Silver Dollar City has good news for fans of its legendary Fire in the Hole ride. The theme part announced on Monday that it has broken ground on an all-new, $30 million Fire in the Hole indoor family roller coaster, which will be the largest in the Midwest when it opens next spring.
The announced closing of the current ride generated consternation among fans. While not the most thrilling coaster ride available, it is beloved by visitors at the amusement park. SDC now hopes the new ride will also endear itself to a new generation of coaster fans.
“Signifying our biggest investment in a single attraction, Fire in the Hole continues Silver Dollar City’s strategic, multi-phased growth plan offering families opportunities to play and stay together in the heart of the Ozarks,” said Brad Thomas, president of the Silver Dollar City Co. “Spurring the creation of the Fire District, the custom-designed Fire in the Hole makes history as the heartland’s largest indoor coaster. As the district’s anchor attraction, it will be a favorite rite of passage for families where one generation introduces the next generation to this adventure and where the heroes of today spark the heroes of tomorrow.”
The coaster experience, with a powered incline and gravity descent, including three drops and a quick splash-landing, promises a thrilling ride. In addition, a custom soundtrack with high-resolution onboard audio, lighting and enhanced special effects, such as using fiber optics to create a fast-burning fuse, heightens the ride experience and brings the Fire in the Hole story to life.
Nearly a third of a mile long, the new ride is housed in a five-story, temperature-controlled building to ensure ridership regardless of weather. True to Silver Dollar City’s roots, the new ride’s storyline is steeped in authentic regional heritage. The story is a fictional account of a real night in Ozark Mountain history when the mining town of Marmaros was burned to the ground by notorious vigilantes called the Baldknobbers. Created for multiple generations, Fire in the Hole depicts the day when Silver Dollar City citizens of all ages are pressed into service to save their town. The makers of the finest fire wagons in America’s heartland, the Silver Dollar City Pumper Factory, invite the townspeople to the unveiling of their newest model. Instead, the visitors find the town in flames because of the reckless Baldknobbers. Ignited into action, everyone bands together to battle the fire.
Known for pioneering innovation in the theme park industry, and a decade since they first teamed together on the history-making, award-winning Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City once again partners with Idaho-based Rocky Mountain Construction to custom engineer and manufacture the new Fire in the Hole.
“Like Silver Dollar City, Rocky Mountain Construction is committed to creating custom-built ride experiences that haven’t been done before,” company President Darren Torr said. “We loved the challenge of engineering, fabricating and installing the one-of-a-kind Fire in the Hole, creating a new ride experience while honoring a legendary coaster. It feels fondly familiar, yet it will be daringly different.”
Andy Westfall, head of construction at Herschend Creative Studios, said the concept of a new version of the ride has been in the works for 3-4 years.
The new attraction is inspired by the original Fire in the Hole attraction, first imagined, engineered and custom built at Silver Dollar City in 1972. Now celebrating its final season, the first Fire in the Hole made history when it opened, being lauded as one of the world’s first indoor roller coasters. To date, more than 25 million guests have experienced the original Ozark adventure. and final rides continue through the end of the 2023 season.