Just a couple of weeks ago, we updated you on new things open in Branson now (Branson - More New Stuff for 2018,) and even more new stuff on the horizon. Guess what? That wasn’t all! Since that post, there’s been an official announcement of a new aquarium, two new limited-engagement appearances on the annual show schedule, and more. There are also a couple of previously announced golf courses we haven’t yet talked about, and a new take on an annual car show. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for anything else coming Branson’s way and let you know in future posts, so stay tuned!
Here’s what we know:
1. Aquarium at the Boardwalk: Branson Entertainment Center, LLC, owners of the Grand Palace property, as well as the Hollywood Wax Museum Complex, recently shared their exciting proposal to put an aquarium on this high profile site along Branson’s world-famous Strip. Using research conducted by the highly respected firm, H2R Market Research, that said surveyed visitors put an aquarium at the top of their “wish Branson had one list,” the property’s owners are hoping for a 2020 opening. Their website entices folks to imagine things like “a magical underwater Palace where heroic Mermaids safeguard the sea,” or “getting delightfully close to bottom-dwelling Blue Dot stingrays and “winged” Sea Robins,” and “walk through a tunnel right in the heart of the Aquarium and into a sunken ancient city.” Can’t you just feel the anticipation building? It’s gonna be incredible!
2. Payne’s Valley Golf Course: Three big names in the world of golf are attached to this new project that’s scheduled to make its debut in 2019. The family of the late, legendary, and beloved golf champion, Payne Stewart, the Ozarks’ very own founder of Bass Pro Shops and the many properties associated with beautiful Big Cedar Lodge, Mr. Johnny Morris, and the needs-no-introduction Tiger Woods, have come together to create Payne’s Valley Golf Course. It’ll be the first completed, fully public-access course from TGR Design, Woods’ design firm, and it will include a unique 19th hole called The Rock, a feature envisioned by Morris that incorporates the “most dramatic geological feature” you’re likely to find on any course anywhere! Start polishing up those clubs and practicing your putt ‘cause you’re gonna want to look your best on this stunningly gorgeous course! (To be fair, this walkable course is promising to be quite player-friendly...yet still challenging enough to interest even the most talented player!)
3. Ozarks National Golf Course: Another highly anticipated golf offering from Johnny Morris, Ozarks National, is slated to open this Fall. This Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed course will be in keeping with all Morris’ projects by utilizing the natural beauty of the Ozarks to help create an unforgettable experience for golfers. Featuring 18-holes, the course boasts unique features to keep the game interesting, including a 13th hole that’s 60 feet above a flowing creek, and uses a 400-foot wood beam and plank bridge to connect the tee box and fairway. Lying adjacent to the Mountain Top course, this new course will be both walkable and ideal for hosting tournaments of the PGA, USGA, and others. A fantastic location that offers stunning views and memorable features, Ozarks National gives both Branson guests and visiting golf pros one more incredible reason to make Branson their preferred destination for their favorite game!
4. Shepherd of the Hills’ Show N Shine Car Show: Long known for offering up their gorgeous Homestead for hosting car shows, Shepherd of the Hills has once again put together a show that’ll have car lovers everywhere headed to Branson! Fun features of this show include a nice selection of food trucks, and discounts for car registrants at Homestead attractions, activities, and onsite shows - Sons of the Pioneers and Comedy of Jim Barber Lunch Show. An exciting feature of this highly-anticipated car show is a Friday night concert performance by the legendary Ozark Mountain Daredevils! The Show N Shine Car Show is being held Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 10:00 am. to 7:00 p.m. Admission tickets are $10 on Friday, $12 on Saturday, or $15 for both days (concert tickets for the Daredevils are sold separately.)
5. FRIENDS: The Musical Parody: Headed to Branson in 2019, this limited-engagement show will be on the one-night-only schedule at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, the home of Legends in Concert. Sure to be a total delight for every loyal fan of the iconic sitcom, and every bit as much fun for everyone who loves a night full of laughter, FRIENDS: The Musical Parody can be seen at 7:00 p.m. on April 7. You’ll enjoy many of the hilarious situations and character interactions that made “Friends” one of television’s most successful sitcoms of all time. If you’ve been missing Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe, make sure you don’t miss FRIENDS: The Musical Parody when it makes a stop in Branson next spring!
6. Cinema Twain Starring Val Kilmer: That’s right, the one and only Val Kilmer, the actor who charmed us in “Top Gun,” fascinated us in “Tombstone,” convinced us he was channeling the late Jim Morris in “Doors,” and enchanted us in the cult classic, “Willow,” is bringing his one-man-show-theater-performance-turned-film to Branson! Kilmer himself will be on hand to introduce the film, a labor of love project that has him playing the world-famous and much loved author, Mark Twain, with pure, fantastically funny, perfection! Following the film, Kilmer sticks around for an interesting question and answer session with the audience. Long after his death, Twain remains so influential in the world of humor, the most coveted prize for funny people is named for him - the list of recipients of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor includes Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Eddie Murphy, Ellen Degeneres, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, and the award’s first honoree, Richard Pryor.
There you have it, several great new reasons to be planning your next visit to Branson now, or to start heading this way soon - whether it’s to play at one of Johnny Morris’ latest golf courses this year or next, to attend a rapidly approaching new car show, or catch one of the exciting limited engagement appearances on the schedule, we’re looking forward to your visit! Stayed tuned to this Travel Guide and we’ll make sure you discover new shows, activities, events, and other big happenings headed Branson’s way now and in the future!