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Branson, Revisited

Once again, the folks at Acorn Acres provided a
great base camp for our Branson activities. We attended more
shows this year, most of which were very good. Silver Dollar City
had their Kids Fest with several nice shows, and although it rained some
(and this shuts down most of the park temporarily)
we all had a good time.

A few notes on some things:
We rented a deck boat for tubing at Table Rock Marina.
I had made reservations almost 2 weeks in advance and still
got bumped to another day. When we arrived for our rental,
the guy who handled it was surly and rude, a lot like
Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. Upon returning after a fun day playing
in the lake, he practically went over the boat and tube
with a magnifying glass and seemed incredulous that
we didn't use up all the gas. I guess he was disappointed that he only
got to gouge us for 20 gallons at twice the going price for gas.
There are lots of other places to rent boats
and watercraft on Table Rock Lake. Take your money elsewhere.

We dropped in on The Butterfly Place, as I always wanted
to visit one of these. The first 10 minutes or so,
I walked around stunned from the exhorbitant admission price
even with a family pass. It was fun to walk around and have lots of little
(and huge)butterflies fluttering around you.
But after a short while, the heat and humidity in the place
made me feel as if I were going to pass out.
Seems the climate is more suited for insects than humans.
But hey, who paid to get in here?

We also visited White Water, a water park owned by
the people who own Silver Dollar City. What a disappointment!
The wave pool, as well as the lazy river, had only a couple dozen
tubes to use for each. Most people just walked in circles
in the lazy river. And, it was boring, just a circle of water, unlike most other
water parks, which add little surprises around the bends.
The signage leading to the slides were very poor; on more than one
occasion we found ourselves with either the wrong tube
(they were almost ALL marked "Bermuda Triangle"...what's with that?)
or something else, like no double tubes allowed, only
the only place this is posted is at the very top, after
you've wasted 30 minutes in line. They also shut everything down
exactly at closing time. We were at the top of the tallest slide there,
took us 15 minutes at the end of the day to get there, and
next in line when the park closed. They made us walk down.
Save your money and use the free pool at Acorn Acres. You'll be glad you did.
NOTE: We revisited White Water in 2004 and found
exatly the same problems, most notably,
not nearly enough tubes for any of the rides or wave pool,
and unsupervised wild pre-teens (2 of whom knocked me and my son
off the path to a slide). You better believe they'll check your bags,
for contraband food on the way in, though.
I also noticed the wave pool only operated for 8 minutes on, 15 minutes off.
And the waves were EXTREMELY wimpy. More like ripples.
I don't know how I got talked into returning, but I won't
make THAT mistake again!

As for the shows, one that really stood out amongst the rest
was the Kirby Van Burch magic show. Every one of us voted this
our favorite part of the trip. Although he seemed bored and
disappointed he wasn't playing Vegas, there's no mistaking the
magic was awesome, and it was a very entertaining show all around.

We saw Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater, in which trained cats
and dogs do stunts. It was cute, but mostly for the 10
and under crowd. They loved it.
More Branson Photos

More Things We Recommend In Branson:
Spirit Of The Dance
Kirby Van Burch Magic
Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater
Baldknobbers Jamboree (very entertaining for all)
Waltzing Waters (without Frederick.)
A cool way to spend 30 minutes or so out of the heat,
but don't spend more than 5 bucks to get in.
Grand Country Buffet
Presley's Country Jubilee Great music but very slow,
adult-oriented comedy. Baldknobbers is a better family show.
Not Recommended:
Country Tonite (overpriced and overrated.
Save your money for some of the better shows.)
Boat Rental or gas at Table Rock Marina
The Butterfly Place
White Water

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