Dollywood Theme Park

Here’s Why Christmas At Dollywood Is So Special To Dolly

Published November 24, 2020 / Last Updated November 24, 2020
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

Dolly shares her special Christmas memories and talks about celebrating the season at her Smoky Mountain theme park.

She has a new holiday album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, she is starring in a new Netflix musical, Christmas on the Square and she just announced the premiere of a new documentary about her global book gifting organization called, The Library That Dolly Built. We know she is always working but even while managing all these facets of her life, Dolly took time to sit down and talk about a few of the things that matter most to her. Here Dolly shares a few of her most treasured Christmas memories from her childhood. She also explains why Christmas at Dollywood is so important to her and how she loves seeing families enjoying themselves at the park and making great memories.

Christmas Memories

Dolly recalls two of her most precious Christmas memories from her childhood in East Tennessee. In one, she talks about her brother Randy and why they consider him their “Christmas Baby.” Dolly explains how Randy is the inspiration behind, “You Are My Christmas,” a new song from her holiday album, A Holly Dolly Christmas. Dolly also retells the story about the family’s plan to buy her mother her first wedding band one year. Her father had devised a scheme to award a prize to the child who found the ring which he had hidden on Christmas Eve. One might imagine the chaos caused by the kids as they frantically search for the special gift for their mother. Dolly said,

“I swear that I found it. My brother Denver swears he found it. So we ’bout tore the house down, fighting, trying to get the ring.”

Dolly goes on and said,

“Truth be told, Daddy had got a big box of candy for the one that found the ring. But it was so big that we had to share it with everybody else so it really was a gift for all of us.”

True Meaning Of Christmas

In reflecting on the true meaning of the holiday season, Dolly says,

“Well Christmas, personally to me, means the birth of Jesus Christ. Who I’m so happy every year to say ‘Happy Birthday dear Jesus.'”

She also finds joy in celebrating Christmas with the same traditions that many of us hold dear.

Dollywood’s Award-Winning Christmas Season

Over the years, Dollywood has garnered a grand reputation as offering one of the biggest and brightest Christmas celebrations in the country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas boasts over 5 million glistening lights, award-winning shows, culinary delights and, for the first time ever this year, nightly fireworks. The park brings families together for a magical holiday celebration, year after year all to Dolly’s delight. She said,

“I love the fact that Dollywood is now known for a tradition…It’s just like a wonderland.”

Finally, Dolly shares her favorite thing about Dollywood’s Christmas season. You might be surprised by her answer. Watch the video clip below to learn what Dolly looks forward to every year.

Visit Dollywood this holiday season and celebrate with your family. Smoky Mountain Christmas runs through January 3, 2021.

Dolly’s Music & Movies This Christmas Season

A Holly Dolly Christmas
Christmas on the Square
The Library That Dolly Built

Team DollyHere’s Why Christmas At Dollywood Is So Special To Dolly

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Begins November7

Published November 6, 2020 / Last Updated November 6, 2020

Dollywood’s annual Smoky Mountain Christmas brightens up the holidays starting November 7, 2020

With Christmas approaching and the calendar set to turn from 2020, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 7 – Jan. 3, 2021) is poised to wrap guests in the warm light of timeless family traditions, new memories, and joyous time spent together. Thanks in part to the glow of more than 5 million gleaming Christmas lights and a dazzling new holiday fireworks show, guests can bask in the memories of yesterday while embracing the hope of tomorrow.

Dollywood guests are immediately enveloped in the illumination of millions of holiday lights, which create a festive Christmas atmosphere that has become a cherished family tradition for generations. While the lighting itself remains familiar to guests, brand new area-based themes and lighting designs throughout the park provide a sense of wonder and discovery around each turn. Guests will find themselves strolling through a literal winter wonderland, as more live lighted Christmas trees will adorn the park than during any Christmas festival before.

“Christmas is so precious because of the time we take to gather with friends and family to share the light of love and hope with each other. It’s so good to be able to laugh about old memories and traditions, and even start a few new ones,” said Dolly Parton.

