Silver Dollar City–the Roller-Coasters!
As far as my children were concerned, this was the main attraction at Silver Dollar City near Branson, MO; everything else was secondary. The rides, specifically the roller-coasters, were, after all, the main reason we made the decision to visit Silver Dollar City on an Easter break in the first place. They did not let us, or our dare-devil children, down.
Our family favorite was BuzzSaw Falls. This was the world’s first liquid rollercoaster, combining a rapid water ride with the thrills of a dry coaster. Buzz Saw Falls twists and turns through the timber, following a cute and catchy story riders read from signs posted along the way, then plummets headfirst down a 9-story plunge. The story helps to distract those of us a bit nervous about that up-coming 9-story drop. When riding, be aware there is a camera posted and pointed at your faces as you drop down those nine stories that provides some hilarious photos once you arrive (drenched) at the bottom. On every visit we have purchased at least one family photo.
A close second in the line of favorites is Thunderation Railroad, a runaway train that carries you at 50 miles per hour through the treetops and down an old mine shaft. While lacking the water and 9 story drop of BuzzSaw Falls, the scene is artfully staged to provide a believable, albeit fast, train ride through an old mining camp.
Fire-in-the-Hole has you riding in another train car into a town set ablaze. While our children were unfazed by BuzzSaw Falls and Thunderation Railroad, both were frightened by this ride, with no drop or speed, and much less water. It seemed much tamer to me, but something about driving into a dark area that appeared to be in flames scared both of our children on each visit.
Finally, on Lost River of the Ozarks, you ride a large whitewater raft, twisting, turning and plunging down an exciting, roaring river. The kids loved this as they got very, very wet and we learned to put cameras and cell phones in sandwich bags before boarding the raft. There are many other rides, but these are a few of our favorites.
Another entertaining, though very tame, ride is the Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train, a leisurely train ride through the beautiful Ozark hills. A warning to riders: there may be a (non-threatening) train robbery occurring about midway back to the station. Very enjoyable and perfect for those NOT searching for a thrilling plunge.
Finally, take a walking tour of Marvel Cave, a natural wonder and registered national landmark discovered in the 1500s. If you’ve never toured such a cave, this is not to be missed. Again, the website for Silver Dollar City is www.silverdollarcity.com.
For more information about where to stay when enjoying Silver Dollar City, browse Woodall’s listings of Mississippi RV camping resorts.
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