Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Silver Dollar City

I don't remember many of the entertainment based vacations and activities from when I was a child.  But one place stands out clear as a bell in my memories.  I was 7 or 8.  And the place was Dogpatch, USA.  It was a rustic themed amusement park, located in Arkansas.  My absolute favorite memories of it were the amusement swing, the merry go round, the play ground, the water roller coasters, and this crazy fun house with tilted floors and upside down sections.

Unfortunately, this favored amusement park of my youth has long since gone and closed, in 1993.

This past week, we went to Brason for Mark's family reunion.  We'd originally considered going to Silver Dollar City, but it was going to cost us $200 for a single day (even though they give you a pass for the second day, we wouldn't be able to use it)!  Then, Thursday night, Mark's cousin Melissa stops by and another family who was leaving at the same time and wouldn't be able to come back for their second day gave her their passes.  We were invited to go for free!  Woohoo!  (Or as Mark said, "I'd have to be a real asshole to turn down free passes.")

When we first arrived, the watermill immediately had me thinking about Dog Patch.

All of the cousins together before we head into the amusement park.
The first thing we did was go through Marvel Caverns.  After that, we stopped for some lunch, then took a look at the map to decide what we were going to do.

The first ride that we rode was a log ride.  Mark and I rode with the two littlest while Mark's cousin Chuckie rode with the other kids.  I -loved- it!  It was identical to the ride I remember from my youth. 

In fact, so many of the rides were the same, Mark wanted to know if I'd ever been to Silver Dollar City before.  I even confirmed with my mother.  When we got home, I did some internet research, and the reason Silver Dollar City and Dogpatch are so common is because they are both rural themed and that Dogpatch duplicated the attractions of Silver Dollar City.

 Then the other adults and older children rode Wildfire.

We rode two of the water based roller coasters that the younger children were allowed on.

On our way through to park, we saw this lovely Alice in Wonderland.


And stopped long enough to put the kids in the stockade (;

They also have a wonderful play area that the kids enjoyed while we grown ups used the opportunity to sit down (; 

While sitting, I learned that the woman beside me was from Natchitoches!  And she gave me some instructions to help make my meat pies more like the original (:

Then the kids and Mark rode the Merry-Go-Round twice and my youngest discovered the kiddie swings.

When we first got into Branson and went to the presentation, the lady who led us to where the boys were going to play while we watched it was talking to my 9 year old, who has been to Silver Dollar City before.  As they talked about a place called, Grandfather's Mansion, I knew that I definitely wanted to go there, because it sounded very similar to one of my absolute favorite places from Dogpatch.

The kids took turns posing in the coffin outside.

These two 'came back' as vampires (;

I did a quick youtube search for someone going through it.  This one is the closest to what it's like to be in the tilted room (:

And then we went for our final ride.

Which is one of my all time -favorites-!  We enjoyed this one so much, we did it twice (:

By then, it was fast approaching 7 at night and our day was coming to a close.  It was an absolutely fabulous experience and I hope that my boys will have life time memories for Silver Dollar City the way I do from Dogpatch (:

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