What Happened To Celebration City In Branson?
You might not know this, but I love amusement parks. Love em. I love the rides, I love the food, I love the people watching, I love the shows, every bit of it is A+ Entertainment for me. I've been to quite a few, as well: Dollywood in Knoxville, Six Flags in KC and St Louis, Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, and of course, Silver Dollar City in Branson. But there's another theme park in Branson that's now been abandoned for almost ten years: Celebration City.
That video was taken a few months before the big wooden roller coaster was taken down. You can see that it still on the whole looks intact - mother nature hasn't taken over just yet (although I did see some kitties).
So what happened? It was opened as Branson USA in the late nineties. It couldn't really find a crowd, though, and the folks who own Silver Dollar City bought it in 2002, and reopened as Celebration City. They did a big refurbish (costly, too - about $40 million) and added things like fireworks and a light show.
There were problems, however. The park was not very far away from residential areas, who complained about the nightly fireworks. The park opened somewhat late in the day, at 3:00 p.m. There were conflicting reports about whether you had to pay for certain rides on top of your ticket price. Rumors like those never seem to get substantiated, but people get nervous when they hear them, regardless. The management thought people who had gone to SDC during the day would go to Celebration City in the evening. That didn't happen. The theme of the place was a little murky, too - old timey?
The owners didn't give up easy - they added a log flume and a bunch of new attractions, like a laser show. But after five years, they just weren't making any profits. In 2008, they shut down Celebration City. It's still there, and church groups use part of the campus for their activities.
I never did get a chance to go to Celebration City, but I'm glad I got to see what's inside. What do you think? Did you ever go to Celebration City?