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Old 08-04-2005, 10:38 PM   #1
bbodb
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REVIEW: Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show - Dixie Stampede unimpressive at best

Of all the shows that we saw on our recent Branson trip, Dixie Stampede (hereinafter referred to as DS) was probably the most anticipated show (especially by the six year old daughter). The allure of horses to all of our kids is very strong so DS was definitely on our short list of 'must see' shows.

Another reason that I had some high expectations of this show is the cost. With a family of five, the cost to attend this show was about $150. (I'm sure that there are some options available to reduce the cost somewhat but I think it is fair to say that DS is among the most expensive shows in Branson.)

(Readers, please note that some show details will be discussed here. If you would prefer NOT to know these details then I would suggest that you skip the remainder of this entry.)

The pre show of Jessie and James was okay – nothing out of the ordinary but not bad either. The real disappointments begin with the show itself.

I was initially concerned about our seat locations (G section, 4th row) in that they seemed to be tucked off in the corner. However, in retrospect, I can say that this was not a valid concern. The arena and show are configured in such a way that there should not be any bad seats in the house.

In no particular order, I’ll list the aspects about DS that I found lacking. (By the way, I really hope html tags work on this board!)

A) The length of the show: Clocking in at about 90 minutes, DS is among the briefest of shows that we saw this week.
B) The price of the show: Although I have already mentioned this, the combination of ticket price and show length left me feeling that there should have been more show for the money.
C) Lack of horse display, abundance of silly people display: Building on point b, I want to see a LOT of the horses. While we did take some time prior to the show to view the horses in their stables, I want to see them in action (as much as two thirds of the show does NOT involve horses.) I would have been much happier if time had not been wasted on flag passing, human barrel racing, horseshoe (a.k.a. toilet seat)toss, and a lot of narrator effort (consuming time) to get the crowd involved.
Also, the number of riding tricks was very minimal. The Roman rider was quite good and the riders who did mounting / dismounting tricks were also quite good. More acts of this type would have made me less aware of the brief run time of the show.
D) Serving and servers: I have seen this touched on previously on this board but it is worth addressing again. Serving food during any show is always tricky (see Hoop De Doo revue at Disney for a better execution of this) but DS servers seem overly intent on gaining the audience attention while the show is in progress. Needless to say, this is very distracting. Also, considering the high ticket prices for DS, it would be nice if DS paid their servers enough so they would not have to beg for tips. This would also give the narrator one less subject to talk about (thus adding available time for the show).
E) Parking: Of the shows we attended during our stay in Branson, DS had by far the absolute worst parking setup. The largest problem seems to be the reliance on one entrance/exit. Traffic will not move quickly after a show so do NOT try to make another show immediately after the 5:30 pm show or you might be late.

What’s really sad about DS is that they have the making of a great show in their lobby. The story of how the DS came to exist would be the basis of a wonderful show – potentially full of horse racing and other story lines.

I know that there are many fans of DS out there and this is not an attempt to rain on your parade – just a view from someone who is not as enamored with the show as you.

BTW – I plan on writing a letter to the DS hq and see how they respond to these observations. If I hear anything from them, I’ll post the reply here…

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Old 08-05-2005, 11:10 AM   #2
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A couple of quick questions for you.
How long was the intermission at DS? If you take into account that most of the other show in town are about 2 hours long, with a 30 min intermission for the artist to sell/hawk their products (CDs, DVDs, etc) the length of the show is about the same. And that also is in line with "begging for tips" How many times do you hear an announcer state "Copies of tonights show are availbe for purchse in the lobby!"
Lack of horse display, abundance of silly people display-So when you go to a music show, thats ALL that happens there? There is no one doing any comedy of any sort to keep the audience entertained? I must be going to the wrong shows then.
With a family of five, the cost to attend this show was about $150.-So for about $30 per person, you got a show and a dinner. Break that down so you are paying about $45 for dinner($9 each-thats pretty low for a party of 5) then the rest of the show tickets are $18 each. Then throw in the taxes, and you come up with about $150. I cant find show tickets for $18 in Branson for a decent show.
Parking-Well thats just a problem with Branson. Your trying to get out onto HWY 76, how many seats is the Stampede theatre? Not to mention all the people trying to get to their hotels, other shows, etc, etc.

