Silver Dollar City took advantage of a catchy date — 1/20/2020 — to announce highlights of its 2020 season on Monday, while looking back at roughly $100 million in spending on park attractions from 2010 through 2020.
The 2020 season will be a “60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee” celebration, park officials announced in a news release distributed late last week. The jubilee begins March 17 as the park opens for Spring Ride Days.
Touting 2.2 million guests each year, Silver Dollar City’s 2020 offer includes “a whole new area of a town in celebration;” new food offerings including a barbecue restaurant and a home-style cinnamon bread bakery; and Mystic River Falls, a water adventure ride announced in August.
The ride is intended to honor the park’s 19th-century roots in the village of Marmaros near Marvel Cave. The cave is now a registered national landmark but was originally the tourist attraction around which Silver Dollar City developed, after the Herschend family of Chicago opened the park on May 1, 1960.
“We continuously listen to our guests,” said Brad Thomas, Silver Dollar City Attractions president, in the news release. “Our guests let us know what they love and what they do not like.”
Guest research will aid the park in making “this next decade even more exciting with even larger and bolder announcements and additions,” Thomas said.
Park officials said that spending on park attractions is “reaching” $100 million, including the $30 million investment to develop Rivertown, a new portion of the park that includes the Mystic River Falls ride and tie-in attractions like the Rivertown Smokehouse restaurant. Rivertown is expected to be open to guests sometime in the spring, with the Mystic River Falls ride featuring the “tallest drop in the Western Hemisphere” expected to be ready for guests in May.
A news release noted that a decade ago, Congress designated the park “The Home of American Craftsmanship,” and that its crafters and artisans continue their handiwork.
Thomas, the park president, credits Silver Dollar City’s “belief in regional tourism,” along with its attention to providing a family-oriented experience, for its development into an internationally known destination.
He also said, “As we celebrate our 60th Anniversary, this proclamation could not be truer: Our Greatest Adventures Lie Ahead.”
Silver Dollar City released a list of key projects for each year of the 2010s, plus 2020. Officials said the investment to develop them totals $100 million. They include:
•2010: 50th Anniversary Celebration/RiverBlast
•2011: Half Dollar Holler playscape and ride area
•2012: It’s A Wonderful Life musical
•2013: Outlaw Run coaster
•2014: Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Light Parade
•2015: Fireman’s Landing tribute to firefighters
•2017: Christmas in Midtown
•2018: Time Traveler coaster
•2019: Harvest Festival, Craft Days & Pumpkins, Joy on Town Square featuring an eight-story special-effects Christmas tree
•2020: Mystic River Falls, Rivertown Smokehouse and Rivertown
The park also released a list of live acts expected to perform in 2020. They include Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Chris Tomlin, Vertical Worship Band, Newsboys, Sawyer Brown, Diamond Rio, Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles’ Abbey Road with the Springfield Symphony, and Abba Tribute: Dancing Dream direct from New York.
Bluegrass performers include Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. Southern gospel acts include The Hoppers, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and America’s Largest Hymn Sing.
In December, Silver Dollar City was voted No. 1 in a USA TODAY 10Best holiday event poll for the fourth year in a row for its “An Old Time Christmas” celebration.
In 2018, Silver Dollar City was voted among the top five amusement parks in America in another 10Best poll. During a year of record-breaking attendance for the park, 10Best readers voted the park’s new Time Traveler coaster as one of the top two coasters.
Outlaw Run and Firemen’s Landing at Silver Dollar City each won 10Best reader votes in 2015.
10Best is a nationwide travel-advice website published by USA TODAY.
An “online exclusive” is an article or story that does not run in the print edition of the Houston Herald but appears on the newspaper’s website. Typically 2 or 3 are posted online every Wednesday morning. It’s another feature designed for users who purchase full web access from the Herald.