Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: Coming off a record-setting season, Dixie Stampede thunders in to the new year with the return of a crowd favorite—the mighty Longhorns. “The Most Fun Place to Eat in the Smokies” celebrates the beginning of its thrilling 30th season today (Jan. 13).
David Swangel, Dixie Stampede General Manager, says Dixie Stampede’s cast members and guests are the real reason the attraction is celebrating 30 years of providing quality family entertainment.
“Thanks to all of our cast members and guests for helping us reach the impressive milestone of our 30th season,” said Swangel. “We owe our success as the most-visited dinner attraction in the world to everyone who has come to see us through the years. We’re excited about what the next 30 years hold for us.”
The impressive Longhorns make an appearance during the show as the pioneering settlers move west in search of new lands. For most guests, this is the closest they will come to these magnificent animals. The return of the Longhorns came as a result of guest requests to bring back this favorite show feature.
“We had a number of requests from our guests about bringing back the Longhorns to the show this year,” continued Swangel. “They are fascinating animals that our guests ask for often, so we’re excited to bring them back to celebrate this season!”
While there have been sensational changes throughout the show’s 30 seasons, perhaps the stunning LED wall backdrop added two seasons ago has ushered in the most excitement from guests.
Those renovations included a massive LED wall which transformed the 35,000-square-foot arena into an ultra-immersive environment. New audio and lighting technology and several other fascinating new show enhancements have provided guests a marveling end result.
“Our guests absolutely love the enhancements—the LED wall, the new sound system—that we added to the show,” said Swangel. “They still talk about how they now feel like part of the show more than ever before. We’re always finding ways to improve and we’re always dreaming up new ideas we can’t wait to share with our guests.”
Shortly after entering the arena, guests understand why a trip to Dixie Stampede is unlike anything they’ve encountered before. Accentuated by newly-added video mapping, the floor of the arena is filled with images of stampeding horses so lifelike, the thundering hooves rattle the guests’ tables. From there, Dixie Stampede’s talented cast of performers lead the show’s impressive stable of 32 magnificent horses, which are the true stars of the show, through a spirited display of equestrian skill.
Throughout the show, the striking LED wall, consisting of 12.5 million LED lights, creates an experience so immersive, guests feel as if they have been instantly transported deep in to the natural beauty of the foothills surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains. Clouds roll across the mountains, the sun sets over the horizon in the distance and the night sky fills with a brilliant patchwork of stunning stars.
The equine stars of the show challenge each other in barrel races and other thrilling competitions, all in the name of Dixie Stampede’s friendly competition between the North and South. Audience members even may find themselves called in to help their side to victory.
Dinner, the other star of the show, includes Dixie Stampede’s signature four-course feast consisting of Dixie Stampede’s original creamy vegetable soup, homemade buttery biscuit, a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory-smoked barbequed pork loin, corn on the cob, herb-basted potato, Dixie Stampede’s own specialty dessert and unlimited beverages. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.
Guests are invited to start their fun-filled evening in the Dixie Belle Saloon with the side-splitting comedy and hard-driving bluegrass and country music of Mountain Ruckus, Dixie Stampede’s famous house band.