Clearing Continues On Apparent New Coaster Project

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Large scale clearing has continued at Silver Dollar City in preparation for what we can only assume is a major new roller coaster project. The clearing is now readily noticeable behind Echo Hollow and next to ThuNderaTion. The change in the scenery when riding TNT is drastic: the once hidden helix and swoop through the woods is now completely exposed on one side. As we noted back in May, a large cut was made into the hillside next to TNT’s lift hill, which is now occupied by construction office trailers. The clearing shows off the large expanse of land that was previously hidden in this area; easily enough for a large new coaster. The survey stakes that clearly state ‘CL Coaster’ and ‘CL support’ are still there.

 

On the other side of Echo Hollow the majority of the current action is taking place. New utility lines are being placed down the hill, and a large new excavation has been made on the East side of the amphitheater next to the concession stand that is nearly always closed. It’s speculated that this will be a new set of restrooms to replace the set being demolished on the other side. We will probably see the Echo Hollow entrance moved closer to this side as well.

 

It’s still not easy to photograph the construction from inside the park without breaking any rules (do NOT take a camera on any coasters), but here is what I was able to snap with my cellphone from the TNT queue and EH:

2017 Project Construction Update – 5/21/16

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The 2017 project is already well underway it seems. Construction markings are flourishing in the area around ThuNderaTion and Echo Hollow. The markers clearly identify the centerline of a new roller coaster, complete with arrows apparently depicting the direction of travel. There is also a lot of electrical line work going on, with orange markings leading out from the TNT station and near the power box by Echo Hollow.

The ride markings make a tight loop mostly encircling the Echo Hollow restroom building, with markers leading off down into the valley behind the amphitheater. At least one marker can also be spotted within the turn of ThuNderaTion following the dive out of the tunnel.

The small gravel area that has always been next to ThuNderaTion’s lift hill has been expanded and had fresh gravel added, and a tall chain link fence with high wires has been added around the coaster. This is obviously going to be a major staging area. If you are quick, you can also spot a large clearing being made on the entrance road just past the turnoff where an access road is being added into the area.

At this rate, I would not be surprised to see actual clearing for the coaster itself begin next month, but that’s my assumption.

 

 

New Construction Markings Show Up at SDC

Our observant friends at midwestinfoguide.com have spotted a number of orange construction markings at Silver Dollar City in the area just above the Echo Hollow amphitheater. You can check out the photos and summary here on the MIG blog. It seems the color of the markings indicates that some communication utilities are being relocated in the area. While these specific markings could just be related to upgrades or maintenance at the amphitheater, rumors have already been starting to swirl about a major new attraction for Silver Dollar City in 2017.

While so many park rumors are little more than gossip or hearsay, one can pick up a hunch that something big is on the way to the park within the next couple of seasons just by observing the recent patterns in park development. The 2017 season will be four years removed from the opening on Outlaw Run, which is not a large gap but matches the gap between Wildfire and Powderkeg. In recent years the park has followed a pattern of adding large additions every other year with smaller projects or no development in the years in between. This year is seemingly one of those “dry” years, after the $10 million Fireman’s Landing addition in 2015. Dollywood, Silver Dollar City’s sister park in Tennessee, has been adding new coasters like crazy in the past decade as they transform into a resort destination.

There are certainly no guarantees that any of this means anything other than that some utilities have been located, but you can be sure that the park’s fans will be eagle-eyed all season long for any markings, clearings, or equipment that might indicate something new on the way.

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