Author Topic: 2016 Trip Reviews  (Read 41141 times)

DeweyBald

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2016, 09:34:45 PM »
The only reason I would regret the loss of every "thrill" ride in the city is that it couldn't be made to pay these days.  Otherwise, take me back to pre-'72.  A real thrill ride for me would be a time machine, I guess.

Same here Palallin....same here.

missouripapa

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2016, 11:56:17 AM »
I took two of my granddaughters (6 and 10) last Saturday (April 2). I was a little apprehensive since it was Young Christians Weekend.  We arrived at 9:30 (someone thought the park opened at 10).  We had to park in one of the lower lots across the street.  Lots were full of church buses and vans, with crowds going to the gate.
We had a blast.  My girls are Army girls and get free admittance.  It took about 5 minutes to get their tickets, and about 10 minutes to go through the non-bag gate line.   Once inside everything went smoothly.  A few observations:
1.  Lots of fresh paint over the off season.  The train and fireman's landing sparkled.
2.  If you have to be in a crowd, go Young Christian's Weekend.  The kids are mannerly, and don't clog up the little  kids rides.
3.  Food in the Mine is as good as always.
4.  McHaffie's homestead and farm are great for kids

All in all, a great day with the girls.

Swoosh

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2016, 08:58:26 PM »
So we decided to switch over to a blog format with MiG.  I got to admit, it's easier to write a report.  Not everything has been switched over yet, but here is our Spring trip report and park update.

https://midwestinfoguide.blogspot.com/2016/03/silver-dollar-city-spring-festival-trip.html
SWOOSH

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2016, 10:20:07 PM »
Nice report.  You get some great pictures.
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sanddunerider

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #49 on: April 10, 2016, 09:11:33 AM »
Swoosh, as always great pics, and good job picking out some of the new stuff, I missed part of it..

MissinTheGreenTrams

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2016, 10:44:12 AM »
My son, friend, and parents went to the city on Saturday 9th. Parked in lot 2 and was immediately sat on a tram. They even had a tram waiting behind the tram we were sitting on. It was not crowded by any means. Bag check went seamlessly and I had a ton of stuff in my "carry on" I pass as a purse. The opening ceremony was beautiful. We were able to watch the one time only WorldFest ceremony they were touting.They introduced all the counties and the Echo Hollow show performers. Brad Thomas gave a short diddy and announced it was the final year for WorldFest because next year they have a new and exciting festival and he revealed that it was...............to be revealed in September. That is about all he had to say and quickly exited. There were a few news outlets there as well covering the opening ceremony. There was no real complaint about line waits as it was minimal. I am however disappointed in a few of the ride operators. They did not even PRETEND to be peppy. Not really grouchy, but not smiling either. I like operators that have some sass and excitement. Its part of it for me. Maybe I am just crazy.  :o We caught the magic show and while it is the same as ever it was still fun!  My parents watched about five minutes of the Irish harp/flute show. It was a bit loud for their taste so they left. But my dad has hearing issues and flute/high pitches really hurt his hearing holes so that may have been a deciding factor as well. Oh, and my mother's electric wheelchair rental was not acting right. She pulled up to the toy store and alerted a citizen. A new one was promptly brought to her with many apologies. It was not a big deal to them but was nice to have such great customer service. Around 2 ish the park was becoming more crowded. I mean the weather was AMAZING! We overall had a wonderful time. The boys went on the water rides at the end of our day. Hit Grandfathers Mansion. Left by 4.

No crying babies ruined my visit, BTW.  However, there were some obnoxious teenagers that were being filthy mouthed and loud in line with us and the Electrospin. I did NOT appreciate this with my children present. Which were better behaved than those hooligans. Give me a crying baby over foul mothed-fool-of-themselves teens any day.
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Dewayne

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2016, 08:16:32 PM »
Agreed about the ride employees not being cheerfull. Most of the time when any ride comes in, no riders cheer and clap. Im like, Did nobody like the ride? The ride employees also dont cheer when the ride comes to a stop in the station, but they do at Dollywood. I always cheer and clap at the end to show that I loved the ride, just like every guest should at the end of any ride or show to show they liked it. The employees should too every time. Theyre getting paid to run the ride. They should be happy that the ride came back safely, with no unexpected stops or emergencies, plus theyre getting paid. Be happy employees. You should be happy you have a job. Not everyone gets lucky to be chosen to work at SDC.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 08:18:17 PM by Laroy »

Swoosh

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2016, 10:05:42 PM »
Ok. First off, Dollywood crews do NOT clap when a train returns to the station.  The only exception might be Firechaser Express but even that was a hit and miss. 

