Shavethewhales wrote:Did you guys realize this thing opens next month? Time is flying...
So it is supposed to open with the park? Planning a visit in the third week of March. And yes, I am aware that coaster openings are often delayed and yes, I will still visit the park anyway.
Also, I'm wondering if you locals think one day at the park will be enough for a first-timer, or if I should pay a little bit more to get a pass and go more than one day. I've never been to Branson, but I've heard there are a lot of other neat things to do in the area. How many days (within reason) should I plan to spend in Branson, and how much of that time at SDC? Opinions/advice welcome.
Cool! So glad you can make it down here. You're going to love SDC.
There actually is a lot to do in Branson these days, with 2 alpine coasters (one of them a double), Bigfoot on the Strip, Fritz's Adventure, and the new stuff the Track has been adding. Add to that existing attractions like the Tiger Sanctuary, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and Titanic Museum, You could really have a good time for several days. It's not just country music shows anymore. There's almost more to do that doesn't involve music as stuff that does.
I would suggest 2 days at SDC if you really want to experience everything it offers. You can do it all in one day, as there really aren't that many rides. They go quality over quantity, and you'll probably want to ride them several times though. Allocate about half an hour for the train and about an hour and a half for the cave. Don't skip either of those, they're great.
Since you'll be going during Spring Break, there won't be any special shows. You'll have the two house bands, Homestead Pickers and Cajun Connection, as well as the saloon show (sorry, SDC's dry, so it's a saloon in name only). The saloon show is really hokey, and if you're into corny hillbilly sh*t, then definitely see it. It's the sort of thing that made Branson what it is.
SDC has free parking, and if you show up an hour before opening, you should be able to park close to a tram stop. This is Spring Break for a lot of area schools, including Springfield Public Schools, the largest district in Missouri. Get there early. As you enter the park, go through the Hospitality House (where the cave tours start) then straight forward and make a right at the Mine Restaurant (you'll see an ore cart on a track elevated above the restaurant exit). Line up for rope drop near the bridge. At rope drop, book it straight to Time Traveler. It's straight ahead on your right, just past Thunderation. Based upon my experience with Outlaw Run, if you do this right, you should get on quickly; miss it and it'll be 90-120 minutes.
A lot of the stuff like the alpine coasters, go karts, and Bigfoot are open late and you can do them after SDC closes. If that's all you want to do, then two days should be plenty. Otherwise, you may want to add on a third day for non-SDC stuff, especially if you haven't been to a Ripley's or a Titanic museum. They're both worthwhile.
ytterbiumanalyst wrote:I would suggest 2 days at SDC if you really want to experience everhthing it offers. You can do it all in one day, as there really aren't that many rides. They go quality over quantity, and you'll probably want to ride them several times though. Allocate about half an hour for the train and avout an hour and a half for the cave. Don't skip either of those, they're great.
I suggest 2 days as well, especially since the park is only open until 6pm. By the end of day 1, you're going to be so hyped to get back there the next morning and re-ride your favorites! My first visit was 2 days and I can't imagine visiting for just one day. I mean, if you've only got one day then go, haha! But two days 9:30-6p would give you ample time for re-rides, down time (for yourself and for the rides), and food sampling.
SDC is a park you should go into without a real schedule. Just show up when it opens, go to the ride you want to go to first, if something smells amazing or looks good, try it out!
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I'm also going to be making my first trip to Branson, and SDC this year, but I am making it a family trip, and taking three of my kids. Thanks for the info above, as I will take that under advisement! However, I also was wondering what the BEST time to visit SDC is, as far as low crowds is concerned? My trip out there is flexible time-wise, so if there's a particular time that's better to go than others, I'd like to shoot for that. Also, are the nearby Alpine Coasters restricted regarding children, concerning age and height? I went to Pigeon Forge last year, and attempted to go on one, and none of my kids could ride alone, making it cost prohibitive. Thanks!
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Thanks for the advice, guys! Sounds like I should allocate more than one day at SDC. It looks like they offer some deal that if you arrive after 3pm, the next day is free. So I could get a few hours in one evening, and still have the next day. I'll have to decide if that might be a better option for me cost-wise than purchasing the pass.
As far as passes go, if I do decide to purchase one, does holding a SDC pass get me cheaper Dollywood tickets? I know it was half off SDC tickets with a Dollywood pass, but not sure if the reverse is true.
Some of the attractions you mentioned remind me of things I've seen in Gatlinburg. I'm getting the impression that Branson is like a mini Gatlinburg?
Thank you for all the advice! I might be making this venture alone, so if anyone knows they will be going that week, get a hold of me and we can ride Time Traveler!
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^^ Best time of year for crowds is the Crafts Festival in Sept/Oct. It's a great time of year to visit, too, since there are lots more craftspeople than usual in the park. Watch the calendar, though, as they're only open 4-5 days a week then.
The Branson alpine coasters are the same as the Pigeon Forge ones in policies. If you're not tall enough to ride, must ride with an adult. I believe 54" for solo, iirc. I know my son, who is 51.5", had to ride with me.
^ Yes, SDC passholders get half off Dollywood tickets. And you've got it backwards: Gatlinburg is a bigger Branson. Branson started first, and when Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge started focusing on tourism, they looked to Branson as a model.
Lantern tour requires reservations and is an upcharge. All other tours are free and there's a queue. A sign in front of the hospitality house will tell you when the lantern tour is, as well as how often the regular tours go. On a busy day I would suggest queuing as soon as the previous tour leaves. For example, if they're every 20 minutes and the next one's at 11:40, get there at 11:21. If it's not busy, tours rarely hit capacity, so just pop in whenever.
I'll definitely do the main tour during the day. Since I don't know when my next visit would be and their coasters look like they'll give amazing night rides, I think I'll prioritize coaster riding, especially since it's open until 10 the days I'm there.
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