“Some Christmases are more memorable than others, and I think this year is certainly one we won’t forget. I want families to feel the warmth and comfort of all the great things they remember about Dollywood at Christmas, with a few new experiences that will become the memories they share years from now. In twenty years, when someone says, ‘Do you remember 2020?,’ of course they’ll think about how strange this year has been, but I also hope they’ll stop and say, ‘Yes, but remember that special time we had at Dollywood during Christmas that year.’”

Just one of the new experiences guests can enjoy this season is an end-of-the-evening event that will add a little sparkle to the “Dolly-days” this year. A Christmas fireworks display called Merry & Bright! celebrates the season with a colorful and energetic show featuring a number of contemporary holiday songs that will add a little cheer for guests. Performance dates will be available on Dollywood.com and the Dollywood app.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
 
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
 
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
 
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
 
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
 

Award-Winning Entertainment

The spotlight also shines brightly on the park’s award-winning entertainment this season. Christmas in the Smokies—a heartwarming tradition that families have enjoyed for 30 years—returns indoors to center stage at DP’s Celebrity Theater. Guests also can enjoy a new show, called Heart of the Holidays, which features several members of Dolly’s family and includes a mix of some of her holiday favorites alongside songs from her new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas. Heart of the Holidays takes place in the DreamSong Theater. Another returning guest favorite, Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs, can be found at the Pines Theater.

Heartfelt entertainment abounds during the festival, including O’ Holy Night, Appalachian Christmas with the Smoky Mountain String Band, Holiday Wild Roots, The Mistletones and the Candlelight Carolers, a new choral group who can be found performing on the steps of the Robert F. Thomas Chapel. More than 40 holiday performances currently are scheduled to take place each operating day during Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Glacier Ridge

Glacier Ridge presented by Goo Goo Cluster fills Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wildwood Grove, Wilderness Pass and Upper Craftsman’s Valley with an expansive arctic experience sure to inspire and delight guests. Wilderness Pass Plaza serves as one of the highlights of Glacier Ridge thanks to the Wonderful Christmas! tree show, which features a 50-ft. tall animated tree that sparkles to life to present a fully-synchronized, dazzling light show throughout the evening. Inside Wildwood Grove, the Wildwood Tree tells inspirational Christmas stories each evening as guests explore this captivating area.

For the kids—and kids at heart—wondering what Santa is up to this year, Dollywood will shine a little light on Old Saint Nick’s home away from home. When he isn’t hard at work at the North Pole, Santa likes to visit East Tennessee and his favorite Smoky Mountain songstress, Dolly! Thanks to a brand-new experience, guests literally can see inside Santa’s cabin in the Smokies as he reviews…the list! Kids discover whether their name is on the naughty or nice list, and they even have their photo made as they peer through the window during this once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch Santa at work.

Holiday Treats

And for those looking to celebrate the holidays with the perfect family meal, Dollywood’s team of chefs have a menu full of culinary surprises sure to delight. At Front Porch Café, diners can enjoy beef tenderloin medallions with a cabernet demi reduction, seared trout with sweet Cajun glaze, or a glazed ham steak with pineapple chutney. New this year, the Blue Ribbon Buffet is an unparalleled all-you-can-eat menu with buffet service, featuring roasted pork loin, herb garlic roasted chicken, carved prime rib and spiral ham, served alongside roasted sweet potato wedges, herb potato puree, baked macaroni and cheese, and more.

For those with an appetite on the go, Market Square offers a variety of options to tempt the taste buds thanks to a number of hearty sandwiches and soups. Guests can choose from a three-cheese panini, a shaved ribeye panini, or a panini with heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella, which can be paired with tomato bisque, beef barley soup or the soup of the day. Specialty treats include s’mores bread pudding and hot chocolate.

Spotlight Bakery feels like Christmas at grandma’s with so many rich, sweet baked goods. Guests can choose their favorites from a variety of beautifully-decorated holiday cookies, gingerbreads and cupcakes or warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. Families also can take some of the holiday fun home with a gingerbread house or family-size cookie kit, both complete with icing and decorations!

As always, guests can experience Dollywood’s world-class rides amidst the hustle and bustle of the park during the holidays, as most rides are operational during the Christmas season. Nothing compares to racing quickly through the night sky with millions of lights twinkling below.

No matter what activities are on the Christmas list this year, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is sure to shine a familiar light on holiday traditions that families will share and cherish for years to come.

