Sure, Vegas has Usher and Dion and, eventually, Sting.
Stop postponing your show, Gordon! Some of us had already booked a flight. Dream of the Blue Turtles? I just wanted to hear Roxanne live one time. Is that too much?
And sure, Broadway will eventually have Lin-Manuel Miranda back, as well as a surprising number of musicals based on Disney properties and the life stories of Motown artists and Alanis Morissette.
But none of them have what we have in Pigeon Forge: Dinner shows with comedic musicals based on murderous events in our nation’s past with feats of aerobatics – equine-based stunts and more – all delivered with a delicious multi-course meal you can eat with your hands.
What is the best dinner show in Pigeon Forge?
Pigeon Forge has many great dinner shows.
My friends, with the possible exception of Branson, Orlando and other tourism meccas of the South, Pigeon Forge is the go-to spot for dinner theatre.
Want to take a date to a dinner and a show? Well, have we got a deal for you!
Pigeon Forge’s dinner theatre culture is well-established and beloved. Generations have come to the Forge to be fed and entertained simultaneously with great success.
Over the years, different experiments in dinner theatre have come and gone. Different shows backed by country music celebrities on the back nine of their careers have tested the waters and, eventually sunk.
Now, the proprietors of these shows seemed to have figured out the formula, and menu, for success.
And that formula is, like many things in life, to see what Dolly Parton is doing and copy it.
And so, we’re going to rank the best dinner theater experiences in Pigeon Forge but first, let’s have a couple of honorable mentions.
Honorable Mention: Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud
Honestly, the Lumberjack Feud is really cool.
First of all, it’s men and women in competitive lumberjack events with feats of strength and dexterity. And that’s always fun to watch.
Secondly? I get to show off my Monty Python knowledge by reciting the entire tree-listing intro to Michael Palin’s “Lumberjack Song”.
I will never pass up an opportunity to wax poetic about leaping from tree to tree as they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia and smell fresh-cut timber.
Also, you get the added bonus of yelling “I thought you were so rugged!” at the losing competitors.
They love that.
Alas, I cannot rank the Lumberjack Feud because it is not a dinner theater.
You can, however, go next door to Calhoun’s and have a nice meal afterward as you watch the participants of the Lumberjack Adventure Park ride the Timber Tower.
Honorable Mention: Biblical Times Dinner Theater
There’s something about the idea of the Biblical Times Dinner Theatre, I can’t quite get my head around. I have, over the course of my life, enjoyed several good passion plays. I grew up around gospel music. But I couldn’t, in good conscience, rank Biblical Times No. 1, and it felt odd to rank it lower than that.
Ultimately, I think my aversion to the show is eating a meal while watching it. I was raised in a fairly straight-laced, but accepting Methodist Church and I simply can’t allow myself to enjoy eating during worship – outside of communion, of course.
If Biblical Times were to put on the show, then invite everyone into the fellowship hall in the basement where a series of very nice ladies serve us all a wide variety of spaghetti and soggy garlic bread, I would be able to embrace this show better.
Ok. Without further ado, let’s get ranking.
5. Soul of Motown at the Grand Majestic Theatre
I wanted to rank this show higher, but we’re playing a little fast and loose with the tenets of dinner theatre.
First of all, the show is great. Talented performers sing classic Motown and tribute tunes from artists like Sam Cooke to the Temptations.
I may not be the biggest country music fan to ever live, but give me some classic Motown and I’m a happy guy.
So why are they fifth? A couple of reasons, the Grand Majestic also hosts a Dukes of Hazzard-themed show, and I deducted points for that like a Russian figure skating judge.
Also, Soul isn’t a dinner theatre show. There’s a café – which is as much concession stand as it is café – that serves appetizers and alcohol. You can get wings, a BBQ sandwich, a hot dog or deep-fried tacos and take them into the theatre for the show.
My favorite menu item? Big pickle. First, I do love a good pickle. Second? The idea of ordering a big pickle, a shot of Hennessey and going to see a Motown show entertains me immensely.
Tickets start at $36.95 with discounts for seniors, military and kids. The cost of food is separate.
4. The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud
This one riled my feathers for its first couple of years of existence. It’s not like the Hatfields and McCoys were particularly close to the region, and the idea of taking a vicious blood feud and turning it into a Hee Haw-esque musical comedy bothered me.
Devil Anse Hatfield was a hard man, colorless, ruthless man who sacrificed many lives on the altar of his pride.
But, over the years, I’ve come to the realization that turning him into a sideshow character may be somehow, oddly appropriate. The show itself is funny with singing, dancing and dog jumping contests.
The fried chicken dinner comes with pulled pork and mashed potatoes as well as corn and other fixings. Tickets are $59.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids.
3. Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show
Just when everyone thought they had all the answers, the owners of the Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show changed the questions.
Offering three different murder mysteries, one PG-13, the other two PG, the Dinner Show is located on Teaster Lane in Pigeon Forge and presents a hearty meal with a side order of … murder.
The menu features country-fried boneless chicken and savory pork loin and a choice of soups. And choose from raspberry, chocolate or caramel cheesecake for dessert.
Sit back and watch the entertainment or participate in cracking the case.
Prices are $47.55 for adults and $26.04 for children 4-12. Children 3 and under are $13.47 if they are going to eat and take up a seat. Check Tripster for discounts.
2. Dolly Parton’s Stampede
Dolly Parton’s Stampede is the original and, I believe, the most popular show in town.
The Stampede – formally the Dixie Stampede – has removed much of the more problematic Civil War-related theming, but still pits a friendly North against South competition featuring horse-riding stunts, the comedy stylings of Skeeter and more.
Keep in mind, that there are live animals and pyrotechnics present during the meal.
The four-course meal features a whole rotisserie chicken and smoked barbeque pork loin as well as corn on the cob, a potato, dessert and more.
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free is available upon request.
The Stampede benefits from Dollywood’s deep culinary bench and years of practice in getting things done right in a challenging hospitality setting. Tickets are $59.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids.
1. Pirates Voyage and Dinner Show
This, for some people, would be something of an upset. Dolly’s Stampede is pretty much the gold standard of the industry, but the Pirates are owned and operated by the same people.
This show enjoys the benefit of newer facilities built with knowledge gained in the operation of the Stampede.
Also, for me, pirates are just cooler. The pirate crews swing, dance and sing. There’s cool diving acrobatics into a giant pool and pirate ships. What’s not to love?
The four-course Pirates Voyage dinner feast comes with the more pirate-friendly cracklin’ pan-fried chicken and sugar-cured ham but operates basically the same as the stampede.
Tickets are the same price as the Stampede as well.
What’s your favorite dinner show in Pigeon Forge? Let us know in the comments!