USA Today’s 10-Best Website Poll Includes 2 SDC Attractions

USA Today has a yearly tradition of running various online polls focusing on the best places and things around the U.S. The polls are hardly scientific, but they do add exposure and a small marketing boost for the covered attractions. As expected, each attraction appeals to its fanbase to encourage more votes. This year Silver Dollar City is represented in two categories: Best New Theme Park Attraction (Fireman’s Landing) and Best Roller Coaster (Outlaw Run). One of the downsides of the 10Best platform is a limited (and biased) selection of options, so SDC doesn’t seem to appear on the best entertainment or park restaurants lists. Dollywood is also included in a few lists, including a restaurant.

 

We encourage our readers to pop in and contribute to SDC’s vote counts. While the poll is fairly meaningless, I know the park appreciates our support. If you are feeling generous you can even vote once each day until the poll closes.

 

Vote for Fireman’s Landing Here.

Vote for Outlaw Run Here.

Fireman’s Landing has Grand Opening and Dedication

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Fireman’s Landing has been open to guests since the beginning of the season, but on Saturday the park was host to hundreds of firefighters from around the country to present an official grand opening ceremony and dedication. Uniformed firefighters led a parade through the streets of the city to Fireman’s Landing, where the grand opening activities included a call to volunteerism with firefighters leading kids in the “Firefighter’s Pledge” to serve.

 

One of our own SDCFans members, who goes by the username of “Swoosh”, led the California High School Pinto Pride Band in the procession and performance at the Landing.

 

A feature of the new area is a sign constructed out of materials from the former Geyser Gulch, on which is a “Firefighter’s Pledge”. After stating the pledge, patrons are encouraged to ring a bell affixed to the sign. The pledge monument within Fireman’s Landing is preceded by Outlaw Run’s monument to law enforcement personnel.

 

Check out the official press release here.

Get more Information on Fireman’s Landing here on the official site.

Silver Dollar City Opening Day 2015

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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.

Silver Dollar City Introduces New Character

Silver Dollar City has a long tradition of creating characters to go along with the theme and storyline of the park. At one point, all of the park’s “citizens” had their own back-stories and individualized costumes. Various major additions to the park such as Rube Dugan’s Diving Bell saw special characters created along with them, including of course, the namesake Rube Dugans, who was originally supposed to continue his legacy in Geyser Gulch.

With the creation of Fireman’s Landing, Silver Dollar City is turning back to this old practice with a new twist: LUCKY The Rescue Doghas been created to prowl Fireman’s Landing and somehow entertain guests. It’s not clear just yet how this character will operate within the area, but one would expect photo opportunities and meet and greets to be a major part of it similar to other parks with well-known roving characters. While this character may not have the name-brand recognition of other costumed characters, it is sure to delight the very young guests that part of Fireman’s Landing is to cater to.

A depiction of Lucky can be found at the bottom of the official page.

Get more information on Fireman’s Landing here on the official page.

Fireman’s Landing Topped Off with Iconic Bell

Another milestone in the construction of the huge new Fireman’s Landing area of Silver Dollar City was reached today with the setting of the iconic firehouse bell atop the new Firehouse #3.

KSPR had a great little interview with park general manager Brad Thomas in the early morning hours before the lift that you can view here. SDC Fans were thrilled to hear Brad once again briefly recount the intriguing original story that lies behind the encompassing theme of Silver Dollar City and point out how Fireman’s Landing continues that storyline into the new generation. A video of the actual lift was posted to SDC’s Facebook which can be viewed Here.

Get more information about Fireman’s Landing on the Official Page.

Fireman’s Landing Update – Nov. 30, 2014

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Silver Dollar City is speeding along with the construction of Fireman’s Landing, the new area of the park that will feature 10 new family-friendly rides and attractions including the rebirth of the foam ball play area. Since our last update from ACE’s Coaster Christmas event, the most notable progress has been made on the facade of the new Firehouse. As you can see in some of the photos, they’ve already got siding on the front of the shot tower.

Other additions of note include more progress on the shade structure over the balloons’ queue line. It reminds me of the original queue line it had back in Tom Sawyer’s Landing, and with it out in front I think it will help the balloons blend into the park better since they won’t be quite as visible from that angle as I had previously thought.

More concrete work has also been done, and the operation booth for the Fire Wagon seems to be in place. The structures in the lake left over from the Greedy Bros. and Geyser Gulch will apparently disappear during the off-season.

Over in the toy shop adjacent to the new area, things are obviously being cleared out as everything is on sale and isn’t being restocked. Rumor is that this store will receive an extensive make-over to both make it more accessible and to extend its use for products that compliment the new area.

For more information about Fireman’s Landing, check out the official page.

 

Fireman’s Landing Update (Coaster Christmas)

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A major component of the ACE Coaster Christmas event this year was a backstage tour of the construction of Fireman’s Landing. The park opened up the center area to us, and had some of the construction leads on hand to answer our questions. Even for coaster-oriented folks, this area really seemed to impress everyone in attendance. It’s a great package of family-friendly rides, theming, and intriguing interactive experiences that will bring the magic of SDC to a new generation.

It’s been difficult for those following along through photos to gauge how everything is actually fitting together in reality vs. the concept art. I’m happy to report that the area is perfectly designed to extend the feeling of the city around the lakefront while also packing in the needed family rides. The area is a little disorienting for those who are used to Geyser Gulch because the deck is missing and the new structure is set farther back from the lake. There’s still a lot of pathway area to complete, and of course there’s still a lot of buildings and rides to construct, so the area will continue to transform into the new year. It’s still intriguing to figure out how it will all turn out, but I am much more confident now that we’ll all be highly impressed with it.

The rides are well placed to keep the city atmosphere as in tact as possible. The fire wagon ride is pretty close to the main building, which will help it fit in. The shot tower is of course essentially part of the new Firestation #3, so it fits in perfectly. The small rides are mostly tucked around the backside of the area out of the way. The balloons are the only things that will really stick out ride-wise, being situated a good bit in front of the main structure so they’ll be the first thing you see when you walk up. Fortunately, they look pretty good and are in-theme with the period, so it will all be a huge improvement over the gaudy old Geyser Gulch area.

The building is massive in person. It feels taller than Geyser Gulch, and clearly will have a lot more fun packed inside. Maintenance staff confirmed that the old Greedy Bros. structure will be removed from the lake. The lake will appear to grow quite a bit next year with all of that stuff plus the old deck area removed.

Now onto the photos:

Fireman’s Landing Construction Update

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Construction on Fireman’s Landing is moving along at break-neck pace. It looks like a lot of the steel for the new play structure building is in place, along with the signature S&S tower, all the ride pads, and the inner skeleton of the balloon ride. The old Greedy Bros’ tower is still standing, along with the namesake geyser from Geyser Gulch. I will hazard a guess that these items will be removed after the season ends, along with much of the vegetation that surrounds the backside of the toy store area. This area will really open up in 2015!

Check out all the official details on Fireman’s Landing here on the official site.

 

Thanks to forum user “cowboy” for sending along these photos.

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