For anyone searching for the perfect gift of unlimited family fun and memories, a Dollywood season pass is the solution! 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 2021 season. Guests should purchase their 2021 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 2021 season pass.

For more information and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Begins November7

Over 800 Concerts At Dollywood’s Annual Harvest Festival

Published September 28, 2020 / Last Updated September 28, 2020
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

A diverse range of local and regional talent create Dollywood’s largest music event ever with over 800 concerts at this year’s Harvest Festival.

Anyone missing live concerts the last few months should plan a trip to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct.31) as more than 800 live concerts will take place during the run of the festival! In fact, it is the most live music during any event in the park’s history.

During the festival, guests can enjoy music from multiple genres with heavy influence from both Southern gospel and bluegrass artists. Guests also will find a diverse range of local and regional talent performing Americana and folk music.

With so much music on display, Dollywood’s entertainment team had to get creative with scheduling and locations for the large number of concerts. The spotlight will shine on eight open-air stages in the park, immersing the entire park in the sounds of great live music. In addition to the park’s traditional outdoor stages, temporary stages can be found in Market Square, Adventures in Imagination, and even on the steps of the Robert F. Thomas Chapel.

“People everywhere are really missing the concert and live entertainment experience,” said Paige Bales, Dollywood Entertainment Director. “We’ve been able to host amazing entertainment since we reopened in June, but the Harvest Festival gives us a great opportunity to offer our guests something they’ve been wanting for months. With more than 800 performances from different genres, there is no doubt our guests will be able to find the music they want. We’re also happy to be able to put a lot of local artists on center stage to share their talents.”

Gospel Music

Southern gospel fans can find great performances throughout the event, highlighted by the artists appearing at the Praise 96.3 FM Stage at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel and the Singing News Stage at The Village Depot. Groups at the Praise 96.3 FM Stage include The Griffins, The Isbell Family, Messiah’s Call, Eternal Vision and The Wisecarvers. The Singing News Stage features Westward Road, GloryWay Quartet, 3 Heath Brothers, The Hyssongs, The Millers, and Answered Prayer.

The Back Porch Theater is home to various genres, including Knoxville Americana performer Cruz Contreras, Nashville-based gospel singer Angela Primm, and Robinella and the Down South Boys. The Carolina Boys Quartet, Lauren Talley, The Erwins, The Willis Family, Backline and Three Bridges also call the Back Porch Theater home during the festival.

Bluegrass Music

WDVX hosts great local bluegrass at their stage located in Adventures in Imagination. The Tenos, Joshua Gooding & The Tennessee Ramblers, 7 Mile Junction, Jonah Riddle & Carolina Express, 700 South, and Crossroads are among the groups performing the toe-tapping sounds of bluegrass for visiting guests.

Streetmosphere

The best talent isn’t reserved just for the main stages, however. Additional artists will be found providing “streetmosphere” in all areas of the park. Popular Knoxville performer Kelle Jolly, a blues and jazz artist also known as “The Tennessee Ukulele Lady,” will be playing in the park’s Timber Canyon area. Nashville’s championship-winning, fiddle-playing street busker Hillary Klug is found in Wildwood Grove, while Evie Andrus, a fiddler and vocalist from Knoxville, will be at Lumber Jack’s Pizza.

The Johnson City-based Roper Sisters perform bluegrass and Americana in the Rivertown area of the park, while Addie and Jeff Levy, a father/daughter bluegrass duo from Radford, Virginia, provide entertainment in Market Square.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

With so much award-winning entertainment during the Harvest Festival, it is the perfect time to take advantage of a season pass to visit again and again. With great music by day, and Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health each evening, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is the perfect place to make fun fall family memories in the Smokies.

Dollywood is open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. during each day of operation for the Harvest Festival (Sept 25- Oct. 31), which was named 2019’s Best Theme Park Harvesttime event by USA Today 10Best. Dollywood is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the festival. For a complete entertainment schedule and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyOver 800 Concerts At Dollywood’s Annual Harvest Festival

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival Feels Fresh, Yet Familiar

Published September 22, 2020 / Last Updated September 22, 2020
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

The annual Harvest Festival features fall fun, immersive music and thousands of pumpkins.

After being named by USA Today as the country’s best fall theme park event last year, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct. 31) is back this season with several fresh changes that echo many of the same warm traditions that make this nationally-known event a favorite for so many.

A colorful, lively atmosphere greets guests each day as the warm autumn sun casts the surrounding Smoky Mountains in bright daylight, displaying the rich, bold hues which blanket the hillsides surrounding Dollywood. The splendor of the mountains highlights the experience for guests with many vibrant new features providing surprises for them throughout the day.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

By night, Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health continues its expansion into Wildwood Grove, providing more pumpkin perfection to enjoy. In only its fourth year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights has given families a multitude of memories to glow about. New this season, guests can purchase a reduced-price ticket which provides entry after 5 p.m. for those who want to make a quick trip to the park to experience the pumpkins as they glow to life. The limited-time offer, which is just $35 plus tax, is available online only; blackout dates apply.

“We know folks are ready to get out and enjoy the colors of fall and the fresh, crisp Smoky Mountain air,” Dolly Parton said. “This year has been challenging for everyone, but we hope the comfort they feel from coming and visiting us gives them that warm, familiar feeling they’ve shared with their friends and loved ones for so many years here at Dollywood. We have a few surprises planned this year, and I think everyone will agree this is that special escape ‘back home’ we all need right now.”

It is within this backdrop that captivating new experiences will enliven the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste. Throughout the park, reinvigorated decorations and visually-impactful landscaping techniques immerse visitors in a fresh, new look. It will be hard to overlook one of the festival’s newest additions, as guests can peruse more than a dozen colossal pumpkins, ranging from 800 to more than 1500 lbs. each. The massive displays come from growers across the East Coast who look forward to sharing their prize pumpkins with Dollywood park patrons.

Over 800 Concerts

Music plays an integral part of this festival, with the largest number of performances during any event ever at Dollywood! Guests can enjoy more than 800 concerts during the run of the festival from Southern gospel and bluegrass artists appearing on eight different outdoor stages. The sounds echo through the park, creating a highly-engaging entertainment offering. Additional artists can be found roaming the park, literally taking the music to the streets!

Fall Flavors

Culinary creations abound, thanks to the bountiful supply of crops from a Smoky Mountain harvest. The smells of smoked beef brisket, turkey legs and sausage pair nicely with the fresh tastes of fried green tomatoes, fire-roasted corn and sweet potato casserole. For sweet treats, the ever-popular pumpkin spice is in full supply with items ranging from pumpkin spice milkshakes and cinnamon rolls to a twist on the park’s beloved cinnamon bread. Pumpkin praline funnel cake, hot wassail and harvest kettle corn are perfect to carry and enjoy while admiring the beauty of Dollywood in the fall.

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. 25- Oct. 31) during the Harvest Festival. The park is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the festival. For more information and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDollywood’s Harvest Festival Feels Fresh, Yet Familiar

Dollywood Prepares New Display For Harvest Festival

Published September 3, 2020 / Last Updated September 3, 2020
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 teams prepare a new display for this season’s Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights.

Dollywood’s hard-working Special Events team is gearing up for this year’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct. 31). Last season, the event won USA Today’s 10Best Award as the best fall theme park event in the country, due in large part to the new family-favorite, Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights is a fascinating experience for all ages, as visitors are able to stroll through thousands of pumpkins, including immersive and larger-than-life specialty displays. The event continues its expansion into the park’s newest section, Wildwood Grove, with additional theming elements and displays added this year. Among the new displays is a “sunflower field” with dozens of stacked pumpkins cut sequentially to feature sunflowers. The stacked pumpkin “sunflowers” range in size from 6 ft. to 9 1/2 ft. tall. Carving each stalk takes up to two hours, with additional build time needed to stack the pumpkins and lights to complete the “flower.”

Dollywood guests can experience several new surprises during the Harvest Festival this season, with reinvigorated decorations throughout the park and visually-impactful landscaping techniques which give the event a fresh new look. Dollywood currently is open Friday-Monday. Once the Harvest Festival begins on Sept. 25, the park will be open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. each day of operation (closed Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Harvest Festival). For more information and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Team DollyDollywood Prepares New Display For Harvest Festival