10 Silver Dollar City Facts You Didn't Know

February 23, 2022

Discover this attraction’s history, legend and claims to fame with our rundown of intriguing Silver Dollar City facts.

Silver Dollar City, a Midwest theme park set in the 1880s, welcomes millions of visitors to Branson each year. Families from across the United States flock here for thrilling rides, entertaining shows, delicious food and so much more! Read on to find out the most interesting Silver Dollar City facts.

They may know they can’t wait to ride Outlaw Run, but they only graze the surface of what there really is to know about Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo.

It All Started with a Hole in the Ground

It’s not every day a theme park is born from a hole in the ground, but at Silver Dollar City, that’s exactly what happened. Marvel Cave, an enormous cavern, was first explored by Osage Indians in the 1500s.

Then, it was mined by a group of Union Civil War veterans in the 1880s. Once word spread of this natural wonder, mining expert William Henry Lynch opened the cave for public tours in 1894.

Finally, Hugo and Mary Herschend, founders of Silver Dollar City, signed a 99-year lease on the cave in 1950. They began implementing the initial phases of the 1880s mining town, which included demonstrating craftsmen, and the idea behind Silver Dollar City was born.

interior view of Marvel Cave at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Silver Dollar City via Facebook

Coining a Name

One of the Silver Dollar City facts many people are curious about is how the park got its name. The answer may surprise you! It all began with a promotional idea.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Silver Dollar City®: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

When the park first opened in 1960, it gave out silver dollars for change. As a result, word-of-mouth exposure was rampant. Visitors who returned home would remark on their visit to “Silver Dollar City” and the name stuck.

old photo of people in costumes at Silver Dollar City in front of 1881 Hotel in Branson, Missouri, USA

It Takes a Village, an Ozark Village

The park was initially modeled after an 1880s Ozark Village. Accordingly, the town had a blacksmith shop, general store, ice cream parlor, doll shop, two authentic log structures, and the Wilderness Church.

The attraction did have strolling entertainers, as well as a show, themed after the Hatfield and McCoy Feud. However, no rides were available at that time.

A theme park without rides? Silver Dollar City facts don't get more unusual than that!

What was the First Ride at Silver Dollar City?

Speaking of SDC rides, the very first ride at Silver Dollar City was the Frisco Silver Dollar Line. This steam train ride, which opened in 1962, remains largely the same today as it did then. Riders are treated to a leisurely, scenic 20-minute ride through the Ozarks.

Of course, some pesky, no-good robbers always seem to lurk in those woods. The faithful conductor, though, continues to save passengers 50 years and counting. So, don’t fret—this is a safe ride!

Close up of the Frisco Silver Dollar Steam Train from over 50 years ago at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Silver Dollar City via Facebook

The World’s Most Daring Wooden Coaster

Die-hard Silver Dollar City fans already know Outlaw Run is one of the park's greatest thrill rides. However, they might not know this attraction is truly groundbreaking.

Related Post: Be a VIP with the Silver Dollar City TrailBlazer Pass

In fact, Outlaw Run is the world’s most daring wooden coaster. Why so? Because it includes the world’s first and only double barrel roll on a wooden coaster; it’s the only wooden coaster to twist upside down and is the world’s steepest wood coaster with a drop of more than 16 stories!

Other Silver Dollar City Roller Coasters and Water Rides

For even more twisty adrenaline rushed fun, hop on Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City. As one of their newest rides, it reaches speeds of 50 miles per hour, a height of 100 feet, and will leave you breathless.

Have you been to the Ozarks in the middle of summer? It is a sizzling season. Thankfully, Silver Dollar City is also home to a plethora of water rides to help cool you off. Hop on the Log Ride at Silver Dollar City, fondly called "Mystic River Falls" it winds its way through river rapids and has a 45-foot drop at the end that will leave you soaked!

large drop on the Outlaw Run roller coaster in Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, USA

Silver Dollar City Loves Christmas

When one thinks of massive holiday light displays, Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri may not be the first attraction to cross your mind. I’ve got news for you: that needs to change! This premier Midwest theme park loves Christmas and celebrates it with an all-out, one-of-a-kind spectacle that truly dazzles.

First of all, there’s the glow of over five million lights. Secondly, there are over 1,000 decorated Christmas trees. Thirdly, there are two Broadway-style shows included free with park admission.

Related Post: The Most Festive Things to Do in Branson During Christmas

As if that’s not enough, there’s also 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree, Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade featuring Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends, and dozens of stores ideal for holiday shopping. However, keep in mind that Silver Dollar City is not open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Seasonally, Silver Dollar City, Missouri closes from the beginning of January through the beginning of March.

