Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Smoky Mountain Adventures: A Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge, Dolly Style

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Like anywhere, Tennesseans are a diverse bunch with varied backgrounds, cultures and interest, but we all do agree on a few things: UT orange should be the state color, hot chicken is an essential food group, and Dolly Parton is the real queen, the unofficial patron saint of the arts (and humanity) who could save us all in these troubling times of strife. And anything Dolly touches turns to sparkly, glitter-infused gold, like her new dinner show in Pigeon Forge.

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

I’ve been coming to the Smokies since I was old enough to have memories. Both my late grandparents grew up down the road in Knox County, and I have cousins and aunts and uncles scattered throughout the surrounding towns that flank the Great Smoky Mountain. To me, this is Dolly country—you can’t deny what she’s done for her Tennessee mountain home, including employing more than 4,000 people, sending out more than 100,000,000 books to children across the region and supporting victims of the Gatlinburg fire financially while they got back on their feet.

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

It’s clear: It’s Dolly’s world, and we’re just living in it.

SVV and I went down for a quick Spring Break of our own last week to work with her team and check out the new show, which is starting its second year with a fresh new performance that gave me allllll The Greatest Showman feels. Heading to Pigeon Forge soon? You don’t want to miss this act.

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

What to See: Dolly Parton’s Spectacular Dinner and Show at Smoky Mountain Adventures

Romance, comedy, music, acrobatics, terrifying feats of strength and balance—Dolly Parton’s Spectacular Dinner and Show has a little bit of it all. The new cirque-inspired act just launched in mid-March and we attended one of the first shows with a group of eight, ranging in ages from nine to 55, a good litmus test for how young (or old) you have to be to enjoy such an performance. The answer? It’s universal.

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Kids can arrive early and get all dolled up in the Outpost with face paint and flower crowns, wings and a wand if they’re lucky. The Outpost itself is designed to nudge show-goers into the spirit with old-timey games, trivia (Dolly-themed, naturally) and other fun interactive components. I’m not going to lie: I briefly toyed with the idea of getting my face painted, too. For research, of course.

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Once the doors open to unveil Celebration Ridge, a soaring expanse of a quadruple-decker room, you’ll find your tiered-style seat and a server will take your drink order before beginning to pile heaping spoons full of delicious Southern specialties on your plate. Our four-course meal was akin to Thanksgiving dinner—think: sugar-cured ham, fried chicken, mac and cheese, sweet potato delight, the whole nine yards—and I did not leave hungry. But the servers are the real MVPs here, dodging up to 700 show-goers as they expertly balance drinks and plates of food while diners sit in their seats, their eyes glued to the mesmerizing act taking place down on the stage.

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

The show itself feels rather like being out on the town for an evening in New York’s Theater District—only, without the pretense. The production value is surprising given how small a town Pigeon Forge is, but team Dolly recruited top-notch talent from far and wide.

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

The cast members hail from Australia, Brazil, Siberia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Hungary, and Cuba and, of course, various parts of the US. There were even a couple of furry performers and a lone, long-haired pig named Gibson (who has two understudies, it bears noting). How’s that for entertainment?

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

You already know it’s a family-oriented show, but can you go without kids in tow? Absolutely. SVV and I both had a blast. I’ve always been drawn to acrobats—even more so now that I’ve been doing AcroYoga for three years—and ooh’d and aah’d and gasped as they flipped and tumbled and glided across the stage.

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say the special effects were pretty magical. If you’re lucky, you’ll even be plucked from the crowd for one of the many audience-participation bits!

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

Shows run every night of the week, so no matter when you’re visiting the Smokies, you can get in on this Pigeon Forge dinner show.

Where to Stay: Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

Dolly has her own resort now, and it’s every bit as perfect as she is. I’d been dying to stay at DreamMore Resort and Spa since it opened nearly three years ago, and it lived up to expectations—especially as the Dolly Parton Suite was unoccupied and we got to take a peek. If Miss Dolly herself isn’t using it, it’s open for guests to book. That’s definitely going on the bucket list for me!

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge
Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forege

Spanning 300 rooms, DreamMore Resort and Spa is just big enough without feeling overwhelming. Being where it’s located, in Sevier County where cheap hotels are a dime a dozen, I wasn’t expecting the sophisticated, country estate feel that we found when we checked into the resort.

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forege

But like everything else, Dolly put her touch on this property, and she didn’t want it to be over-the-top. Sure, there are glimpses of her, from album covers to 1,800+ butterflies woven throughout the property, but everything is tastefully done and classy.

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forege

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge
Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forege

One thing I’m regretting is not taking advantage of the “and spa” part of the equation. We wandered down to the spa and checked out the pedicure chairs and massage treatment rooms, and I made a mental note to prioritize this on my next stay.

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge
Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge

Dolly Parton's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forege

What to Do: Visit Dollywood

You knew I was going there, right? You can hardly come to Pigeon Forge and not visit Dolly’s own theme park. It had been just over three years since my last visit to Dollywood with SVV’s family, and in that time, they debuted the Lighting Rod, which zips around the wooden tracks at speeds up to 73 miles per hour and, at times, feels as if your face is going to melt off. It was adrenaline-inducing. It was fast. It was awesome.

Dollywood Resort: What to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dollywood seems to always have something going on. Right now, it’s Festival of Nations through April 9, which totally appealed to this traveler’s heart, then Barbeque and Bluegrass starts in May, followed by Dollywood’s Summer Celebration from June 16 to Aug. 5.

Dollywood Resort: What to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The great thing about staying at DreamMore is not only are you right across the street from Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, but there’s also a free shuttle that transports you back and forth, so you need not worry about the hassle (and cost) of moving your car and parking.

Dollywood Resort: What to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

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Other than two months immediately following New Year’s, Dolly Parton’s Spectacular Dinner and Show at Smoky Mountain Adventures and Dollywood are open throughout the year, so you can recreate this trip at any time, whether Spring Break, summer vacation or a weekend trip to see the Smokies’ fall foliage in all its glory.

Have you ever visited any of Dolly’s properties? Would you go all out and hit every one of her attractions in a single weekend? (I highly recommend this plan of attack.)

This post is sponsored by World Choice Investments. All opinions are our own.

 

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Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
Dolly's Smoky Mountain Adventure: The Best Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge
COMMENTS
  • April 2, 2018

    LOVE me some Dolly. I have been to Dollywood the last two years and stayed at Dreammore. I’ve also been to the lumberjack show, but may need to do this one next!

    • April 2, 2018

      I want to go back! One night at DreamMore wasn’t enough. And I need to watch this show one more time as there was so much going on, I couldn’t catch it all the first go ’round.

  • April 3, 2018
    Pan

    Dolly is my absolute favorite! I’ve been to Dollywood years ago and had such a good time. I’ll have to hit up the show and resort next time around.

    • April 3, 2018

      It’s such a cool park, isn’t it? So well done and tasteful, just like Dolly herself.

  • April 3, 2018

    The show looks fabulous! I went to Dollywood in the 80’s – I am SURE a lot has changed since then, time to go back!

    • April 10, 2018

      Funny, I never even went until 2010…how crazy is that? It’s so fun, even as an adult!

  • April 3, 2018

    Can you believe we’ve never been to Dollywood? Been through Pigeon Forge a million times, but never really stayed there – now I’m thinking that Mayhem would LOVE it! And that show looks like too much fun!

    • April 10, 2018

      I can because I grew up here and didn’t go until about eight years ago! I do know one eight-year-old who shouldn’t suffer the same fate you and I did 😉 TAKE HER TO DOLLYWOOD.

  • April 5, 2018

    I’ve been to the Smoky Mountains a handful of times but have never made it to Dollywood, but it’s definitely on my bucket list!

    • April 10, 2018

      We’ll put that on the itinerary for our Smoky Mountain weekend together! =)

  • April 6, 2018

    Seems like my next target is Dollywood by the way all of these images are beautiful

    • April 10, 2018

      Thank you, Tina! You need to get there!

  • April 6, 2018
    Ali

    I lived in Atlanta for 16 years and never made it to Dollywood! It does look like fun, I’ll have to add it to my list if I ever make it back to that area.

  • April 6, 2018

    I’d never thought of going to Dollywood, but then friends of mine visited and raved about it, so it’s on the list! This just reinforces that!

  • April 7, 2018

    What fun! And that bathroom!!
    I’m a sucker for any entertainment that includes colorful costumes, acrobats and clowns. This looks like a total blast.

  • April 8, 2018

    It is impossible not to fall in love with anything Dolly. I’m loving the boutique feel and all the Dollyesque touches throughout the DreamMore Resort. Also, are you telling me I get to stuff my face with fried chicken and mac ‘n cheese while watching an amazing acrobat show? Sold.

    • April 10, 2018

      I’m telling you EXACTLY that.

  • April 8, 2018

    Dolly is amazing, and that dinner show looks like so much fun! I’ve never been to Dollywood, but it sounds like I need to put it on my Tennessee to-do list!

    • April 10, 2018

      You absolutely do. You might need two weeks to explore all Tennessee has to offer 😉

  • April 9, 2018

    I had no idea that you’re a Dolly Parton fan Kristin. I looooove her, and so did my mum & dad!

    I’ve never visited any of her properties. I don’t believe we have any in Europe! But yeah, I’d go all out if I had the opportunity to participate in a Dolly Weekend!

    I think she’s a darling and great for a laugh with the girls!

    • April 10, 2018

      SO MUCH YES.

      A guy on Twitter, Steve Huff, Tweeted this a few weeks ago, and truer words have never been spoken (er, typed): “As a native Tennessean, I can tell you the most bipartisan thing in the state is how every single Tennessean will fight you if you say a single bad thing about Dolly.”

      She has done SO much for this state, and far more than most people realized.

      Plus, she’s just a gem of a human and as humble as they come. I got to interview her back in 2007, and it was definitely #CAREERGOALS.

      Whenever you come visit me, we’ll go together!

  • April 9, 2018
    Rachel Rudwall

    Whoa. That looks amazing. To be honest, it looks far more fun than I was imagining when I read the title “Dinner Show.” Adding that to my list of spots to visit!

    • April 10, 2018

      Right? I was skeptical, too, but it felt a bit like being in mini-Vegas what with the great entertainment and all.

  • April 11, 2018

    Just spent my daughter’s birthday weekend there and had SO MUCH FUN. The DreamMore Resort is truly lovely and Dollywood is always fantastic. And you’re right — The new dinner theater show is sooooo good. It definitely satisfied my circus craving! I am always impressed with the class Dolly brings to everything that has her name on it.

  • April 11, 2018

    That show looks like such a blast! And such a high production value. I’ve never had a desire to do much Dolly Parton type stuff, but it seems like a blast! Fun adventures as always!!

  • April 11, 2018

    How have I never been to Dollywood or this super cute show? I guess because every time I’m in Tennessee, I’m racing through. I’m overdue for a longer visit — to you and Dolly!

  • April 15, 2018

    Oh wow! Is that the bathroom in the Dolly Parton suite? It’s amazing. The show looks like so much fun. I’d love to go to Dollywood!

  • April 16, 2018

    I’m terrible; I’ve only driven through this part of the country, maybe once or twice! Eeek! Had no idea about anything Dollywood, but that bathroom! Wow!

    The show definitely looked impressive and so colorful! Bet no one was falling asleep there! Fun night!

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