We pulled into G Parking showing that Silver Dollar City can still draw a crowd, we could see absolutely nothing of the park from outside and after waiting 10 minutes for a tram and then another ten in lines we were into arguably the best park I have been to. It has great themeing, it is gorgeous with its rolling hills and the ride ops, and employees are some of the friendliest. But the real attraction to this park was not the beauty, it was Wildfire the #1 steel coaster I had been wanting to ride for 2 years straight.
Wildfire (#50 yay!)
I was worried that the line for this might be long, and my mom wimped out on going on it, but don't worry I got her on it. I stepped into the station and discovered that they ran 2 trains on a 3000' long coaster with a line that only has enough people to fill the train. I waited for the back and away I went.
The seats are the most comfortable on any looper, slightly reclined and raised gives a great effect. The restraints are comfortable and the station is fun, which of course adds to the effect.
Away we went up the lift where you get a great view of the Ozarks and of the ride. You see the entire layout and it was an absolute ball just enjoying the scenery. I did notice that the drop goes down a good 20 feet past the height of the station; it always seems to be left out in the stats. Oh well!
Well we topped off and did the traditional B&M dip and then the turn. I had heard there was great airtime on this coaster and there was, in the back you get yanked over the first drop getting popped off your seat then floating all the way to the bottom. Soon a trim brake is spotted but it is turned off, and then the perfect Immelman, giving hang time and disorientation to the extreme.
You dive to the right and fly through the vertical loop giving some good hang time and is a high amount of fun. A slight turn to the left sets you up for the cobra roll, a trim brake before it is turned on but very lightly. The cobra role is yet again A+ and then the turn right directly after it is very intense.
You dive into the flat spin slipping elegantly and swiftly. A slight s turn tests you up for the 270-degree helix that is energetic. A quick hop up sets you onto the brake run some 2800’ later.
I was looking forward to Wildfire so much, and boy I was not disappointed again. Even after my whole trip this was the best steel coaster of the trip. It was so smooth, and so much fun, It has held firm as my #3 favorite steel coaster and is by fast the best multi looping coaster I have been on. It gets a 10/10 for the incredible ride effect it gives, I think I’m in love.
Buzzsaw Falls: (yes it is a coaster and it is my #51)
I would say that this only has about 250’ that it is not actually on a coaster track. You get lifted out of the water and go into the triple down which can provide some floating, but nothing significant. Then you do a very long, fairly fast sweeping right turn through the forest gaining speed as time goes on. It does have a bit of a rattle to it, but nothing much. You then a get a bit of a jolt from the chain, not because it is rough, but it is loud when you first connect. The lift goes up surprisingly high and gives a good view of the park, then the drop. It is a really fun drop into the water, the back of the car gets a lot more wet then the front, but all of the people a likely to get a bit of water dumped in their laps during the first part. Strong ride, but nothing special. 7/10
Fire in The Hole: #52
Hmm….. I didn’t know what to expect, it acts like a fast dark ride at first and then goes into a coaster finale that completely sucks, you might as well kip it considering that this was the longest wait of the day at about 20 minutes. 5/10
Thunderation: #53 I have to say that this is a pretty strong mine ride, it is somewhat smooth and the double helix not long after the drop out of the station is really good, and you get a couple surprise pops of air on it. We rode the back backwards car and it was really fun, then we rode in the front car behind the engine and it completely sucked because of the typical poor transitions and odd angles. Still a great family ride, that when backwards it was great fun. 7/10.
This is one of the cleanest, friendliest parks in existence. I’m very much surprised that it hasn’t given Holiday World more competition. The one hill down near Wildfire is insanely steep and very brutal to where I’m sure that more than once people have walked all the way around the park to avoid it.
Don’t miss the flume American Plunge, it is without a doubt one of the best, it has a nice drop and you can get really wet on it. Also the current is a nice leisurely pace so it doesn’t make you feel like you’re on a water slide. I didn’t get a chance to ride Wilderness Watertoboggan because the line was on the first flight of stairs, they were only running one side and it was only every about 2 minutes that a raft would come down. The river rapids really weren’t very good. And the line was kind of long. You don’t get to wet but it wasn’t anything special. Though it is in Branson and is a bit out of the way anyone and everyone should come here to enjoy a great steel coaster Wildfire, and then some good water rides. Branson has now become an annual thing because Wildfire is that awesome and Ozark Wildcat is that awesome (see next TR in a week or so.)
You would have waited a LONG time for the waterboggan even with both sides running if the line was that far down. But it is a fun ride when the raft is full. You can get pretty wet in the back
I agree that the park is absolutely beautiful. I hadn't noticed that on my previous visit 14 years ago, but when I was there this summer in July, it really struck me on the calibur of themeing and landscaping.
-Matt in Iowa
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