better as things get worked out.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 11, 2021, 12:17:38 PM
My wife has a co-worker that was eating dinner at SDC last night when the tornado sirens went off.  He said there was no damage and it didn't even rain.  Thank God for that.  Could have been a real disaster at the City.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on December 11, 2021, 02:58:35 PM
My wife has a co-worker that was eating dinner at SDC last night when the tornado sirens went off.  He said there was no damage and it didn't even rain.  Thank God for that.  Could have been a real disaster at the City.

We were there last night when the sirens went off. It did rain where we were in the park briefly. We sheltered in the Apple butter shop. I cannot believe the people that acted like nothing was going on and refused to obey the employees directions.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 11, 2021, 03:30:57 PM
^ How long did you have to take shelter?  How were the crowds?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on December 11, 2021, 04:05:31 PM
^ How long did you have to take shelter?  How were the crowds?

Crowds were crazy but manageable. First parade route was about 3 deep on the square. Second parade canceled for weather. Dickens and Home For Christmas was lined up a hour early and full. Train was backed up down corkscrew around 5. It was shorter around 7. The bad thing was everybody ran for the exits after the all clear. It was a madhouse getting out. We walked to stop 2 instead of the tram. I felt sorry for the people loading. They really need a better system in a emergency.
As for the other question we sheltered for about 20 minutes. People’s phone alarms were going off 10 minutes before the park sounded theirs.
I’ll do a review later.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 12, 2021, 12:02:15 AM
So as some might remember I am a Storm Chaser for a TV station in NWA and I have been monitoring all the reports and data from the past 48 hours. Well it turns out that there was indeed a tornado near the Branson area around 7:30. (near Branson West of all places) Fortunately it dissipated before moving further east towards the park. I can only imagine what kind of disaster that would have been if it had sustained itself and hit SDC with Christmas time crowds present. These storms were moving between 40-60 MPH so there would be little time to react and evacuate the park with those crowd numbers.

I really think theme parks and stadiums need to close and completely cancel events on days where there's severe weather in the forecast. (even if SDC/Branson was on the western fringe of the outlook area)

https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/wx/afos/p.php?pil=PNSSGF&e=202112112042
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on December 12, 2021, 08:42:44 AM
I really think theme parks and stadiums need to close and completely cancel events on days where there's severe weather in the forecast. (even if SDC/Branson was on the western fringe of the outlook area)


Not that I agree or disagree but that would be a hard call to make since the weather changes so fast.

If you had a direct hit on a stadium, theme park, or any large event with casualties then people might say we need to do something.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and it seems it takes something like that for people to act on it.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 12, 2021, 11:06:23 AM
I really think theme parks and stadiums need to close and completely cancel events on days where there's severe weather in the forecast. (even if SDC/Branson was on the western fringe of the outlook area)


Not that I agree or disagree but that would be a hard call to make since the weather changes so fast.

If you had a direct hit on a stadium, theme park, or any large event with casualties then people might say we need to do something.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and it seems it takes something like that for people to act on it.

Yeah sadly that is what it will probably take and it will happen eventually. I have seen firsthand what these storms can do and skeptics will sing a different tune when they eventually see it for themselves. Just ask the people of Joplin.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 12, 2021, 12:16:15 PM
^ Though it would be very disastrous I guess they weigh the odds of actually getting hit by a tornado (very slim) against closing for the day.  We talked on this site after the Joplin tornado about where would be a good place at SDC to shelter.  Sorry to get off topic for this thread but since the tornado warning did happen while the park was open Friday night I thought I'd bring it up.  https://www.sdcfans.com/forums/index.php?topic=1612.0

Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 12, 2021, 01:55:51 PM
I'm sorry for doing the same as I just wanted to express my concerns considering the proximity and timing with Friday nights event. I fear it would generate really bad publicity for the park if it were to happen one day considering their crowd management. Schools have adopted this measure with delaying or cancelling class on potentially bad severe weather days in recent years so I don't see why stadiums and theme parks shouldn't follow this example.

On a side note I have apparently started up a sh*t storm over on Toilet Paper Residue (as Swoosh likes to refer to that place as) over this. lol
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on December 12, 2021, 03:58:39 PM
I can understand where you're coming from, and I can also understand the other side as well from a business/reality side.

When I go to parks/sporting events/festivals during watches or potential weather days, I personally keep an outlook of the weather and when the time of the outbreaks are anticipated to occur we have left or in the process of leaving. Most of the meteorologist, especially for the days of a severe outbreak, let you know that storms are probably going to occur during a certain time period.

People have to be accountable for themselves to a degree as well. However, there does need to be a bit of responsibility on business, which is why you'll see rides not operate in some weather conditions, etc. And to your point, Just look at the ducks for an extreme example of when a business should have ceased operations - but didn't.

