Guests can experience more than 6 million lights during Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas

Santa won’t be the only thing flying high above Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana this season. Smoky Mountain Christmas, which undoubtedly can be described as one of America’s most cherished Christmas traditions, captivates visitors with the rich essence of the holiday season thanks to its gleaming holiday lights, award-winning stage productions, Christmas culinary masterpieces and warm family customs that have enriched the festival for more than three decades.

“Christmas is the time when the love of family, the joy of togetherness and the hope of a brighter tomorrow all seem to shine the brightest,” Dolly explained. “It’s also the time of year when those special family memories and traditions just seem to mean the most to us all.”

“I want our guests this Christmas season to celebrate that special light while they are here with us. I hope they’ll stop and enjoy the moments spent together in the beauty of this special place. Those are the moments that everyone will remember many years from now—when the kids are grown up with kids of their own, and the whole family is reminiscing about special times during Christmases past.”

Not only did Smoky Mountain Christmas earn this year’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas event, it also is nominated for USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Theme Park Holiday event. Voting is now underway and ends on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 11:59 a.m. A voting link can be found at Dollywood.com/vote. Dollywood fans can vote once per day, per device. 

Joyful Drone Show – New for 2023

The 15-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event boasts more than 6 million shining, shimmering lights throughout the park, but the newest ones will fly above the park each evening as part of a stunning holiday drone show.

The spirit of Christmas shines merry and bright during Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 4- Jan. 6, 2024), but the new Joyful drone show adds even more holiday fun for guests to enjoy. This larger-than-life display embraces the season with hundreds of drones soaring in the air and displaying festive reds, greens and whites in a captivating show sure to delight every guest. Park officials added the merry-making show following the success of the park’s summer drone show the past few seasons.

Captivating Experiences and Dazzling Entertainment

Holiday splendor is abundant this Christmas with captivating elements throughout the park providing unexpected delight for guests at every twist and turn.  In one of the most unique experiences during the Christmas season at Dollywood, Santa has granted exclusive access for visitors to glimpse into his enchanting Smoky Mountain cabin. Guests will be guided to take a look into Santa’s cozy hideaway, where he can be found hard at work on the all-important naughty and nice list. Children and families will be able to peek into Santa’s cabin and seek to find their names on the coveted list. Santa goes on a well-deserved vacation after Christmas Day, so families wanting to see him in action shouldn’t wait!

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 delight guests. The Plaza at Wilderness Pass undergoes an extraordinary transformation that immerses guests in a wintry paradise and serves as one of the highlights of the area thanks, to the Wonderful Christmas! Plaza Tree Show. Featuring a 50 ft. tall animated tree, the area comes to life in a fully-synchronized, dazzling light show that concludes with an immersive snow finale.

Dollywood’s family-favorite shows light up both indoor and outdoor stages. The festival’s headline show, “Christmas in the Smokies,” has been a guest-favorite production and a must-see for families every Christmas season since it began in 1990. Many other Dollywood Christmas classics return including “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “O’ Holy Night,” “Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs,” “Heart of the Holidays,” “Candlelight Carolers,” “The Mistletones,” “Appalachian Christmas with the Smoky Mountain String Band,” “Holiday Wild Roots” and more.

As always, guests can experience the thrill of 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 soaring through the night sky with millions of lights twinkling below.

Festive Food Offerings

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. From oven-roasted turkey breast and chipotle turkey nachos to pork belly skillet and pot roast mac & cheese, there are a number of savory items to satisfy every appetite. Sweet treats abound including red velvet whoopie pie, eggnog cupcakes, toffee hot chocolate, festive Christmas cookies and more!

Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa

The Christmas fun makes its way to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, providing guests with even more ways for families to make lasting memories this holiday season. To create a truly immersive Smoky Mountain Christmas experience, the resort is offering a plethora of holiday-inspired activities, crafts, entertainment, breathtaking décor and culinary options.

The resort’s halls are decked in beautiful Christmas décor inspired by warm, rich traditions of Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. The centerpiece is a jaw-dropping two-story Christmas tree that graces both levels of the lobby. DreamMore Resort’s culinary team prepares delicious holiday meals in Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery. Guests can gather together to give thanks and enjoy a flavorful meal throughout the season or experience one of four special holiday dining experiences—Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day brunch or New Year’s Eve dinner.

Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort

Dollywood’s newly-opened HeartSong Lodge & Resort is decking the halls for the first time with Christmas décor and festivities, providing even more ways to make guests’ days merry and bright. This highly-anticipated lodging experience provides guests with a variety of unique experiences, dining options and activities, making it the ideal Smoky Mountain getaway for the holiday season.

In line with HeartSong Lodge’s essence of seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces, its halls are decorated in the rich yet muted hues found in the Smokies. Through the extravagant four-story lantern-inspired windows, guests will be able to take in a 22-ft. natural cut Fraser fir located between the Lodge’s fire feature and outdoor pool, which will serve as the focal point both inside and outside. Families will be welcomed to the holiday table at HeartSong Lodge’s restaurant Ember & Elm: Tastes Rooted in the Smokies, a unique dining destination where guests will find an unforgettable feast crafted by the culinary team for both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

2024 Season Passes Now Available

For anyone searching for the perfect Christmas gift of family fun and memories, a Dollywood season pass is the solution! Diamond or gold season passes purchased during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas provide admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with admission for Dollywood’s entire 2024 operating season. Guests can purchase their 2024 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 2024 season pass. The 2024 season features the highly-anticipated opening of the Dolly Parton Experience, which will include multiple experiences in a newly-designed area of the park. Opening in the area surrounding and including the former Chasing Rainbows museum, The Dolly Parton Experience will allow guests a behind-the-scenes look at Dolly’s iconic status and immerse themselves in her incredible story.

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

Vote for Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa in USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

After being named runner-up in 2021 by USA Today readers in the publication’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Family Resort, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa has another opportunity to be named number one in the category.

DreamMore Resort, which celebrates its seventh anniversary this month, has quickly become a sought-after resort. With the upcoming addition of HeartSong Lodge & Resort, which is set to open in fall 2023, Dollywood Parks & Resorts has become well-known as a family vacation destination. In June, DreamMore Resort opened Suite 1986. This new experience invites guests to stay inside Dolly Parton’s former tour bus, which has been turned into the ultimate hotel suite. Suite 1986 illustrates another facet of the country music icon’s life—the free-spirited traveler. The Prevost was Parton’s home away from home as she traversed the country throughout the last 15 years.

Cast Your Vote

Voting is now open and runs through Monday, August 15 at 11:59 a.m. EDT. A link to the voting page can be found at www.dollywood.com/vote. 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 includes a combination of editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, other expert contributors and more.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa provides guests with a full-service, comfortable home-away-from-home experience that only Dolly Parton could create. Inspired by Dolly’s childhood in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, a love for music and storytelling and a desire to create a place for families to grow and play, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa brings Dolly’s vision for a premiere family destination to life.

This wonderful resort has several unique areas and experiences for families to spend quality time together. Families can gather to play checkers by the fireplace in one of the resort’s grand living rooms, enjoy a glass of sweet tea in a rocking chair on one of the many porches or swap stories on one of the beautiful garden benches. The resort’s lavish 20-acre property includes premiere amenities and perks to help guests create their own special moments and memories.

Full-service dining, indoor and outdoor pool complexes, and exclusive park privileges—like complimentary transportation to Dollywood theme park and complimentary TimeSaver passes for Dollywood rides and shows—make the property a must-visit experience. Additionally, there are a variety of on-site activities at the resort for families. Through fun-filled activities, including arts and crafts, storytelling and summertime pool parties, Camp DW is designed to inspire children’s imaginations. At night, families gather around the fireplace for a bedtime story with a book selected from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Guests can also roast complimentary marshmallows to make s’mores each night around the fire pit.

During its history, DreamMore Resort has earned several awards. It was named the #1 Amusement Park Hotel in 2018, 2021 and 2022, by USA Today. It has also been named one of Southern Living’s “Best Places to Stay in the South” and one of Travel + Leisure’s “25 Resorts in the US that are Perfect for Families.”

For more information about Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, as well as special offers available at the Smoky Mountain resort destination, visit Dollywood.com/resort.

Dolly Breaks New Ground This Summer With Over 2 Million Reasons to Celebrate

Summer has finally arrived, giving families everywhere lots to celebrate! Whether traveling for vacation or just enjoying the simple pleasures found at home, summertime gives us all a chance to make new memories with friends and family, soak up the sunshine and count all of life's blessings. And, when it comes to counting your blessings, Dolly continues to reach new milestones and break new ground!

