The day finally arrived. Our first ever family trip to Silver Dollar City was upon us, and the kids couldn't have been more excited. We were up at 6AM and out the door a little after 7AM for our two hour drive to Branson. We made a quick pit stop at McDonald's for some breakfast and another for some drinks, and then it was time to face the open road.
Silly me made a wrong turn in Cassville, so we ended up taking the "scenic route" to get to Branson, with roads that resembled the roller-coasters we were going to face once arriving, but we made it there safe and sound...and ready for FUN!!
We arrived a little before 10AM and I was shocked at the line of cars waiting to get in to the park, as well as the amount of cars that were already parked. Droves of people were walking up the hill to get inside, which made me think that it was going to be quite the busy day. We got through the ticket line, took a bathroom break, and then it was on to find our first ride for the day.
The first ride we came to was Thunderation. A mine-train style roller-coaster that soars up to 81 feet and rumbles along over 50MPH. What a way to get the day started!!
Now, had it just been Butter and Peanut with me, this type of start wouldn't have bothered me that much. But, Jelly was also with us. She has NEVER been on any form of theme park ride. She's been to fairs and rode the kiddie rides, but a theme park? No. A rollar-coaster? Definitely not. Yet, as she ran up to the height checker, and let out her glee of excitement that she was tall enough to ride, I realized I had to swallow my own fears and let her try out what she was capable of handling on her own. The worst and best part about Thunderation is that you can't see the ride from anywhere but ON the ride. It's hidden behind a wall of trees and disappears out away from view. And there was no line waiting to get on, so I didn't even have a chance to try and convince her that maybe she try something a little smaller and work her way up.
I sat down next to her on the seat and tried to swallow my panic as she looked at me with pure excitement and nervous energy in her eyes. Then, we were off. We zipped and zagged on the CRAZY fast tracks, up and over 81ft high drops, and twirled and twisted for what felt like an eternity. But, the whole time, I would have paid money to capture the laughs on video that were escaping from my 6 year old's mouth. I've NEVER seen or heard her laugh so hard in her whole life. She loved EVERY. SINGLE. SECOND. She even asked to pose with her sister outside the ride entrance to document that she'd faced her first ever roller-coaster which also happened to be her first ever ride.
After that, I was ready for something a little less fast, but the girls were in control. I quickly realized that I was the proud mother of two thrill seeking girls, and they wanted FAST. Butter is also somewhat of a thrill seeker. He likes the roller-coasters, but not too big a fan of anything that spins at a great speed. So, when the girls saw their next destination, both Butter and I opted out to let the girls have at it.
This crazy thing...
It spins while hurling them up and down across a curved track that goes over 40 feet in the air. There's no way of seeing how fast it spins from the pictures, but that thing was FAST. And, as I stood there having a minor panic attack about my 6 year old doing something so crazy, I couldn't help but nervously laugh at the fact I could hear her laughing over all the screams coming from the much bigger people on the ride.
Later in the day, Jelly finally managed to talk me into getting on it. I had to close my eyes several times because it felt like I was going to crash in to the trees and the spectators, and the height made me a little queasy, but Jelly just laughed at me.
But, that ride was NOTHING compared to the next big ride Jelly and Peanut decided to try out. The Great Barn Swing. When I saw it, I'm pretty sure I puked a little. If not literally, the urge was definitely there. A monstrous swing that flies up to where you almost go upside down, and hurls you back down in a swinging motion. Concoctions of saying "No" came out of my mouth. That may or may not have contained a few expletives. But Peanut and Jelly were already in line before I could press the absolute TERROR the ride gave me just watching it.
As the ride started to swing, out came Jelly's sounds of glee and excitement. But, as the ride started swinging higher and higher, I started to see some fear move across her face. I watched as Peanut held Jelly's hands, and talk to her even though I have no idea what she was saying.
Here they are on the crazy swing...
I was able to see Jelly's face long enough to know that she was not having a good time, and that she didn't like it, yet there was nothing I could do. I just had to watch, my insides pounding me with guilt and frustration that told me my child was scared, yet being totally helpless to comfort her. Finally, the ride stopped. And I thought Jelly would come flying out so that I could wrap her in my arms and assure her that she was safe, and how I would never allow her sister to talk me in to something so stupid again.
That's not what happened.
Instead, out walked a perfectly fine Jelly with a smile on her face. What the WHAT?
She fessed up that she hadn't liked it, but Peanut had comforted her and talked to her the whole time making her feel better. She admitted that she'd been scared, but Peanut had reminded her that it would soon be over. And, Jelly got off that ride able to weigh the thrill she'd just experienced and was perfectly OK with it. She'd tried it, didn't like it, and was ready to move on to the next...whatever that maybe.
And so our journey continued to more rides, more thrills, and more of me panicking and watching as ALL of my children tested their theme park legs out on the crazy rides that awaited them.
We got soaking wet on the water rides, we rode Thunderation several times, we rode many of the rides several times. The lines were short, the weather was beautiful, and we just had an absolute blast.
Peanut, Butter, and myself did get on WildFire. A roller-coaster that climbs up over 15 stories and plummets you down at 66MPH through loops and rolls...all of which are built on the edge of a giant hillside that gives MILES of view. A view I didn't take one second to look at, because you know... scared of heights. But, the coaster was AWESOME, and we did ride it a few times. Thank goodness Jelly wasn't tall enough to ride it, because I would have had a serious panic attack letting her on that thing.
My niece had come along with us, and she wasn't up to the same thrills and chills my own children were up for. But, she seemed to enjoy the rides she did get on, and she was great in helping out with staying with Jelly when the other two kids and myself gave WildFire a try...all three times.
We didn't end up leaving until 7PM, which is when the park closed. Eight hours of rides, fears, and pure exhilaration.
We got home around 10PM, and all the kids were asleep before their heads hit the pillows. They were exhausted, as was I. I also slept like a rock, and woke up this morning feeling the MILES of walking we did yesterday.
Jelly woke up and rushed in to my room to announce how many days it was until we go back. Three. Yes, we're going back on Sunday, but this time we're going to get to stay in Branson for a few days. Hubby won't be going with us, he's much more excited about a few days to himself at home, but the kids and I will be theme parking, water parking, and show watching for a few days without him.
And, now that the initial fear and shock has passed about how much my kids are in to thrill seeking, I should be a lot more calm and ready to enjoy all of it with them again.
Now, on to July 4th festivities....YAY FOR SUMMER!!!