Maybe in the future, as the time for storms draw near, our phones could send us out an alert to be aware that severe weather with a potential tornado index of 4 is developing and you should begin plans to seek adequate shelter.

Jay



Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 12, 2021, 04:06:42 PM
And to your point, Just look at the ducks for an extreme example of when a business should have ceased operations - but didn't.

Along with Joplin I wanted to bring that up over on TPR but I no longer have the energy or time to argue with them over there since they want to laugh at me and call me a "Karen". (how mature) The bottom line is between Joplin a decade ago and the Ducks incident being fresh in my mind I would really hate to see SDC share the latters fate with a weather related incident causing mass casualties. Apparently thats a difficult concept to grasp over there so they gotta resort to childish name calling and projections putting words in my mouth.

EDIT: lol they banned me, we dare not have dissenting opinions  ::)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: legoerosion on December 12, 2021, 04:58:51 PM
It was a mess on Friday night when the warning went through. All of us were waiting for them to call for a phase 3 (take shelter) but they called it several minutes after everyone got the warning, which caused panic. It was difficult to fit 15,000 people in the shelter places, with 250 people being crammed beneath the marketplace. I'm hoping with their infrastructure plan(s) that they put more shelters in place, I think this year with Wildfire's roof being damaged and Friday is a wake-up call to them
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 12, 2021, 07:04:07 PM
It was a mess on Friday night when the warning went through. All of us were waiting for them to call for a phase 3 (take shelter) but they called it several minutes after everyone got the warning, which caused panic. It was difficult to fit 15,000 people in the shelter places, with 250 people being crammed beneath the marketplace. I'm hoping with their infrastructure plan(s) that they put more shelters in place, I think this year with Wildfire's roof being damaged and Friday is a wake-up call to them

Yeah I recall you currently work there? I really do hope too they take these recent close calls as a hint to take better precautions in the event the worst case scenario one day happens. It wasn't long ago Branson itself had a tornado go right down the strip but thankfully it was during the off season. Yes the likelihood is considered a rare probability but it can still happen at any time of the year.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sanddunerider on December 13, 2021, 08:35:33 AM
It was a mess on Friday night when the warning went through. All of us were waiting for them to call for a phase 3 (take shelter) but they called it several minutes after everyone got the warning, which caused panic. It was difficult to fit 15,000 people in the shelter places, with 250 people being crammed beneath the marketplace. I'm hoping with their infrastructure plan(s) that they put more shelters in place, I think this year with Wildfire's roof being damaged and Friday is a wake-up call to them

Yeah I recall you currently work there? I really do hope too they take these recent close calls as a hint to take better precautions in the event the worst case scenario one day happens. It wasn't long ago Branson itself had a tornado go right down the strip but thankfully it was during the off season. Yes the likelihood is considered a rare probability but it can still happen at any time of the year.

Feb 29th 2012
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on December 13, 2021, 11:37:56 AM
So as some might remember I am a Storm Chaser for a TV station in NWA and I have been monitoring all the reports and data from the past 48 hours. Well it turns out that there was indeed a tornado near the Branson area around 7:30. (near Branson West of all places) Fortunately it dissipated before moving further east towards the park. I can only imagine what kind of disaster that would have been if it had sustained itself and hit SDC with Christmas time crowds present. These storms were moving between 40-60 MPH so there would be little time to react and evacuate the park with those crowd numbers.

I really think theme parks and stadiums need to close and completely cancel events on days where there's severe weather in the forecast. (even if SDC/Branson was on the western fringe of the outlook area)

https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/wx/afos/p.php?pil=PNSSGF&e=202112112042

Dan is my Man in NWA when it comes to live broadcasts of these events. He lives in the same hood I live in and it gets extra attention. Gave us the all clear in the coverage Fri night when the warned Washington Co cell fell apart nearing Drake Field.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on December 13, 2021, 01:49:17 PM
I just got back from a trip and wasn't checking all the updates, but it looks like it was pretty scary. There really aren't any tornado proof buildings at SDC except maybe the mine restaurant, and I'd worry about the mill collapsing on top of everything. I guess they could lead everyone down into the cave...

There's no real solution to that problem unless you knock down all the existing theatres and replace them with versions that are concrete reinforced - and even then, good luck cramming 26,000+ people into a few spaces and not having even more issues. The cave may actually be the best idea if they could get a few more entrances opened up, lol

We used to assume that a tornado would never rip through the hills, but the 2012 tornado kind of doused that idea.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 13, 2021, 02:24:07 PM
So as some might remember I am a Storm Chaser for a TV station in NWA and I have been monitoring all the reports and data from the past 48 hours. Well it turns out that there was indeed a tornado near the Branson area around 7:30. (near Branson West of all places) Fortunately it dissipated before moving further east towards the park. I can only imagine what kind of disaster that would have been if it had sustained itself and hit SDC with Christmas time crowds present. These storms were moving between 40-60 MPH so there would be little time to react and evacuate the park with those crowd numbers.

I really think theme parks and stadiums need to close and completely cancel events on days where there's severe weather in the forecast. (even if SDC/Branson was on the western fringe of the outlook area)

https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/wx/afos/p.php?pil=PNSSGF&e=202112112042

Dan is my Man in NWA when it comes to live broadcasts of these events. He lives in the same hood I live in and it gets extra attention. Gave us the all clear in the coverage Fri night when the warned Washington Co cell fell apart nearing Drake Field.

Thats my Boss man. I've been with him for almost a decade now. You might have caught me on the air a few times over the years. lol
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on December 13, 2021, 02:48:38 PM
The cave would seem like the ideal place to get to but not even sure how many they could fit into that. The problem is given the limited time you would have from a warning to getting everyone into the cave.  I would say you probably would have mass casualties from the stampede trying to get into it.


Building a few tornado proof buildings around the city would be probably the only solution.  Not really sure what the cost would be on something like that but would probably be a hard sell since SDC hasn't had a direct hit in 60 years.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on December 13, 2021, 02:53:36 PM
My Review for Friday

We arrived at 12:15 and parked in the small lot just up from stop 2. Lot 2 was full but just as we were passing by a attendant opened the gate to this small lot and waved us in. Lucky us. Walked to the front and got in the turnstile line. It was a madhouse and security was very overworked. We were on the square at about 12:35 and it was packed.

At rope drop we headed directly to the 1:45 showing of Dickens. The line was already in front of the saloon but we made it in. They did turn people away from the first showing. The show was meh OK for me but I am not a Dickens fan at all. My wife on the other hand enjoyed it immensely. She has never been at Christmas so this was all new to her.

We then headed out and got a skillet bowl for a snack at the Lumbercamp skillet. Potatoes were not done and at 12 bucks a pop they are pricing themselves out for me on a small bowl. After that we slowly went over and stopped in a couple shops on our way to the first showing of Home for the holidays. I thought it was pretty good. No plot, just Christmas songs and scenes. To me the highlight was the live band and the Grease skit and No Snow skit.  Again the first showing of this they were turning people away. They also asked for you to keep 1 seat open between parties for Covid protocols. A nice touch in man opinion.

I should have said before that we were just going this trip for lights and shows so I have no idea about ride ops or ride times.
Went up to the square and got some wassel and watched the tree lighting for the first time. Much better than the old tree but there are already some huge dead spots in the LEDS. All in all we enjoyed it a lot. We then headed to the train and it was backed up down corkscrew so we said screw it for now and headed to midtown. Shopped in the shops for awhile and retrieved our long sleeve hoodies. Yes we were walking around in short sleeves.

Returned to the train about 7 and the line was at the build a bear shed so we waited it out.We had a great conductor and the audio was much better than this summer.

After the train we got a bowl of potato soup and calico potatoes. Again there were only about 4 spoonfuls of soup in the bread bowl and the small calico potato bowl was just not enough or even full. We will eat elsewhere next time.  After this is when we headed to thlepottery shop with the intention of seeing the lower part of the park after that.

Got to the pottery shop and that is when all hell broke loose. We started hearing peoples phones going off with weather alerts. I did not have mine enabled and my wife had left hers in the car. So, I checked the weather app and saw that a Tornado warning was issued for the area. The entire crowd headed uphill at 1 time so I took us through midtown to avoid the main path.When we finally got to the square in about 10 minutes we finally saw a employee in the street yelling for people to shelter. I knew most places would be overcrowded so I took us directly down to the Apple Butter shop and we stood behind the open door and the wall. It took about 10 minutes before we heard the tornado sirens go off. I am not sure if the siren responsibility is SDCs or the local officials but the Tornado had been spotted in Branson West 10 minutes earlier. The poor lady in the shop was trying to get people to come inside off the porch and they just looked at her like she was nuts. She Tried and the idiots just ignored her. SHe finally got the call after about another 10-15 minutes for the all clear.

We immediately headed for the exit as did 15000 other people. Bypassed the Ozark Marketplace and walked to our car. Needless to say it was controlled chaos. The parking crew was trying but no one would listen. Kudos to them for keeping their cool.

So, a few bullet points

:The park looked great as always
:Shows were good as a theme park show can be. Top quality for a non Broadway production.
:I somehow think the crowds have overgrown the infrastructure. As Preaching Bill said I somehow feel all I saw was people and did not visit SDC. But then again I am part of that problem !
:Everything seemed staffed well except for some popcorn carts that were not open. Like I said I cannot speak for Ride-OPs.
:I cannot believe that they did not announce the take shelter over a PA system. Relying instead on employees standing in the street to try and yell it out is absurd in this day and age.
: The emergency plan if there is one needs major work!


Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 13, 2021, 03:28:19 PM
^ The only thing I can think of that would have stopped them from using the PA system to announce the warning is fear that it might have caused mass panic and that may have caused injuries by itself.  And if those that were getting the warnings on cell phones weren't willing to take shelter from that then they probably weren't going to from a public announcement either.  My philosophy is to take shelter and be safe than sorry.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 13, 2021, 03:53:03 PM
^ The only thing I can think of that would have stopped them from using the PA system to announce the warning is fear that it might have caused mass panic and that may have caused injuries by itself.  And if those that were getting the warnings on cell phones weren't willing to take shelter from that then they probably weren't going to from a public announcement either.  My philosophy is to take shelter and be safe than sorry.

Thats why I expressed what I said in my initial post about delaying or canceling operations for the day if there is high likelihood of a Tornado Watch/Warning. Even if the tornado doesn't strike the park itself, a panicking crowd surge could have dozens injured or killed from being trampled like the recent crowd surge incident involving that Rapper at that one concert that killed roughly a dozen people. The circumstances were different but the results are the same. https://guardian.ng/news/death-toll-in-texas-concert-tragedy-rises-to-10/

Fortunately, parks are indeed starting to take these precautions as Dollywood apparently delayed opening this past Saturday in the wake of Fridays outbreak. https://www.facebook.com/dollywood/photos/a.240694897239/10160345845947240
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on December 13, 2021, 04:08:47 PM
You are far more likely to be injured or killed from the crowd panic than from the tornado, even if there is one.  My first response would be to get out of the way and let the thundering herd pass.  Then I would leisurely head to the exit IF necessary.

FWIW, I have been outside in several tornadoes with the attendant hail and lightning and heavy rains, watched them pass nearby or overhead, helped clean up the mess afterward, and contributed to those who lost so much.  But I refuse to let myself be killed by panicking crowds or get herded into "shelters" that are anything but.   
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on December 13, 2021, 04:29:32 PM
Fortunately, parks are indeed starting to take these precautions as Dollywood apparently delayed opening this past Saturday in the wake of Fridays outbreak.

SDC on Friday and Dollywood on Saturday are not the same.

Leading up to Friday, the storm predictions from the NWS had SDC in the lowest threat area, not even in the Marginal zone. Branson wasn't in a Tornado Watch until 5:16 pm; it doesn't look like SDC was ever even in the Tornado Watch area. The Tornado Warning was issued at 7:05. There is zero imaginable argument that SDC should not have opened on Friday.

For Dollywood, there were active storms on radar that would be approaching the park near opening time. Also, the storms had a history of being severe by that point. Way different than being in a watch waiting to see if storms materialize or not.

Closing parks when there is a possibility of severe weather is not the answer.
Improved infrastructure and procedures are a good direction and I'm sure that SDC is reviewing what occurred and how they can improve upon their procedures.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KevinLong on December 13, 2021, 04:31:08 PM
some excellent points about the panicky crowds.  There is no real practical way to herd thousands of people into a shelter safely and quickly without a ton pf practice. All theme parks are vulnerable to Acts of Nature. Quakes, floods, severe weather/ lighting storms.  I personally don't expect a bombproof shelter to be ready when I visit as long as I can get out of the rain.

If humans will crush each other in a rush to see a rapper, what do think would happen if their lives were threatened.

my two cents
Kevin
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 13, 2021, 05:14:48 PM
I don't wish to be argumentative so I will simply post the graphics from that day to clarify.
The Watch Box: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/watch/ww0553_overview_big_wou.gif
The Convective Outlook with Storm Reports: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/archive/2021/day1probotlk_v_20211210_2000_torn_prt.gif

Yes Branson/SDC was within the watch box/risk zone as it is located right where that red dot is in southern Missouri which indicates a tornado. Yes it was on the very western fringe of the risk zone but Meteorologists have always stressed that these drawn graphics should not be taken as gospel and one cannot assume that nothing will happen outside of them. The bottom line is SDC really got lucky that night.

There is no real practical way to herd thousands of people into a shelter safely and quickly without a ton of practice.
If humans will crush each other in a rush to see a rapper, what do think would happen if their lives were threatened.

Very true. More emphasis on training should be done so yes I will agree with both of you. However there's still the issue with people being foolish and not taking personal responsibility from not listening to park staff as runner1960 indicated above from their personal account of that night. People like that on their property places the park in a very awkward position in regards to legal liabilities and bad publicity if something were to happen to anyone on site whether it was their fault or not. I really feel for the park employees and the senior staff when they may have to face something like that from these fools who may or may not exploit it for settlement money.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: mg on December 13, 2021, 07:58:23 PM
Yes Branson/SDC was within the watch box/risk zone as it is located right where that red dot is in southern Missouri which indicates a tornado. Yes it was on the very western fringe of the risk zone but Meteorologists have always stressed that these drawn graphics should not be taken as gospel and one cannot assume that nothing will happen outside of them. The bottom line is SDC really got lucky that night.

