Category Archives: Featured

Three free Branson outings for families to enjoy!

Table Rock Lake’s Dewey Short Visitors Center on south end of Table Rock Dam.

“There’s more live shows and attractions for families to enjoy in Branson than ever before,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Their prices, and the price of lodging in Branson, are among the most reasonable anywhere, making Branson one of the greatest vacation values in America,” he added.

He said that value is even more evident when families take advantage of some of the unique free things there are to do in Branson. The natural scenic beauty of the Ozark Mountains is a major attraction for millions of Branson visitors. These three free outings, are all located near Table Rock Dam, feature the natural beauty of the Ozarks, and are readily accessible for families to safely and conveniently enjoy together:

1. Table Rock Lake Shore Trail: Spending time on the typical trail through the woods might not be at the top of the list of activities for a lot of reasons. This trail however, is different. The 2.2 mile trail is asphalt, wide, very level and is ideal for just about everyone, including families with small children.

It’s accessible to wheel chairs, motorized and non-motorized; carriages, bikes, and is intended for non-motorized activities including hiking, jogging and more. The trail is a great way for families to experience the outdoor wonder of the Ozarks surrounded by nature without having to deal with the challenges of the typical “trail.”

As the name “Table Rock Lake Shore Trail ” implies, it follows the shore line of Table Rock Lake. Starting at its Trailhead in the Dewey Short Visitor Center parking lot, it proceeds south .6 miles to the Showboat Branson Belle. From there it goes 1.4 miles to the Table Rock State Park and 2.2 miles to its ending near the “Table Rock State Park Marina.”

A nice excursion would be to walk from the Dewey Short Trailhead to the Showboat Branson Belle. Enjoy the beautiful grounds, see the Showboat up close, have some refreshments, shop its shops, and then return to your starting point.

2. The Dewey Short Regional Visitors Center at Table Rock Dam: The $7.9 million, 15,000 square foot U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visitor center has been called “the crown jewel of Table Rock Lake.” It’s one of only 11 Class A visitor centers in the U.S. and is located at the opposite end of the parking lot from the Table Rock Lakeshore Trailhead.

Its floor to ceiling glass windows, on the Table Rock Lake side of the building, offer an unparalleled view of Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. The Center features interactive activities, displays on area history, nature and the inner workings of Table Rock Dam, movies, a gift shop with unique merchandise, and an interesting film on the construction of Table Rock Dam.

Raceways at the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery contain hundreds of thousand Rainbow and Brown Trout.

3. Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery: The “Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery,” is less than ten minutes from the famed Branson Strip at the foot of Table Rock Dam. The hatchery itself is part of a 211 acre “Conservation Center” with a wild life refuge, trails, boat launching ramp, picnic areas, and a Visitor Center.

It’s operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and is visited by over a quarter of a million people annually. The hatchery itself is just part of the 211 acre “Conservation Center” with a wild life refuge, trails, boat launching ramp, and a Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center features an interesting nature display and a short video on the hatchery and the process involved with producing the trout that makes Lake Taneycomo one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation. There’s a huge aquarium with “lunker” Brown and Rainbow Trout.

Visitors are welcome to take self-guided tours of the “race ways,” by themselves during normal business hours. They will see thousands of trout in the various stages of development from the smallest to the large “brood stock” used to produce Lake Taneycomo’s trout.

The Visitor Center opens at 9:00 a.m. every day except, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

These are just the free activities in one area of Branson! From grist mills, to scenic overlooks, feeding ducks and geese, “Dicks 5 & 10,” a free downtown trolley, and so much more, Branson has a wide range of free activities that families can enjoy together.

For more information on these activities, Branson shows, attractions and lodging please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center toll free at 1-800-785-1550.

Acrobats of China is an unbelievable summer entertainment adventure!

The Amazing Acrobats of China!

When describing the Acrobats of China Featuring The New Shanghai Circus Show words like “Amazing,” “incredible, and “unbelievable” immediately come to mind. Enjoying this show and its color, pageantry, and unbelievable human skill, strength, and beauty is something that families have been experiencing together in Branson for over 19 years. The skill, agility, strength, and endurance of these performers is beyond belief.

