Dollywood’s 34th season—and undoubtedly the park’s biggest ever—opened today with a special preview day for season passholders and a surprise visit from Dolly Parton. In a year that also includes the opening of the largest addition in Dollywood history later this season—the $37 million Wildwood Grove—the award-winning park’s range of unique festival offerings, spectacular shows and memorable experiences make this the best year yet to experience the spirit of the Smokies.
Veteran Dollywood guests know each season offers a completely new atmosphere for families to enjoy. With Wildwood Grove’s thrilling new attractions, award-winning entertainment and fabulous festivals, 2019 is the perfect year to take advantage of a Dollywood season pass or multi-day ticket.
Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (now-April 14) allows guests to travel the world without leaving the Smokies. Cultures from around the globe come together in this festive event which offers the excitement of traditional music, dance, food and art from a wide array of countries. A number of internationally-recognized performing groups come to Dollywood for the first time in 2019. Headliners Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and Drum Struck bring unique, high-energy shows to Dollywood’s stages, while a number of returning favorites allow guests to reconnect with old friends. Festival of Nations is a fun, educational and uplifting experience for families to enjoy. The Passport to Food features authentic international cuisine, while daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide an exceptional escape to another world.
Bluegrass fans know Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® (May 24-June 2) provides them with 10 days of toe-tappin' music served up alongside some of the tastiest pulled pork, barbequed chicken and traditional sides anywhere! This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a heaping helping of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers. Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association winner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IBMA winners Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Dailey & Vincent are just a few of the headliners who make this annual tradition, music to the ears! With the tantalizing treats from Dollywood’s award-winning chefs and the sweet sounds of bluegrass, Dollywood guests have the perfect recipe to kick off the summer!
Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22-Aug. 4) is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event gives families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! With the opening of Wildwood Grove, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life when the sun sets. Each evening ends with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza that lights up the night sky. High-energy music and shows like Dreamland Drive-In make dancing in the aisles acceptable and bring out the kid in everyone. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is a great reminder that some of the best family memories are made after the sun goes down.
Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) provides fabulous fall family fun with the new Smoky Mountain tradition, Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. every evening allowing families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. Several hundred performances by award-winning Southern gospel artists make the Harvest Festival’s Southern Gospel Jubilee the genre’s largest event in America. Grammy nominees The Isaacs and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound already are set to perform. Dollywood guests also can enjoy the spectacular artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the special harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!
Named the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide for more than a decade, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 9- Jan. 4, 2020) provides the perfect holiday atmosphere to put families in the Christmas spirit. Wander through the park’s more than five million holiday lights, enjoy the festive holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, or taste the holiday-themed food, and it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. 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 helps families create memories to share for a lifetime. Glacier Ridge returns to transport guests to the arctic with the Northern Lights, the Arctic Passage and a 50-ft. tall animated tree. Most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in this merry environment. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas.
For more information about multi-day ticket options or 2019 Dollywood season passes, visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-Dollywood.
Dollywood’s thrilling 2019 season begins with one of the park’s greatest Festival of Nations lineups ever! The event, which runs March 16-April 14, features exhilarating new headline shows, the return of the Passport to Food and special cooking demonstrations, including opportunities to see world-renowned Chef Pepin whip up his favorite dishes. Season pass holders can visit a special preview day event on March 15.
Guests can experience the spirit of the Smokies at Dollywood while also taking a trip around the globe thanks to authentic glimpses into a number of fascinating cultures. It’s a vibrant and exciting way to celebrate spring break!
Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is a fusion dance and music company that mixes Hispanic and Caribbean cultures into each performance. Considered to include some of the best performers from Cuba, the group has been together for more than 25 years and has entertained on five continents. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba can be found in DP’s Celebrity Theater.
Billed as the first interactive drum-theater experience, Drumstruck leaves families laughing and creating memories to remember for years to come. As guests enter Showstreet Palace Theater, they will find drums placed in each seat throughout the venue. Members of the audience use these drums to become part of the show, playing along with the performance on stage. This high-energy production weaves South African music and culture with West African rhythms.
This expanded international menu lets guests enjoy savory and sweet delights from a number of countries, including grilled beef skewers from Trinidad, poutine and fried cheese curds from Canada, and beef bulgogi nachos over wonton chips from South Korea. A number of refreshing drinks also are available and serve as the perfect complement to the delectable dishes available as part of the passport. A wide range of international pastries and desserts tempt those with a sweet tooth.
Chef Pepin, a well-known celebrity chef from Cuba, hosts several cooking demonstrations during the opening weekend of the festival, while additional chefs share their secrets each subsequent weekend during Festival of Nations. Cooking demonstrations currently are scheduled to take place each Saturday and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. in Dollywood’s Market Square area.