Next, there is nothing to say ride ops have to be overly cheerful.  Most of the time they are focused on getting the train in and out of station quickly.  Also contrary to popular belief, SDC doesn't exactly pay the best.  It's just a job to many of the citizens.  Sorry to break that fantasy. 
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MissinTheGreenTrams

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2016, 07:49:39 AM »
I know that they pay minimum wage. Its miserable to try to pay bills on that. And I am not asking for overly cheerful either. Just when the operator greets the line give a smile and howdy! Its a nice touch.
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HikerDan

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2016, 12:23:54 PM »
My wife and I took our first trip to the city yesterday, Sunday 4/10 and we couldn't have planned it better. We arrived a little earlier than normal because of reading about the bag check and long lines to enter the park. With a scheduled park opening at 10am we were strolling through the parking lot at 9:35 expecting some sort of crowds making their way into the park, but instead found a very quiet, calm, and somewhat empty area heading towards the gates. Maybe it was the weather forecast (rain and wind early, but clearing by mid morning) and the fact that so many folks had already visited several times during spring break days, but we've never had such a relaxing entrance to the park on a festival weekend day. The rain was already gone. It was a bit windy and somewhat cool early, but we like it on the cool side in the park during spring. 

Weeks ago we were pretty disappointed to hear the news that the World Fest is here for the last time over the next month or so, and so we plan on catching this festival at least one day every weekend while it's still here. From the experiences of past March opening weekend and subsequent spring break visits we decided not to visit at all during March and save our trips for World Fest and BBQ. Reading what some folks had to say about their March visits I think we made the right choice.

We actually were running a bit later than planned as we wanted to catch the Ecuador group at 9:20 at the Gazebo, but we zipped through the bag check quickly and sat down at the Gazebo in time to catch a few songs from the group. We've been watching the Ecuador groups for years and always make a point of enjoying their music during visits. Several years ago when the World Fest was in its early stages of life at SDC the Ecuador group that visited the park was a group named Atahualpa and we just loved those guys. I'm not sure when Dollywood started the Festival of Nations in that park, but when they did Atahualpa began playing that park every spring and Ecuador Manta started coming to SDC. I really, really like Manta, but Dollywood gets our personal fave group every year. We   always wished they would mix it up more instead putting the same group at the separate parks each year. Oh well, it's the last year anyhow.

Just after park opening ceremonies we were thrilled to sit down for a spell with the Pickers outside the Homestead. We're always afraid the guys are gonna hole up inside the cabin with limited seating, and with the cool temps and wind we kind of expected that, but they were out on the porch yesterday morn and my wife smiled the whole time as she enjoys watching Greg Bailey and Walt play their instruments. 

After the Pickers we strolled down the big hill towards the Saloon/Lumberjack area and it was very open and easy going for 10:40 on a weekend morning at SDC. I can see that the Fried Bread thing is gonna cause some traffic problems in the future though. I can't imagine what that area will be like when Rhonda Vincent is in town playing at the Opera House with the waiting lines for the show going past that bread building and all the kiddos and families trying to get to Powder Keg and FITH. It could get a lil' crazy.

The PK was pretty much a walk on for us, but we waited a couple of trains for the front seat. We don't get ride that thing up front much anymore because of huge waiting lines or downtime, so we took advantage of the opportunity and got a rare ride up front. PK is still my favorite ride in the park, and one of my all time faves. It never gets old to me. On to the FITH.

