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Branson's Track Family Fun Park Revamps Park with New Rides and Games
Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
In Branson, Mo., Track Family Fun Parks operates three different locations, and is now celebrating a new era as it debuted many new additions last year. The new attractions are designed to be popular for out-of-town visitors as well as local area residents, a mix of guests that the parks have long catered to entertaining.

Track has put millions of dollars into new rides, arcade updates, new games, and new options in food and beverages at all three parks. The changes are due to Track's new parent company, Five Star Parks and Attractions. Five Star Parks entered a partnership with the long-time Branson business last June and is focused on improving the guest experience with new attractions and establishing a larger presence in the area.

Five Star is working with the Track's Craig Wescott, now senior vice president of Five Star Parks and Attractions; the company's CEO, John Dunlap, previously served as president of SeaWorld and Aquatica in San Diego. In short, it's a powerhouse team for the Branson park, with a mix of tried-and-true management with larger park experience.

Wescott says the changes are gratifying to see, as is the new company's commitment to park guests. “We built our company on the belief that families deserve to create unforgettable moments together in a safe, fun, and relaxing environment…Five Star Parks and Attractions has ensured that our biggest dreams are becoming realities,” he attests.

Of the three parks, it's Track 3 in Branson which has received the largest share of changes so far. It began with a March removal of the park's bumper boat pond, replacing that older attraction with a family spinning coaster shortly thereafter. Created by SBF Visa, the coaster came to Track 3 by way of New Jersey's Rides 4 U. The fun ride is geared for guests from 36 to 77 inches tall. Kids under 47 inches must ride with an adult age 18 and older. The main feature is a figure-eight track and vehicles that spin freely. The color theme is a vivid chroma-key blue and bright yellow, and the attraction is simply named Spinning Coaster.

The ride joins other park favorites at the location such as the Skycoaster super swing, bumper cars, and many kiddie rides.

Perhaps best consumed before partaking of the new spinning ride, there are plenty of new food choices at the Track 3 park as well.

A new food truck plaza located at the front of the park features The Taco Co. truck with popular burritos, nachos, and churros. It also serves margaritas and beer at comfortably shaded tables. Wescott notes that the area features “Corn hole and lots of shade…[kids] can come over and get a bite to eat or mom and dad can check out early and hang out.”

Mini Melts ice cream opened at Kids Kountry elsewhere in the park, serving up Snowie shaved ice as well as other confections. And next to the Wild Woody go-kart track, another Mini Melts plus Snowie location has opened.

Perhaps the biggest single upgrade at Track 3 is its arcade, with a fully reconfigured layout and new games and prizes. A giant Connect Four and a Raw Thrills dinosaur game are among the attractions.

Moving over to another park location, Track 4, an SBF Visa 360-degree Dance Party ride was added last season. This thriller offers a different kind of spin and swirl. Dubbed Thunder Struck, it also features bright blue and yellow colors and holds 12 riders in an experience which the park describes as “a 360-degree dance party.”

New food concessions are now open at this location too. Called Fuel, the new spot is designed as a visitor-drawing attraction. Serving up both lunch and dinner, the eatery features an attractive view from its wrap-around patio, a space that sports two wooden decks. Diners inside can still get a look at the landscape through open garage-style doors. Serving both craft beers and premixed drinks to wash down appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, and homey favorites like macaroni and cheese, smoked wings, and entrée salads, the dining spot offers take-out as well as dine-in selections. The spot replaced the park's previous main dining option, Pizza World.

According to Wescott, he's “excited to have this new and improved patio vibe with the double deck…it is overlooking the Ferris Wheel, very much on purpose... Really looking to create a great hangout vibes.” He reports that there are future plans are for another new concession near the Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel is itself an iconic park attraction, purchased from Chicago's Navy Pier.

Also new: Refuel, a revamped food truck concession at Track 4 which opened on Memorial Day Weekend. The trunk serves concession items such as soft pretzels and funnel cakes.

And, just like at Track 3, the arcade at Track 4 received a makeover, with new games including favorites like Axe Master, King Kong of Skull Island VR and Marvel Avengers Coin Pusher joining existing popular games.

Overall, Wescott reports “our partners have allowed us to do some things a lot quicker than we would have done if it were just us.” He relates that “They gave us a lot of opportunities, strategically, to do different things. They've been a lot of the reason we can do things as quickly as we're doing in Branson and beyond.” The Track parks are now celebrating their 41st year in operation.

Including The Track Family Fun Parks, Five Star Attractions now has 13 family entertainment centers, in seven states. Also located in Branson are Xtreme Racing Center Branson and Adventure Ziplines of Branson, both recently acquired by Five Star, and now a new part of The Track family of parks.

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