“Well, right now I have more blessings than I can even count! I’ve always been so proud of my Imagination Library, and now to have over 2 million children getting free books every month, well it's just more than I ever dreamed would happen.”

Imagination Library Now Gifting Over 2 Million Books Each Month

Dolly’s Imagination Library welcomes summer by celebrating one of its biggest milestones ever! As of June 2022, there are over 2 million children enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. That means the Imagination Library is now gifting over 2 MILLION BOOKS to children around the world each and every month — that’s 1 book every 1.4 seconds! Many thanks to our over 2,800 dedicated local affiliates around the world for helping Imagination Library reach this incredible milestone!

Dolly Parton Kicks Off a Summer Worth Celebrating, now gifting over 2 million books each month through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Shares Her “Heartsong” About Dollywood’s Newest Resort

Dolly Parton at Dollywood's Heartsong Lodge and Resort

With Dollywood’s status as a top destination in the country for families, there will soon be even more reason for families to come and enjoy a stay in the Smokies, with the 2023 opening of Dollywood’s Heartsong Lodge & Resort, adjacent to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. On Friday, June 24, Dolly made her first appearance at the Heartsong Lodge & Resort construction site, where she shared her vision for the 302-room resort while also sharing stories about why the Great Smoky Mountains still remain a sought-after respite for her during her hectic schedule. Dolly shared,

"With the new HeartSong Resort opening soon, I’m just thrilled that even more families will get to visit Dollywood and enjoy spending a little time here in the Smoky Mountains."

To top off her appearance, Dolly offered an exclusive look at Suite 1986—Dolly’s former tour bus, which has been turned into the ultimate hotel suite, residing at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.

All-New Thrills at Dolly's Dinner Attractions

To celebrate its 35th season this year, Dolly’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge premiers an all-new thrilling and moving performance segment combining the show’s equestrian stars, breathtaking aerial acrobatics and an original new song from Dolly, titled "Wild Horses." With locations in both Branson, MO and Pigeon Forge, TN, Dolly Parton’s Stampede is an incredible show filled with friendly competition, high-spirited adventure and a four-course family feast.

Buccaneers of all ages are invited to set sail into summer at Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show in Pigeon Forge and Myrtle Beach! This incredible adventure features everything from sword fights to a battle for lost treasure, plus a delicious Pirate Feast. Whether you’re visiting with your family, friends or a large group, Pirates Voyage is a top choice for a fun summer adventure!

Dollywood Leads the Way as Tripadvisor’s #1 Theme Park in the U.S.

Recently named Tripadvisor’s number one theme park in the nation, Dollywood kicks off its Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration with new experiences, returning guest favorites and extended summer hours throughout the festival, which runs until August 7. Based on actual reviews left by guests about their time spent in the theme park, Dollywood ranked #1 in the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Amusement Parks in the United States and #8 on the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Worldwide Amusement Parks list, reflecting the hard work and dedication that goes into making Dollywood a world-class experience and such a great place for families.

America’s Summer Road Trip Destination is Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration
America’s Summer Road Trip Destination is Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration

Dollywood’s Splash Country splashes into another summer of fun in the sun, now open for its 22nd season until September 5. Nestled right next to Dollywood, the region’s friendliest and most trusted water park offers a resort-style getaway with an upgraded park experience this summer, including a new zero-depth entry play space, more entertainment and new dining opportunities.

Music & More

Dolly to Star in “Run, Rose, Run” Feature Film

In a highly competitive bidding situation, Sony Pictures has landed the film adaptation of “Run, Rose, Run.” Dolly and James Patterson will produce the feature film alongside Reese Witherspoon, via her Hello Sunshine banner. Dolly will be writing original songs for the big-screen adaptation, in addition to producing and starring in the film, marking the first time she will have a starring role on the big screen since her popular 1992 flick, “Straight Talk.”

Sony Pictures Lands Film Adaptation of “Run, Rose, Run”
Sony Pictures Lands Film Adaptation of “Run, Rose, Run”

“Run, Rose, Run” Now Available

Dolly’s highly-anticipated first novel, co-written with best-selling author James Patterson, is now available. Also offered is the companion album, which features 12 original songs by Dolly! The album debuted at #1 on the Current Country Albums, American/Folk and Bluegrass charts, with the novel spending five weeks atop The New York Times Best Seller list — making it the longest-running #1 New York Times Best Seller of the decade and the bestselling novel of the year.

