Silver Dollar City to retire Fire In The Hole

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

From the press release:

For those who are park fans and Fire In The Hole aficionados, or for those who have never experienced the internationally-awarded Silver Dollar City before, all riders have the opportunity to become part of the journey of this legendary coaster. To celebrate, park creative teams are deep in the process of planning Fire In The Hole special events, parkwide fun and promotions, kicking off March 11 with Spring Break and culminating at the end of December.

“More than 25 million guests have been entertained by the Fire In the Hole adventure since the attraction opened a half-century ago,” said Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City Attractions. “Today’s riders include grandparents who remember riding when THEY were kids, and now they share the fun and unique experience with THEIR grandkids!”

The ride’s storyline is modeled after the real-life mining town, Marmaros, that was located atop Marvel Cave and home to residents of long-ago Ozarks. The attraction, novel in its introduction in 1972, has fire-brigade themed trains that twist, turn and drop into a burning town where riders are the volunteer firefighters, saving the citizens and battling the flames before getting soaked themselves.

The announcement of the Grand Finale season coincides with preparation of unprecedented growth slated for the next ten years at Silver Dollar City’s Branson properties.

While there is no official word what is ahead, park leadership says they are keenly aware that the iconic ride holds a place in the record books of attractions of the world, therefore, what comes next must carry on the legacy.

Industry experts support the claims. “Fire In The Hole is a true classic from years past – a unique ride that's a must-ride every park visit,” said Duane Marden, one of the attraction industry’s key experts and founder of RCDB (Roller Coaster Data Base). “Custom-built, enclosed roller coasters are an uncommon thing and Silver Dollar City has operated Fire In The Hole longer than any other. I'm grateful that Silver Dollar City is giving guests fair notice to enjoy this classic ride for one final season.”

Travelers from all over the world are known to come to Silver Dollar City to notch Fire In The Hole in their rider logs of classic coasters. Word from one European expert substantiates the worldwide reputation. “Fire In The Hole is a special ride. As it enters the final season, I feel it should be celebrated for the ground-breaking ride that it is. I sincerely hope I can get back to the park for one last ride,” said Justin Garvanovic, founder of the European Coaster Club. “Knowing what a superb park Silver Dollar City is, I fully expect what is coming next will be something very special – wonderful in a brilliant way, as we Brits would say.”

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For those of you who don't follow the park closely, this is one of the worst kept secrets in the industry. The park already is working on "Fire in the Hole 2.0" in Fireman's Landing to the degree that they've already built the show building and there's a bunch of RMC-style track sitting in a maintenance area.



For those of you who don't follow the park closely, this is one of the worst kept secrets in the industry. The park already is working on "Fire in the Hole 2.0" in Fireman's Landing to the degree that they've already built the show building and there's a bunch of RMC-style track sitting in a maintenance area

i figured as such. Basically reimagining/updating the ride like WoF is doing with Zinger.

I guess we’ll just have to rely on Dolly’s Blazing Fury for similar (but in my opinion slightly inferior) fun from there on.
My understanding is that after so many years of operation Fire in The Hole fell into such disrepair that SDC (in spite of its eye toward nostalgia) has decided to cut their losses. Dollywood took a completely different approach. They removed the damaging waterfall/splashdown feature, replaced operating systems, and repaired structural damage to the building. The next time you’re up on the platform boarding Wild Eagle take a second and admire the seldom-seen view of the rear and roof of Blazing Fury’s building. It has a size and scope that is surprising and from the midway it seems tucked away. An old-timer ride op (Dollywood has a lot of those) told me the building was in such decrepit shape that they almost lost it. Fortunately that didn’t happen.
SDC’s ride is the OG and Dolly’s came second. The Baldknobber theme and story line lends itself well to SDC and speaks to the history and lore of the area. Blazing Fury’s story isn’t as authentic, lol.
Hopefully the new ride will revive some of that nostalgia while supplying family-oriented thrills for a new generation. The location is behind the Fireman’s Landing family area. If it’s a high-thrill ride I’ll be shocked.
I understand the old building will be razed and the space will be used for a new, larger train station, which is needed. The present location lacks a queue and a bottleneck forms on busy days.

“Red Flanders, you come back in here and put on yer pants!”
“Well Sadie I ain’t got no pants no more! The dang Baldknobbers stole em!”
“Stole em! What in the Sam Hill would they do with yer pants?”
“Why, I think they wanted the gold in the pockets!”

Now, there’s some good, home-spun fun I’m gonna miss.

If they are replacing the ride it’s an improvement for two reasons.

The ride belongs in Fireman’s Landing

if they tear down the building, it will open the Outlaw Run area which is an awkward one-way-in-and-out path currently

I’m not sure about that. They could easily complete a loop if both Fire in the Hole and the Opera House were removed, but there has to be room for the new train station, and the railroad tracks run right along there between the two areas. I know anything is possible but there’s also an elevation change from Fire in the Hole to Wilson’s Farm that sits well below, so a bridge or a tunnel would be called for.
Along those same lines though, the new ride, depending on orientation, could complete a loop between Fireman’s Landing and the back side of Grand Exposition/Red Gold Heritage Hall which is also a weird dead end. I haven’t seen or looked for any photos that show the new building and the track.
I also haven’t been to the park since Time Travelers’s debut season so this will be a good reason for me to get back to one of my all time favorite parks.

Jephry's avatar

I’m really bummed to hear this news. After riding Blazing Fury, I was hoping I’d get to ride its twin in the next few years. Looks like no.

I love these older rides. Cheesy, sure. But I love the incredible amount of creativity that goes into them. When my partner and I went to Dollywood last year, we rode it twice. My partner was surprised that I wanted to ride it for a second time, but the ride was so much fun. You notice so many things on a second or third ride. I’ll likely ride it every time I visit.

I’m bummed RMC is doing the redo mainly because RMC restraints and me don’t get along well, I hope they aren’t as restrictive on a less forceful ride.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

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