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Branson Show Biz

Program Number: 1615RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 5/3/2015 - 5/8/2015; 5/24/2015 - 5/29/2015; 6/14/2015 - 6/19/2015; 8/16/2015 - 8/21/2015; 9/6/2015 - 9/11/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/6/2015; 11/29/2015 - 12/4/2015; 12/29/2015 - 1/3/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Branson, Missouri
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Music Appreciation; Holidays
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt    

Join us in Branson, the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World,” as we experience good ol’ American music, theater and fun in the heart of the Ozarks. Find out the history of Branson's overnight success, the elements of its entertainment scene, its emergence into international tourism, and the famous Branson formula of “Faith, Family, and Flag.” Branson hosts more than 100 live theater shows, and we have seats for you at four popular ones, often surrounded by lectures, meet-and-greets, and Q&A’s. Plus, you’ll enjoy two private performances just for the group, as well as a dinner-and-entertainment experience.




Highlights

• Enjoy seven live performances, with two given just for our private group.
• Enjoy a private morning tea with music pioneer DeeDee Lennon, and learn about the indelible mark her famous family has made on the live performance industry.
• Meet with current performers and production specialists such as technicians and set designers to hear what it's like to work in the business and how they make the magic happen.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to a few blocks; standing up to one hour; get on/off coach. Elevators and ramps available.



New in 2015: Stay at a full-service, AAA four-diamond hotel steps from the riverfront boardwalk, attend seven live shows, enjoy upgraded meals and take in a special private tea and Q&A with music pioneer DeeDee Lennon of the Lennon Sisters. Performances for 2015 dates include (subject to change): The New Americana Theatre: #1 Hits of the 60’s Show with pre-show lecture and cast meet & greet; Sight and Sound Theatre: Behind the Scenes guided exploration and performance of Jonah; Presleys' Country Jubilee: Branson's Original Show on the Strip; Lawrence Welk Theater: Lennon/Cathcart Morning Show with pre-show lecture and post-show discussion; private performance by the Micham Family; private performance with one of the area’s top fiddlers; Jackie B. Goode’s Uptown Café: dinner and live Country Music performance.




Branson

Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains on the shores of Lake Taneycomo, Branson is a popular tourist destination, famous for its many live music theaters, clubs and other entertainment venues, as well as its historic downtown and surrounding natural beauty. The city proudly proclaims the importance of family, faith, and patriotism throughout its many attractions.



Accommodations
Full-service, AAA four-diamond hotel steps from Branson Landing.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Convention Center
  Branson, MO 5 nights
 Hilton Convention Center
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Perfectly centered in downtown Branson, the Hilton Branson Convention Center offers guests a refreshing place to stay during their vacation. This 12-story AAA Four Diamond hotel offers comfort and satisfaction of all guests during their stay. Explore Historic Downtown Branson, or stroll along Lake Taneycomo. Enjoy the dazzling views of the Ozark Mountains and Lake Taneycomo.
  Contact info: 200 East Main Street
Branson, MO 65616 USA
phone: 417-336-5400
web: conventioncenter.hiltonsofbranson.com/hotel-photos
  Room amenities: High-Speed Wi-Fi (fees apply), Alarm Clock/Radio w/ MP3 Connection, Black-Out Curtains, Ergonomic Desk Chair Granite Counter Tops/Vanities, Hilton Serenity™ Bed / Collection, 32" LCD High-Definition TV, Cable Programming and Standard, Complimentary HBO® in HD, On-Demand Movies, Spacious Work Desk, Coffee Maker, Refrigerator Room Service, Hairdryer, Iron / Board, Telephone w/ Voicemail
  Facility amenities: Sparkling Indoor Pool, for year-round leisure, Outdoor Pool, featuring a connected pool bar and scenic lounge Fitness Center, keep up your regimen on the road, Business Center, for printing schedules or burning the midnight oil High-Speed Wi-Fi, available throughout the hotel, Automated Teller (ATM), Baggage Storage, Concierge Desk Fitness Center, Foreign Currency Exchange, Laundry/Valet Service, Local Area Transportation, Pool, Room Service Safety Deposit Box, Snack Shop, Business Center, Express Mail, Photo Copying Service
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $119- $179.00 Call hotel for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 3:30 PM
  Additional nights after: $119- $179.00 Call hotel for rates and availability.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrival/Check in time 3:30 PM. You will be staying at Hilton Convention Center that night.
  End of Program:
Departure/Check out time 11 AM. You will be staying at Hilton Convention Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Plenty of parking is available at the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Branson, MO
  Nearest highway: Highway 65
  Nearest airport:  Branson, Missouri
  From End of Program
  Location: Branson, MO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Branson

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
phone: 417-332-CABS x2227
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$10-15 per car on average
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

10 Miles

   

Please visit flybranson.com for information on this very close airport. While it is not required, we advise renting a car to help with travel during free time opportunities. Unfortunately the hotel does not offer a shuttle service for the airport.

