Branson’s open for the season

28 Mar

I headed to Branson Saturday morning to catch a show and check out the town as it awakens from its winter nap. The weather was a little gloomy, but that didn’t stop entertainment starved tourists – myself included – from seeking out a good time.

 I wanted to stop in at Titanic and meet Molly and Carter. The pair of canine sisters are and will be in the newest addition to the crew at Titanic Museum Attraction. Molly and Carter are onboard to pay tribute to the dogs that lost their lives on the ship when I sank. I previewed their arrival onboard in last weeks Enjoy section. Check it out for a little more info. Just before noon on Sunday, I happened to catch Molly and Carter out for a walk with Kelli Riley, one their handlers. Kelli told me people love the pair of King Charles Spaniels.

“They love them. It’s amazing, people are coming just to see Molly and Carter take their walk at noon,” she explained. “It’s exciting to see. Molly and Carter love the people, too. They love the attention.” Don’t we all. The pair have been officially greeting guests for just a week. They seem to love the crowd. The Kentucky trained sisters are pampered, to say the least. Check out their first class digs on the Titanic’s Web site. We should all live so well. Both girls wear a replica of the Heart of the Ocean necklace around their furry necks. As the ships horn sounded at noon, the pooches take the stage and the gangway and charm visitors waiting to board the attraction. As Molly and Carter entered the Titanic’s ticketing area, the crowd went wild. Kelli welcomed the crowd and introduced the dogs. Kids and parents were wowed. As the pair offered their paws a Titanic maid rolls in what appears to be a baby carriage equipped with a ships bell. Carter worked to grab the bell’s rope to ring it. No luck. Undeterred by her inability to grasp the rope in her teeth, she hopped up on her back feet and nosed the brass bell until it rung. The crowd applauded and headed in to view the rest of the exhibit. “We came because we loved the movie,” Mary Burgess told me. “we didn’t expect this. It’s really cool. Our dogs are like our kids, so it’s nice to see they are so well cared for.” Mary’s husband, Allan, said he loves bigger dogs, but still couldn’t help but think the pair was “cute.” “Our grandkids would love this,” Mary added. “They will come with us next time.” Titanic Museum Attraction is open daily. Molly and Carter are aboard daily from 9 to 5 and greet guests at noon.

That’s a big monkey!

 After a few minutes with Molly and Carter I headed up the strip to Hollywood Wax Museum to check out the final touch on the attraction’s multi-million dollar remodel. A giant King Kong now tops one of the buildings on the complexes façade. The big ape seems to be doing its job. I talked with a couple of folks who were drawn into the Hollywood Wax’s parking lot simple to see what the big Kong was all about.

“We have never been to a wax museum,” Larry Furnia explained as he looked up at Kong perched atop the 76 Strip. Larry and his wife, Shannon, stopped in because of Kong. “We wanted to take a picture and find out what it was about. We might as well go to the museum while we’re here.” The big ape was all it took to lure the Tumey family off the Strip, too. The family from Rogers, Ark., stopped to check out the big ape. “It’s awesome,” Brooke Tumey, 5,  told me. Brooke’s mom, Jessica, said Kong must be doing his job. “That’s why we stopped,” she said. “It’s impressive and probably helps get people in off the street.” Her Husband Brett agreed and asked if  I knew what’s Kong’s made out of. I don’t, but want to find out.

 Random note:

Moon River Grill fans will be happy to note the grill opens for the season on April 2.

Zip lines:

A couple of zip line attractions will soon open near Branson. One at Sheppard of the Hills. It will shoot brave visitors from  atop the Inspiration Tower to a landing spot below and another Branson’s Eco Tour zip line will treat riders to a tour of Ozark’s tree tops. More on both later.

 There is a lot going on this spring in Branson. Go to explorebranson.com for more on these and other attractions and shows.

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