April showers bring May flowers, but in East Tennessee, you don’t have to wait until May. The third annual Dollywood Flower and Food Festival, presented by Covenant Health, is blooming to life on April 22, 2022 and will run until June 5.
Dollywood has always put a lot of pride in the park’s aesthetics, and flowers have been a significant part of that.
Now, they’re kicking it up a notch in ways that will bathe the park in a kaleidoscope of colors.
What is the Flower and Food Festival at Dollywood?
During the festival, more than half a million flowers can be seen across the theme park, and new culinary options become available from Dollywood’s acclaimed chefs.
In partnership with an internationally-acclaimed sculpting team, a multitude of flowers comes to life throughout Dollywood in the form of Great Smoky Mountain turtles, raccoons, frogs and black bears.
The floral displays reach heights up to 15 feet and celebrate the spirit of the Smoky Mountains.
Also, Dolly’s rich influence through song comes alive thanks to tributes of “I Will Always Love You” and “Coat of Many Colors”, which features a scenic sculpture of Dolly Parton’s mother, Avie Lee.
The festival takes its blooms and brilliance throughout Dollywood, starting with photo opportunities as soon as guests step foot through the gates.
Once inside the park, guests find themselves under an array of colorful umbrellas, an awe-inspiring sight that features more than 600 umbrellas dancing above their heads.
And that’s only part of the show. In addition to the flowers, comes the food.
The festival will feature special menu items created by Dollywood’s culinary team to recreate the best traditions of cuisine from around the world.
What’s new at the Flower and Food Festival in 2022?
New mosaiculture icons include a peacock, a beekeeper tending to a hive and a mallard duck.
These whimsical additions join a lineup of beloved displays that will be returning, including the signature butterfly umbrella and woodland animal friends.
Notably, these sculptures are designed in partnership with Mosaicultures International, a Montreal-based company that specializes in the art of elaborate floral decorations.
“Spring has always been so wonderful to me, because the flowers start growing, the sun shines for a little longer, and the birds start singing a new song,” Dolly Parton said.
“When I was little and the weather started warming up, all us kids would gather on the porch in the afternoon and enjoy lemonade that Mama brought out for us. That’s springtime to me – getting to make memories with my family and taking in the beautiful colors everywhere.”
Flower and Food Festival menu and tasting pass
Can’t decide on one dish? The tasting pass is returning this year, which allows guests to partake in the flavors of spring at different festival locations.
The tasting pass can be purchased in the park or online. It is $34.99 plus tax or $31.99 plus tax for gold and diamond passholders.
With this pass, guests can sample five food offerings at any Flower and Food Festival culinary location. This year’s festival menu features:
- Bacon Jammin’ Fries
- Bavarian Crab Pretzel Melt
- Chicken and Andouille Skillet
- Cobb Shaker Salad
- Cuban Sandwich
- Fish and Chips
- Korean BBQ Nachos
- Meditteranean Shaker Salad
- Open-Faced Bulgogi Sloppy Joe
- Reuben Spring Roll
- Seafood Mac and Cheese
- Smoked Chicken Wings
- Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Spicy Korean BBQ Meatballs
- Street Corn Salad
These Savory Bites can be found around the park at places like Iron Horse Pizza, Hickory House BBQ and the Seasonal Culinary Booth.
Additionally, beverages will include refreshments such as the Blue Woog, a lemonade-based fruity refresher, Cranberry Watermelon Cooler, a cranberry lemonade with Sprite, Fanta Floats, an ice-cream float with Fanta, a Raspberry Boba Tea and more.
Of course, no food festival is complete without dessert. For sweet treats, the park will offer an assortment of baked cookies and cupcakes at the Spotlight Bakery.
Also, don’t miss the Berry and Lavender Mini Funnel Cake, with fresh berries like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, Palettes, frozen treats with fresh fruit, a Liege Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich dipped in chocolate and pistachios and more.
The treats can be found around the park at places like Showstreet Ice Cream, Crossroads Funnel Cakes and the Seasonal Culinary Booth.
For the full menu, location and map, visit the Dollywood website.
Music and shows at Dollywood’s Flower and Food Festival
A highlight of the festival this year is the entertainment, which will include Southern gospel groups, contemporary Christian artists and even impressive acrobatics.
For example, guests won’t want to miss Dolly’s Butterfly Garden, an immersive, walkthrough experience that pairs Dolly’s music with a motion-activated digital exhibit.
Also, the show Bloom! is an amazing new show that has acrobatic performers atop poles nearly 12 feet high.
Additional shows for the Flower and Food Festival include:
- A Brighter Day
- Forever Country
- Harmonies of The Heart
- Smoky Mountain String Band
- The Hall Sisters
- The Kingdom Heirs
- The Tones
- Wild Roots Band
Where is the best photo op at the Flower and Food Festival?
Perhaps the most iconic photo opportunity is the whimsical Umbrella Sky as guests enter the park.
Also, the Hillside Carpet Display creates a floral sunset to Rivertown Junction.
The pathways of Adventures in Imagination are decorated with creative chalk art portraits. And, don’t miss Dolly’s Butterfly Garden exhibit in Adventures in Imagination.
Finally, festival elements carry over into Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa where guests find festive decor and stunning floral accents.
How much does it cost to go to Dollywood?
The Flower and Food Festival is included with the price of admission (not including food or extra add-ons). Regular Dollywood admission is $84 for a one-day pass.
Before you go, download the official Dollywood app for a complete list of dining locations.
Visit their website here to view the daily schedule at Dollywood as you plan your trip.
Have you been to the Dollywood Flower and Food Festival in the Great Smoky Mountains? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!