Archive for the ‘Attractions’ Category

Amazing Animals™ Pet Show returns for second season at Comedy Barn® Theater in Pigeon Forge

 Pigeon Forge, Tenn., June 7, 2017 –The Comedy Barn® Theater’s all new original “Amazing Animals” ™ matinee show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is back for a second summer season.  “Amazing Animals” ™ features trained pigs, parrots, housecats, dogs and a mini-donkey all performing together in a pet show at The Comedy Barn® Theater at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  The show runs through Saturday, Aug. 12.

“Animals are the most amazing creatures and our ‘Amazing Animals’ Pet Show features animal antics, zany comedy and a cast of fuzzy, furry, feathered and four legged friends,” said David Fee, president and chief executive officer of The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group and co-owner of The Comedy Barn® Theater.  “We have a wonderful mix of music, comedy, mayhem and animals.”

“Come experience our ‘Amazing Animals’ show,” said Jim Hedrick, co-owner of The Comedy Barn Theater.  “We are very pleased to add to the cast this year the remarkable ventriloquist talent of Kyle Scribner. Kyle has some amazing animal puppets which come to life, and they will make you laugh until you cry.”

Hedrick said, “We have also added two new trained pigs to the cast this year that will leave you dazed and amazed.  You will love the showdown between the “Hatdawgs and the McCaws.”

Anthony, Alena King and their trained “comedy critters” perform in the “Amazing Animals” ™ pet show. They have performed at The Comedy Barn® Theater for the last four years.  They have appeared on Animal Planet’s “Pet Star,”  “The Tonight Show,” and at theme parks, festivals, fairs, pet expos, conventions and corporate events across the country. They have also performed in theaters in Branson, Mo., in “The Comedy Pet Variety Show” in Lakeland, Fla., as well as in the Royal Hanneford Circus.

“Tony and Alena King are bringing back their amazing animal act to The ‘Amazing Animal’ Pet Show,” Fee said.  “Tony and Alena are phenomenally talented animal trainers and performers, and it is incredible what their animals can do.  Tony and Alena have a unique, family friendly act that combines their extraordinary pets with magic, acrobatics and audience participation. They have rescued most of these animals from shelters all over the country, and now they are Pigeon Forge stars.

“Come see Tony’s mini pigs ham it up at The Comedy Barn,” Fee said.  “These pigs can even check the mail!”  Pig stars Boris Bacon and Jessie Ham perform comedy, do flag rising, hurdle jumping, mail checking, ball playing, bell ringing and pig waltzing, and they even roll out the red carpet!

Ten high-diving domestic housecats all perform in a comedy routine. They jump through hoops, zig zag, do a high step routine, balance on an Olympic pole, upside-down walk, do super jumps, and they even do a high diving stunt.

Fee said, “Also starring in The Amazing Animals show at The Comedy Barn Theater is a Comedy Barn Canine act where the dogs do hurdle jumps and barrel rolls, they roll over, they do a hind leg stand and they even jump rope.”

Charlie the communicating mini-donkey is another part of “The Amazing Animals” ™  show.  “Charlie is the only donkey in Pigeon Forge who understands humans,” Fee said.  “The audience can watch him shake his head yes or no to their questions. He can also add, subtract and even guess people’s age.

“This show also has trained birds,” said Fee.  “Come see birds flying through rings right over your head,” Fee said.  “They also do comedy, skate, ride scooters and bicycles, perform on the high wire, dance, pull carts, see-saw, do foot juggling, fly through rings and many other feats.”

King is a former accomplished aerialist and high wire walker. “We are animal lovers,” King said. His wife, Alena, is originally from Russia and attended circus school in Russia.  She is a former aerialist and fire spinner.

Country magician Greg Franklin, known as “Farmer Clem” in “The Comedy Barn®” show, also appears in the “Amazing Animals” ™ show. He previously worked at the Carolina Nights Dinner Theater in Maggie Valley. There will also be a magical appearance from Lindsay Hamm as she reprises her role as the Pink Panther and stage assistant.  Hamm was a member of last year’s “Amazing Animals” ™ cast and has also previously performed in “Magic Beyond Belief.” ™   The production team includes:  David Fee and Jim Hedrick, executive producers; Clare Lewis, director; Justin Manning and David Rains, sound and lights; and Nora Wasden and Steven Foldenauer, stage technicians.

For more information visit AmazingAnimals.com or call the box office at (865) 428-5222 or 1-800-29-LAUGH. Ticket prices are $29.95 plus tax for adults and $9.95 plus tax for children ages 3 to 11.  The theater is located at 2775 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, also owns and produces other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including “The Smoky Mountain Opry,™” “The Comedy Barn,” ®  The “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud,™” “Magic Beyond Belief™ Darren Romeo,” and “The Smith Morning Variety Show.”