From the beginning to end, there’s a constant seamless flow of exciting acts. From strength and juggling acts, to the delicacy of balancing 55 pounds on a one ounce feather, each act’s amazing! They’re like separate shows, in terms of colorful costuming, set design, lighting, choreography, music, and presentation. Yet, they flow seamlessly from one to the other with no dead time providing about 2 hours of the most amazing, incredible, and unbelievable entertainment in Branson

I had the opportunity to talk with a grandmother and her six-year-old granddaughter who were visiting Branson. The grandmother said that she had brought her older granddaughter to see the show several years ago and liked it so much that she brought her two younger granddaughters back to see it. Her six -year-old granddaughter said that she was really enjoying the show and thought that other kids her age would too. I asked the grandmother, “Do you think that this show can entertain kids and adults simultaneously?” Without hesitation she said, “Definitely!”

That’s a critical distinction with Branson entering that part of its season where families, with kids of all ages, come for vacation. The content of all the Branson shows that I have seen over the last 31 years is “kid friendly.” There are very few however, that will hold a kid’s interest throughout most of the show. There are still fewer still that can do it for kids and adults simultaneously. The Acrobats of China Featuring The New Shanghai Circus, is one of these!

It’s “a visual display of spectacular beauty and athletic endurance that seems nearly impossible. These “graceful, skilled artists will keep your rapt attention throughout the show with a revolving line-up of award-winning acts.” These include the Spinning Girls; Diabolos; Butterfly Lovers, an exquisite Silks act representing a touching story of love and much more. Three of my favorite acts were:

Cycling: It had all the beauty, color, excitement, and daring that I expected and “then some.” It’s an amazing thing to see as one of the riders flips from one moving cycle to the other and how many they fit on one cycle. No, it’s unbelievable, but I saw it with my own eyes!

Rope Skills: It has rope twirling, as you have never seen it before, performed by both individuals and groups as well as a jump rope set, unlike anything I have ever seen. Figuratively speaking, this unique high energy act blew my socks off.

Hoop Diving: Folks this isn’t your grandmother’s hoop diving act. This high energy, high flying act had more action going on than you could shake a stick at. Even though I’ve seen hoop diving before, this segment was unbelievable. These guys take hoop diving to a new exciting level.

If you are looking for a Branson show filled with high energy, color, daring, and excitement that will entertain adults and kids simultaneously the Acrobats of China Featuring The New Shanghai Circus is for you. You will be sitting on the edge of your seat eagerly waiting for what’s coming next! For additional information or tickets please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Wouldn’t your family enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in Branson?

Silver Dollar City’s “Wildfire”, the Branson Ferris Wheel, Ride the Ducks, and the Million Dollar Quartet are just a few of the many ways to have fun in Branson.

“Memorial Day Weekend in Branson is a unique exciting experience,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Oh, there’s other places with world-class theme parks, natural outdoor beauty, lakes, live shows, and attractions, but there’s few, if any, that have them all so conveniently located. Branson does!” he added.

Garrison says that not only is it the first “long summer weekend,” but it’s the “official” beginning of Branson’s summer outdoor season. Its spectacular lakes and natural outdoor beauty are in their full splendor. All Branson’s live shows and attractions are open, and ready to provide its visitors with a special experience not available anywhere else.

The proof’s in the pudding! From its oldest and most popular attraction, the 1880s styled Silver Dollar City, to its world-class live shows, and lakeside shopping and entertainment venue, Branson Landing, Branson is unique. What other tourist destination offers everything Branson does? All amid the natural wonder and beauty of a place like the Ozarks, and less than five minutes from a pristine 43,000 acre lake?

