“Fire in the hole!” Generations of area families are familiar with that cry from the popular ride at Silver Dollar City in Branson.
“More than 25 million guests have been entertained by the Fire In the Hole adventure since the attraction opened a half-century ago,” said Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City Attractions. “Today’s riders include grandparents who remember riding when they were kids, and now they share the fun and unique experience with their grandkids.”
Fans are making plans to travel to the Ozarks for a final ride this year. After five decades, Fire in the Hole will be closed at the end of this season to make way for a new attraction. Nostalgia is just one of many reasons for families to visit Silver Dollar City, which recently was voted the No. 1 theme park in the nation by readers of “USA Today.”
The ride’s storyline is modeled after a real-life mining town, Marmaros, that was located atop Marvel Cave and home to residents of the long-ago Ozarks. The attraction, novel in its introduction in 1972, has fire brigade-themed trains that twist, turn and drop into a burning town where riders are the volunteer firefighters, saving the citizens and battling the flames before getting soaked themselves.
“Fire In The Hole is a true classic from years past — a unique ride that’s a must-ride every park visit,” said Duane Marden, founder of the Roller Coaster Data Base. “Custom-built, enclosed roller coasters are an uncommon thing, and Silver Dollar City has operated Fire In The Hole longer than any other. I’m grateful that Silver Dollar City is giving guests fair notice to enjoy this classic ride for one final season.”
Travelers from all over the world are known to come to Silver Dollar City to notch Fire In The Hole in their rider logs of classic coasters.
“Fire In The Hole is a special ride,” said Justin Garvanovic, founder of the European Coaster Club. “As it enters the final season, I feel it should be celebrated for the groundbreaking ride that it is. I sincerely hope I can get back to the park for one last ride. Knowing what a superb park Silver Dollar City is, I fully expect what is coming next will be something very special — wonderful in a brilliant way, as we Brits would say.”
Although Fire in the Hole is a key attraction, numerous other special events are on tap for summer.
“Summer in the Ozark Mountains is a time for adventure and carefree fun,” said Nick Guevel, vice president of strategic marketing. ”We want families to experience this tradition the old-fashioned way. Our celebration combines the best of our 1880s mining town with visiting performers, legendary folklore, nostalgic foods and most importantly, intentional time to relax and refresh together.”
- A performance by award-winning Christian musician Michael W. Smith in Echo Hollow on June 3.
- Summer Nights from July 15-30, with night rides, the magic of Peter Gossamer, dance parties and the ABBA Tribute: Dancing Dreamin Echo Hollow. with fireworks to close the park.
- The Nik WallendaZirkus through July 16 offers a brand-new show featuring daring high-wire acts, acrobatics, comedy and more.
- A summer tasting passport features specialty funnel cakes, artisan homemade ice cream, mac & cheese pizza, mason jar desserts and more.
Silver Dollar City is located about 200 miles south of Kansas City. Families can choose from a variety of season-ticket, single-day and package options, with occasional discount flash sales. Operating days and hours, ticket prices and other information are available at www.silverdollarcity.com. Find out about other Branon entertainment options at www.explorebrfanson.com.
“Our guests come from all over the USA,” Thomas says. “We recognize they could visit other states, other regions and other theme parks, but they have chosen to not only visit us but to also vote for us. Our citizens strive every day to create unique and fun adventures and experiences for each guest. We want to provide the entire family an escape from the noise of their daily routines and the opportunity to grow closer together as they experience our rides, our shows, our festivals, our attractions and our incredible food.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice