Silver Dollar City is Fun for All Ages

No family vacation to Branson is complete without a trip to Silver Dollar City, one of the area’s oldest and most famous attractions.

With dozens of rides, shops and restaurants scattered across 100 acres of beautiful rolling Ozark landscape, there’s something for everyone to love, regardless of age.

Rides and Attractions

Thrill seekers will find plenty to love at Silver Dollar City, including award-winning rollercoasters like Outlaw Run, which is the Magnificent Wave Carousel, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MOsteepest wooden roller coaster in the world, and PowderKeg, which takes riders from 0 to 53mph in less than three seconds. Another can’t miss ride is the Giant Barn Swing, which sends riders more than seven stories into the air. There’s also the popular WildFire rollercoaster, which includes multiple loops and a barrel roll, all at speeds of up to 66mph.

The park is home to plenty of classic rides that are sure to delight younger members of the family as well. Rides like the Frisco Silver Dollar Steam Train, the Elephant March, or Hugo and Mary’s Carousel have delighted visitors for many years. Be sure not to miss the mystifying experience of Grandfather’s Mansion either, where slanting floors, trick mirrors and more will change your view of the world.

When it gets hot outside, the park’s many water rides are some of the most popular for visitors regardless of age. Guests can ride down the Lost River of the Ozarks, take aim with the water cannons at RiverBlast, or make a splash after a five-story drop on the American Plunge.

Artisans and Craftspeople

At this 1880s-themed park, the rides are only the beginning of the experience, however. There are also 100 local artisans on site, who practice traditional crafts celebrating the history and skill of the people of the Ozarks. The first craftspeople in the park debuted in 1963, and they were so popular that they’ve been around ever since. You’ll find woodworkers, furniture makers, a blacksmith, jewelers, quilters and more practicing their trades throughout the park. They offer plenty of opportunities to find unique souvenirs and gifts made right in front of your eyes.

Dining and Restaurants at Silver Dollar City, Branson, MODining at Silver Dollar City

Of course, you couldn’t spend the whole day at the park if there wasn’t also some great food available. With more than a dozen restaurants waiting to be discovered around the property, you’ll find everything from hearty country skillets to scrumptious indulgences like red velvet funnel cakes. There’s also plenty of familiar fare like hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, pulled pork, pizza and other goodies. For special occasions, the Reunion Hall Prime Rib Buffet offer lots to love. Molly’s Mill Restaurant and the Lucky Silver Mine also offer buffet-style dining options.

Live Shows at Silver Dollar City

Just like Branson itself, the park features a plethora of live shows, performances and entertainment too. There are more than 30 live shows held throughout the park, from the boisterous fun of the Silver Dollar City Saloon to traditional bluegrass tunes at McHaffie’s Homestead. Held at various venues, show lovers and music fans will find great country music, Cajun tunes, storytelling and more during a visit.

Experiencing Silver Dollar City: Location, Parking, Tickets & Accessibility

Approaching Silver Dollar City from Highway 76, guests can find ample parking available in one of the park’s lots. From there, shuttles appear every few minutes to whisk guests from pick-up points to the front gates of the park. Purchase tickets online or at the park to the right of the entrance at booths. If you’re traveling with more than 15 people, group rates are available. The guest relations office, restrooms and an ATM are also located near the entrance. For visitors with disabilities, it can be helpful to stop at the guest relations office to pick up a brochure with information about rides and park accessibility.

Silver Dollar City Hours and Schedule

Silver Dollar City is open from mid-March through late December each season and closed in January and February. During the early part of the season, the park is not open daily, so be sure to check the website before planning your visit. There are a few additional closed days throughout the year as well.

Generally speaking, Silver Dollar City opens at 9:30 a.m and closes at 6 p.m., but the schedule changes seasonally. During the summer months (June – August), the park expands its hours, staying open until 7 p.m. for most of June through mid-July, and then will be open until 10 p.m. from mid-July through early-August. There are a handful of nights per year when the park stays open until midnight. Toward the end of the season (November and December) hours shift to be later in the day, with the park opening from 1 – 9 p.m. to better accommodate the holiday lights and other programs. To get more information, you can visit their FAQ page or call the park’s general information line at 800-831-4FUN (4386). Schedule and prices are subject to change.

Marvel Cave and the Origins of Silver Dollar City

One of the park’s most popular attractions is one you might not notice if you don’t take the time to explore it. Underground, beneath the park, lies what’s known as Marvel Cave, a beautiful limestone cavern that has been named a National Natural Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior. There are regular tours of the cave, which depart from a spot near the front of the park, between the Hospitality House and Molly’s Mill Restaurant. Without the cave, which was one fo the area’s first tourist attractions, Silver Dollar City as we know it today might not exist at all.

Local Native American tribes had known of the cave’s existence for several hundred years, but the first group to dream about its economic possibilities was a handful of lead miners in the 1880s. They named it Marble Cave (mistaking the limestone for the other material), but when it didn’t produce any lead the miners abandoned it. A Canadian miner named William Henry Lynch saw other possibilities with the cave, however, and purchased it with the idea of opening it up for public tours, which began in 1894.

The first few years were challenging for Lynch and his family, but the area grew in popularity in the early 1900s, in part thanks to the popularity of Harold Bell Wright’s novel, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” which was set in the Ozarks. The Lynch family owned and managed the cave attraction for more than five decades before selling the property to Hugo Herschend and his family in 1950 (and members of the Herschend family are still involved in the management of the park today).

Local Artisans and Craftsmen at Silver Dollar City, Branson, MOBuilt around the opening of the cave, the original version of the park (known then as Ozark Jubilee) debuted in 1955. It consisted of five shops, a church, a cabin and an open-air show about the famous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. The name Silver Dollar City, which was first used in 1960, came from an earlier promotional idea — using silver dollar coins as change. The expanded park was a hit from the beginning, welcoming 125,000 visitors during the first season.

The park has grown steadily since then. A craft festival in 1963 introduced the first local artisans and craftspeople to the park. The park gained additional fame in 1969 when it served as the setting for several episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. The number of rides has steadily expanded as well, but recent additions such as the award-winning roller coasters Outlaw Run and PowderKeg have raised the profile of the park considerably in the eyes of thrill seekers.

Silver Dollar City by the Numbers

  • Theme setting: 1880s
  • Year opened: 1960
  • Total park area: 100 acres
  • Visitors per year: more than 2 million
  • Total visitors since 1960: more than 73 million
  • Park employees: 1,500
  • Resident craftspeople: 100
  • Shops: 60
  • Rides: more than 30
  • Places to eat: more than 20

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