Spring Has Sprung!

March 11th, 2014

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

I have never been so happy for a 60-degree day and consistently “warmish” forecast.

Maybe, just maybe, spring is here to stay.

One thing is for sure . . . Spring Breaks are here!

Yes, most of us (our kids, anyway) in the region have gotten plenty of days off this winter.  But, many of those days were spent iced or snowed in.

Not anymore.  Your Spring Break days off are of a different variety.  You can be outside (without bundling up).  You can travel (without worrying if the roads are clear).

You can come to Branson!

The city is geared up for your arrival.  The Track Family Fun Parks is ready for you too!

Here’s a couple of things for you to look forward to when you visit The Track:

1)  You can get your 2014 Go-Card!

This is by far the best deal for your family.  Why?  Well, when you purchase the Go-Card online, it is loaded with 170 credits (if purchased at The Track, it has 160 credits) for the price of 130!  That’s a lot of FREE credits!  And, this card gives you half-price buying power for the rest of 2014 . . . that’s a great deal!  You also receive 1 FREE Pizza World Buffet at Track 4 ($9.00 value) and 1 FREE One-Topping Sundae from Andy’s Frozen Custard® at Track 4 ($4.00 value).  If you’ve never tried Pizza World or Andy’s Frozen Custard, you are in for a real treat!

2)  Track 3 has a renovated arcade!

Arcades are fun no matter what, but snazzy new carpet and new games are sure to be a crowd-pleaser!  The Track has also incorporated a new party / event room at this location (By the way, The Track is a GREAT place for birthday parties, but that’s another post for another day!).  Come check this out!

A few other things you should know:

1)  The Track website has an AWESOME feature.  If you click on “Operating Schedule” at the top of the website, a handy-dandy page will pop up that shows you which locations are scheduled to be open on which days.  But, here is the best part . . . on the right side of that page is a REAL-TIME list of which locations and SPECIFIC ATTRACTIONS are open.  This is a great place to check before you head to The Track.  That way, you will know exactly what to expect.  If your family is like mine, having accurate expectations goes a long way to maintaining happy kids :-)

2)  The Track has great Facebook (click here to like) and Twitter pages (click here to follow).   Come on . . . you know you want to be a Track groupie :-)

Most of all, I hope that your Spring Break trip to Branson is everything a vacation should be . . . fun and refreshing!

It’s a Fun, Fun World!

February 22nd, 2014

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

Recently, The Track was in the news . . . the “big time” news!

No, not CNN or Fox News or The New York Times.

Yes, Fun World Magazine!

What?!  You’ve never heard of it?  Well, it’s only one of the biggest publications in the land of amusements and attractions.  Published by IAAPA (International Association of Amusements Parks and Attractions), Fun World Magazine is distributed internationally to, you guessed it, those in the amusements and attractions industry.

Great publicity for The Track. Great publicity for Branson . . . especially with these three gracing the cover:

Click here to read the article, which discusses how The Track responded after the Leap Day tornado of 2012 devastated one of their properties days before they were to open for the busy spring break season.  Thankfully, The Track has fully recovered and was able to take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild and make that property even better!

Two years later, as Branson is about to enter into that busy spring break season once again, this magazine cover is a great reminder of The Track’s commitment to bringing the best family entertainment to Branson.

After a cold (and sometimes brutal!) winter season, I’m ready to see all of the happy tourists in town!  Hopefully, you’ve already made your plans to visit this spring.  If not, what are you waiting for?!

It’s Fall!

October 9th, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

We have arrived.  It is, hands-down, my favorite time of the year.

Fall.

Perhaps I appreciate this time of year so much because where I grew up, summer weather extended way into the “fall.”  Here, even when it warms up during the day, you wake up to delightfully crisp mornings.  Yes, it can make figuring out what to wear a little tricky.  But, I’ll happily deal with that problem in exchange for the gift of this season!

If you’ve been thinking about making the trip to Branson, now it the perfect time.  Most attractions are still open on the weekends, which makes it easy to find the perfect activities for your family to enjoy.

In case you need a little inspiration, may I present my “Top Ten Ways to Enjoy the Fall in Branson”:

  1. Go-Karts!  Yes, I know this is not surprising that this falls at the top of my list.  But, honestly, is there more perfect weather to ride?  Click here for up-to-the-minute listings of which facilities – and even specific attractions – are open.  Pretty handy, huh?
  2. Batting Cages! Baseball . . . the sport that is never out of season!  Come practice your swing at The Track’s new batting cages.  Note:  I don’t advise wearing a dress . . . not in this weather anyway.
  3. Beautiful Fall Color!  Did you know that CNN named Branson’s Lake Taneycomo one of the 8 spectacular foliage cruises in the United States?!  You can experience the beauty of the fall color via boat (check out Main Street Lake Cruises) or on your own with these convenient fall foliage driving tours.  The color is not in its full glory yet, but it won’t be long . . . you don’t want to miss it!
  4. Silver Dollar City’s Harvest Festival!  Silver Dollar City is great any time of the year, but the fall is truly unique.  All of the park’s rides, shops, shows, and restaurants are open, but you ALSO have the opportunity to browse the wares of 125 American craftsmen.  Think Christmas shopping! Done!  Of course, you also want to check out SDC’s newest attraction, Outlaw Run, voted best new ride of 2013 worldwide!
  5. Branson Balloon Festival! Bring the entire family out to the Branson RecPlex on the weekend of October 18-20 for some great food and fun!  Seeing that many hot air balloons together is truly an amazing sight, especially the balloon “glow” after dark.  You don’t want to miss it!
  6. New Shows! The White House Theater’s Adventures of Marco Polo has impressed audiences since its opening in August.  The international cast of 66 entertains you with dancing, acrobatics, and illusions – the entire family will love it!
  7. Shows You Need to See Before It’s Too Late!  The Shepherd of the Hills show, which brings to life the history of the Ozarks, is closing its doors after 54 seasons in Branson with its last show on October 17.  Also, Joseph at the Sight and Sound Theater is in its closing season this fall.  Both shows should be on any Branson bucket list this fall! 
  8. McKenna’s Family Farm! Consider this your local-insider tip.  This is a great little pumpkin patch complete with hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin-painting, and more activities for the kids.  And, of course, you can pick out your perfect pumpkins.  It’s a great time!
  9. Andy’s Frozen Custard Pumpkin Pie Concrete! Special food is a fun part of any season, and I must say . . . this food is pretty special.  Yes, Andy’s does it right.  They take an entire piece of freshly baked pumpkin pie and mix it into their delicious custard.  Wow.  And I’ll say it again.  Wow.  You just have to try it!
  10. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!  Do you see a trend here?  There is just nothing like warming up on a cool day with one of these treats.  Good news . . . there are three Starbucks locations in Branson, so you’ll never be very far from one of these!

So, there you have it.  You are sure to enjoy fall in Branson if you take these suggestions to heart.  We hope to see you here!

One Last Summer Hurrah!

August 16th, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

Today I went with my oldest daughter to pick up her school schedule . . . summer is officially coming to a close!

The weekend weather is shaping up to be just about perfect.  You really can’t beat mid to upper 70s in August . . . and sunny!

So, for those of you who haven’t started school yet, why not make a weekend in Branson your one last summer hurrah!  And, for those of you who have already hit the books this week (or earlier!), how about heading to Branson to celebrate the start of another year of learning, lunch-packing, and late-night homework (well, some of those aren’t really worth celebrating, but you get the idea!).

In fact, when you come to The Track from now until September 2nd, you will receive a coupon for up to four $30 (plus tax) White Water tickets . . that’s a pretty good savings if you ask me!  Check out this special promotion here.

So, take advantage of this gorgeous weather and head up, down, or over to Branson for one last summer hurrah . . . you’ll be glad you did!

And the Survey Says . . .

August 14th, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

I can’t believe that we’re nearing the end of the summer.

One of the ways The Track winds down the summer is by asking for guest feedback.  They want to know what they are doing right and what they can improve.

The Track’s mission is to CREATE UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS for you and your family, so if you have visited The Track this year, please take a moment to tell them how they are doing by clicking here to take the 2013 Guest Survey!

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

August 8th, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

So, I really want this blog to be helpful to Track customers (potential and repeat!), so I thought I’d ask the corporate office what kinds of questions they get via phone and / or live chat so that I could address those in a helpful (I hope!) way.

Do you know what they said?

They said that they get asked a wide variety of questions, but that there were definitely a few “hot topics.”  Now, before you get too excited . . . these “hot topics” are not anything too juicy.  They are, however, the most commonly asked questions.