Yes, they were in the Tornado Watch... I had my counties mixed up when I first looked at it.
In the last outlook update for the day, they were in the very low Marginal risk area. Also, it called out areas to the East of 65. If they had been in the red High Risk area, it could possibly be a different conversation, but the Enhanced and above were well to the East. https://twitter.com/NWSSpringfield/status/1469352399579992066?s=20

On an actual trip report note, we went Sunday around 5:30. It was quite crowded until after the 6:00 parade and then people seemed to clear out. It was cold, but a great evening for riding the train and walking around to look at the lights.
We just got back from a Disney World trip last week and I think that SDC may have more lights than all of the Disney World parks combined. We have done Disney Land in the past and it even had more than the World parks. I know that some decorations didn't return again this year as a cost/budget/money thing.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: runner1960 on December 13, 2021, 08:36:48 PM
As we we’re making our way to shelter Friday the NWS site specifically said Branson west, Indian point and Silver Dollar City.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KevinLong on December 13, 2021, 08:45:05 PM
one last thing - although it could happen anytime - a storm like this in December is usually pretty rare. NOT gonna get in a global warming discussion but a tornado watch in Dec is not a normal thing. The crowds in Dec are huge and any tornado at any time that were to direct strike the park is gonna result in a huge tragedy regardless.
Much like a huge earthquake at Magic Mountain or Disneyland would.

two more cents
Kevin
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on December 13, 2021, 08:51:29 PM


On a side note I have apparently started up a sh*t storm over on Toilet Paper Residue (as Swoosh likes to refer to that place as) over this. lol
[/quote]

Ok I give up, what is Toilet Paper Residue?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 13, 2021, 09:02:38 PM
^ Theme Park Review
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Okiebenz on December 13, 2021, 09:08:18 PM
As far as closing parks when there might be a chance of weather, what you would end up with then is not only massive lost revenue, but lots of people PO'd because they closed the park.  It is a no win situation and you can't protect everyone from every possible thing that might happen.  If folks are at a park and weather approaches, they need to take a certain amount of personal responsibility, but, we know that will probably never happen. I will say if I was there and depending where I was in the park, I would not be rushing to the exit, I would get out of the way like someone else said and maybe hunker down in that tunnel going to TNT.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Lampie on December 15, 2021, 09:03:42 AM
SDCfan88, I'm assuming you are advocating for closing parks/large outdoor events based on NOAA's SPC forecast. would a marginal risk be enough to have them closed or would you say it has to be a higher risk than that? what do they do when they open and there wasn't a risk for that day but in the morning update at 11 am there is now a risk? I can see both sides of this, I think there should be some level of threat that they close the park for, I'm just not sure what an appropriate threshold is. I follow severe weather pretty close, covered severe weather for the radio station I worked at in college, and live in Joplin.

I hope SDC will take some steps to make the park safer in the event of severe weather(signs designating shelter spaces and building some shelters into future buildings)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 15, 2021, 10:34:41 AM
I would think it would have to be a High Risk of severe weather to close the park and that probably wouldn't even happen.  There was a High Risk of severe weather during the 50th anniversary celebration weekend (May 2010).  They had a special show that afternoon at Echo Hollow and no severe weather happened. I think they weigh the odds of a tornado hitting the City and decide it's not enough to close.  The Dollywood delayed opening was justified since severe storms were expected to hit at park opening but that is a rare occasion.  They do need to have a better plan on dealing with severe weather and designated shelters are the answer in my opinion.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 15, 2021, 12:49:42 PM
Without dragging this out into a similar argument trying to explain myself like on the other site, I simply think the best rule of thumb is to coordinate with local school districts which carefully consider whether they should close or delay class for the day. Yes its only on higher end risk days they choose to do that. Nothing could happen but the reason the forecasters have various risk levels is due to the probabilities that something could happen are more likely under special circumstances which is why the Moderate or High Risk/Particularly Dangerous Situation watches get posted.
(like today there's an unprecedented Moderate Risk up in IA/WI/MN for wind and tornadoes with snow still on the ground) Schools have already cancelled and/or let out for the day in these areas.

