Dollywood Theme Park

Smoky Mountain Christmas Celebrates 11 Years As Favorite Christmas Event with Glacier Ridge

Published November 10, 2018 / Last Updated November 10, 2018
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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

Dollywood’s new Glacier Ridge marks largest addition ever to Christmas festival

After earning its 11th consecutive Golden Ticket award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 10, 2018- Jan. 5, 2019) adds even more merry memory making moments with the addition of the impressive Glacier Ridge.

With the all-new Glacier Ridge, guests can experience the Smokies at Christmas in a way they never have before. The novel and immense experience of Glacier Ridge pushes the park’s total count to more than five million twinkling lights. Located in the areas of the park known as Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and the upper portion of Craftsman’s Valley, Glacier Ridge is a must-see during Smoky Mountain Christmas.

“Christmas is so important to me for so many reasons,” Dolly Parton said. “I’m so thankful that it’s a time when our family comes together to share stories, remember old times, and make new memories we’ll take with us through the next year and beyond. There’s a lot of laughin’ and a whole lot of love when we all get together. I want those folks who come to experience Christmas with us at Dollywood to feel like they’re part of the family, making those memories and sharing those special times. I know the fun they’ll find in Glacier Ridge will help them create brand new memories and traditions.”

Glacier Ridge

As guests near Glacier Ridge, they’ll feel as if the Smokies have frozen over, thanks to an arctic color palette and a mesmerizing atmosphere sure to wow guests. The Plaza at Wilderness Pass transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with a 50 ft. tall animated tree which anchors the area. Every 30 minutes the Plaza sparkles to life to present a fully-synchronized, dazzling light show complete with holiday hits that will have guests singing along.

For guests entering from Timber Canyon, the Arctic Passage, a 130-ft. long programmable light tunnel, transports them into Glacier Ridge in a stunning array of light and color. Once emerging from the tunnel, guests will be greeted by polar bears who have made a home at Drop Line Bay. Because the Smokies have frozen to create Glacier Ridge, these friends from the North are able to spend time with their Smoky Mountain cousins.

Those coming to Glacier Ridge through Craftsman’s Valley experience a one-of-a-kind new light installation that mimics the natural phenomenon known as the aurora borealis. Guests can walk through Dollywood’s version of the northern lights—which is brought to life with music as only Dolly can do— making it feel as if the aurora borealis has come south, even if for just a few weeks.

Since Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas helped kick off Sevier County’s Winterfest in 1990, the festival has been known globally as a must-see Christmas event. Amusement Today contributors and voters bestowed the Best Theme Park Christmas Event award on Dollywood in 2008 when the honor was first created. Dollywood is the 11-time—and only—winner of the award.

Parade of Many Colors

From the cheer and joy of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors, to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas fosters family memory making for guests. For those who wander through the spectacular scenery, it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. Guests can experience the fun enchantment of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends straight from the children’s holiday classic, or sit down together for a fabulous Christmas feast at many of Dollywood’s award-winning dining locations. Most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions also operate in this merry environment, with rides racing along just above the millions of twinkling lights.

A season pass purchased during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with unlimited admission for Dollywood’s entire 2019 season, including the introduction of Wildwood Grove. To ensure the lowest prices of the season, guests should purchase their 2019 season pass online now or upgrade their paid one-day admission ticket on the day of their visit. Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket toward the purchase of a 2019 season pass.

With five million lights, award-winning entertainment, the addition of Glacier Ridge and much more, one thing is for certain: Dollywood truly captures the essence of Christmas.

Visit Dollywood.com to plan a visit during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

Team DollySmoky Mountain Christmas Celebrates 11 Years As Favorite Christmas Event with Glacier Ridge

Happy Birthday To Two Of Dollywood’s Famous Leading Ladies

Published November 1, 2018 / Last Updated November 1, 2018
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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

Happy Birthday to Dollywood’s Klondike Katie and Cinderella!

Two of Dollywood’s most famous leading ladies celebrated milestone birthdays this year. Katie celebrates her 75th, while “Cindy” enjoys the big 8-0 this season. Both ladies have the opportunity to entertain thousands of Dollywood guests each season, and their performances turn heads and garner waves of admiration wherever the track takes them.

