Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood Is Open For 2021 Season

Published March 15, 2021 / Last Updated March 16, 2021
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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Team Dolly

Dollywood is open for the 2021 season with a myriad of festivals, new shows, entertainment and food planned throughout the year.

Dollywood is open for 2021, welcoming guests throughout the weekend. After receiving stellar guest reviews throughout 2020 about the overall park experience, the Pigeon Forge family destination has a bright outlook for 2021, its 36th season. The award-winning park is ready to welcome guests of all ages to an exciting year filled with festivals, entertainment and delicious cuisine.

Dollywood Company Awards

After receiving stellar guest reviews throughout 2020 about the overall park experience, Dollywood has a bright outlook for 2021. The Dollywood Company earned several impressive awards and designations last year, including Dollywood theme park being recognized by Tripadvisor as the #8 best park in the world. In addition, Dollywood’s Splash Country was named a top-five water park by USA Today readers, while Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa was named a “Top 15 Best Resort Hotel in the South,” as well as one of the “Top 25 Resorts in the US that are Perfect for Families” by Travel + Leisure.

“Our people are doing a great job to care for our guests, and I’m just glad that everyone is seeing what the good folks at Dollywood have been doing to make it one of the best family destinations in the entire country,” said Dolly. “What we have is special. It’s a place where folks can come to enjoy those precious moments they will cherish forever. This season looks bright, and I just know families are going to love making a lot of great memories this year.”

Dolly continued, “I wish I could be there for the opening, but the doctors said I need to wait until after I’ve had the second dose of the vaccine. Let’s all be patient. All of this stuff is going to be over soon, and I know it won’t be long until we can be together.”

Off-Season Prep

A number of projects, including park infrastructure enhancements and ride retracking efforts, took place during the off-season, and all are designed to add to the guest experience. New restaurant seating areas have been added to the park, while projects at roller coasters Lightning Rod, Blazing Fury, Thunderhead and Mystery Mine took place with guest satisfaction in mind. It all adds up to a season Dollywood guests won’t want to miss.

“There is no doubt; this is the year to have a season pass,” explained Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company. “We have so many exciting things planned for our festivals this year—like concerts, new shows and entertainment, a number of new culinary items and more—that our guests are going to want to come back time and time again to experience the fun of Dollywood and the beauty of the always-changing Smoky Mountains.

“Our goal every single day is to provide the best possible experience for our guests. It is a lot of hard work, but the reward for all of us is to see the smiles, hear the laughter and read the great notes and emails about how they love the moments they have here at Dollywood. They tell us it is that time that helps them come closer together as a family and that those are the memories they will keep forever. That is the reason we all do what we do.”

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival

As always, Dollywood’s teams work hard to incorporate the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains into the park atmosphere, especially during the multiple festivals that take place each year. A different festival accentuates the outdoors each season of 2021, bringing the Smokies into the park for a truly unparalleled experience.

A fresh festival highlights the spectacle of spring with Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 23-June 7). Guests will be delighted by more than half-a-million brightly blooming flowers that make up numerous displays and lavish landscaping throughout Dollywood. Fun and discovery are around every corner, thanks to larger-than-life sculptures including a butterfly umbrella, various animal scenes and even a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. Returning in 2021, the dazzling Umbrella Sky greets guests with a stunning visual upon arrival as hundreds of colorful umbrellas are suspended above Showstreet.

Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass

In addition to the beautiful flowers, a wide selection of culinary creations abounds to delight guests’ taste buds with a menu full of items inspired by spring in the Smokies. Among the new offerings in Dollywood’s 2021 season is the Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple entrees at a number of culinary locations during the springtime event.

Melodies of Spring Concert Series

Entertainment—a vital component of the Dollywood experience—plays a lead role this season thanks to a number of new shows, as well as a concert series which debuts during the Flower & Food Festival. The Melodies of Spring concert series features contemporary Christian artists, Southern gospel groups and other fresh and inspiring acts all appearing inside DP’s Celebrity Theater. Among the artists currently scheduled are Matthew West, Big Daddy Weave, I AM THEY, Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, the Rhett Walker Band, Triumphant Quartet and many more.

Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season - Flower and Food Festival
Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season - Flower and Food Festival

Dollywood’s Upcoming Festivals & Entertainment

Several shows featuring Dollywood’s own performers debuted during today’s park opening, including Harmonies of the Heart—featuring Dolly’s family—and A Brighter Day, an inspiring show that delights guests with uplifting favorites at the Back Porch Theater. In The Village, Dollywood’s talented The Tones offer a fresh acapella take on today’s current hits. Performances of all three will continue until the fall.

