Coaster Christmas 2015

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Spencerman
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Coaster Christmas 2015

Post by Spencerman » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:26 pm

I love this time of year. With Thanksgiving around the corner and the Christmas season starting not long after, this time of year just gives me a warm feeling. So do roller coasters. That's why Coaster Christmas is so perfect. It mixes some of the best coasters around with one of the best holidays around, all at my favorite park, Silver Dollar City. I love the amount of detail, care, and effort that is put into the park and the event. The people at SDC and our ACE representative, Jennifer, really know what their doing.

We made our trek down from Iowa to Branson on Friday, checking in around two thirty. The hotel we stayed at, the Branson Towers, was good and allowed ACErs to register the night before the event. Afterwards, the hotel had an ice cream social, which they host nightly. The room was clean and good sized, and a breakfast buffet is offered to all guests.

On Saturday morning, we headed towards the park. With the help of early registration the night before, we didn't have to stay outside for too long. This was a good thing, as the temperature was in the thirties and it was snowing. With this weather, many people doubted we'd get to ride much for ERT, but hopes were still high. After everybody registered and received their goody bags, it was time for the presentations. After being led into the Riverfront Playhouse, everybody was served breakfast, with large egg and bacon sandwiches, pastries, and cinnamon rolls, along with coffee, hot chocolate (yum), juice, and water. Four parks in Missouri presented, starting with Schlitterbahn, followed by Worlds of Fun, Six Flags St. Louis, and ending with Silver Dollar City. Each group passed out souvenirs, and I received a really neat Fire in the Hole shirt. Before sending us off to ERT, Jennifer asked trivia about the park, and each person who answered correctly received a piece of the Ozark Wildcat, which is being demolished.

Afterwards, attendees had a choice of either heading straight to ERT on ThuNderaTion, Fire in the Hole, and the Flooded Mine, or heading to Fire in the Hole for a tour, which is what we did. The tour allowed us to see what goes on underneath the ride, and how the park maintains the coaster. Because the ride was built by the park, they can do a lot more with it then they could normally. The tour was very neat and was a great opportunity. After the tour we had enough time to head on over to TNT, were we got a zen ride in the front seat. One great thing we noticed was the smell of licorice as we traveled up the lift, which probably came from the nearby candy store. After this ride it was time to head for the Opera House for special seating for A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol is a great show. It has a variety of well known Christmas songs, amazing special effects, and even a bit of humor. I loved the show a lot and hope to see it again sometime. Before the show started, there was some very exciting news. We were told that Outlaw Run was going to open. After the play ended, we hopped over to OR and scored a ride. We only had one, as the line became a little bit longer than we'd hoped for. Next was the Giant Barn Swing, which had a short wait. This ride is loads of fun. Then we headed to the new Fireman's Landing section, and rode Firefall, an S&S Double Launch tower. The ride seemed gentle at first, but the second drop has some great airtime. We then headed towards the front to ride the Flooded Mine a few times and scored a backseat ride on ThuNderaTion.

Along with admission, the event included a meal ticket. The great thing about this ticket is that it counts towards their multiple buffets, including the Holiday Prime Rib buffet. Last year we wanted to eat here, but it we didn't have enough time as we had to head back home. We, along with other ACErs, ate here this year. As a picky eater, there were a few things that didn't appeal to me, but let me tell you; the chicken & noodles and ham were delicious. I wish I could've eaten more, but I was stuffed. I was told the prime rib was good as well, but I didn't try any.

The sun set during our meal, and it was almost five thirty, which is when SDC has their first tree lighting ceremony. The lighting is a spectacle, with the tree dancing to the music, changing colors right before our eyes. The music, lights, and story are all great. As it was now dark, I had a mission: have my very first night ride ever on Outlaw Run. We headed straight for the coaster, and to our excitement, saw it running. "Dad, look! It's still open!" We then saw the station. "Dad, look! The station is almost empty!" As we entered, I was excited. "Dad, look! We can ride in the backseat for the first time!" It was perfect: our first night ride was in the back row on Outlaw Run. How much better could it be? We climbed the lift, which was slightly lit. Then, on the pre-drop, it was dark. We could barely see the track and what was about to occur. It was certainly an exciting ride and a very memorable one at that. We returned two more times, riding once in the middle and once in the very front. We then went up the TNT and scored a night ride on it as well. After these great rides, it was time to watch the Christmas Light Parade.

The parade was pretty, featuring Rudolph, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, and Sam the Snowman, along with many colorful floats and costumed characters. The parade and the tree lighting are great ways to get into the holiday spirit. As we were told by president Brad Thomas, if you aren't in the Christmas mood by the time you leave the park, you should call 911. After such a great day at the park, our first day was over.

Day two started with us waiting for the park to drop the chains. We were able to pass time by looking at the multiple shops in the square. After the chain dropped, our goal was simple: spend some quality time on Powder Keg, my favorite steel coaster. The launch is great, the layout is very unique and the final drop is a blast. We got three rides on this coaster, and saw that Outlaw Run had empty seats. We rode twice and could have ridden a lot more if we wanted to. It was then time to ride Wildfire. Last year we rode the coaster twice, and I was not too impressed. It seemed a little uninteresting to me, focusing more on positives than airtime. This year, however, I really liked it. Perhaps it was the full train, or the different row (we rode in the middle this time, compared to our front row zen rides last year). While it still is my least favorite at Silver Dollar City, I like it a lot more than I did. We only rode it once, however, as my dad still didn't care for it and I didn't want to ride without him. We ended out the attractions with Grandfather's Mansion, a very neat walk-through that's worth a try. Our final stop was the wassail stand, where I was able to try wassail for the first time. Wassail is delicious, with a toasty cinnamon flavor that gives a cozy feeling.

Coaster Christmas was fantastic this year, with plenty of fun. The date was perfect, being the weekend before Thanksgiving. The event is a great way to end the coaster season while kicking off the Christmas season at the same time. We are excited to attend in the future and recommend this event to everybody. Thanks for reading!

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Paul Drabek
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Re: Coaster Christmas 2015

Post by Paul Drabek » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:43 pm

Great TR Spencer. Did you run into the Gumps or the Etteton's there?
Life is short....have fun!

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bratman
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Re: Coaster Christmas 2015

Post by bratman » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:52 pm

great TR. I really need to get back there.

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Paul Drabek
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Re: Coaster Christmas 2015

Post by Paul Drabek » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:45 am

Yes you do Paul...with me as I want to see your reaction to Outlaw Run!
Life is short....have fun!

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Spencerman
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Re: Coaster Christmas 2015

Post by Spencerman » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:59 pm

I don't think I saw the Gumps or the Ettetons.

If you do go, make sure you can get night rides, because it really made Outlaw Run that much better.

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