I live thirty minutes from Branson, Missouri. We visit Silver Dollar City each and every year. I love World Fest and so will you!
Silver Dollar City:
Silver Dollar City is an amusement park and so much more. It sits in the heart of the Ozark Mountains and the entire park has an old fashioned theme. There are some awesome roller coasters like Wild Fire, Powder Keg, and the new Outlaw Run. There are a multitude of rides for any age and I haven’t found a bad one yet. Because of it’s location, you won’t find yourself sweltering in the hot son surrounded by pavement and sweaty shirtless teenagers (Six Flags); instead you’re shaded by gorgeous trees and cooled by misters. If you don’t want to go on rides, you can shop for hand blown glass, hand crafted quilts, and homemade candy. There are always shows to see in the Saloon, during World Fest, at Christmas, or anytime of the year. I promise, if you visit Silver Dollar City, it may become your favorite theme park.
Silver Dollar City always has some sort of festival going on; there are normally six per year! We love Bluegrass and BBQ, An Old Time Christmas (this is awesome), and our favorite World Fest! World Fest is awesome. In 2014, it runs from April 5th to May 14th.
The Food: You can try multiple foods from around the world at Tastes of the World, which is located inside of the Frisco Barn. You’ll enjoy anything from Greek Antipasto Salad, to Korean Tacos, and even International Crepes. I always skip breakfast if we’re going to Silver Dollar City. When you walk into the park there’s a little bakery on the right that has the most amazing cinnamon rolls you’ve ever had. It’s a nice place to sit and have a coffee and sticky bun for breakfast. After riding all of the rides we can by lunchtime, the kids and I go try out something new at the Frisco Barn. On our way out of Silver Dollar City, we always stop and get a funnel cake to share (they’re huge). There’s a little bench we always sit on and rest our feet. I always grab some homemade fudge and old fashioned rock candy to take to grandma before we leave.
This year(2014), there are going to be performances that include dancers from Arigentina, Ireland, Ukraine, Spain, and even the Pacific Islands. There are a few highlights that my family and I want to catch. One is Island Fire! It’s located at the Riverfront Playhouse. It’s a culmination of traditional dances from Hawaii, Samoa, and Tahiti, plus there’s supposed to be a World Fire Knife Champion (whatever that is, it sounds pretty cool), and really elaborate costumes. I also want to see Anamos Argentina which is located at the Opera House in Silver Dollar City. This is supposed to include folk dancing, the Los Pampas Gauchos Drummers, and even some comedy. I really love all of the different costumes at these shows. You can really tell that a lot of time and thought were put into every detail. I’m also hoping to catch Benise(Emmy Award Winner)-The Spanish Guitar. This will be located at Valley Road. This show is supposed to have a live orchestra, world glass dancers, and feature many different Spanish inspired selections. We may have to visit Silver Dollar City a couple of times during World Fest to see the shows we’ve picked out! There are a lot of other shows during World Fest 2014 such as Via Romen, Ecuador Manta, and Dearbhail Finnegan (Irish harp).
I’m glad we live so close. We buy passes each year for around $200 dollars per person. If you plan on visiting more than two times in a year; just buy the pass.
Travel Advice for Branson and Silver Dollar City:
Not only do I live close to Branson, Missouri, but I also worked as a travel agent bringing folks to Branson for many years. You don’ have to take this advice but I promise you will have a better vacation if you do. Unless you are going to a theatre that is located on the 76 Strip…stay off of it! You may find yourself in a line of cars for well over an hour trying to get down a three mile stretch of road. Take Shepard of the Hills Expressway to Silver Dollar City or cut behind the Strip on one of the many other roads in Branson.
Silver Dollar City passes are around $60 dollars per person and there’s really no getting around it unless you want to do a timeshare or vacation club tour. Drinks and lunches will cost around $20 per person. You will also probably see a lot of things you want to buy in Silver Dollar City and Branson. Take some shopping money if you can afford it. Sales tax is high in Branson at almost 11 percent, so expect to .pay it. Last but not least, never ever wait until the last minute to book your hotel. Branson gets millions of visitors per year and the nice hotels, cabins, and condos book up really fast. Being native to the area, I think the prices they charge for cabins at certain places are totally ridiculous. If you stay just outside of Branson, you can save a lot of money and a lot of headaches when it comes to the traffic. If it’s hard for you to get around (wheelchair, trouble standing) let the theatres know in advance and they can accommodate you.
Enjoy your trip. You’re going to meet some of the nicest people in the world and fall in love with the Ozark Mountains!