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“Picnic Tables, really?”

Fort Hays Old West Town and Dinner Show
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: **Closed for winter months. Our doors will re-open on Mothers Day 2016. See you then!** Start your day at Fort Hays Old West Town, site of the Oscar award winning movie set, Dances with Wolves. Walk along our boardwalk and make your own brick, tin plate, gem pan or make a twine lasso rope. There is no admission fee to browse the film set & South Dakota Film Museum. See the original buildings used in this popular Wild West movie. Enjoy All-You-Can-Eat Cowboy Pancakes for 99 cents! Find the perfect souvenior at one of our three unique Gift Shops. Dinner shows are held at Fort Hays mid May through mid October.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

This was a prepaid dinner and show during our bus tour to SD. When you pull in there are some exhibits Blacksmith shop, etc that you would find in an old western town; they seemed to be just "displays". Perhaps someone was there earlier in the day to talk about what they did.

The building where you eat dinner and have musical entertainment has an area where the bathrooms are - this area has a nice level cement type floor and another area where you eat. You eat dinner seated at picnic tables -- cramped, and with the tables end to end someone is sitting on the "cracks between the tables" which are not all level. The flooring is a gravel surface and the floor slopes toward the stage. The slope to the floor, the gravel and the cramped seating made it very difficult to get up, get on line to get your food and get seated back down to eat. Yes, you had to get up and get on line to get your food and then were expected to return your dishes after eating. The gentlemen who I approached was very nice to get me a tray as I was getting dinner for myself and my husband. Having bad knees it was better that one of us got up from the picnic table to get on line. There was baked potato, apple sauce (both of which were good), BBQ beef (which was tough), baked beans (were only ok), rolls, spice cake and chicken (which was cold). Lemonade and coffee was available for beverages. Silverware and napkins were in buckets on the tables and there seemed to be a shortage of utensils at our table. I guess someone did not count the correct number of seats at the table.

For folks with bad knees or walking with canes, walkers, etc -- this is not a good place for you! We had several people on our bus tour with bad knees, canes and one with a walker. This was a bad choice made by the bus tour operator.

We ate and then got up from the picnic table and went to sit in the other area and listened to the music, which wasn't half bad.

This could have been an enjoyable place if it weren't for the sloping gravel floor, and the picnic tables. Ft. Hays could and SHOULD do better! Especially where seniors are concerned. I can understand wanting you to have that chow wagon feeling -- then do it -- put a wagon outside where you can get your grub then take it inside to eat in a nice level environment -- or have it all outside in tents.

Unless you are young and nimble -- don't waste your time at Ft. Hays!

4  Thank RoamingAimlessly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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479 - 483 of 602 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2012

We didn't go to the show, but did go for 99c all-you-can-eat pancakes on our way out of town. Service started at 6:30 am and we were the first ones there as we wanted an early start for our 10-hour drive that day. The pancakes were delicious - and really cost only 99c. My husband and I each ate only two as they were large pancakes - a fun $2.00 meal :)

2  Thank gerib54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Our breakfast was very basic- good pancakes, but meatless sausage gravy. Our tour guide, Ken, was excellent. He is a history teacher and has been doing the tour for 13 years. He talked through 90% of the trip relating interesting facts and stories. (Volume too loud, though) Our bus broke down 5-10 miles from our return to Ft. Hays & he remained calm as did the other passengers. One passenger had a cell phone with a signal and got through to the company who sent another bus to get us. (Pehaps another means of communication would be helpful!) We waited about a half hour before getting onto a new bus. Dinner, like breakfast, was very basic. She show, however, with local performers was good.

1  Thank KarenMaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Fantastic, talented musicians and the dinner was great............oculdn't believe how quickly they serve so many people.

1  Thank DeborahMCoeurDAlene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

The food was average, but the show was very entertaining. The performers were great and we found ourselves stomping our feet and clapping our hands!

Thank Iris K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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