A trip to Branson, Missouri wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Silver Dollar City. Between the rides, food, shows, and Marvel Cave, there is so much to do. But did you know that the company behind the 1880s-themed park, Herschend Family Entertainment, also owns and operates the Showboat Branson Belle, a riverboat complete with food, music, and beautiful views of Table Rock Lake?
After many trips to Branson, I finally drove out to White River Landing dock, about 9 miles south of Silver Dollar City, to experience a dinner cruise aboard the Showboat Branson Belle.
Okay, so the Branson Belle is certainly no theme park, but if you’re a fan of Silver Dollar City or if you are someone who enjoys shows at theme parks, I recommend you read on. The Showboat Branson Belle may be of interest to you.
Guests entering the dock area are greeted with a few shops, some outdoor games to keep folks entertained, and a view of the showboat. Once boarding starts, guests file onto the boat, directed by crew members to their seat locations. After the boat departs the dock, guests have some time to relax or explore the boat before dinner starts.
This is a good time to go check out the giant paddle wheels that propel the boat through Table Rock Lake. Just make sure you make it back to your seat in time for dinner!
For those of us with general seating tickets, dinner consists of a wedge salad starter, traditional southern comfort food for the main course, and a giant piece of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake for dessert. Guests with Captain’s Club seating choose an entree and dessert from the chef’s premium menu, all of which looks delicious. We were completely stuffed after dinner, and the wait staff was fantastic.
While guests enjoy their meal, the show host, Christopher James, who doubles as a magician and comedian, will keep you entertained with a game that includes audience participation and some live music.
After dinner, there is another break where guests are encouraged to leave their seats and explore the ship. This break happened to fall right around sunset for us, which led to some stunning views of the lake.
For guests who choose to stay in their seats, a video plays about the history of the town of Branson, the Branson Belle, and Silver Dollar City. We fully intended to spend the entirety of this beak exploring, but I genuinely could not pull myself away from this video for very long. As someone who loves learning about the history of theme parks, I found this part of the dinner cruise to be my favorite (with the sunset views as a close second), mostly because the history of the area and Silver Dollar City’s 1880s theme are so closely intertwined. So anyone interested in the history of Silver Dollar City, here is your reason to visit the Branson Belle!
And finally, the main event of the dinner cruise, of course, is the show that follows dinner. We attended during the holiday season, so much of the show consisted of Christmas songs for us. However, there was a non-seasonal part of the show that featured small snippets of songs made popular by films.
I am not sure what the show typically consists of outside the holiday season, but would certainly be interested to find out. The entertainers were so talented, and the length of the show was perfect for me.
For someone who has been to Branson many times and passed on this experience, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my dinner cruise aboard the Showboat Branson Belle. The selling points are the food and the show, which don’t get me wrong, are both great. But I truly enjoyed exploring the boat, gazing out at the sun setting on the water, and listening to the fascinating history of Branson, Missouri.
Currently the showboat is in its off-season, but 2024 dinner cruises will start back up again on March 12. And if you happen to have a season pass to Silver Dollar City, you can get some pretty good discounts on tickets, depending on which tier of season pass you have.
To learn more about the Showboat Branson Belle, visit the Silver Dollar City website.