Silver Dollar City is the mid-west’s number one visited entertainment destination, according to some sources. It is a family friendly theme park with craftsmen, rides, shows, restaurants and play areas.
Like most theme parks, entrance fees cover most (if not all) of the attractions, rides and shows inside the park. Food and drink and some entertainment venues are extra.
Unlike most theme parks, parking is free (although you can pay for parking close to the entrance) and a free shuttle provides transportation to and from the entrance.
Also like most theme parks, entrance fees, souvenirs, food and drink can be very expensive.
Since we own a condo in the area, I have often thought of taking the grand-kids to Silver Dollar City.
This year, I thought they were finally old enough (at almost 6 and 9 years of age), so I went on the hunt for discounts. Here are the ways I found to save at Silver Dollar City.
How to save on tickets to Silver Dollar City.
Thirty dollar Thursdays.
Finding significant savings on entrance fees was quite a challenge. We went the first week of August, when summer was still in full swing. After much online searching, checking with my local sources and more I stumbled upon an offer from Price Cutter – a local grocery chain. Tickets for $30 each, but valid only for use on Thursdays.
Now normally, we would have paid $58 per adult, $56 per senior and $48 per child. We had two adults, one senior and three children. That would have been $316 for one day’s entertainment. Pretty steep in my book. Instead we paid $180 – a savings of $136.
The drawback is that the park is only open from 10 am to 6 pm on Thursdays. For us, that was fine. We felt the kids would be well worn out in that time frame. However, on the day we went, Echo Hollow amphitheater had a show after hours – starting at 6 and lasting an hour and a half. It was a great show, which even the kids enjoyed and a nice extension to our stay.
Overall, the value we received for those $30 tickets was greater than the price we paid. We each rode multiple rides, saw a show, enjoyed the crafts demonstrations, petting area, play area and the show. When I took my grandchildren to the local carnival in my own city on the 4th of July, each ride was at least $3 per child – so $9 a pop if I rode with them. Considering that, we got the value from our $30 tickets with the first three or four rides alone.
Official discount offerings.
After the season is over (at this writing it is mid August and the summer season is rapidly winding down since most kids are back in school), you can find some decent savings offered on the official Silver Dollar City website. They (at this writing) are offering $30 tickets to all for any day during one week (August 12 – 18).
Almost all the time, if you buy your ticket after 3 pm, you can stay the rest of that day and get in for the entire next day on the same ticket. There is a lot to do and see in the park, so if you want to get them most for your entertainment dollar this is a great option.
Of course, if you plan on visiting more than once per season, check out the season passes, which also may give you discounts to other Branson area attractions – such as the Showboat Branson Belle or the Dixie Stampede.
Discounts from the local utility company.
As a property owner, I am a member of the local electric cooperative – White River Valley Electric Coop. They have teamed up with various businesses to offer member discounts. I could have gotten $5 off per ticket through them.
Coupons on tourist maps.
At various locations throughout Branson, there are tourist centers which offer free literature, including maps of Branson. On the back, there are discount coupons to various attractions, sometimes including Silver Dollar City.
Local business offers.
Sometimes you can find offers from local resorts and hotels for deals, such as this Hunters Friend Resort offer of 2 days for the price of one at Silver Dollar City.
How to save when you are in the park.
Take your own rain gear/appropriate clothing.
The weather can change fast in Missouri. Bring a fold-able umbrella or a rain poncho just in case. Dress for the heat in summer and bring a jacket or sweatshirt for cooler evenings in spring and fall.
Avoid wearing loose shoes – or you risk losing yours as you stow them on rides which require everything secured to your body.
If your kids hate wearing wet clothing around, be sure to pack a change of clothes to leave in the car or take in your pack – as some of the rides do get you wet!
Bring snacks and a drinking cup to use in the park.
Slide a few crackers, cookies or energy bars into your purse or pack and bring a water container that you can fill up at the numerous drinking fountains – to save on food and drink costs. As of 2013, there were no bag searches to deal with at the park entrance.
Find or buy re-fillable soda cups for the park.
We lucked out and found that a previous guest had left their re-fillable Silver Dollar City soda cups in our condo – so we slid all four into our bag and saved on soda all day long.
Pack a lunch and stake out a bench or two to eat in the park.
Although there are many snack shops, restaurants and specialty food places, they get crowded and charge in-th-park prices. Save your food money for a special treat – like real ice cream or kettle corn.
Avoid the souvenirs.
If you really want a Branson t-shirt, hit the Super Walmart on Bee Creek Road just off Highway 65 for the best deal.
Unique and one of a kind handmade craft items are fun to buy, but are very expensive.
Have you been to Silver Dollar City? How did you save money?