If you really stop and think about it, you just didnt like the show. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:11 AM   #3
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Sorry to say it but bbodb has it right on all counts. I was also disappointed in Dixie Stamped this time, which is my 3rd time to go, because I wanted my son's family to see it since it has been my all time fav. I was always so impressed with the Grand Parade at the beginning, which is no longer, replaced with the "buffalo stampede"?? 6 or 7 buffalo do not a stampede make, more like herding the little group out of the arena..Not what we expected, too much talking by the emcee and too much silly really not funny stuff, not to mention that the serving began after the show had gotten underway so it was hard to applaud and watch the first part. Remember, this has always been my favorite show, so I hate to say it isn't as good as it used to be. My food wasn't that great either, the pork was cold and the chicken was so dry I couldn't chew it..and to be even more negative, I really didn't care for the couple at the preshow except the gal is really good with that whip. I'd soon they'd leave the little kiddies out of it. Ok, shame on me, but after I had talked it up so long, it sure didn't measure up.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:14 AM   #4
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I don't think the price is that bad either considering you are getting a full meal but we all have different opinions and that is fine.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlemee
Sorry to say it but bbodb has it right on all counts.
I don't think anyone is right or wrong. It's an opinion, and we all have a right to have our own.

Mine was that it was an enjoyable show along with a decent dinner.
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:10 PM   #6
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I do agree that the parking and traffic at the DS is terrible. The early show lets out as the late show starts. In our experience that is one of the worse places in town. I would never stay at a motel/hotel close to the Dixie Stampede.
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:16 PM   #7
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i'll agree with one thing the original poster stated...

the parking is terrible, we had tickets for the second show last fall and couldn't find a parking spot, ended up missing the pre-show.

other than that, my opinion on this show runs to the favorable side, never been disappointed at the Stampede. plenty of horses, right mix of "silly people" maybe not the best but pretty good food, and the servers work very hard and add to the entertainment of the show.
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
From Semperfly:
A couple of quick questions for you. How long was the intermission at DS?...
As you are implying, there was no intermission at DS while there is at other shows. The total approximate run time of 90 minutes was with no breaks.

As a comparison, I did happen to look at my watch after Darren Romeo and the Chinese Acrobats. Both shows ran approximately two hours (adjusting for the intermissions). While I could not swear under oath to the actual run times, it is fair to state that DS was by far the shortest of the shows that we saw AND the most expensive (again, by far).

I know that we all have our opinions and that through the interchange of information about the respective shows each of us will hopefully find the show (or shows) that appeals most to each of us.

Quote:
…If you take into account that most of the other show in town are about 2 hours long, with a 30 min intermission for the artist to sell/hawk their products (CDs, DVDs, etc) the length of the show is about the same. And that also is in line with "begging for tips" How many times do you hear an announcer state "Copies of tonights show are availbe for purchse in the lobby!"
I expect a certain amount of hucksterism in a show but it should be quick, brief and to the point. I am paying for a show, not to be marketed to…. To be fair, EVERY show in Branson probably has some level of hucksterism

However, I counted at least five separate reminders/admonishments for tipping servers during DS. Just too much for my taste…. Not to mention that DS placed a tipping reminder card at every other seat.

Again, I think it is a valid criticism of DS that they resort to begging the audience for tips especially considering the prices that they charge. YEMV, and that’s okay.

Quote:
…Lack of horse display, abundance of silly people display-So when you go to a music show, thats ALL that happens there? There is no one doing any comedy of any sort to keep the audience entertained? I must be going to the wrong shows then.
No, of course not. But in going to a horse show, one can reasonably expect that the horses would be predominantly featured and not a minor feature of the show (as is the case with DS). The pig and ostrich races are fine diversions but an overwhelming majority of the silly human displays should be removed from the show and replaced with more animal (preferably horse) action.


Quote:
With a family of five, the cost to attend this show was about $150... I cant find show tickets for $18 in Branson for a decent show.
DS was definitely our highest tickets for the week. Yakov, Darren Romeo, Chinese Acrobats, and Tony Roi all had some sort of family pass special that brought the price of admission into the $60 - $70 range for a family of five.

With dinner thrown in, I would expect to pay more, but not twice as much as the other shows. It would be nice if DS had some sort of family pass special but if the market is bearing these prices then so be it.

