How do Dollywood and SDC compare?

DantheCoasterman's avatar

In your opinion, how do Dollywood and Silver Dollar City compare?

I ask this because our Fall Break is coming up, and my family isthinking of heading to Branson, MO for a few days. We are debating onthis location, Chicago (SFGAm), or St. Louis (SFStL). There is more forthe entire family to enjoy in Branson though, so that is what we areleaning towards.

Now, we have been to Dollywood many times, and (most of us) loveit! Though I am basically a rides enthusiast, the calm, beautifulsurroundings of Dollywood just make it great!

So... if we like DW, how should SDC compare? (Ride wise, atmosphere, ect.)


I also have some questions concerning SDC and the Branson area. Weare leaving on Saturday, October 4th, and probably returning sometimeon Thursday. It is an 8 hour drive from here to our destination.

-I am anxious to get to the park, but what day be least crowded? (I know that weekdays are typically less crowded, but Dollywood tends not to be this way, and is pretty inaccurate...)

-Any ride/food/show recommendations?

-What other attractions do you suggest doing while we are in the area?

-Any good discount tickets for the park?

-Is there any sort of combo ticket for SDC/CC?

-Will the water rides still be open during my visit? (The park website isn't very user-friendly...)

Thanks for the help!


Lord Gonchar's avatar

DantheCoasterman said:
So... if we like DW, how should SDC compare? (Ride wise, atmosphere, ect.)

It's basically the same park.

rollergator's avatar

Take out the rides and they are the same park. Remember that DW was once called SDC (in the time before Dolly - scary!), and it was developed by the same folks. When we went a few years' back, SDC/CC combo tickets were available at either park (but werte considerably cheaper purchased online in advance).

To me they are quite different, but if you love DW, then you will probably love SDC too. The atmosphere is very similar, but the layouts are very different. They both have a Fire In The Hole ride, a Slidewinder, and the obligatory flumes and rapids rides, but the ride packages differ after that. DW of course has Thunderhead--for wood you will have to go to Celebration City. The steel collection at SDC is very good, with a small but unique B&M, a very fast Arrow Mine Train, and Powderkeg, which kind of defies classification. The shows at SDC are more of what you would expect from the Branson area, and I think the food at SDC is much better than Dolly's.

It looks like they are offering a 3-day 2 park hopper for $69.00 until October 25.

According to the website the Wilderness Waterboggan (slidewinder) closed September 1, but the flume and rapids stay open until October 25.

Last edited by Jeffrey Seifert,
matt.'s avatar

I didn't realize SDC had a slidewinder thing like Dollywood. How come the one at Dollywood seems to get all the love?

The Slidewinder at Dollywood gets all the love because it's better. SDC's is not built on the side of the hill, but rather on a support structure like a wooden coaster. The boats are the same, and the experience is similar, but I think the one at SDC is shorter.

And, Dan the Coasterman, if you love Dollywood then by all means get to SDC, you will love it there, too. IMO, it has even more of the same kind of atmosphere (if that's possible), the people are just as nice, the food is OMG good (be sure to go in the morning to the apple shop and have a hot turnover with apple butter on top), and the rides are fantastic. We loved Powder Keg, Wildfire is absolutely thrilling with it's location on the side of the mountain, and when you ride Thunderation for the first time take a backward-facing seat and don't turn around! They still have their Flooded Mine shoot-em ride, the Giant Swing, and a great world's fair area called The Grand Exposition with flats and a cute theme.

Also- Marvel Cave is fun if you like that sort of thing. It was their original attraction and the park has grown up around it. Plus, you've never seen so much shopping at a park, and if you're there during a festival (which you will be) all the better.

I'm sure you saw that they are closed on Mon and Tues the week you'll be there.

If you have a Dollywood season pass you get 50% off one day tickets at both SDC and CC.

Prowler. Opens May,2 2009.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Unless Dollywood recently changed Slidewinder, the boats are NOT the same as those at SDC. Last time I rode Slidewinder, they were still using the old rubber boats that SDC used to use before they redid their Wilderness Waterboggan which now uses inflatable boats typical of the "dry slides" at other parks. The Slidewinder is way better, but both are exceptional rides.

IMO, the food is comparable if not better at Dolly. It's actually something I greatly look forward to everytime I visit.

If you love Dollywood, I can't imagine you not loving Silver Dollar City + OzCat at Celebration City.

A ride that you may miss at SDC unless you're looking for it is the Flooded Mine dark boat ride. It's basically in the middle of the park, but it's easy to not notice the path that leads to it.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

I don't know about the parks but I have a question.

Fall break? Didn't school just start two or three weeks ago?

A.V.,^ ^, you're right- I had forgotten that SDC changed the boats a while back. I thought something didn't seem right when I was typing that, but I couldn't remember, and that ride's been closed my last couple of visits to the park. Thanks.

DantheCoasterman's avatar

^^My county started back on Friday, August 8th.


^ I say get rid of all these silly breaks during the session and don't start school until after Labor Day. Tell your local school board some guy on Coasterbuzz recommended that. I'm sure it will carry a lot of weight. :)

DantheCoasterman's avatar

^Ha, I'll go down to the Board tomorrow and present that idea...I'm sure they respect everyone here... ;)


I say get rid of all these silly breaks during the session and don't start school until after Labor Day.

We get both. We start after Labor Day. We get a week in February (awesome for Florida trips) in addition to the customary winter holidays and spring break. We end mid-Juneish. It works out well.

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