Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas event is a favorite for Dolly Parton, who enjoys bringing families together for a magical holiday celebration each year.
The Dollywood crew traditionally works behind the scenes beginning mid-June, stringing lights on days when the park is closed, overnights and early mornings.
The park usually closes for about a week after the Great Pumpkin LumiNights and Harvest Festival event to transition into a winter wonderland overflowing with holiday lights.
It’s no easy feat hanging up over 5 million Christmas lights while simultaneously preparing for other seasonal events and offering park-goers an uninterrupted experience.
The entire process takes almost 5 months from start to finish each year.
Is Dollywood open on Thanksgiving and Christmas?
Dollywood reopened on Nov. 6, 2021 to kick off the 2021 Christmas season.
The park is currently on a reduced holiday schedule with closures scheduled for most Mondays and Tuesdays from Nov. 8-Dec. 14, 2021.
However, Dollywood will be open the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, 2021.
Notably, Dollywood is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
On weekdays, except for those days mentioned above, Dollywood is open from 2 pm-9 pm and on weekends from 11 am-9 pm.
Dollywood is scheduled to close for the season starting Jan. 3, 2021.
We encourage all guests to double-check the operating calendar when making plans.
Is Dollywood good at Christmas?
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival is one of the most beloved traditions in the Smoky Mountains.
In fact, Dollywood’s Christmas celebration is an award-winning event, receiving its 13th consecutive Golden Ticket award for America’s Best Theme Park Christmas event.
And the “Merry and Bright” fireworks display, which is synced to Christmas carols, has returned for 2021.
Last season, the fireworks show was only available on weekends. But the show was so popular, that guests will now be able to experience it each night (conditions permitting).
Seasonal shows will take to the stage to share the joy of the holidays this year as well.
Shows this year include:
- Appalachian Christmas
- Candlelight Carolers
- Christmas in the Smokies
- Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs
- Heart of the Holidays
- Holiday Wild Roots
- Merry and Bright, Holiday Light!
- O’ Holy Night
- Santa’s List … Naughty or Nice?
- ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Plaza Tree Show will feature the 50-ft tall animated tree, complete with a snowy finale.
The interactive North Pole experience, “Santa’s List … Naughty or Nice” will allow little ones to visit Santa in his workshop and at the end, find out if their name made the famous list.
And of course, most of your favorite Smoky Mountain Christmas attractions will be returning this year, including Glacier Ridge.
Seasonal treats will be featured throughout the park as well, including eggnog cheesecake, hazelnut churros, Santa’s hot chocolate, warm cookies and more.
Are rides open during Christmas at Dollywood?
Rides do traditionally continue to run throughout the winter season at Dollywood. However, operations are dependent on the weather.
For example, each ride has a temperature at which it must close.
Most rides will close if temperatures reach about 36 degrees or below.
To view the weather guidelines for each attraction or ride, click here.
Remember to wear layers if you plan to visit Dollywood during the Christmas celebration.
Even though daytime temperatures may be pleasant and sunny, temperatures cool down quickly at night in the mountains of Tennessee.
How much does it cost to go to Dollywood at Christmas?
At the time of this writing, a day pass for Dollywood is $84. Two-day passes are also available for $99.
Sometimes, you can save a few dollars when you book with Tripster.
We encourage all guests to check the daily schedule on the Dollywood website for the latest information on showtimes and other updates.
Have you been to Dollywood for the Christmas celebration? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.
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