SDC and CC trip report: 8/16/03...a new #1!

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, August 17, 2003 8:58 PM
Haven't seen very many reports on trips to Branson, so I figured I'd write one right herr.

Kris, my friend Greg and I left on Friday night and ended up right before stopping to get some sleep. The following morning we departed for my first trip to Branson, MO. This place is kind of a cross between Wisconsin Dells and Nashville. Music is everywhere, but it is very ridiculously corny. As you are heading south on 65 towards the city, there are tons of huge billboards with big smiling faces of no-name music and comedy stars. The last time I heard Yakov Smirnoff's name was back in the 80s on Saturday morning cartoons, but the guy is a total mega-celeb here. Very strange.

My first piece of advice for anyone who is planning a trip here is to plan on getting to the park an hour early so you can actually get in the park about an hour after the gates open. Traffic in this city is horrible. It took us about an hour to go about 5 miles, and it didn't let up at all during the day. I hoped this wouldn't ruin our day...

Well it didn't. SDC is an absolute gem of a park. I would argue that the level of service is superior to Disney, and everything is put on very well. No detail is spared. The food is outstanding, and it's a pleasure to just walk around and not even go on a single attraction, but who would want to do that?

Wildfire - 9.5/10 - What an awesome lil B&M looper. We rode in the back row. Up the lift I was checking out what this ride is all about....drop, immelman, cobra roll, turnies, and a flatspin. Nice and compact, looked fun. Now anyone that has been on a B&M looper would probably say that the drops are pretty lame. Well, as we crested the hill and turned to the left, I remember thinking "wait this looks like it..." and wham! I was ejected up into my harness. It was rather bull-ish! Best drop on a looper, no doubt. The immelman was really awesome, never done it on a sit-down before. The axis that your body turns on is a lot tighter than on that of a invert, so that made is a much cooler experience. The rest of the ride was very standard, although very well pulled off. Great ride.

Buzzsaw falls - 8/10 - Cool ride. Got soaked on the first part because I was in the back. The coaster part is short, but it's very fast and tight. Drop is just like a regular flume only on a track.

Fire in the Hole - 7.5/10 - Is this a coaster? Sure why not. It felt like one, so that's all that counts. Mostly is a dark ride with some cool coaster-ish drops and a spash at the end.

Thunderation - 8.5/10 - What an awesome mine train! Great turns and helixes in the trees followed by a pretty fun drop at the end.

Finished up here and went to Celebration City after sitting in traffic another 30 minutes! Got to this "new" park. Wow did SDC do a great job with this place. Everything is brand new and once again, no detail is spared. The whole theme is sort of an American Celebration and a lot of it focuses on the 50s and 60s. They have some great flat rides here, namely the double shot (didn't go on it), flying carpet, and the Fireball, which is the same thing that Hershey got this year I think. On to the coasters...

Jackrabbit - 5/10 - This ride looks like a deathtrap. It takes hairpin turns at a ridiculous speed and the ride looks like it's going to fall apart every time the train goes by. It's ok, pretty unconventional layout for a portable.

Thunderbolt - 7/10 - This is a Windstorm just like they have at Old Town in Orlando. It's a fun ride. Lots of tight turns and an awesome hairpin drop that almost feels like an upside-down loop. If I remember correctly, at Old Town you are trimmed before the hairpin....not here! Very fun ride!

Ozark Wildcat - 10/10 - I've always really liked GCI rides, but they've always seemed to be missing something. They look stunning and always gave a fun ride. They've always missed that out-of-control feeling that made CCIs so great. Well, they finally did it. The Wildcat is simply amazing. It only goes 45 mph but it remains very constant and feels like it's even faster than that. The first drop is great, does a complete 360 and you really feel the laterals on it, especially in the back. What other GCIs have lacked in the past was air at the top of their hills as well. They always do a good job at making fun directional changes, but have never thrown you out on your seat. On Wildcat, however, you get a great pop of air a the top of each hill and while you are floating, the train twists from under you and pulls you down and to your left or right. I was completely surprised. This ride in my opinion even tops Legend. Any fan of wooden coasters definatley needs to get out here for this one. Ended up with 10 or so rides on this one.

I should also say that their main show, "Celebration," is very cool as well. Lots of "lasers," fireworks, cool lights, and splashing water.

SDC corp really knows how to run a theme park. SDC/CC is a great weekend trip that guarantees a great time.


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NICK

Drop it like it's hot and be my bloody wonderwall, baby

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Sunday, August 17, 2003 9:17 PM
Great TR. SDC and CC have become staple parks to me. Every summer I go to a park I'll have to go to them. I now have 4 maybe 5. Indiana Beach, Holiday World, SDC, CC and maybe SFWOA. I felt that SDC and CC are outstanding parks, up to par of Holiday World, although I still prefer HW. Wildfire was my #50 and man what a #50 ride, i loved it. I was also blown away by Ozark Wildcat. Loved these parks, seriously everyone should go, no lines, or at least very little except on water rides.
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Sunday, August 17, 2003 9:31 PM
Wow, you pretty much share my exact thoughts about these two parks...went to SDC last November, and was BLOWN AWAY. It's right near the top of my favorite parks list...and Wildfire, what an awesome ride, with an *amazing* first drop. I stopped at CC on my way back from TX last month on a whim, and am so glad that I did. I showed up expecting your run of the mill GCI, and what I got was my new #4 wood.
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Monday, August 18, 2003 7:27 AM
I really think that SDC corp is going to be to GCI what Holiday World was to CCI.

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NICK

Drop it like it's hot and be my bloody wonderwall, baby

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Monday, August 18, 2003 10:44 AM
Nick,

Way to write a TR. :) I still can't believe you thought Wildcat was that good! It's pretty incredible that I haven't heard *one* single negative about this ride. Everyone that has ridden has loved it!

I hope it's not a case of anticipointment when I ride it next year though! But with constant reviews like this, I'm sure I'll be thrilled.

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You suck big time.

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Monday, August 18, 2003 11:48 AM
Excellent trip report! I'm hopefully going to be heading there next year and was wondering how much time you spent at each park? Also, did you feel that you had enough time at each? I'm tentatively starting to plan next years trip and I am trying to figure out how much time to give each. Thanks.

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G's! They're what's for dinner!

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Monday, August 18, 2003 11:55 AM
Well, SDC is open on average from 9:30 to 7 or so, then CC is open from 3:30 until 11. Neither park is huge, so you can do pretty much all the rides in one day. If you wanted to take in more of SDC with all the shows and crafts they have, You'll probably want to give it some more time. The park will look busy, but they do very well on capacity and most people there don't do the big rides (kind of like Hershey). After all, this was the Saturday before school starts, so I doubt it'll get much busier than that!

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NICK

Drop it like it's hot and be my bloody wonderwall, baby

+0

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