Friday, May 14, 2010


April 14-20, 2010

From Arkansas we traveled to Branson, MO to do numerous shops in the area and to maybe get a little R&R while there. Worldfest was going on at Silver Dollar City and we had agreed if we did a certain amount of jobs we would go ahead and purchase annual passes for SDC to use throughout the year.

Once again Gary’s age was a benefit for us. His senior pass was lower than mine by a few dollars. Some may say it’s not very Total Money Makeover to purchase and amusement park annual pass, but I disagree.

First of all Dave Ramsey says to include some blow money in your zero based budget. We choose to put ours for the last few months into these tickets. For less than the price of two one day admission tickets we will be able to visit as much as we like throughout the year. Considering how much we like the Blue Grass and BBQ festival in May, the Harvest Festival in October and the Old Time Christmas during the holidays that money was well spent as long as we can tie days of profitable mystery shopping to them.

Second the annual passes also get you discounts on meals, and other parks around the nation. Because of the way we travel we are hoping to take advantage of the other parks part this year. We’ll see. It all depends on the work. The meals part is not that big a deal with us since we tend to take in food from our camper at any amusement park we visit. In the days we went in this trip we purchased one BBQ sandwich and split it. We had taken our refillable Silver Dollar City mugs in full of a beverage from the camper, but by the time we had that sandwich we purchased refills as well. The total meal for two with the refills and the annual pass discount came to slightly over $6 for the dinner. We sat and watched a good show as we ate. Not often you can do a dinner show for $6 bucks for two now is it.

Third this was a pleasant way to get exercise. Some of you may go HUH? Others, those of you who have been to Silver Dollar City are nodding in agreement. Everything in SDC is up a steep hill both ways no matter where you go or what you do while there. You definitely get your walking in there.

If you have never been to SDC it is not your major thrill ride type park. It’s a slow paced enjoyable family theme park, where the staff is not afraid to say “God bless you” and who salute the American veterans and mean it. There are arts and crafts abound, good clean kid fun, great shows and of course rides.

The rides tend to be country theme based. The giant barn swing is just that a huge swing that sways you back and forth higher and higher. Much like the Viking ship rides at the fair. There is a water rapid ride or two, roller coasters, slow moving boat rides and much more. If you want your true thrill ride you would want to get the dual park pass and go to their other theme park that conveniently opens just as Silver Dollar City closes for the evening.

Once the park is closed there is a free music show each night in Echo Hollow that is included in the price of your ticket. It lasts nearly two hours and is generally fairly good. It is sponsored by GAC network.

Worldfest is one of the several festivals they have at the park each year. It has entertainers from all over the world performing for a few weeks each spring. While all the shows were good we really enjoyed the Firey Fiddles, the Footprints-t Trinidad Stilt Walkers (and very good musicians and limbo dancers) and the Irish harp player. All the shows, about 9 or 10 are included in your ticket. There are other shows and demonstrations spread throughout the park as well.

This time we took advantage of Gary’s national parks senior pass to camp for $9.50 per night at Indian Point Corps of Engineers just two miles past Silver Dollar City on Table Rock Lake.

We’ve camped at this campground on and off our entire married life. It has definitely changed over the years. When we first started going there it was mainly a few picnic tables and a water spigot here and there, with a single bath house that had solar showers.

It is now more than 100 paved semi-level campsites, with two dump stations and several restrooms with flush toilets. We still only located one shower house, but it’s been greatly remodeled from when we first started coming there 35 years ago.

To my knowledge none of the campsites there have sewer hook-ups. Some have just water and others have water and electric. Our site had both, it would normally rent at $19.00 per night. The campground is clean and well maintained. It also has a HUGE marina area.

If you want to camp there during major festival times at the city you better make your reservations now. There is a fee to make a reservation with the corps of engineers campground and it is non-refundable. They have a cancelation policy you can read about online at

Because we need a large enough space for a 30 ft travel trailer and we have plans to be back there in about four weeks we made our reservation for that week we want to be there during the kids blue grass competition. Which just happens to be Memorial weekend. Even this early we had to change our arrival date from Saturday the weekend before to Sunday. We also had to take a site that is BARELY big enough for our camper. There was nothing else available for the amount of time we wanted and the dates we wanted. We also had to pre-pay. OUCH!

Whether you stay at the corps of engineers campground or any of the other numerous ones (Compton Ridge and the Wilderness give discounts to annual passholders) you will want to make your reservations soon because they all fill up fast. We have gone in the past and managed to find a site at the last minute, but it’s been due to sheer luck.

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