Enjoy Cave Exploration in Branson
Marvel Cave, part of Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, is believed to have the largest tour cave entrance room (the Cathedral Room) in the U.S.; fifth largest in the world. The cave entrance room is 204 feet high, 225 feet wide and 411 feet long. The cave entrance is through the overhead opening by way of a winding stairway, to the debris pile 94 feet below. The cave is the deepest (505 feet) in Missouri. Thanks in part to its impressive cave entrance, Marvel Cave is a Registered Natural Landmark.
Historic Feats in Cave Exploration
The cave’s entrance room was the site of a underground altitude record on July 7, 1963, when Don Piccard flew a hot air balloon inside the immense subterranean space. In 1994, to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of cave tours, five hot air balloons were flown simultaneously inside the Cathedral Room.
Two types of cave tours are offered; others are in the planning stages.
- Traditional Cave Tours: One hour guided cave tours travel along well-lit, concrete pathways. These tours are included with admission to Silver Dollar City. The strenuous trail includes nearly 600 stairs; therefore, cave exploration is not recommend for those with heart and lung conditions, bad backs, weak knees and ankles. After descending nearly 500 feet, rest aboard a unique cable-train, traveling the half-mile back to the surface. Cave tours, limited to 60 people, begin at 30 minute intervals during normal park hours.
- Lantern Cave Tours: Experience Marvel Cave much like the early explorers did – by lantern light. The electric lights are turned off and lanterns are issued to each person. These cave tours includes an area not visited in the traditional tour. Guides, dressed in period costumes, regale guests with historical facts and stories during the journey. This 90-minute tour is limited to 20 guests; reservations are required. These lantern-led cave tours carry a separate fee, in addition to the required standard Silver Dollar City ticket. The tour begins 90 minutes prior to park’s closing time, March through October; also at 5:30 p.m. in November & December. (Children younger than 8 are not permitted on the lantern cave tour.)
At one point on both cave tours, the lights are turned off so visitors can experience absolute darkness; your eyes can never adjust to cave darkness.
About Silver Dollar City & Branson
Silver Dollar City is an 1880s-themed amusement park, where the adventures of the past are combined with the high-tech thrills of the present. It is one of the top 10 theme parks in the world. There are dozens of rides (some one-of-a-kind), unique shops, restaurants, live shows and more than 100 resident craftsmen and artisans demonstrating America's heritage crafts.
Branson – The Live Music Show Capital of the World – is a world-class entertainment destination. It offers live shows (more than 100 every day), restaurants of all types, unusual museums, shopping, golf, resorts, camping, thrill rides, events, festivals, recreational lakes and ... well, the list goes on and on. The Branson area is thought to be the #2 tour bus destination in America, second only to New York City.
It is easy to see why we say: Missouri ... enjoy the show.