 

Springfield, Missouri

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Branson Coach
phone: 417-339-4888
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Check with shuttle service.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour from Springfield 

   

PLEASE CHECK WITH LOCAL BRANSON AIRPORT FOR TICKETS BEFORE CONSIDERING THE SPRINGFIELD-BRANSON AIRPORT! They can be found at flybranson.com. The cost of the shuttle and time travel may compensate for a ticket price difference. In addition, while not required, we recommend to rent a car for your time here. This will assist you in getting around to other locations during free time. Normally, participants call when they make airline reservations, then confirm a day or two before flight.

 
Driving Directions
  Springfield From Springfield, 65 south exit 248 Shepard of the Hills Expressway. Make a left at the bottom of the exit and follow to the round about. Exit round about onto Branson Landing Blvd. Hotel is located on the left in the center of Branson Landing, across from the Branson Train Station. From Arkansas follow Hwy 65 north and exit onto 248 Shepard of the Hills Expressway. Make a right at the end of the exit ramp and follow to round about. Exit round about onto Branson Landing Blvd. Hotel is on the left across from the Branson Train Station.
Elevation Note: The highest elevation participants will experience is 1,000 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration & Orientation / Welcome Dinner / Branson Overview
(Sunday, November 29)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in is available beginning at 3:30 p.m. Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
 Dinner: Enjoy a get acquainted dinner with your fellow participants served in a private room at the hotel. Dinner may be a select entree or a buffet.
 Evening: After dinner we will have a brief overview of Branson with a local historian, including an introduction to the ubiquitous culture of "Faith, Family, and Flag." We will also have our program orientation, during which the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will then review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Scheduled free time is set aside for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Branson Area Coach Excursion / Matinee Performance - Comedy Jamboree Show / Pre Show Lecture & Post Show Discussion
(Monday, November 30)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a wonderful buffet breakfast served each day at the hotel. Buffet includes hot entrees, cereal, toast, coffee, juice. Vouchers will be given for breakfasts.
 Morning: Today we meet with our local expert in the lobby of the hotel to prepare for a morning of area exploration by bus. We'll explore the early history of the Ozarks and Branson pre-entertainment history. Learn the evolution of Branson in the early years including floods, lakes and damming systems. We conclude the morning with the entertainment evolution of Branson from the 1950's to Modern Day.
 Lunch: Lunch is served at a local restaurant with a choice of limited menu including entree and drink.
 Afternoon: This afternoon will be the first of several exciting insider performance experiences of the week. We begin with a pre show lecture with one of the directors of the Grand Country Music Hall. Discuss the early history of the Foggy Mountain Boys and other groups that began in Branson. We will also discuss production, sound and lighting. < > Enjoy a matinee performance of the Comedy Jamboree Show. A popular show offering comedy, music, dance and family fun. Following the performance we will be treated to a post performance talk.
 Dinner: This evening we'll enjoy dinner at the popular Uptown Cafe along with a live Country Music Performance.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lectures on Branson Production/Tea with Dee Dee Lennon of the Lennon Sisters / Free Afternoon / Evening Private Performance
(Tuesday, December 1)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we will enjoy a visit with a local wardrobing professional who has worked with such greats as the Andy Williams Show. < >Join us for a fantastic opportunity to have morning tea with Dee Dee Lennon. Diane (Dee Dee) is well remembered as the lead singer of “America’s Sweethearts of Song”, the Lovely Lennon Sisters. Dee Dee will discuss her life as a performer with stories that include Lawrence Welk, Bob Hope, Warren Beaty, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante and many more entertainment legends. The Lennon Sisters performed for seven Presidents, have a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and have been inducted Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Dee Dee has retired and now calls Branson, Missouri her home. There’ll be plenty of time for Q & A.”
 Lunch: Lunch is included today at our hotel.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore the Branson Landing area or relax along the lake. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at the hotel this evening.
 Evening: Private Performance: Enjoy an evening with the Michams in a private setting as Mike and Nancee Micham take you on a musical journey from Ireland to the hills of the Ozarks. A great time for laughing, learning, and listening!
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lectures on Branson / The Lennon Cathcart Morning Show/Meet and Greet with Production Staff and Performers / Presley Country Jubilee Show
(Wednesday, December 2)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning enjoy lectures at the Lawrence Welk Theater with Bill Lennon prior to his morning show. < > This morning we enjoy the Lennon/Cathcart Morning Show. The Lennon/Cathcart Show will includes Branson favorites Gail Lennon, Mike Cathcart and Bill Lennon who will perform the music of Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Beach Boys, Peter, Paul & Mary and much more. Following the show we meet with the performers for a post show discussion.
 Lunch: We board the coach in the late morning to go for lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we meet with Steve Presley who will discuss their family history. The Presley Family started the original family theater. They were a smash hit.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening. Your group leader will help you find a restaurant in the area.
 Evening: Tonight we travel to the Presley Country Jubilee. Enjoy a fantastic evening of music, comedy, dance and fun.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Lecture on Swing Music and the Lennon Family / Private Performance / Guided Exploration of the College of the Ozarks / Evening Performance
(Thursday, December 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: This morning we enjoy a lecture and performance with one of the area's top fiddlers.
 Lunch: Lunch today is served at the hotel or a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch we visit the fantastic Sight and Sound Theater. A million watts of lights, sixty-thousand watts of sound and a massive stage over twenty-thousand square feet in size: Sight & Sound's theater offers live theatre productions on a breathtaking scale. Now, take an exclusive opportunity to go backstage and see how the drama unfolds in our Behind the Scenes Program. Discover the technology and ingenuity that powers the dramatic complexity of each show. Visit the nerve centers that keep the lights, sound, stage - and even animals - on cue. Get a rare glimpse of the state-of-the-art scene shop as our talented craftsmen create sets for upcoming shows, learn how Sight & Sound brings Bible stories to life and step on the stage for an actor's view at our incomparable theatre. < > Following our exploration we will enjoy the production of Johah.
 Dinner: Dinner is included at another popular Branson Restaurant.
 Evening: This evening is free to take in another fabulous production on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Convention Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Final Lecture on the Future of Branson / Program Concludes / Final Goodbyes and Departures
(Friday, December 4)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Performance/Lecture: What would a show in Branson be without a fiddle player. This morning you will meet with one of the fiddle players who call Branson home. Learn how they play a part in the many shows and hear some fantastic music. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Branson, MO Free Time
During the week there are free times listed in the iternerary and present a great opportunity to attend additional shows. Please visit explorebranson.com for a listing of offerings. please do not purchase tickets till the first meeting of the program due to possible (but unlikely) schedule changes
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Insiders' Guide to Branson and the Ozark Mountains


