We drove to Branson on July 2. It took longer than normal to get there since we ran into several rainstorms as we were driving on Hwy. 44. Plus, I guided hubby to the wrong exit to get to the restaurants in Lebanon for lunch and we had to backtrack.
Holiday Hills has a giant indoor pool and hot tub. The registration area was tastefully decorated in a rustic style. There was a workout room in the registration building and a counter where you could purchase show tickets. There was an activity center with a snack bar, an arcade, pool tables, and a ping pong table. There were games, DVD players, and movies that you could check out. There was also a small movie theater and three movies were shown per day.
Ticket deal: KKOZ radio voucher; bought extra ticket at theater ($3.00 off coupon in Travelhost magazine)
July 5th was a slow day. We hung around at the condo all day until it was time to go to our show for the evening, which was Presleys' Country Jubilee. We had always wanted to see this show, but could never find a voucher or coupon deal, until someone on the 1Branson.com forum posted about a radio station that had vouchers for Dixie Stampede. That was sold out by the time I could make a purchase, but they had a voucher for Presleys' so we decided to purchase it. When I called to make our reservation for the show, Melanie told me to come early for the 7:15 gospel sing-along in the balcony. Our 19 year old grumbled about attending, but we made him go anyway. Big Clayton played the piano wonderfully, sang well, and entertained us all. The balcony was full.
The show itself was excellent. The Presleys are very talented musicians and vocalists, and you could tell that they really enjoyed performing. Herkimer and Cecil were very funny, especially the routine where Herkimer came out on a Segway with a podium on it, on which was a U.S Presidential seal. Herkimer announced that he was running for president and Cecil was his VP candidate. I told hubby they missed a great marketing opportunity - there should have been Herkimer/Cecil 2016 t-shirts available for purchase in the gift shop. They would have probably sold out. But what party would they be candidates for? Ah, the Odd Fellows Party!
Of all the shows we attended, the Presleys' show was my favorite. You can see why they have been one of the top shows in Branson all these years. We went on a Tuesday evening, and the theater was at least three-quarters of the way full. That's pretty good for a Tuesday evening.
Ticket deal: KTTN radio voucher (this deal is still available, as of this writing), extra ticket purchased at the theater ($3.00 coupon in Travelhost magazine)
July 6th was another laid back day at the condo until it was time for dinner. We had a Groupon deal for Little Hacienda and the Rock and Roll Revival show at the Jim Stafford Theater. You could select between Little Hacienda or La Piazza for the dinner portion; we thought our voucher would go further at Little Hacienda. We were going to use the voucher at Little Hacienda first, then pick up our tickets at the theater. The food at Little Hacienda was very good and the service was excellent. The only problem came when it came time to pay - they wanted to keep my voucher, even though I needed it for the theater. I ended up having to download the Groupon app on my phone so I could redeem the theater part of the voucher. If I had known, I would have printed two vouchers instead of one.
We had time to kill before going to the theater. We parked at the theater. and then went to Andy's Frozen Custard for some yummy ice cream. After that, we walked over to the arcade at the Tracks and played some games. We stood and watched the Branson Ferris Wheel (photo above).
We then went over to the theater to get our tickets. I had made reservations for this show since I had an extra Groupon for the extra ticket. We were in the fifth row, and it was really close to the stage. I had to look up to see the show. The Jim Stafford Theater has been remodeled since the last time we were there. It looks much classier, but the seats could have been a little wider. Maybe I'm getting old, but the music was very loud.
The music was classic rock from the 1960's and 1970's. The Lionel Richie aspect of the show puzzled me, however, since I thought Lionel was R&B and not rock. The guy who did Jerry Lee Lewis (who looked amazingly like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, except this guy's hair was shorter) was amazing. If you like classic rock, you will enjoy this show.
Ticket deal: Groupon (the deal is still running as of this writing)
On the morning of July 7th, we decided to use our Groupon voucher for Branson's Wild World. We decided to get there when they opened so it wouldn't be as crowded. The building that BWW is in didn't look all that big on the outside, but there were lots of animals to see on the inside. The gator on the left looks like he's used to posing for photos. There were stingrays, small sharks and plenty of snakes and lizards. There were even some wolves and singing dogs. The black light golf course was part of the Groupon deal, so we played the 9 hole course.
I enjoyed seeing the animals, but the facility was dark and needed some fresh paint in parts. I would not pay full price for this attraction if at all possible.
Ticket deal: Groupon (the deal is still running as of this writing); extra ticket at facility
After we left Wild World, we then decided to go to Cici's for lunch. Cici's is a new pizza restaurant and arcade on the 76 Strip near the Jim Stafford Theater. They had a nice buffet of salad, soup, pasta, pizza and dessert, and the price was reasonable.
We then went back to the condo for a little while until it was time to go to McFarland's Family Restaurant in the Branson IMAX complex. The food and the service were great, as usual. We had a voucher from Half Price Ozarks that we paid $10.00 for $20.00 of food. That put a nice dent in our bill.
We then wandered through the many stores in the IMAX complex. I picked up our tickets for Smoke on the Mountain at the box office. We had heard good things about this show for many years, so when I found a good deal, we decided to go. The Little Opry Theater is a small, intimate theater. Even if you were sitting up on the top row, you would still be able to see the show quite well. We were sitting in the third row on the aisle. We thoroughly enjoyed this show, with its mixture of gospel music and comedy. June was my favorite character. She reminded me of myself when I was younger.
Ticket deal: KKOZ radio voucher, Branson 2 for 1 for the extra ticket
On July 8th, we went to Branson Landing and to Bass Pro Shop and the Cardinals Clubhouse. On our way back to the condo, the low tire light came on the dashboard. We got to the grocery store across the street from the condo and saw that the tire on the front passenger side was low. We decided to drive to the Conoco station. While attempting to fill the tire, the sensor came off the valve stem. Thankfully, there was a tire store right next door to the gas station. The owner brought the jack over to the car,took off the tire, took it to the tire store, repaired the tire (there was a rock in it), and brought the tire back to the car. He only charged us $10.00, but hubby gave him an extra $5.00 for curbside service.
We then hung out at the condo until it was time to go to town to see The Magic and Comedy of Taylor Reed. A sudden downpour of rain fouled up the traffic on Branson Landing Boulevard, so we backtracked into old downtown Branson and got on Main Street/76, went around on Gretna Road and then reconnected with Hwy. 76 at the intersection with Titanic. We made it to the Jim Stafford Theater in the nick of time, at 2:50 PM, and the show started at 3 PM. We got our tickets at the box office, purchased refreshments, then got to our seats just in time for the show to begin.
Taylor was a finalist on America's Got Talent. He made a helicopter appear on AGT, which he recreated during the show. Taylor was very entertaining. His illusions were very good. I enjoyed how he pulled some kids on stage to perform with him. This is a good show to take your kids to if they like magic, especially since if you purchase an adult ticket, you can get 2 children's (age 2-10) tickets free. Taylor signed autographs and conversed with everyone who attended the show. He was very personable. His Texan accent was charming.
Ticket deal: Ozarks Auction via Half Price Ozarks; Branson 2 for 1 for the extra ticket.
We left Branson on Saturday and went back home. We made many new memories. I am looking forward to next year's trip.
Sorry to take so long to write this - there was a bad storm last Wednesday and the electricity was out for a couple of days. Thanks for reading - see you next time!