Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival Brings Fall Family Fun to America’s #1 Theme Park

Published September 21, 2022 / Last Updated September 21, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

New Hoot Owl Hollow displays provide more fun for all during Dollywood’s 2022 Harvest Festival

Dollywood guests are sure to have a hoot during this year’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 23 – Oct. 29), thanks to a brand new area created within the family-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health.

Appropriately named Hoot Owl Hollow, the area features hundreds of pumpkins in Dollywood’s Craftsman’s Valley that celebrate the nocturnal creature, including a massive 14-foot tall version created with more than 150 carved white pumpkins. It’s just the latest addition to the event that has overwhelmingly become one of America’s favorite fall family destinations, and it will surely have guests pulling an “owl-nighter” in order to experience “owl” the fun!

“I just know folks are going to get a kick out of the new Hoot Owl Hollow,” Dolly shared. “And in ‘owl’ seriousness, I hope our guests make their own precious Smoky Mountain memories while they are here. As I look back on my favorite family memories, so many of them took place during this time of year, and I hope our guests leave with those special moments they’ll share forever.”

A longstanding tradition for so many, the Harvest Festival greets guests with the surrounding mountainsides draped in vibrant colors. Dollywood’s landscaping and fresh décor accent the autumn atmosphere and bring the beauty right into the park, making it ripe for families to create their picture-perfect pumpkin photo ops to share with friends!

“I think everybody knows I believe every day in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful and truly a gift from God,” Dolly said, “but I do feel like fall is when He really puts on a show for all of us to admire and enjoy. As the leaves change, the mountains transform into a patchwork of bright, vibrant colors that make them look as if they’ve come alive. The hot summer days start to fade and crisp, cool winds bring that fresh mountain air down into the valleys and right into my Dollywood. To me, this has to be the most beautiful theme park in the whole world, because no park in the world is built right in the middle of the Smokies!”

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

At night, Great Pumpkin LumiNights, one of the nation’s premier family-friendly harvest time events, provides bushels of memories for guests, thanks to thousands of glowing and carved pumpkins throughout Dollywood. For those with small children—or anyone looking for a fun, not scary experience—this event is certainly the cream of the crop. Families can bask in the glow as they wander through displays in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create long-lasting memories together.

Award-Winning Entertainment

No festival at Dollywood is complete without award-winning entertainment, and the Harvest Festival certainly delivers. Several genres are well-represented with a wide range of Southern Gospel and bluegrass artists, as well as Americana acts and classic country performers scheduled to appear. In all, more than 1,900 performances take place during the Harvest Festival.

Fresh off a finalist appearance on America’s Got Talent, Chapel Hart graces the stage of DP’s Celebrity Theater on Oct. 2. Country music legend John Anderson—known for hits like “Swingin’,” “Seminole Wind,” and “Straight Tequila Night”—visits the park on Oct. 10. Contemporary Christian group Sidewalk Prophets visits Sept. 28, while Southern Gospel favorites, including The Collingsworth Family (Sept. 26), Karen Peck and New River (Oct. 5), Triumphant Quartet (Oct. 19) and The Isaacs (Oct. 21), also entertain guests throughout the festival. Bluegrass is well represented with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (Oct. 24), Dailey & Vincent (Oct. 24) and more set to perform. Knoxville’s Emily Ann Roberts—who placed second on season nine of NBC’s The Voice—performs Oct. 20.

A complete schedule can be found on Dollywood.com. Performances take place on indoor and outdoor stages throughout the park, allowing the beautiful sounds to echo through the surrounding hillsides and create highly-engaging entertainment offerings.

Flavors of Fall

Dollywood’s culinary team has created a smorgasbord of creations to take advantage of the bountiful supply of crops provided by the Smoky Mountain harvest. The smells of smoked bratwursts, turkey legs or smoked andouille sausage mac and cheese pair nicely with the fresh tastes of sweet potato poutine, spiced pumpkin bisque and BUSH’S three bean pumpkin chili. For sweet treats, the ever-popular pumpkin spice is in full supply with items ranging from pumpkin spice churros with pumpkin fluff to pumpkin spice iced coffee. Items like the maple pecan bacon funnel cake, hot apple cider, wassail or an apple pie milkshake are perfect to carry and enjoy while admiring the beauty of Dollywood in the fall.

