There are a multitude of ways to experience the fun that can be found in Branson, Missouri. One could attend a theatrical show, visit a theme park or explore a museum. Of course, there is a variety of delicious restaurants at which you could dine. While all of these are amazing ways to spend your time in the Ozarks, one of the more popular venues visited involves horses, comedy, dinner and games. In fact, if you haven’t been to Dolly Parton’s Stampede Attraction, then I question if you have really ever been to Branson (wink, wink)!
I was invited as media by Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center to explore and enjoy Branson. However, all opinions are 110% mine and mine alone. This post also contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure policy for more information.
Dolly Parton’s Stampede Attraction
If you were following me back in April, you are well aware that the Blogging Branson team enjoyed an evening at the Dolly Parton Stampede Dinner Attraction. Oh, my goodness! What a wild ride that was! We started off by walking down the Horse Walk to meet the four-legged stars, met with Branson “royalty” and experienced feasting at its finest. The show was spectacular and it left us with our jaws dropped to the floor – I am NOT kidding.
It also left us wanting to experience the show around the holidays, when Stampede transforms everything into a holiday spectacular.
All Wrapped Up in Holiday Grandeur
Well, in light of that amazing experience earlier in the year, the team was ecstatic to hear that this venue would be on our November itinerary! We once again had the chance to walk down the elegant Horse Walk, enjoy the fun-loving pre-show performed by the trio of brothers, dine on a a four course feast (with our fingers, to boot!!) and watch a captivating show down center.
BUT what REALLY makes visiting Stampede during November and December so different?
Well, to be completely, honest, there is quite a bit! I mean, it’s the same southern hospitality, same format from beginning to end. However, there are plenty of joyful additions and festive touches that make it extra special around this time of year. For one, what is normally a battle between the North and South becomes a playful competition between the North Pole versus South Pole ~ and every Guest is right in the middle of it! Tell you what – since we all love lists and numbers, here are NINE OTHER WAYS Dolly Parton’s Stampede transforms it’s already spectacular show into a Christmas treasure.
1. The Pre-show becomes a fun Christmas carol sing-a-long.
The brothers are back with their glorious harmonies and more as they entertain the audience with a little slapstick, some down home Ozark mountain music and a few Christmas carols to boot. Grab yourself some popcorn and a drink (we all did and, goodness, I love the holiday design on the souvenir boot mugs!). Then find yourself the perfect spot in the Carriage room because this is honestly where the show begins!
2. Dolly Shares A Childhood Story
At the start of every dinner show, Dolly’s voice is heard narrating a small introduction that sets a beautiful scene and tone. For the Christmas performance, she shares a piece of the story of what Christmas was like for her as a child. For me personally, Dolly Parton has one of the most soothing speaking voices out there and I love to listen to her narrate! That accent gets me every time, too! Isn’t it gorgeous? Honestly, though, this portion of the show is truly inspiring, sets the scene for me and just plants a seed of gratitude within my heart that sticks ith me throughout the entire event.
3. Our servers Become “Santa’s helpers.”
These are the amazing human beings who go above and beyond throughout your entire mealtime visit (Be sure to thank them!!). They serve your foods, get your drinks, clean your setting and act as head cheerleaders for your designated team (be it North Pole or South Pole). During the holidays, I love how they switch up from the “country-fied” attire they normally wear to those that are festive and red, very much resembling that of one who has been known to help the Big Guy in Red.
4. Riders Come Out Donning Their Red or Green.
Of course, if the servers are dressed up in holiday colors, the riders in the show should also be geared up in bright red and green. Both teams don their respective color and wear it with pride as they parade around the arena, compete in various games and showcase their magnificent horses and stunts. I have to say, they are so much fun to watch as they jump through the ring of fire, ride backwards on horseback and so much more!
