Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-style theme park featuring craftsmen, shows, rides and more, has been named as one of the Top 5 Amusement Parks in the country, according to the national USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
The park was chosen as a nominee by a panel of amusement and theme park experts consisting of USA Today editors, 10Best.com editors and additional contributors and influencers from around the country.
“Being selected for this poll by the experts and editors at USA Today already establishes us as a premier, global destination for families, but winning a Top 5 spot solidifies the quality and scope of experiences we offer to our guests,” Silver Dollar City President Brad Thomas said. “The park’s Top 5 win follows a great first half of the year with mentions in outlets like Parents Magazine, Time, Money, U.S. News & World Report and Travel Channel.”
Silver Dollar City placed fourth in this competitive poll among some of the biggest parks in the industry, including Cedar Point, Busch Gardens and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In addition to this award, the park’s 2015 Guinness World Record-holding wooden roller coaster, Outlaw Run, is also ranked in the Top 10 Best Roller Coaster poll from the media company.
Last year, the park unveiled the spinning coaster Time Traveler, a $26 million investment which represented the largest, single investment the park has made in more than 50 years of existence. In addition to the massive price tag, Time Traveler is the first ride of its kind anywhere, and also broke several world records.
In addition to the Time Traveler, Silver Dollar City is also home to 10 family adventures at Fireman’s Landing, the award-winning wooden coaster Outlaw Run, and perennial favorites WildFire, Powder Keg, and Fire in the Hole.
While the rides and attractions take center stage during Spring Ride Days, there is also plenty of live entertainment throughout the park.
In fact, Silver Dollar City is in the middle of “The Year of Shows and Festivals,” which “strongly builds on Branson’s famed tourism industry of live entertainment and production shows, with a new era of even bolder entertainment.”
Star-Spangled Summer is being headlined by an all new, million dollar production show, “Reuben’s Swashbuckling Adventure,” a Broadway-style musical created exclusively for Silver Dollar City. “Reuben’s Swashbuckling Adventure” following a young Ozarkian boy in the 1880s who is transported into a fanciful dreamscape spanning a giant pirate ship, a lush, sprawling and “expensive” forest, a wayfarer camp and more, all while he is searching for his destiny.
This family-focused musical inhabits the park’s 1,000-seat Opera House, which allowed the producers to pair classic theatrical tricks with modern, advanced technologies, including a massive LED screen, nearly one-thousand square feet in area.
“This is probably the most fun 35 minutes you’ll spend in a theme park, besides riding rides,” said Vice President of Entertainment Events and the show’s Writer and Executive Producer Brad Schroeder, who also helped bring the original musical productions, “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” and “It’s A Wonderful Life” to the stage. “In fact, there is so much to watch, to listen to and to laugh at, I promise there will be people who say ‘I saw it once, but I don’t think I caught everything, so I need to see it again.
“It took us three years to get this from concept to the stage, and it also took three semis to bring in all the scenery from Chicago, it’s that big.”
“Reuben’s Swashbuckling Adventure” takes the stage three times a day, except Mondays, throughout the summer festival.
Also new for summer is a show featuring the world’s youngest magician and illusionist, Kid Magic, starring Kadan Bart Rockett and Brooklyn, direct from a run on “America’s Got Talent.” Clean comedian, magician and juggler Greg Bennick will also perform shows, as will groups including Southern Raised, the Farnum Family, the Dixie Jubilee. Plus, the new “Dance Explosion” show, where clogging joins the likes of stomp, tap and other dance disciplines
Star-Spangled Summer at Silver Dollar City runs through July 21. Following Star-Spangled Summer, the park will again host one of its most popular run of dates with Midnight and Moonlight Madness for 16 straight days from July 20 through Aug. 4, before making way for Southern Gospel Picnic Aug. 22-Sept. 2.
Profiles of the parks in the top 10 are now posted at 10best.com/awards/travel.