Opening day for the 2015 season got off to a fairly lackluster start. Rain prevented the typical opening ceremony involving the raising of the flag and the pledge of allegiance (at the same time honoring service members in attendance). Instead we huddled around the main square until opening time when the chains simply dropped and over half of those in attendance made a beeline to the big new attraction: Fireman’s Landing.
Fireman’s Landing is a smash hit. Just the sight of it is very impressive and does a great job of exuding the SDC charm while also packing in the exciting rides and adventures that young families are craving. It’s a little more tight in the area than a photo perspective will give you, but you don’t really notice all of the rides until you are in the center of it. The firestation building is magnificent, and really turns this area into a thematic experience. There are so many awesome details it’s hard to go through them all off of my memory. There are lots of cool little interactive things, neat little details in the theming (like the ladder canopies), phone charging stations, good theming detail inside the buildings and out, and of course the awesome color palette and paint job on the rides. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful the area is. It also keeps up with a lot of SDC theming conventions, including individualized “store” name signs on the buildings next to the fire station.
One of the few things I didn’t like was the soundtrack in the area. The music is fine, but every other minute it is cut with a booming voice that either advertises a nearby park restaurant or makes some corny joke over and over again. I hope this gets adjusted soon, or parents waiting on kids will be driven insane. I also didn’t like how they left the toy store. It used to be huge, and I understand they had to do some things due to ADA, but what’s left is kind of an ugly Frankenstein building. Taking out the ivy canopy also exposed the backside of the theatre, which is ugly. I feel like they’ll revisit this area soon to pretty it back up.
It’s a little weird seeing so many rides smashed into a prominent area of the park now. On Lake Silver you can now see all of Fireman’s Landing’s six rides, plus TGS, Lost River, and Outlaw Run. That’s very different than the SDC I grew up with, but I think they’ve done as much as they can to make it not feel like a run-of-the-mill theme park even with all the ride additions that are now the meat of the park. Fireman’s Landing is a whole class above any “family” area of it’s kind at any other park.
Also of note, 2015 marks the 55th year of operation for Silver Dollar City.