Official “Run, Rose, Run” Merchandise

Exclusive “Run, Rose, Run” merchandise, created for Dolly’s latest album and book release, is available now! Each item complements the music and the story as told by Dolly Parton.

Songs of Summertime

As we embark on a new season, take time to celebrate all of the moments, big and small, that make summertime so sweet.

“Sweet Summer Lovin’”

(Blaise Tosti / George Reneau)

Though the sun may be dawning
You’re the one that lights the morning
As I awake to the heaven
Of your sweet summer lovin’
By a stream in the country
Running barefoot and feeling free
While the love in our hearts blend
Into sweet summer lovin’

Love,

Dolly Parton Signature Logo

Dolly Makes First Appearance at Heartsong Lodge & Resort Construction Site and Gives Exclusive Look at Suite 1986 Tour Bus Experience

Dolly Parton visited the construction site of Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort on Friday, June 24, marking her first appearance at the property, slated to open in late 2023. During the event, which took place in what will become the resort's atrium area, Dolly expressed her vision for the 302-room resort while sharing stories about why the Great Smoky Mountains still remain a sought-after respite for her during her hectic schedule.

“In its simplest form, HeartSong is about the Smoky Mountains and why I continue to come back home year after year,” she explained. “It is the place I recharge and stay grounded. The beauty of the mountains—at every hour and in every season—is simply an inspiration. From the time I was a child, I roamed the hills of Locust Ridge and explored God’s coloring book.”

The American Chestnut Foundation Honors Bill Owens

During the media-only event, Dolly also accepted an award from the American Chestnut Foundation on behalf of her late uncle, Bill Owens. Representatives from The American Chestnut Foundation presented Dolly with the Chestnut Conservation Champion Award, which honored Bill for his long history of helping the foundation as they work toward developing a blight-resistant chestnut tree. Their works have helped save the American chestnut after it was almost eliminated due to a fungal pathogen, which spread quickly across the eastern United States in the early 1900s.

“My uncle Bill worked for decades with The American Chestnut Foundation to help their effort in creating a new tree that is blight resistant,” Dolly said. “As a result of that work, he has been honored in a new documentary about the chestnut tree. To honor him, we have this beautiful hybrid chestnut tree on stage. We have some representatives from the foundation here as well.”

Once the resort is completed, the hybrid tree will be planted in a prominent place to honor Bill and the work of The American Chestnut Foundation. Chestnut trees will be featured prominently in the artwork which will adorn the walls of guest rooms throughout the resort.

Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort

Tucked away in a beautiful cove in the rolling foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort is a well-appointed, reimagined property that features a variety of accommodations and amenities. Welcoming the outdoors in with high ceilings, exposed beams and natural layered textures, Dollywood’s newest resort offers lodging options for multi-generational families and couples. Spacious family suites and bunk rooms feature lovely touches that are inspired by the beauty of the Smokies, inviting guests of all ages to gather for meaningful connections. A new guest room rendering also was shared with media during the event.

For one-of-a-kind getaways, the five-story resort also features themed suites and loft rooms tucked into the dormers. Many of the rooms include balconies, which provide sweeping views of the vast resort property. This Smoky Mountain lodge features four-story, lantern-inspired windows in the resort’s welcoming atrium, epic indoor and outdoor pools that provide guests a refreshing escape in all seasons, and a picture-perfect outdoor cove with family gathering spaces. With 26,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, the property can accommodate gatherings for several hundred guests. From the two-story HeartSong Event Center to spacious outdoor meeting spaces and event lawn, the resort offers numerous options to provide a unique and inspiring setting for groups.

Dolly's Tour Bus Becomes the Ultimate Hotel Suite

Media members also had an opportunity to tour Suite 1986—Dolly’s former tour bus, which has been turned into the ultimate hotel suite. Now located at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, the Suite 1986 Tour Bus Experience illustrates another facet of the country music icon’s life—the free-spirited traveler. The Prevost was Dolly’s home away from home as she traversed the country throughout the last 15 years. This unique sanctuary is where Dolly wrote dozens of songs and worked on a number of hit projects that continue to cement her status as an international superstar.

