Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede
|Founded||Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,
Number of locations
|Parent||World Choice Investments, LLC|
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction is a form of dinner theater with two locations in the United States. Dixie Stampede is owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and managed by World Choice Investments LLC, a joint venture between The Dollywood Company, Fred Hardwick, and Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation. The Dollywood Company is the largest shareholder in the Dixie Stampede and Pirate's Voyage attractions.
The first location opened in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 1988, just outside the entrance to Parton's theme park, Dollywood. A Myrtle Beach, South Carolina location opened in 1992 and, although still part of the chain, was re-themed as Pirates Voyage in 2011. A Branson, Missouri location opened in 1995.
A fourth location, in Orlando, Florida, opened in June 2003 and ceased operations in January 2008 when the property was sold to the outlet mall across the parking lot so they could expand. However, the sale didn't go through, but recently, Orlando Premium Outlets bought the property and in November 2012 the building was demolished.
One hour prior to the main dinner and show, guests are seated in a "Carriage Room" where they view an opening act. Each location has a different opening act; in Tennessee, there is a live band, Mountain Ruckus, playing bluegrass and country music. Some members of Mountain Ruckus have included Gary "Biscuit" Davis who was Dolly Parton's band leader and produced her CDs The Grass Is Blue and Live and Well, and YouTube Celebrity Kata Hay.
At show time, all guests are escorted into the arena, where the Dixie Stampede dinner and show begins. Although the attraction bears her name, Parton doesn't appear in person.
The performance is essentially a modern-day Wild West revue, pitting sections of the audience against each other in a good-natured way as "the South" and "the North" battle to win various horse riding competitions. Parton sings her Native American hit "Sha-Kon-O-Hey!" during the performance.
Parton's musical number known as "Color Me America" is the finale. After the show, everyone exits through a souvenir shop. Outside the complex is the Horse Walk, where visitors can meet the animal stars of the show, as well as their keepers.
The meal, which is made fresh, on location for each show, consists of a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory smoked barbecue pork loin, creamy vegetable soup, homemade biscuit, corn on the cob, herb-basted baked potato, an iced apple turnover, and Pepsi products, tea, or coffee. The vegetarian option is identical, except that the meats are replaced with 'Country Garden Hillbilly Pasta'. The meal is served without dining utensils.
Change to pirate theme in Myrtle Beach
On September 22, 2010, Parton said she would change her Myrtle Beach theater after 18 years. After the Christmas show, the Myrtle Beach location shut down. The animals were moved to the other Dixie Stampede locations or sold. Starting in June 2011, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, "a watery wonderland with an indoor lake where pirates will roam", featured a pirate fight along with a five-course meal. Parton appeared for the June 3, 2011 opening "clad in pink-sequined pirate's garb", and the South Carolina General Assembly declared June 3, 2011 Dolly Parton Day.
- Business Week
- Location info DixieStampede.com (accessed March 2, 2012)
- Blake, Scott (2008-01-08). "Orlando's Dixie Stampede shuts down". Florida Today. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- Pigeon Forge, TN : Four-Course Feasts & Vegetarian Meals
- "Dining With the Stars". Southern Living.
- "Parton ending Dixie Stampede show in Myrtle Beach". The Sun News. 2010-09-22.
- Spring, Jake (2010-10-24). "Giant cake puts eyes on Myrtle Beach". The Sun News. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
- Grooms, Vicki (2010-12-31). "Dixie Stampede heads into sunset". The Sun News. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Grooms, Vicki (2010-12-31). "Pirates Voyage docks in Myrtle Beach". The Sun News. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Dixie Stampede (official site)
- Dolly Parton's Pirates Voyage (official site)
- World Choice Investments, LLC