Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge is an absolute staple and a must-see. It was easily one of our favorite attractions during our Smoky Mountain getaway. You can read my full review of our Smoky Mountain trip here. There’s a reason the sign above says, “The World’s Most Visited Dinner Attraction”. We were staying at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort (read about our stay here), so it made sense to explore everything Dolly on this trip. My goal with this post is to share my experience and to let you know what to expect when you book your Dolly Parton’s Stampede show.
Two Shows in One
Not sure if you realize this, but with your ticket purchase, you actually get two shows! Now, you only get one show with the beautiful horses and other adorable animals, BUT you also get the Dolly’s Stampede pre-show in the Saloon! The pre-show consists of a trio of entertainers, one of which was Dolly’s old band leader, Gary Davis. He’s a 4-time national banjo champion and when you see him perform, well…your ticket price was enough just to hear and watch him alone. Just take a look at this video! The pre-show is long enough to enjoy a nice fruit drink (in a souvenir cup), and some popcorn or nachos. This is a very fun leeway to the main show.
The Main Event
Okay, now we get the big deal. The main event. This show is non-stop and you’ll get to witness some incredible entertainment. I mean, it’s rather impressive what these folks can do on a horse! Don’t believe me? Check this out! I don’t want to give it all away, but here’s a little on what to expect. The show loves audience involvement, so you’ll be given a “side” based on where you’re sitting. The entertainers and their horses will race and participate in numerous events to earn “medals” for their side. The fun part…they pull folks from the audience to also participate in the fun and help earn a win for their side. I’ll get into the food shortly, but since you’ll be busy eating while watching the show, you clap and cheer by stomping your feet. The arena roars with stomps and the energy is high! Once the show has ended, make sure to not run off. The riders stay behind with their horses for photos and autographs!
This Is A Dinner Show, Right?
Some would say, “now onto the good stuff…” The food! Y’all better come hungry! The folks at Dolly Parton’s Stampede know how to feed ya. I don’t have but one photo to share, because of three things: 1) They serve the different items throughout the entire show, so you don’t get everything at once. 2) I was so caught up in the show that I forgot to take photos. 3) In case you didn’t know, you eat with your hands here, so for over half the show, my hands had food in them! So, you’re probably wondering what all you get to eat with your ticket price? Here ya go! You start off with your drink of choice (I recommend the sweet tea, of course, but there are also Coke products and they’re unlimited), some soup and a biscuit. Then they bring you an entire rotisserie chicken, corn on the cob, half a potato, and a slice of pork loin. After that, you wrap up with an apple turnover. I saw so many people get to-go bags, because they were unable to finish.
The Horse Stables
After the show ends and you get your autographs, make sure you swing by and visit the horses! A lot of folks like to visit them before the show, but I found that the stables aren’t has busy afterwards. What’s cool about visiting the horses is that you get to find out their names and what breed of horses they are. You also get to watch the handlers care for them before and after the show.
Dolly Parton’s Stampede is a Smoky Mountain attraction you shouldn’t pass up. It’s for literally everyone. Kids, couples, and older folks equally enjoy the shows, supper, and atmosphere. During the off season, there is only one show a day, so plan ahead. In the summer and busy seasons, they’ll have FIVE shows a day. That alone shows how amazing and sought after this show is. As with anything else that has Dolly’s name attached to it, you can guarantee something great!
Thank you so very much to the folks at Dolly Parton’s Stampede for the sponsored tickets. It was truly a great experience!
While visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, be sure to set some time aside for a visit to one of Gatlinburg’s newest attractions, Anakeesta. During our visit, we stayed at two family friendly hotels, and I highly recommend them both. You can read our reviews of The Inn at Christmas Place and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort here.