All of Branson’s most popular live shows are performing over the Memorial Day Weekend. * These include:

Acrobats of China
Amazing Pets
Broadway’s Greatest Hits
Clay Cooper’s Country Express
Comedy Jamboree
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
Illusionist Rick Thomas
it starring the Hughes Brothers
Legends in Concert
Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen
Million Dollar Quartet
New Jersey Nights
Ozarks Country
Ozarks Gospel
Pierce Arrow
Presleys’ Country Jubilee
Puttin On The Ritz
Raiding the Country Vault
Shoji Tabuchi

“Few world-class theme parks in the world have become part of the natural beauty surrounding them,” said Garrison. “Silver Dollar City has!” The view from the top of the loops of its world class coaster “Wildfire” spectacularly illustrates this remarkable achievement.

Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and BBQ Festival, features over 50 Bluegrass bands and groups. These groups present hundreds of performances throughout the park. Performers appearing over the Memorial Day Weekend include 14-time Grammy Award-winner Ricky Skaggs; Blue Highway; and many more.* The festival’s House of BBQ and Pitmaster’s Court offer a variety of mouthwatering BBQ. There’s demonstrations from grilling experts and an impressive selection of BBQ sauces, and more, to browse. As well as the Festival, Silver Dollar City offers all the shows, rides, craft demonstrations, and more, that makes it one of the top theme parks in the nation.

Table Rock Lake offers 43,000 surface acres of potential aquatic fun, excitement, and adventure. Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick off a summer of fun on the lake including sunbathing, swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and just about any other summer water activity a person would want.

Branson’s biggest water park, White Water, opens for its 2017 season on May 27. Its 12 acres and over 7,000 feet of water slides, offer more than two million gallons of water excitement and fun to enjoy. There’s an adventure for every member of the family. There’s “Splashaway Cay” and “Coconut Grove” for the smaller children and toddlers. The more adventurous will enjoy the seven story “Kalani Towers and ” the drops and speed of rides such as “KaPau Plummet,” “Pipeline Plunge” or the “Raging River Rapids.”

“If it’s outdoors, golfing, ziplines, hiking, boating, fishing, biking and more, the chances are that Branson has it,” Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison said.  “It’s really neat how all the outdoor activities conveniently combine with Branson’s live shows, attractions, and everything else into a virtually seamless vacation experience.

There’s two major firework displays at dusk on Sunday evening, May 28. One is at the Chateau on the Lake, as part of its Memorial Day Celebration, and the other at Big Cedar Lodge, as part of its Patriotic Picnic and Fireworks event. The public is invited to both; with the best views from Table Rock Lake, the property’s grounds or, in the case of the Chateau on the Lake, the peninsula area located just north of the Table Rock Dam to the west of its auxiliary spillways on State Highway 165.

Garrison stresses that Memorial Day Weekend is one of Branson’s busiest. He suggests advance reservations to ensure availability of the best lodging and show seating. For more information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll-free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

* Schedules subject to change and not all artists are appearing every day.

Branson’s “zig-zag” streets testify to the time Branson “disappeared”

The Zig-Zag streets of Branson testify to the time Branson “disappeared.”

San Francisco’s “Lombard Street,” is famous for being steep and crooked, but has little to do with the early history of San Francisco. On the other hand, Branson’s “College Street,” with its unique “zig-zag” streets, while not as famous, has a lot to do with the early history of Branson.

“Most of the millions who visit Branson each year will never see this unique historic feature. It’s a great way to spend some time between enjoying Branson’s great live shows and attractions and experience Branson history,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Interestingly, many drive within two blocks of the zig-zag streets on their way to Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson,” he added.

As you drive east on Highway 76, Main Street, you will notice a McDonalds to the north (left). McDonalds is at the intersection of Sixth and Main Streets.

Turn right, onto “Sixth Street” and drive south two blocks, passing “Pacific Street” to the apparent end of Sixth Street at its intersection with College Street. It’s only when one “Zigs,” by turning left onto College Street and then, about a quarter of a block down College, “Zags” back onto Sixth Street by turning right, that the “zig-zag” alignment of Sixth Street becomes apparent. If the Sixth street turn is missed basically the same thing can be done by turning onto Fourth or Third Streets.

Some might ask the question, “Why didn’t the people who planned Branson simply have the streets go straight through?” The answer is because the city of Branson, as it was originally incorporated on April 1, 1912, was a combination of two different plats with different roads, alignments, and block lengths.