I won't get deeply into it on here but there's also a lot of internal politics and proposals with the Weather Service wishing to redo the current warning and forecasting system as using the current terminology (Slight or Moderate) wording tends to downplay the situation in the general public's eyes, as "Moderate" is 4/5 on the numerical scale. Joplin happened on a Moderate Risk day. https://twitter.com/TimBuckleyWX/status/1471161208883531781?s=20

Also regarding the above, yes that was in 2010 but subsequent events such as the Joplin EF5 killing 150+ in 2011, the Branson Strip Tornado in 2012, and then the Ride The Ducks incident a couple years ago has started making people question if there should be more vigilance taken regarding severe weather.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 15, 2021, 02:36:32 PM
Don't get me wrong I do think you make a valid point.  And I looked at the conversation on TPR.  They had no call to do that.  And I personally probably wouldn't go to the park if a High Risk of severe weather was in effect.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: sdcfan88 on December 15, 2021, 04:36:35 PM
Eh lol it's all good. I'm over it. Some people simply lack reading comprehension and critical thinking. Not the first time I've seen it over there. I was just kinda surprised with the reactions considering recent events.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on December 18, 2021, 05:56:49 PM
By chance, anyone on the park tonight? (18th)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 18, 2021, 06:23:28 PM
^ We were there yesterday Friday December 17th.  The good news is it was a very light crowd and we walked right in to Home for Christmas, Dickens and the saloon show.  There were virtually no wait times for rides or restaurants.  The bad news is there were continuous thunderstorms almost the entire day.  Nothing severe but very heavy rain- the worst of any of my over 50 years of trips to SDC.  I don't think we could have gotten wetter if we had ridden Mystic River Falls without the boat.  The only rides open for the day were Fire in the Hole and the Flooded Mine unless there were some smaller rides open in the GE and FL.  We rode both FITH and FM twice.  The rain stopped for a few minutes around 7 and we did manage to get on the ONLY train ride of the day before another thunderstorm moved in.  I actually thought lightning might hit the tall Christmas tree.  We had friends that we got in with 1 free bring a friend pass and 2 other passes for $15 each.  They were going to go today but they checked the website and called yesterday for tickets but were told tickets were sold out for today.  My question is this: since they don't require Saturday reservations for OTC (they should) then how do they decide how many tickets to sell?  Without reservations they wouldn't know how many season pass holders were planning to come that day.  Anyway with them stopping ticket sales for today already by yesterday I'm thinking it is another crazy busy Saturday.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on December 18, 2021, 06:26:25 PM
That's what I was trying to find out... Is it insanely busy tonight and if so.. What time does it normally thin out?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Duelist on December 18, 2021, 06:45:45 PM
It usually clears out some after the first parade which I think was around 6:15.  I know when the park posts notices about high capacity days they say consider coming back at 6:30 pm.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: cowboy on December 19, 2021, 06:59:53 AM
^  They were going to go today but they checked the website and called yesterday for tickets but were told tickets were sold out for today.  My question is this: since they don't require Saturday reservations for OTC (they should) then how do they decide how many tickets to sell?  Without reservations they wouldn't know how many season pass holders were planning to come that day.  Anyway with them stopping ticket sales for today already by yesterday I'm thinking it is another crazy busy Saturday.

My son and family were a bit worried about this too, most of his in-laws had purchased tickets several days in advance, and when he looked to buy tickets they were sold out online. I just told him to get to the park early and purchase at the park. They were able to purchase without any problems. Crowds were "insane" according to him but his 2-year old girls did everything (and rode the carousel like 30 times).

Jay
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on December 19, 2021, 07:15:36 AM
one last thing - although it could happen anytime - a storm like this in December is usually pretty rare. NOT gonna get in a global warming discussion but a tornado watch in Dec is not a normal thing. The crowds in Dec are huge and any tornado at any time that were to direct strike the park is gonna result in a huge tragedy regardless.
Much like a huge earthquake at Magic Mountain or Disneyland would.

two more cents
Kevin

I have lived through numerous December outbreaks in Arkansas.

December 1987 West Memphis got nailed. The tornado barely misses( a quarter mile)  hitting Southland Greyhound Park with 7 to 9 thousand there. It levels everything on the east side of the same exit.  A week later, a record flood hit West Memphis. A week after that, the area got slammed with a winter storm that dumped over a foot of snow with drifts up to three feet followed by a prolonged deep freeze. That delayed school openings after Christmas break for at least a week and in to mid Jan.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: KevinLong on December 19, 2021, 06:22:13 PM
I will amend my statement to be " not common" rather than rare.

Kevin
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: chittlins on December 20, 2021, 11:37:59 AM
I will amend my statement to be " not common" rather than rare.

Kevin

If you call  to 2 times a decade, decade after decade not common, sure.

