Old SDC Ride Concepts

Every year the park considers a slew of potential attraction concepts to be implemented in the park. As SDC places tremendous value in customer feedback, the park often utilizes concept surveys to gauge which concept would be best received at the park. This page documents some of the concepts we have been exposed to over the years, but have not yet made it into the park.

From 2004:

Doppelmayr Suspended Coaster

One of the four roller coaster concepts proposed in 2004 for the 2005 season (Powderkeg was obviously the chosen one), this was apparently going to be a small suspended coaster by Doppelmayr, an international cable car and transportation company who also produces a single car suspended coaster product. Doppelmayr’s suspended coasters consist of a singular track rail supported by a series of convoluted-looking towers. The trains are single row suspended cars with 4 seats. Instead of traditional lifts, elevators are used to get the cars to the start of the ride. The goal of the ride is to create a soft, flying experience through the trees. Vertigo is currently the only Doppelmayr coaster in existence. This concept seemed to be one of the more favored ideas for 2005, but low capacity issues, among other things, probably shot this concept down. It’s a good thing too, as this ride concept had a horrible start at Walibi Belgium, where the first prototype was ultimately removed after serious issues plagued the ride from the start.

The Great Mine Ride

Another coaster concept suggested in 2004, this would have been a classic mine train coaster that may have possibly been a replacement for ThuNderaTion, as it’s somewhat unlikely that the park would have two mine train roller coasters. I don’t remember much from what the description said, but it sounded like this coaster would have contained one or more unusually long tunnels and may have dived through some type of barn.

The Great Barn Play Area

This was yet another of the many concepts that were presented in 2004, but was also one of the first to be knocked off the list. Just as it sounds, this was a giant play area inside a barn, much like Geyser Gulch. Obviously, as Geyser Gulch filled that particular draw of the park quite well, this option was easily deemed as less needed than the others.

The Ice House Coaster

Somewhat of a forerunner to what is now Mystery Mine at Dollywood, this mostly indoor roller coaster involved singular cars skirting around a small, tight track inside of an old Ice House. Ice Houses were used in old times to store massive chunks of ice that were taken from ponds and lakes during the summer, so that they could be used for early refrigerator-like buildings and meatlockers.

The concept, however, is not exactly new to SDC. One of our resident SDC history experts, “Old Guy” states:

The Ice House concept is an old one. It came from SDC’s first design guru, indeed the man responsible for the entire look of SDC , the flooded mine, Grandfathers, the tree house, float trip, and long forgotten buildings like the silver palace theater off of main street, and the patent office which is now the funnel cake shop by the blacksmiths. I’m speaking of the late Andy Miller of whom the parks internal Andy award is named. Back in the early 70′s he was hard at work on a design concept for an attraction called Superstition Walk. Late in its development plans changed for a bigger budget attraction, and he came up with the Ice house coaster. The drawing you have is his and hung in his office for years. It to was scrapped in favor of Rube Dugans. In the Mid 80′s I borrowed the concept and turned it into a suspended coaster with ice block cars slung from big tongs to sit on the back side of lake silver. This along with a dozen or more concepts (including another big coaster which I’ll talk about another time) were taken to a school in St. Louis where we asked the kids and there mothers which concepts the liked. Where as coasters were the kid faves, they were at the bottom for moms. The compromise ride voted on was the lost river. And it was so. Another incarnation? I’d love to see it.

 

This was probably the second most popular choice among the two 2005 new ride survey ballots, at least among the enthusiasts. Being as it was before Gerstauler really came on the scene, we may never know exactly what was in mind for this ride, as it may have been too early for Gerstauler to release their Euro-fighter concept (see Mystery Mine at Dollywood). In later months, after the surveys went away but the choice left unannounced, speculation grew wildly about the ice house concept, and it eventually turned in the minds of many from something like an indoor wild-mouse to a giant B&M inverted coaster. Nowadays, next to the much-requested wooden coaster, the Ice House concept remains a popular topic among enthusiasts, especially seeing as SDC may eventually use the theme for a future variation of Dollywood’s Mystery Mine.

Shot Tower

The last concept from 2004, this looked and sounded exactly like an S&S shot tower. From what I remember, this would have blasted out of either the top of a barn or a mine shaft. It’s also possible that this would have been a drop tower themed to falling ‘shot’, as in metal pellets that are dropped from the top of a tower to cool. Picture courtesy of Joy’s SDC Photos.

From 2006:

A special thanks to Forum member ‘Copper’ for some of these.

