Now, for the last in our series on Branson’s Best Attractions, how about Branson’s biggest attraction? Yep, we’ve saved the best of the best for last...it’s time to talk about the one-and-only world-famous theme park, Silver Dollar City! There’s so much to love about this incredible attraction that’s it’s hard to know where to begin - festivals galore, special events, music everywhere, working craftsmen, delicious food of all kinds, and those oh-so-incredible rides - Powderkeg, Giant Barn Swing, Outlaw Run, and the spectacular Time Traveler! (We recently gave an update on Silver Dollar City here: “From Branson - Your Silver Dollar City Update - 5 Big Reasons to Visit in 2019!”)
It’s hard to keep this list at just 10, but here goes...10 things to know before you go to Silver Dollar City:
1. It’s an all-encompassing entertainment destination! You don’t need to get on a single ride to have a blast...you don’t need to enjoy watching artisans at work to be entertained...you don’t need to be a music lover to be delighted...this beautiful theme park has so many enticing features, everyone will have a great time! If you love American crafts at their very best, you’ll be in heaven. If music moves your soul, then you’ll be fulfilled and inspired. If rides rule, you won’t be disappointed. If you simply enjoy strolling through a gorgeous landscape filled with trees, and other gifts of nature, while digging into a bag of Kettle Korn and watching people go by, you’ll have the time of your life at Silver Dollar City!
2. It’s the land of righteous rides! If there’s a roller coaster fanatic in the family, make sure you bring ‘em along for the ride(s)! When Outlaw Run debuted, it was proclaimed the “best new ride” by Amusement Today - the complete-circuit spinning coaster, Time Traveler, opened as the fastest, steepest, and tallest coaster of its kind - Powderkeg launches from 0 to 53 mph in just 2.8 seconds - Thunderation carries riders 121 feet into the air before dropping them 81 feet at speeds up to 48 mph - and there’s even more! Ready to ride? (Note: Set aside time for the rides you don’t want to miss just in case you’re at the park during a busy day - try to catch them during mealtimes when many guests will be eating.)
3. Plan your trip around a festival! Silver Dollar City is famous for it’s fantastic world-class festivals - The Festival of Wonder, Star-Spangled Summer, Moonlight Madness, Southern Gospel Picnic, Bluegrass & BBQ, Harvest Festival, and An Old Time Christmas are each worth planning your annual visit around, not to mention the impressive list of Special Events, one that includes Country Music Days and a New Year’s Celebration.
4. Come hungry! There are locals with season passes who’ll visit Silver Dollar City just for the food! Whether it’s a quick bowl of calico potatoes from the big iron skillet at Hatfield’s Tater Patch, or succotash from Buckshot Annie’s, or a nice sit down meal at Molly’s Mill or the Lumbercamp, you’re sure to get a satisfying bellyfull! For a quick snack, you can’t beat a Tater Twist or one of Tom Sawyer’s Handmade Pretzels - yum!
5. Be prepared to shop! No tacky souvenirs and trashy tshirts here, the park is peppered with lots of interesting places to buy something unique for friends and family back home, or to treat yourself! You can purchase items that were handcrafted on-site, including glass decor, candy, wood carvings, and pottery, as well as carefully selected items from across the country and around the world that fit in with the Silver Dollar City theme of festivals, music, and fun, as well as live up to the park’s standards for high quality merchandise.
6. Don’t forget the camera! Whether you rely on your smartphone, or take it up a notch with a high-end Nikon or Canon, you’re sure to find a plethora of subjects to photograph...beautiful scenery, much of it left as Mother Nature intended, complemented by pretty plantings and landscaping - joyful musicians - kids screaming with excitement on a roller coaster - strolling entertainers, there’s no shortage of joyous, stunning, surprising, and simply irresistible images just waiting for your expert or amateur touch to capture them forever!
7. Dress comfortably and appropriately! Part of Silver Dollar City’s special appeal is the stunning Ozark Mountains’ landscape it occupies, which means that some walkways involve slopes and hills - make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing that’s appropriate for the weather. If you or your guest relies on a mobility aid, make sure it’s in good working order and its use complies with manufacturer’s guidelines (including no added “riders” or trailers attached.) There are standard wheelchairs and electric conveyance vehicles available for rental at the park - these can be reserved in advance by calling 800.475.9370.
8. Don’t let “stuff” drag you down! Leave large bags or any unnecessary items locked in your trunk so that you don’t have to lug a bunch of stuff around the park. Small handbags and other items can be stashed in the park in lockers available in nine locations throughout the park: outside the Main Gate, Marvel Cave, Hospitality House Restrooms, Hannah's Ice Cream Parlor, Riverfront Playhouse, and by these rides - American Plunge, The Giant Barn Swing , Time Traveler®, and PowderKeg®. Purchases made at gift shops and stands can be delivered to the front of the park and be waiting for you when you leave - just let the clerk know!
9. Lots of helpful services are available! In addition to the package holding service we mentioned above, you’ll find the park is well-prepared to keep your day as worry-free as possible; there are Verizon-powered phone and device charging stations located in Fireman’s Landing, the Traveler’s Stop restaurant, and near the Opera House. And it’s easy to keep your littlest ones happy - for privacy, there are changing and nursing stations throughout the park, and walk-in restaurants are happy to warm bottles for you.
10. There’s a cave! As locals and loyal guests know, Marvel Cave is one of Silver Dollar City’s best kept secrets, and it’s truly magnificent! It’s Missouri’s deepest cave and has the largest cave entrance room in the U.S. - the Cathedral Room. Marvel is a wet limestone cave, which means it contains formations that are still growing! The tour can be strenuous, so wear sturdy walking shoes and make sure you’re healthy enough to take the tour. It’s guided and tours depart approximately every half hour - best of all, it’s included in the price of your Silver Dollar City ticket!
There’s a nearly endless list of things to tell you about Silver Dollar City, but we’ll let you discover more for yourself! And don’t forget, you shouldn’t feel the need to only visit with the kids, this is one theme park that’s especially appealing to couples of all ages, even those who aren’t into rides.
To discover the other five attractions in our series...”Branson’s Best Attractions - Shepherd of the Hills - Top 10 Things to Know!” - “Branson’s Best Attractions - Dolly Parton’s Stampede - Top 10 Things to Know!” - “Branson’s Best Attractions - Showboat Branson Belle - Top 10 Things to Know!” - “Branson’s Best Attractions - Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! - Top 10 Things to Know!” - “Branson’s Best Attractions - Titanic Museum Attraction - Top 10 Things to Know!”