A decent read

https://www.ustornadoes.com/2013/01/21/largest-winter-tornado-outbreaks-in-the-united-states/
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on December 27, 2021, 04:17:50 PM
The park message today is a bit different than most of the recent high crowd day messages. They are straight up saying they are out of parking spaces. Not that the park is simply busy, but that they literally have no more room to park people. I've never seen them say that before. I wonder if they are still parking people behind the bank?
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Tmboote on December 27, 2021, 05:32:45 PM
I also found that post interesting. I’m planning on being there tomorrow and Wednesday, so I’m hoping the threat of rain both mornings keeps some people away until later in the day.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on December 27, 2021, 05:50:34 PM
I don't remember ever going after Christmas to the city.  After the official day of Christmas is over my Xmas spirit kind of dwindles.  Common sense would say that crowds would die down a lot but apparently that is not the case.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on December 27, 2021, 10:05:31 PM
A decent read

https://www.ustornadoes.com/2013/01/21/largest-winter-tornado-outbreaks-in-the-united-states/

A remarkably good example of what is dreadfully wrong with the discussion of the environment today.  "[L]argest" in what sense?  Over the course of history?  We have no idea what the largest outbreak of tornadoes in the US was.  Our records stretch back little over a century out of all the myriads of years.  A myopic view of history and a hugely over-developed sense of scientific accomplishment poison any possible conclusions drawn.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on December 27, 2021, 10:10:17 PM
I don't remember ever going after Christmas to the city.  After the official day of Christmas is over my Xmas spirit kind of dwindles.  Common sense would say that crowds would die down a lot but apparently that is not the case.

I am happy to to be able to maintain my Christmas spirit throughout the Christmastide (i.e. the Twelve Days of Christmas--until Twelfth-night, Jan 5).  We usually go between Christmas Day and New Years Day, both to try to avoid the insane crowd levels and also because our schedules just don't permit going before then.

This year, we're going this Wednesday, the 29th.  No real choice in the matter, and it's a great way to keep the joy bubbling on the front burner.

Merry (3rd Day of) Christmas, Y'all!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on December 28, 2021, 07:51:50 AM
I don't remember ever going after Christmas to the city.  After the official day of Christmas is over my Xmas spirit kind of dwindles.  Common sense would say that crowds would die down a lot but apparently that is not the case.

I am happy to to be able to maintain my Christmas spirit throughout the Christmastide (i.e. the Twelve Days of Christmas--until Twelfth-night, Jan 5).  We usually go between Christmas Day and New Years Day, both to try to avoid the insane crowd levels and also because our schedules just don't permit going before then.

This year, we're going this Wednesday, the 29th.  No real choice in the matter, and it's a great way to keep the joy bubbling on the front burner.

Merry (3rd Day of) Christmas, Y'all!

About the best I do is keep my tree up until New Year's day  :)  And that is usually pushing it.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Lampie on December 28, 2021, 04:14:31 PM
The park message today is a bit different than most of the recent high crowd day messages. They are straight up saying they are out of parking spaces. Not that the park is simply busy, but that they literally have no more room to park people. I've never seen them say that before. I wonder if they are still parking people behind the bank?

I understand staff shortages and get the lower park capacity but how are they running out of parking when they are at about 2/3 of the real max capacity. (My understanding is that pre-pandemic capacity was 24k-25k, current capacity is about 16k)
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Pintrader on December 28, 2021, 05:00:08 PM
The park message today is a bit different than most of the recent high crowd day messages. They are straight up saying they are out of parking spaces. Not that the park is simply busy, but that they literally have no more room to park people. I've never seen them say that before. I wonder if they are still parking people behind the bank?

I understand staff shortages and get the lower park capacity but how are they running out of parking when they are at about 2/3 of the real max capacity. (My understanding is that pre-pandemic capacity was 24k-25k, current capacity is about 16k)

I would imagine they have a pretty good idea of attendance by just looking at how many parking areas are filled without looking at the turnstiles.  It's possible they did not open other parking areas because they knew how many it would take to hit close to that current capacity.   That might be better than parking them and then turning them away at the gate.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: shavethewhales on December 28, 2021, 05:06:21 PM
I don't think they are capping attendance anymore? I think there have been many days will well over 20,000 guests this year. At this point they are only limited by their staffing issues.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Parson B Ready on December 29, 2021, 04:51:36 PM
On Saturday, December 4, they had over 23,000 on park.  The line to get in at opening stretched all the way back to paid parking. I was told this by one of the employees.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: MCLFLN on December 29, 2021, 04:53:44 PM
So they definitely are no longer following any protocols - I noticed when I was there that the social distancing dots on the ground had been pulled up (some were still in place but you could tell they tried to remove them)

On Saturday, December 4, they had over 23,000 on park.  The line to get in at opening stretched all the way back to paid parking. I was told this by one of the employees.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on December 29, 2021, 09:53:48 PM
OK, here's a quick report on today.  We got to the park about 11:45; it was raining and chilly.  Rode the bus from Stop 2.  They were out of ECVs with canopies, alas!

