Written by Jessica Covert
Posted by Mark Ruda
Marvel Cave – Silver Dollar City’s Original Attractions
Silver Dollar City is one of Branson’s original attractions, but it began because of a natural wonder. Marvel Cave continues to be an attraction guests love to see. Guests can tour the cave every day, and the tour is included with every admission to Silver Dollar City.
Marvel Cave opened as a tourist attraction in 1894 by Canadian entrepreneur William Henry Lynch. For 50 years, the cave operated as a show venue. Hugo Herschend, a Dutch immigrant, leased the cave in 1950, and the Herschend family introduced Silver Dollar City by 1960. The theme park was built around the entrance to the cave, and Marvel Cave continues to be a popular attraction for Branson visitors.
Tours of Marvel Cave are part of each admission to Silver Dollar City, and tours depart every half hour. The cave is a wet limestone cave and formations continue to grow inside. To begin, your tour will take you to the Cathedral Room. Located 300 feet below the surface, the Cathedral Room, you will start your journey with a trained cave guide. Your guide will tell you the historical and entertaining stories of Marvel Cave.
The tour involved lots of walking and stair climbing, so it is not recommended for anyone with heart or lung conditions, bad backs, or weak knees or ankles. The tour should take approximately one hour, and your journey back to the surface is a unique cable train designed to bring visitors back up the half-mile trek.
Lantern light tours are also an option for your Marvel Cave experience. You can explore the cave the way early explorers did – by the light of oil lanterns. This 90 minute tour is guided by guides in period costumes. A portion of the tour includes the Mammoth Room, which was last toured in 1950. Some of the highlights of the lantern light tour include the bat wall and the only known “Spanish ladder” left in the cave (circa 1541). Colorful stories await at every turn as your guides lead you through this spectacular cave.
The lantern light tour begins 90 minutes prior to park closing and is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 8 to 11. Children under 8 are not allowed on lantern light tours. Lantern light tours have limited space available, so order your tickets online or make your reservations early at the Cave Information Desk at the Hospitality House.
Take a visit to Branson’s original tourist attraction – Marvel Cave. Once you’ve discovered the historical treasures of the cave, you can enjoy a day inside the 1800s world of Silver Dollar City. Reserve your tickets today!
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