Suite 1986 guests enjoy these special accommodations, as well as additional experiences which can be added to the stay. Guests also have the chance to indulge in special culinary creations from the award-winning staff of the resort. The suite features a dedicated concierge service for the entire length of stay, as well as a number of exclusive Suite 1986 items that guests are able to take home as a keepsake from this incredible experience. The tour bus sleeps two guests. In addition, stays include a DreamMore Resort guest room to accommodate up to four additional guests.

Plan Your Stay

The Suite 1986 Tour Bus Experience is a two-night minimum and starts at $10,000, and the profit from every stay will be donated to The Dollywood Foundation. Requests for bookings are available now. For more information about how to book this once-in-a-lifetime experience, please visit dollywood.com/suite1986.

For more information about Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort, please visit dollywood.com/heartsong.

Dollywood Named #1 Theme Park in the United States and #8 Theme Park in the World in 2022 Travelers' Choice Best of the Best Awards

Tripadvisor officials named Dollywood the #1 theme park in the United States and the #8 theme park in the world during the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards. It’s an honor that won’t come as much of a surprise to Dollywood’s park-goers who frequently compliment Dollywood on its exemplary guest experience.

The 160-acre destination earned top honors with Tripadvisor users. Dollywood ranked #1 in the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Amusement Parks in the United States and #8 on the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Worldwide Amusement Parks list. The awards were calculated based on reviews and ratings from travelers on Tripadvisor during the 12-month period from May 1, 2021 through April 31, 2022.

“I’m so proud of the work my people do to make Dollywood such a great place for families,” Dolly said. “When I started dreaming up Dollywood all those years ago, I hoped it would be somewhere folks were excited to come visit and enjoy time together. To hear that they are leaving so many positive comments about their time here really shows what we’re doing is working. In the current world, I want Dollywood to be a place where the light shines every day.”

Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company, echoes the thoughts of the park’s Dreamer-in-Chief.

“We’re working every single day to ensure our guests have the best possible time while they are with us,” explained Naughton. “This award is a little bit different because there is no voting factored into these rankings. The Tripadvisor rankings come from actual reviews left by guests about their time here with us at Dollywood. It is extremely gratifying to see this recognition for the effort our hosts give to ensure our guests have an unforgettable time while they are here.

“We are humbled by the results of this ranking, as well as the recent USA Today 10Best #1 finish for Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. These awards continue to show what we’ve been saying for so long—the Dollywood Parks & Resorts experience truly is world-class.”

Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards

According to the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best website, “The Best of the Best Things to Do Awards are calculated based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and ratings for experiences, tours, activities and attractions on Tripadvisor.”

“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travelers’ Choice Awards recognize the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: actual guests. Ranking among the Best of the Best is always tough — but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it's using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps taken to meet travelers' new demands."

Top 10 Theme Parks in the United States

  1. Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
  2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Florida)
  3. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park (Orlando)
  4. Universal Studios Hollywood (Los Angeles, California)
  5. Universal Studios Florida (Orlando)
  6. Silver Dollar City (Branson Missouri)
  7. Funland (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)
  8. Fun Spot America (Kissimmee, Florida)
  9. Santa’s Village (Jefferson, New Hampshire)
  10. Busch Gardens Tampa (Tampa, Florida)

Top 10 Theme Parks in the World

  1. Siam Park (Adeje, Spain)
  2. Puy du Fou (Les Epesses, France)
  3. Beto Carrero World (Penha, Brazil)
  4. Puy du Fou España (Toledo, Spain)
  5. The Milky Way Adventure Park (Clovelly, United Kingdom)
  6. Hot Park (Rio Quente, Brazil)
  7. Waterbom Bali (Kuta, Indonesia)
  8. Dollywood (Pigeon Forge)
  9. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando)
  10. Parque Terra Magica Florybal (Canela, Brazil)

With Dollywood ranking at #8 and Universal’s Islands of Adventure ranking at #9, American parks hold only two of the 10 spots on the worldwide theme park list. To see the full rankings, visit the Tripadvisor website.

Plan Your Visit

Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration opens Saturday, June 18, and provides guests with extended hours and fun family festivities that will leave everyone with a smile on their face. Thousands of pumpkins glow to life this fall as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 23-Oct. 29), and the season concludes with the most popular theme park Christmas event in the world, Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, happening November 5 - January 1.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood App.

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