Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
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New experiences and popular guest favorites return during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration June 18 – Aug. 7
With a wide range of new experiences and returning favorites occurring throughout the day and into the night—and with its new recognition as Tripadvisor’s number one park in the nation—Dollywood finds itself atop the list for best family road trips this summer. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration presented by Bush’s® Beans takes place June 18 – August 7 and invites guests to experience summer as if they were in Dolly’s own backyard! During the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, guests can take advantage of extended summer hours, allowing them to make memories until 9:30 p.m.
Sweet Summer Nights
Two popular Dollywood favorites return this season and are sure to put smiles on the faces of guests throughout the park. “Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights” returns bigger, brighter and bolder with even more drones lighting up the night sky, high above the Pigeon Forge park. A first-of-its-kind within the industry, the guest favorite is back with a show that combines 500 high-tech drones, with a world-class fireworks show designed to put an exclamation point on the evening.
As part of the Sweet Summer Nights experience, a DJ and energetic dancers bring fun to the streets of Wildwood Grove during two dance parties that ensure every member of the family is on their feet. As the party nears its finale, the celebration takes to the sky as the drones launch into the air for an unforgettable experience.
Interactive Shows and Refreshing Performances
Returning to Dollywood for the first time since 2017, “Gazillion Bubble Show Aurora” is back to deliver a mesmerizing burst of excitement to guests in Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theater. The show provides many moments where guests will be enveloped by “gazillions” of bubbles for a fun and unpredictable experience that captivates the entire family.
Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration features many fun ways for guests to interact with water during their day at Dollywood. All-new interactive shows, “Liquid Beats” and “Hydro Jive Junction,” will have guests splashing and singing along during refreshing performances. Guests can cool off on a hot summer day in the wonderful garden hose fountain installation found in Market Square during “Liquid Beats.” This interactive performance brings together dozens of garden hoses to create a fountain that delivers bursts of cooling excitement to guests of all ages. During “Liquid Beats,” a landscaping-themed percussion troupe maintains the natural beauty of the Smokies, as they bring this new entertainment vision to guests.
In Jukebox Junction, “Hydro Jive Junction” features a musical maintenance worker trying to repair a faulty fire hydrant. Dancing ensues as the fire hydrant turns into a refreshing sprinkler for guests to enjoy, as the cast sings and dances to familiar favorites such as “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Splish Splash.”
Music is the soundtrack of our lives, especially during a summer family road trip. Dollywood’s Entertainment Team brings to life the road trip “vibe” and takes guests on a summertime journey with the return of “Good Vibes” and its playlist of summer road trip classics. The Tones and Wild Roots Band also have summer playlists that will have families wanting to hit cruise control and sing along.
An authentically-Southern summer greets guests as soon as they enter the park. The Dollywood entry statement in front of Showstreet Palace Theater welcomes guests with themed decor, including the all-new Kite Sky. Throughout the park, colorful outdoor decor and experiences will immerse guests in simple southern sweetness. These brand-new, larger-than-life activities, including Jumbo Backyard Games, Parachute Play Party, Noodle Takeover! (a dazzling array of suspended pool noodles hanging in the summer sky) and more, allow parents to relive beloved childhood pastimes while creating new memories with their own children. The Bubble Foam Zone will cool guests off on the hottest of summer days by covering families head to toe in a giant, bubble-filled plaza.
Imagination Playhouse Takes the Stage
It’s story time again as Imagination Playhouse showcases three favorite books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, including “Coat of Many Colors,” based on Parton’s song and childrens’ book of the same name. “Coat of Many Colors” and an all-new show called “Violet the Pilot” feature sing-along songs that kids of all ages will enjoy. Everyone’s favorite, “The Little Engine That Could,” also comes to the stage with a delightful reminder of what can happen with just a little bit of determination. Thanks to Penguin Books, guests can enjoy several decorative and interactive photo opportunities for children and their families in the lobby of the theater prior to each show.
Summer Tasting Pass Now Available
Dollywood’s Culinary Team is cooking up summertime favorites full of flavor. Fried fish and hushpuppies, BBQ pork nachos, Southern-fried corn and an open-faced grilled cheese are just a few of the savory items guests can enjoy during the festival. Sweet treats include peanut butter candy liege waffles, s’mores funnel cake and an orange Fanta float. Guests will also be able to visit the Food Truck Neighborhood in Adventures in Imagination for a variety of road trip treats.
After the success of the Flower & Food Festival Tasting Pass, the tastes of summer are now available with a similar option for guests. The tasting pass, which can be purchased in the park or online, is $34.99 plus tax or $31.99 plus tax for gold and diamond passholders. The tasting pass is available each day of the festival.
Plan Your Visit
Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. After the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, thousands of pumpkins will glow to life this fall as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana, happening September 23 – October 29. 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.