In about 1882, Ruben S. Branson opened a general store near the mouth of Roark Creek and the White River. He named the post office in his store “Branson,” and even though he moved away, the name stuck, well, kind of.

In the early 1900s, as the railroad started into the “Branson area,” there were competing interests trying to get land and plat towns. The first town platted was “Lucia” on October 2, 1903 with the town of “Branson” platted soon after on October 26, 1903. In general, College Street was the dividing line between the Lucia and Branson town plats, It was the northern edge for Lucia and the southern edge for Branson.

According to most historical accounts, Charles Fulbright and his “Branson Town Company” acquired both town sites by the end of 1903. So, although the two plats became “Branson” in 1903 their roads remained as they were, and are to this very day.

Branson “disappeared” for a short time. The official records of the U.S. Post Office indicate that the name of the “Branson” Post Office was changed from “Branson” to “Lucia” in 1902 and changed back to “Branson’ again in 1904.

Branson’s zig-zag streets might not be at the top of the list of things most visitors plan to experience while in Branson. However, they can certainly provide a pleasant five or ten-minute side trip while on the way to or from Historic Downtown Branson or Branson Landing and testify to the time in history when Branson, if only for a short while,  “disappeared.”

They provide an excellent lead into the various historic things to see in “Historic Downtown Branson.” These would include, the site where the Mabe family started Branson’s first show, the “Baldknobbers,” the grave of Ruben S. Branson for whom Branson is named, the oldest free standing building in Branson, and, of course, “Dick’s 5 & 10.”

 

 

If The Haygoods 25th Anniversary show was a diamond it’d be the “Hope Diamond!”

“Banjo Boy” jetting in, Dominic on the sax with “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” Catherine playing “Some Where Over The Rainbow,” and instruments like you’ve never seen before!

There are many different diamonds in the world, but there’s only one Hope Diamond. Branson has many great live shows, but there is only one The Haygoods show! The talent of the Haygoods, their technical innovations, and production easily makes it the Hope Diamond of Branson’s music shows. It simultaneously entertains both adults and children with two hours of the most exciting, colorful, high energy, and talent filled shows in Branson.

The Haygoods got to their 25th year of entertaining Branson audiences one performance at a time. Throughout 7,000 performances and entertaining over six million people, they left “each” with the feeling that they’ve been a part of a unique special entertainment experience. I know because I have been one of the millions, most recently a couple of weeks ago.

I am constantly amazed at just how fresh and exciting it is each time I see it, but this time it really “blew my socks off!” The new special effects, created by Michael Haygood, are simply amazing. My favorite was the beautiful images coming from the instruments as they were being played. WOW, and that’s just one thing! The costuming, its color, and shows technical innovations have no equal on any Branson musical show. Large LED screens, special effects, and dramatic overhead entries onto the stage all add to the excitement and enjoyment of the show.

All that’s fine, but it’s a music show, and what a music show it is! The Haygood siblings, six brothers Timothy, Pat, Dom, Shawn, Mike, and Matt and their sister Catherine, are some of the best vocalists and instrumentalists in Branson. The show’s drummer, for the last ten years, is Dino Phillips. When they come together, the music; bluegrass, gospel, country, pop, patriotic, or anything else is amazing!

While realizing that my favorites might not be the same as someone else’s, I traditionally list three favorite parts in each show I write about. From among many, Catherine’s playing of Somewhere Over the Rainbow on the harp was an elegant, unique, and special experience. Their acapella version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, featuring Michael, was as inspiring as it was beautiful. The Haygoods performance of the Hank Williams Classic, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, with Dominic featured on the sax, adds a wonderful new dimension to this classic country gem.

It’s not just some very talented performers singing and playing or some of the best special affects you will see in any music show in Branson. There’s more than unique colorful costumes, great production, charisma, and choreography. It’s the total entertainment experience that results when it all comes together.