It’s no wonder Good Morning America has named Silver Dollar City “A Top 5 Spot To Light Up The Holidays!”

silver dollar city lit up with christmas holiday lights

Silver Dollar City

Demonstrating Craftsmen Central to Park’s Purpose

Demonstrating craftsmen have long been an integral part of Silver Dollar City in Missouri. The park held its first craft festival in 1963. During which, 19 craftsmen showcased woodworking, weaving, blacksmithing, glass blowing, and other unique trades.

The demonstrating craftsmen were such a hit, the owners decided to make them residents of the park year-round. Today, there are over 100 demonstrating craftsmen on the park at any given time.

glassblower at silver dollar city in Branson, Missouri, USA

The Food is a Main Attraction

Many times, theme park food gets fairly lukewarm reviews. Luckily, that’s not the case at this Silver Dollar amusement park. When it comes to Silver Dollar City facts, there’s one no one can argue with—their food is delicious!

In particular, you’ve got to try the Lumbercamp Falls Skillet; their melt-in-your-mouth funnel cakes; and the made-on-site taffy with flavors ranging from watermelon to butterscotch and so much more. Seriously, you could make a day at this park just eating!

Related Post: The Most Delicious Places to Eat at Silver Dollar City

close up of skillet meal on wooden table with fork at silver dollar city in Branson, Missouri, USAYou Can Say “I Do” at the Park

Remember the Wilderness Church mentioned earlier? It was one of the original Ozark Village buildings and is still a prominent part of the park today. Visitors love the church so much, many wanted to get married here.

So, the park agreed! Now, they host over 100 weddings a year. Be on the lookout for a bride riding roller coasters in her wedding gown. Hey, it could happen!

Related Post: 27 Unforgettable Romantic Things to Do in Branson for Couples

exterior ground view of Wilderness Church at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Silver Dollar City via Facebook

Silver Dollar City has its Own Resort

Why let the Silver Dollar City experience end at the park? Reserve a cabin at the Wilderness Resort to continue the authentic, all-American, outdoorsy experience.

These cabins are outfitted with the latest creature comforts, while also providing a nice respite from the everyday hustle and bustle. Gather round a campfire for smores, gaze at the star-filled skies, and sleep soundly in your Pioneer-inspired yet modern-day cabin.

The resort gets bonus points for its free shuttle to Silver Dollar City!

Wide shot of a family relaxing at the Wilderness Resort at Silver Dollar City, a room almost made entirely out of carved wood in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Silver Dollar City via Facebook

Did You Know these 10 Silver Dollar City Facts?

Of course, there is always more to learn about Silver Dollar City. And the best way to do so is by experiencing it firsthand. Purchase your Silver Dollar City tickets from Tripster and start planning your vacation in the Ozark Mountains today.

Have Any Interesting Silver Dollar City Facts to Add?

Let us know in the comments below!

  1. Katrina Hughes says:

    I’ve been going to SDC since the 60’s and enjoyed many outstanding musical shows, dipped so many candles, and eaten everything they have to offer. One of the first “rides” they had besides the train was a stagecoach. Just imagine riding in a stagecoach with a galloping horse down that steep hill and back up to the square. Exhilarating to say the least!!!

    • Teresa says:

      Hi Katrina! Thank you for sharing your story. Silver Dollar City has been an incredible experience for generations and will continue to be for many to come. Nothing beats a skillet meal from SDC! We couldn’t agree more. A stagecoach ride down the hill WOULD be thrilling!

  2. I am 62 the first time I went to sdc when I was 5 1965 this year I am taking 4 of me daughters and seven grandkids the youngest being 5 so when is 62 he will have something for hem to remember for life

    • Teresa says:

      Hello Kevin! It will be a beautiful memory for your entire family to look back on. Thank you for sharing, and we hope you enjoy your visit to Silver Dollar City!

  3. John Fitzgerald says:

    My first visit was in 1967, when I was four years old. We still have Silver Dollars from back then. You also had a punch card to go on the rides. We went every summer until 1980 as a family. I have been to the park with my Grandparents one who was born in 1886, my parents my children, and my grandchildren, and within 5-10 years my great grandchildren. Went in the cave when I was 4, my sister hid on the floor of the train to avoid the train robbers. Been on every ride from the stagecoach to the time machine. Have been eating fudge from Browns for 50 years. I was even hired to make cinnamon bread although my wife would not let me work that much. I knew all ten things and probably several other fun facts but loved the story

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