It’s a question we see and hear a lot: Will Silver Dollar City (SDC) be busy on the day I’m planning to visit? That’s a complicated question to answer, but we’ll do our best to offer some of our best guesses here.
First, know that An Old Time Christmas is SDC’s most popular festival to visit so it will often be busy, but there are some days that will be busier than others. Saturdays are typically the busiest days, and Mondays and Thursdays will be the lightest days of the week unless it’s a holiday week. The park is typically closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, but you can find the full operating schedule here.
Holiday weekends, like Veterans Day (which is a week-long celebration in Branson) and Thanksgiving/Christmas weekends when schools are out of session, will certainly be very busy.
The one variable that’s impossible to predict — but has a dramatic impact on crowds — is weather. The weather can vary greatly in Missouri this time of year, and long-term weather forecasts are not typically reliable. You could enjoy a beautiful and sunny 70 degree day, or it could be snowing and in the 20s. You just never know for sure until a day or so beforehand. However, rainy days can be some of the best days to visit the park if you are wanting to avoid crowds (and the Christmas lights look amazing as they reflect off the wet pavement!).
The park does not typically release official attendance numbers, but sometimes staff will share info if asked. We’ve heard of crowd counts exceeding 28,000 guests during the Christmas season when the weather is particularly nice. When this happens, the park typically posts a notice on their Facebook and Instagram pages telling folks that the park is “nearing capacity” and that guests should plan to arrive AFTER 6 p.m. This is because a lot of people arrive early in the day and then leave after the first parade at 6 p.m.
When the park is nearing capacity, finding parking can be a real challenge, and they won’t allow anyone to enter the park until people start to exit (sort of a one-in-one-out policy).
Now, just because the park is going to be busy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still go. Silver Dollar City is one of the top theme park events in the world for good reason, and it’s always worth a visit. Just have a plan, arrive early (or late), pack some extra patience and smiles, and make the best of it!
Below are our best predictions for crowds at Silver Dollar City during the Christmas season. These predictions are primarily based on our own visits to the park over many years, and our best guesses based on public holidays, school holidays, and general weather patterns. There are a few other websites that offer historical data and predictions that could be helpful, particularly queue-times.com and thrill-data.com. The Silver Dollar City mobile app also provides estimated wait times for most of the rides in the park, but doesn’t give you information on crowds at the shows.
Again, these are simply our predictions and actual crowds can vary depending on the weather and other external factors.
Silver Dollar City Crowd Calendar – 2023 Christmas Season
Sat., Nov. 4 (opening day): Moderate
Sun., Nov. 5: Light
Mon., Nov. 6: Very Light
Thurs., Nov. 9: Light
Fri., Nov. 10: Moderate
Sat., Nov. 11: Very Busy
Sun., Nov. 12: Moderate
Mon., Nov. 13: Very Light
Thurs., Nov. 16: Light
Fri., Nov. 17: Moderate
Sat., Nov. 18: Busy
Sun., Nov. 19: Moderate
Mon., Nov. 20: Moderate
Wed., Nov. 22: Busy
Thurs., Nov. 23: Busy
Fri., Nov. 24: Very Busy (likely to be at/near capacity)
Sat., Nov. 25: Very Busy (likely to be at/near capacity)
Sun., Nov. 26: Busy
Mon., Nov. 27: Moderate
Thurs., Nov. 30: Light
Fri., Dec. 1: Moderate
Sat., Dec. 2: Very Busy
Sun., Dec. 3: Moderate
Mon., Dec. 4: Light
Thurs., Dec. 7: Light
Fri., Dec. 8: Busy
Sat., Dec. 9: Very Busy
Sun., Dec. 10: Moderate
Mon., Dec. 11: Moderate
Thurs., Dec. 14: Moderate
Fri., Dec. 15: Busy
Sat., Dec. 16: Very Busy (likely to be at/near capacity)
Sun., Dec. 17: Busy
Mon., Dec. 18: Moderate
Wed., Dec. 20: Busy
Thurs., Dec. 21: Very Busy
Fri., Dec. 22: Very Busy (likely to be at/near capacity)
Sat., Dec. 23: Very Busy (likely to be at/near capacity)
Sun., Dec. 24: PARK CLOSED
Mon., Dec. 25: PARK CLOSED
Tues., Dec. 26: Busy to Very Busy
Wed., Dec. 27: Busy to Very Busy
Thurs., Dec. 28: Busy to Very Busy
Fri., Dec. 29: Busy to Very Busy
Sat., Dec. 30: Busy to Very Busy
Sun., Dec. 31: PARK CLOSED
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