Ii haven't been in years and this report makes me remember why I need to go back. Good Job! maybe I'll head out there this summer or fall.
I've lobbied quite a few times to add Silver Dollar City to this website. Make this another one. It's high time that we add it.
We had a great time at Silver Dollar City last week, and look forward to another trip in late May before area schools are out for the year. I highly recommend a visit for those who are theme-starved in the Midwest.
One note of caution for those considering a visit: I do not think our SDC trip would have been nearly as much fun during a busy summer day. It just does not seem like a park that will handle huge crowds well. The walkways are narrow, the availability of A/C seems somewhat limited, and many of the subtle nuances of the park will be lost in the masses of humanity. So, if you go, avoid the weekends and holidays, and make sure you have some sort of touring plan to help you manage your time.
Stephen, keep in mind that the reason we experienced little or no wait times is because we went during the school week in the off-season. A friend of mine went to SDC this past Saturday and said the lines were out of control.
SDC packs in 2 - 3 million visitors a year, and most of them will visit the park on weekends in May, September, and December, and during the June/July/August summer season. Time it right, and your visit will be excellent, time it wrong, and I think you'll be miserable.
Having said all that, you might look into visiting Dollywood instead which is a bit closer to your home park (I think) and offers the same 50% discount on admission. Either way, good luck, and have a great time!
Great job! I always like your reviews~
And by the way, you are certainly not OLD! ;)
I also agree that SDC is one degree below a Busch Gardens, but not in overall quality. I think the difference can probably be explained by their comparative budgets. You also have to consider that SDC will give you a season pass for the price of a Busch Gardens ticket.
One suggestion for anyone considering a visit to Branson. We like to stay at the Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club resort. The quality of this resort is exceptional and the price is reasonable. We usually can get a two bedroom suite with a full kitchen and living room (w/ pull out couch) for about $200 a night. If you collect Marriott points and enjoy more than a little elbow room after a full day at the park, this is a bargain. The pools and facilities are fantastic.
I realize from your post that I neglected to mention anything about where I stayed while in Branson. I did some research on the Horizons by Marriott resort you mentioned and it looks absolutely beautiful. However, this past trip we stayed in a one room (6 person) suite at the Comfort Inn and Suites on Gretna Blvd. The hotel is about 10 minutes from SDC, and nestled away from the downtown Branson traffic. The room was beautiful, the staff exceedingly nice, and the pool was indoor, decently sized, and well maintained. The complimentary breakfast was very good, with a mixture of cereals, breads, and fruit. With my 15% SDC season pass holder discount the room came to $100 total including tax. If you are looking for a one or two night hotel, I am not sure the Comfort Inn and Suites on Gretna can be beat.
I do look forward to staying at Horizons by Marriott on a future visit. Since I don't have a Marriott Rewards card, Jeff, maybe I can give you the points for my stay! ;)
We are going to try and head back to SDC for two days in late May to catch the Waterworks Waterboggan (opens Memorial Day), the refurbed Marvel Mine, and to sample some more of those amazing skillets (and the BBQ you mentioned). In talking with the folks at our hotel, the Branson school year has been extended to the beginning of June because of excess snow days, so I am hoping the last week of May won't be too busy.
We're also looking to head back in mid-September (sounds like we'll be hitting the bus tours again!), and early December for the Christmas Festival. I really enjoyed my visit to SDC and look forward to returning soon.