Several other guest favorites return to the Harvest Festival, including the colossal pumpkins—last year’s pumpkins ranged in weight from 800 to 1,500 lbs. each—which come from growers across the East Coast. Visiting artisans display their handmade wares at locations throughout Dollywood, with many demonstrating the skills and techniques they use as they create their one-of-a-kind treasures.

Harvest Festival Happenings at DreamMore Resort

The Harvest Festival fun is also celebrated at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa with themed activities and harvest décor planned throughout the resort’s property.

Guests can enjoy live entertainment by featured Harvest Festival performers in the resort’s atrium every Tuesday, including performances by The Young Fables, The Woods, Billy and Cruz Contreras, the High Beams and Kate and Corey. Daily roaming performers can also be found throughout the resort.

The resort’s culinary team is cooking up special dining experiences, including an unforgettable wine pairing event on Saturday, Oct. 23. In The Lounge, guests can feast upon delicious harvest-themed food and beverage options. At The Spa at DreamMore Resort, guests can relax with special treatments infused with fall scents and ingredients. For Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, guests can choose from treatments that are reminiscent of harvest in the Smoky Mountains such as the Honey Chai Massage or Luminous Pumpkin Facial.

Plan Your Visit

With so many opportunities for creating vibrant new family traditions, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is a must-see experience this season.

Dollywood is open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. each day of operation (Sept. 23 – Oct. 29) during the Harvest Festival. The park is closed on Tuesdays throughout the festival. For more information and a park operating calendar, visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood’s Harvest Festival Brings Fall Family Fun to America’s #1 Theme Park

Sail Into an Autumn Adventure at Pirates Voyage

Published September 20, 2022 / Last Updated September 21, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Celebrate Fall With Fun, Feast, and Adventure at Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show

Ahoy, matey! Are you ready to set sail into an unforgettable autumn adventure? Plan a visit to Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show! This incredible dinner attraction has two locations — one in Pigeon Forge, TN, and one in Myrtle Beach, SC. Find out why you’ll love celebrating the fall season with fun, feast, and adventure at Pirates Voyage:

Fall Fun

The one thing your fall vacation needs is fun. And, the best way to have fun is to visit Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show! Join the Crimson and Sapphire crews in an epic pirate adventure as they battle for the pirate treasure. You’ll be amazed by sword fighting, cannons blazing, acrobatics, and high-diving stunts in an epic battle on land, on deck, in water, and high above two full-sized pirate ships in an indoor hideaway lagoon. This thrilling show doesn’t just have pirates, though! You can expect to see mystical mermaids, tropical birds, salty sea lions, and diving dogs as well. Your whole crew will love cheering on the Crimson and Sapphire crews during their action-packed battle!

A Fall Feast

You better bring your appetite when you visit Pirates Voyage. This dinner attraction is serving up a four-course feast this fall that is enough to fill the hungriest of pirates. When we say big, we mean bigger than the autumn harvest! At the Myrtle Beach Location, the Me Hearties Feast includes Voyager Creamy Vegetable Soup, Buccaneer Bread, Half O’ Roasted Cackler (Chicken), Swashbucklin’ Sugar-Cured Ham, Cob O’ Buttery Corn, Pirate Herb-Basted Potato, and Apple O’ Me Eye Pie! You’ll also be able to wet your whistles with unlimited Coca-Cola, tea, or coffee.

If you visit the Pigeon Forge location, the four-course feast includes Voyager Creamy Vegetable Soup, a Buccaneer Biscuit, Cracklin’ Pan-Fried Chicken, Sugar-Cured Ham, Corn on the Cob, an Herb-basted Potato, a Walk the Plank Peach Turnover, and unlimited Coca Cola, tea, or coffee.

Pirates Voyage offers vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free meals upon request.

Plan Your Autumn Adventure

Your treasure awaits at Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show! If you’re ready for an autumn adventure unlike any other, start planning your visit to this popular dinner attraction. Visit the Pirates Voyage website to get your tickets.

Team DollySail Into an Autumn Adventure at Pirates Voyage

Fall for Fun at Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Published September 20, 2022 / Last Updated September 22, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Enjoy a High-Spirited Autumn Adventure at the World’s Most Visited Dinner Attraction®

Leaves are changing, temperatures are cooling, and unforgettable autumn adventures are waiting to be had! There’s no better way to celebrate the fall season than with a visit to Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN and Branson, MO. Here’s what you can expect when you visit Dolly Parton’s Stampede this fall.

