Branson Tracks

It’s Cousin Time! (Part 1)

Great Deals with the Go-Card (Part 2)
It’s Cousin Time (Part 2)

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

Well, it’s that time of year again . . . it’s cousin time!

This past week, my sister-in-law and nephew made a trip up from the great state of Texas to Branson for a few days.  This is the third summer in a row that their visit has been chronicled on the ole’ blog – you’ve probably been waiting hear about this year’s visit, haven’t you?

Well, wait no longer!

They arrived at our house on Monday afternoon, and, of course, we didn’t let any grass grow under our feet.  Off we went to Silver Dollar City!  Now, keep in mind that the weather forecast was a bit questionable, but we decided to try our luck.

Literally the moment we pulled into the parking lot at Silver Dollar City, it started raining.  We sat watching the lines of people rush hurriedly to their cars and decided to “wait it out.”  I knew that if it stopped raining, that afternoon would be the ideal time to be at the park.  Typically, many people start leaving after 3:00 even on a sunny day (that’s an insider tip!).  But, on a day when the weather starts to look a little iffy, I knew that the park would clear out really fast.

So we sat there for a few minutes.  Suddenly the rain stopped, and we made our move.  Our mission for the day . . . roller coasters.

We headed straight to Outlaw Run, and wouldn’t you know it – the sun came out!  My sister-in-law and I opted to watch, so we sent the kids off to the relatively short line (I knew it!).  Before long, they were off.  Just look at those smiling faces!

And, I can tell you that their smiles were even bigger after they got off of the ride – they loved it!  We headed straight over to the Giant Barn Swing next.

I’ve mentioned before how I can hardly watch this ride without feeling queasy!  To make matters worse, as soon as the kids got on the ride, the dark clouds started really building up, and it started sprinkling just a little bit.  I was beginning to think that our luck had run out.  But, we trudged on to the next coaster on our list . . . WildFire.

It was still sprinkling on and off, but the sky cleared up a bit as we made our way over to WildFire.  Apparently, those dark clouds (now gone!) scared off the crowd – there was practically no line!  My sister-in-law decided to brave this one with the kids, and I took my typical position as observer.  WildFire has a great observation deck where you can see the coaster up close, and I loved being able to watch my family during parts of the ride.

My daughters were especially glad (note the sarcasm) that I insisted on taking this picture of them by the WildFire sign:

I told them that someday they would be glad that I took their picture so much.  I’m not sure I convinced them, but I did get the picture (and they smiled – oh the victory!).

Then, we went over to something more my speed . . . Fire in the Hole.  Now, I have to tell you.  I guess I had not ridden Fire in the Hole during the summer months for quite some time.  During the fall, you get a little splash at the end.  But in the summer, you get really wet!  Don’t get me wrong – it felt great.  I just wasn’t expecting it . . . so consider yourself warned!!

By this time the sky was pretty clear, the lines were short, and the kids had gotten to ride almost everything they came for . . . except PowderKeg.  For an observer, this one is really fun because you can stand very close to the coaster and watch it launch.  This picture shows my nephew and youngest with smiles of satisfaction after they waited in an extra line to get in the very front seat of the coaster!

After all that excitement, we had to get a little “pre-sert.”  You see, we had plans to meet my husband for dinner before we went to a 7:30 show (more about that later!), but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave Silver Dollar City without eating a funnel cake.  For crying out loud – my nephew had never had one before.  We had to do it!

And, we did.  Between the five of us, we handily downed two funnel cakes and headed for the parking lot.

Well, would you believe that the minute (or more precisely, the second!) we approached our car the skies opened up and unleashed the kind of rain we haven’t seen in a LONG time!  Can I just tell you how thankful I was that we got to have our fun (virtually line-free) before that outburst!!

Wow.  Mission accomplished.

But our evening was not winding down.  Oh no . . . it was just getting started.  Stay tuned for the next installment of “It’s Cousin Time!”