In a series of tweets Thursday morning, The Daily Wire’s megan basham shared that a source had messaged her with the disturbing news that they had encountered “no fewer than 6 male-to-female trans members” at Disney. A “cast member” at Disneyland or Disneyworld is another word for employee.
The irony of the text message moment was not lost on Megan, herself a mother. She received the note while waiting in line at Silver Dollar City, a 100-acre amusement park in Branson, Missouri.
“BEAUTIFUL park, fun rides, Christian music everywhere,” he tweeted.
Silver Dollar City literally started out as a hole in the ground. It was called “Marvel Cave” and was a favorite of geologists and adventurers who went deep into the natural wonder to explore. What they thought was marble was actually limestone. It quickly became a tourist destination in the early 20th century, aided by the advent of the automobile and improved road quality. Thousands flocked from far and wide to see it, including Hugo and Mary Herschend.
At the time of Herschend’s visit, just after the end of World War II in 1946, Hugo was a district manager for Electrolux in Evanston, Ill. He had previously worked in the oil fields in the Yukon and even hunted for diamonds in the Amazon. Although they were on vacation, the couple was trying to figure out what they were going to do when they retired. After being enthralled by a tour of the cave, Hugo was struck by the possibility of taking over the site as a side business. Miriam and Genevieve Lynch, two older sisters who ran Marvel Cave for fifty years, were looking for an exit strategy. The Herschends negotiated a 99-year lease and took control of the site.
“If there wasn’t a cave down here, we probably would have made a living selling vacuum cleaners in Chicago,” Hugo once recalled.
But Marvel Cave lost money for the first five years, and Mary was downright miserable, but committed to helping her husband.
The combination of persistence and various partnerships, and some political good fortune, helped turn the tide. The addition of an animal feature at the zoo, along with funding from Congress to build the Table Rock Dam, triggered a significant influx of tourists. Hugo’s sudden death in 1955 threatened the company, but Mary’s resilience and her son’s willingness to support her helped keep things afloat. The construction and expansion of an “Ozark Village” in 1960 officially launched what would become known as Silver Dollar City, so called because the exchange was given in silver dollars.
Jack and Pete Herschend would go on to build and expand Herschend Entertainment, a thriving company whose mission is to “Create Memories Worth Repeating” but “in a manner consistent with Christian values and ethics.”
“Hugo and Mary never went to church,” Jack acknowledged. “Pete and I were dropped off at the Christian Science church on Sunday mornings and then picked up after church. “We learned a lot about Mary Barker Eddy (founder of the Christian Science Church), but we never heard much about Jesus.”
But by the grace of God, the Herschend brothers ended up marrying devout Christian women, whom they credit with guiding and influencing them in their Christian walk.
Joel Manby, former CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment, once wrote a book called Love Works, a study of the leadership principles employed at the company. All are based on the Fruit of the Spirit (1 Cor. 13): patience, kindness, trust, generosity, truthfulness, forgiveness, surrender and humility.
Is it any wonder Megan Basham and hundreds of thousands of tourists like her feel so comfortable in Silver Dollar City?
Brad Thomas, the company’s current president, has said, “If anyone wants to go to a place where it’s okay to see an American flag, listen to gospel music and show respect, this is the place for you. If you are a person who is uncomfortable with these things, it may not be the place for you.”
Disillusioned families who feel disenfranchised by Disney because the company has embraced the “waking up” agenda and revolution may want to consider planning a trip one of these days to Branson’s Silver Dollar City.
The happiest places should not insult our sensibilities by confusing and corrupting our children; they should complement our values and celebrate our Christian faith.