A High-Spirited Autumn Adventure

Tighten your bootstraps for a thrilling performance that features 32 magnificent horses and a cast of top-notch trick riders! When you visit Dolly Parton’s Stampede this autumn, you’ll experience everything from horseback riding stunts to phenomenal musical productions. Watch in excitement as our talented cast members show off their skills and put on a performance of a lifetime. Friendly competition, impressive stunts, spectacular special effects, and more all combine to provide you with a high-spirited autumn adventure!

A Four-Course Fall Feast

At Dolly Parton’s Stampede, you can enjoy a four-course feast as big as the autumn harvest! Your dinner includes The Stampede’s Original Creamy Vegetable Soup, a Scrumptious Homemade Biscuit, a Mouth-Watering Tender Whole Rotisserie Chicken, Delicious Hickory Smoked Barbecued Pork Loin, Buttery Corn on the Cob, a Tasty Herb Basted Potato, and The Stampede’s Specialty Dessert while you watch the show. Dolly Parton’s Stampede also offers vegetarian and gluten-free meals available upon request!

Family Fun

Dolly Parton’s Stampede is the perfect attraction for family fun this fall. Everyone from kids to adults will love celebrating a family tradition at this world-class attraction. Begin your experience with the Horse Walk, which allows your family to meet the four-legged stars in their stalls before the show. Then, grab your seats and prepare for a delicious meal together while you watch the adventure unfold. After the performance, stop by the gift shop for the perfect souvenir! Your kids can get a plush horse like the ones they just saw perform, and you can purchase the family photo you took in The Stampede when you arrived! One thing is for sure — your family will have an unforgettable fall evening at Dolly Parton’s Stampede.

Are you ready to fall for fun at Dolly Parton’s Stampede? Visit the Dolly Parton’s Stampede website and start planning your visit to the show!

Team DollyFall for Fun at Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Dollywood Earns Three Golden Ticket Awards

Published September 14, 2022 / Last Updated September 14, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Most-honored park wins theme park industry’s top awards for guest experience, kids’ area and Christmas event

Following the recent news that Dollywood is Tripadvisor’s top American theme park, the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, landmark earned three of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards during a ceremony held September 9th at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. Dollywood earned finalist placement in seven total categories and won more Golden Ticket awards than any other park in the world.

“We don’t do what we do to win awards, but they sure are nice,” Dolly said jokingly. “Seriously though, we’re proud of the recognition we receive because it means we’re doing well at what we want to do—take care of the great folks who come to visit our park year after year. I’ve always known that the Smokies are a very special place, and for the park to be just one reason why so many people come visit this little part of Tennessee warms my heart. To hear that they think so highly of their time at Dollywood really does this Smoky Mountain girl a lot of good.”

Best Guest Experience

Dollywood continued its clean sweep of the Best Guest Experience category, which was first created in 2019. This marks the third-consecutive Best Guest Experience award for Dollywood. Golden Tickets were not awarded in 2020. The Best Guest Experience award combines several attributes—including friendliness, cleanliness and value—into the judging criteria for the award. Dollywood is the only park to ever win the award, a nod to its friendly and welcoming hosts, as well as its clean appearance and overall atmosphere.

Every day, Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company, places much emphasis on the guest experience and gives credit to Dollywood hosts and park guests for the park’s third win in that category.

“The Golden Tickets award ceremony is one of my favorite events of the year,” Naughton said. “I appreciate Amusement Today for hosting the awards because they serve as a good gauge to help us understand how our guests are feeling about their experience. We’ve really put a lot of focus the last few years into ensuring that when our guests are inside our park, they are having a great time and are busy creating those memories they’re going to cherish for years to come. Our third-consecutive Best Guest Experience award is a tangible representation that the hard work our hosts put into the park really does matter to our guests. We are proud of these awards and they only make us want to work harder to win them again next year.”

