I travelled next to Kansas City, home to the biggest collection of fountains outside of Rome. They certainly make the place more charming but the thing I was most excited about when visiting was trying the famous Kansas City-style BBQ. My wish came true as we ordered takeout from Joe’s original location (an old gas/petrol station). We tried a few dishes but the beef brisket and pulled pork stood out the most. Both delicious and worth coming all the way from Hong Kong for.
We did one of the new trolley tours of Kansas City and it was incredibly informative. I loved all the fountains and the Union Station building is beautiful. I was mainly in Kansas City, which lies in both Kansas and Missouri, to visit my Godmother. It’s a surprisingly calm city with charming buildings in the downtown area. Also while I was there I watched my first ever baseball game, I’m used to watching football in the UK so it’s a very different atmosphere. Baseball is so relaxed, it’s almost like you’re just hanging out in the stadium, whereas with football you are watching every move like a hawk ready to complain/celebrate anything.
One of the places I visited in Kansas City was Worlds of Fun, another Cedar Fair theme park. This was my fourth Cedar Fair park and unfortunately it was probably my least favourite. It’s still an enjoyable park but the rides were just so much less exciting and interesting than the previous parks I had been to. It has to be said I did a lot of theme parks in a short space of time, so it had a lot to contend in my mind. Where it is located currently it doesn’t have much competition so it’s still obviously going to be a great day out for locals. The best ride at the park is the GCI wooden coaster Prowler, but it’s still not going to be much of a draw to people outside of the area. The food is standard Cedar Fair, so if you can eat outside the park, take your chance. Patriot is a bottom of the pack B&M invert, it’s still a good ride but it’s nowhere near one of my favourites. The park layout got me confused a couple of times (I’m usually fairly adept at navigating these things) and when I asked staff where things were they had absolutely no idea. It was an easy half day theme park, which was perfect as my Godmother picked me up in the early afternoon to head down to Branson.
After the 3.5 hour road trip we took a drive down “The Strip” of Branson. It is a strangely eerie place with a lot of gaudy, abandoned theatres that felt like it’s glory days were behind it. The streets around the area are lined with billboards for acts that seemed incredibly outdated, lots of family bands and tributes. The whole area is a more family orientated version of Las Vegas, so it’s not aimed at me.
The main reason for heading to Branson was Silver Dollar City. My enthusiasm for SDC is comparable to how I felt about Hersheypark. The coaster collection is smaller, but a refined set of awesome, unique and weird rides. The food is great, similar to Knoebel’s in style but more spread out through the large and beautiful park. It’s so woody as well, which is unusual for a theme park, but fantastic as you can stay in the shade in the summer. This is another place that works perfectly for the theme park enthusiast and their friends or family that maybe aren’t so into theme parks.
On one of my many rides on Outlaw Run I got stuck on the lift hill. We had to be evacuated, which I personally loved. A coaster experience I’d never had before, it was dark too so really amazing walking down the steps back to the station. Fire in the Hole is the kind of ride that is better the less you know about it. Wildfire and Powder Keg are both fantastic rides too and they have a nice mine train called Thunderation. Another place we visited in Branson was Table Rock Lake and had a lovely glass of wine watching the sunset on the lake, I highly recommend going to the Chateau on the Lake for a great view.