No, it’s more than that! From the beginning to the end, it’s an exciting musical “adventure” for the family to share together. An adventure filling the senses with great music, energy, excitement, color, and action, the likes of which will not be seen on any other Branson stage. Whether it’s back flips, fire canons, high-energy mountain tap dancing, or something else, you’re always anticipating what’s coming next. That’s how they entertain both children and adults, simultaneously and to similar levels of enjoyment. That’s why The Haygoods are celebrating their 25th year in Branson!

For information on The Haygoods show or any other Branson show, please contact the Branson Tourism Center. It’s Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of Branson show and attraction tickets and lodging. Reach them by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson’s most “Legendary” show!


Céline Dion is just one of the many legendary stars appearing in the Legends in Concert show during 2017.

“Where else in Branson can a person go to be entertained by the likes of ‘Céline Dion,’ ‘Michael Jackson,’ and ‘Frank Sinatra’?” asked Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Of course, the rhetorical question was referring to the Legends in Concert show, known for the variety of its “legendary stars,” and excitement and quality of its productions. Here’s the schedule of the “legendary” stars scheduled to perform throughout 2017:

SPRING: Through May 16

Through May 11: The Temptations
Through May 16: George Strait
Through May 16: The Blues Brothers™
Through May 16: Elvis
Through May 16: Adele
May 12-May16: Michael Jackson

MAY 18-21 Menopause The Musical

SUMMER: May 22-Sept 5

May 22-Sep. 5: Céline Dion
May 22-Sep. 5: Brooks and Dunn
May 22-Sep. 5: Michael Jackson
May 22-Sep. 5: The Blues Brothers™
May 22-Sep. 5: Elvis
June-July Only: SPECIAL GUEST- Bruno Mars

FALL: Sep.7-Oct 31

Sep.7-Oct 31: Frank Sinatra
Sep.7-Oct 31: Aretha Franklin
Sep.7-Oct 31: Johnny Cash
Sep.7-Oct 31: The Blues Brothers™
Sep.7-Oct 31: Elvis

CHRISTMAS: Nov.2-Dec. 31

Nov.2-Dec. 31: Michael Jackson
Nov.2-Dec. 30: Barbra Streisand
Nov.2-Dec. 31: Alan Jackson
Nov.2-Dec. 31: The Blues Brothers™
Nov.2-Dec. 31: Elvis
Dec. 31: Cher SPECIAL GUEST-NEW YEARS EVE

“Being a part of the Legends in Concert family, we have access to wonderful cast of “legends” from which to pick acts for our show. We are really excited about our schedule and the opportunity it gives us to be able to present Branson audiences with a variety of high quality legendary entertainment,” said Jeannie Horton, the General Manager, of Branson’s  Legends in Concert. “It’s designed to bring in  ‘legends’ that will entertain and appeal to the audiences we believe will be in Branson during a particular time of the year.”

In addition, she said that they are really excited about the limited engagement performance of Menopause The Musical, performing May 18-21, as part of their National tour. “Set in a department store, four women with seemingly nothing in common, come to find they have more to share than ever imagined. The cast makes fun of their woeful hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges. A sisterhood is created between these diverse women as they realize that menopause is no longer The Silent Passage, but a stage in every woman’s life that is perfectly normal!”

The Branson premier gives Branson audiences, albeit for short time, a chance to “see what millions of women worldwide have been laughing about for 14 years” in this “groundbreaking, hilarious celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change!”

For additional information or tickets on the Legends in Concert, Menopause The Musical, or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

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Is “Menopause” different in Branson?


The ladies of “Menopause The Musical” celebrating a disco moment.

“Not if we’re talking about Menopause The Musical,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The National Touring Company of this funny musical parody will perform it, in Branson, the same way it has for millions over the last 14 years,” she added.

“It’s exciting to bring this hysterical musical to Branson for the first time,” said Jeannie Horton, the General Manager, for Branson’s Legends in Concert. She said the show’s 60s, 70s, and 80s music will have you dancing in the aisles as four women, who seemingly have nothing in common, discover just how similar they are.

