Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

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Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby Shavethewhales » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:58 pm

This Photo TR is over a month late because my life has been ridiculously busy lately, but I figure better late than never since SDC is a little bit under-represented in the community considering how big and awesome the park is.

I've got a ton of photos, so I don't know if I'll end up posting every single one here, but if you're pining for more I've got a ton on the SDCFans fansite: http://sdcfans.com/photos/feat/21

Onto the review:

Black Friday is typically one of those days you're warned against hitting up SDC as it tends to be one of if not the most crowded day of the season. However, even if that's so there's still a lot to enjoy about the park even with crowds, so our family always makes the 4 hour trek to the park no matter what. As it turned out, the weather was very good and the park was offering a discount admission promotion that day, so crowds were indeed pretty large. Luckily, SDC is a diverse park with diverse visitors, so I enjoyed myself just the same catching a few rides, looking at lights, watching craftsmen, seeing the parade, eating awesome food, etc.

The next day was cold and wet, so all of those crowds suddenly disappeared! I was able to almost walk onto Powderkeg most of the morning, and Wildfire and TGS were walk ons as well.

Here are the important points that I can remember:

  • The Mine Restaurant is the best restaurant on the park these days, IMO. It's a great all you can eat buffet with salad, drink, and desert included for $15. It's good food too, see my pic below.
  • Wildfire's queue line is perpetually flowing out of the station these days because they refuse to open the queue lines inside the station any more. Maybe out of fear of vandalism or something? If you see a huge line stretching out the doors, it might only be 15 mins wait or less.
  • I got to see a few markers for SDC's 2013 addition along the train route. At this point, construction has actually started with earth moving equipment spotted doing work this weekend. 2012 will be a year of festivals and shows similar to what Dollywood did when Adventure mountain was delayed, but 2013 is pretty much bound to be a huge coaster by the looks of it.
  • Go see the shows, especially at Christmas! I didn't get into the Christmas Carol this year, but I did enjoy Frontier Fa-la-la-la Follies. SDC's shows are much better than most other parks.
  • New light additions this year included more LED replacements of older lights, including a neat blue tree with white flashing icicles that was a really neat effect in person.
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Obligatory entrance shot so you know where we are.
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I believe this one is 5 stories tall.
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Tried to get a unique shot of TGS while looking for construction markers nearby. I'm no good a framing apparently.
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Wildfire looked like this or worse most of the day, but it actually wasn't a terrible wait. It was much worse during Moonlight madness when the line stretched back to AP's queue entrance. It's no wonder Wildfire made a million riders this year with all the promotions.
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Crowded city streets.
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Here's this year's new addition, Half Dollar Hollar, a large play area for very young kids that also includes a refurbished carousel and a kiddie swing ride from CC, among other things.
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The train is still probably the top ride here at SDC. Right now the train cars are in the process of being completely rebuilt.
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Here you can see one of the new train cars (the one with the curved black roof) next to the older style. It's got a bit more head room, but is otherwise pretty similar.
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The old body from that car ended up on the train route at the "crash site". I love how SDC uses pieces of their old attractions as theming. If you look close around the park, you'll see a number of old rides being re used as one thing or another.
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Here's grandpa on the train route to tell us the nativity story. Almost every show at SDC during Christmas involves telling the nativity story in some way.
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Be sure to support SDC's craftsmen and women, they produce some awesome stuff and are always really interesting and informative to watch. This guy uses a small spinning saw to cut intricate designs into glass.
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Here's one of his designs. Keep in mind this is all done with a little spinning saw that's stuck on a table. He has to move the glass around on this wheel to cut the design.
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More glass items in the glass shop.
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Just a guy sticking his rod in a glory hole.
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And now for the best craft of all: the FOOD
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I think most of these are still made on site, hard to say anymore.
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I highly recommend the apple dumpling in cinnamon-vanilla ice cream.
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Fresh cinammon bread right out of the oven.
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ooooooh yeah
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Close up action.
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Here was my best meal at the park. Like I said, this is in the mine restaurant where you get a full buffet for $15, drink included I think.
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The sign for more information.
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Now onto the lights
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I guess I'd better break this up into two posts so it doesn't get too long. More photos coming in a minute!
Last edited by Shavethewhales on Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:31 pm.