It was the most curious thing of the day: FITH at 10:50ish was our longest wait time of the day. The folks were about six deep or so in each of the lanes, not a long wait by any means, but we were a lil' surprised it wasn't just a walk on. The plan was to be over at the Red Gold for the 11:30 Africa show by about 11:10 so we would be sure to get in. Last year we had terrible problems ever getting to see the Africa show as it was always full before we arrived, but finally was able to sneak in once late in the festival and cram ourselves into a couple of seats in between some rather large individuals (the show was great I remember, the seating was not). This time, especially with the smallish crowd in the park yesterday, the Africa show was priority number one. Anyhow, I figured on and gambled that no way there's enough folks in the park to fill the Island Fire show at 11:00 and the Africa at 11:30, so there's no need to hurry. We waited the three trains or so to get on FITH and at the end of the ride we rode into a pretty much empty station. The wait to get on must have been just one of those coincidences where a few dozen people just happened to show up at the same time. Off to red Gold and Zuma Zuma.

As we predicted, and gambled on, the doors to the Heritage Hall were open and we strolled into about a 2/3 full venue. We went to the far end of the hall and pretty much had a section to ourselves. The show was of course very lively and entertaining. My wife liked the women twirling the square cloth things and the acrobats using the poles, while I most enjoyed the guy doing the balancing act and the woman using her feet to spin the barrel and table. The band and singer is a nice touch overall with the whole group.

The crowd from the hall filled up the Frisco Barn at lunch time, but we walked through there to see all the different foods available. I wasn't hungry at the time, and we rarely eat at the city, but the smells of all those foods made my stomach rumble. In the future I think I may try some jambalaya or maybe some variety of nachos, or pizza. 

We wanted to catch Ecuador again at 12:30 so we made or way back towards the Gazebo after a quick stop at the candy factory for some dark chocolate cashew clusters to munch later on the trip home. Walking across the wooden bridge we noticed we were the only ones on the bridge. Not a big deal really but how often can a person walk up through there pretty much unimpeded at 12:30 on a Sunday during a festival. There were a few more people arriving in the park now, but it was still so comfortable and easy going. Manta played "Flight of the Condor", my favorite number from them and it was time to check out the Flooded Mine.

I think I read that some work had been done on the mine in the off season. I told my wife some time ago that the mine's days left in the park are likely numbered, but heck, if SDC decided to put some elbow grease and $$$ back into the mine then maybe they'll keep it on site after all. I obviously have no idea, but we wanted to check out the current state of the attraction. IMO, I would be very disappointed to see the mine go away as I love having it in the park. I don't really have an eye for details and don't always remember those details from year to year in the city, but the mine looked pretty good to me. One of our guns wasn't working though, and the theme music was not playing (not good). Most of the targets seemed to be functioning alright, but some of the sound effects were not. Everything looked well to the eye around and in the mine, but there's still some things not working.

We had no plans to ride the train Sunday, but after leaving the mine and circling back around we noticed a half full, if that, train station with a train sitting in the depot! Most times we have to make a point of riding the train and an time committing effort to do just that, but we walked right on that thing this time without even planning to do so. Wow, what a day in the park, huh? I don't know the actors names but it was the woman from last year (she used to be a ride operator) and one of the regular guys playing Alfie and Ralphie. We sat up front real close to the steam engine for the first time ever (were usually in the third or forth car) and watched the guy run the train. That whistle sure is loud up there! It's a lil' hard to hear the skit up front in the "high-roller" seats, but they did a great job with the robbery and the woman claimed them. I then talked my wife into riding Outlaw Run.

Once again, pretty much a walk on for OR. And like PK before we decided to wait a few extra trains for a front seat ride. Great ride and it still seems fairly smooth riding up front as opposed to the rougher ride in the back. There was a bit of a line at the barn swing though. We wanted to take a swing but we needed to get back up to the Homestead for the Pickers at 2:30 down at the pickin' shed.

We arrived at the area and started the walk down the mulched hill to the shed and noticed no one down at the shed, nobody. Uh oh! I much prefer watching the guys down there. So we went back towards the cabin hoping they were coming out onto the front porch for the set but, uh oh!, nobody on the porch either. So either they're not doing afternoon sets or they're crammed in that cabin. We peaked in the cabin and there they were. Fortunately the place wasn't nearly full so we went on in and sat at the bench in front of the bed. Danny said the wind was blowing so hard on the seats down at the shed they figured everyone would be more comfortable in the confines of the cabin. We'll take the wind and the shed anytime over the small cabin, but no matter on this day as the place never completely filled up causing obstructed views, funny smells, or coughing and sneezing by folks in a tight space. About two songs into the set an older couple did set down on or by the bed behind us and crunched kettle corn in our ear, unceasingly rattled that cellophane bag the corn came in, and talked a lot through the set. We moved to some chairs on the left side. Anyhow, Greg Becker played some nice tunes on his trapezoid and it was nearly time to head on home to Nixa and catch the end of the Masters Golf tournament on TV.

