Silver Dollar City’s Festival of Wonder – which kicks off Wed., April 10 – is built around entertainment that wows, and the festival's “Foods of Wonder” are expected to deliver the same impact.

Along with his culinary team, Silver Dollar City director of food and beverage Sam Hedrick is tasked each year with developing unique dishes that will impress diners. “We want to keep it fun and exciting so people have a sense of discovery, and ask ‘What’s going to be there now?’” Hedrick says. “We look at what’s trending in the country but also in Springfield, Missouri. We look for foods around the country that [customers] may not expect to find in this area or at a theme park.” 

Hedrick says many festival-goers will purchase a variety of dishes to share like tapas. To get a taste of all that's on offer, consider buying a ticket to a special tasting experience on April 13, 20 and 27 from 3 to 6pm in Reunion Hall Restaurant. Portions are smaller, but samples are unlimited, and tickets ($23.99 for adults) also include access to a spread of new fare. “It’s a premium ticket but gives them an opportunity to try everything,” Hedrick says.

So what’s on the menu this year? Here are some of the highlights.

Silver Dollar City, 399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy., Branson, Missouri, silverdollarcity.com/theme-park

Juliana Goodwin lives in Springfield, Mo., but loves to explore the Ozarks and write about it for Feast Magazine.