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CONTACT:  Deborah Fee Newsom

(865) 414-6887 or (865) 774-8877; Deborah@FeeHedrick.com

 

 

O.J. Bronco Displayed at Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge 22 Years Later

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (June 6, 2017) – The anniversary of the scene made famous when 95 million people tuned in to watch O.J. Simpson flee the police in a white Bronco is quickly approaching. June 17, 1994 is a date many recall because of the news he made that day, having been accused of killing his ex-wife and her friend. Rather than turn himself in, as ordered by police, the former football star fled with cameras rolling and millions watching. Today, that infamous white 1993 Ford Bronco is on display Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Although the vehicle has been largely out of the public eye for two decades, it came back into the public eye in 2016 with the popularity of the shows “O.J.: Made in America” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

“We are fortunate to have this piece of history in our collection,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “It’s something that many of us watched and remember, as it sparked so many conversations that influenced our views. This case was important for so many aspects of law enforcement from police procedures to DNA.”

It is estimated that 150 million people tuned into the verdict in the Simpson trial in 1995 where he was acquitted. In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery, where he remains, but is eligible for parole later this year.

“This is a part of our country’s history that millions are interested in,” states Vaccarello, “Visitors are coming to the museum just to see the infamous Bronco and our other Simpson artifacts.  There’s nothing quite like seeing such an iconic piece first-hand.”

The Bronco was kept hidden in a garage between Las Vegas and California for years but was always kept in running condition and preserved in the same condition as it was in 1994. Simpson’s previous sports manager, Mike Gilbert, worked directly with the museum to handle the preservation of this important piece of crime history.

“When I was working with ESPN on the documentary ‘O.J.: Made in America,’ I knew there would be an increased curiosity surrounding this case,” says Michael Gilbert, co-owner of the vehicle and Simpson’s former manager. “Not only would people learn details they never heard, but there would also be a new generation learning about it for the first time.  This partnership with Alcatraz East has been important to me. I wanted the Bronco in a place where it would be protected, as well as be part of a bigger story- a part of history.”

Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The 25,000 square foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

 

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

 

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CONTACT:

Cher Murphy

Cher@chermurphypr.com

571-263-2128

Former America’s Got Talent Performing Act Comes To Dollywood April 10-22

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Families looking for a way to squeeze a  few more hours out of spring break should visit Dollywood’s Spring Break (April 10-22) to enjoy the award-winning park’s extended operating hours, thrilling rides and the mesmerizing talents of enra, a cutting-edge performance group which appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2015.

For families visiting Dollywood during the spring season, the park’s Spring Break Planning Guide is the perfect companion to help them make the most of their trip. With sample itineraries, show information, lodging offers, dining options and more, the guide is designed to make planning simple. Visit Dollywood.com/spring to start planning now.

Dollywood’s extended Spring Break hours give families more time to experience everything the park has to offer, including headlining performance group enra. The Tokyo-based performing arts company creates on-screen computer graphics to accompany live action performance including modern dance, martial arts, rhythmic gymnastics, ballet, juggling and street dance. The synchronized combination of motion graphics and on-stage performance creates an unprecedented treat for audiences.

“We started fusing live performance with video five years ago,” the group communicated via an interpreter. “To make a single performance piece, it takes us from two months to half-a-year, so we spend a lot of time on production, adding new expressive elements and developing the show little by little.”

With this new-age approach, enra wowed audiences on America’s Got Talent. The experience of competing on the show helped the group elevate their performances to an even higher level.

“It was amazing to have the opportunity to perform on such a popular TV show—and also it was at the Academy Awards venue, the Dolby Theatre,” the group explained. “We had the chance to meet a lot of other performers backstage, and we were so happy to get such a warm reaction from the audience. And we were thrilled when all four judges gave us a yes!”

The group is thrilled to add its unique show to the park’s entertainment lineup, which has won the award for Best Theme Park Shows for eight consecutive years. Dollywood guests will be awed by enra’s captivating performance style.

“It’s a great honor to stand on the stage that has brought this award to Dollywood for eight years,” they said. “We hope that our performance will contribute to Dollywood winning the award for the ninth time. Dollywood guests will have the chance to experience our world through a form of expression unlike anything they have ever seen before. We know that Dolly has captured the hearts of countless people. We want to take inspiration from her and also charm the audiences. We’ so excited to experience the great atmosphere at Dollywood.”

