Branson's Marvel Cave Gives 55-Minutes Of Wow

By Zaithyn Galter Published 08/11/2008 | Travel

Did you know that Branson's Silver Dollar City was built around Marvel Cave? Many people come to the park and never realize they walk right by the sinkhole entrance as they make their way from the turnstiles to the Hospitality House. Top 10 Reasons Marvel Cave is the coolest way to spend an hour 10. It's cool! A comfortable 60 degrees year round, plus it's really COOL to see. 9. It is rich with history that will amaze and inspire you to explore more. 8. You enter the Cathedral Room, a sinkhole that is the largest cave entrance in the US. 7. Your kids get to imagine what it must have been like for the first explorers to visit the cave with lanterns and leather bottom coveralls (to slide down the rocks). 6. You get to see bats...if they're hanging around! 5. You'll see amazing cave formations including the Liberty Bell and Blondie's Throne. Plus, you'll learn about how water erosion formed the cave and see how it carved out curvy and steep passageways. 4. You'll see a beautiful underground Waterfall. 3. You'll visit amazing rooms in the cave including the Shoe Room, Cloud Room, and the Mystic Pool Room. 2. You get a workout climbing your way down, but you'll ride most of the way back up via the red Cable Train. 1. After emerging from your 55-minute trek, go get some ice cream from Hannah's Ice Cream Parlor you've earned it. The Early Days of "The Devil's Den" Around 1500 AD, the Osage Indians were the first to discover Marvel Cave, and named it "The Devil's Den." In 1541, Spanish explorers entered the cave hoping to uncover riches and possibly the fountain of youth. Then, in 1869 explorers descended into the cave looking for priceless mineral deposits. One by one, the miners lowered themselves over 200 feet down into the vast unknown blackness.

 The miners returned to the surface having failed to discover the lead ore they sought, but convinced that marble could be found inside the cave. Their report sparked the interest of area locals who decided to rename the cave, Marble Cave. It was not until 1927 that the cave's name was changed from Marble to Marvel Cave. In fact, no marble was ever mined from Marble Cave, only bat guano. A tour of Marvel Cave is always included with your Silver Dollar City admission. It is a wet limestone cave, complete with formations that are still alive and growing! To begin, you will travel 300 feet below the surface and enter the Cathedral Room, the largest cave entrance room in the United States. After descending nearly 500 feet below the surface, how do you get back up to daylight? In 1957, cave operators installed a unique cable train designed to take cave visitors up the half mile, 1070 foot climb back to the surface. Silver Dollar City theme park has events and activities all season, and with such a long list of things, you'll want to snag updates from their panel of moms running the MomsBlog at silverdollarcityblog(dot)com to get the inside scoop on shows, lodging and mega fun kid stuff. Plus you can pose your personal travel and kid-related questions directly to the Moms themselves.

Noel is a former Silver Dollar City employee and now volunteers as a "mom" on the Silver Dollar City MomsBlog Noel says she'll never forget those first impressions of the park... exploring Marvel Cave, "dizzily making my way through" Grandfather's Mansion, and dipping candles in the candle shop. For more information please visit at -