A replica of Mount Rushmore reigns over the Hollywood Wax Museum—but instead of bearing faces of American presidents, the mugs of John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis welcome visitors into the museum's collection of celebrity wax figures. Each lifelike figure is meticulously crafted over the course of three months, resulting in uncanny stand-ins for stars such as Lucille Ball, Samuel L. Jackson, Willie Nelson, and Will Smith. Counter to the velvet ropes and glass cases of most museums, guests of the Hollywood Wax Museum can walk right up and touch their favorite figures, getting a taste of fame as they share the spotlight with them for unique photo ops. Celebrity trivia accompanies each figure across the two-level, multi-million-dollar facility, such as stars' accomplishments, the names of their pets, or which moon of Jupiter they own a resort on. After patrons max out on wax, they can head next door to Hannah's Maze of Mirrors, where reflective surfaces obfuscate players' paths as they rescue Princess Hannah from a wicked spell.
In 1987—75 years after the RMS Titanic sank—John Joslyn helped lead an expedition to the bottom of the sea to photograph the wreck and bring up artifacts. Today, the gigantic permanent and interactive Titanic ship museum in Branson that he founded holds authentic items from the Titanic numbering in the thousands and valued at $4.5 million. But the museum's accoutrements of Edwardian life—items ranging from cutlery to deck chairs that fill meticulously accurate reproductions of the million-dollar grand staircase, the third-class sleeping rooms, and the cozy second-class space between the floorboards—are only part of the visitor's experience here. Interactive exhibits are also a permanent attraction, letting families touch an iceberg walk the grand staircase, learn to steer a ship and send an SOS signal, and perhaps even meet the museum’s pair of dog mascots. The kid friendly environment welcomes guests of all ages. A ship walk through typically takes two-hours.
MoMak's, voted 19th best burger in Texas in 2009 by Texas Monthly magazine, quells carnivorous cravings with its bucket of mini burgers and other selections from its extensive menu. The Mo mushroom swiss burger nestles under a blanket of ranch, melty swiss cheese, and sautéed mushrooms ($6.99), and Mo's ground turkey burger, dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and creamy cranberry mayo dressing, delivers a taste of Thanksgiving in burger format ($6.49). Pay homage to the eponymous earl with the philly steak sub ($8.99), or buffalo chicken kaiser sandwich ($7.99), or douse hunger fires with bucketfuls of fries and onion rings ($3.99–$8.99).
Discovery Center Springfield understands that the best learning happens during play, so it fields creative discovery through a variety of hands-on exhibits including an anti-gravity mirror, an astronomy gallery, and a miniature TV studio. Kids can ride a bike suspended 20 feet in the air or don a lab coat and explore the mysteries of DNA.
Chopper Charter Branson's flights range from aerial photography to scenic tours and hands-on instruction and training. Each student learns on the Robinson R44 helicopter, touted as the most popular helicopter in the world. The FAA-certified air carrier meticulously maintains their choppers, taking all safety precautions and plopping them onto a treadmill for at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week.
The guides at Moto-Zip of Branson show how to navigate the treetop canopies year-round. While zipping between platforms at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, guests get unique views of the surrounding Ozarks and the unsung puppeteers that control them. The secure lines use a backup-cable system that prevents accidents, ensuring trips along the 2-mile tracks occur without snags.