SILVER DOLLAR CITY
& WHITEWATER BRANSON
Herschend Family Entertainment Corp.
Park News - Silver Dollar City May Be Making Preparations To Build An On Site Resort
(10/27/21) Silver Dollar City has confirmed that the park’s "An Old Time Christmas” event will take place from Nov. 6 through to Dec. 30th, 2021. New this year will be two brand new production shows: Home For Christmas and a completely new version of the classic Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Throughout the park guests can enjoy over 6.5 million lights and decor, 30 shows performed each day, a 8-story tall animated Christmas tree, holiday food items, Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, the Frisco Sing-Along Steam Train and of course the park’s collection of awesome rides.
(11/19/21) Terrible news from Silver Dollar City on Thursday as the park confirmed that a fire broke out and caused damage to three structures before it could be put out. The fire started around 12:45pm, about an hour prior to park opening, and was put out within the hour. Due to the fire the park decided not to open at all on Thursday, though some guests were inside the main gate area which opens an hour prior to park opening.
The fire caused damage from Heartland Home Furnishings to Flossie’s Friend Fancies in the “lower western portion of the park” and the cause has not yet been determined. The good news is that the damage was very limited and the park will open again on Friday, blocking off the small area affected by the fire for the time being.
You can see a live update video the park posted to Facebook on Thursday night by following the link.
2022/2023 - New Attraction Rumor - (12/13/21) It’s hard to see much in detail, but you can see a quick drive-by clip in the tweet below showing off the current construction taking place at the backside of Silver Dollar City, rumored to be for a new version of Fire in the Hole.
(10/3/21) So what’s going on at Silver Dollar City for the 2022 season? Way back in February Screamscape reported that a large clearing was being made in an area behind Mystic River Falls and Fireman’s Landing, not far from the road that goes around behind the park. Back then we were told that excavators were on site and they seemed to be digging a good sized hole back there for something on this site, which formerly was a backstage parking lot. Jump ahead to the present and in the tweet below you can see that the entire area is now walled off from view, and a recent Google Maps aerial image shows the former parking lot entirely cleared out to make a very large new site for something special. The large building at the end of the cleared site would be Heritage Hall performance theater, so access to the site site will likely be through the Fireman’s Landing area, via crossing the train tracks.
This brings me to the really interesting rumor about what may be going in here, and how it could be linked to another attraction that sits on the other side of Mystic River Falls from here. Yep, I’m talking about Fire in the Hole. While covering the various theme park news over the years, we’ve heard a lot about various upgrades and refurbishment projects that have been performed on Fire in the Hole’s sister coaster at Dollywood, which goes by the name Blazing Fury. The two rides were nearly identical, but I’ve always wondered why we never heard much about off-season work being done to Fire in the Hole. It turns out there is said to be a fairly good reason for this… because the structure that Fire in the Hole (the older of the pair, opening in 1972) sits in, is really not in the best of shape.
Now don’t get me wrong… the attraction is not dangerous in any way. The ride is safe, the building isn’t in jeopardy of collapsing or anything remotely close to that. But much like how Dollywood has been taking steps over the years to preserve Blazing Fury for future generations to enjoy, I’m told that the years just haven’t been as kind of Fire in the Hole. After 49 years of riders taking on the journey, it sounds like the best way to preserve the Fire in the Hole experience for the future may be to actually tear it down and rebuild it from scratch.
Nothing is confirmed of course, and this may be one of the wildest rumors of all time, but Screamscape is being told that Silver Dollar City has been looking to do just that several years now. Of course this comes along with a lot of “What If…?” questions… such as, if they are going to spend the money to do this, should they make it a faithful copy of the original? As the ride system will obviously have to be upgraded to something modern, so will other aspects like lighting, audio and other theatrical systems. Then what about the scenery? How much to keep, how much to upgrade, along with the various figures within, so they keep them old fashioned looking or upgrade them to look like modern figures and animatronics? What about the experience itself? Do you keep it the same, or perhaps add in some new tricks or entirely new scenes?
So many options to choose from and so many questions to figure out.
If this is true, one other factor comes into play, which is that 2022 will actually be the 50th Anniversary of Fire in the Hole. Do they celebrate it with the new ride, or give the old version one more season as a fitting send off for the 50th? Or what if the park could even offer the old and new version for the 50th Anniversary as a fun way to celebrate the passing of the torch.
Again… this is all just rumor. For all we know the park could be building nothing more than a warehouse back there, but stay tuned! I think we may start to get hints about what is going on before too much longer. In the meantime, be sure to get your rides in on Fire in the Hole while you still can, just in case.
(2/7/21) According to a few messages sent my way, I’m told that there is some kind of large new land clearing taking place at Silver Dollar City. Given the timeline this clearly isn’t something in the works for the 2021 season, but it could be our first hint at what the park may have planned for 2022. I’m told that a large clearing has been made somewhere behind the new Mystic River Falls and Fireman’s Landing areas that can be seen from the road as you pass the park back there. According to one post there is an area where they appear to be digging down deep for something, which would seem to indicate that this could be for some kind of new attraction.
If anyone knows more or has the chance to pass by and snap a few photos, I’d love to see them for a future update.
???? - New Resort Hotel - Rumor - (12/4/21) Screamscape sources have sent in a rather interesting update regarding the future of Silver Dollar City. Much like how we’ve been seeing plans for increased growth at sister park, Dollywood in Tennessee, the rumor is that SDC is preparing to build their very own resort complex.
While I don’t know the exact site, I’m told that SDC’s parent company, Herschend, has purchased a large plot of land to the west of the theme park for this very reason. Currently the theme park only has a campground property to offer overnight accommodations with, but if the trend here works the same way as it did in Dollywood, adding an official resort to the theme park could be a huge success and possibly just the first of many such resorts to come in the future. While the terrain around the park definitely isn’t flat, this is also familiar terrain that Herschend is used to in their various developments and resort projects around the mountainous terrain that surrounds the Dollywood theme park.
More on this rumor as it develops!