BRANSON, Mo. -- This city soon will have another theme park option
-- this one showcasing life in 20th century America.
Celebration City, a $40 million, 112-acre theme park set to open
on the former site of Branson USA in spring 2003, will highlight
some of the century's most colorful and entertaining eras,
according to Mel Bilbo, chief executive officer and president of
Silver Dollar City Corp.
"The premise is to celebrate America every day by presenting
themed entertainment to include more than two dozen rides, games,
restaurants and shows, then culminating at night with an outdoor
laser production show."
Bilbo said he isn't ready to reveal all the design plans for the
property, but said Celebration City will carry on the Silver Dollar
City tradition of "theming on a grand scale" while bringing the
past to life.
The park will touch upon the major developments of the century,
including the onset of electricity, the development of the
automobile and the creation of "spectacular high technology."
And roller coasters.
Bilbo said the park will include a wooden roller coaster more
than 10 stories tall.
"Coaster aficionados will tell you there is nothing that
compares to the clickety-clack of the wooden track and the thrill
of the ride," he said.
The roller coaster will be part of Electric Park, which will
re-create amusement parks that operated at night in the 1920s and
1930s, according to Mike Woody, Silver Dollar City's director of
Another themed area is Route 66, which will have ties to the
1920s to 1950s, re-creating restaurants and attractions found along
(The real Route 66, incidentally, a forerunner of
transcontinental interstates, passes through Springfield, Mo.,
north of Branson).
According to Woody, Celebration City will serve as a sister park
to Silver Dollar City.
"Visitors will be able to begin the day in the 19th century at
Silver Dollar City and end it in the 20th at Celebration City," he
The second park will freshen the product for the public, agents
and tour operators, he said.
"Silver Dollar City does business with at least 315 tour
operators," Woody said, adding that operators and agents will
continue to be important sources of business for Celebration
A group sales department, led by Susan Weimar, sales manager for
tour and travel, will ensure the segment is courted in support of
the new park, Woody said. Weimar can be reached at (800) 618-9283,
Operators will be extended net rates for 15 or more paying
passengers as they are now, Woody said, and agents also will
continue to get special FIT rates for single ticket sales.
When the new park opens, discounted multipark tickets that now
include the Silver Dollar City White Water park will be expanded to
include Celebration City, Woody said.
At this time, visitors can enter either Silver Dollar City or
White Water for four days within a seven-day time frame.
Silver Dollar City's regular admission is $37 plus tax for
visitors ages 12 and older and $27 plus tax for children ages 4 to
Celebration City's regular admission for the same age categories
will be $27 plus tax and $22 plus tax, respectively.
Tentative operating hours for Celebration City will be 3 p.m. to
10 p.m. or 11 p.m., Woody said.
Meanwhile, Bob Montgomery, general manager of Celebration City,
said the park will help define the next phase of tourism for the
Branson area -- families traveling with kids.
Celebration City should "provide another reason for people to
travel to the area -- or to return," Bilbo said.
Last year, Silver Dollar City hosted 2.2 million visitors and
may match or slightly exceed that total in 2002, Woody said.