Branson's Celebration City closing after this season

Posted Friday, October 24, 2008 8:33 PM | Contributed by pkidelirium

Herschend Family Entertainment announced today in a news release the closure of Celebration City in Branson, due to a shift in business strategy. The company is already exploring various new development concepts for the site including an aquarium, other family attractions, re-theming the current park and also, destination retail and dining.

Read more from The News-Leader and The Baxter Bulletin.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008 5:13 PM

the reaction to this announcement sure *feels* like a double-standard based on the company making the announcement.

Huh? Both were incredibly sound business decisions. What's different?


Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:51 PM

Ensign Smith said:
I shudder to imagine who's next.

My bet is on any park that doesn't install a multi-million dollar interactive sound and light package on their coasters. They don't stand a chance. Nobody will want to go to those old places anymore. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:17 PM

Or a robot-themed wooden coaster . . .

My author website:

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:13 AM
Sawblade5's avatar

Ok, the first hint of Celebration City Closing is when they put out a survey last year to study new concepts for the park (Which is the source of the new development idea rumor). Then on Friday they made the announcement that the park will be closing indefinitely (Only the media reported permanent closer the staff hinted otherwise). I had already planed on being there this weekend anyway to get one last blast at CC along with some early Night Rides at Silver Dollar City. This was changed by the announcement as I spent way less time at SDC and went to CC earlier to get all the rides there I wanted in.

They also had bargains at all their stores at CC with most everything 75% off. I bought alot of stuff but I just miss out on getting a bargain on a Wildcat tee shirt. I did get in on the very last train on Ozark Wildcat. I hope to one day ride it again. From what I have heard they are gonna do the normal offseason upkeep to all the rides here until SDC decides what to do with CC. I can only hope The WildCat is in with the new plans, or they could always send it to SDC or Schlitterbahn Kansas City (if they bought it like they did with many of Geagua Lake rides).

I will miss the place alot.

Last edited by Sawblade5, Monday, October 27, 2008 12:13 AM

Chris Knight

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:28 PM

Fate of the Ozark Wildcat: How do the costs compare? Remove the Wildcat, truck it 4.7 miles (by google maps), and reassemble it at Silver Dollar City -OR- Salvage the hardware (lifts, breaks, etc) and rolling stock (M.Flyers) and build a new coaster at Silver Dollar City with out having to have a matching foot print?

Considering it is not a classic of any sort... I don't think there is any big call to "save the Ozark Wildcat". However, since it is already owned by the company, no buying costs involved for either the existing coaster or lumber for a new coaster....

Who knows.

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Monday, October 27, 2008 12:57 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

It's not a classic, but it is one of the best coasters in the country IMO. Hopefully it is preserved in its current location and SDC gets a unique woodie of their own. :)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Monday, October 27, 2008 1:19 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

^Wait, I can't believe what I am hearing...Matt and Gator actually thinks a GCI rocks? ;) This can't be possible! ;)

Is the Wildcat rough or something? :)


Monday, October 27, 2008 2:01 PM

Not to be the antagonist, but why move the Ozark Wildcat to SDC? Would that be a good investment to boost attendance?

As a coaster enthusiast, I want to see it saved and enjoyed for years to come, but marketing-wise how do you pull off moving a coaster across town as a new attraction? That's worse than the move of X-Flight to Kings Island.

From my understanding, there was significant cross-advertisement for CC at SDC; and unlike X-Flight, there is any significant re-theming, smoke and mirrors, or new-"Six Flags"-style shining wrapping paper you could give a wooden coaster like the Wildcat to make it seem like a new attraction. It would literally be, "come ride the neat coaster here that you used to ride across town at our other park, less than 5 miles away, yipe!"

I don't like to throw rain on the parade, but that's the harsh reality as I see it. Unless it were a classic like Mr. Twister and their was significant interest in "saving/recreating it" for nostalgic purposes, I see no reason for moving it to SDC.

Monday, October 27, 2008 3:31 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Vertigo said:
It would literally be, "come ride the neat coaster here that you used to ride across town at our other park, less than 5 miles away, yipe!"

Actually, I think that's exactly the way to market it. It only gets strange when you move a coaster a few miles away and try to sell it as new or different. I don't see why moving the coaster as it is and presenting it as such would be a bad thing.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Monday, October 27, 2008 4:17 PM
rollergator's avatar

coasterqueenTRN said:^Wait, I can't believe what I am hearing...Matt and Gator actually thinks a GCI rocks? ;) This can't be possible! ;) Is the Wildcat rough or something? :)

Calm down Tina, neither of us comapred it to RF2 or's a good GCI (i.e., "solid family ride") - it just has a little more pop than most. The "straight-track bunny hop" is just something GCI doesn't do enough of - but when they incorporate those, they can be surprisingly forceful considering they don't APPEAR very imposing at all.

Monday, October 27, 2008 4:43 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

rollergator said:
Calm down Tina, neither of us comapred it to RF2 or Hades...

Which is a shame because it's better than both. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008 5:22 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Says YOU! ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:19 PM

I wonder what the attendance did at CC once SDC opened the World Exposition section of the park and put in the Barn Swing? I think had SDC maintained less of a ride park feel, then CC might have succeeded. But once the World Exposition opened, the only reason to go to CC was for the OzCat. The rest of the rides were not that great or memorable. The two parks needed a complete different feel/theme/target audience to maintain a draw (which I think was there until the last couple of additions to SDC). Personally, I think an aquarium park (similar to Sea World or SFDK) would be a great draw.

Moving the OzCat to SDC wouldn’t require the ride to be re-themed,name changed or anything. Unlike some other parks, SDC doesn’t need comic book gimmicks to make their rides “interesting”. The OzCat can stand on its own and would be more than welcome at SDC. There is the parking lot that sits right next to World Exposition, so SDC does have a "somewhat" flat spot they could fit the coaster in.

Heck with the close proximity of the parks, they might beable to keep the majority of the bents connected and then just air lift thebents by helicopter from one spot to the other. Just look at it as a stagingspot a little further away than normal which uses a helicopter to lift thebents instead of a crane……......heck if they get started now, it too could be complete by the 2010 season.

Last edited by Zingo, Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:21 PM
Let the good times roll - Zingo
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:11 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Zingo said:
But once the World Exposition opened, the only reason to go to CC was for the OzCat.

Been meaning to mention this so I'll piggyback off of your comment.

No one is giving any love for the nightly fireworks/laser show the park did. It was really outstanding. So good that it was enough to make us visit CC a second evening when we initally had no plans on doing so.

So yeah, just a shoutout for Ignite The Night. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:01 PM

So yeah, just a shoutout for Ignite The Night. :)

I didn't get to watch the show. We sat the family up close so we could get the best seats but when the opening explosion of fire happened, my son got up and ran out of the show area. I chased him down (with my 2 year old in hand) and then we waited at the front of the park for the rest of the clan to join back up. All night long the family talked about how cool it was. I wanted to get back to the park someday to watch, but never did.....(sigh)

Last edited by Zingo, Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:02 PM
Let the good times roll - Zingo

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