Summer Celebration

Guests visiting during the park’s warmer months can enjoy Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which is—just as the name implies—a celebration of family fun and laughter at a place everyone loves. With later nighttime hours, families can ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters all day and well into the night. New during Summer Celebration is a groundbreaking, multi-sensory experience that paints the night sky above Dollywood with stunning animations and superior storytelling to create a symphony of light that represents a true evolution in traditional theme park entertainment.

Taking place every night during Summer Celebration, this sensational show features hundreds of drones flying high above the Smoky Mountain destination to create stunning 3D animations that tell a dynamic, Dollywood-exclusive story. As seen at some of the biggest events around the world, the drones—which are accented by a musically-choreographed fireworks show—create a visual and audial event of epic proportions.

As part of the half-a-million-dollar production, a hyped DJ and energetic dancers bring the fun to the streets in Wildwood Grove and make guests part of the action during a 30-minute party that ensures every member in the family is on their feet. As the dancing nears its finale, the party takes to the sky when the drones launch into the air for an unforgettable end to the evening.

Harvest Festival

Later in the season, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24-Oct. 30)—named by readers of USA Today as the best theme park harvest event in the world—provides bushels of fun thanks to everyone’s favorite Smoky Mountain tradition, Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. Dollywood stays open late each evening, giving families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. During the day, guests can expect a packed concert schedule, with hundreds of performances across several genres occurring during the festival.

Smoky Mountain Christmas

The season ends with the event that has set the standard for theme park holiday events, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022). It’s the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit with more than five million holiday lights, festive and warm holiday performances, a traditional Christmas atmosphere, and the comforting tastes of classic holiday-themed food. It is easy to see why it has become a family favorite for so many.

Plan Your Trip

With so much excitement planned for 2021, Dollywood season passes are must-haves to enjoy a year of fun and festivities the whole family can enjoy. Pair it with a trip to Dollywood’s Splash Country and stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort for your family’s most memorable 2021 vacation.

For more information about Dollywood’s 2021 season, operating calendars and more, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood Is Open For 2021 Season

Dollywood Prepares For 2021 Season Opening

Published March 11, 2021 / Last Updated March 11, 2021
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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Team Dolly

The Dollywood Maintenance Team is working to ensure all rides are ready for opening day. 

Dollywood opens Saturday, March 13, (Friday, March 12, for season passholders). With only a few days until the 2021 season opening, the maintenance team is busy wrapping up their usual off-season ride maintenance. Dollywood’s Rides Maintenance Director, Barry Stiltner said,

“What I love about Dollywood maintenance is just that they are so genuine about their job. They love making sure that the rides are operating as high of percentage time as they can.”

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the maintenance shop with Barry as he shows the team’s hard work and dedication.

Plan A Visit

With thrills for all ages, it is a place the whole family can enjoy. Plan your trip to Dollywood and be sure to check out a season pass for an entire year of laughter, entertainment, thrill rides and memories. 

For more information about the upcoming season and a park opening calendar, visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood Prepares For 2021 Season Opening

Culinary Creations Abound At Dollywood

Published December 18, 2020 / Last Updated December 18, 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

Guests can enjoy sweet treats including potato candy and beautifully decorated cookies at Dollywood during Smoky Mountain Christmas.

This year’s event features more than five million lights and the return of indoor entertainment. Also, beginning Friday, December 18, guests can enjoy nightly fireworks as Dollywood ends 2020 with a bang!

During Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood guests love the special culinary items available throughout the park. With many families creating their own holiday meals this season, culinary hosts are providing a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most popular items.

Potato Candy

In this video, Verlee Curtis tells the story behind a regional (and Dollywood) favorite, potato candy. Look for this Appalachian favorite in Dollywood’s Sweet Shoppe.

Decorating Tips From The Pros

Dollywood’s Head Pastry Chef, Giget Davis provides tips to help your family decorate homemade cookies this holiday season.

For more information about this year’s festival and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyCulinary Creations Abound At Dollywood

Behind-The-Scenes Look At Dollywood’s 2020 Santa Visits

Published December 3, 2020 / Last Updated December 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 shares a special look at their 2020 take on the traditional Santa visit.

Many families make a visit with Santa at Dollywood a part of their special holiday tradition. Dollywood’s hard-working team created the perfect solution for that all-important chat. Santa’s List…Naughty or Nice is the best way to see Santa this year and we know families are going to embrace this new take on a cherished classic. Bernard, one of the elves who traveled with Santa to Dollywood—shares what guests will experience this year.

For the kids—and kids at heart—wondering what the Jolly Old Elf is up to this year, Dollywood shines 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 this 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.

This season’s Christmas event at Dollywood features more than five million lights, the return of indoor entertainment including the guest-favorite Christmas in the Smokies, and seasonal culinary offerings like the new Blue Ribbon Buffet. For more information about this year’s festival and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyBehind-The-Scenes Look At Dollywood’s 2020 Santa Visits

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