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New Thrill Rides Coming to Branson

By: Michael Ayo

2016 is expected to be quite an entertaining year for Branson visitors. There are several new shows coming to town and existing shows are constantly updating their content for your viewing pleasure. On top of the shows, there are also a few new attractions set to open this year that are sure to create plenty of buzz around the Ozarks.

Visitors to the area will undoubtedly be ecstatic when the historic Navy Pier Ferris Wheel from Chicago finds its way to The Track Family Fun Parks during Memorial Day weekend. That excitement will be matched when the indoor family attraction, Fritz’s Adventure, opens this summer. While those are indeed exciting, news of the Bigfoot on the Strip attraction is spreading throughout Branson and is causing quite the stir.

Parakeet Pete’s Entertainment Group enjoyed a great amount of success in 2015 with the opening of Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon at the Branson Landing. The group is looking to build off that success with the opening of Bigfoot on the Strip this summer. This $10 million attraction will be located on the west end of Highway 76 and is part of the Spirit of 76 project to revitalize the Strip.

Most visitors to Branson have gotten a taste of thrill from the many area zip lines along with experiencing the rides at Silver Dollar City. What Bigfoot on the Strip offers will bring a new kind of element to satisfy the need for more adrenaline pumping attractions in Branson.

The newest draw on the Strip will feature three different rides. There will be a drop ride that straps participants in with a lap belt and takes them 200 feet in the air before releasing them back down to the ground. The ride will be constructed with gravity-based magnets instead of cable attachments to give it a true freefall feel. A second ride will be the Saddle Swing, a thrilling experience that has two riders sitting back-to-back with lap and shoulder restraints. Once strapped in, the ride will launch guests 200 feet in the air, flipping end over end until coming back down to the ground.

The third ride at Bigfoot on the Strip is the most calming. This one takes guests to the top of the 200-foot tower for an observation ride. Once at the top, the glass-enclosed capsule with seats inside will spin slowly, giving everyone inside a beautiful, 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding Ozark scenery.

After working up a hunger on the rides, visitors won’t have to go far to grab a bite to eat. The fourth component of the Bigfoot on the Strip plans will include a food truck court that is unattached to the rides. Located at the base of the attraction, this will be the main dining area for Bigfoot and various styles of food will be prepared fresh from any of the numerous food trucks open.

The development of Bigfoot on the Strip was recently voted on and approved by the Branson Board of Aldermen. Construction is set to begin soon and the attraction is expected to open sometime this summer. Be sure to check the news section of Choose Branson periodically for updates regarding Bigfoot or like Choose Branson’s Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.

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