Yesterday was probably one of better 5-6 hour trips to the city we've had in years. I fully realize they need the crowds to keep the place open but it was nice to enjoy the park casually, still have all rides open and up-and-running, and a selection of entertaining shows to take in. Next Sunday we'll make a point of seeing Island Fire in the Playhouse, and Slask song and dance in the Opera House.  The next two Sundays after that we'll just take them as they come in the city and roll with how those days go.

Looking forward to the next three Sundays of our final World Fest and then preparing for the insanity that in recent years has come with the Bluegrass & BBQ in May (hordes of us bluegrass fans and endless busloads of kids on school trips).


 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 01:30:44 PM by HikerDan »

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2016, 01:31:43 PM »
^Sounds like a great day! Relaxing days in the city are the best.

As far as enthusiastic ride operators go, I am also disappointed when they appear bored and unhappy to be there. I realize it is a minimum wage paying job and how difficult that is. But have some pride in your work. Realize your actions make an impression on family's days. That's my 2 cents. Just have pride in all you do and take your work seriously.
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sanddunerider

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2016, 01:31:55 PM »
Great review,  Sounds like a perfect visit.. Congrats

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2016, 10:41:12 AM »
Like HikerDan, my family and I were at the park on Sunday, April 10th. Wow! What a beautiful day it was in the City. I had my Wife, Daughter (17 months) and my parents with me. The weather was perfect and the crowds were manageable.

We were there from 11-6. Ate lunch in the Frisco Barn where they had the World Fest foods, we all got something different and enjoyed it all. The 2 rides that we rode were FITH and Flooded Mine (the classics of course!) Stayed on FM twice, 17month old loved it, and grinned ear-to-ear the entire time. Dad's gun gave him points no matter where he pointed it, just pulling the trigger gave him points...so that's odd. The ride looked great, but like others have said, the theme music was not working properly. I could hear it, but had to really listen closely. We all enjoyed Island Fire. Strolled the park and shopped the shops. The main thing I noticed was new signage/paint throughout the park. All the signs looked GREAT. All the Citizens we interacted with were pleasant and upbeat.

We stayed at The Classic, the room was comfortable and clean. The breakfast left something to be desired. Speaking of Motel's has anyone heard from Paige and/or Cheri? I miss them, and hope they are ok and landed on their feet.

Ate at Pasgetti's Saturday night, and McFarland's Sunday night. Enjoyed our meal at both.

Stopped by Big Cedar Lodge on our way back to Little Rock monday, and spent the afternoon there strolling the beautiful grounds. We ate at Devil's Pool Restaurant, which is always good.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 10:45:12 AM by DollarCityBoy »
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sanddunerider

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #58 on: April 14, 2016, 06:53:14 PM »

We stayed at The Classic, the room was comfortable and clean. The breakfast left something to be desired. Speaking of Motel's has anyone heard from Paige and/or Cheri? I miss them, and hope they are ok and landed on their feet.


Paige is still in town and doing well,,  she did indeed lose her sight, but is hopeful it will return, I see her from time to time at a show.  One of our local buddies sometimes picks her up and brings to the show to join in..  I don't know where Cheri ended up

sdcfan88

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Re: 2016 Trip Reviews
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2016, 09:22:24 PM »
Went today and Saturday and the park was equally packed. And a first for me was seeing Wildfire being broke down for nearly an hour or so. Something broke on one of the trains and supposedly caused it to lurch backwards a few feet while on the lift hill. They had to remove the train from service and pull out another one.




Short clips of the transfer and test run in progress:

https://www.facebook.com/sgtmyers88/videos/10154109220932232/?l=193913162624422952

https://www.facebook.com/sgtmyers88/videos/10154110121202232/?l=1207735428674447875
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 09:34:31 PM by sdcfan88 »