Author: Dr. Fred Pfister


Description: For more than twenty years, the Insiders' Guide® series has been the essential source for in-depth travel and relocation information—from true insiders whose personal, practical perspective gives you everything you need to know. With more than forty theaters on and around its famous Strip, Branson is proudly called the Live Music Capital of the World. But there's more to this year-round vacation destination than its shows and stars: World-class golf, theme parks, and historic sites are all within easy reach. This authoritative guide shows you how to navigate the glitz and glitter of Branson as well as the natural beauty of the scenic Ozark Mountain country. • Countless details on how to live and thrive in the area, from the best fishing holes to the lowdown on real estate • The inside scoop on the top shopping, seasonal festivals, and live entertainment offerings • Comprehensive listings of restaurants and accommodations • Sections dedicated to children and retirement



The Bittersweet Ozarks at a Glance


Author: Ellen Grey Massey


Description: The Bittersweet Ozarks at a Glance is a beautiful and unique photograph collection that portrays the Bittersweet Ozarks, collected by Ellen Gray Massey and her students, more than thirty years ago. Had the students not researched and recorded, the information from the 494 men and women they captured in words and pictures most would be lost forever for most of them have died. From 1973 until 1983, the young people published 482 articles and features in 40 issues of Bittersweet, the Ozark Quarterly.





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