Branson Vacation Planning
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  1. #1
    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    Smile Branson Vacation Planning

    DH and I decided that this summer we are going to go on a vacation. I know it's not the most frugal thing to do, but with our tax return we will be able to knock out a bunch of debt and I just got a promotion with much better pay.

    That being said, DD is 3 and I will be about 6 months pregnant. We really want to go on a vacation with DD while she is still an "only child". We are seriously considering Branson, MO. For us it would be about a 9 hour drive. I'm pretty sure DD could handle it. I am looking at borrowing a portable DVD player for her to enjoy her movies for the trip. Our SUV is in really good condition. I've calculated the gas for the trip and it still much cheaper than flying. I've also read that Branson is a city you really need a car in since some of the stuff is so spread out, so us driving would eliminate the need for a rental car.

    I am getting a pretty good idea of the attractions and shows I want to see, but I am having a hard time narrowing down the accommodations. I am good with a hotel, I don't need a cabin or lodge environment, but I am getting such conflicting reports from the Branson forums and Silver Dollar City forums.

    Have you been to Branson? What did you like and not like? Where did you stay? Any tips would be appreicated!

  2. #2
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I live close and go a few times a year. If you are planning to visit SDC get one of the motels near there, you will not regret it. Book early. Plan to be up and at 'em as soon as the park opens. Traffic is bad any time, but truly horrible in the summer. If you got a motel "on the strip" you might wait an hour or more in traffic to get into the park.

    I recommend Donny's Diner in West Branson for an old fashioned cheap family breakfast. It's in an old mall and might look scary but the food and service was great. It's not far from SDC, and the opposite way from most of the traffic.
    Use it up, Wear it out,
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    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    We are definitely planning on going to SDC. My DD looked at the pics online and was asking, "I go there?"

    We are planning on going around May 22nd. It is the only time that works for us. DD will be out of school and the next week a co-worker goes on maternity leave and our already short-staffed office will be nuts.

  4. #4
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    OMG! We are planning to go May 14! The BBQ and Blues festival is running in mid May. They have some great acts. They do a BBQ dinner in the big hall on SDC grounds. It wasn't a bad deal and the food was good. DO NOT eat at the BBQ place near the water park.

    You can also take food and drinks into SDC, just so you know. Unlike a lot of parks they do not restrict that.
    Use it up, Wear it out,
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    You get what you need ~Rolling Stones

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    I sorta inferred that you could take in food as it wasn't strictly prohibited in the FAQs on the website like other parks which was partially a deciding factor for us to go to Branson and specifically SDC.

    I am a little disappointed that WW won't open until the day we are leaving, but honestly the waterpark isn't a huge draw for me. DH and DD would love it, but I guess I'll just make sure our hotel has a pool and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

    I've been posting some on a forum called SDCfans.com (hope I'm allowed to post that). They seem to have a great bit of info there.

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrary Housewife View Post
    DO NOT eat at the BBQ place near the water park.
    Do you remember the name so I can avoid it? I am a big believer in word of mouth!

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    Registered User Domestic Gal's Avatar
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    DH and I went to Branson for a day last year when we went to Eureka Springs Ak
    We went to the titanic museum and to the ripleys museum they were both worth the money in my opinion. If you have triple A they do give a small discount at both of these places.
    We really did not care for Branson that much and were glad that we changed our minds and stayed an hour away in AK.
    We thought it was way to commercialized for us for a romantic getaway that we had planned.
    Be careful of all of the places that say they are visitor centers. They are not visitor centers all they want to do is have you buy there time shares.
    Debra
    Married to Michael
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    Tanner 21
    Johanna 17

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    Registered User piney's Avatar
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    I have been to Branson twice there are plenty of fun things to do for both young and old i don't think you will regreat going.Have a fun trip let us know if you all enjoyed it.

  9. #9
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    It was the Riverside Ribhouse. I thought it was awful. We have some pretty darn good world class award-winning BBQ in Missouri. Theirs I would equate to bad cafeteria food.

    You want to go up to eat in the Big Barn, if you're going to eat on site. There's also a few places around town that are good for bbq, and a few to avoid. If you're interested I can ask my friends who have tried more places than we have.

    Check to be sure your hotel pool is open when you'll be there.
    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    You can't always get what you want
    But if you try sometimes you just might find
    You get what you need ~Rolling Stones

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    Ok, so how about hotel/lodging recommendations? I've spent the better part of the day online and have no better idea of where to say...

  11. #11
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Best Western next to Silver Dollar City Branson, Mo

    Less than a mile from the park. Decent rate. Not convenient if you want to go into town for meals, but it doesn't matter where you stay traffic in town will be horrible.
    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    You can't always get what you want
    But if you try sometimes you just might find
    You get what you need ~Rolling Stones

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  12. #12
    Registered User DixieJ's Avatar
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    We usually go the Branson once a year. Yes, the traffic can be horrible at times, I would suggest getting a map ahead of time and plan your route by taking some of the back roads. We stay and the Grand Plaza Hotel -- Nice place with an indoor pool (May can be kind of iffy for outdoor swimming in Branson). They also have a wonderful hot breakfast buffet that saves paying for breakfast. It's always fun to go down to The Landing at night and watch the free "fire and water show". I don't know if you can find discount tickets for it, but The Dixie Stampede is a great show that includes dinner with it.
    Dixie Jean

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    We considered the Grand Plaza. The rate on the Double Queen was right for us, but it looks so small. DD is 3 and will need a little room to play. The King room looks like a good size for us, but is a bit over budget.

    I will definately look into The Landing as free is always in the budget!

    We are going to Dixie Stampede, I think we are gonna go for a combo ticket with one of the other attractions to save a bit of money.

  14. #14
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    We always stay in one of the RCI timeshare condos. I would NEVER recommend buying into it as it is impossible to sell. But, this company is located all over the world so, in theory, you could TRY to get any week anywhere in the world. The nice thing is the family can get a 2 bedroom condo + full kitchen + 2 bath with full rec facilities.

    The traffic is bad. Make sure you plan your route before you leave as watching the bumper of the vehicle in front of you will take a lot of your attention. Left turns are strongly discouraged.

    This is a country music town. If you don't like country music, there are a few other options.

    Silver Dollar City would be neat with a 3 year old probably if you rent/bring the stroller. Dixie Stampeded Theater would be neat. There's some mini-golf.

    There is a lot of shopping at the outlets and downtown by the river.

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