Saturday, April 7, 2001 9:56 PM
I hadn't been to Silver Dollar City in a few years (even though I live about 2-3 hours away), so the park was pretty much new to me, and I was very pleasantly surprised.
We intended on arriving early, but we took a LONG way (not on purpose :)), so we arrived about 11 am. When we got in, we immediately went to Wildfire. The wait was only about 10 minutes, and we got on somewhere in the middle (3, I believe). The ride was short, but good. The first drop (of course) provided good air. Then you enter a diving loop, which is surprisingly intense if you're in the front. You also get pretty good air coming out of the dive loop. From there it's the typical B&M fare - loop, cobra roll, corkscrew, heavily banked corner, then you're back. It's all very smooth, of course (I heard a woman say after riding that it was very rough - that's right, she said a non-Iron Wolf B&M is rough. I guess she needs to try an SLC :)) One nice thing about the ride is that it is short enough to not have a mid-course break run. Wildfire delivers a ride similar to the Kumba, except of course much shorter, so if you're expecting it to be as good, then you might be disappointed. However, I thought it was great, and it does quite a bit in its relatively short length. The observation deck immediately outside the exit was pretty cool, too. Even without the coaster, it offers a good view, and you do get a good view of the coaster (at least the second half - the deck is VERY close to the cobra roll, so you get a great view of that). After our first ride, we rode 8 more times, then left to see the rest of the park. One interesting note - there was a photographer from Park World snapping pics from the ground. He took some pics of the train coming down the drop, out of the loop, and out of the cobra roll while we were there.
The only other coaster we rode was Thunderation. This coaster surprised me. I think it's easily the best mine train I've been on, and it's even fairly decent compared to other coasters as well.
We rode once facing forward and once facing backward, and for some reason I thought it was much better facing forward. There is a massive lift hill (the only one on the ride) right before the end, that seemed to me kind of a waste. They could have put the lift hill earlier in the ride and made the ride much faster and more intense, but I guess that's probably why they didn't place it earlier (it is supposed to be a family ride, right?).
Another thing that surprised me about the park was the kiddie area (at least I'm guessing it was supposed to be a kiddie area), Geyser Gulch. It has water guns, nerf guns, and other fun stuff in it. I couldn't help but think that such things would cost money at a bigger park, but it was all free. Splash Harbor, which is technically separate from Geyser Gulch (but it's right next to it) was much of the same, except you shoot other people with water I can't wait to go back with rain ponchos - heh, heh), not just targets and stuff. Overall, it was fun (we spent about an hour and a half there :)) even though the area might not have been designed with our age group in mind, if you know what I mean...
We only caught two of the Worldfest shows (Russian band and Russian national theater), both of which were very good. I plan on seeing all of the other Worldfest shows (there are 10 more) before it ends. It was also interesting seeing people in Worldfest attire riding rides between shows. :)
After we rode Thunderation the second time, we walked over to Wildfire again, but the line was not as short (probably about a 30-40 minute wait), so we decided to leave (about 5:00).
SDC is a small park, and it does have the perks that most small parks seem to have. The parking is free (!!), food and refreshments are not terribly
overpriced, souvenirs are comparatively
cheap, and the staff is very friendly. If you're planning on passing through the area, I would definitely recommend it (and if you're not planning on passing through, then I recommend that you pass through ;)).
*** This post was edited by Lothar on 4/8/2001. ***
*** This post was edited by Lothar on 4/8/2001. ***
Sunday, April 8, 2001 4:56 AM
what about Buzzsaw Falls it wasn't open?
Sunday, April 8, 2001 8:38 AM
Buzzsaw Falls was open; we just didn't ride it. I guess we'll have to ride it next time.
Sunday, April 8, 2001 2:10 PM
what did you think of the Wildfire station? I thought it was themed great with some neat stuff to look at while you waited to ride and did you notice the big balloon/airplane-thingie up in the top, inside, of the gift shop you walk thru after Wildfire? I also liked how the lights up in the tanks where the mist comes from while the train is dispatching change from green to red. SDC always adds alot of little touches to their ride ques and stations.
Sunday, April 8, 2001 4:30 PM
what did you think of the Wildfire station?
The stuff I looked at was pretty interesting, but the queue line moved fast enough that I never really had time to look at much (a good thing of course ;)). Did you ever have time to look at the poster with the black bulb on it? I didn't read it until my last time, so I never got a chance to try it out.
...did you notice the big balloon/airplane-thingie up in the top, inside, of the gift shop you walk thru after Wildfire?
Nope. I definitely missed that! Sounds cool; I guess I'll have to check it out one of the many other times I plan to go. :)
I also liked how the lights up in the tanks where the mist comes from while the train is dispatching change from green to red.
Dang! I missed that, too. I guess I wasn't being too observant. I guess I had been anticipating the ride so long, I was too excited to notice the small stuff. :)
When you rode it, were they directing people to rows? They started doing it while we were riding, and it seemed to make a small difference. Also, they let you pick your row if you had a preference, so you couldn't get stuck with a row you didn't want. And you were right about the guy at the entrance of the ride making SURE that nothing got on. You would think they'd had bomb threats or something. They even had shelves to put stuff next to the ride. Why wouldn't they just let you leave your stuff there?
One more thing - how wet do you get on Buzzsaw Falls? We were afraid to ride it for fear of getting soaked early in the day (which was pointless because I ended up getting soaked at Splash Harbor anyway).
Monday, April 9, 2001 11:42 AM
Stay to the middle and on the left side of the boat/car on Buzzsaw and you don't get soaked, you'll still get wet though, just not "soaked".
Last wednesday and thursday when I rode Wildfire you could choose which row you wanted.
"Secure all loose articles. No cell phones, no bowling balls, no javelins are allowed on Wildfire... sir don't even think about taking that anvil on the ride..."
*** This post was edited by Jimbo on 4/9/2001. ***