Branson's Tour Guide

As Goes Silver Dollar City, So Goes Branson, MO

Once again Silver Dollar City has outdone themselves - and Branson is happy about it! 2018 was SDC’s brightest season in history with 6.5 million lights, featuring the popular Christmas in Midtown Light Spectacular, and 30 miles of new lights illuminating the walkways and load station area for the new ground-breaking coaster Time Traveler

2019 is turning out to be even better!  There's a local saying that goes, "If Silver Dollar City is open, there will be plenty of folks in Branson."  This is very true.  If you sit in a parking lot somewhere along the Branson Strip (near Shepherd of the Hills
Expressway), and watch the flow of traffic as SDC closes for the night, you will see for yourself.

Thanksgiving weekend is a HUGE weekend for Branson.  The Silver Dollar City traffic trickles down nearly everywhere in one way or another.

At Grand Country Music Hall for example, the line for Thanksgiving lunch flows out to the parking lot!  Other restaurants such as Mel's Hard Luck Diner and Branson's Center Stage likewise experience huge amounts of people.

SDC's festival features an evening light parade, two Broadway-style original musical productions, a 5-Story Special Effects Christmas tree with a sound and light show and holiday dining, November 3 – December 30.

The spectacle of Christmas at Silver Dollar City is truly amazing. Christmas in Midtown for example, takes holiday lighting to a higher level than anywhere in the Midwest.  This portion of the park fills more than an acre with 1.5 million LED lights.

Here's are some numbers that are nearly mind blowing, at least to this writer.  145 miles of lights cover 70,000 square feet in the Midtown area alone.  Giant tunnels of Christmas lights and wreath portals lead into this visually stunning area.  There are light displays 9 stories high!

Additionally, flying angels, running reindeer, moving trains, a 90-foot Christmas tree, other musical trees with moving lights, dozens of stars and snowflakes, and a giant turning globe, and more nearly cause folks to lose their breath.

If you think I am overstating the impact of these facts, you might also think Table Rock Lake is an oversized bathtub!

One of the most amazing things though is that this is all created at Silver Dollar City.  The designers, craftsmen and teams of workers are world-class!

Their hard work keeps raising the bar for the rest of Branson.  More and more lights are being seen throughout the city to help keep the energy going as visitors drive around the area.

There are multiple drive-thru light parks in the area including Branson's Promised Land Zoo's Let There Be Lights and Branson's Gift of Lights.

Earlier this year, Silver Dollar City launched the World’s Fastest, Steepest and Tallest Complete-Circuit Spinning Roller Coaster.  Time Traveler made world news and has brought even more visitors to Branson.

During this Christmas season, there are thirty miles of new lights leading up to Time Traveler.  Bright lights enhance the views from above for night rides on Time Traveler and any other rides that remain open, as weather permits.

The light experience begins on the Square with the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas tree, a massive tree with over 350,000 colorful LED lights. The lights of the tree seem to dance to the movements of Christmas songs, with up to 100 light changes per second, while lights around the Square flash along.

It's fun to see the smiles on the faces of people as they behold this site.  The children especially (and the young at heart) seem to be awestruck as the lights blink, move and twinkle in synchronization to the beautiful Christmas music.

A parade of lights, Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade, winds through the streets of the City twice each evening. Rudolph is the Grand Marshal!  He leads the evening parade of floats.

Each lighted float is illuminated and beautifully crafted.  There are 200,000 LED lights that add even more to the overall excitement as park visitors line the streets of Silver Dollar City. 

The parade is accompanied by 45 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves, 10-foot candy canes, penguins, elves and marching wooden soldiers.  It is fun to see the characters we've all watched on TV, come to life!

With tradition being such a big part of Silver Dollar City and Branson in general, it is good to see SDC offer not just 1 but 2 original musical productions of classic Christmas tales, A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. 

A Dickens’ Christmas Carol is an adaptation of the Dickens classic, with revolving sets, flying spirits, pyrotechnic special effects and a cast of 15, accompanied by a live band.

It’s a Wonderful Life presents a musical interpretation of the classic Frank Capra film, with unique special effects and a cast of 14 singers/actors.  Clarence the Angel is surely looking down in delight!


There are other shows too.  Tinker Junior’s Toy Shop, with a 12-foot talking Christmas tree, a dramatic musical Living Nativity and even strolling carolers.

The food of Silver Dollar City has long been part of the memory making experience for many of us.  SDC's  holiday foods vary widely from a prime rib buffet to fresh-made fruitcakes, ginger cookies and hot wassail.

Another of the most loved parts of the Silver Dollar City tradition are the crafters that showcase their creations.  The park’s 100 craftsmen create one-of-a-kind holiday items that can be enjoyed and passed down from generation to generation.

It's been more than two decades since Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas made it's debut.  Since then, the Christmas festival has become one of the nation’s most recognized Christmas events.

The spectacular lighting and entertainment have been profiled as one of the top holiday celebrations by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel and Good Morning America.

Although there are lots of things to do in Branson, it doesn't have to break your budget.  There are ways to save BIG and get to see the shows, eat at the restaurants and more.

On your next visit to Branson, we suggest that you visit Silver Dollar City and enjoy the rest of what Branson has to offer.

During An Old Time Christmas, Silver Dollar City is open Thursdays - Sundays Nov. 3 – 18, then Wednesdays – Sundays Nov. 21 - Dec. 30. Hours are 1 to 9 p.m. most days, with extended hours on select days.

Silver Dollar City is open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for a “New Year’s Celebration.” Even though Christmas will have passed, the 6.5 million holiday lights are still on and special entertainment is presented.

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