There’s a battle going on in Pigeon Forge.
It’s a battle for your time.
A fight for your attention.
It’s a competition for vacation dollars.
Your vacation, after all, is a series of decisions on this or that.
Want to go to a show? This one or that one? Looking for an attraction? Which one?
Want to play golf, eat pancakes and drive go-karts? You’re probably not going to visit all the competitors in the area. Likely, you will pick a representative sample and hope you get a good one.
Lumberjack Feud vs. Hatfield and McCoy
And that’s where we here at TheSmokies.com hope to help. As you’re in the process of deciding where to spend your hard-earned vacation money, we want to give you the best tools we can so you can make the best this or that decision.
And so, today we come to the tale of the tape. You’re in town. It’s the mountains and you want to see a feud.
If you’re being literal, you’ve got two options.
Ladies and gentlemen, you have to decide between Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud and the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud.
When it comes to Lumberjack Feud vs. Hatfield and McCoy, let’s get scientific and break things down.
What are the shows about?
The Lumberjack Feud is a bit of reality TV brought to the Smoky Mountains. Basically, this is a heavily flanneled version of American Gladiators.
Each show features a group of lumberjacks who compete in games from the axe throw to the log roll.
There’s a lot of sawing and jumping and climbing. While the games remain the same, the results do not. This is not a scripted show, but a competition between well-trained performers.
The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud is a horse of a different color. It’s a scripted comedy/musical presenting a light-hearted, Hee Haw-esque spin on the famed and deadly serious Hatfield and McCoy feud from the Kentucky-West Virginia border.
Advantage: If you love silly, homespun humor, Hatfield and McCoy is the choice. But personally, as a sports guy I’d rather watch the competition. Winner goes to the Lumberjacks.
Pro-tip: If you decide to try Lumberjacks, check Tripster for discounts.
Is Hatfield and McCoy a dinner show?
Hatfield and McCoy is a dinner show featuring a hearty and acceptable-to-good country meal featuring BBQ, fried chicken and many of the things traditionally identified as fixin’s. The meal itself is fine.
You can certainly do better at a traditional sit-down restaurant, but in conjunction with the show, it’s good. The theater is, of course, completely indoors and comfortable the whole year-round.
Is Lumberjack Feud outside? What are the amenities?
The Lumberjacks compete outdoors in all kinds of weather. The grandstands are covered and billed as climate-controlled.
I’m skeptical. I’ve never been when it was really hot or really cold, so I can’t deny the Lumberjack’s year-round comfort claim. But, the front of the grandstands are wide open for viewing.
They can keep the elements at bay and I’m sure they can take the edge off extreme temperatures. However, I’ve never seen a heating and air unit yet that can make up for a full third of the structure being open.
It is fun to hear the crowd roars from the Lumberjacks echoing up and down the Parkway.
Advantage: Hatfield and McCoy. Because I like fixin’s.
Additional entertainment at the shows
Here, the dinner Feud runs a little lean. There’s the meal, which won the previous category and therefore cannot – from a scientific standpoint – be considered again.
However, for an additional cost, the Lumberjack Feud has an Adventure Park. You can buy a pass for two hours to test your lumberjack skills on a ropes course, loggersports like log rolling and speed climb, Timber Towers and The Flying Ox, a unique zipline roller coaster.
The adventure in Adventure Park is no joke. One evening we sat in Calhoun’s next door with a view of the Flying Ox and its exit. We watched as people staggered, stumbled and, more than once, puked their way off that thing. It’s a real ride.
If you want to try the show and park, check Tripster for discounts.
Advantage: Clearly the Lumberjacks. Adventure is a cruel but wonderful mistress.
Who owns Lumberjack Feud, Hatfield and McCoy?
I don’t know why anyone, even Paula Deen, would think adding her name to a Lumberjack Feud would provide added value. It’s like if Kurt Vonnegut opened a mini-golf course. Ok, fine. He paid for it. But Vonnegut’s mini-golf ain’t exactly bringing in the crowds.
Hatfield and McCoy’s is owned by the same people behind Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Pirates Voyage and The Comedy Barn.
Advantage: One side has Paula Deen. One side has Dolly. Dolly is family. You never go against the family.
How much do the shows cost?
Tickets to the Lumberjack Feud are $34.99 for adults and $14.99 for kids at the time of this writing. The show lasts an hour and a half. Tickets for the Adventure Park are $39.99 per and $34.99 per child.
There is a package deal for both that is $59.98 for adults and $39.98 for kids. Sometimes you can find discounts on Tripster. Factor in after all that fun, you’ll still have to buy dinner somewhere.
Lumberjack customers can also get discounts at nearby restaurants including Calhoun’s Harpoon Harry’s, Smoky Mountain Brewery and Five Guys.
Tickets for the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud are $59.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids ages 3 to 9, at the time of this writing.
Advantage: This one goes to the Lumberjacks. Personally, I’d rather watch a show and eat separately. I can choose what I’m in the mood for, not just what’s on the menu for me and a couple hundred of my closest friends.
Which show is better? The Lumberjack Feud or Hatfield and McCoys?
And the winner is: In a shocking upset, we declare no winner.
It’s a personal preference. You do you. They’re both entertaining shows. You can’t really go wrong either way.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite feud? Let us know in the comments.