Dollywood Theme Park

Vote for Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Published November 17, 2021 / Last Updated November 17, 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
Team Dolly

Cast your vote for Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, nominated for Best Theme Park Holiday Event in the USA Today 10Best Awards

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana—the 13-time and only winner of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event—has been nominated in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards for Best Theme Park Holiday Event.

The USA Today contest, which is now live, runs through Monday, December 6 at 11:59 a.m. A page with a link to the voting page can be found at 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, expert contributors and more.

A Family Holiday Tradition

The theme park industry’s premier Christmas event has been a long-held tradition for generations of guests since its debut in 1990. With more than five million holiday lights, festive holiday performances and a cheerful Christmas atmosphere, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas truly captures the essence of Christmas. From the joy of traditional holiday shows to the excitement of watching Santa at work in his Smoky Mountain cabin, Dollywood’s Christmas festival helps families create memories to share for a lifetime. Guests can also enjoy Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions that operate in this merry environment.

Spectacular Entertainment

Dollywood’s family favorite shows light up both indoor and outdoor stages. The festival’s headline show, “Christmas in the Smokies,” has been a must-see for families every Christmas season since it began more than 30 years ago. Families will also enjoy “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “O’ Holy Night,” “Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs,” “The Mistletones,” “Appalachian Christmas with the Smoky Mountain String Band” and more.

Returning for its second year, the “Merry & Bright!” fireworks display is a sparkling ending to a Christmas-cheer filled day at Dollywood. “Merry & Bright!” fills the sky above Dollywood with dazzling lights set to the rhythm of upbeat contemporary holiday hits. The show—which was only on weekends in 2020—was so popular that guests will now be able to experience it each evening of operation during the festival! Families can dance and sing along to favorite Christmas songs as the fireworks shine and shimmer above, creating another special memory before leaving the park.

Festive Holiday Food

For those looking to celebrate the holidays with the perfect family meal, Dollywood’s team of chefs has a menu full of culinary surprises sure to delight. From creole-roasted turkey breast and smothered pork loin to braised beef short ribs and lobster bisque, a number of hearty favorites are sure to remind guests of Christmases past. An array of unique items abounds, including eggnog cheesecake, hazelnut churros, Santa’s chilled cocoa and more.

For more information about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyVote for Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Returns November 6

Published November 5, 2021 / Last Updated November 5, 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
Team Dolly

Experience America’s Best Christmas Tradition at Dollywood November 6 – January 2

The holidays are in full swing in Pigeon Forge,TN, where guests can experience America’s best Christmas tradition, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, beginning Saturday, November 6 and running through January 2, 2022.

The light shines on Smoky Mountain Christmas thanks to the glow of more than five million gleaming holiday lights, award-winning stage productions and the warm family traditions that so many guests have enjoyed for more than 30 years. Dollywood is fresh off its 13th consecutive Golden Ticket award for Best Theme Park Christmas event. In fact, it is the only park in the world to earn this prestigious industry honor. For guests, Smoky Mountain Christmas always marks the beginning of the “Dolly-days.” Dolly said,

“Christmas really is the most special time of the year, because it’s when we all come together to share those precious memories we all hold dear. It’s when we take time to remember those cherished times and stories from the past, but it’s also when we start so many new traditions that will become the stories we tell years from now. I hope that everyone who visits Dollywood this season experiences the love and joy of a traditional Smoky Mountain Christmas. During their time here, we hope they’ll laugh, love and linger as they enjoy the light of the season. We also hope they create those new memories and family traditions that they’ll share for many years to come.”

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 serves as one of the highlights of Glacier Ridge, thanks to the Wonderful Christmas! Plaza Tree Show, which features a 50-foot tall animated tree sparkling to life to present a fully-synchronized, dazzling light show throughout the evening.

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, area-based themes and lighting designs throughout the park provide a sense of wonder and discovery around each turn.

Santa’s Dollywood Cabin

Last year, Old Saint Nick allowed visitors to watch him hard at work in his little cabin in the woods at Dollywood. For the kids (and kids at heart) wondering what Santa is up to this year, he enjoyed his time in the Smokies so much that he has returned to his new home away from home.

Most people don’t know that when he isn’t hard at work at the North Pole, Santa likes to visit East Tennessee and his great friend, Dolly! Guests who visit Santa’s cabin can literally see inside as he reviews “the list”! Kids discover whether their name is on the naughty or nice list, and they might even have their photo made as they peer through the window during this once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch Santa at work.

Spectacular Holiday Entertainment

Dollywood’s family favorite shows will be lighting up both indoor and outdoor stages. The festival’s headline show, “Christmas in the Smokies,” has been a must-see for families every Christmas season since it began more than 30 years ago. Families can also enjoy “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “O’ Holy Night,” “Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs,” “The Mistletones,” “Appalachian Christmas with the Smoky Mountain String Band” and more.