Best Kids’ Area

Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove also earned its third consecutive award for Best Kids’ Area. The park first won this award in 2019 after that season’s opening of the expansive new area. Dollywood guests should expect this great area to become even better next season, as the recently-announced Big Bear Mountain roller coaster opens in Spring 2023. The new ride, manufactured by Vekoma, is nearly 4,000 ft. long and becomes the longest roller coaster at Dollywood. With three launches, on-board audio, plenty of air time and a number of thrilling moments, a fourth Golden Ticket category win could be in the cards for 2023.

Best Christmas Event

One of the park’s stalwart events, Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, earned its 14th consecutive win for Best Christmas Event. Dollywood remains undefeated in the Christmas category due to the effort of the park’s hard-working hosts who plan for the iconic event year-round. Dollywood’s Christmas festival is so prevalent that it has been showcased in several movies, including Hallmark’s “Christmas at Dollywood” and the upcoming Dolly Parton’s “Mountain Magic Christmas” which premieres on NBC later this year.

Additional Recognition

Due in large part to its idyllic location in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood earned the runner-up position for Most Beautiful Park, while the park’s creative and talented culinary team took home a second-place finish for Best Food, thanks to their varied and extensive menus of high-quality items. The park also finished second in the Best Park category to Europa-Park in Rust, Germany, making Dollywood the top-placed American entry. Dollywood’s thrilling Thunderhead remained ranked in the Best Wooden Roller Coaster category, finishing as the number 10 wooden coaster in the world.

The Golden Ticket Awards

Tim Baldwin, Communications Coordinator for Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards, explained how Dollywood has transformed itself during the last two decades.

“When the Golden Ticket Awards were introduced in 1998, Dollywood didn’t even appear on the list,” Baldwin said. “Flash forward two decades later and the park’s decisions are clearly evident. Dollywood appears as a finalist on the charts more than any other park and took home the most wins. The Southern hospitality begins with [Dolly] herself and is carried throughout the many staff members at the property. With the addition of award-winning rides and special themed areas over the past 20 years, Dollywood has not only become a national destination, it has also become an exciting global destination.

“This is what happens when you pay attention to what makes the guests happy. Fantastic food, crowd-pleasing entertainment and a commitment to signature attractions that make a park one-of-a-kind. Dollywood is a treasure.”

Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the industry’s leading trade publication, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey sent to a database of hundreds of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans, industry journalists and ride manufacturers around the world in balanced geographical regions. Voters are asked to rate the “best” in a number of categories such as best parks, roller coasters, water rides, food and more.

The Golden Ticket Awards are the most sought-after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. The awards have become the subject of much discussion by park aficionados the world over and have garnered mentions in such notable media outlets as USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and by the late radio newsman Paul Harvey. The awards were also the topic of a one-hour Travel Channel documentary.

Plan Your Visit

With two great festivals ahead this year, there’s plenty of fun still to be had during Dollywood’s 2022 operating season. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana, featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health, takes place Sept. 23-Oct. 29, while Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana—now the 14-time winner of Best Christmas Event—is slated for Nov. 5-Jan. 1.

For more information, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood Earns Three Golden Ticket Awards

Vote for Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Published August 17, 2022 / Last Updated August 20, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Cast your vote for Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights, nominated for Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the USA Today 10Best Awards

Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health has become one of the park’s most popular events since its inception in 2017. Highlighting that popularity, Great Pumpkin LumiNights, part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana, once again has been nominated for the USA Today 10Best Award for Best Theme Park Halloween event.

The USA Today contest, which now is live, runs through Monday, September 12, 2022 at 11:59 a.m. Anyone is eligible to vote and may do so once per day, per device. Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts, which include a combination of editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, relevant expert contributors and more. To cast your vote, visit www.dollywood.com/vote.

Fabulous Fall Family Fun

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, happening September 23 – October 29, provides fabulous fall family fun, with Great Pumpkin LumiNights serving as a great glowing end to the evening. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. every night during the festival, allowing families more time to enjoy thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. New this season is Hoot Owl Hollow, providing even more fun for guests to enjoy “owl” night long!

Families will bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins as they wander through displays throughout Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create new memories together.

Artists from a number of genres provide hundreds of performances throughout the festival, while visiting craftspeople display their talents for guests to see. Special harvest-themed menu items from Dollywood’s award-winning culinary team also are a delight to enjoy. There is no doubt that each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest.

Plan Your Visit

For more information about Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights and the Harvest Festival, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyVote for Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards