The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Best of Branson

March 8, 2012

Dave Woods: Branson radio team gives spring break recommendations

BRANSON Mo. — I jumped at the chance to talk about Branson with Steve Willoughby and Janet Ellis.

Steve and Janet host a successful morning radio show on KRZK, 106.3 FM. The two Branson talkers chat and spat their way through four hours of morning radio, five days a week.

They’ve done that for almost 18 years, logging more than a million minutes on the air since 1994. By any standard, that’s a good run. The pair watched Branson boom and have interviewed hundreds of entertainers along the way.

Who better to ask about Branson’s spring break options? When I arranged the interview, I didn’t know I would do it on the air during the team’s morning show. No pressure, right?


First question up: Name your best bets for family spring break fun in Branson.

“First thing that comes to mind is the Track Family Fun Parks,” Steve said quickly, before Janet could wedge in a word. “The Tracks have something for everybody. There’s Kid’s Country for the little kids on up to the Wild Woody.”

Wild Woody, a towering all-wooden go-kart track is a great attraction. I prefer the Track’s Heavy Metal High Rise, a corkscrewing metal version of the classic track.

While the 13-year-old boy inside Steve’s adult body longed for go-kart action, he didn’t neglect Branson’s other entertainment options.

“There’s great music shows and Titanic,” he added. “Titanic is a huge opportunity for people to learn and have fun.”

Janet agreed.

“They have the Molly Brown exhibit right now that is very classy and classic,” she said. “I got a message from my best friend’s daughter. She said her boys are fascinated with the Titanic.”

Another Branson staple, Grand Country Square, is a good option for a family looking for a fun and affordable break. It offers an indoor water park and lodging on site.

“They have Splash Country 365 days a year,” Janet said. “You can go in and have a lot of fun and have pizza and play mini-golf and laser tag.”

The Grand Country complex also offers a music hall, laser tag, shopping and a large buffet.

Many shows and attractions are open and many more will open their doors in the coming weeks.

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