It's a lot like Horror Nights. You have to go in as a group and stay with that group at all times. Not to mention the chainsaw guy! I instantly went into Horror Nights mode and took the lead of the group. It didn't really scare me or shock me in any way.
I really liked Mysterious Mansion over Haunted Adventures, but that's just my opinion.
Never been much of a show guy, but I had some free tickets to Black Bear Jamboree, so I figured we might as well use them....
Dixie Stampede is unarguably the most popular dinner show in town, but this one is probably number 2.
The ticket windows inside the main lobby/gift shop.
We arrived 10 minutes before show time to see that the pre-show had started...and people were already eating!
Chicken and stuff on a plate.
So you eat, the pre-show MC dude begs you to tip your server for, like, a solid 5-minutes, there's a 15-minute "intermission" that starts at the announced showtime, and then the show actually starts after that.
The show starts, without explanation, with "Hooray For Hollywood" style singing and dancing.
Then the "director" and his assistant (who speaks and sings in a purposely obnoxious "nerd" voice the entire show) come out and talk to animatronic bears.
And then the dancers come back out and it's a sock hop.
I would like to take a moment to draw attention to the Asian dude in the middle, who was easily the best part of the show. Not only did he valiantly represent all minorities, but he was also the only one comfortable enough with his gayness to be having any fun out there. When all the other males were awkwardly twirling around in a "Yeah, I'm dancing, but I might not be gay" sort of way, he was like, "Here I am, Pigeon Forge! Love my fabulousness!"
Misty says, "What the hell are we watching?"
Apparently, the idea is that they're trying to find some kind of music the bears will like, for their new musical film being shot out in the woods.
So yes, it's disco time! And what could be more disco than a Paul McCartney "look-alike" singing Yesterday?
It never cease to amaze me that YMCA--a song that could not be more obviously about gay sex--is considered innocuous enough to be played at public gatherings and church picnics. (Go Asian Native-American dude!)
"Well, I guess the disco was okay...."
"What? You didn't like it? Then how about some Country! Surely, bears like Country!"
And now, apparently forgetting about the whole bear thing--as well as the fact that the performers have been dancing around in the skimpiest clothes possible up to this point--we go Gospel.
Yes, the bears are never seen or mentioned again, but who cares? God Bless America!
The show over, our sanity "bearly" intact, we flee for our lives back into the gift shop.
When I finally gave Dixie a try, I was pleasantly surprised. But Black Bear reminded me of why I'm not a show person.
This bear is very lucky, because he's outside.
Look, you're not going to do any dinner shows anyway when you come here. You know it, and I know it. But, if for some reason you do, stick with the Dixie Stampede.
How many animitronic scenes are there? - There are two sets of bears, one on each side of the stage. They mostly just talk and/or interact with the director between costume changes, but don't move much. The rest of the time, they're in shadow or covered by movie screens. I recall them having about 6-8 short "scenes."
Would this be a fun place to suprise someone for dinner? - I think that depends on how much you like this someone. At the very least, they'd better have a high tolerance for cheese.
Bless your hearts for doing all this. Love it. - Thanks. We're having fun doing it.
This year, construction began on a huge new retail and lodging complex near the entrance to Gatlinburg (from Pigeon Forge). Several older motels and shops were torn down to make room for this new "Gateway Gatlinburg" project, including (*gasp*) Cooter's Garage.
But, as I'm sure you're well aware, you can't keep them Duke boys down. The folks that owned Cooter's pocketed the money they got from the buyout, and went and bought Camp Thunder (an indoor mini-golf and go-carts complex near the center of town), rechristening it Cooter's.
This is what it used to look like.
And this is what it looks like now.
Go, Smisty, go! Enos is right on your tail!
Just inside the main entrance.
Ooh, ooh, what's in the case??
The General Lee is still here, but now it's indoors.
Wait...since when do the Dukes follow the rules??
This indoor mini-golf course used to be themed to the GSM National Park.
And it still sort of is--except with a Dukes of Hazzard overlay.
Combine these slightly at-odds themes with a general "I'm playing mini-golf in someone's attic" feel, and you have one seriously messed up course.
That last photo had Misty in it, by the way. (Sorry, I was on a roll there.)
"Makin' his way the only way he know how, but that's just a little bit more than the law will allow."
Yes, it's laundry day here in the national park, and a fine day for mini-golfing.
The last hole was pretty cool. Actually, it really isn't a bad course overall. Just...odd.
And now, back downstairs to the main gift shop area.
This is the greatest t-shirt I have ever seen.
Cooter's has definitely lost some of its charm, but there's more there to do now. And, personally, I think it's well-worth a visit just to see that t-shirt in person.
I didn't buy it, though. I couldn't. Because I would wear it EVERY DAY and Misty would leave me.
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