They both admirably served in the U.S. Army during World War II, but now enjoy their retirement years at the world’s friendliest theme park. Their “warm” demeanors certainly are welcomed here.

The two Baldwin coal-fired steam trains—Klondike Katie, No. 192, and Cinderella, No. 70—were built in 1943 and 1938 respectively by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia. Both trains served in Alaska during World War II, transporting troops and lumber on various missions across what would become the 49th U.S. state. Both engines were still in use when they were purchased from the Army. The two locomotives now work together to serve guests as The Dollywood Express, one of the park’s signature attractions.

Klondike Katie has worked most of the season while her co-worker Cinderella underwent a months-long refresh. She now looks much like she did back in 1938, with similar cosmetics and a font type close to what would have been on her originally. Just in time for Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (now- Nov. 3), both Cinderella and Klondike Katie are ready to charge full steam ahead into the park’s busy fall and Christmas seasons.

Maintaining The Dollywood Express

Dollywood Express Team Lead Tim Smith says maintaining the workhorses is a labor of love for his team. For many of them, their current jobs were dreams many years in the making. Smith has had an interest in steam trains his whole life, working at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, as well as Tweetsie Railroad (located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina). He moved west and worked at the Durango and Silverton Railroad in Durango, Colorado and the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in Virginia City, Nevada. He desired to move closer to home and in 2015 accepted his current position at Dollywood.

“We do most of the work ourselves,” the North Wilkesboro, North Carolina native said. “It gives our group a sense of pride in what we do to know we’re able to keep these trains running and give our guests memories they’re always going to hold on to. We can do most of the maintenance work here, but there are things we send out to others to help us with from time to time. We have an iron caster in LaFollette (Tennessee) that can do most of the ironwork we need. Klondike Katie’s sister (engine No. 190) is at Tweetsie Railroad; they have the equipment needed to work on our drive wheels.”

When Klondike Katie first arrived in Pigeon Forge in 1961, the area looked much different. She anchored a new attraction that had just been built that provided visitors with a five-mile journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. In the early years, there was not even a workshop to house Klondike Katie. After several changes of ownership, the small park was acquired in 1977 by Jack and Pete Herschend of the Branson, Missouri-based Herschend Enterprises. Owners of Silver Dollar City in Branson, the brothers renamed the park Silver Dollar City, Tennessee. The big steam engine was acquired as part of the sale.

That same year, the Herschends acquired engine 70 and shipped her to the park to work alongside No. 192. After Dolly Parton and the Herschends formed Dollywood in 1986, and the number of visitors continued to climb, the two locomotives continued faithfully serving. For thousands of guests, The Dollywood Express is their main reason for visiting. Smith and his hardworking team balance a tricky schedule to ensure the engines receive the maintenance they need, while also staying operational for park guests each day.

“Our hardest part is balancing the demand of the park schedule with the needed maintenance,” Smith explained. “We try to do our maintenance when the park is closed so we don’t inconvenience our guests. We try not to do major projects when the park is open, but there are times that we have to do it. It probably upsets us more than it does the guests because we love how it feels when you take them up the mountain and they come back with smiles on their faces. On those rare days when we do have to undertake major maintenance, I assure you our team is probably more unhappy about it than the guests. But we work hard to stay on our schedule and make sure as much as we can is taken care of when the park is closed.”

And while most folks may think maintenance stops with the locomotives, the crew in the train shop also has to maintain the tracks and the passenger cars. It adds up to a great deal of work each season.

“The train shop annually replaces around 200-300 crossties out of the nearly 6,000 ties in the track,” Smith continued. “We occasionally replace entire sections of the track during the winter months. The locomotives, cars and tracks are looked over constantly looking for anything unusual by the team. We generally try to do our most extensive maintenance during the winter. The cars are inspected top to bottom and repainted each winter. Each locomotive is checked over inside and out. Some winters we may be just replacing a few rod brasses and then some winters we may have the whole engine disassembled.”

For the untrained eye (and ear), it may be hard to tell the two apart, except for the numbers emblazoned on their sides. For the many locomotive enthusiasts who visit the park, as well as the Dollywood hosts who work alongside them every day, each has its own personality. Klondike Katie originally was built for speed, while Cinderella had more power and torque to pull heavier loads. In addition to the visual cues, the engines sound very different; especially as they begin their climb out of the Dollywood Express Train Depot for the 20-minute roundtrip experience. Even the folks who work on the pair have their favorite—they just don’t let the other engine know it. Even Smith does a great job of hiding which is his “true” favorite.