Invaders Steel Orchestra- One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away.
Location: The Valley Theater
Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, and the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture, and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world.
Location: Showstreet Gazebo
De Temps Antan – Traveling from Quebec, Canada, De Temps Antan explores and performs the time-honored melodies from Quebec’s musical past. This talented trio combines contemporary music, uncontrolled laughter, deep-routed couplets and sudden, impromptu shifts for memorable songs that speak to the familiar rhythms of yesteryear.
Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 16- 24)
Les Grands Hurleurs – Les Grands Hurleurs of Quebec, Canada has pushed boundaries and incorporate a variety of musical influences for their own special sound. Paying respect to their traditional roots while creating original music, this trio flirts with classical, Manouche, electronica and folk music for shows that bring audiences alive. Prepare to experience a musical journey with groovy, energetic and swing styles.
Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 27- April 14)
The largest expansion in the park’s history, Wildwood Grove, opens this spring to provide families with thrilling new experiences and attractions for guests to explore together. Summer kicks off with Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 24- June 2), while the park’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features later hours and the first chance to experience the wonder of Wildwood Grove at night. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2019 season concludes with the eleven-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 9-Jan. 4, 2020.
If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. With the opening of Wildwood Grove and a vast amount of entertainment and festivals (all included with park admission) available throughout the season, guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2019.
Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s biggest season ever by visiting Dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
Dollywood kicked off its 33rd season with a special preview event hosted by Dolly Parton. This incredible year is one which surely will be remembered for the amazing quality of entertainment. Dollywood's entertainment team invested $1 million more in its 2018 offerings than any other single year of entertainment in its history.
The preview event featured performances by the National Dance Company of Siberia, PAINTJAM featuring Ricardo Barazza, Janie Fricke, Orleans, Larnelle Harris and others. For the finale, Dolly joined Ladysmith Black Mambazo backed by Orleans for a beautiful performance of "Peace Train." Dolly recorded the song written by Cat Stevens on her 1996 "Treasures" album which featured Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Dollywood has won Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Entertainment for nine years. And with 2018's commitment, the park again looks to lead the way for the award.
Festival of Nations (March 16 -- April 9)
Spring Mix Music Series (April 11 - April 29)
Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25 - June 10)
Summer Celebration (June 16 - August 5)
Rock The Smokies (August 25)
Harvest Festival (September 28 - November 3)
Smoky Mountain Christmas (November 10 - January 5)
Opening day also served as the unveiling of the newly renovated Aunt Granny's restaurant. The eatery is named after the affectionate nickname Dolly's nieces and nephews have for her as she acts as both aunt and granny to them as well as to some of her younger siblings. The restaurant is one of the parks original features. Its buffet style dining offers guests delicious comfort foods including Mama's Stone Soup. Read famous Stone Soup story in A Mother's Love & Inspiration - Avie Lee Parton.
Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun
With Dollywood’s emphasis on show-stopping entertainment in 2018, the park’s annual Festival of Nations kicks off the new season with a multi-cultural event featuring world-renowned talent. The celebration takes place March 16-April 9 and lets guests take a trip around the world without leaving the Smokies.
This colorful, interactive event marks the beginning of Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers. Enjoy cultural music, food and crafts that immerse the entire family in festive fun.
GRAMMY award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo have transcended musical barriers to produce awe-inspiring projects with artists such as Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and even Dolly Parton herself. The group sings of peace, love and harmony. Now in its sixth decade they have produced more than 60 albums. They won their fifth GRAMMY in January, this time for Best World Music Album. Their name is a combination of Ladysmith, South Africa (the group’s hometown), the color of oxen (one of the strongest farm animals), and the Zulu word for “chopping axe” (a symbol of the group’s vocal strength). Ladysmith Black Mambazo songs have been featured in multiple motion pictures, and the group even traveled to Norway with Nelson Mandela to perform when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Guests can find this talented group at the Showstreet Palace Theater.
Founded in 1960, the National Dance Company of Siberia has wowed audiences around the globe with colorful and expressive dance, traditional folk music and vivid costumes. This renowned dance company brings their amazing performance to life for guests in a must-see display of talent and passion. High energy, dazzling colors and authentic Siberian customs combine for an astonishing visual masterpiece. See the National Dance Company of Siberia in the park’s largest theater, DP’s Celebrity Theater
Los Vivancos is comprised of seven Spanish brothers who traveled the world before studying at the prestigious Barcelona Dance Conservatory. Drawing from their years of study, Los Vivancos have created an eclectic style that combines flamenco, ballet, martial arts, street dance, theater and acrobatics into one thrilling, non-stop performance that truly showcases their charisma and flair. The brothers have served as guest performers on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Their show, The Flamenco Kings featuring Los Vivancos, is located in Pines Theater.
