Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri!
If you want something a little different and your in the Southwest Missouri area, try out Silver Dollar City! It is a great theme park with family values and amazing attractions, they also have some award winning roller coasters! The whole theme surrounding the park is life in the late 1800’s for families in the Missouri Ozarks and they do an exceptional job.
We were lucky enough to get to spend a Saturday enjoying the millions of Christmas lights among the Missouri Ozarks that the theme park puts up every year! It is quite amazing to see, lights were on every building, tree and even people walking around the park. They do Christmas to the very max!
We started the day off with an underground hike through Marvel Cave. The starting point is located in the Hospitality House that begins the park. As we walked in a tour was about to start, so we jumped in quickly knowing it would probably be the shortest line we would see the rest of the day!
There are a lot of safety tips and general knowledge given not once but twice before ascending into the cave by the cave guides, so pay attention closely. You do not want to get into anything that could affect your health and safety. We saw a few individuals that were wishing they would have stayed up on the surface about halfway through the hike!
There are over 700 stairs on the tour through the massive cave! Close to 500 are at the very beginning that descends into a room that is 20 stories high, the Statue of Liberty could fit in it! If that does not tell you how big it is, at one time in the 1980’s they flew 3 hot air balloons inside the main cavern at the same time! It is an amazing sight to see from the top of the stairs and also from the bottom looking up. We got to take nice concrete stairs down to the bottom with lighting all the way, but in the 1800’s when the cave was first explored they were sent down by a rope around the waist and a lantern to carry!
Of course at the bottom there is the theme park tradition of getting your group photo whether you want it or not, ours turned out pretty good though!
As you can see from the photo we have a few more in our party than usual! Well that is because we were able to share this day with my parents, a niece and a nephew all came along to experience the fun!
All through the cave there are many wonderful things to see, they light up the amazing scenery to put a focal point for all to see and not miss anything.
We had an amazing guide that filled us up with historical events about the cave and had some really great jokes along the way. The story that he gave us along the way only adds to the brilliance of the cave, it really brought you in and made you realize what those first explorers to the cave must have felt. I give it to him, he knew his stuff and kept us very entertained.
The cavern tour takes about an hour to go completely through and has a tram ride back up to the top at the end. The tram has been running since the 1960’s I believe they said and we were sure glad it was there by the end of the tour!
Back to the Surface!
As we left the cavern tour and headed into the main part of the theme park, we realized Christmas was upon us! Lights, lights and more lights all around you! Even in the day time, they are on and are amazing to see. You will be greeted by wonderful smells of food, small shops selling their wares and it all looks like you have stepped back into 1897! The clothes the workers wear, the buildings and the ambiance of the park is incredible.
The skilled craftsman here at Silver Dollar City are some of the best in the world. Making fine knives, leather items, candies, iron works, wood crafts and even a glass blow molding shop! All these small shops have demonstrations and you can watch them work their magic right in front of you! The skills of these individuals will astonish you!
Even though Silver Dollar City’s theme is set in the past, their technology for roller coasters is very modern and up to date! They boast five amazing roller coasters in this park, each with it’s own hair raising peculiarity. Their roller coasters have won many awards, from the Outlaw Run which was the first wooden coaster to take thrill seekers upside down during a barrel roll to the newest Time Traveler that spins you 360 in your seat as it plunges and rolls you around among the trees of Missouri! The Powder Keg blasts you off from a sitting position to over 60 mph in a few seconds then seems to drop you off a cliff the size of Mt. Everest! The Wildfire takes you upside down over 5 times and then Thunderation, which takes you in circles until it drops into a black tunnel round out these great theme park roller coasters!
But wait…. There is more than just roller coasters at this park! The Giant Barn Swing, yes a 5 story high mechanical swing will grab the gut of even the craziest of thrill seekers! There is also smaller rides like the Flooded Mine, the Electrospin and a couple water rides for when the summer gets hot!
There are two area’s for the smaller people in your group to get their riding in as well that families will not want to miss! Also everyone likes a train ride and Silver Dollar City has incorporated a real steam train with a play for your viewing pleasure, it is quite a funny act!
So don’t worry about any age that you have in your group, this park has something for all of them!
If you would rather sing, dance and listen to comedy then Silver Dollar City has you covered as well. At this time of year they have several Christmas shows going on, but you need to get into line early if you want to see them! They fill up fast, but are worth the wait. They have different festivals throughout the year so the shows will change with them, so check ahead of time before you go! The saloon show is always one of our favorites and we never miss a chance to go see what they are up to.
Go Have Some Fun & Save Some Money!
We could go on and on about this theme park, especially during the holiday season! They have all types of attractions for any age group and will keep you moving all day long! The tickets are a little on the steep side for us at over $60 per person, but there are a lot of ways to save once inside the park!
We have souvenir cups that we take with us when we go. They are $14 the first time you purchase them, but after that you can bring them back year after year and get a refill price of just a $1.75!
You can also carry in a backpack loaded with snacks. We often do this and will even sometimes bring in some PB&J’s too to keep food costs down. If you like to save money, the food department will save you a ton if you pack all your meals in. You can also leave some in your vehicle and go out to the parking lot to eat if you don’t want to carry it all day! We love our North Face backpack to use when we go to theme parks!
Speaking of all day long, wear some good athletic shoes with lots of support! You will need it, we swear by the Asics brand and they keep us going all day. Here is a link to the shoe I was wearing that day – MY ATHLETIC SHOE, we love them! Even you like a different brand, we would greatly appreciate you shopping through our Amazon link to help support our travels.
Go have some fun in Silver Dollar City the next time you are in the Southwestern Missouri area, it is sure to be fun for the whole family!