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As one of my Yeses, for the July Yes! Month, I agreed to take my granddaughter Aubrey and great niece London to Silver Dollar City, near Branson, Missouri.
These girls are second cousins. However, they’ve grown up together as cousins and friends. They enjoy spending time together.
The girls planned this trip, from the day they wanted to go to working out the details of getting together. I happily said yes to a day in Silver Dollar City. Greg accompanied us, serving as driver and holder of items while we rode rides in the park.
Explore the City with us!
Silver Dollar City History
The City is located in the Ozarks, near Branson. One of the most popular attractions in Missouri, Silver Dollar City actually began as a hole in the ground.
The sinkhole, originally called Marble Cave, was discovered by the Osage Tribe in the 1500s. Over the years explorers lowered themselves down into the cave, searching for marble…there wasn’t any…and other treasures. Canadian mining expert William Henry Lynch bought Marvel Cave and moved to the area with his two daughters.
They began giving tours of the huge cave in 1894. By the 1920s, tourists flocked to the cave, by road or by hiking in from the train station. In 1946 Hugo and Mary Herschend leased the cave from the Lynch Sisters. After making improvements to the cave’s access, the Hershcends and their two sons developed the idea of an 1880s village around the cave entrance. People arriving to tour the cave could wait there.
Silver Dollar City officially opened in 1960, so named for the promotional idea of giving guests change in silver dollars. The town square contained a general store, blacksmith shop, doll shop, ice cream parlor and two authentic log structures. A small troupe, dressed in 1880s costumes, performed in the square.
Silver Dollar City Today
The City continues to grow from that humble beginning that drew 125,000 visitors its first year.
Today the park spreads over 100 acres. It features more than 40 rides and attractions, 18 restaurants, 12 performance venues, 60 shops and 100 craftsmen. World class festivals and events are offered from spring through the holiday season, when the park is lit up with more than 6 million lights.
The City is divided into 11 themed districts, all reachable on foot. Prepare for lots of walking in the City, and up and downhill walking at that. Due to the Herschend’s careful planning to leave the area as natural as possible, the paved pathways and streets wind through wooded areas and water features. During the hot summer months, all those trees help keep the area cooler.
The first roller coaster, Fire in the Hole, opened in 1972, joining the steam engine train, Flooded Mine ride and Grandfather’s Mansion. It’s still in operation today. Silver Dollar City’s newest ride, Mystic River Falls, opened last year. It’s billed as the tallest rapids drop in the western hemisphere.
A Day in Silver Dollar City
The park is open March through December. Current hours are from 9:30 am until 10:00 pm. You can purchase one, two or three day passes online or at the park. Also available is a season pass for unlimited visits through Christmas. A slight discount is offered for those over 65. However, for active or retired military, there is a significant discount. Those tickets must be purchased online.
Until August 8, you can enter the park after 5:00, during Moonlight Madness, for a deeply discounted price.
You can also save on groups of 15 or more people.
The City offers strollers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters for rent.
Due to COVID the park chooses the right to limit the number of visitors into the park. Stringent cleaning practices are in place. Vaccinated guests are not required to wear a mask. Masks are encouraged for those who are not vaccinated.
Special note: some rides have a height requirement. Check out the rides and requirements HERE.
Our Day in Silver Dollar City
We arrived about 10:00 am, after purchasing our tickets online. London is a season pass holder, which meant we all received discounts on our food purchases while in the park.
For the girls who planned this trip, the highlight for them was deciding where to go, what to ride and when to eat. Greg and I tagged along behind them everywhere they went, allowing them to follow their adventurous hearts.
On this day in the City, the girls focused on rides and primarily the roller coasters. Due to the heat…temps in the high 90s making it feel like 108…the water rides had long wait times. We rode one toward the end of the day. The rest of the time, the girls enjoyed other rides and attractions and the thrills of Thunderation, Wildfire and Time Traveler, riding each multiple times.
We stayed hydrated, drinking water throughout the day. And we ate lightly every couple of hours.
I downloaded the Silver Dollar City app and found it so helpful! The map showed our location, making it easy to see where we needed to go to get to the next ride or restaurant. And every ride shows how long the wait time is. The girls passed on any ride with a 30 minute or longer wait time, focusing on those with quick access. As wait times shifted, we moved to that part of the park. I highly recommend the app, available in the Apple App store or Google Play.
We ended our time in the City with a water ride that left all of us soaking wet…and happily so. I’d recommend leaving dry shirts in the car.
Until Next Time
What a fun yes experience, taking Aubrey and London to Silver Dollar City. We walked more than five miles that day, spun and looped and twisted on roller coasters and explored all areas of the park.
At the end of our day there, the girls…and Yaya and Papa…were extremely tired. It was a good day though. The girls declared Time Traveler their favorite ride. I think they rode it at least six times. I joined them once. It is a cleverly done coaster that spins as it hurls over the track. This coaster is called the world’s fastest, tallest and steepest spinning roller coaster. The course includes a 10 story tall 90 degrees drop and a 95 foot tall vertical loop. The whole steampunk theme charmed me.
This won’t be our last time to visit Silver Dollar City. I have more grandchildren to explore the City with. And Greg and I would enjoy a stroll around the City on our own, taking in the shops and some of the shows.
Get your Silver Dollar City passes HERE. And let me know if you’ve visited this fun 1880s themed park.
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7 Replies to “A Day in Silver Dollar City”
I love Silver Dollar City, and I love reading about people’s trips! Moonlight Madness is one of my favorite times in the park. I always love those opportunities to explore the park in the dark, even if the dark doesn’t last that long in August. I also love that the girls planned the day. I haven’t been since Covid, but I hope to return soon. It’s a special place for many reasons, but my husband and I were married in the Wilderness Church in 2005. It will always be special to me!
We spent a day in Silver Dollar City several years ago while visiting Branson during Spring Break and had a WONDERFUL time. It was such a fun day and I loved the variety of rides – and the cave!
Silver dollar city is so fun. Time traveler is my favorite!
So many cool things in and near Branson, Missouri. Silver Dollar City looks and sounds like a fun place to visit especially with children and grandchildren.
This brings back so many memories of visiting Silver Dollar City when I was younger! It was so much fun! Now you have me wanting to bring my kids to experience it! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
This looks like a super fun amusement park! I’m not a huge fan of roller coasters but water rides are my jam.
It’s a very fun park!