Flash Flood Rapids

Description:

“Ride the massive flood surge through Ozark Mountain canyons and gorges. The town is flooded again, so prepare to hang on tight as you escape the approaching deluge. There’s no time to admire the scenery as your raft is tossed about the rapids. The turbulent waters send your raft pitching through a flooded village where you learn that a giant surge is heading your way. Suddenly, a wall of water rushes towards you and you find yourself riding a huge wave the way back to the start of your adventure.”

This sounds like it would have been a re-hab of the current Lost River Of The Ozarks, as it’s unlikely the park would have two attractions so similar. However, it should be noted that in 2010 the park added an additional river ride (Tom and Huck’s RiverBlast), but this one has a unique twist — the entire 5-minute ride is a giant watergun battle between the riders and landlubbers situated at various stations at the river’s edge!

River Rapid Falls: The amazing Adventure of Lewis and Clark

Description:

“You’ll encounter amazing sights and sudden perils in this thrilling river experience- from menacing rapids and hostile animals to falling rocks and a dark, scary cave. It all culminates with a sudden, unexpected plunge over a pounding waterfall that brings your voyage of discovery to a spectacular climax.”

This sounds a bit like it could have either been a new high-capacity Intamin or Mack flume, or a re-model of the American Plunge.

Creature in the Creek

Description:

The spooky legend of Boggy Creek comes to life in this dark ride concept. Mystery and surprises await you as you embark on a nighttime rafting journey down fog-shrouded Boggy Creek in search of the elusive “Creature in the Creek” You’ll soon find yourself carried by the current into an ominous cave populated by unfriendly critters. More dangers follow: raging rapids, a violent whirlpool and falling trees. Then, suddenly, you are face to face with the fearsome creature in the Creek itself as this dramatic water-based dark ride escalates to a thrilling climax.

Again, this concept sounds like it could have been a re-build of either the Lost River or The American Plunge Adventure

Mountain Base Camp

Description:

“Four outdoor adventure “Countries” spoke-off from Base Camp; with a variety of outdoor activities to appeal to a wide array of guest interests and activities suitable for different age ranges and the whole family. 1. Great outdoor adventure begins at Adventure Mountain Base Camp- your getaway to four exciting adventure countries. There’s Mountain Country with its cave trails, segway paths and other mountain activities. 2. Extreme Country, where you can zip, glide, kayak, or climb like an X-Games champion. 3. Kids Country for fishing, hiking, summer tobogganing and even tree climb. 4. Amazing Adventures, where you can go on family expeditions, enjoy day and sleepover camps and embark on overnight adventures.”

Much of this sounds like one of those huge adventure courses with the massive climbing towers and other gimmicks, but it also sounds like it may have been an add-on to the existing camp-grounds.

Timber Tower

This was one of the three concepts presented in 2006 for the 2007 season. This would have been a Huss Topple Tower directly similar to Dollywood’s Timberrrrr… Tower, which has suffered numerous problems, especially during the 2007 season. Most topple towers don’t seem to have too many problems, but DW’s sure has managed to find all sorts of ways to break down for weeks at a time. Lower than expected guest satisfaction at Dollywood’s version of the ride and all the malfunctions, besides being the weak contender among the other two propositions, made the demise of this concept early on. Here’s the description that was in the survey:

“Brave sky-high thrills when you confront the incredible Timber Tower. Crossing an old wooden bridge that spans a pond jam-packed with logs, you rise to the top of the majestic old pine for a stunning treetop view of the park. Then hold on tight as your scenic view is about to come to a crashing halt. With a mighty CRACK and a cry of “tim-berrrr!” the tree suddenly topples over, sending you on a white-knuckle plunge toward the surface of the pond, where jets of water sprinkle you! But the mighty tree isn’t done for yet: with a powerful heave, it rights itself, only to fall several more times in different directions, but always stopping just short of impact.”

 

Pendulum Swing

The other proposed concept for 2007, this would have been a Huss Frisbee that would have stood on the far left side of the Grand Expo, next to the flying elephants ride. Here’s the description that was used on the survey:

“Silver Dollar City’s new Grand Exposition has just gotten bigger. Standing behind the Red Gold Exposition Hall is the Exposition’s newest ride, one of the most exciting rides ever built at Silver Dollar City, The Amazing Pendulum Swing. This new ride is the featured attraction at the Grand Exposition of 1882, standing nearly 75 feet tall, with a giant pendulum arm that swings riders back in forth while rotating over 110 degrees. This unique attraction is not for the faint-of-heart as it reaches speeds of nearly 60 miles per hour as it swings back and forth, high above the grounds of Silver Dollar City’s new Grand Exposition. The ride soars out over cascading water and shooting fountains that spray bursts of water onto some of the riders, adding yet another element of thrill and suspense to the attraction.”