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Is Marceline, Missouri worthwhile to visit?

Walt Disney1955

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Might hit up Branson sometime this summer and if we do my thought is going to Marceline to see the original inspiration for Main Street USA. A few goodies are there for the Disney historian. I know the museum is there to see some memorabilia.

Basically the idea is on the way to Branson we stop at Marceline. I am figuring we can spend possibly a few hours there. Does anyone have a review on being there that they can share? How long should you expect to be there to see what you need to see?


Premium Member
I went to Marceline a couple years ago. The museum is really well done and I think I spent around 2 hours there. There is a nice little park (ripley park) next to the museum. Walking down the main street was interesting and there are some things that reminded me of things on Main Street and Disneyland, especially Zurcher building on one of the corners. There weren't many stores open when I went because it was June of 2020. There was a restaurant (Ma Vic's)we did eat in though and it was okay and the museum gave us a coupon to use there, it was fine, just diner kind of food. You might want to buy a postcard from the museum gift shop and go to the post office and they have a special stamp they use for the Walt Disney Post Office there. You don't even have to mail it, they will give it right back to you.

On the outskirts of town is the Disney family farm, you walk a short path to a recreation of Walt's barn. It is a pretty walk and you pass by where the dreaming tree was (it was destroyed by lightning a few years ago) and one of the seedlings was planted from the original. Near the farm and along side of the road is the house (slightly remodeled and I think it is red) where the Disney family lived. It is a private house so you can't tour it.

The elementary school in town is supposed to have murals on the inside that were painted by Disney studio artists. We were going to look at them but summer school was in session and it seemed weird to go inside plus it was near the start of Covid so we didn't know if we would be allowed. Outside of the school though is one of the flag poles used at the Squaw Valley Olympics that Disney was involved in. There was another park named for Disney that was supposed to have of of the midget Autopia cars or track but I think we were told that wasn't in the park any more.

It was a nice visit. I would like to go back and see the museum again. In total I think we spent around 4 hours in the town but you could do less or maybe more.


Well-Known Member
I think it's nice for a quick, informal detour. The museum is nice and is largely made up of artifacts from Ruth Disney's archives. There are gorgeous, intricate Disneyland models all made by a superfan on the upper level-those are my favorite parts of the museum to revisit. I've found some nice books in the gift shop area too. Back when they used to have guided tours for parts of it, one of the tour guides was the very woman who Walt stayed with when he visited the town back in the 50s, and I believe she runs/owns the museum. That was a cool experience. Do check the hours of the museum though-especially on Sundays or during the offseason they can be a bit limited.

A few of the sites weren't super easy to find (ex. where the Midget Autopia used to run) even with maps, but that may have just been me. Would love to see the murals inside the elementary school, but it's understandably not as easy to get inside there as it used to be.

I'd say a few hours is enough time to feel like you've seen everything. No reason not to stop as a Disney fan if it's on the way; it's a pleasant diversion.


Well-Known Member
In short...It's the other park that Dolly Parton didn't buy..
Yes, the two parks are affiliated with each other. Herschend Family Entertainment is the company that has interest in both, and both parks were known as Silver Dollar City at some point (though the park now known as Dollywood was known by at least two additional names before it was ever called Silver Dollar City). Dollywood came about because Dolly Parton wanted to give back to the area she came from in the 80s (she is from Sevierville, just a town over from Dollywood, which is in Pigeon Forge, TN) by building a theme park. The Tennessee property was already struggling at that point, and the Herschends knew they couldn't compete with her, so they decided to see if she'd be interested in a partnership. She agreed, and the rest is history as far as that was concerned.

That said, dare I say I actually prefer Silver Dollar City to Dollywood? There are lots of little touches that don't (or no longer) exist at Dollywood, and of course they have the cave tour as well. Dolly Parton undoubtedly saved the TN park and brought with it a fair amount of attendance and publicity, but there's something of an identity struggle at the TN park because of it IMO. SDC is successful in its own right, but more modestly so due to a combination of location and not having a prominent national backer. Though there are better parks strictly for coasters, I'd say it's the best proper theme park in the Midwest. The rest of Branson doesn't really do much for me, but I always try to make it out to SDC a few times a year.

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