What To Expect at the Dolly Parton Stampede in Pigeon Forge

exterior of dolly partons stampede in pigeon forge

The Dolly Parton Stampede is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. They also have a location in Branson, Missouri (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)

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One of Pigeon Forge’s signature attractions, formerly known as the Dixie Stampede, went through a rebranding a couple of years back in an effort to change, at least a little, with the times. 

Now known as Dolly Parton’s Stampede dinner attraction, the dinner and theatre show still offers a four-course meal – “complete with a delicious dessert!” – the attraction’s website enthusiastically claims.

It still offers friendly competition pitting a team representing Yankees against a team representing Southerners with thrilling horse riding stunts, competitions and other events. 

The dinner show features some really good bluegrass and country music and comedy provided by Skeeter and Nugget in the vein of the television classic “Hee Haw” or Ernest T. Bass from the “Andy Griffith Show”. 

Note: In full disclosure, growing up in rural, small-town Southern Indiana, there was a neighbor man named Skeeter of whom I was afraid.


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How much does it cost to go to Dolly Parton’s Stampede?

Ticket prices can vary depending on the time of year, showtimes and seating preference.

Generally speaking, you can expect to spend about $69.99 per adult and $34.99 per child (ages 3-9). Children ages 0-2 can sit in your lap for free.

Be sure to check prices on Tripster as well when you book.

Why is Dolly Parton’s Stampede closed?

The Smoky Mountains area in Tennessee tends to run on a limited schedule during the slow season, which is January-March.

The Dollywood theme park closes seasonally after the New Year through mid-March, and many of the area’s dinner theaters take some time off during this period as well.

However, the dinner shows will usually open before the theme park. For example, the Dolly Parton’s Stampede returned for its 36th season on Feb. 10, 2023, highlighting new thrilling performances, aerial acrobatics and new music. View the show schedule here.

aerial performers with horses at dolly partons stampede in pigeon forge
The new season of Dolly Parton’s Stampede has arrived with an all-new performance segment that combines the show’s equestrian stars and aerial acrobatics (media photo courtesy of Dolly Parton’s Stampede)

How long is the Dolly Parton Stampede show in Pigeon Forge?

The show is about 1.5 hours long with show times at either 6 pm or 8:30 pm.

Be sure to arrive early to enjoy the Horse Walk, where you can take a walk around to meet the stars of the show (the magnificent horses).

Do you eat with your hands at Dolly Parton’s Stampede?

In the olden days, you used to have to eat with your hands sans plasticware at the Stampede.

Those days are now behind us as guests are provided a fork, and can request additional utensils if needed.

Is there a dress code for Dolly Parton’s Stampede?

Most guests wear casual clothing to the show. However, the Dollywood Company usually asks that guests not wear garments with objectionable material in a family environment.

What kind of food is served at Dolly Parton’s Stampede?

Each ticket includes a mouth-watering four-course feast featuring a whole rotisserie chicken, barbecued pork loin, a scrumptious homemade biscuit and a specialty dessert.

Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. 

The Four Course Family Feast menu includes:

  • Creamy vegetable soup
  • Hot homemade biscuit
  • Tender whole rotisserie chicken
  • Hickory smoked barbeque pork loin
  • Buttery corn on the cob
  • Tasty herb-basted potato
  • An apple turnover
  • Unlimited Coca-Cola®, tea or coffee

The Four Course Vegetarian Feast includes:

  • Creamy vegetable soup (made with chicken broth)
  • Hot homemade biscuit
  • Fire-roasted veggies with quinoa and multigrain rice
  • Buttery corn on the cob
  • Herb-basted potato
  • An apple turnover
  • Unlimited Coca-Cola®, tea or coffee

The Gluten-Free Feast includes:

  • A fruit cup with peaches, grapes, pineapple and cherries
  • A gluten-free dinner roll
  • Tender whole rotisserie chicken
  • Hickory smoked barbeque pork loin
  • Buttery corn on the cob
  • Herb-basted potato
  • Snickerdoodle cookie
  • Unlimited Coca-Cola®, tea or coffee

Dolly Parton’s Stampede asks guests who wish to receive a vegetarian or gluten-free meal to notify the attraction about their preferences when making a reservation.

Read Also: What Is the Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge? Our Top 5 Ranked

family walks through stable with hroses
Guests who arrive early can meet some of the stars of the show (media photo courtesy of Dolly Parton’s Stampede)

How early should I arrive at Dolly Parton’s Stampede?

I recommend about 30-45 minutes early if you want to get up close and personal with some of the show’s “mane” stars at the Horse Walk. The doors open about 30 minutes before the show begins.

But you’ll want time to comfortably get settled in the 35,000-square-foot arena where the main show begins.

What is the show about?

Like all of Dolly Parton’s ventures, the Stampede features a top notch, talented cast who perform impressive feats of trick riding. You will see phenomenal musical productions with spectacular special effects.

The theater has a state-of-the-art LED backdrop wall to help guests feel immersed into an experience set in America’s Great Plains of yesteryear.

With singing, dancing, special effects, aerial acts and impressive displays of horse-riding skills, guests truly feel like they are on the American frontier and then nestled under the stars in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Certainly, it is a well-oiled machine of a show sure to provide family fun, thrills and adventure.

The kids will enjoy visiting the open-air stables with the gorgeous horses and the Horse Walk.

They’ve played down the Civil War connections of the past, but, as I said earlier, the friendly North vs. South competition vibe is still at the heart of the show. 

Read Also: Why Isn’t It Called Dixie Stampede Anymore? What You Should Know

horse rider with american flag
A Stampede actor rides a horse while carrying an American flag in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (media photo courtesy of Dolly Parton’s Stampede)

Do you tip at Dolly’s Stampede?

It’s recommended that you bring some cash to tip your servers.

Is Dolly Parton’s Stampede worth it?

Dolly Parton’s Stampede serves a very specific market.

In my experience, the meal was fine, if uneventful, but I know people who really rave about it while others turn up their noses. It’s a matter of palette, I think.

If the whole family has come to Pigeon Forge for a slice of cheesy, country, family-friendly entertainment, then the Stampede is a must-do. 

If that’s not what you’re looking for when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, I think you can, fairly safely, skip it.

entrance to dolly parton stampede at christmas time
The dinner show is fully decorated during the holiday season (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Does Dolly Parton’s Stampede have a Christmas show?

Yes. During the holiday season, beginning around November, the Stampede becomes a fantasy land covered in lights, evergreens and familiar holiday music.

The theme becomes based around a North Pole and South Pole competition with elves. The show features Santa and toys that come to life.

The theater is located at 3849 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. Be sure to book your tickets online ahead of time.

Have you been to Dolly Parton’s Stampede? Let us know about your experience and whether or not you think it’s “worth it” in the comments below.

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Photo of author


John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

3 thoughts on “What To Expect at the Dolly Parton Stampede in Pigeon Forge”

  1. My husband surprised me with tickets in 2016. It was so much fun! Dinner was not my favorite part but was good and the evening was just the best ❣️🥰

  2. I’ve been to Dolly’s Stampede 12 times, so yes it is worth the money it cost to go. It is NOT cheesey!

  3. Went to the Dixie Stampede during thanksgiving week. We stood in line for about 10 minutes and then a electrical transfomer on the power pole next to the building blew up. The stampede went dark. We waited for 10 minutes more and then they told us that it would problably take an hour or more to restore the power. I called the corperate office and they refunded our tickets with no problems what so ever. The whole staff was curteours and they could not help the power problem. All in all I hate that we missed the show. But we will go back I hope next year and see it then. Even so it was still an adventure.

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