One Of Branson's Most Iconic Rides Won't Be Open For Much Longer

Fire in the hole art
(Image credit: Silver Dollar City)

While most people looking for a fun theme or amusement park might head toward Southern California or Orlando, there are lots of other places where that sport of entertainment can be had. Branson, Missouri is home to Silver Dollar City, one of the more popular regional parks in the world. It’s a park older than Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, but one of its oldest attractions is now set to close.

Fire in the Hole is a combination dark ride and roller coaster that has been in operation since 1972 and while it isn’t quite the oldest attraction in the park, it’s pretty close. The bad news is that on Monday Silver Sollar City announced that Fire in the Hole will be having its Grand Finale in 2023. When the park reopens in March the attraction will be up and running, but when Silver Dollar City closes for the winter, which usually happens in December, that will be the end for the iconic attraction. 

Attractions closing at amusement parks is par for the course. Parks need something new to draw new and old visitors alike, and space and staffing are finite, so no theme park can simply expand with new rides forever without closing some of the old ones. At the same time, there are some rides so old that they become classic and iconic, and those we often expect will last forever. Many probably thought that Fire in the Hole was one of those attractions, but it seems not. 

As one might expect, a lot of fans of the park and the ride are, at the very least, feeling a bit sad at the news that Fire in the Hole is getting ready to say goodbye. It’s not hyperbole to say multiple generations of fans have experienced the ride more or less unaltered in five decades, making it one of those things that families have shared. 

Normally when an attraction is closed we don’t see a great deal of warning given. Even when a closure is expected, as was largely the case here, the official announcement only comes a couple of months, or even weeks, before the work is done. But here, Silver Dollar City is clearly looking to use this Grand Finale as a way to get guests to visit the park this season so they can say their farewells to the attraction and give it one last ride. 

There was no specific announcement of what will ultimately replace Fire in the Hole. Such a replacement is all but guaranteed, and many are expecting that what Silver Dollar City will ultimately do is built something of a spiritual successor to Fire in the Hole, something that retains at least some ride elements, and hopefully all of the charm, but with brand new technology designed to let the ride last another 50 years. The Grand Finale for Fire in the Hole begins when Silver Dollar City reopens on March 11. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.