Quote:
Parking-Well thats just a problem with Branson. Your trying to get out onto HWY 76, how many seats is the Stampede theatre? Not to mention all the people trying to get to their hotels, other shows, etc, etc.
This raises a question to someone with local Branson knowledge – it seems to me that DS could help its traffic flow by a second parking lot entrance/exit (in the rear of their parking lot)– especially one that could connect to the blue bypass route. Is that not possible?

Quote:
If you really stop and think about it, you just didnt like the show. Nothing wrong with that.
I honestly just found myself wanting more – especially for the $$ paid. As you note, we all won’t like every show and that’s why there are 100 (or so) shows in Branson – something for everyone.

Cheers.
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Old 08-05-2005, 04:11 PM   #9
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Sorry, you were disappointed.

If you were expecting the Dixie Stampede to be a "horse show", then you were mistaken. If someone directly told you that this was a "horse show", they were sadly mispoken.

No where in their advertising or website do they pitch this as a "horse show". The direct quote off the web page is "A fun-filled, action-packed Dinner and Show extravaganza for everyone! It’s the perfect place for families, friends and groups to gather for spectacular special effects and amazing stunts by the most talented performers in the area. It’s the only place that brings together stunning performers, amazing horse feats, fantastic stunt riders, magic and audience participation with a delicious four-course dinner extravaganza for one amazing price! Plus, you won’t want to miss our exciting Opening Act in the Carriage Room one hour before the main show. Its all part of Dixie Stampede adventure!"
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbodb


This raises a question to someone with local Branson knowledge – it seems to me that DS could help its traffic flow by a second parking lot entrance/exit (in the rear of their parking lot)– especially one that could connect to the blue bypass route. Is that not possible.


I'm not local...but just back from there just last week. I heard that there is plans for a second road to be put in behind Dixie....the motel directly behind DS and the one across the road from that are both vacant and are waiting to be demolished for a new road to be punched through.

Hopefully the rest of your trip was fun...You should do a full review of your trip.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:15 PM   #11
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I agree, it would be nice to hear a review of the other things you saw in Branson, if you liked them or not.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:59 PM   #12
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Never been to DS myself. 2 top complaints I hear from tourists about this show is the food, and believe it or not, They expected to see Dolly Parton. I know they have more expenses with the food, but they are not very
'discount' friendly.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:30 PM   #13
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All I know is I haven't had the opportunity to see Dixie Stampede, but friends and family members that have seen it really enjoyed it. We are planning on going during our next trip to Branson. They did tell us to go to the early show, easier to get in and out. I don't know. I guess we'll see when we go next year.
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:11 PM   #14
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Dixie Stampede is not something that we do every trip, maybe not even every year, but if we take someone to Branson that has never been before, we make sure to include it in our plans.

Yes, the price is high....but it's a show and a meal. A LOT of food! Rarely has mine not been good....not 5 star gourmet dinner, mind you....but just plain ole good.

The show to me is pretty much what I expected from reading their website and reviews and picking up one of their brochures. It wasn't misleading to me, but I guess since I'm not a "horse" person, I wouldn't have expected more of the rodeo stuff. Personally, I would prefer that they keep the animal/comedy/music routine about the same, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they took out the "buffalo stampede". It's more like they wake the poor things up, make them run around a couple of times, and take them back where ever they got them. Of course, I suppose they could have much worse jobs!! The only other complaint with the show would be that I wish the servers didn't feel the need to talk to you every time they walk by...I had rather hear the show. They work hard and they work fast, so I gladly tip well, but would do the same without them feeling like they have to entertain also.

Parking....whew...it's a mess!! If you are coming in right as the previous show is about to be over, or just over, it's an absolute mess. It's so hard to park there, and harder to get out. I believe that once we were able to go out a back gate, but haven't seen it open again.

Overall, I think it's a good show, a good meal, and even tho it's high, pretty much worth the money, considering it's both.
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:00 PM   #15
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Where the buffalo roam

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlemee
...I was always so impressed with the Grand Parade at the beginning, which is no longer, replaced with the "buffalo stampede"?? 6 or 7 buffalo do not a stampede make, more like herding the little group out of the arena...
Almost forgot about this but the stampede at our show was also 6 or 7 buffalo who, upon entering the arena, decided to stop and have a look around. More like a social call than a stampede...

Even better, after a few moments, two of the beasties decided to have a roll in the dirt - just like dogs after a bath. They did look rather happy doing this!
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