“I generally tell folks that ask me that my favorite is the one that is running,” he said with a laugh. “Klondike Katie is my sentimental favorite since it is the park’s original engine; I also spent 15 years operating her sister engine 190 at Tweetsie Railroad. But, I would have to say #70 is my favorite of the two to operate.”

No matter which locomotive is pulling the train, The Dollywood Express is a guest-favorite for many who visit the park. Happy Birthday, Klondike Katie and Cinderella!

Plan your next ride aboard The Dollywood Express at Dollywood.com

 

Team DollyHappy Birthday To Two Of Dollywood’s Famous Leading Ladies

Dollywood Hosts Light The Way 5k Walk/run Nov. 16

Published November 1, 2018 / Last Updated November 1, 2018
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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

Light The Way 5k proceeds benefit Keep Sevier Beautiful & Share It Forward, an assistance program for Dollywood employees.

Participants in the seventh annual Light the Way 5K Run/Walk get to see Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival in a different light – actually five million lights – as the theme park hosts this special event on Friday, Nov. 16 beginning at 11:18 p.m.

Light the Way 5K at DollywoodProceeds from the event benefit Keep Sevier Beautiful (KSB) and the Share It Forward (SIF) program at Dollywood. KSB, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is a volunteer-based organization which focuses on waste reduction/recycling, litter prevention and beautifying public spaces through education and community-based programs.

KSB’s goal is to protect the natural beauty of the area that millions of visitors come to see each year. SIF is a non-profit organization to serve The Dollywood Company employees and their families through a variety of quality programs. SIF programming is funded primarily through employee donations which are matched dollar for dollar by The Dollywood Company and, up to specified limits, by the shareholders of Herschend Family Entertainment, the park’s operating partner.

“The beauty of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival combined with the challenge of a course that only a theme park can provide makes Light the Way a one-of-a-kind event for runners and walkers,” said Aaron Newberry, Executive Director of Share It Forward. “But most importantly, this event helps provide our non-profit organizations with financial assistance just before the holidays,” added Lisa Bryant, Executive Director of Keep Sevier Beautiful.

Light the Way 5K Run/Walk participants are treated to a unique course decorated by the park’s five million Christmas lights, beginning their journey at Dollywood’s preferred parking entrance, traversing through the parking lot and then winding through the theme park.

The certified race will be chip timed and managed by Scenic City Multi-Sports. Awards will be presented to the top three overall for male and female participants.

Pre-registration is encouraged for the Light the Way 5K as the race is limited to 2,018 participants. Registration fee until race day is $45. Register online at www.lighttheway5k.net. Race day registration takes place from 11 a.m. -10 p.m. at the front gate area at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

For more information, email info@keepsevierbeautiful.org or visit Light The Way 5k.

Team DollyDollywood Hosts Light The Way 5k Walk/run Nov. 16

Christmas Arrives At Pirates Voyage In Myrtle Beach

Published November 1, 2018 / Last Updated November 1, 2018
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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

Pirates Voyage is Myrtle Beach’s #1 Choice for the Holidays!®

This holiday season, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show brings a perfect pirate Christmas to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Opening on Thurs., Nov. 1 and running through January 5, 2019, crews of all ages are invited to experience festive entertainment, swashbuckling fun and a four-course feast fit for celebrating the season.

The yuletide adventure begins in the Pirates Village, where an interactive experience awaits with a pirate holiday sing-a-long. Kids also can be “transformed” into pirates and mermaids at the Village’s “Join the Crew” area, while several crew members spread Christmas cheer. Then, guests are invited into the Buccaneer Bay arena for the main holiday show, a thrilling spin on “A Christmas Carol” with Captain Scrooge that requires all hands on deck.

“We invite adventurers of all ages to start a new Christmas tradition for the holidays like no one else can offer,” said Paul Brown, General Manager. “At Pirates Voyage, families can experience a treasure chest full of fun together creating memories that will last long after the holidays are gone. Guests will travel to Christmas past, present and future through a classic holiday story with its own special pirate twist, while camels and angels help tell about the true meaning of Christmas in our Nativity.”

Live Nativity

Captain Scrooge takes guests along as he travels through time with the Mystical Christmas Spirit to find the true meaning of Christmas, including a “dream” where giant toys come to life and perform amazing acrobatics high above in Buccaneer Bay. A comical Christmas castaway and her companion add to the jolly adventure; then, the pinnacle of the Pirates Voyage holiday experience is a live Nativity featuring the three wise men on live camels and an angel with a very special message.

Epic Battle For Christmas Treasure

At “Myrtle Beach’s #1 Choice for the Holidays”®, guests will continue to be thrilled with an epic battle between the crimson and emerald pirates. The competition between the two pirate crews unfolds on land, on deck, in the water and high above two full-sized pirate ships for the coveted Christmas treasure.

Four-Course Holiday Feast

During this swashbuckling Christmas spectacular, guests are served a fabulous four-course holiday feast straight from Captain Scrooge’s galley. The meal begins with voyager creamy vegetable soup and buccaneer bread. Next, guests receive “half o’ roasted cackler” (chicken), Captain’s barbeque pork, cob o’ buttery corn, and a pirate herb-basted potato. Apple o ’me eye pie and unlimited Coca-Cola® products, tea or coffee complete the meal. Vegetarian and gluten-free meals are available by request.

Call 1.800.433.4401 or visit Pirates Voyage to book.

Team DollyChristmas Arrives At Pirates Voyage In Myrtle Beach

Christmas Comes To Life At Dolly Parton’s Stampede This Holiday Season

Published October 31, 2018 / Last Updated October 31, 2018
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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

Tis the Season for Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Experience the spirit of Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction this holiday season. Now through January 5, 2019, families can create new traditions at America’s #1 Choice For The Holidays! With a full-scale living Nativity, four-course feast, and an arena full of the merriest sights and sounds, every guest will leave jollier than Old Saint Nick.

Live Nativity

To celebrate the reason for this holiday season, guests will watch a special re-enactment of Jesus’ birth with Mary, Joseph, three wise men, and a living Nativity with live camels, donkeys, and sheep. This touching scene reflects on the importance of Christmas.

Toys Come To Life

Taking a whimsical turn, The Sugar Plum Fairy brings a number of toys to life for a magical celebration in “Toys Come to Life.” Including stunning aerial displays set to the unforgettable music of The Nutcracker, families can watch in awe as their childhood fantasies come to life.

Stampede’s 32 magnificent horses, not to be confused as Santa’s reindeer, will race one another in exciting competitions as audience members cheer their respective sides of the North Pole and South Pole to victory. And after the arena is transformed into a winter wonderland of glistening snow, Old Saint Nick arrives by sleigh to complete the festivities.

The entire holiday experience is enhanced by the state-of-the-art, LED wall in the show’s 35,000-square-foot arena, which seamlessly complements the exciting action with stunning holiday scenery. Guests will feel as if they have been instantly transported to the clear skies above Bethlehem on the night of Jesus’ birth.

Four-Course Holiday Feast

Adding to the lineup, Christmas dinner includes Stampede’s signature four-course feast consisting of Stampede’s original creamy vegetable soup, homemade buttery biscuit, a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory-smoked barbequed pork loin, buttery corn on the cob, herb-basted potato, Stampede’s own specialty dessert and unlimited tea, coffee or Coca-Cola® products. Vegetarian and gluten-free meals are available upon request.

Exciting Pre-Show & Holiday Entertainment

Guests are invited to start their fun-filled evening when they arrive early for side-splitting holiday comedy and Christmas classics during the exciting pre-show entertainment included with every Stampede ticket.

Visit Christmas At Dolly Parton’s Stampede For Show Dates And Times

Branson, MO

Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Branson, MO, runs through January 5, 2019. World-renowned ice skaters Anasztazia Kenyeres and Matthew Scoralle bring a touch of grace to our holiday show with their special presentation,“Adagio On Ice!

Pigeon Forge, TN

Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN, runs through January 5, 2019. Guests can also take advantage of a special Christmas Combo and enjoy Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Christmas Celebration! Dinner Show!

*”Coca-Cola” is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company.

Team DollyChristmas Comes To Life At Dolly Parton’s Stampede This Holiday Season