December 2, 2015
The names Hatfield and McCoy are infamous in the U.S. The feud between the two families near the Kentucky-West Virginia border dates back to the mid-to-late 1800s and has become the stuff of legend with so many varying tales in stories, books, and film that the details of what did or did not happen are no longer important – only the feud remains. Uprooting and moving the families south, the Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Disaster in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee adds another, somewhat less deadly, tale to the legend – and this time, there’s a decorating contest!
Speaking of decorating, the outside of the theater has been decked out for the holidays in the best way the backwoods, stereotyped characters know how.
When you receive your ticket with your assigned seat, you will find out if you will be cheering for the Hatfields or the McCoys. To further enhance your team/family spirit, you can purchase a flag or small cowbell with your adopted family’s name and colors to wave during the upcoming battle. Once seated, dinner service begins right away. It is an all-you-can-eat home-style Southern meal including creamy vegetable soup, pulled pork barbecue, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, coleslaw, rolls, and finished off with “Granny’s Famous Specialty Dessert.”
Overall, the food is decent quality similar to what you would find at any southern restaurant. Don’t be afraid to ask for more of anything and everything – especially the soup, which is a rich, creamy bowl of deliciousness and the best part of the menu (it’s for sale in the gift shop and online if you need more after the show). Make sure to have your fill before the show begins because when the curtain goes up, dinner service, including drinks, stops altogether.
If you’re in the mood for something a little stronger than soda or sweet tea, two moonshine-based pre-mixed cocktails are available for purchase at $10 each. They’re not bad, but if you’re looking for a real drink with some kick, it’s best to wait until after the show and go next door to the Hard Rock Cafe.
There is a small audience-participation pre-show during dinner and a short break before the actual show begins. Once the show starts, the servers disappear and it’s time to focus on the feudin’!
The story for Christmas Disaster follows the families as the unscrupulous mayor and his lackey deputy attempt to use the bickering between the two to scam them out of their land. Without giving too much detail away, situations include a barn party, a Christmas lighting contest, and – inexplicably – some Peanuts-style ghost costumes. The musical incorporates a little of the standard non-holiday show, some elements of A Christmas Carol, plenty of family-friendly humor, a noticeable lack of actual feuding, and a whole lot of dancin’ and singin’. While the story line is not as strong as that of the standard show, it is lively and upbeat with plenty of Christmas music and seems to be exactly what the crowds visiting the Pigeon Forge area during the holiday season are looking for.
Overall, for the good, plentiful food and Christmas-themed show in a well-designed and comfortable theater, the Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Disaster is a good choice for those visiting Pigeon Forge looking for good, clean, family Christmas fun. There are early and late dinner seatings each day and lunch seatings during busier days. Also, if you purchase tickets to Hatfield & McCoy, you are able to add on tickets to any one of Fee Hedrick Entertainment’s other area shows at a greatly reduced price.
If you’ve seen the Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Disaster, let us know what you think in the Comments below!
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