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Old 12-30-2005, 10:22 PM   #1
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After Christmas Review - Branson Trip w/pics!

Just got back from another enjoyable Branson vacation! I'd never been to Branson during the winter (Dec. 27 thru Dec. 30) and didn't know quite what to expect. The traffic was quite light - we had no problems going down 76. I was surprised though at the hotels and restaurants that had already closed for the season. Branson's Best was open on Tues. but was closed by Thursday. We didn't get a chance to eat at the Hard Luck Diner either as it was closed.
Here's a quick overview of what we did do!

We stayed at the Residence Inn on Wildwood. Definately will stay here again. The hotel was very clean, excellent breakfast buffet (waffles, sausage, oatmeal, cereals, etc.), coffee available 24/7 (including decaf!). They also have a "social" hour with a light meal - one night it was meatballs and breadsticks another night it was corndogs and chips/salsa. I can't comment on these as we weren't there at the times these items were served. They have a small indoor pool and a hot tub, as well as a small exercise room. We got a great deal through Expedia on a 1 bedroom suite ($64. a night). There was a nice queen bed with high quality linens, and a comfortable fold out bed. The suites have 2 TV's (wonderful if you have kids!), seperate sleeping areas and a kitchenette. My only complaint would be that we had to go to the front desk everyday for additional towels - they would leave 3 sets, but we had 4 people staying the room. I definately recommend a stay here if you can get the good rates.

Since Hard Luck was closed, we tried Montana Mikes. The waitress was busy when we got there, so we had a bit of a wait - but she made up for it - service was wonderful (thanks Tammy!). Food was reasonably priced, but we didn't expect such large servings! The plates were huge - servings enough for 2! I ordered hamburger steak with mushroom gravy, my Daughter ordered chicken strips (she got 6 large ones!) and our exchange student had a sandwich. We all had leftovers which we had for lunch the next day. Highly recommend if you are hungry (or wish to share!). Rolls were yummy, no leftovers with them!

We went to the Haygoods show that night. They were just as good as reviews on this board promised. A talented and energentic bunch! WOW! Would go to see them again!

IMAX on Wednesday to see King Kong. Wasn't in 3D, thank goodness. The Imax was nice, although I'm not sure it was all that much better than an ordinary theatre experience. King Kong was good, could have been about a half hour shorter though.

Went to Silver Dollar City that evening. The lights were amazing. I did find it hard to find our way around in the dark, so we walked in circles a bit, missed a few rides as well. The parade and tree lighting were wonderful. Not sure I would go back for an evening there, I think I enjoy it a bit more during the day.

Thursday, we made the 1 and a half hour drive to Eureka Springs, AR for a wallk down historic downtown and to meet a friend from another message board. Had lunch at Sparky's (across from McDonald's). Meals were delicious and at a good price. A lot of the shops were closed here as well, although some of them were closed due to a funeral.

Thursday night, we drove out to Danna's BBQ. Wonderful! We will most definatley eat there next time we are in town! The pulled pork was to die for! My Husband didn't care for the coleslaw (wasn't creamy enough for him), but otherwise we agreed it was well worth the drive.

Went to the Jim Stafford show that night. My entire family just loves Jim! Our foreign exchange student who has a hard time understanding what we say - seemed to understand all of Jim's jokes. In fact, we had never heard her laugh so much as she did during the show. I was a little disappointed that there was no 3D show, not sure why there wasn't. If you haven't seen his show, you need to. His new seats are quite comfortable as well.

We had a great time in Branson, went by too fast as usual. Hope my reviews will be helpful to some of you with upcoming trips!
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Old 12-30-2005, 10:52 PM   #2
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My...what a wonderful review!! Sounds like you had a great trip, even with a lot of early closings.

The pictures in the review are great as well....how did you do that? That is a perfect way to do a review!!

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-31-2005, 06:07 AM   #3
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Love the photos and the review! Makes me ready to get down to Branson, ASAP in the New Year!

Many thanks: Jamie
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Old 12-31-2005, 08:15 AM   #4
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Great report!
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Old 12-31-2005, 08:28 AM   #5
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You posted a wonderful review and your pictures were great. We like Danna's and Montana Mike's too. We haven't seen Jim Stafford for years, sounds like we should go see him again. Glad you had a great time.
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Old 12-31-2005, 09:14 AM   #6
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Patty, if your picture is already on the web (Photobucket, tinypic, etc), just use the code given to you if you click on the yellow "picture" just above where you are typing to reply. It's [IMG]your URL here[/IMG], your photos should then show up in your previews. Hope this helps! I use tinypic - easy and free - to host my pictures.
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Old 12-31-2005, 01:28 PM   #7
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Nice review Lydia1959 and awesome pictures. Your family and mine likely crossed paths and didn't know it as were at some of the same places during the same time. We didn't try Montana Mikes's, but sounds like we should next time. I did notice a lot of cars there.
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Old 12-31-2005, 02:34 PM   #8
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Great review and wonderful pictures!
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Old 12-31-2005, 03:28 PM   #9
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for the great review...loved how you put the pictues in with the review. Sounds like you had a wonderful time
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:12 PM   #11
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Great review--loved the pictures!
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Old 01-02-2006, 12:39 PM   #12
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Great review and pictures!!
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:49 PM   #13
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Really great review..........I too love the pictures included....

Im going to have to look at those host websites...I keep putting it off......

Thanks for taking the time.......
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:23 AM   #14
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I really enjoyed your review, and the pictures added SOOOO much. Thanks!

We ate at Montana Mike's in early December, and we, too, commented on how large the portions are. We will go back!
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:07 PM   #15
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Awsome pics!

Thanks for the great review! We also went to Branson as well!

Hello everybody! We went to Branson two weeks before Christmas (and New York on the weekend!) and had so much fun. We stayed at Fairfield, which wasnít busy at all until we got back from New York to pack. We wanted to do stuff that we hadnít either done in awhile or never done. We saw the last Acrobats of China showing of the season, MUST SEE! Itís amazing what these men and women can do! Also went to the Fish Hatchery which my daughter loved feeding the trout! I ate at Dannaís and who cares if the place is older, the food was fresh and the staff was amazing! Yum Yum! I miss eating there! I do have to say that Silver Dollar City didnít do much for me this time around.

We also went to a few of the local light displays, all of which were amazing. Shepard of the Little Hills display is amazing! I loved the tower, although you cannot see a thing at night! But the workers there were SUPER friendly! Port of Kimberly, although hard to find, is beautiful as well. The Indian Point display is very underrated, its beautiful. Word of advises for the future, TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS!!! And we went to the Talking Cavernís and the best-hidden treasure in Branson. We had our own private tour, which I learn so much. Do not pour soda on the ground outside!!! As well as got to see the birds for free! They are beautiful! I also went to the Waltzing Waters show that is cute but my daughter was bored at it!

I have been there for the holiday seasons three years in a row and this time, it was too cold, and there wasnít too much to do in my opinion. We saw the Dickens show that I felt lost its flavor a little bit. I donít know if they change actors or what? And the Tinker the Talking Tree was cute and we did ride on a Horse Carriage ride that was awesome but outside of that, there wasnít anything to do. I have never been a Bluegrass fan or old country fan so I wasnít into what shows were playing. The parade was beautiful as always. There was something missing for me. That is why they are adding that new area in 2006. You have to spice things up or they get dull after awhile! (Look at Disney how they change things)

All in all, I had a great time and will be coming back to Branson real soon!

Mr. Mike
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