During Dollywood’s Spring Break, park hours are extended each weekday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; hours on Saturday, April 15 are 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Dollywood is closed on Easter Sunday (April 16). For more information, please visit www.dollywood.com.

 -dollywood2017-

About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

 

 

TopJump™ to Open in Pigeon Forge

topjump logo

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 28,2016) – TopJump™, Sevier County’s first trampoline park, is set to open its location in Pigeon Forge on Thursday, March 31.  The 34,000 square foot facility is the first trampoline park to be located in a tourist destination.  The park has a 17,000 sq. ft.  trampoline arena which includes all traditional trampoline park activities such as dodgeball, basketball, a kids’ zone, a ninja course, and a gladiator pit.  TopJump™ also has an arcade, Sugar Rush Candy Store, and a sky high climbing adventure called Clip ‘n Climb™ which is the first of its kind in the United States where you can test your balancing abilities and climbing skills on elements such as Stairway to Heaven and the Dark Tower.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for TopJump™ is scheduled for Thursday, March 31 at 11:00 a.m. The location is 3735 Parkway, between traffic lights #8 and #10.

Artists Wield Chainsaws at Titanic Ice Event

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Jan. 18, 2013) – It’s likely that the fanciest ice sculptures you ever created were the fish-shaped ice cubes that came out of that plastic ice tray you bought at IKEA.

To see what real ice artistry looks like, check out the third annual Titanic Pigeon Forge Professional Ice Carving Competition on Jan. 19 (Saturday).

A chainsaw becomes an artist's tool at the Titanic Pigeon Forge Professional Ice Carving Competition.

A chainsaw becomes an artist’s tool at the Titanic Pigeon Forge Professional Ice Carving Competition.

The parking lot in front of the Titanic Museum Attraction become an outdoor art studio as professional and amateur ice sculptors work their magic on 250-pound blocks of ice.

Chainsaws start roaring at 9 a.m. to make the first cuts, and hand tools come into play at the day progresses.

Winners celebrate at 3 p.m., and prizes – from $500 to $2,000 – are the awards. The cost to watch the ice artists at work is just right – it’s free.

Head South for Holiday Lights, Travel Writers Say

Half of the 10 destinations the Society of American Travel Writers recommends for holiday lights are in the Southeast.

SATW members compiled a list of 10 destinations with light-up-the-night displays that might be lesser known than destinations such as Times Square in New York but still very much worth the trip.

The five destinations in the Southeast:
Winterfest lights TrainStation_067
* Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville in Tennessee for Smoky Mountain Winterfest
* Charlotte for Speedway Christmas at the Charlotte Motor Speedway
* St. Augustine
* Louisville for Lights Under Louisville in Louisville Mega Cavern (yes, holiday lights in a cave)
* Pine Mountain, Ga., for Callaway Gardens

The other five scatterered around the country:

* Festival of Lights in Kauai, Hawaii
* Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.
* The Newport Beach Boat Parade in California
* Nela Park in Cleveland
* Old Town Luminaria Tour in Albuquerque, N.M.

Here’s a link to the list and event descriptions: ow.ly/gb4wS

Festive Times All Year in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – Pick a month, any month, and you’ll find a festival or special event in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

This resort town next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park really knows how to show you a good time.

Every year starts with a mid-January salute to its neighbor with eight days of free activity called Wilderness Wildlife Week. There are classes, seminars, photography workshops, mini-concerts and hikes into the park’s 800 square miles of nature at its best.

July 4 Fireworks over Pigeon Forge’s Old Mill

February’s big event is most unusual – a salute to cowboy poetry, western music and chuck wagon cooking called Saddle Up. In March, a softer side comes out for A Mountain Quiltfest.

The city and various businesses organize the festivals and events, and a big organizer is Dollywood.

The popular theme park punctuates its almost yearlong season with an international festival in spring, a fall festival for bluegrass music and barbeque, a Southern gospel music festival and then a spectacular Christmas celebration called A Smoky Mountain Christmas.

A Smoky Mountain Christmas actually is part of a citywide celebration called Pigeon Forge Winterfest that captures all manner of events from early November through the following February

The Titanic Museum attraction gets in on the fun with a January ice-carving competition, winter snowfalls across the bow of the museum (the building looks like the famous ship) and other programs. All of 2013, for instance, is marked as “The Year of the Titanic Children” and focuses on the 133 children on the famous voyage.

Every May, thousands of people turn out for Dolly’s Homecoming Parade, which honors hometown superstar Dolly Parton. It’s all very Norman Rockwell – youthful twirling teams, high school bands, equestrian units – except that Dolly herself rides in the first float.