Set in a department store, the four women “make fun of their woeful hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges.” They form a sisterhood as they musically, and hilariously, come to a common realization, “Menopause is no longer ‘The Silent Passage;’” it’s a normal stage in every woman’s life!

“Bring the waterproof mascara because you’ll laugh so hard, you’ll cry. With humor and compassion, writer, producer, and lyricist Jeanie Linders has captured the experiences of every woman in her 40s and 50s,” said Leslie Fischer of ChicagoCritic.com.

Menopause The Musical will be in Branson, for a four day six performance limited engagement, May 18 through May 21. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this hilarious musical in Branson! For more information or ticketing please call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550 or visit their website www.BransonTourismCenter.Com.

 

The Texas Tenors delight Branson audiences “doing it their way!”

The Texas Tenors, Marcus Collins, right; J.C. Fisher, and John Hagen.

The Texas Tenors meteoric ‘Rise’ to fame is proof positive that “You Should Dream.” Since their national debut on NBC’s hit prime time show America’s Got Talent in 2009, they have become one of the most popular singing groups in America. In addition, to a full concert schedule and many hit recordings, they have filmed two PBS Specials, “You Should Dream” and their newest, which will air shortly, “Rise.”

The Texas Tenors have been entertaining Branson audiences since 2010. Having just seen their 2017 show recently, I can say without a doubt that 2017 is all that, and more! From their first number to the last, the power, beauty, and intensity of each totals up to an unforgettable entertainment experience that should not be missed!

The show is in concert format. And what a concert it is! The Texas Tenors, Marcus Collins, J.C. Fisher, and John Hagen perform many covers and original music. This includes country, classical, gospel, Broadway, and more.

The Texas Tenor entertainment experience is more than just their pure vocal talent, wonderful harmonies, and innovative arrangements. Oh, that’s the focal point, but their innate ability to relate to their audience and get them involved in the performance is a powerful dynamic. When combined and choreographed with a large LED Screen and a great live band, it’s easy to see why this show is one of Branson’s most popular music shows. The band consists of some of the best musicians in Branson including Larry Hensen, Keyboard; Mitch Keirsey, Guitar; and Ryan Hurn, Drums.

In each show piece that I write, I pick three of my favorite numbers to highlight. I confess that’s hard to do with this show because there are so many “favorites.” In any event, here they are and why. My first is the opening number, Alabama’s Play Me Some Mountain Music, because I love the song and the way they perform it. The performance of Vincero Perdero, (I Will Win, I Will Lose,) by J. C. Fisher and John Hagen was something! Although the words are sung in Italian they were displayed on the large screen. The way they sang separate parts and then joined together was magnificent!

The performance of the 1965 hit, That Loving Feeling, honoring “Righteous Brothers” Bill Medley, was another special highlight. It fully integrated the talents of The Texas Tenors, the band, and the giant LED screen into a spectacular performance. Bill Medley’s singing on the screen was synced with the live performance so that it appeared he was actually singing with them. It was a pure joy to see and hear.

I must mention one more, the Eagles hit, Desperado. Like Vincero Perdero , It’s a perfect illustration of how they start a song separately, each adding their own touch, and then come together for a powerful finish. What a beautiful job!

The show flew by and, fittingly ends with Frank Sinatra’s, I Did It My Way. From a The Texas Tenors perspective “Doing It Their way” is two of the finest hours of music you will hear anywhere. It ends all too soon!

Want tickets or more information on The Texas Tenors, or any of Branson’s other shows, attractions or lodging? Contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling its toll free number, 1-800-785-1550, or through www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Personal answers to the question, “What do you like most about Branson’s Silver Dollar City?”

Silver Dollar City’s world class wood coaster, “Outlaw Run.”

Silver Dollar City features dozens of practicing crafters and artisans displaying their skills; over 40 exciting rides for all ages; shows; six annual world-class festivals, and much more. The 1890’s styled theme park has been “Creating memories worth repeating” for generations and is Branson’s oldest and most popular paid attraction.

We thought it would be interesting see what it was about Silver Dollar City that keeps bringing people back again and again. We asked those participating in our Facebook and Twitter social media channels, the question, “What’s your favorite thing to do at Silver Dollar City?