JigJam - This quartet hails from the heart of Ireland and blends the best of traditional Irish music with the unique sound of American bluegrass to create a genre of music affectionately known as “Celtgrass.” The group has been humorously described as “the best Irish group so far in bluegrass.” Thanks to their gregarious personalities and entertaining antics, this show is an upbeat, foot-stomping good time Dollywood guests won’t want to miss. Location: Back Porch Theater
Invaders Steel Orchestra - One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away. Location: The Valley Theater
Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, as well as the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world. Location: Showstreet Gazebo
Zebra Stelzentheater – Zebra Stelzentheater features German stilt dancers in original costumes who perform while roaming the streets of Dollywood. They are always looking for guest interaction, so be on the lookout for fun. This lively troop is always on the search for new friends! Location: Roaming
Guests also can find food from around the globe at various locations throughout Dollywood. Items include Elote w/Pimente Espelette, Citrus Ancho & Coca-Cola Braised Beef Tostada, Lamb or Chicken Gyros, Crepe Suzette, Pad Thai and much more!
Dollywood’s Festival of Nations sets the stage for a show-stopping 2018 season. The park celebrates the arrival of spring with the all-new Spring Mix Music Series April 11-29. Spring Mix includes performances by artists including The Marshall Tucker Band and Amy Grant. Also see Pam Tillis, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Crystal Gayle and more. Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25-June 10) includes more than 350 performances by the best in bluegrass, while the park’s Summer Celebration features iLuminate, DRUMLine Live and Dan Dunn’s PaintJam. Extended hours and nightly fireworks shows highlight Dollywood’s summer season, June 16-Aug. 5. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28-Nov. 3) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the second year for the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2018 season concludes with the ten-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event. See Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 10-Jan. 5, 2019.
If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. A number of new entertainment options (all included with park admission) are available throughout the season. And guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2018!
During 2018, guests will be treated to an exciting new Festival of Nations lineup, thrilling summer shows and more great entertainment throughout the season. If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. With a number of new entertainment options (all included with park admission) available throughout the season, guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2018.
The season begins with Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (March 17- April 9), a fascinating festival offering a captivating glimpse at a number of cultures from across the globe. Three internationally-known groups—all new to Dollywood in 2018—headline this season’s festival. The National Dance Company of Siberia, The Flamenco Kings starring Los Vivancos and Ladysmith Black Mambazo—who worked with Dolly Parton on her 1996 album Treasures—bring three unique, high-energy shows to Dollywood.
Also new to Festival of Nations in 2018 is JigJam, a quartet from the heart of Ireland that blends traditional Irish music with bluegrass to create a new genre known as “Celtgrass.” Perennial Festival of Nations favorites including the Caribbean’s Invaders Steel Drum Orchestra and Ecuador’s Atahualpa return to provide guests a fun, educational escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.
Dollywood’s Spring Mix (April 11 - 29) features three weeks of stellar performances across multiple genres. The impressive roster of Spring Mix artists have combined to earn 42 gold albums, 18 platinum albums, 25 Grammys, 12 Country Music Association Awards, 10 American Country Music Awards, four American Music Association Awards and 56 Dove Awards.
Dollywood’s popular Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25 - June 10) adds an extra week in 2018 and includes performances by Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent, The Grascals and many more.
Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 16 - Aug. 5) is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (park hours are extended to midnight on June 30 and July 7). America’s Got Talent finalists iLuminate bring their electrified glow-in-the-dark costumes to perform dynamic dance routines and illusions which will mesmerize guests, while DRUMLine Live! creates a synchronized musical masterpiece based on the hit 2002 movie Drumline—but it’s not the typical halftime performance! To complete the day, the park’s festive nightly fireworks show is a colorful extravaganza set to uplifting music which celebrates the fun of Dollywood after dark!
Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28 - Nov. 3) provides more fall family fun with the expansion of the new guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights and the largest Southern gospel event in America. Dollywood is open until 9 p.m. every night during the festival.
Celebrating a decade of being honored as the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 10 - Jan. 5, 2019) provides the perfect holiday atmosphere to put families in the Christmas spirit. For the first time, the park is open every day during the festival, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For guests who wander through the park’s more than four million holiday lights, enjoy the spectacular holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, or taste the holiday-themed food, it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many.
Dollywood won the 2017 Golden Ticket from Amusement Today for Best Entertainment at any theme park in the world. The honor was the ninth consecutive triumph for the park in that category. With Parton’s commitment to show-stopping entertainment in 2018, Dollywood looks to lead the way in securing its 10th victory in the category.