Silver Dollar City Tips

D_vo's avatar

Hey all... I'm going to SDC for my first time this Saturday, and I'm looking for tips. Given that it's peak season, I'm probably looking at buying the Trailblazer pass in some form (either the 8 use option or the all day option). I think I'm going to do the cave tour, but a little turned off by the 90-minute run time, as I'll only have one day at the park. Anyway, I figured this would be a good place to get some tips. Is there a ride I should hit first thing in the morning? Any must-have foods, or must-see shows? And is the all-day Trailblazer worth it, or is the 8-use option enough? Thanks in advance :)

I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

Not ride-related, but... If you get there bright and early, the City has an opening ceremony with the raising of the flag. It’s in the “square” just inside the entrance. They invite any and all veterans in attendance to participate and (while I’m not a huge flag-waiver and was never military) it usually manages to bring a tear to my eye. I always think of my dad.

On a brighter note, just off the square, kind of hidden down the hill to the left is the Apple Store. (Check your map) Like Apple butter? SDC has the best I’ve ever tasted. Sheryl is a kind, sweet lady who will serve you a warm apple turnover with a big slap of apple butter on top. If she’s there tell her Mac from Ohio says hello. It’s usually my breakfast, she’s open early before rope drop. For a later meal the Mill has a great fried chicken buffet, not unlike what you find at Dollywood

Ok, now for rides. Down the hill to the right is ThuNderaTion and right there is Time Traveler as well. They get busy at park opening. Way in the back is Outlaw Run so that might be a good starting point. There are lots of good flats, a whole area of them if you like that sort of thing. Don’t miss Grandfather’s Mansion, an old fashioned Mystery Hill type of walk thru, or the Swinging Bridge. Do NOT miss the train, it’s a show in itself, good corny fun, and there are great views of OR from it.

Otherwise, ride all the rides. The cave is fun, but time-consuming. And it can be tiring. Look in all the stores, the shopping and crafts there are better than Dolly’s. The candy store has a demo show as well as the glass blower and both are fun.

SDC is probably my favorite theme park, and I wish it was closer to me. It’s so beautiful there, the detail is never-ending, everyone is nice, and the rides are great. Have fun, you may ache for an extra day.

I agree Silver Dollar City is one of those places that is quietly one of the best theme parks in the country. The setting is pleasant, the staff is nice, and the whole park has charm for days.

"Thank the Phoneticians!"

Sawblade5's avatar

From my experience as SDC is one of my home parks, If you are going this Saturday and are wanting a Trailblazer 8 Ride Pass, I recommend reserving online as it will sell out as this is opening night for Moonlight Madness. They sell very limited quantities compared to similar systems at other parks.

Also since you are a first time visitor there, I very highly recommend you add a 2nd day to your visit. There's so many shows to see and you really need to see the cave. Also Sunday will be way less crowded than Saturday.

I might head on down there this weekend so I can qualify for the Ornament at the end of the Season on my Season Pass.

Edited to add: Outlaw Run at night is Amazing, however Time Traveler will unfortantly close at night due to Fireworks.

Last edited by Sawblade5,

Chris Knight

I'd second the recommendation for a second day, as SDC is best enjoyed slowly, but if you only have one day I think that with the unlimited Trailblazer you'd be able to do everything you'd want to do.

The roads to the park are all winding one lane mountain roads, so I'd get there early so you have time to park, take the tram or walk to the entrance, get in, and relax a bit before park open (or join the Time Traveler queue, as they were letting people do last year). Those roads can get very slow and congested if you wait too long. Take advantage of the free parking.

While definitely a bit of a commitment, you're missing one of the highlights of the park if you skip the Cave. It'll be a busy day, so they'll have tours running more or less continuously til they stop the tours around 4/5. The actual tour is around 60 minutes (90 min for the upcharge Lantern tour), plus whatever your wait would be (and the queue is tiny and doesn't hold more than around 3 tours anyhow). The tours are advertised as running every 15/20 minutes; however, in practice they will run more frequently than that if they're busy (which they certainly will be the day you visit). Generally on those busy days they will start a new tour as soon as the previous tour has exited the first room after they've heard the safety info, etc. You're probably ok to do the cave timewise if you have the Trailblazer since they're open late.

The Homestead Pickers are my favorite regularly-scheduled entertainment, but the Saloon show is usually fun too. The entertainers park-wide can sometimes get a bit Jesus-y for my taste, but they're all very talented. I'd try and catch something even if you're just strolling by.

Expect to get soaked on any water ride, including the log flume. Don't miss Grandfather's Mansion, a walkthrough funhouse just off the main square.

Keep in mind that even though the park is technically open til 10, it's pretty much just the rides after 7 PM. If there are any SDC non-ride activities you want to do, make sure you hit them before then.

Silver Dollar City is a special place. Make sure you allow time to explore the park, you'll be glad you did.

Last edited by ThemeParkFan1990,
D_vo's avatar

Awesome, thanks! This is good info. I was hoping to do a Friday Night/Saturday Day 2-day trip, but they're only open until 7:00 this evening, so I won't be able to get there in time. And my flight schedule on Sunday basically prohibits any chance at a 2nd day. But I did get the all-day Trailblazer, so I'll try to get plenty of rides, see the cave, and try to catch some of the Live E. Very excited to try this place out, as I've heard it's similar in charm to Dollywood, which is one of my favorite parks. Maybe I'll even put together a rare trip report, haha. Appreciate the advice!

I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

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