The following responses represent the things mentioned the most often and offer a personal perspective on what people enjoy most at Silver Dollar City. Joe Cannon’s comment, “Just going inside the gate and shutting out the real world for a while!” sums up the essence of what Silver Dollar City means.

The names of the “commenter” precedes their comment. Click here to read all the comments. In some cases, we have added our remarks. They follow the comment in [brackets]:

Gina Wagner: Just walking around, taking it all in. The music, the quaint little shops, the food, the rides. It’s all lovely. My favorite ride is the swings. During the Christmas festival [Old Time Christmas], my favorite thing to do is ride the train. It gets me emotional (in a good way) every time. [There is just something about Silver Dollar City and what it represents. It reminds people of a bygone era And brings them back again and again. It’s a wonderful thing!]

Jill Hoppe Allen: Our first visit to Silver Dollar City was in 1968. We had been married for 6 months. Now we’re coming up on 50. I’ve always felt like I was home when I walked through the gates. Now living in Florida and truly miss our annual trips to Branson and Silver Dollar City.

Barb Eaton: Sometimes we like to ride rides, some days it’s the shows, other days just walking and visiting the shops. We like to do it all at some point. [That’s one of the neat things about Silver Dollar City; there’s so much to do that you can tailor it to what you want to do when you want to do it.]

Matt and Julie Pierce: The demonstrations, Fire in the Hole and Grandfather’s Mansion. [“Fire in the Hole” is one of the oldest and most popular rides at Silver Dollar City. There’s nothing like it anywhere! It was the very first ride I rode on my first visit to Silver Dollar City in 1976 at the age of 35.]

“Marvel Cave” is another of Silver Dollar City’s unique experiences.

Maggie Jean McCurdy: THE TRAIN, my little ones love-love-love-it! Ride it every single time! The “ball room” [inside the Firehouse Play Place] at “Fireman’s Landing.” The rides, the food, and of course the shops! We’re season pass holders but, we’ve yet to see a show or the cave. Gives us something to look forward to on our next visits. [Marvel Cave is something you really should see. Hope you will find this article interesting: “How Devil’s Den Became A Marble Marvel On Its Way To Becoming Branson’s Silver Dollar City” https://goo.gl/qLDGhx]

Joyce Meinhardt: Classes at the Culinary school. My husband & I both love to attend for the recipes, samples and to chat with Debbie Dance Uhrig. [Another of the great unique activities Silver Dollar City offers its guests.]

Patricia Key-Bartee: Try all the foods, sit and enjoy the atmosphere, listen to the music, the sounds of the train, watch my family just having fun, enjoy the festivals, and make lots of amazing memories!!! SDC is one of our favorite places to visit each year. [“Making memories worth repeating” is what Silver Dollar City is all about!]

Tammy Lasley Stephens: Watching my family’s reactions to all it has to offer! Great memories! [That’s the real magic of Silver Dollar City.]

Michelle Gandy: Watching all the different people reacting to the sights and smells. For us, it’s always glass blowers, bread, and shows first. Then the rides as we pass them and go round again. It’s been 30+ years of fun! [It’s amazing the way people are continually drawn beck to Silver Dollar City and the fun filled memories it has created.]

Kyle Murphy: Every time we go, we have to do these 3 things: get a skillet meal, listen to the “Homestead Pickers,” and get an apple turnover with apple butter at the apple place.

Bob Kirkley: Listen to the “[Homestead] Pickers!” I first visited SDC in 1961 or 2. There was only the “hotel, general store, a stage coach ride, and, of course, “Marvel Cave!” [Bob: Here’s a link an article we wrote on Marvel Cave that we hope you will enjoy: “How Devil’s Den Became A Marble Marvel On Its Way To Becoming Branson’s Silver Dollar City” https://goo.gl/qLDGhx]

Shaina Jones: We love all the rollercoasters, shops and food!! The cave under silver dollar city is awesome. I love going at Christmas time to have cider, see the parade, shops and millions of lights, and the big 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree with over 350,000 colorful LED lights! [Here an article on two of SDC’s coasters that we hope you will find interesting: “Will Silver Dollar City’s iconic ‘Wildfire’ be eclipsed by ‘Outlaw Run?’” https://goo.gl/z4e4wn]

Tandi Frazier Jackson EVERYTHING!!!

