Silver Dollar City is the theme park for people who are allergic to theme parks. A re-creation of an 1880s Ozarks town, it’s nestled in a lovely wooded setting, with staff dressed in period costumes, more than 100 craftsmen demonstrating their skills, about 60 specialty shops selling crafts and accessories, more than 40 live shows daily ranging from bluegrass and gospel to comedy, and even the Culinary & Craft School that allows participants to learn home-style cooking and create handmade crafts.
Of course, there are also more than 30 rides and attractions, more than enough to appeal to the kid in all of us. Oldest of these is Marvel Cave, the site’s original attraction, which you can see on 1-hour guided tours. Newest of the roller coasters is Time Traveler, which claims to be the world’s fastest, steepest and tallest complete circuit spinning roller coaster, with three inversions, a vertical loop and a double launch. Just the thought of it makes my head spin. Just slightly tamer is Outlaw Run, which sets several records for a wood roller coaster, including the world’s first and only double barrel roll on a wood coaster, world’s steepest drop on a wood coaster (an almost vertical drop from more than 16 stories), and the only wood coaster to twist upside down 3 times. And did I mention its top speed is 68mph?
Other rides include the Giant Swing, which takes its passengers 7 stories high, the PowderKeg, which accelerates from 0 to 54 mph in 2.8 seconds, train rides, water rides (at River Blast, both participants and spectators can expect to be blasted with water), and Fireman’s Landing, which includes all kinds of activities for firefighter wannabes, like the Firehouse Splash Yard and Firefighter’s Fire Escape. Half Dollar Holler has kiddie rides and play areas for folks 7 and younger.
During the Christmas season from November through December, four million lights, hundreds of Christmas trees, Christmas parades, and Christmas-themed musicals transform Silver Dollar City into a winter wonderland. There are also other events and festivals throughout the year, including those celebrating bluegrass and barbecue, gospel music and cowboy, the Star-Spangled Summer from early June to mid-July and a nightly fireworks finale in late summer.
Arrive first thing in the morning to avoid traffic jams (which can be bad in summer).