Mixed in during other months are car shows devoted to hot rods and nostalgic classics, a knockout 4th of July concert and fireworks event, a huge autumn crafts fair and the Salute to Veterans Parade in November.

Information about all events is online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling 800-251-9100.

Look! Up in the Sky!

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (October 2012) – A gigantic blue and green helium balloon has people all over Pigeon Forge pointing to the sky and admiring the city’s newest attraction.

It is Wonders of Flight, an addition to the science- and fun-filled WonderWorks attraction on the Parkway.

The Wonders of Flight, a helium-filled balloon 72-feet in diameter, rises silently behind WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The Wonders of Flight balloon is 72 feet in diameter, and the gondola it lifts can carry up to 30 people for spectacular views of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding counties. It is tethered to a 400-foot-long cable.

The captain says that on an especially clear day, the famous Cumberland Gap is visible on the horizon. That’s where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia come together.

Aerophile, the world leader in tethered gas balloons, is the manufacturer. Its only other similar balloon in the Southeast is at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Other locations include China, France, Germany and Turkey.

“The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unmatched, 360-degree panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains,” said Jerome Giacomoni, Aerophile’s president. “In one single gaze, the entire breathtaking view can be seen from exceptional heights, including a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the fall leaves.”

Wonders of Flight offers a spectacular view of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and great Smoky Mountains National Park at an elevation of 400 feet.

Giacomoni explains that the Wonders of Flight balloon is environmentally friendly and totally silent thanks to its permanently inflated helium envelope and a hydroelectric winch.

 

 

Dollywood Grabs Five Golden Ticket Awards

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 2012) – Dollywood received five 2012 Golden Ticket Awards, the top honor in the theme park industry.

The awards were first-time recognitions in three categories and repeats in two categories :

  • Best Food, beating out longtime winner Knoebels Amusement Resort
  • Friendliest park, upsetting 13-time winner Holiday World
  • Best New Ride for Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing-design coaster
  • Best Shows, Dollywood’s fourth consecutive win in this category
  • Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s fifth consecutive win in this category

The awards are organized by Amusement Today magazine, and Dollywood was the host park for the ceremony this year.

Dolly Parton shows off Dollywood’s five Golden Ticket Awards for 2012

Dollywood namesake Dolly Parton attended the ceremony.

“I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed by the five Golden Ticket Awards that Dollywood won,” Parton said. “And to be there and accept all of the awards at Dollywood while we hosted the event just makes these wins even sweeter for me.”

Dollywood also ranked in five additional categories:

  • Best Park, third place
  • Best Waterpark for Dollywood’s Splash Country, fourth place;
  • Cleanest Park, second place
  • Best Water Ride for Dollywood’s Mountain Slidewinder; fourth place
  • Best Landscaping, fourth place

Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world in balanced geographical regions.

Two Dollywood rides also were recognized during the awards event. The Wild Eagle coaster is the highest-placing new-for-2012 coaster on Amusement Today’s annual Best Steel Coaster list, while the park’s Thunderhead wooden coaster placed fourth on the Top 50 Best Wooden Coaster rankings.

National TV Puts Pigeon Forge in Spotlight

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 2012) – Pigeon Forge is getting a lot of love from three major broadcast networks.

ABC and NBC have put Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in the spotlight in recent weeks, and CBS will keep the string alive during the upcoming television season.

"Amazing Race" teammates Rob and Sheila Scheer

Pigeon Forge’s Rob and Sheila Scheer are ready for an around-the-world adventure on “The Amazing Race.”

ABC ‘s “Good Morning America” featured Dollywood’s new-design Wild Eagle roller coaster in a summer series of segments about thrill rides. Actor Cameron Mathison visited the popular theme park for a first-hand look and ride.

At $20 million, Wild Eagle is Dollywood’s biggest capital investment. It was the first winged coaster in the U.S., meaning that the passenger seats are on “wings” that stretch out from the coaster’s track rather than riding on top of it.

Over at NBC, a clogger from the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge is part of a dance team that emerged from 75,000 auditioning acts to make it into the final rounds of “America’s Got Talent.”

Drake Elkin, who dances as part of the McCoy family, is part of an all-male clogging team called All That.

At CBS, a Pigeon Forge couple is about to compete on “The Amazing Race,” an around-the-world adventure that has won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Reality-Competition Program” eight of the last nine years.

Rob Scheer, president of the company that owns the Great Smoky Mountain Lumberjack Feud, and his wife, Sheila, are one of 11 two-member teams. Scheer is a champion timber sports athlete. The series begins Sept. 30.