We have been told by many people that we MUST go to the Dixie Stampede now that we live close to Pigeon Forge! With my brother and his family in town, we finally made it happen. We were so incredibly impressed and definitely think this is something we will return to do in the future.
This is a FANTASTIC family event great for kids and adults of all ages. (Kids 3 and under are free so Hannah was a "lap child". She loved it!) The people I was sitting next to had attended many times and said no show is the same.
First up is a group picture. You aren't given a choice whether you want to do this. I will tell you that our pictures turned out really well, but they were really expensive, so we looked at them and then gave them back. :)
You then visit the saloon where a group of fantastic musicians in the group Mountain Rukus perform some fantastic music in a pre-dinner show. You can purchase drinks and snacks here (for an additional cost). It is pretty pricey so we opted to just sit and enjoy the music.
Then it is off to the arena where you sit around the stage, eat a great dinner (all served without utensils!) and watch an outstanding show. Dinner was a cornish game hen (perfectly done), soup and a roll, corn on the cob, a huge potato wedge, and a turnover for dessert. You can also choose between water, Pepsi, or lemonade for your drink. They even give you a warm, wet rag at the end of your meal.
Apparently the shows change regularly. This was their Christmas show, and it included a live nativity. It was an incredible demonstration of faith and included sheep, camels, horses, pigs, chickens, and more! We were entertained from the moment we sat down. I was impressed with the cleanliness, the professionalism of employees, the efficiency of our waitress, and the show! I loved that the Christmas show was about CHRIST! So fantastic.
The event includes friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal music productions plus a mouth-watering four-course feast. Included is a bit of a "side show" called SKEETER & NUGGET which delivers a huge helping of family-friendly comedy at every show.
A few important notes:
- This is not a cheap event. (Roughly $50 for adults and $25 for children). However, there is a military discount, and we have happened upon some "free kids" coupons. If you can find one/some of these, take advantage of it.
- There is an opportunity to pay an extra $5 for better seats. I would spend the extra $5. Our seats were definitely a bit more preferable. With our military discount, I think this came out in the wash.
- Lap children are really not a problem here. There is bench seating so there was plenty of rom for Hannah to move around a bit. The show is very loud so the kiddos noise is not an issue at all. I did notice that some of the seats at the top of the arena
- Your tip is not included. (We didn't realize this when we purchased our tickets.)
- Exiting the arena was the only part of the show that was challenging. Since another show is coming in, they limit where you can leave. In addition, the bathrooms (which were a cinch to get into before and during the show) are closed after the show. Only one bathroom is available after the show and the line was incredibly long. They also push you through a gift shop. I would honestly consider either trying to get out right away or just having a seat and waiting for everyone else to leave before you try to fight those crowds -- especially if you are trying to watch numerous children.
Here are a few pictures I borrowed from Dixie Stampede's website (credit goes solely to them):
North Pole vs. The South Pole added a friendly competition element to the performance.
The live nativity was so well done. I was so impressed with how purposeful the truth of Christmas was presented.
There was a toy season that was interesting and creative.
Here we are after the show with one of the horses and riders.
Charleigh made a horse picture for one of the riders.
She gave her picture to the master of ceremonies. He did a great job!
A snapshot of the arena.