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My party of 2 spent $160 for Dolly Parton’s famous dinner show, and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life

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Dolly Parton’s Stampede features incredible food and live performances.Carly Caramanna

  • I’m a theme park reporter and ate at Dolly Parton’s Stampede, a dinner show near Dollywood.

  • The menu was prix fixe and my party of two spent a total of $160 on our three course meals.

  • The experience was expensive, but we loved our meals and the shows.

I’m a theme park reporter who visited Dolly Parton’s Stampede, a famous dinner show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Dollywood is one of my favorite theme parks.Carly Caramanna

While visiting Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s theme park in Tennessee, we went to Dolly Parton’s Stampede, a famous dinner show that’s just a five-minute drive from the park.

Dolly Parton’s Stampede — which also has a sister location in Branson, Missouri — was inspired by the country singer’s fond childhood memories of spending time around the kitchen table with her family. Operating for decades, the experience includes a live show and a multi-course meal served in an arena.

Dolly Parton’s Stampede is open for dinner. The experience costs $69.99 per adult and $34.99 per child (if between 3 and 9 years old). Reservations can be made in advance online, by phone or in person at the box office.

When we arrived we were surprised to be able to visit the horses before they performed in the show.

Guests could walk around the stables before the show.Carly Caramanna

The dinner show is located in a large building that also houses the Horse Walk, a pre-show introduction to animals.

Just before check-in, we were able to visit the horses in a row of open-air stables and take photos with them. It was a memorable way to start the dinner experience.

Once we arrived we waited for our table in a large living room.

The saloon made the wait go by quickly.Carly Caramanna

We arrived early so we could take advantage of the multi-level lounge, where guests were waiting to be seated for dinner.

The Western-themed space — which has lots of seating, lots of games, interactive audio-animatronic characters, and a piano that plays automatically — made us feel like we were in an old frontier town.

It was a fun space to explore, and it made the wait go by quickly.

I indulged and ordered one of the signature boot shaped mugs.

I ordered a drink in a boot shaped mug.Carly Caramanna

The lounge has a bar that serves a variety of beers, cocktails, and moonshine.

I couldn’t resist ordering one of the dinner show’s signature boot glasses to keep as a souvenir.

We then made our way inside the arena for dinner and the show.

We had a great view of the artists.Carly Caramanna

The dinner takes place in a 35,000 square foot arena. Guests are seated stadium-style in an oval shape, giving them an optimal view of the live show in the center.

The menu is fixed price and the meal includes a starter, a starter and a dessert.

The menu had a variety of options for all types of eaters.Carly Caramanna

The themed dining experience includes a three-course Southern-style feast. Unlimited soft drinks and iced teas are included in the price.

The servers brought everything to our seats which allowed us to enjoy the show while we ate.

We started our meal with the famous creamy soup.

The soup was creamy and delicious.Carly Caramanna

The meal started with a bowl of the dinner show’s original creamy soup and a wonderfully flaky homemade warm biscuit. The savory and delicious soup was the perfect starter as it was not heavy.

In keeping with the Wild West theme, servers did not provide guests with spoons. Instead, the soup was in a bowl with a large handle.

The dish is so popular that customers can order a mix from the gift shop.

The live performances, from aerial routines to horseback riding, were a highlight.

We enjoyed live entertainment during our meal.Carly Caramanna

A live performance took place in front of us in the arena throughout the meal. It combined music and storytelling, with live performers and a total of 32 horses.

The incredibly talented riders were a highlight of the production, and the comedy bits and pyrotechnics kept the guests engaged. Another highlight was the aerials’ performance on one of Parton’s songs.

The LED background wall completed the immersive experience.

The LED wall changed over the performances.Carly Caramanna

I was really impressed with the massive LED back wall, which changed throughout the performances and depicted different scenes from the Great Plains.

When the wall combined with physical backdrops, twinkling lights, and water elements, the entire experience felt immersive.

The starter portions were very generous in size.

The entries to Dolly Parton’s Stampede were filled.Carly Caramanna

The main course included a whole roast chicken, BBQ smoked pork loin, corn on the cob and a herb potato.

The portions were very generous. We could try on each item or choose the ones we wanted.

Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available at Dolly Parton’s Stampede. The vegetarian feast includes some regular menu items in addition to fire-roasted vegetables, quinoa and multigrain rice.

The chicken was my favorite part of the main course.

The chicken was the standout part of the meal.Carly Caramanna

By far my favorite in the main course was the whole roast chicken. The meat was incredibly tender and chewy, but the highlight was the characteristic rubbing of the spices on the outside.

I enjoyed the other dishes but kept coming back for more chicken.

The final course was an apple turnover, which was a light and refreshing dessert.

The dessert was light, flaky and delicious.Carly Caramanna

For dessert, we had an apple turnover. This warm, flaky treat was a unique spin on a traditional Southern apple pie.

I appreciated having a lighter dessert, as opposed to cake or ice cream, after eating such a large meal.

During this time, the production played a song written and recorded by Parton.

My party of two spent $160 for the experience and left completely full.

I loved the little Dolly Parton themed details throughout the show.Carly Caramanna

I absolutely loved the meal and was particularly surprised by the quality of the starter. Although the menu was fixed price, there was a nice variety of dishes to satisfy even the pickiest eater.

The show was very entertaining, family friendly and unlike anything I had ever seen before.

I loved the little touches that graced Parton throughout the experience, like the inclusion of his music in the performances.

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