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Fire in the Hole opens at Silver Dollar City
Talley Amusements
Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri opened its new Fire in the Hole attraction, a $30 million dollar version of its original Fire in the Hole ride. The park's classic version opened in 1972, closed last December, and during its run, 25 million riders experienced it.

Opened March 30th, the new ride is Silver Dollar City's largest attraction investment. The 1880s-themed park is justifiably proud of the exciting but family-friendly ride, which includes set pieces that recreate the history of the region along with thrills such as three separate gravity-driven drops and a water splash.

At the grand opening for Fire in the Hole, the park's firefighting band will perform throughout the day, as well as the distribution of commemorative “First Recruit” stickers to riders. However, Stone County and Taney County firefighters got the first rides already, a tribute to their own actions in saving Silver Dollar City from a fire of its own, containing a blaze to only three buildings back in 2021.

The updated ride is a collaboration between the park, Rocky Mountain Construction, and Herschend Creative Studios. Over three immersive minutes, the ride tells a story iconic to the region. 14 different scenes illustrate the night that the real town of Marmaros, once located where the park now stands, burned down.

Riders board their own custom-built ride vehicles inspired by firefighting pumper wagons from the 1880s. Once on board, their mission is to save the town from The Baldknobbers, a group of destructive vigilantes who set fire to the town, with citizen heroes fighting the flames.

This new iteration of Fire in the Hole is located in a 5-story, temp-controlled building, so the ride can stay open regardless of the weather. According to Silver Dollar City company president Brad Thomas, “Fire In The Hole is a testament to the hard work and ingenuity of the men and women who work here at Silver Dollar City.” Ride planning began even before construction started in 2021. Located in Silver Dollar City's Fire District, the ride features hand-painted backdrops and a themed queue line; its addition will double the size of the Fire District area.

The ride includes a mural painted by Ozark residents Adam and Aaron Wolken, who have previously painted murals inside Silver Dollar City's Mystic River Falls ride and at the Wonders of Wildlife Natural Aquarium & Museum.

Fire in the Hole has a track length of 1,512 feet, and clocks in at a top speed of 26 miles per hour. Along with a powered incline and its three gravity-drop descents, it includes a customized soundtrack with onboard audio, lighting effects, and fiber optic special effects, including one that creates the illusion of a fast-burning fuse. The state-of-the-art tech makes riders' journey through the Ozarks appear as realistic as possible. Each fire pumper train car also includes grated flooring to help drain any water built up on the splash scenes.

During one of the key drop effects, riders will feel as if a burning bridge is dropping along with them. Silver Dollar City's communications manager Dalton Fischer relates that the bridge is Kinney Bridge, engulfed in flames by the Baldknobbers. Riders will also experience a bubbling brook as well as a 3-D printed steam train realistically barreling past them. He notes that the ride has come a long way from its original, which had none of the effects.

While both the original ride and the new attraction tell a story about the Baldknobbers, the new coaster adds a scene about these villains rigging an explosive at the top of a water tower. The bad guys are presented as comic as well as threatening, or as Fischer related, the trio is not dissimilar to The Three Stooges.

Fire in the Hole is Silver Dollar City's second collaboration with RMC. The first was the park's 2013 Outlaw Run coaster. RMC president Darren Torr noted that “Like Silver Dollar City, Rocky Mountain Construction is committed to creating custom-built ride experiences that haven't been done before.” The new ride is the largest indoor coaster in the Midwest.

Torr adds that “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.”

Along with the ride itself, the park's Fire District includes The Fireman's Flyer swings, once located in the space that is now Fire in the Hole and now repositioned across from it. There are also themed false storefronts such as a firehose store and an insurance shop selling fire insurance.

Dining and retail outlets are also located in the district. Sadie's Pretzel Cafe offers fresh handmade pretzels, pretzel dogs and pretzel sandwiches. it includes a 140-seat dining space that overlooks the new park area. The eponymous Sadie's is named for the wife of Red Flanders, for whom the retail outlet, Flanders Dry Goods, is named. Flanders offers a line of merchandise branded as the owner's, including Red Flanders pajama pants.

Silver Dollar City opened for the 2024 season on March 9th. The new ride serves as an exciting start to a season celebrating Street Fest, running April 11-29, followed by Bluegrass & BBQ, May 2-27. The latter event has been awarded “Top Bluegrass Event” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). The park's Summer Celebration events will run June 8 through August 4. During those weeks, the park will offer extended evening hours.

Thomas notes “This new Fire In The Hole continues our mission of creating memories worth repeating, as we look to always improve the experience for our guests and towards the future of our park…This coaster, just like the original, ensures the whole family makes lasting memories.”

The ride continues the park's multi-phase growth plan designed to encourage guests to enjoy more opportunities to “play and stage together in the heart of the Ozarks,” according to Thomas. Silver Dollar City offers over 40 rides and attractions in all, including live shows and concerts.
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