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Dinner Theater Posts

Morgan Crutchfield | Don't Miss Dixie Stampede
Date: February 20, 2017


Nobody told me there would be horses. When I rave about Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede and people ask me why I waited so long to go, that's my answer — nobody told me there would be horses. Of course there are a ton of other reasons you'll love the Stampede and never miss it again once you've been, but here are a few of mine.

The Pre-Pony

Dixie Stampede calls it the Horse Walk. I call it pre-ponying. It's a little like tailgating for football, but in my opinion, it's better. Take a walk around the Dixie Stampede building to the Horse Walk, a row of stalls where you can visit the show's performers, both horse and human. You'll see some of the awesome horses that perform in the show and you'll be able to talk to the riders who make the performances so incredible!

Be sure to ask the riders their histories - most have been around or on horses since they were little kids!

The Boot Stomping

One of the most awesome things about the Stampede is that you get a show before the show. Be sure to arrive at the theater early (around an hour before is great) to catch the entertainers in the Dixie Belle Saloon. These are no part-time pickers; these gents are some of America's most award-winning musicians. Some have even played in Dolly’s band! There's not much like hearing an entire show crowd sing along to Rocky Top, and these guys do a fantastic version, along with a bunch of other songs.

If all the clapping along makes you hungry, snack bars on both floors of the Saloon serve popcorn, nachos, and other snacks and drinks. The show's entrance is on the second floor, but there's no rush to get there and the staff will help you right along.

The Food

Once you're seated in your rows, your server will ask what you'd like to drink and ring off a spiel about all kinds of things from taters to tea. What it all comes down to is that you're about to eat the best meal in town with your hands. There's no silverware at the Stampede, but that won't stop you from digging into creamy veggie soup, warm cheddar biscuits, chicken, pork, corn on the cob, a potato wedge, and a dessert turnover.

Everyone in the audience does get the same awesome meal, but Dixie can rustle up vegetarian and gluten free meals upon request. Be sure to ask when you reserve!

The Show

While you're eating, you'll be entertained with one of the most original shows in the world. The state-of-the-art arena comes to life during the performance with horses and riders, western wagons, games and horsemanship, a little comedy, and this season you'll even see the Thundering Longhorns!  It all begins with the introductions from your emcee and his beautiful white horse, Athena.

Next, you'll meet your teams, split into horses and riders from the "North" and the "South." There'll be some rooting for teams, some fancy riding patterns, and then the the horse and rider teams will take a break as the arena comes alive with the spirit of the Wild West.

When you're completely unable to blink due to amazement (Longhorn cattle? At dinner? Really?), the fun really starts. There's singing and dancing, a little fancy horsemanship, some comedic relief, some good old-fashioned competition, and some of the most incredible trick-riding you'll see this side of the Wild Wild West.

There are more surprises I won't spoil, and if this isn't enough to convince you to spend the price of a ticket, you're a harder customer than I've ever come across. Altogether, the experience that is Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede will bring your group together in laughter, amazement, wonder, and fun. If that's not worth coming back for again and again, I don't know what is. And hey - it's not every day you can say you watched kids chase the chickens around at dinner.

Tickets for Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede are available at or by calling 800-356-1676. Group reservations are always welcome and Dixie Stampede is happy to help with your accommodations. Many thanks to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede for welcoming me at their show recently!


Morgan Crutchfield | Dolly's Newest Dinner Attraction
Date: May 22, 2017

Being the master storyteller that Dolly Parton is, she’s been tweaking the storyline of her newest dinner theater experience, and folks, it’s a winner. Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures is the getaway your family needs to take. When Parton debuted Lumberjack Adventure last year, the 25 million dollar show brought world-class talent to the Smokies. And, though it was absolutely eye-popping, Dolly thought something about the story could be further developed. So, she did some revamping. With the popularity of her family’s story through her Coat of Many Colors and Christmas of Many Colors on NBC, she decided more people needed to hear the tale of how her mom and dad met.

You won’t find a more entertaining story of the Great Smoky Mountains and the people of Appalachia than the Parton family story, and now you can follow the Partons and the Owenses through their Smoky Mountain Adventure in the newly refreshed show. The best part? Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures took all the wonderful things about Lumberjack Adventure (Those aerialists! That music!) and made it fit together beautifully.

So what do you need to know about coming to Smoky Mountain Adventure? Ticket prices are between $40 and $50 for adults depending on your seating selection. Child prices range from $20 to $30. Groups are always welcome, so call before you come to see about group rates! Guests start arriving at Smoky Mountain Adventure well before their show times to enjoy the pre-show entertainment. Check your tickets for instructions but we arrived about 45 minutes prior to our show and the entertainment was in full swing. Drinks and popcorn are available for an additional charge and there’s plenty of seating.

Once the preshow is finished, the theater doors are opened and guests are assisted in getting to their seats. The theater is arranged in rows of front-facing, side-by-side seats at countertop tables. The theater is a standard dinner theater arrangement with a little bit of an interesting twist - instead of a raised stage, the performance area is floor-level. There’s honestly not a bad seat in the house as the show does a great job of keeping interest all the way around the stage.

Dinner is served piece by piece (creamy veggie soup, biscuit, corn, potato wedge, chicken) by the row's server who also provides drink refills of cola, diet cola, tea, and water. Alcohol is available for purchase. Your meal is served while the show is in progress, and the food is great!

The newly retooled story puts Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures over the top in the fantastic dinner show category. The meal now feels like attending a full-scale attraction with high-flying stunts, beautiful songs, and incredible aerial acrobatics.

Smoky Mountain Adventures is minute after minute of amazing performances. The value of your ticket comes as this incredibly talented group of performers puts on what is the best show in the Smokies on the stage, in the air, and even in the water. 

So bring your friends and family and spend a couple of hours being amazed at Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures. We promise you won't regret it.