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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby Shavethewhales » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:29 pm

Part 2.
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Grandfather's mansion, one of the last of the old-fashioned walkthrough attractions left in the world.
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One of the new LED trees.
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My camera isn't terribly good with low light levels, so bear with me a little on some of these.
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It gets pretty crowded on this street at night. This is the way to go if you don't want to battle the big hill on the other side. With the parade and the tree lighting show, there's always a ton of people trying to move through here.
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It got so crowded they started funneling people through this back entrance way because they were overflowing the turnstiles I assume.
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Did you know SDC sits on land that is leased for 99-years at a time from a church in Branson?
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Gotta love the christmas shops
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The christmas parade is always a cute touch. It's quite small so it can fit SDC's tiny streets, but the kids love it.
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Like everything else it ends with a nativity scene.
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This didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but I was trying to show how the city transforms into a forest of lights. All you can see is trees and lights at night.
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The crowds definitely taper off quickly when the temperature drops. A lot of SDC's visitors are still old people and young families.
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Moving on to the next day: here you can see how much Wildfire sticks out these days. It used to be hard to see until they built the new parking lots.
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It was colder and wet today so the crowds just did not show up again.
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Most of what you can see of ThuNderaTion. No backwards cars on this thing anymore :(
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Marathon riding Wildfire again made me realize the winning formula they have with these things and why Wild Eagle is designed the way it is.
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They hit a good place between fun and thrilling
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and the scenery ain't bad either. There is still an awesome view from the top.
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It being wet meant that Powderkeg kept having to close constantly. Apparently the transfer table can't lift when it's wet. Just a little engineering oversight.
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Yet another attempt to capture PK's fireball.
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The inside of the saloon before the show starts. Like I said, it was quite enjoyable.
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God I love the trees here
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I think this is where I'll stop. Thanks for reading!

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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby mattnz » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:39 pm

Your photos of the cinnamon made my mouth water!

Do you know why the Thunderation trains were changed to forwards only? That's a shame. It was a rather unique experience riding backwards.

Beautiful park in a beautiful part of the country.
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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby Philrad71 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:03 pm

Thanks for sharing! Yuu are definitely way ahead of me with trying to get my Dollywood X-Mas in the Smokies P-TR done. It sucks to have to go back to work! :(

I can't believe how similar this looks to the Dollywood Christmas event. Being that they are owned by the same company, I guess I should expect that....and also make plans to hit SDC next winter for this event!
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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby Shavethewhales » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:42 pm

^^The official line is something along the lines of going back to what the ride was originally designed for. Apparently it opened with only forward facing cars, and even though it operated for well over a decade with the backwards cars somebody looked at it last year and decided it wasn't acceptable anymore. Must have been somebody trying to sue over neck injury or an insurance company being pissy or something. It really sucks because they truly added to the ride and made it more unique.

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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby donkeyman18 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:07 pm

This is a very nice park would love to Go Up there one day!

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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby XII » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:42 pm

Great Photos of Silver Dollar City. Their Christmas Event looks fabulous. I really need to get back to this awesome park.
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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby forces » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:56 am

Thanks for posting the great photos!! I went to SDC for the first time this past season and loved it. Hopefully I will be able to make it during the Christmas season sometime. I do totally agree with your comments concerning the Mine Restaurant...good food, buffet style in a cool setting.
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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby Brent » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:26 pm

Wildfire looked like this or worse most of the day, but it actually wasn't a terrible wait. It was much worse during Moonlight madness when the line stretched back to AP's queue entrance. It's no wonder Wildfire made a million riders this year with all the promotions.


Crazy thinking the line could get like that in December... We went July 3-5th and there was absolutely no line at all for practically everything in the park. Would've thought it'd be the complete opposite, lol.

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Re: Photo TR: Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas

Postby Shavethewhales » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:41 pm

^The park had a lot of days like that this summer, unfortunately. It was so hot and the economy of the surrounding area has been in the toilet. Branson tourism in general was way down this year. It was really only in December that things really picked back up. The park experienced some of their best weekends ever last month, due largely to a slew of discounts and some nice weather for once.

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