Returning for its second year, the “Merry & Bright!” fireworks display is a sparkling ending to a Christmas-cheer filled day at Dollywood. “Merry & Bright!” fills the sky above Dollywood with dazzling lights set to the rhythm of upbeat contemporary holiday hits. The show, which was only on weekends in 2020, was so popular that guests will now be able to experience it every evening of operation during the festival! Families can dance and sing along to favorite Christmas songs as the fireworks shine and shimmer above, allowing families to create one last special memory before leaving the park.

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 creole-roasted turkey breast and smothered pork loin to braised beef short ribs and lobster bisque, a selection of hearty favorites are sure to remind guests of Christmases past. A number of unique items abound including egg nog cheesecake, hazelnut churros, Santa’s chilled cocoa and more.

World-Class Rides

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.

Glacier Ridge - Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas
Showstreet Palace Theater - Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas
Craftsman's Valley - Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas
Dollywood Express train - Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

The Christmas fun makes its way to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa with even more ways to help families create memories this holiday season. To create a truly immersive Smoky Mountain Christmas experience, the resort is celebrating the holidays with a variety of festival-inspired activities, crafts, entertainment, décor and culinary options.

The resort’s halls are decked in beautiful décor inspired by warm, rich memories of Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. The centerpiece is an awe-inspiring, two-story Christmas tree that can be seen from both levels of the lobby.

DreamMore Resort’s culinary team is preparing delicious holiday meals in Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery. Guests can gather together to give thanks and enjoy a delicious meal throughout the season, or experience one of three holiday dining experiences—Thanksgiving brunch, a Christmas Eve dinner or a Christmas Day brunch.

On select nights during the week, live entertainers will put guests in the holiday spirit with beloved Christmas tunes, while a special Christmas Tree Show takes place hourly each evening beginning at 5:30 p.m. by The Swimming Hole.

Plan Your Visit

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

Team DollyDollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Returns November 6

Light the Way 5K Returns to Dollywood November 12

Published October 28, 2021 / Last Updated October 29, 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
Team Dolly

Proceeds to benefit Keep Sevier Beautiful and Dollywood’s Share It Forward employee assistance program

Light the Way 5K returns this holiday season with a new and improved course that winds its way through the holiday atmosphere at Dollywood, not once, but twice. Participants in the ninth annual Light the Way 5K will run through five million Christmas lights inside Dollywood beginning 11 p.m. on Friday, November 12, as they make this festive race one of their favorite holiday traditions.

New and Improved for 2021

When the race had to be canceled in 2020, Light the Way 5K officials looked at how to improve the experience for both serious and casual runners. Participant feedback over the last several years prompted changes that are being implemented for the 2021 race; the decision to provide finishing medals for all participants and a change that allows more time to run through the theme park.

Light the Way 5K’s new route will start runners at Dollywood’s front gate area and take them through the theme park twice, allowing time to take in the five million Christmas lights of the award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. Walkers will have the opportunity to follow the route for one loop around the park. Additionally, 2021 will be the first year participants will experience Wildwood Grove, which opened in 2019, as part of the race course.

Racing for a Cause

Proceeds from the event will benefit both the Keep Sevier Beautiful and Share It Forward program at Dollywood. Keep Sevier Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is a volunteer-based organization which focuses on waste reduction/recycling, litter prevention and beautifying public spaces through education and community-based programs. Keep Sevier Beautiful’s goal is to protect the natural beauty of the area that millions of visitors come to experience each year. Share It Forward is a non-profit organization which serves The Dollywood Company employees and their families through a variety of quality programs. Share It Forward programming is funded primarily through employee donations, which are matched dollar for dollar by The Dollywood Company.

“It’s so exciting to be hosting runners at the Light the Way 5K, with an expanded course,” said Aaron Newberry, Executive Director of Share It Forward. “The beauty of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, combined with the challenge of a course that only a theme park can provide, makes Light the Way a one-of-a-kind event for runners and walkers.”

“Most importantly, this event helps provide our non-profit organizations with financial assistance just before the holidays,” added Lisa Bryant, Executive Director of Keep Sevier Beautiful.

The certified race will be chip timed and managed by Scenic City Multisport. Awards will be presented to the top three finishers for both men and women.

Registration Information

Pre-registration is encouraged for the Light the Way 5K as the race is limited to 1,500 participants. Registration fee until race day is $50. Register online at www.lighttheway5k.net. Race day registration takes place from 11AM-9PM at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

For more information, email info@keepsevierbeautiful.org or visit www.lighttheway5k.net.

Team DollyLight the Way 5K Returns to Dollywood November 12