“Silver Dollar City is a unique one of a kind theme park unlike any other,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, sellers of over five million Branson show and attractions tickets. “It’s filled with a special spirit and all the fun, excitement, and adventure anyone could ever want. Our customers just love it,” he added.

For more information or tickets for Silver Dollar City, or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550. One of its Branson based Vacation Specialists will answer your questions and help with reservations and getting the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM.

Time running out to see original Titanic movie costumes in Branson

Two of the dresses and coat actually worn by “Rose”, Kate Winslett, in the 1997 Academy Award winning movie,”Titanic.”

“On a day to day basis, Branson’s Titanic Museum Attraction is a wonderful interactive experience for the whole family to enjoy together. It has hundreds of artifacts from the ill-fated ‘unsinkable’ ship, self-guided tours for adults and children, interactive exhibits, and much more,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Even with all that, it’s just amazing the way it keeps adding something fresh, unique, and new for its guests to experience every year,” she added.

2017 is the 20th anniversary of the premier blockbuster hit movie “Titanic.” It went on to win eleven Academy Awards including “Best Picture” and “Best Costume Design.” Now, for the first time, and only through June 11, 2017, visitors to the Museum can view a collection of the actual costumes worn in the movie.

The costumes are displayed throughout the museum. Each is in an appropriate setting that enhances the viewing experience. During a recent tour of the exhibit with First Class Maid Jamie, she said, “Everyone comes to the Museum and asks, ‘Where’s Jack?’. Well we don’t have ‘Jack,’ but what we do have is one of the costumes that Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘Jack,’ wore in the movie. And that’s just one of many!”

Jamie explained the effort involved in putting the exhibit together. “It took the Museum about two years to get all of the contracts signed,” she said. She points out that because of cost overruns on the production of the film, two studios were involved in producing the film, “20th Century Fox” and “Paramount Pictures.” Contracts had to be negotiated with each of them as well as individual collectors who own some of the costumes.

One of the costumes worn by “Jack,” Leonardo DiCaprio.

When asked what her favorite costume was she said it’s the white “boarding dress” worn by “Rose,” played by Kate Winslet, as she was boarding the “Titanic”. Another favorite is the scarlet “jump dress” she wore when she was going to jump off the ship, and Jack talked her out of it. Those two dresses are in a dazzling exhibit with the pink “sinking coat” Rose wore as the ship was sinking after hitting the iceberg. My favorite costume was the “Engineers Overalls” and the engine room environment created for their display.

It’s the total experience, uniqueness and the beautiful way each is displayed. It’s an historical collection of movie artifacts that may never been seen together again. First Class Maid Jamie said, “These costumes are not going on a big tour of the United States. They will be on display in Branson through June 11. The only other place they will be displayed will be in the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge from June 17 through Labor Day.

The 155-carat sapphire “Heart of the Ocean” necklace.

“The Heart of the Ocean (also known as Le Cœur de la Mer), was a fictional blue diamond and sapphire necklace that played a very prominent part in the movie “Titanic.” The owners of the Titanic Museum Attraction commissioned their own “Heart of the Ocean” necklace, and it’s real! Valued at $250,000, it has a 155-carat sapphire surrounded by 16 carets of diamonds. It is normally displayed at the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum Attraction, but is on display in Branson through June 11.

Another costume on display is that of the Titanic’s Captain Smith, played by Bernard Hill in the movie. Jamie points out another interesting aside involving the movie. The Museum’s audio tours, for both adults and children, are narrated by Bernard Hill.

For more information on Branson’s Titanic Museum Attraction or other attractions, shows or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center and talk with one of their Branson based Travel Planning Specialists by calling 1-800-785-1550. BTC’s one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and has sold over 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets.