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Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © By Outlaw Run SDC

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © SDC view by train

If you like rolling hills and coaster thrills, consider planning a trip to Silver Dollar City just west of Branson (MO). Silver Dollar City is an 1800s theme park with a handful of roller coasters, water-themed rides and toe-tapping shows. There are a number of craftspeople and specialty shoppes, in addition to some older attractions to see. And don’t forget the train ride! 🙂

With the numerous shows schedules and rides there is just no way to enjoy the whole park in just a few hours. So if you are one of those folks who want to see and do it all, plan on a second-day visit.

Like other theme parks, admission and food costs are high. But free parking is available and they have tram service from each parking lot so you can save your feet for the hilly park. If you are just passing through the area and want to visit, they  have designated RV parking.

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Geyser Gulch at SDC

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Fire-in-the-Hole at SDC

 
Hogwarts at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Islands of Adventure view from Dr. Seuss Landing

We figured we would make our pilgrimage to the Orlando theme parks before the heat of summer set in. One of our favorites is Universal Studios and usually it is very crowded with 30+ minute waits to the rides and shows.  However, this time we found our longest wait a whooping 5 minutes!!! I felt sorry for those purchasing Express passes, as it certainly wasn’t needed during our visit!

And with the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure… well, this fan (yes, I admit it!) wanted to make sure she got a chance to visit Hogsmeade! Again, walking through the park wasn’t so crowded… until… you arrive at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. People of all ages from all over the world standing in awe at the crocked rooftops of Hogsmeade and waiting in line to eat at the 3 Broomsticks. It was wonderful! 😉

"Downtown" Hogsmeade

I do recommend that anyone going to any major theme park this summer keep a few things in mind. One is wear comfortable walking shoes. You have to walk and stand and after a few hours, paper-thin sandals will no longer make your feet look “cool”! Another thing is that you need to keep hydrated. Several of the parks have deals where you can buy a souvenir cup and get discounted refills at various food vendors. And if you are staying at a campground (or hotel) that offers shuttle service, keep in mind that if you get tuckered out before the shuttle comes…. you have a long wait on a hard bench in the Florida sun… So consider paying the parking fees and be able to leave when you are ready to. RVers and oversized trucks are usually only $5 more than a standard vehicle.

Blues Brother performance at Universal Studios

Disaster Ride at Universal Studios

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