5. Santa’s Workshop Drops In Center Stage
To add a little fun and creativity, the show includes a quick visit to Santa’s Workshop, which literally descends from the “sky” into the arena. Once the brightly colored set reaches the ground, the Sugar Plum Fairy flies around and brings the toys to life for a festive dance to famous excerpts we all know and love from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. The aerial acrobatics are truly stunning and will leave Guests of every age mesmerized at what they see!
6. Skeeter’s Skits Takes on A Festive Flare.
This guy is truly a hoot!!! Skeeter is the comic relief of the Stampede show and he never fails to deliver side-splitting entertainment that leaves me laughing hysterically. His crazy antics get him into trouble everywhere he goes and he is always trying to get involved in whatever activity is happening. While Skeeter is present in both the holiday and non-holiday performances, he dresses up his scenes with a little Christmas joy and cheer during the November and December events. I’m thinking many may agree with me when I say I think he may very well be the star of the show!
7. Ice Skaters Perform on Real Ice!
Yes – you heard read that correctly! Right in the middle of the allergy-safe dirt, an ice rink fit for two drops into the 35,000 square foot arena! On it, two skilled and renowned skaters perform “Adagio On Ice.” The routine is so graceful and intriguing to watch as they skate to tunes such as Carol of the Bells and other excerpts from The Nutcracker. It’s an absolutely beautiful addition to the show during the holiday season.
8. Dessert Is Sprinkled With Some Holiday Decor
To complete the four course feast served (which includes creamy vegetable soup, biscuit and a plate filled with a FULL rotisserie chicken, barbecue pork, potato wedge and corn on the cob), dessert is delivered with a little more color this time of year. Each “Elf” serves up a delicious apple turnover with red or green sprinkles on top to add a little festive flare to the sweet holiday treat.
9. The Nativity
Last, but certainly not least (and most importantly)!!! If you have been following my adventures to Branson, it is no secret that this town is all about God, family and country. During the holidays, that passion shines through as they pull no punches when it comes to celebrating the true Reason for the Season. During the Stampede performance, from that same drop in the ceiling, a very simple, very poignant nativity scene descends with Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus. As the scene progresses, we watch as the Wise Men, shepherds and various live animals (including camels and sheep) come to worship the infant King. It’s a spectacular, dramatic and heartfelt display of faith and celebration of the holidays ~ truly something that makes you stop, watch, listen and wonder.
Are You Ready to Stampede?
Can you see now why it’s pretty clear Dolly Parton’s Stampede Attraction is a must for anyone’s Midwest itinerary? Whether you are visiting Branson in the spring, summer, autumn or even during the holidays, this particular venue brings you full scale entertainment and a delicious feast, all wrapped up in a pretty little package of southern hospitality and charm.
So – what’s stopping you from beginning to think about this year’s holiday plans? Okay, too soon? Sure – I get it, but let me just share that these shows are extremely popular and are a favorite for those who visit Branson year after year. Whether your visiting Stampede in the Ozarks or in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, reserve those tickets as soon as you know you’re going. This is a show that is not to be missed and will truly instill within you that spirit of joy and wonder we all crave this time of the year.
Food allergy note:
Did you know that Dolly Parton’s Stampede Attraction ranks a 4.9 out of 5 on AllergyEats.com (as of 1/17/19)?? To hear what the staff at Stampede shared with me about how they go about accommodating food allergies, check out my post from last May and be sure to stay tuned as I am working on a post that details our own personal food allergy experience when our family visited back in November!
If you are looking for more information on Dolly Parton’s Stampede Attraction, feel free to check out their site, give them a call or follow them on any of their social channels!!
- Address: 1525 West Highway 76 in Branson, MO 65616
- Phone: 1-800-520-5544
- Email: [email protected]
- Social channels:
Pssst – did you hear the OTHER AMAZING NEWS???
Dolly Parton is opening a NEW dinner show in the Pigeon Forge location ~ the second of its kind!! So, keep your eyes peeled because Pirates Voyage will open some time in 2019. Rumor has it that Dolly’s pirates will be searching for treasure in the Great Smoky Mountains!
For more information, click here!
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