Now do you see why I started by calling them “hot topics?” I mean, “commonly asked questions” sounds SO boring.  But, boring or not, it’s probably pretty likely that you are wondering about some of these same things.  So listen up . . .  you are about to get the scoop on a few things that inquiring minds really do want to know!

  1. How many credits does it take per ride? Well, there is not a simple answer to this.  Different rides take different numbers of credits.  And, there is quite a range.  And while there is not a simple way to answer this question, there is a simple way for you to find the answer to this question.  If you click on the “Map & Info” tab on the Track homepage, you can find a per facility listing of how many credit each activity takes.  All you have to do is scroll your mouse over each of the Track locations on the map, and you will be able to view that location’s list.  Check it out!
  2. How long does each ride last? Well, it depends on which attraction you are talking about.  If you’re talking about go-karts, bumper boats, or bumper cars, then your answer is . . . about 5 minutes.  If you’re talking about mini golf . . . it depends on how slow the group in front of you is!  If you’re talking about the Skycoaster at Track 4 . . . it depends on how scared you are to pull that rip cord!
  3. Is there a weight limit on the rides? Yes and no.  There is no weight limit on go-karts; however, the seat belt does have to be able to be buckled safely.  The Track does not have seat belt extenders since they are not approved for use by the manufacturer.  The weight limit for bumper boats is 275 pounds.
  4. Explain the Go-Card.  Check out this recent blog post about the Go-Card.  Bottom line . . . it’s the best deal, and you should definitely consider getting it!
  5. How long will 160 credits last? First of all, you may be wondering why people are asking about 160 credits?  Well, it’s because you get 160 credits (for the price of 120, I might add!) when you buy the Go-Card.  This is a tough question to answer because it’s different for every family.  It depends on which rides you are interested in, how many times you want to rides those, etc.  My best advice is to take a look at how many credits each ride takes (remember, you can click on the link in question #1 to find this info), decide which ones you definitely want to do, add up the credits, and see how far those 160 credits will go for your family.  If you come up short, don’t forget that you can reload your Go-Card with HALF-PRICE credits until December 31, 2013!

And there you have it.  The Track “Hot Topics!”

Late Night Fun!

August 6th, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

Do you know one of the things I like best about vacation?

I love getting to surprise my kids . . . I find myself saying things like, “Sure you can have ice cream again today (for the 5th day in a row!)” or “It’s only 9:00 p.m. – we still have time to do a few more things.”

Seriously?

It is during these weeks that I morph into a mom who is more permissive, more carefree, and sometimes, more fun! My kids have a name for me when I am in this state . . . Vacay Mom!

This past weekend, I acted like “Vacay Mom” (easy to do when you live in Branson!) when I took the girls out to Silver Dollar City’s Midnight Madness.  We got to watch these awesome bands play until late into the night:

Mile Zero

Thundering Red Rockets

It was so much fun!  When I left Silver Dollar City a few minutes after midnight, I decided to head down the strip and check things out.  It isn’t every day that I see what’s going on at this hour, and would you believe that all three Track locations were still open!  Had I really wanted to surprise my kids, I would have stopped for a ride or two!  But, there are limits to my “Vacay Mom” mode when we’re not technically on vacation.

But, you are!  So, take those kids to the Track late . . . they’ll be waiting for you!!

Group Up!

August 1st, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

Did you know that The Track offers group rates?

Branson is a pretty popular place for family reunions, student groups, and sports teams to visit.  If you are coming to Branson with a group of 20 or more, you should check out The Track’s group rates!

The Track offers groups options, such as the All Day Fast Pass and 1 or 2-hour Armbands, that make it easy for your group to enjoy The Track to the fullest!

Take it from someone whose family reunion and whose child’s sport teams have taken advantage of “grouping up” at The Track . . . there is something about experiencing The Track with a big group that is unique.

For example, I cannot get the image out of my head of my husband’s aunt on the Bumper Cars a few summers ago.  In fact, it was truly memorable – and so much fun! – to have every Bumper Car filled with a family member.  It was worth the effort to get our group out to The Track.

I’ve loved to watch my kids’ sports teams take a little healthy competition from the field to the Bumper Boats as they see who can get the wettest (or stay the driest, depending on the mood!).  Or, to see who can finish first on the go-karts!

Grouping up is simply big fun.  I highly recommend it!

It’s Cousin Time! (Part 3)

July 30th, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

Their wish was granted.

