Silver Dollar City is located outside Branson, Missouri and is operated by Herschend Family Entertainment, which also operates Dollywood in Tennessee (in fact, Dollywood used to be branded a "Silver Dollar City" park) and Wild Adventures in Georgia. The park is meticulously maintained, well-themed, and filled to the brim with "cast members" playing their part in an attempt to provide as immersive of a theme park experience as you can get west of Florida, or east of California.
Directions: Check the park's website for maps and directions.
History: SDC's history can be traced all the way back to the 1500s, when Native Americans discovered (what eventually became) the Marvel Cave directly beneath where the park now resides. By the late 1940s, Marvel Cave was drawing over 5,000 visitors a year. In the late 40s, the Herschends bought Marvel Cave and added a custom-designed train to carry folks back to the surface and were further inspired to create an authentic replica of an old time Ozark Mountain community. By the end of 1960, Silver Dollar City was born.
Hours: Silver Dollar City opens for the season in mid-March, operating through Dec. 30. It is also closed many Mondays and Tuesdays during the school year. Check the park's website for specific operating hours.
Reservations: In addition to single day passes and annual passes, Silver Dollar City offers express passes for both shows and rides. The Show Lover's Pass provides priority front row seating to participating shows, the Trailblazer Pass provides front of line access for up to eight rides, and the the Trailblazer SUPER Pass provides unlimited front of line access to all eligible rides. Check the links included for details and pricing.
Tickets: Buy in advance online at the Silver Dollar City website.
Touring Strategy: The best bet is to plan a two day trip and use one day for rides, and one day for shows, demonstrations, shopping, and the Marvel Cave tour. However, for single day excursions, check out this touring plan discussion thread. For additional info on touring the park, check out this 2012 trip report.
News: New for 2015 is Fireman's Landing, featuring an eight-story drop ride, FireFall, as well as a variety of flat rides and children's play areas.