Dollywood – Dixie Stampede Dinner – Tennessee

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction By:  Suz Pisano

Dixie Stampede began as a dream for Dolly Parton.  Today it is one of the most spectacular dinner attractions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Dixie Stampede features 32 horses, 30 riders and dozens of cast members.  Surrounding the 35,000 square foot arena is seating for 1,000.  Dixie Stamped is Dolly Parton’s own creation.

“I wanted to recreate the family fun of my childhood, when we’d gather for friendly competition then enjoy a more than filling meal,” says Dolly Parton.  “with the grand entertainment of our horses and the performers, along with a delicious meal, Dixie Stampede is the “Most Fun Place To Eat…anywhere.”

We’ve never been to a dinner theatre experience like this one. The theatre seats 1096 people to be exact and there’s not a bad seat in the house!  Our server told us that we would be eating with out hands and we thought she was kidding until another server told us that unless we brought our own silverware, yes, indeed we would be eating with our hands!  Now of course, they’re not serving spaghetti! And she also added that it really adds to the fun and the experience.  Being adventurous, we embraced the experience still a little apprehensive.  Our meal began with a delicious creamy vegetable soup easily sipped and followed by Cornish hens roasted to perfection with an herbed potato, pretty easy to eat with your hands and definitely part of the fun.  It wouldn’t be a country meal without corn on the cob and a slice of pork loin on the side.  Dessert was a flaky pastry apple turnover, a fine end to a fine meal.  We found it difficult to finish all the food, but were provided with to go bags to savor for later.  We were pleasantly surprised at how good the food was especially when you think about serving over 1000 people at the same time.  The quality was outstanding and we were amazed at how the servers hustle!  They told us that the kitchen is three stories and pretty amazing in it’s own right.  Dixie Stampede is the largest purchaser of Cornish Hens in the nation.  During the busy season, there are 5 shows a day, you do the math!

As for the show, the horses are magnificent and truly make a massive statement, plus they bring a sense of thrill and unpredictability that only a live performance can do.  The beauty of these performances, the thrill of the horses moving in tight formation – such as their daring figure-eight with horses traveling at break-neck speed with near-miss precision – really shows off the skill and talent of their champion riders and horses.  Dixie Stampede has created a unique experience for all ages that truly captures the essence of Dolly’s philosophy of good family entertainment.  The performers are world champions in various rodeo skills and thrilling to watch.  The magnitude of the arena is the perfect showcase for such talent.

The single price admission includes entertainment in the carriage room prior to the main show, the main show and the four course meal.  From the precision of the performers and swiftness of the servers, you will walk away feeling totally full, from not only the food, but from the total experience.  This is a must see show when visiting Dollywood!  Be sure and call ahead for reservations.  800-356-1676 or for more information you can visit them on the web at

Nightwire loved it!