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Topics - sirwillow

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General Silver Dollar City Talk / Behind the Scenese at the Saloon
« on: October 18, 2023, 03:41:51 PM »
I thought my most recent video might be of interest to y'all here.  I was given the opportunity to interview a couple of the saloon ladies- Heather and Maddie- about what it's like to work at the saloon.  We cover getting hired, funny moments, rehearsals, how they keep from getting bored, and much much more.  It was a lot of fun, and they gave some fascinating tidbits from behind the scenes.
Part 1 posted last week and part 2 should go live tomorrow.

General Silver Dollar City Talk / Behind the Scenes on the SDC train
« on: July 01, 2021, 01:00:33 PM »

I was blessed with the incredible opportunity to spend a day at the roundhouse at Silver Dollar City and see all of the preparation they do each day, the inspections, care for the engines, and much more.  Check out this inside look at the trains, the engines, and the guys that keep them running!


Surprised that this hasn't been mentioned in a post yet.
Mike Hughes, aka "Big Mike" aka "grandpa" on the train passed away from complications from a fall back on April 24.  He was also a train robber/ conductor in the past, worked Flooded Mine and other areas, and for a few years was the park attractions operater (the one who kind of oversees what's happening and coordinates the park).  A huge loss.
That was followed up May 1 with Rick Hord passing away from a sudden heart attack.  Rick was in many ways the heart and soul of the train, but had also worked Flooded Mine, Fire in the Hole and others.  If you've been in the park in the last 30 years, you've seen Rick.tribute video here
go fund me for funeral expenses here

Working on a video and I'm hoping that someone can help me out.  In particular I'm looking for some photos (or video!) of the old robber location back when it was around where Outlaw Run and the Barn Swing are now, or the robbery and train before around 2005, especially some older ones.  And permission to use it in a video with credit to the appropriate source of course.
thank you so incredibly much!

Branson Talk / The Axe Game and Escape Code
« on: June 15, 2019, 10:23:47 AM »
Yesterday we finally(!) managed to get our group together and on schedule and made our way over to the Axe Game and the Escape Code.

Before we left, it had been a rough afternoon, chaotic at home (4 phone calls in 20 minutes from "Trump?"), and when we arrived at least 3 of our 6 were a bit on the stressed side.  We had 3 just pass college adults, one in their mid 30's, and 2 "older" people in upper 40's, and had absolutely no idea what to expect.  Only one had ever done any axe throwing (at a bachelor party while camping of all things), and only one had ever done an escape room so we were all rookies.

We started off at the Axe Game.  Talk about a near instant destreeser.  Within a few minutes we were relaxed and having an absolute blast.  They are wonderfully friendly and walk you through everything, then lead you into a few games that are fun but will also get your competitive juices running.  This is absolutely worth a stop on it's own.

But to make it even better is practically next door, the Escape Code.  They have a variety of rooms designed for different skill levels and different size groups, with several of them even being friendly for kids.  We did the Guest House, which is one of their easier and smaller group rooms (and one that we've also heard may be their best) and had an amazing time.  Definitely want to have a group of friends when you do this, but we found ourselves working very well as a team, with each persons different personality and learning style making us very effective.  We only took one hint and finished in exactly (to the second) 44 minutes- a full 16 minutes to spare!  Not bad for a bunch of rookies.

I'll have a full video of it coming up in a week and a half (leaving for camp Monday, sorry), but can't wait to do this again.  And can't wait for Sagas to open- my wife was super excited about that.  We'll be back.

Thank you so much John for hosting us!

My newest video will post tomorrow, and it should be fun to hear some of the feedback from some of those on the boards, so I'm giving you something normally only my patrons would get: early access!
Things constantly change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. The train at SDC is no exception.  So here's 3 Changes on the SDC Train I Like (and 3 I Don't)
I'd embed a preview box for it, but I can't seem to remember what the codes are for the life of me.  And there's no help box for it.  lol

Gotta love the weather- t-storms, tornado warnings, flood warnings, etc.  Wheee
So if you're stuck inside and need something to keep your mind off of it, here's three videos I've posted that talk about SDC recently.  Two vlog/ trip report kinds of videos, and one that talks about working at the park.
College kids with us as a big group: "Sweater Ninja Strikes at SDC"

"SDC is a Wonder in the Rain" (saloon and Phoenix Fire shows)

"What do Employees Do When the Park is Closed?"  (off season)

I'm hoping to make it out next Thursday to get a look at the construction and other new things around the park.  It'll be the only day I might have a chance.  But curious as to who else is planning on making their way out to the park next week?

Random Talk / How did everyone fare through the storms last night?
« on: December 01, 2018, 10:09:56 AM »
Quite a lot of "fun" with that storm front that rolled through last night.  We were awake and in the bathtub at 1am taking shelter, but our little pocket of the Ozarks came through it looks like without a scratch.
I noticed that Branson town tree is flat, and the sign by WalMart/ Best Buy north of town is down.  The town where my wife teaches, Aurora, took a hit, with damage and a fatality at the hotel there.  Roads between us and them are closed because of damage, downed trees, and power lines on the road.

Other Parks / Wonders of Wildlife has 1.6 millions visitors in first year
« on: September 22, 2018, 04:05:56 PM »
Talk about a milestone in their first year, WoW had over 1.5 million visitors in their first year!  WoW is right!  they already have an expansion planned.

You can see the article at

I know there was some discussion earlier on a different thread that Branson visitors aren't aware that WoW exists, but that's a lot of people visiting for something that's supposedly unknown outside of Springfield.

General Silver Dollar City Talk / New video about the SDC train
« on: August 23, 2018, 02:38:42 PM »
I haven't posted to many links recently to my videos (Really don't want to spam the forums with links all over the place.  hehe)  But the one that I posted today I thought might be of special interest.  It talks about a couple of the mechanical breakdowns we had on the train, what happened, and how we dealt with them and other issues.  it's also got lots of photos and a few video clips as well.  You can check it out at:

I'd also love your feedback on this and others, positive and negative.  :-)  Let me know what you think.

They're looking for 2 minute videos highlighting teachers in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma talking about the impact they are having.  Going to pick out 10 of them to receive $1000 for their classroom.  You can see more at:

Other Parks / Worlds of Fun Village- any discounts?
« on: February 02, 2017, 04:26:51 PM »
We're looking at booking 2 or 3 nights at World's of Fun Village (one of the cabins) probably at the end of June.  I was wondering if anyone has stayed at them?  What did you think? And does anyone know of any discounts that are available with booking them?

it will be me, my wife, our 2 college age kids, and our 12 year old niece.  We're looking at the cabin that has the loft, thinking that will be the most comfortable for us.

Thanks in advance.

If this is in the wrong place, or inappropriate, then mods please don't hesitate to move or delete it.

One of the things I've been doing over the summer has been a series of videos telling stories about my time working at theme parks- 3 years at SDC along with working at Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens Tampa as well.  My most recent video is focused more on SDC, and I thought that some here might enjoy it.  I call it "10 things to give a train robber" and it talks about some of the good things to give a robber that can make the stop more fun.  You can find it at

I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback.  There are a couple of other videos talking specifically about my time at SDC as well among the others I've made.

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