|Welcome! It's great to be here.|
And a great past it was. The park celebrated their 50th anniversary three years ago, but when visiting the park one might be unsure whether the property has been around those fifty years, or perhaps even one hundred fifty. The park's theme as a village of the Ozark's is as authentic as they come, granted the village aspect has been expanded greatly over time and now includes more than a half dozen themed areas.
|Trees, theming, perfection?|
When Hugo Herschend began to operate the cave it marked the early start of the park, though that wasn't the plan at the time. Upon his death several years later, his wife, Mary, and his sons, Jack and Peter set out to build the Ozark Village around the entrance to the cave to support even more tourists and visitors. Smart move on their part.
|Plenty of hills to be covered - the hike is worth it.|
We often write about theme parks and rides here, but there's quite a bit more to this park than those items. There's a clear emphasis on live entertainment, I mean we are talking about Branson after all! You'll also find plenty of stores throughout the park that may offer a coaster tee shirt, but at how many parks do you find a looming demonstration and quilting supply store or a whole facility dedicated to apple butter?
|A part of Midtown, which greets guests after they enter. Charming, no?|
I'm confident enough in the park's various offering that I can say I truly believe that you could visit, not go on even one single ride, and still not get done everything you want.
But how about those rides? This is NewsPlusNotes and they are our bread and butter. Silver Dollar City really started adding the big boys in the past twenty years, before that the focus wasn't on them. It's still arguably not the focus of the park, but they certain play a role in getting those turnstiles clicking away as they do.
|Time for a trip on a flying machine.|
Wildfire is one of the few B&M 'sitdown' rides built, more specifically ones that do have a floor under riders' feet.
|Impressive first drop, indeed.|
The story goes a little something like this. Dr. Horatio Harris decided he wanted to build a flying machine that would offer amazing views as it flew over the Ozarks. Guests enter his laboratory, filled with schematics related to the creation of the ride, his workshop and some other kinetically interesting contraptions.
|What goes up...|
|No one has ever taken this photo before.|
|Starting their journey with the cobra roll behind.|
|Welcome to the farm!|
Wilson Farms is home to two attractions, the Giant Barn Swings and the High-Low Silos. The park was smart to add a thrill ride to the lineup, but keep an attraction aimed at smaller kids right next to it.
|No cows in this barn.|
|I love seeing rider' faces mid-flight.|
The High-Low Silos allow kids to use their own energy (great for moms and dads!) to slowly hoist themselves up the top of a small tower, which does resemble a silo. When they reach the top they can release their seats so they slowly head back to the ground.
|Rafting through the wilderness.|
|A much faster paced ride into the wilderness.|
That ride was designed by Premier Rides as one of their "liquid coasters," but it was plagued by problems and was never the success the park had hoped for. It was closed and work quickly began on dismantling portions of the track, yet saving others like the roller coaster turn in the woods and the lift hill.
|The explosion that starts the ride.|
|Heading down the final big drop.|
The lift that was a part of the former ride is still utilized, and after it there's one more steep drop, wild helix, and then the final brakes.
We still have a lot more of Silver Dollar City to take a look at, so make sure to check back next week for part 2!