Crowd was, as you might expect, light.  Went directly to the Opera House after a brief pilgrimage to the Fence around the burned area.  Festivities aside, the area is mournful.

Nobody at the Opera House.  We learned from a passerby that Dickens was off the schedule.  There was no signage; the show was still in the Pathfinder.  Now, I can understand that the paper has to be printed in advance, but the lack of signage was inexcusable.  Not everybody has their silly App--or a phone to put it on.  The cancellation (for the rest of the year--too many performers ill) should have been posted not only on the Opera House but also at the entrance, at the HH, and on the streets.  Strike One.

So we made a dash for the Red-Gold Hall and Home for Christmas.  Got good seats, though they did us no favors.  We expected a down-home (as the title suggests), old-fashioned (ya know?  OLD TIME Christmas?) show.  What we got was mostly ear-splitting rock concert intermixed with a modicum of contemporary, non-denominational church pageant.  My wife, my son, and I all came out with splitting headaches and dashed expectations.  Maybe we were foolish to expect something having some connection to the theme, the era, the region.  I know, I know:  "Broadway."  But Broadway is not--or, at least, was not when I was doing Broadway shows--all blaring noise and hammering drums and hard-rock guitar.  Broadway knows (or, at least, knew) how to be soft and gentle, how to modulate to create mood, and how to employ its performers.  Those poor folks were screaming to be heard above the overly-amplified instruments, and the strain on their voices was obvious to someone who knows voice.  I had looked forward to an entertaining alternative to the low-rent IWL, but what I got was High School Musical for the Deaf.  Strike Two.

Well, my son wanted to shop for some blown glass ornaments, and he found three that he liked but allowed himself to purchase only two.  He came home with beautiful, hand-crafted pieces that will become family heirlooms.  Stand-up double.

On to the thing hard to mess up:  the train.  Had a great time mixing it up with the clowns--eh, conductors--on the platform.  The train was on time, and we got to ride the old cars (Bonus!).  Some of the lights were out at Grandpa's place, but the sound was crystal clear (and not deafening!).  (In fact, some 2% or 3% of the lights around the city were out, but I guess we can't fault them for not fixing them at this point.)  The soundtrack on the train was also very clear, and the ride went off without a hitch.  It was amusing to see a handful of pumpkins down the hill to the left at Grandpa's place ;-)  A clean slide into third, driving in the batter on second.

Buy 4 o'clock, the rain was gone, the sun was shining, and the crowd was mushrooming.  We skipped out cleanly and quickly and hit the road before the the wall-to-wall events of the parade and tree igniting, neither of interest.  A quick, no-waiting ride on a tram to Lot 2, and a smooth escape up the hill.  Definitely batting the man on third home.

So we'll call the day 3 - 2 in our favor (it's darned hard to totally wreck a day at SDC, after all!).  I don't know what the future of Home for Christmas is, but it is not likely at all that we will see it again if it returns.  They can't please everybody, and most of the people there cheered, so I guess they hit their target audience.  It's just a shame to see so much talent misused to do it.  We try to see Dickens with its new score next year.  We are thankful to all our friends there--we had a quick chat with Terry and another with our photographer friend--including the train crew.

We have made the first payment on our 2022 Season Passes.  May the New Year bring many opportunities to make Memories Worth Repeating!
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: biscuitcreek on December 30, 2021, 11:23:50 AM
Palallin, even if you download the app, it is not updated to announce show cancellations. When we were there one day in December all of the morning gazebo shows were cancelled but were still listed on the app. The first 2 Dickens shows were cancelled but that wasn't on the app. No signs up either.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: Tmboote on December 30, 2021, 10:49:09 PM
Palallin, even if you download the app, it is not updated to announce show cancellations. When we were there one day in December all of the morning gazebo shows were cancelled but were still listed on the app. The first 2 Dickens shows were cancelled but that wasn't on the app. No signs up either.

I was also in the park when Palallin was, and the Dickens shows did not show up in the schedule on the app. I was wondering if Dickens was never on the schedule for this week because the app (and signage by the Opera House) showed Lindley Creek was performing there December 27-30.
Title: Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
Post by: palallin on December 31, 2021, 10:28:04 AM
Interesting follow-up:  I got a link to an online survey today.  Went through it in detail, reporting what was good and what wasn't.  I tried to submit but was not allowed to because I didn't answer a question which wasn't there (had to do with recommending food to others, which is probably part of a string of questions if you answered YES to buying food, but we didn't so I answered NO).

This is the second series of surveys I have been asked to submit online which would not let me do so because of a flaw in the programming.  I am getting the impression that HFE isn't really interested.  OK, fine.  But don't bother sending a survey if it can't be used.  It doesn't improve the appearance.  And don't ask a question unless you can stand all the possible answers.