We spent the better part of the next two days having a blast at The Track!  We probably visited the parks a total of five or six separate times, and each time we did something different.  Having our Go Card loaded up with credits made it easy to come play for a while at one park, and then head to another park to play some more.

Remember, the credits are good at all Track locations, and if you have plenty on your card, you can hop right out of your car and head to the fun . . . no standing in line at the ticket counter every time you visit!  And while I’m on this topic, I should say that when you do run out of credits, you have several options for re-loading your Go Card:

  1. Reload at the ticket counter.  This is a good option if you also want to buy drinks, or if you need your kids to be measured to ensure they meet attraction height requirements.  More about that here.
  2. Reload at one of the recharge kiosks located on property.  This is a good option if all that you need is more credits!
  3. Reload online.  Go Card holders can register their cards online, check card history and balance, and, of course, load up with more credits!  The great thing about this option is that you can do it whenever is convenient for you!

Now back to “It’s Cousin Time!” The kids were especially enthusiastic about the arcades, especially the potential to collect tickets!  Here is one of my girls showing off her winnings:

They also had quite a good time with the photo booth . . . those just never get old, do they?!

My nephew, who is a baseball stud (proud aunt here!), had a great time trying out the batting cages:

Of course, we also had to visit Pizza World, located at Track 4, and Andy’s Frozen Custard.  In fact, I think we were trying to set a record for how many days in a row one could eat Andy’s!  The only Andy’s negative was that the key lime pie concrete was not available until the day after my nephew left.  He was lobbying for a vacation extension just so he could taste it!  If you haven’t tried it . . . it really is that good!

We also spent some time at White Water.  I have to say that White Water is one of the cleanest water parks you will ever go to.  This summer I visited another water park (in another state) that was an absolute blast, but it just didn’t measure up in cleanliness.  I guess I didn’t realize how good we have it at White Water . . . it’s clean and a blast!  And remember that Track guests receive a coupon for $5 off the price of a White Water ticket, so if you plan to go to White Water on your visit, be sure to check that out!

My sister-in-law and nephew’s visit ended with us wishing we had just a few more days to spend together . . . that’s the mark of a great visit, don’t you think?

It’s Cousin Time (Part 2)

July 25th, 2013

Amy, a mom with the "inside track," and her daughters.

So, after the first part of our first-day-cousin adventures, we headed back to meet my husband for dinner.  Remember it was pouring by now.  A few minutes from Silver Dollar City, my sister-in-law realized that someone (we won’t name any names!) left the back window of her car completely rolled down in my driveway.

Oops . . . that’s never a good way to start a vacation.

Upon realizing the situation, as if that weren’t bad enough, we realized that her car keys were with us.  Suddenly, the fact that my husband was at home and could “just roll up the windows” wasn’t going to cut it. We made a somewhat frantic call to him, hoping that he had not left the house so that he could put a tarp over the car.

Thankfully, he was home AND it had not been raining at our house – whew!  I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of his handy work.  I mean there was no way any rain was getting in there!!  Crisis averted.

All of this, of course, set back our dinner plans, and so we settled for drive-through burgers eaten in the parking lot of the RFD-TV Theater.  Why there?  Because our plan for the evening was to go see JEERK.  We absolutely love this show.  It’s a combination of street tap (think WAY beyond typical tap dancing) and rock music . . . all original, all high energy, all fun!

Here are the kids with some of the “jeerks”:

If you are coming to Branson in the next few weeks, you really should consider adding this show to your itinerary.  But hurry, they are only here until August 4th!

So, after this I am thinking that it’s time to head home.  We have already packed a ton into just a few hours, and the kids (and by that I mean I) really need some rest.  How well do you think that went over?

Not well.

My sister-in-law (she is a saint!) offered to take the kids to The Track “for one Classic Track ride.”  OK, that will work.  She left with three very excited kids, and my husband and I headed home.  We were home long enough for me to start thinking that they should be back any minute when I received this picture:

Followed quickly by this picture:

That doesn’t look like the Classic Track, does it?  Oh no.  This is the SkyCoaster!  These kids can’t get enough of this!

They came home all keyed up – I guess that’s what an adrenaline rush will do to you!  We started talking about our plans for the next couple of days, and the kids kept saying, “Really all we want to do is go to The Track!”

I loved that in this instance, we could say, “Wish granted!”